Twitter Cuts Off Intelligence Agency Access to Dataminr Alerts

Today's topics include news that Twitter has blocked government access to Dataminr alerts, Lenovo's plan to build x86 servers in Europe, the appointment of Intel's CEO to chair of the FAA Drone Advisory Council and a market report estimates PC shipments dropped to 101 million units worldwide.

Twitter has decided to bar U.S. intelligence agencies from a service that analyzes tweets and provides near-instant alerts of unfolding events.

The service is provided by Dataminr, a private company in which Twitter owns an approximate 5 percent stake. According to the report, the decision wasn't publicly announced and was motivated by a fear of "seeming too close to American intelligence services."

Twitter has a policy of preventing third parties from selling its data to government agencies for surveillance purposes and won't comment on the two-year arrangement it had with the government.

Lenovo will manufacture some data center systems—including x86 servers—in a facility in Hungary to reduce costs and improve delivery times to customers in Europe.

Company officials announced that starting this summer, the facility in Sarvar, Hungary, run by longtime manufacturing partner Flex will build some x86-based servers, storage and networking equipment to complement the systems already being built in Lenovo's home country of China.

Lenovo officials said the move will help shave off up to five days on the delivery time of systems to customers in many European countries and lower freight costs that can be passed onto customers and partners.

Brian Krzanich has been a huge proponent of drone technology during his three-year tenure as Intel's CEO. Now Krzanich will have a significant say in the development of federal regulations regarding drones.

Officials with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) announced the creation of a broad-based advisory committee addressing integration strategies regarding unmanned aircraft.

Krzanich will chair the Drone Advisory Council, whose mission is to bring a broad range of voices into the debate about introducing drones into U.S. airspace, according to FAA Administrator Michael Huerta, speaking at the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI) conference this week.

PC vendors won't find much in the way of good news in the latest global market numbers from analysts with Canalys.

The market research firm said in a report May 9 that in the first three months of the year, shipments of PCs worldwide fell 13 percent over the same period in 2015, to 101 million units, dropping to levels not seen since the second quarter of 2011.

In addition, given the hit the struggling market took in the first quarter and the multiyear downward trend, analysts with Canalys said there were few, if any, bright spots that PC vendors could seize upon.

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