Apple Store Selling Refurbished iPhones at a Discount

Today's topics include the return of refurbished iPhones return to the Apple store, Google's decision to retire community edits on its Maps application, SAP's report that it will soon release HANA 2, a revamped version of its in-memory database and AMD's plan to target content creators with new Radeon graphics cards.

After an extended absence, Apple is again offering refurbished iPhone models at discounted prices through the online Apple Store o buyers who want a refurbished device that comes with a standard one-year Apple warranty.

The refurbished iPhones began showing up recently on the Apple website, with discounts ranging from about $80 to $110, or about 15 percent below retail prices. The last time Apple sold refurbished iPhones appears to be in 2007.

Google has decided to pull the plug on its free Map Maker tool that people have used for more than eight years to make community edits to Google Maps.

The company will formally retire Map Maker as a stand-alone product in March 2017 and integrate its features directly into Maps. Doing so will allow Google to focus on enabling the best editing and moderation capabilities right within the desktop and mobile versions of Maps, the company announced.

Google will continue to roll out new features and update existing ones so the user community can continue to contribute to Maps. But there will no longer be a separate stand-alone tool for doing it.

Back in December 2010, SAP re-invigorated its entire business with the introduction of the HANA (high-performance analytic appliance) in-memory database.

Since then, it has grown into an almost-$2 billion business for the German software company, and prospects continue to look good for sales going into 2017.

At its SAP TechEd Conference Nov. 8 in Barcelona, the company announced that it soon will release a new version of the speedy database, SAP HANA 2, which includes new features and enhancements involving database management, data management, analytical intelligence and application development.

Advanced Micro Devices is targeting content creators in such areas as gaming and virtual reality with the latest high-end graphics cards for workstations and similar systems.

AMD officials this week announced that the Radeon Pro WX Series of professional graphics cards, which are based on the company's 14-nanometer Polaris architecture, are available.

They will address the demands rising from such trends as real-time gaming engines, virtual reality (VR), low-overhead APIs—such as DirectX 12 and Vulkan—and open-source tools and applications.

GPUs are a key part of AMD's larger effort to grow its fortunes, allowing the chip maker to compete with Nvidia in a range of growth areas, including gaming, immersive computing and VR.

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