iFive: Intel’s Record Income, IBM’s Jeopardy Game, Wikipedia Too Tricky, Stephen Fry’s First Startup, Virgin Kills Unlimited Net

You’re probably getting ready for the weekend, but before you get too ready here’s the early innovation news of the day:

1. Intel’s revealed its earnings, and the results are so good they’ve even beaten analyst expectations. In a record quarter, and year, for the big chip maker, the big news was a 24% year-on-year rise in revenue to $43.6 billion, and a net income of $11.7 billion–up 167% on the same figure for 2009. It’s a sign of strong growth in the computing sector, which still relies on Intel silicon for the greater part, and offsets some of the worries that the largely ARM-driven smartphone and tablet markets are hurting Intel.


2. In a practice round of man-machine Jeopardy, IBM’s smart supercomputer Watson has trounced its two human competitors–both ace Jeopardy players. The actual competition show is being taped today, but it’s not looking good for the flesh and blood players, as at the end of the practice round IBM’s machine was 30% ahead in prize money.

3. Speaking on the tenth anniversary of Wikipedia, the amazing online encyclopedia he co-created, CEO Jimmy Wales has identified what he thinks is the site’s biggest flaw, and it’s a surprising one: Though it’s championed as the people’s encyclopedia, open for editing by anyone, Wales thinks it’s far too hard for people to actually do this.

4. One of Twitter’s biggest celebrity users, Stephen Fry, has just backed his first ever tech startup company, Pushnote. It’s a novel venture to make online commenting on a diversity of sites much easier, through an interactive browser bar that, to some extent, supersedes a particular site’s commenting systems. Unusually there’s no monetization plan, with the intention being to deliver a valuable service and making communities.

5. In another sign that the mobile Net market is developing faster than its facilitators (network carriers) would like, Virgin Mobile is slashing its unlimited tariff and replacing it with a 5GB ceiling for fast traffic, and a heavily throttled speed limit after this limit. This makes rumors that Verizon is bringing an unlimited tariff to its upcoming iPhone all the more unusual.

To read more news on this, and similar stuff, keep up with my updates by following me, Kit Eaton, on Twitter.

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