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Intel Revenue Dives $1bn On Hard Disk Shortage

samzenpus posted more than 2 years ago | from the disks-must-flow dept.

Intel 198

nk497 writes "The hard disk shortage caused by the flooding in Thailand will cost Intel $1 billion in lost revenue, the company said. It had initially predicted revenue of $14.7bn this quarter, but that will now be $13.7bn, it said. 'Sales of personal computers are expected to be up sequentially in the fourth quarter,' Intel said. 'However, the worldwide PC supply chain is reducing inventories and microprocessor purchases as a result of hard disk drive supply shortages.'"

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198 comments

SSD (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38345352)

The perfect time for Intel to push SSDs?

Re:SSD (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38345448)

I just purchased one. I was planning on buying a HDD until prices went up. Then saw a deal on an Intel 320 series 120gb that seemed decent, plus I'd been wanting to try one. They were running a nice rebate not long ago. I haven't regretted it (yet), and I've noticed a major difference in boot time.

Re:SSD (5, Insightful)

Grishnakh (216268) | more than 2 years ago | (#38345456)

Sure, as soon as they come up with $100 1TB SSDs.

SSDs are fine for OS disks and applications, but for anything requiring serious data storage, they're just too small and expensive. Lots of people these days use their computers for storing and watching movies; you need terabyte hard drives for that.

Re:SSD (2)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#38345474)

I thought most people streamed movies as video on demand over the Internet instead of buying a permanent download.

Re:SSD (2)

gorzek (647352) | more than 2 years ago | (#38345550)

Some people (like me) do both. There are some things I want to stream. Other things, I'd like to have a copy around to watch whenever I want, including when I'm offline. Movies and TV shows are not all created equal.

Re:SSD (3, Informative)

Grishnakh (216268) | more than 2 years ago | (#38345662)

Exactly. Plus, streamed movies have crap quality because of the extreme compression used. For many things, it's sufficient, but if you want to watch BBC's Life movies, for instance, it's definitely not.

Re:SSD (1)

TooMuchToDo (882796) | more than 2 years ago | (#38346136)

My Netflix 720p instant watch movies streamed over to my WD Live Hub look pretty glorious on my 70" LED Samsung TV. I wouldn't call that "crap" quality.

Re:SSD (1)

Imbrondir (2367812) | more than 2 years ago | (#38346286)

Not bad but 720p is certainly not "glorious" on a 70" TV. I was pretty impressed with blu ray movies on my 1080p 90" projector in the beginning. But it doesn't take that much time before you notice how much sharper things are on a 40" TV. I hope 4k ever gets to the mainstream.

Re:SSD (1)

jon3k (691256) | more than 2 years ago | (#38346382)

You've got a lot of factors at work there. First is pixel density and seating distance, then the quality of the projector and room setup, and finally the quality of the TV you're comparing it against. Yes a poorly setup room with a low quality projector would be vastly inferior to a good 40" TV.

Re:SSD (4, Insightful)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 2 years ago | (#38345526)

The real problem here is that there is a large gap between what the two types of drives (cheaply) hold and"normal users" are likely to fall somewhere in between.

You don't need to be a video hoarder to run out of space on a smaller drive. You just need to use your machine for more than a web terminal. If you are a producer or consumer of anything, all of the stuff together will likely exceed the capacity of a smaller SSD drive.

It's not just one thing but a combination of things that could push you over the rather meagre 120G you are likely to find on a cheap-enough SSD.

Beyond that, things tend to get expensive quick.

At that point, an oversized and somewhat overpriced HDD is still cheaper.

Re:SSD (1)

Synerg1y (2169962) | more than 2 years ago | (#38345650)

SSDs came long long after 1 tera hard disks, so no ssd prices won't drop as a result of this, not by much more than they are already declining anyways. I'd just assume everybody ALREADY HAS their spinning disk storage solution, and if not your timing makes you unlucky unless you can hold off, the prices really are bs right now.

Re:SSD (1)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 2 years ago | (#38345816)

SSDs came long long after 1 tera hard disks, so no ssd prices won't drop as a result of this, not by much more than they are already declining anyways. I'd just assume everybody ALREADY HAS their spinning disk storage solution, and if not your timing makes you unlucky unless you can hold off, the prices really are bs right now.

I'm waiting to see how well SSDs hold up. Probably a couple years before I buy a large one. I've had some poor luck with high density non-volatile memory and am interested in the durability and reliability of SSDs.

Re:SSD (2)

jon3k (691256) | more than 2 years ago | (#38346428)

So far so good, I've still got original OCZ Vertex MLC drives ticking along just great. I think a lot depends on what kind of life expectancy you need out of a drive. Typically I was replacing desktop HDDs every 3-5 years which, for even a "power user" at home, is a fraction of the lifespan of an SSD. After putting an SSD in one computer I was hooked, the difference is just crazy. If you're trying to decide whether or not to spend another $100 to upgrade the CPU in a new computer build, just replace the HDD with an SSD. The difference will be far more dramatic than a couple hundred megahertz of clock speed.

Re:SSD (2)

jon3k (691256) | more than 2 years ago | (#38346350)

I didn't spend all this money on a SAN to have users storing files on local hard disks. Small, fast, quiet, low-power, low-heat disks for the desktop and a combination of fast/slow on the network storage system to store files. The reality is manufacturers stuff 500GB HDD down our throats for desktop computers, when I could just as easily get a 50GB SSD for the same price, which is more storage than any of my workstations need (disclaimer: healthcare).

Re:SSD (2)

Grishnakh (216268) | more than 2 years ago | (#38346480)

Maybe for your environment, SSDs and a SAN makes sense. Not everyone has the same environment: home users with desktops, and developers at smaller companies (places that don't have SANs), for instance, need lots of space. Yes, for a big company with a well setup IT department with centralized storage, you really don't need a big HD on each desktop, but lots of places aren't like that. In fact, at the large companies I've worked at (including Intel), they didn't have SANs either (or at least not set up properly so that desktop users could make good use of them).

Re:SSD (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38345604)

What if the MPAA and RIAA conspired to keep people from retaining any of their questionable downloads? Along with disk manufacturers wishing to spur sales of new SSD drives?

Re:SSD (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38345678)

You say that like it hasn't been in the works for 10+ years...

They have been (1)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 2 years ago | (#38346356)

They offered some major, like $100+, rebates recently. However even so, they are still pricey. SSDs are coming down in price, but for most users they are still too much money. While most people don't need the multi-TB drives they can get these days, they also can't function very well with a tiny 80GB SSD. Somewhere in the 200-500GB range is probably what most people need. At that size, they are still pretty expensive.

Eventually I'm sure SSDs will take over, though it make take a new technology (as in something better than Flash) to do it, but it isn't there just yet.

Intel sells hard drives? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38345362)

Something about the way they reached the $1 billion figure smells fishy to me...

Re:Intel sells hard drives? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38345386)

They sell computers. Inside those computers are hard drives. No hard drive, no computer. Not that hard to figure out.

Re:Intel sells hard drives? (5, Informative)

Shatrat (855151) | more than 2 years ago | (#38345676)

Intel does not sell computers. They sell processors to people who sell computers. Those people can't built computers without hard drives, so they are buying fewer processors. Not that hard to figure out.

Re:Intel sells hard drives? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38345846)

Or, and potentially just as bad for Intel, they're using a lower-speced and likely lower margin CPU to make up some of the cost difference due to the HDD.

Re:Intel sells hard drives? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38346260)

So, they're using AMD processors?

Re:Intel sells hard drives? (1)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 2 years ago | (#38346288)

So, they're using AMD processors?

I'm certain AMD are feeling the pinch, as well.

Re:Intel sells hard drives? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38345966)

They = computer manufacturers. Sorry about your reading comprehension.

Re:Intel sells hard drives? (1)

MikeyO (99577) | more than 2 years ago | (#38346222)

Something about the way they reached the $1 billion figure smells fishy to me...

Those people can't built computers without hard drives, so they are buying fewer processors. Not that hard to figure out

I agree that it seems fishy. To say "I was guessing I would make $14, but it turned out I only made $13" and then to make the leap to "therefore I lost $1" seems wrong. You didn't lose $1, you just guessed wrong. Then to go farther and say "I can say that the $1 I lost was all because of this reason." makes me want to ask how you could know this. To me it seems like a good case of "correlation is not causation."

Re:Intel sells hard drives? (1)

Mister Whirly (964219) | more than 2 years ago | (#38346366)

Because Intel has never sold computer technology in the past, so they really have no idea what their sales would likely be. Even though they have 40+years of sales data to correlate this information. Something tells me their speculation is built on much more solid data and algorithms than your analysis is.

Re:Intel sells hard drives? (2)

petermgreen (876956) | more than 2 years ago | (#38345630)

Intel sells computer components, mostly processors, chipsets and ethernet controllers. Each computer uses one CPU, one chipset, one ethernet controller (occasionally two) etc.

The majority of those parts are sold (either directly or indirectly via a motherboard manufacturer) to OEMs who turn them into computers. Hard drives are a key component in most computers (occasionally you see a SSD only machine but it's pretty rare) so if the OEMs are supply constrained on hard drives they will reduce their purchases of everything else to match (companies HATE keeping stock these days).

Re:Intel sells hard drives? (1)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 2 years ago | (#38345664)

Something about the way they reached the $1 billion figure smells fishy to me...

Somewhere I saw the figure on how much of their income comes from commodity PCs vs servers - servers are where the money is. Servers without drives would still be in demand, but servers with drives wouldn't meet demand. Not sure what the split is now. I don't think Intel makes much off storage devices.

Who cares? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38345408)

There is so much impassioned and interest in this hard disk business. Yak, yak, yak. Get jobs, people. Better yet, go have sex. Once you experience that, you will worry less about how much money Intel is making. Trust me.

Please. I am begging you. Stop quibbling over these unimportant trifles, and go get laid. So what if hard disk shipments are down? Who cares? Will worrying about that help get you fucked? No!

I have seen the light. I have opted for personal growth over technology. I have chosen to experience warm, moist vaginas. And, wrapped around my dick, they feel so much better than discussing the merits of SSDs with so many basement-dwelling nerds on the Internet.

When you moderators inevitably rate me down, I will understand. I know your plight. I have been there. Know that you are already forgiven for your action. Because, deep down, you know how right I am.

You yearn for that precious moment when some woman will invite you to explore her nether regions. You pray for the night that woman will welcome you into her delicious, velvety pleasure hole. That day will come. But, first, you have to stop hanging out on Slashdot and accept that this message, and those preceding it, are the plain simple truth. It may take some time, but soon... After you emerge from your basement and discard your Dungeons and Dragons paraphernalia... After you step out into the sunlight, eat healthy food, get exercise, and nice clothes... You will lose your virginity.

I promise.

Re:Who cares? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38345434)

It's tough being 15 isn't it? Gotta direct all that angst somewhere, thank goodness for the internet!

Re:Who cares? (1, Funny)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 2 years ago | (#38345564)

Yup.

"Getting laid" simply doesn't take that much time.

Leaves plenty of time for other persuits...

Re:Who cares? (1, Funny)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 2 years ago | (#38345780)

"Getting laid" simply doesn't take that much time.

In that case, you're probably doing it wrong...

Re:Who cares? (0)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 2 years ago | (#38345978)

Even if you could last for the entire movie you appear to be getting your fact from, that still leaves plenty of time for other things.

Re:Who cares? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38346030)

Yeah, the only time it takes that long is when drugs are involved. :-P

Re:Who cares? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38346068)

Amen. 8 hours of work, 2 hours of drinking, and 6 hours of sex leaves me pretty much no time for personal pursuits. I pass out at the end of the day drunk, dehydrated, and happier than you can imagine.

Re:Who cares? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38346186)

Like learning to spell "pursuits"....

Re:Who cares? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38345558)

At least one moderator here suffers with chronic virginity.

Revenue? (1, Troll)

mfwitten (1906728) | more than 2 years ago | (#38345420)

Is Intel still making a profit? Is Intel at least breaking even?

Ideally, if a company is breaking even, then who cares what its revenue is.

Profit beyond that which is necessary to cover risk (unfortunate troubles) is theft; it represents an imbalance of energy/value/worth in an exchange (one party to the exchange is taking advantage of the other party).

Re:Revenue? (4, Interesting)

Grishnakh (216268) | more than 2 years ago | (#38345468)

Wrong. In American capitalism, if your company isn't constantly growing or constantly making a bigger profit, then it's "dying". Then your stock will be downgraded by ratings agencies and stockholders will sell it off.

It isn't true for privately-held companies, but for publicly-traded companies it is.

Re:Revenue? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38345670)

Given inflation, a company that isn't showing at least a couple of percent growth is, in fact, dying.

Re:Revenue? (2)

Grishnakh (216268) | more than 2 years ago | (#38345784)

Or maybe they're just having an off year.

If you don't make more money this year than you did last year (because of lower bonus perhaps, due to bad economy), do you get gun and shoot yourself in the head? "Oh no! I made 3% less money this year than I did last year! It's the end! I'm dying, I might as well end it all now."

Re:Revenue? (1)

StikyPad (445176) | more than 2 years ago | (#38346140)

Only if you work on Wall Street.

Re:Revenue? (1)

Grishnakh (216268) | more than 2 years ago | (#38346200)

Somehow I think even most of them are smart enough to know that financially, it's more important how much you have in your bank account, not how much you make every year or quarter (so for instance, if you get a giant windfall one year and save it up, it doesn't matter if you don't get the same windfall every single year).

It's only the idiotic sycophantic fans of American crony capitalism that try to convince us all otherwise.

Re:Revenue? (3, Insightful)

rgbrenner (317308) | more than 2 years ago | (#38345724)

The problem with a company that isn't growing is that it isn't making any progress expanding into new areas and finding new customers. Which means it's just waiting for the next generation of tech or (for non-IT companies) the first disaster/neighborhood change/etc to kill the business. In other words, it's just waiting in limbo for bankruptcy. Fact is markets change.. what you sell today is tomorrows commodity, or worse, an obsolete good. Companies and business models have to change. Anyone who doesn't will eventually die.

Re:Revenue? (4, Insightful)

Grishnakh (216268) | more than 2 years ago | (#38345856)

Oh please, what an utterly stupid attitude. Not all companies are tech companies. If the makers of Twinkies find their company isn't growing, what exactly is the problem as long as they're profitable and their workers are well-paid (and presumably their executives too)? There's only so many Twinkies you can sell; people aren't going to abandon all other foods and only eat Twinkies (and even if they did, eventually your company's growth would then be tied to the population growth rate). You don't need to move into new areas; there's already other companies selling other types of food, so they're probably going to do better at it than you are since they've been doing it longer and have a brand reputation in those areas, whereas you have a brand reputation for unhealthy junk food, so you're not likely to find much success moving into, say, high-priced organic snack foods compared to the companies already competing in that space. Twinkies have been around forever, they're not going anywhere, so even if the Twinkie company stops growing, that doesn't mean it's dying, it means it's reached a plateau.

There's tons of small companies that have been around for many years (or decades, or even longer), that haven't grown because they don't need to or want to grow. As long as the owners are happy with the profit they're making, why would they want to make the company bigger, and have to deal with all the headaches that come with having a bigger operation and more shareholders yelling about how they want to do things?

Re:Revenue? (1)

rgbrenner (317308) | more than 2 years ago | (#38346242)

Twinkies are made by Hostess, a company that owns quite a few food brands. They filed for bankruptcy in 2004, and laid off 1/3rd of their workforce: 10,000 people. Also, they lost $150 million last year. I'm sorry, what were you saying again?

Re:Revenue? (1)

Grishnakh (216268) | more than 2 years ago | (#38346402)

It's called an example. Maybe if Hostess listened to me instead of some moron MBAs chasing after constant growth, they wouldn't have filed for bankruptcy. Lemme guess, sometime before they filed bankruptcy, they laid off some people so the CEO could show they doubled profit for one quarter and collect a big bonus before looking for a new gig, and then his successor got blamed for the ensuing problems.

Re:Revenue? (2)

gorzek (647352) | more than 2 years ago | (#38345820)

Yeah, it's weird how being consistently profitable is viewed as a bad thing, isn't it? If you aren't doubling your profits every few quarters, by golly, you're a failure.

Incidentally, this is what leads companies to boost their profit levels through massive workforce cuts. Then the CEO can say, "I doubled profits in the third quarter!" He just leaves out the part where he did it by slashing a third of the staff, which means all the customers get shitty support/service, and whatever it is the company actually makes will see either reduced output, reduced quality, or both, and in a few quarters the profits will have declined substantially thanks to all the pissed off customers who ditched you.

Re:Revenue? (1)

Grishnakh (216268) | more than 2 years ago | (#38345998)

Yes, but by the time the shit hits the fan with pissed-off customers ditching the company, the CEO will have taken his giant bonus (from doubling profits for one quarter), and moved on to "explore other opportunities" or collected a golden parachute.

Re:Revenue? (1)

gorzek (647352) | more than 2 years ago | (#38346024)

Yep. That's why this sort of thing can just keep happening. The CEO won't be around for the long-term fallout, so all the blame will fall on the next guy, and the one after him, as the company keeps floundering and no one can figure out why.

Re:Revenue? (1)

spidercoz (947220) | more than 2 years ago | (#38345992)

Good qualifier, "American" capitalism, as in "not" capitalism.

Re:Revenue? (1)

Grishnakh (216268) | more than 2 years ago | (#38346058)

Don't be silly. American capitalism is indeed a form of capitalism. Another name for it is "crony capitalism". It is capitalistic, but it's tilted massively in favor of the cronies (and their lobbyists), rather than being a system where there's a "level playing field" and new and upcoming players can unseat older companies by having better products or services.

Re:Revenue? (1)

spidercoz (947220) | more than 2 years ago | (#38346344)

Yes, the invisible hand has been shackled and had several fingers liberated. One of the fingers, the middle one I believe, said "no government bailouts." It was replaced with a stick with dog shit on the end that says "too big to fail."

Re:Revenue? (1)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 2 years ago | (#38346432)

Wrong. In American capitalism, if your company isn't constantly growing or constantly making a bigger profit, then it's "dying". Then your stock will be downgraded by ratings agencies and stockholders will sell it off.

It isn't true for privately-held companies, but for publicly-traded companies it is.

What rubbish!

Go back to playing your video games, twittering or posting your life to Facebook and leave assessment of corporate growth, finances and stock prices to people who have at least a middling understanding of them.

Never seen a stock price go up when a company slashed workforce? That's not what you do when you are growing a company, you're hiring when you are growing (or at the very least you are contracting labour to be performed for your company.) It's hardly anecdotal, either, with decades of this behaviour - Company X culls 4,500 positions in cost savings, stock goes up. Paring losses when a company has stagnated or the market for goods is in decline is alleged to keep a company competitive, but in reality only results in less red in the ledger. Growing companies are rarely turning a profit as net earnings are regularly turned back into the company for expansion. The bet on stock price is for the future of the company when growth tails off and it is making big profits without expending much more on growth or maintaining its position in the market.

Shrinking companies are highly profitable, if only for a few years (until the keystone employees have left) There are vultures who know this and buy up companies only to gut their cash reserves, sell off properties (including IP) and then flip them (re-list on stock exchange) or simply run into the ground (as was done to one of my previous employers.)

Re:Revenue? (5, Insightful)

quintus_horatius (1119995) | more than 2 years ago | (#38345480)

Profit beyond that which is necessary to cover risk (unfortunate troubles) is theft

In a capitalist system, that's not theft. If the price is agreed to by all involved parties then it's fair.

A company may boost it's profits for any number of reasons, not all of which are driven by pure greed - bankrolling some money for future growth being the obvious one. Or would you prefer that companies grow by borrowing, which involves usury (which, by your too-much-profit principle, may be a more pernicious form of theft)?

Re:Revenue? (-1, Troll)

mfwitten (1906728) | more than 2 years ago | (#38345706)

I was waiting for this:

A company may boost it's profits for any number of reasons, not all of which are driven by pure greed - bankrolling some money for future growth being the obvious one.

In my opinion, future growth like that falls into the category of 'risk'; if there is a desired goal (such as providing a new kind of product or service), then the projected cost of achieving that goal may well be factored into the price of existing products and services. Once risks and future projections like this have been factored into the calculations, a company should be considered "breaking even".

If there are no such projections that can be factored into the calculations (if there is no such plan for future growth or the like), then profit is theft.

If revenue has no purpose other than to report a growth in profit, then that revenue is theft.

Re:Revenue? (1)

gtbritishskull (1435843) | more than 2 years ago | (#38346292)

But you also have to factor in being paid back for risks you have already taken. If I start my own company, which I bankroll with some of my own money as well as free (or underpriced) labor, then shouldn't I get paid back for the "risks" over the subsequent years? What about the other people who bankroll my company by buying "stock"? The whole financial system is based upon being rewarded for taking risks. You seem to be arguing that companies are making to much money for the risks they are taking, but the only case in which that is true is when they have manipulated the system (usually by buying politicians) to give themselves an unfair advantage and distort the market in their favor. All other profits, by your logic, are fair and deserved because they are paying back previous risks. So there is no point in worrying about "profit beyond which is necessary to cover risk" because it never exists except in the case of fraud or political manipulation.

Re:Revenue? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38346250)

In a capitalist system, that's not theft. If the price is agreed to by all involved parties then it's fair.

Wrong. Assuming equal access to perfect information, you can claim agreement on a price was reached. If one company knows the price a lot better than the other, than there's no way for it to be fair; just because the company with worse information doesn't know it's getting screwed doesn't mean it isn't.

And you can't claim the American economy is based on free access to information - in fact, I would argue the opposite. Patents, intellectual property, PR, marketing. All are designed to promote a "monopoly" of sorts (of course, there are laws against being too obvious about it, but even those aren't absolute.) and to exploit the fact that it's not an honest system and most buyers are woefully uninformed.

Re:Revenue? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38345560)

Profit beyond that which is necessary to cover risk (unfortunate troubles) is theft

Really? Tell you what you swing by my house I will pay you only in your material cost to paint my house. You dont deserve anything beyond that. It would just be you stealing from me. You may be a bit angry at this point at what I said. But it is the logical extreme of what you are saying.

You know what those profits pay for? Expansion, peoples salaries, bonuses, dividends, new product lines, R&D, etc... Multi billion dollar fabrication plants do not build themselves.

Or to take my painting example. I am willing to pay someone money to do it for me. Why? I *really* do not like to do it. It is worth it to me to work on something else I enjoy and give someone else the money to do it. Even if it costs me quite a bit more than if I do it myself.

If you dont see that as good, then you know what keep your mouth shut. As you have no idea how the real world really works. When you get out of your parents basement and realize money is earned not some magical thing that your parents give you, you will start to realize this. People do things for selfish reasons. For example in my painting example. I am taking advantage of someone else to do grunt work I do not like. They are getting something in return... money. They in turn take advantage of me by charging for it. I get a house painted they get money. However, you seem to be under the impression people should not be compensated for what they do. You will find very few people willing to work that way.

Re:Revenue? (1)

krinderlin (1212738) | more than 2 years ago | (#38346224)

Profit beyond that which is necessary to cover risk (unfortunate troubles) is theft

Really? Tell you what you swing by my house I will pay you only in your material cost to paint my house. You dont deserve anything beyond that. It would just be you stealing from me. You may be a bit angry at this point at what I said. But it is the logical extreme of what you are saying.

Repeat across 3 paragraphs

This falls apart very quickly. What you will be charged by the painting company is the exact amount needed to cover: materials, wages of the workers sent out, and the projected costs of the new van we are buying to allow us to haul around more paint. As you'll see, I agree with you in the end, but "risk" covers future investments. You're doing the argument wrong.

The appropriate response is that there are no profits. Profits is simply money not spent today. In the end, all of the money in a company goes into something. Even the company's liquid cash hoard is a hedge against debts, sudden disaster, and the possibility of acquisition. That money is in a bank that is leveraging it to circulate back into the economy. (A protest on leveraging is a separate argument, no need to respond to this. The point is simply the money is doing stuff.)

The OP has missed the point that money made is money spent from the perspective of the company-as-entity. Now, executive pay and bonuses are a different story. I don't have a big hate for the actual cash salaries they make. However, I've got plenty of frustration at the rigged bonus schemes and separation packages that encourage a nomadic executive class that has no real concern than to walk in, cut costs to the bone, and walk back out leaving a wake of destruction behind them. Sure, pay the millions. Just don't give them a shred of stock till 10 years in.

Re:Revenue? (5, Interesting)

Baloroth (2370816) | more than 2 years ago | (#38345606)

Profit is inherent in the concept of trade. Two people agree to an exchange because both value what they receive more than what they had. In a very real way, a fair trade involves both parties profiting. In different ways, true, but profit nevertheless. This drives trade, and has for thousands of years. For producers, they generally receive the profit as money. Intel is a producer.

If this fact did not hold, trade would not create profit, there would be no incentive to trade or produce, and the entire system of production would collapse. Incidentally, this is also why Marxist Communism doesn't work... or one reason, anyways.

Re:Revenue? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38346096)

I'm not arguing your specific point, but unfortunately, it's less common for "two people" to exchange things.

Usually, the exchange is between a large business and a person. A business has a lot more resources and power to tilt the exchange in their favor.

If libertarians started all examples with "A corporation and a person" instead of "two people", they would have a lot more factors to consider.

Re:Revenue? (1)

DaMattster (977781) | more than 2 years ago | (#38345708)

Unfortunately, Capitalism is a form of Social Darwinism in which the strong. It is inherrently unequal and unfair. That much said, as imperfect as the system is, it is better than Communism.

Re:Revenue? (1)

spidercoz (947220) | more than 2 years ago | (#38345964)

In which the strong what? You want to finish that thought there? Never mind, I know where it's headed. And to which I say, you are correct, but our system is NOT capitalism. If it was, there'd be no such thing as "too big to fail" and government bailouts of stupid corporations who can't manage their money intelligently would never happen.

Re:Revenue? (1)

mfwitten (1906728) | more than 2 years ago | (#38346240)

I don't think that what I've said has anything to do with either capitalism or communism.

Specifically, even under capitalism, what I've stated is valid.

Let's say a factory owner makes widgets. It costs $10 to make a widget, and he sells a widget for $11, so he records what would normally be called a $1 profit for himself. The factory owner is very happy about that, and the consumers are very happy about that.

Now, let's say the factory owner makes a simple adjustment to his factory, such that now it's actually possible to make a widget for $1. At this point, the factory owner has some interesting choices. For instance, he can sell his product for the same $11; in this case, his own situation has been much improved, but the situation of the consumers remains just as happy as it was before (unchanged). Alternatively, he can sell his product for $2, thereby still making a $1 profit; in this case, his own situation remains just as happy as it was before (unchanged, except that now he also enjoys a significantly cheaper widget!), but the situation of the consumers has been much improved.

Perhaps you notice an imbalance in the two choices above: Under the first choice, only the factory owner benefits. Under the second choice, everybody benefits; in fact, under the second choice, if the $1 profit that he makes is meant for unfortunate events like a fire in the factory, then the factory owner makes no profit and receives exactly the same benefit as everybody else: A cheaper widget.

Perhaps this is where some kind of marxist idea comes in: The factory is a means by which to make widgets, and everybody is a consumer of widgets (including the factory owner). Thus, consider abstracting this conceptual world into two entities: The Factory and the Consumers. In this view, if the Factory can be made more efficient, then it would be logical for all of the Consumers to benefit equally; it makes sense for widgets to be priced at $2.

What I've written about does not detract from free markets; it simply points out that there is a kind of moral choice to be made about how products and services should be priced.

It's still a risk (2)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#38345712)

Profit beyond that which is necessary to cover risk (unfortunate troubles) is theft

Like the risk of investors cashing out because they see better returns elsewhere.

No HDD? No Problem, we sell SSDs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38345428)

Why is this not an opportunity for Intel to sell more SSDs?

So fucking what? Shit happens. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38345430)

Everybody is affected. Are we supposed to feel special grief for Intel because they normally make a ridiculous stinking pisspot full of money in the business and now they'll make 95% of a ridiculous stinking pisspot full of money for a quarter or two?

Wait, while I get a tissue for my tears.

Re:So fucking what? Shit happens. (1)

dskzero (960168) | more than 2 years ago | (#38345794)

Someone doesn't understand the basic concept of "news".

Shortage of Critical Component drives down markets (2)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 2 years ago | (#38345444)

Well, who would have foreseen this?!? Aside about 10,000 slashdotters, that is.

Planning to build some heavy lifting workstations, have them all spec'd out and all, but everything is on hold until the price on 3TB drives comes back down.

Really sad, too, as I believe Windows CHKDSK corrupted one of my older drives with it's half-arsed attempt to clean it. Anyone know of a good tool to try recovering directory structure and data?

Re:Shortage of Critical Component drives down mark (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38345552)

Anyone know of a good tool to try recovering directory structure and data?

SystemRescueCd
http://www.sysresccd.org/Main_Page

And specifically, the ddrescue command.
https://www.gnu.org/s/ddrescue/manual/ddrescue_manual.html

Re:Shortage of Critical Component drives down mark (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38345574)

If you had foreseen it, you wouldn't be "on hold" right now, just like $1bln worth of Intel's other customers.

Re:Shortage of Critical Component drives down mark (1)

sabs (255763) | more than 2 years ago | (#38346216)

Just because we foresaw it, does not mean we were allowed to buy in anticipation, or to skip part of our 2 month purchasing approval process to get our stuff in before this happened.

Never underestimate the power of bureaucracy.

Re:Shortage of Critical Component drives down mark (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38345594)

DD + AWK + GREP

Re:Shortage of Critical Component drives down mark (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 2 years ago | (#38345602)

A little scary for us, as we have precisely one 1TB drive on the shelf right now. One of our notebooks had its drive go south, and I had to rob an old 80gb from a dead notebook. Still, I'm holding out. I don't particularly feel like paying three times or more what they were worth a few months ago.

I'm hopefully going to get some budget for some custom routers and I'll be going with SSDs so my next project won't be impacted.

Re:Shortage of Critical Component drives down mark (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38345632)

R-Studio

Re:Shortage of Critical Component drives down mark (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38345680)

http://runtime.org/data-recovery-software.htm -- GetDataBack NTFS. I have used it and it works pretty well.

Re:Shortage of Critical Component drives down mark (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38345812)

SpinRite [grc.com] is the tool I'd try to use recover from more serious errors, especially from really old drives.
2nd on GetDataBack - have had success with it too.

If the drive doesn't spin and the data is worth over $2000, try Kroll Ontrack [krollontrack.com] . Physical drive surgery is expensive, but sometimes works on what you'd think was impossible.

Lies, D*mned Lies, and... (4, Insightful)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 2 years ago | (#38345634)

The loss seems all big and impressive and such until you actually bother to look at both numbers and realize that it really isn't so bad after all. What this really goes to show just how BIG the PC business is and how a relatively small setback can be portrayed as this dire tragedy.

Re:Lies, D*mned Lies, and... (1)

PerfectionLost (1004287) | more than 2 years ago | (#38345728)

This relatively small tragedy resulted in a 10% reduced income (profit) for the company. Imagine if your paycheck was %10 smaller for a quarter (or more). I think you would be upset as well.

Re:Lies, D*mned Lies, and... (1)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 2 years ago | (#38345818)

Been there. Done that.

Thinking ahead and having a backup plan and some reserves help avoid the situation where you are running around like Chicken Little. Hopefully Intel runs things better than you do.

Re:Lies, D*mned Lies, and... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38345984)

Yes, because you can totally "help avoid the situation" when the country where most of the world's hard drives are manufactured gets flooded.

Re:Lies, D*mned Lies, and... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38345840)

Not the same. It's as if after you have paid for your house, car, electricity, heat, water, cable, internet, food, all the different insurances and any improvements you were going to make, that you had 10% less money to blow on hookers and beer. Am I sad because I can only purchase hookers 28 times a month instead of 30, and have to drink a case a week instead of a 6 pack a night, sure, but I am not starving or about to die.

Re:Lies, D*mned Lies, and... (1)

PerfectionLost (1004287) | more than 2 years ago | (#38346346)

For anyone other then Charlie Sheen, 3 less hookers and %10 less coke can be horrendously depressing.

Re:Lies, D*mned Lies, and... (1)

Anne_Nonymous (313852) | more than 2 years ago | (#38345776)

>> it really isn't so bad after all

Unless you're Thai.

Prices were nuts recently (3, Interesting)

mandark1967 (630856) | more than 2 years ago | (#38345654)

I tried to order a Seagate Barracuda SATA 6GB 3TB Drive and Newegg and they wanted $400. I ended up buying two Seagate Expansion USB 2.0 3TB Drives for $199 each and I removed the Seagate Barracuda SATA 6GB 3TB Drives from the enclosures and saved $400 on my total order.

Re:Prices were nuts recently (1)

David89 (2022710) | more than 2 years ago | (#38345814)

What you saved 2 dollars?

Re:Prices were nuts recently (1)

mandark1967 (630856) | more than 2 years ago | (#38345886)

Count much?

(1) internal SATA 6GB Seagate Barracuda costs $400

(2) External SATA 6GB Seagate Barracudas in USB 2.0 enclosure cost, $399.99

Re:Prices were nuts recently (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38345938)

Saved roughly a penny, but got double the storage.

Re:Prices were nuts recently (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38345994)

The prices you people put up with are just stupid. If its more than .03-.04 cents per GB, just wait until next year. You could even get $100 3 TB drives at multiple locations this year, one without black friday madness.
Maybe you think you're paying a premium for the speed? In that case you're better off grabbing a 64 GB SSD for critical stuff and use the cheap, slow external storage for data.

Take advantage (3, Insightful)

1080bogus (1015303) | more than 2 years ago | (#38345730)

IMHO: I'm surprised that SSD manufacturers are not taking advantage of the HDD shortage and giving deals left and right. Intel could profit greatly right now lowering their SSD prices just slightly. PC manufacturers will benefit by selling computers and the end user will get that "speedy" system for only a slight increase in price. The higher price will definitely pay for itself considering the boot and operating speed of a SSD over HDD. Granted that's with the consideration you didn't buy a system with 1GB of memory and a Celeron proc running Win7.

Obviously anyone looking for large capacity drives is still SOL. I know some local stores in the area are still selling drives for reasonable prices until they run out. I doubt they'll bother to stock some or any at all after that. I'm sure they don't want to be left holding $2-300 drives that will be selling for at least half that a couple months from now.

On another note, who had the bright idea of creating a single point of failure? I wonder if WD, Seagate, etc setup their networks all with single points of failure. I understand it's cheaper but if you can't make drives, you're not making money.

All eggs in one basket. (5, Interesting)

Beelzebud (1361137) | more than 2 years ago | (#38345822)

Good thing we can't make hard drives any where else in the world! I love globalization. I don't know anyone in the states that could be trusted to work at a plant making hard drives. They'd expect to be able to pay for food, shelter, and clothing, and we can't have that!

Re:All eggs in one basket. (1)

edxwelch (600979) | more than 2 years ago | (#38346324)

Actaully, only 25% of the world supply of hard drives is made in Thailand. I wonder if things are being exaggerated a bit. Some of the factories are already back running again and I'm sure companies outside of Thailand have ramped up production to make up for the shortfall.

NoScript (0)

pudding7 (584715) | more than 2 years ago | (#38346004)

Can someone tell me which of the 45 or so domains at that link I should allow through NoScript?

Re:NoScript (1)

roc97007 (608802) | more than 2 years ago | (#38346218)

I'm gonna go with "none of them".

brain half empty or brain half full? (1)

epine (68316) | more than 2 years ago | (#38346336)

If you can't do, report: you're smart enough to s/loses/dives but not smart enough to s/dives/forestalls.

Now the reader who ordinarily fails to distinguish "dives" from "loses" as processed through the filter of law-of-the-jungle public-company quarterly reporting intervals will fail to notice the giant Bill Gates reality-distortion-apparatus strapped to face.

(re)location (3, Insightful)

Corson (746347) | more than 2 years ago | (#38346362)

Perhaps Intel should not put all their eggs (hard drives) in one basket (Asia)?
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