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Is Content King or is it Platform?

September 30, 2011

The adage about content being king is absolutely true and the precipitous drop in the value of Netflix shares related to losing Starz programming reminds us that distribution can be considered a distant second to content. This is true because the world has flattened with the advent of broadband meaning any content provider can stream directly without the need for cable companies or telcos to take a cut.

Glenn Beck’s recent launch of GBTV for example shows us how a content provider can take his or her show and produce it just fine without the need to deal with traditional distribution.

But from the standpoint of the consumer, having access to a smattering of programs on disparate websites is not the same as accessing them all seamlessly through a single aggregator.

Prediction: Meg Whitman Lasts at HP 12 Months Max

September 22, 2011

By Now you know Meg Whitman is replacing Léo Apotheker as CEO of HP. Look, I personally like Meg Whitman - she is dynamic, energetic and ran eBay for a good while. Two of the major products under her were the auction site with the same name goggas the company and PayPal. Effectively she managed two monopolies. And if monopoly is too strong a word - let’s say they were super-dominant companies with entrenched market positions.

AT&T Responds to DOJ - What They Missed

September 9, 2011

AT&T responded to the DOJ regarding the blocked T-Mobile USA acquisition saying that the proposed merger would be good for consumers as it would allow AT&T to gain access to T-Mobile spectrum allowing their call quality to improve and the number of dropped calls to be reduced. This in turn they argue would lead to lower prices. Ma Bell 2.0 continued to explain that the wireless business is fiercely competitive which has resulted in lower prices over time.

The interesting takeaway here is that there is nothing new being argued.

Carol Bartz Fired From Yahoo! What's Needed Now

September 7, 2011

Without ever meeting Carol Bartz, I realized pretty quickly that her hiring was a CEO gamble as her experience was not in line with what was needed at a media company. I outlined my thinking in January of 2009. When you have one of the most-visited websites in the world, you don’t hire someone with no web experience to run it. Yet, that is what the Yahoo!

Streaming Radio? There's An App For EACH Station

August 31, 2011

I love all kinds of music and unless I am in the mood for something slow, I find the faster the beat the better. So I have been on a quest for the best workout music and I’ve had good success but I am wondering, how many more apps can I take?

Everyone probably started their journey with Pandora as I did. I love how customizable Pandora is – allowing me to skip tracks I don’t like and build perfectly customizable radio stations.

Why Blocked AT&T, T-Mobile USA Deal is Good for Growth

August 31, 2011

Critics might say, in the history of M&A, it is difficult to recall one instance where more jobs were created as a result of two companies coming together. Yet this is the argument AT&T has been making for just less than three months after the merger announcement with AT&T and T-Mobile USA was announced. In part the argument was reinforced by the company's commitment to bring remote call center jobs back to the states.

Moreover, AT&T’s claim that this merger would be good for consumers is an interesting one as critics might say it is fairly easy to argue either side.

Google: Is Promoting the use of Potentially Unsafe Drugs Evil?

August 30, 2011

You may be aware Google agreed to pay $500M to the federal government because the company allowed its AdWords system to illegally promote Canadian pharmacies which shipped drugs to the US. In a non-prosecution agreement, Google admitted as much and moreover that it was aware this was an illegal practice since 2003.

  • The agreement further explains the dangers this poses to consumers.
  • The FDA cannot ensure the safety and effectiveness of these drugs
  • Moreover they cannot determine if the drugs had been:
    • Manufactured properly
    • Stored properly
    • Labeled properly
    • Distributed under the proper conditions
    • Or dispensed with a valid prescription

In addition, although Canada has a regulatory authority when it comes to prescription medication, it doesn’t apply in the case where drugs are shipped out of the country and as a result the drugs could have been sourced from countries other than Canada which did not have adequate pharmacy regulations according to the agreement.

Google and the government further agreed that the amount of revenue generated from these Canadian pharmacies during the period of 2003 to the present was about $500 million – the amount of the settlement.

ITEXPO West 2011 Austin Highlights

August 23, 2011

Before all ITEXPO events I do a final proofread of the show directory and this one may be the biggest ever at 132 pages with tabs (just doing our part to support the economy). We will post a PDF version soon so you can see what’s in it but until then, here are some highlights that caught my eye:

Keynotes & Exhibits Tuesday, September 13th at 9:15 AM we have Ian Pennell from Cisco and at 4:30 PM-5:30 PM we have keynotes from Siemens and IBM followed by a Grand Opening Networking Reception sponsored by Interact from 5:30-7:30.

Wednesday, September 14th at 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM we have keynotes from Polycom and DHL followed by exhibits from 11:00 AM- 4:00 PM. Then at 4:00 PM there is a Cocktail reception sponsored by Rackspace Hosting and at 4:45 you could win a pair of mountain bikes from Mellow Johnny's Bike Shop - an Austin Institution ( I am told).

20 Millions Reasons WiMAX is Here to Stay

August 22, 2011

Wait a minute. The common wisdom in the wireless world is that WiMAX lost the war to LTE. But with the news that the standard has passed 20 million subscribers, is it time to rethink that premise? The answer is that in many cases incumbent providers have opted for LTE as their 4G standard of choice and as a result, WiMAX is going to remain somewhat nichy.

Google Pays Half Million Per Patent for Motorola Mobility

August 16, 2011

Google just purchased patents as part the acquisition of Motorola Mobility – 24,500 of them to be exact. At a $12.5B valuation that puts the value per patent at $510,204 apiece. But the search giant also gets 19,000 employees on top of the 29,000 it already has.

The question is does Google want these employees or to manage a business which is so different from software and advertising that it makes your head spin.

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