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Technology

Cantata Layoffs

November 15, 2006

The word on the street is that approximately 50 people (see update) were laid off at Cantata yesterday out of a workforce of 300. Most of the people who were let go are shocked. Sources tell me the reason for the layoffs are soft sales numbers and some speculate the company is facing increased competition in its Excel Switching line. Apparently competitors are providing lower cost solutions.

Dems Bullish on Tech

November 13, 2006

Regardless of your political affiliation you must realize the technology boom was stronger under the Clinton administration than Bush. Sure Al Gore didn’t invent the Internet but at least he used it. The fact that Dick Cheney didn’t know what Napster was during his first campaign and the fact the president uses the terms “the Google” and “the Internets” is pathetic. How can the US be leaders in tech if our leaders are so oblivious to the space? Even lovers of the Bush administration realize he has done as much for technology as Kevin Federline has done for Britney Spears.

So from a technology perspective let’s welcome the Democrats with open arms.

Cash that Check -- Go to Jail

November 9, 2006

Apparently it is becoming increasingly possible to go to jail when you receive a fraudulent check. This can happen when selling products on craigslist and eBay.   An article in the San Francisco Chronicle explains San Francisco resident Matthew Shinnick tried to sell a pair of mountain bikes on Craigslist late last year. He attracted a buyer, received a check in the mail -- and ended up handcuffed by police in a downtown Bank of America branch and jailed for almost 12 hours.

Shinnick, it appears, was a victim of the classic "Nigerian 419" scam, adapted in this case to sucker in unwary Craigslist users.

Typically, the scam involves a bogus check being sent by a fraudster as a part of a transaction. The transaction is subsequently canceled and, before the bank has spotted the check as a phony, the fraudster requests some or all of his money back -- money that the victim unknowingly pays out of his own pocket.

Shinnick said he wasn't aware of the scam while he was negotiating to sell his bikes -- his first foray onto Craigslist.





Inter-Tel Buyout Withdrawal

November 8, 2006


Vector Capital and former Inter-Tel CEO Steven Mihaylo said they withdraw their bid for Inter-Tel. Recently Inter-Tel shareholders rejected the takeover proposal. 11,272,46 shares were voted against the Mihaylo Resolution, representing slightly over 50% of the 22,524,535 shares of the Company's common stock that were represented in person or by proxy.

Stockholders who voted, other than Mihaylo, rejected the resolution by approximately a two to one margin. This is obviously a very substantial number. Mihaylo owns approximately 19.4% of Inter-Tel's outstanding common shares.

Personally I think current management at the company is doing a good job and it would seem shareholders agree.




France Telecom in the Movies

November 8, 2006

The next move for telecom companies is to look outside telecom

It would seem that if cable and phone companies are set for a war, the phone companies need to hurry up and catch up in one of the areas cable has a stronghold; video content. This is not news to France Telecom who recently created a new unit that will invest in French and European movie rights and produce between 10 to 15 films per year.

Some people were surprised by the move but what France Telecom has done makes perfectly good sense for a number of reasons. We all know content is king. Consumers will be watching more and more video on devices like iPods, phones and soon watches.



YouTube: Invention of the Year

November 6, 2006

Cell Phones Reduce Traffic

November 6, 2006

Two companies, IntelliOne and AirSage are working on a solution to the growing traffic problem on the nation's roads. By using data related to cellphones traveling in cars, they are able to see where traffic is moving and where it is not. Since the data will be used in aggregate there isn't an immediate privacy problem but it is obvious law enforcement will have instant access to this system. In addition expect there to be data breaches like there are everywhere else.



Cy Smith, AirSage's president and CEO, said more than $1 billion is spent each year by government agencies to track traffic, but the expense doesn't even cover 1 percent of the nation's roads.

NTP Sues Palm

November 6, 2006

Sony Type G

November 4, 2006

Sony has done it again with their featherweight Vaio which is called the Type G. Perhaps the G refers to the absence of grams as the laptop weighs in a bit shy of 900 of them. That is just under 2 pounds by the way. As an aside, I have never been a fan of the name Vaio for Sony’s laptops but I have been a fan of how well Sony computers have been designed. They always look much nicer than the typical black box design of other PC makers.

I started this entry by saying the company has done it again as I recall being blown away at the diminutive size of the original Sony Vaio laptops many years ago.

Of course we all know about the Sony battery recall saga that seems to never end.



PayPal Explosion

November 1, 2006

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