HALF MOON BAY, Calif.--When bonds are paying yields like stocks and blue-chip companies are severely undervalued, who wants to invest in equities, let alone an IPO?Those are just some of the challenges companies face in attracting investors in this current economic climate, noted panelists Tuesday during the AlwaysOn Venture Summit West conference here. Despite the dire economic climate and the market meltdown, the panelists noted "good companies" will still have an opportunity to go public--it just may take longer. Investors, such as mutual funds, asset managers, pension funds and hedge funds, are holding a significant amount … Read more
Amazon has enlisted a half dozen of its most dedicated (addicted?) reviewers to act as holiday gift experts this season. They'll be responsible for providing gift picks, tips, and other advice regarding their favorite products available on the mega-retail site.
Putting a "real people" face on holiday shopping is key for Amazon in a season full of thin wallets and nervous spenders: research firm eMarketer just lowered its projections for online holiday shopping. Many of the tips provided by Amazon's reviewers, for obvious reasons, deal with cost-cutting recession strategies.
Amazon has offered customer reviews since 1995, … Read more
Yes, the Microsoft "Vista Capable" emails demonstrate a fair amount of bungling within Redmond of the Vista product launch, but they're far more interesting in what they reveal about Microsoft's involvement with reporters and analysts, as TechFlash's Todd Bishop reveals.
Microsoft worried about (and sought to immediately address) the media's fascination with Apple, tried to guide coverage of Vista, and pushed to ensure that analysts felt Microsoft's confidence in Vista.
For example, the summary of Microsoft's meeting with several Gartner analysts in October of 2006 is fascinating, and made more so by Jamin Spitzer, group manager of Worldwide Analyst Relations at Microsoft, who suggests that two objectives of the meeting with Gartner were to create "confidence in the Vista product, OEM/Retail channel, and device/app compatibility," as well as "provide Gartner 'wiggle room'."
Though Spitzer never indicates what he means by "wiggle room," presumably he was hoping to give Gartner room to write a positive review of Vista, despite its problems. In 2005, Gartner suggested that enterprises could take a pass on Vista until 2008. Apparently, the "wiggle room" didn't work, as Gartner continued to advocate holding onto XP rather than going with "Vista Capable," as Vista would not be "all that easy to roll out" and declaring that it simply wasn't ready for prime time.
Strike one for Microsoft.
Microsoft, however, fared much better with Rob Guth, a reporter for The Wall Street Journal. Sometimes accused of having a pro-Microsoft bias (but one that actually does his homework, regardless), Guth wanted to talk with Microsoft about Windows. The company agreed in order to provide "balance," as Tom Pilla, director of Public Relations, wrote to Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer in November 2006:… Read more
Now that the exhaustively inspirational Pop!Tech 2008 is over, it’s worthwhile taking a look at what’s next, in other words, at the conference's theme for 2009. The organizers’ choice is pretty telling and may be indicative of a larger shift among not only the elite thinkers gathering at Pop!Tech, but also broader public opinion. Succeeding this year’s theme “Scarcity and Abundance” will be “America Reimagined,” a “top-to-bottom look at America’s opportunities, its challenges, and its future” that promises to explore what it means to be a “superpower in the … Read more
It's too late to use it to get to T-Mobile's launch of the first phone using Google's Android operating system, but Google Maps now offers the ability to navigate using New York City's public transit system.
The online map service now has data from New York's Metropolitan Transit Agency, one of the largest, most complicated, and most widely used transportation systems. It includes data from buses and subways, the Long Island Rail Road, the Long Island Bus, the Metro-North Railroad, and the MTA Bus Company. And it connects to regional systems, including New Jersey Transit'… Read more
Open source has long been the ugly stepchild of UK government information technology, but in a recent turn of events, it may finally be gaining ground with the British.
As The Inquirer reports, two open-source companies, Novell UK and Sirius, have been granted access to the UK's ?80 million ($149 million) Software for Educational Institutions Framework, which enables them to supply software to the UK public sector. There may be additional open-source vendors chosen but the official list won't be released until Wednesday, September 24.
How important is this selection? Very.
The UK's procurement frameworks, a fast-track process for public sector purchasers, handled ?4.4bn of business in the year to April 2008. They are not meant to prevent companies not on the lists from selling to the public sector but, said (Mark) Taylor (CEO of Sirius), this had not been the experience of the Open Source community.… Read more
On today's show, we reveal our favorite fragrances, briefly touch on the new Apple offerings, disappear into e-Ink, rip into the Geek Squad and Microsoft's new "gurus," send text messages to inanimate household objects, and try to convince Wilson to take a shower in public in the name of animal rights.
Don't bust out that checkbook yet, my friends, contrary to popular belief, Natali Del Conte's hair is not on eBay...yet. We'll be the first ones to break that news, but until then you'll just have to listen to our show to get your NDC fix. Lots of news to talk about today, which we get to right after we guess each other's favorite eau de liquid smells. No surprise here, but Jeff's is the sweet scent of Natali's hair that he creepily compares to a cherry lollipop. Anyway, we also get the scoop on a few more tech-related gems, including a story about energy companies testing a program that will send you a text message on behalf of your thermostat if you forget to turn it off when you leave the house. Hey, I'm all for energy conversation, but are ya kidding me!? So now, on top of ignoring text messages from my close friends and family members, I have to deal with spam from my household appliances, too!? I guess I can see it being useful when I forget to turn off the oven, but I'd prefer to get the news by driving up to a burning apartment rather than getting a text from my oven that says "Hey, dummy--you forgot to turn me off, so now I'm spitting hot fire at all your physical possessions. See you at home!" No thanks, gas company, you can keep the service--I'll cross that bridge when I get to it.Episode 181 Download today's podcast … Read more
Let's hope Yahoo has finally learned that the maxim "If you build it, they will come" simply does not apply to a social network.
The Silicon Valley mainstay and onetime Microsoft shopping-spree target is quietly shutting down Yahoo Mash, its latest foray into creating a general-interest social network like a Facebook or MySpace.
It's the latest social-networking failure for Yahoo, which was unable to get its earlier "Yahoo 360" network off the ground, and once attempted to purchase Facebook, only to have its billion-dollar offer turned down.
Mash was cute, with a slick interface, … Read more
For years people have suggested that open-source adoption would go even faster if only open-source licenses like the GNU General Public License (GPL) were easier to understand. My personal belief is that "It's so hard to understand!" tends to be an euphemism for "I really want to pilfer this open-source software but its terms don't let me!" After all, the terms of the GPL have been explained repeatedly, including by the Free Software Foundation itself, which authored the GPL.
Coded messages date back to Roman Times and probably existed before.
Sticklers may prefer encyphering an decyphering. reserve decrypt for decoding a message you don't have the key for.
What it means
Types of Encryption
Each computer has a secrte key by which it encrypts and decrypts the data. Only another computer that knows what key was used can decrypt. Problem with key distribution
-Public key - introduced by Whitfield Diffie and … Read more