By now I'm pretty certain that most of you are aware of the potential ecological and economical benefits of driving an electric or hybrid car that isn't reliant solely on fossil fuels. Not surprisingly, the U.S. government is getting behind the cause as well, influenced in part by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA). The ARRA is the official term for the economic stimulus package passed by Congress in early 2009 to help create jobs and promote investment in American enterprises during the current recession. And when it comes to the conception and push … Read more
Anyone who has ever been involved in a venture financing deal knows what a headache term sheets can be.
Term sheets, which describe the terms of the financing deal being negotiated, tend to have a laundry list of oft-confusing conditions that has to be met before financing can occur.
And while lawyers experienced with venture financings are a dime a dozen (make that $450/hour each) in Silicon Valley, negotiating the terms of your deal is fraught with anxiety and occasionally peril.
The one thing you can be assured of is that the lawyers will take a nice chunk of … Read more
The economy may be getting better, but unemployment is still high. Companies slashed budgets and personnel last year, but as the economy begins to recover, the creation of jobs is not falling in line.
The lack of new jobs continues to be an issue even for San Francisco Bay Area tech companies. So, how are unemployed developers and technologists supposed to find work? One solution: learn new skills.
Drupal is a free software package that makes publishing and managing social content on the Web easy. It's been downloaded more than 2 million times to date. And though Drupal has … Read more
WASHINGTON--More than scientific breakthroughs, the U.S. needs to deploy existing green technologies faster to keep pace with China and other nations, people in the renewable energy industry said this week.
At the Renewable Energy Technology (RETECH) 2010 conference here, the subject of national competitiveness in the burgeoning clean-energy industry was a frequent topic. The concern is that the U.S. is lagging because of wavering policies, complex permitting, and a skittish financial community.
"We're still pretty good at invention or discovery but in terms of deployment, we're losing ground. In fact, you could say we suck,&… Read more
Strong financial results from Internet infrastructure equipment maker Cisco Systems are a good sign that the economic recovery is under way.
The company on Wednesday reported that profits for its second fiscal quarter, which ended January 23, were up 23 percent compared to a year ago. The company reported profits of $1.9 billion, or 32 cents a share. A year ago, it reported a profit of $1.5 billion, or 26 cents a share.
Revenue was $9.8 billion, an 8 percent increase compared to the same period a year ago. Cisco had not seen year-over-year revenue growth since … Read more
Sales of cell phones around the world rebounded in the fourth quarter, indicating that the recession may be over for the beleaguered mobile handset market, according to figures compiled by market research firms.
Global handset shipments were up 10 percent to 324.4 million units in the fourth quarter of 2009 compared to 293.8 million phones during the same quarter a year ago, said Strategy Analytics. This is the first quarter of growth the industry has seen since the third quarter in 2008.
Other research groups have also observed similar trends. ABI Research said it saw mobile handset shipments … Read more
In a recent interview with Nikkei Electronics Asia, Acer CEO Gianfranco Lanci made the case that the company has seen dramatic success in the PC market because it abandoned direct sales.
Acer has a huge market presence in Europe and Russia and has focused on market share over profitability, with an operating profit of just 2-3 percent, according to analyst firm Gartner. Thus far it's worked; Acer's global PC market share hit 21 percent in Q3 2009, just 1 percent behind HP and a percent or two above Dell.
Shocked? Me too.
Because PCs are commodities, Lanci argues that brand recognition and exterior styling are the most important factors for consumers. And obviously the products have to work well enough for consumers to continue to buy them. In fact, Lanci has used a similar argument in the past to suggest that "U.S. computer brands may disappear over the next 20 years, just like what happened to U.S. television brands."
Whether or not Lanci is correct, most observers agree that PCs and servers have become commodities. To some extent it's surprising to see Acer's "good enough" hardware make such large gains. This may be because the markets that are buying Acer products have less PC history, and newer machines are dramatically better than the computers and servers of 10 years ago.
In complete contrast, Oracle, with its newly acquired Sun hardware business, announced last week that it would go in the opposite direction and start selling direct in order to gain back the profit margin lost to VARs. … Read more
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation will donate $10 billion over the next decade to fund new vaccines that can be used to fight diseases in poor countries worldwide.
The $10 billion pledged is in addition to $4.5 billion that the foundation has already devoted to the research, development, and launching of vaccines. The couple made the announcement Friday in Switzerland at the 40th annual meeting of the World Economic Forum, a nonprofit that tries to tie together material progress with social development.
An Internet start-up wants to sell you the ability to protect your privacy, allowing you to create different online identities for different purposes and cloak your true self from prying eyes.
Early press coverage has been uniformly positive. CNN.com's review says "Total digital privacy may be on the horizon." The San Francisco Chronicle's article is titled "Online disguises from prying eyes." To BusinessWeek, it's a "A big boost for Net privacy."
"Think about how much business is predicated on the flow of personal information!" one of the founders … Read more
The U.S. market for virtual goods will reach $1.6 billion in 2010, with social gaming contributing $835 million of that, according to a new report released Tuesday by research firm Inside Network. Virtual good sales were expected to clear $1 billion in 2009, a substantial increase year-over-year.
International sales of virtual goods have outpaced the U.S. rather dramatically, as witnessed by the explosive growth in South Korea and China, which had 2009 sales estimates of $3.5 billion to $4 billion with the market expected to reach $5.5 billion by 2012.