Location matters. Black Swan-author Nassim Nicholas Taleb finds "living in big cities invaluable because you increase the odds of serendipitous encounters – you gain exposure to the envelope of serendipity." That's particularly true for romance. People move to big cities not to advance their careers, party, escape, disappear, be a star, and so on. The chick-flick fan that I am, I remember very well that candid line from Sex and the City (the movie): "I came to New York City to fall in love." Exactly. "Anyone who's predicting the decline of big cities has … Read more
Elevation Partners is dumping another $100 million into Palm, the erstwhile leader in mobile computing, as The Wall Street Journal reports. This seems like such an obvious case of throwing good money after bad that it's almost unfathomable.
Palm is all but dead. I don't relish this fact, but there it is. There used to be two groups on the planet that persisted in using Palm devices: Zack Urlocker and Red Hat employees. Zack, because he's a retro sort of "if it works why switch?" sort of guy, and Red Hat because its internal IT … Read more
Years ago, Mozilla introduced its mobile equivalent of Firefox, then-called Minimo. Minimo unfortunately largely died of boredom within Mozilla. In early 2008, however, Mozilla resurrected Minimo as Fennec, and the heavens rejoiced (though even the heavens couldn't get it installed on [Name your mobile device of choice]).As recently announced by Mozilla, however, Fennec just hit its second alpha release, with the option to download and install the mobile browser on Mac, Linux, and Windows desktops for testing purposes. (If you want to install it on your mobile device, you're going to need to have a Nokia N810 … Read more
If you're not the type of person not to say 'no' to discounts, then Cellfire's mobile coupons application could potentially preserve your savings. The deals include local restaurants and retail services in the U.S., as well as national chains. Users can also save coupons for later use and participate in Cellfire's new program for cornering additional coupons by texting a keyword to 22888, Cellfire's short code. Unfortunately, Cellfire isn't always useful if your shopping habits don't mirror the offerings. Yet it's a broad enough service for us to lament that it hasn'… Read more
The VoIP solution to international calling isn't for everyone. Luckily, Packet8 offers an easy alternative with Mobile Talk, a no-fuss app that nestles onto your phone and connects you to a local number for a cheaper international call.
MobileTalk lives inertly on your phone until you dial your number, then delays the call by a few seconds to connect you to a local number, then pushes the call through to your destination. Payment conveniently arrives as a separate credit card charge on your statement when you set up your account. The costs are comparable to other phone card and … Read more
Clarification added December 30 (see text below).
For Googlers eagerly awaiting their famous holiday bonuses, be warned: Santa is tightening his belt too.
Google employees, some of whom have reportedly grown used to fairytale-like cash bonuses on the north side of $20,000, apparently got coal in their stockings this year. Certainly that's the takeaway for gossip blog Valleywag, which in a headline likened this year's bonus to "dogfood"--a euphemism for in-house testing--because Google would like some feedback. (Clarification: A few Google employees have contacted me to suggest that Valleywag's report on holiday bonus … Read more
A vast improvement on its BlackBerry predecessor, Google Mobile App is primarily a search app that also serves as a portal to other Google Web apps. It's anchored by a search bar, with a string of icons along marching along the top. Click one to download or launch Google apps like Gmail and maps, or to jump to mobile Web sites for the panoply of Google apps.
Warmly welcomed are autocomplete search suggestions, the ability to scroll through search history, and the ability to edit a misspelled search term and begin a new search. It's disappointing, however, that … Read more
There has been significant discussion over the short life of the term "cloud computing" about how little it differs from concepts like managed hosting and ASPs. And there is some truth to these observations; if you really look closely, what are the key differences between EC2 and a more traditional managed hosting provider? Some would say multi-tenancy, self-service and pay-per-use (including billing and elastic capacity). With specific regard to EC2, I would tend to agree.
However, if this is the great "paradigm shift" of cloud computing, as offered by smart people like Krishnan Subramanian of CloudAve, then let me offer that these basic extensions to existing hosting models will be peanuts next to a shift that will create one of the most significant market opportunities since the explosive growth of the Internet itself. I'm not dealing in hyperbole here; I honestly believe that there is a clear evolutionary step to the cloud occurring well after stand-alone self-service clouds are mainstream (which they arguably are today) that will inspire massive innovation.
That game changing technology disruption will be the federation of disparate clouds, and the distribution of software, data and billing across commercial and private cloud boundaries. In other words, the introduction of secure, reliable workload mobility in an extension of the Internet itself--an "Intercloud", so to speak.… Read more
Check Point Software Technologies announced Monday it plans to acquire the security appliance business of cell phone giant Nokia.
With the acquisition, the security software maker plans to use Nokia's security appliance business to broaden its footprint in the security appliance market.
Check Point, which is predominately known for its security firewall business, has branched out into the security appliance business over the past five years, beginning with its VPN-1 Edge device.
Nokia's security appliance business currently serves 23,000 customers throughout the world and is already designed to work with Check Point's firewall, virtual private network (… Read more
This post was updated at 1:06 p.m. PST with the stock's closing price and comments from an interview with Elevation Partners Roger McNamee.
Christmas came early for Palm.
The struggling handset maker announced Monday that investor Elevation Partners has agreed to infuse Palm with an additional $100 million, in a move designed to provide a boost to its new product launches in 2009.
Shares of Palm soared on the announcement, rising as high as 49 percent in intraday trading Monday to $3.71 a share. And by the time the regular session ended, Palm finished the day … Read more