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The saga continues…

There is just too much going on in tech today not to comment upon it.

Microsoft has just offered $44.6 billion (a premium price) for ailing Yahoo. Face it, Microsoft has been “master of the desktop,” for better or worse, leading teeming hoards of CIOs and millions of their minions, but has had a much more difficult time adapting to the network thinking of the Internet. The benefits of acquiring Yahoo seem obvious.

Not to be outdone, Yahoo is acquiring Maven Networks.

Although the outsourcing industry has played down the disruption, India’s Internet services are functioning at 70-80 percent of capacity today after an underseas cable disruption off the northern coast of Egypt. At times like this, it is good to remember that the Internet was originally designed for resilience in disasters (man-made). The fact that there is so much corporate denial going on about the recent break suggests to me that the impact was greater than admitted. We might learn more about the impact from corporate customers involved in outsourcing than from any of the telecommunications companies themselves. In any case, when your corporate accounting departments are totaling up the costs of outsourcing, make sure that they include cable breaks.

Not since Captain James Tiberius Kirk defeated the Kobayashi Maru scenario have we heard of the kind of internal meddling seen in the $3 million Cyber Storm war game conducted 2 years ago by The Department of Homeland Security with the aid of the State Department, Pentagon, Justice Department, CIA, National Security Agency, and others. In the middle of the biggest-ever war game to test the nation’s “hacker” (cracker) defenses, someone targeted the computers used to conduct the exercise! Whodunit? The players themselves did it, according to heavily censored files obtained by the Associated Press 2 years later! Maybe the exercise was more like Doctor Strangelove than Star Trek. Confused organizers (scary in and of itself!) sent everyone in the war game an urgent email marked “Important” instructing them not to attack or probe the control computers of the game. It is understandable why agencies and departments might want to keep a lid on this embarrassing incident for 2 years, particularly since such internal attacks represent significant vulnerabilities at the time. Stay tuned for Cyber Storm 2 (The Wrath of Khan?) slated for early March 2008. Maybe we will hear about it in 2010, if Associated Press is successful again.

Maybe Dell is so “easy” that call centers are no longer necessary. :-) Dell will cut almost 900 jobs in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. My heart goes out to those laid off – it is very cold in Edmonton. Maybe Dell will outsource the jobs, if the cable doesn’t break and “the creek don’t rise.” It is part of a plan announced by Dell to eliminate about 8800 jobs to “increase the efficiency of their business.” Hmmmm…. layoffs always seemed to me to be the aftereffects of inefficiency in business caused by *other* factors (less-than-optimal management, perhaps?). :-) The announcement followed another, by a day, that Dell will close all 140 of its U.S. stores in favor of selling through outlets like Best Buy, Wal-Mart, and Staples… sort of like a “Retrograde-Apple.” :-)

Sony has followed Canon and Nikon in creating a camera with a sensor the size of a frame of 35 mm film.

Gartner begs to differ. Those in Gartner’s crystal ball department have reported some trends that are in contrast to the cheerful rumblings that we have been hearing from Redmond lately. Among them, that Apple should double its market share for Macintosh computers (8.1% in Q307) by 2011. Another Gartner prognostication: 50% of traveling workers will leave their notebook computers at home in favor of other devices. In the report, Gartner analysts state that, “Apple’s gains in computer market share reflect as much on the failures of the rest of the industry as on Apple’s success.” Maybe. I cannot ignore the failures, :-) but I personally believe that the success has something to do with innovation and the development of a cross-feeding “ecosystem” rather than relying on the ideas of others and using them to create products months or years later.

-Bill at Cheshire Cat Photo   

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