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Amp’d Mobile Files for Bankruptcy

Filed under: — 11:53 pm

On June 1 Amp’d Mobile filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. Nearly half of their customers don’t pay, and that became a problem.

Source: BusinessWeek

Google and Salesforce to Work Together

Filed under: — 11:50 pm

“Salesforce will introduce a version of its customer relationship management software that lets small companies buy Google text ads to promote their businesses, then manage leads that result from the campaigns from within Salesforce’s product. The tieup fell short of speculation that Google might buy or invest in Salesforce and underscores that while purveyors of on-demand software are seeking new partnerships for growth, the mergers-and-acquisitions market for those firms remains tepid.”

Source: BusinessWeek

Avaya Agrees to Buyout

Filed under: — 11:48 pm

Avaya agrees to be acquired by Silver Lake Partners and TPG Capital for about $8.2 billion, or $17.50 per share cash. Avaya provides communications systems equipment to businesses, government agencies, and other organizations.

Source: Forbes


News Corp Bids For Dow Jones

Filed under: — 6:27 pm

Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. has made a $5 billion unsolicited bid for Dow Jones. Dow Jones, which publishes The Wall Street Journal and has the Dow Jones Newswires and MarketWatch news properties, is said to be examining the offer. Down Jones cannot be taken over without the Bancroft family’s consent and they have owned the company since 1902.

Murdoch has apparently had his eyes set on the Journal for a while, and he is planning to start a cable news channel to compete with CNBC. “Murdoch has said the channel’s programming will be generally more favorable to companies and executives than CNBC’s” so that could mean less objectivity.

Source: BusinessWeek


SocialPicks: Stock Picking the Social Way

Filed under: — 7:41 pm

SocialPicks is an attempt at using the social aspect of the web to create a site where users manage their stock portfolio while making and reading stock picks. The main page has the standard ajax-based customizable modules and boxes to manage the information you want displayed there. The idea of using the knowledge of many to help pick good stocks is an interesting one, but one that is hard to get perfectly right. In the following article I delve into this relatively new site that is currently in alpha testing.

Read the Review


Memory Price-fixing Suspicions Bolstered

Filed under: — 10:33 am

Things are looking up for Rambus, as is their stock. “Newly disclosed e-mails from computer chip makers Micron and Hynix provide details that point towards a global price-fixing conspiracy that could support allegations made by Rambus, the Wall Street Journal reported.”

WSJ: “The emails, mainly among sales personnel at Micron and Hynix, refer to other messages, phone calls, lunches and meetings among direct competitors in the memory-chip business. In some cases, the messages suggest competitors traded information in an effort to keep chip prices up.

Other messages, involving a competitor to Rambus technology known as DDR, for double data rate, suggest some companies wanted to temporarily keep prices down to discourage the use of Rambus technology.”

Read More: CNNMoney
Source: Wall Street Journal: Emails Emerge in Memory-Chip Antitrust Case”>

Jobless Claims Rise

Filed under: — 10:24 am

“The number of unemployed U.S. workers claiming an initial week of jobless aid unexpectedly rose last week by 7,000, taking a four-week average of claims to the highest level since October, the government said Thursday.

First-time claims for state unemployment benefits increased to a seasonally adjusted 336,000 in the week ended May 27, the Labor Department said. The increase was at odds with Wall Street forecasts for a drop to 320,000.”

Source: CNNMoney


AMD/ATI Merger Possible

Filed under: — 5:00 pm

“Advanced Micro Devices may be looking to buy graphics company ATI Technologies, a move that would benefit the overall graphics industry, according to RBC Capital Markets.”

“Walia based his prediction on recent checks in the PC food chain. RBC has an ‘outperform’ rating and $23 price target on ATI, and no rating on AMD. The firm expects ATI to report fiscal 2007 earnings per share of $1.06.”

Read More: Forbes

The RAZR Story

Filed under: — 4:03 pm

FORTUNE has a great article on the story behind the Motorola RAZR. A phone that was to help revitalize the company’s image wound up turning into a commercial success that they never expected. It also proves that companies can make great phones when they aren’t listening to everything the wireless companies want. It’s definitely worth a read.

“The phone was supposed to be something beautiful, like jewelry - a pricey gem in the $500 range at retail, rather than a mass-market staple. Motorola needed a reputation builder, badly. The moneymaker phones would come after, or so the plan went, piggybacking on the company’s restored allure.”

“The ‘thin clam’ project became a rebel outpost. Money wasn’t an object, but secrecy and speed were. Normally Motorola consults closely with the wireless companies that sell the phones to try to integrate whatever favorite features they request. It also conducts ‘mall intercepts’ to gauge consumers’ reaction.

Not this time. Jellicoe hid the details of the project even from company colleagues.”



Bush Names Paulson as Treasury Secretary

Filed under: — 10:51 am

“The dollar pared early losses Tuesday on news that Goldman Sachs Chairman and CEO Henry Paulson will be named to replace outgoing Treasury Secretary John Snow.”

“The dollar was sharply lower earlier after the New York Times said that Don Evans, a former U.S. commerce secretary, may fit the profile of past Treasury secretaries who have favored a weaker dollar, given his political background.”

“However, the greenback’s losses were pared after a Wall Street Journal report said Bush was leaning toward naming Paulson to succeed Snow.”

Source: CNNMoney


Nintendo Wii Pricing

Filed under: — 2:00 pm

Nintendo has said that the Wii will launch in the fourth quarter of 2006 and will cost less than $250. Nintendo has recently said it will cost a maximum of 25,000 yen. With taxes figured in and shipping costs, that comes out to about $223.

A very attractive price when compared to the high price of Sony’s Playstation 3 ($499 - $599). And you get an innovative remote with built in motion sensing, and possibly a port on the Wii for an audio device such as a microphone. I wonder if the recently discovered audio-in port in Wii schematics could be used to connect a device such as an iPod. That would definitely put it on-par with other gaming machines. Nintendo innovates and does it at a low price.

Source: VideoGamesBlogger (Via Slashdot), CNET News

Jury Finds Lay, Skilling Guilty in Enron Case

Filed under: — 12:30 pm

BREAKING NEWS: “Former Enron Corp. Chairman Kenneth Lay was found guilty on all six counts against him for his role in the former energy giant’s collapse. Former President Jeffrey Skilling was found guilty on all counts except for those related to insider trading.”

Source: WSJ

Yahoo and Ebay to Partner

Filed under: — 12:28 pm

Yahoo and eBay have announced that they are partnering. Under the terms of the agreement, Yahoo will become the exclusive provider of graphical advertising throughout eBay’s site and will provide some sponsored search results. PayPal will also become the preferred payment provider for purchases made on Yahoo. Skype will also be used as another marketing avenue for advertisers.

The PayPal agreement could be a huge win for eBay, as Yahoo has many paid services. It could be especially valuable if PayPal is then promoted as the preferred payment method on all of the Yahoo Stores, where merchants can easily create their own online stores. I’ve noticed in at least one Yahoo Store that PayPal is already a default, so this may not have as much of an effect as I originally thought. I’m not sure how other stores are setup.

Sources: CNNMoney, AP, Forbes


Vonage IPO Coming

Filed under: — 1:35 pm

Vonage is set to price its initial public offering today for between $16 and $18. Despite their user growth, they have yet to make money. The VoIP sector is increasingly getting more crowded, and Vonage continues to lose money. Reports have showed that Vonage’s customer acquisition costs appear to be around $275 for each new customer, based on how many users they added in 2005 and the amount of money they spent on advertising.

Source: BusinessWeek, VoIPNews


Panel Backs Cervical-Cancer Vaccine

Filed under: — 8:56 am

A Food and Drug Administration panel said a proposed Merck vaccine designed to protect against cervical cancer in women was safe and effective.

The decision of the outside panel of medical experts amounts to a recommendation that the agency approve Gardasil for use in girls and women ages 9 to 26.

The FDA typically follows its panels’ advice but isn’t required to. The agency is set to make a decision on the vaccine by June 8. If approved, it would be the first vaccine on the market that would offer protection against many cases of cervical cancer and genital warts.

Source: WSJ

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