Monthly Archives: August 2008

Richard Waters

Catching a plane in the US? If you have the right sort of bag you no longer need to take your laptop out when it goes through the security scanner.

Our prediction: big delays as travellers get used to the TSA’s finicky rules about exactly when you can leave your laptop in the bag. There must, for instance, be “no metal snaps, zippers or buckles inside, underneath or on-top of the laptop-only section.” And remember: this only applies to the Butterfly, the Sleeve and the Trifold. 

Paul Taylor

Mountain View based Jajah describes itself rather grandly as “the world’s most innovative communications company.” With a little help from its friends at Intel, it may yet live up to the billing.

Intel Capital emerged as the lead investor in a $20m funding round for Jajah completed in May last year pumping in $15m to help Jajah in its bid to replace Skype as the mass-market VoIP provider of choice. 

Richard Waters

the-good-the-bad-and-the-ugly.jpgThe shoot-out at the OK Corral is over and the hired guns are leaving town.

Paulson & Co, once among Yahoo’s half-dozen biggest institutional shareholders and a backer of Carl Icahn’s attempt to pressure the company into a Microsoft deal this Spring, has sold most of its 3.7 per cent interest. In a filing today, the New York-based investor revealed that its stake had dropped to 15m shares at the end of June, from 50m three months before. 

Richard Waters

The term “cyber warfare” conjures up images of coordinated military attacks mounted to cripple an enemy country’s vital infrastructure.

As the attacks on Georgian government and news Websites in the last few days show, however, the reality is much messier, and might not deserve the term “warfare” at all. It appears to represent an upwelling of antagonism on a broader front, coordinated across the internet to achieve maximum effect. Active government sponsorship is impossible to discern. All very Web 2.0, in fact. 

Richard Waters

pandora.jpgIt seems a safe bet that most of the money made by iPhone application developers will come in the form of advertising. That is the overwhelming lesson from the PC-based internet.

So if Steve Jobs is right in saying that the marketplace for paid-for iPhone applications will eventually reach $1bn, how much bigger might the advertising market be? (Jobs’ prediction, in an interview with the Wall Street Journal, is based on the $1m-a-day in sales the the new App Store has notched up in its first month, and why not? These are still very early days.) 

Richard Waters

It would be a shame to allow the passing of former dotcom star i2 Technologies to go unheralded (it has just agreed to be bought by JDA Software for $346m.)

Remarkably, the maker of supply-chain software was once worth $50bn. These days B2B e-commerce companies induce a mild yawn, but there was a time when they set the pulses racing, and none more so than i2. 

Richard Waters

yahoo-slide-on-behavioural-targetting.jpgWith its all-important search partnership with Google awaiting regulatory clearance, Yahoo really needs to keep its nose clean on Capitol Hill right now.

That’s probably one reason it has just pre-announced a new opt-out so that users of Yahoo services can request not to be on the receiving end of targeted advertising (it won’t actually go into effect until later this month.) 

Richard Waters

Some readers took issue with my reference to Linux on PCs as DOA (though, I should add, very respectfully – these open-source types certainly know how to conduct a civil conversation.)

Yes, it was flip, I admit it. But let’s face it: enterprise customers haven’t bitten, and enterprise is the real focus of the latest IBM push. 

Richard Waters

The integration of the Google and DoubleClick advertising systems continues apace, with no sign that Google is pausing to rethink DoubleClick audience-tracking techniques that it once held to be undesirable.

You might remember that when it agreed the acquisition last year Google said it would investigate ways to minimise the invasiveness of the cookies that DoubleClick plants on the computers of internet users who see the ads it serves. 

Richard Waters

One of the great tech non-events of the last few years involves Linux on PCs. Every so often, another wave of hype washes in about how companies are finally going to ditch their Windows machines in favour of the open-source operating system and productivity apps like Sun’s StarOffice and (more recently) IBM’s Symphony.

I suppose you can’t blame IBM for trying to capitalise on the bad press of Windows Vista to try to give this story another spin. It has just agreed a deal with the three top Linux companies to distribute its own Notes and Symphony software alongside the operating system. The promise: a “turnkey” software package that, according to IBM, cuts 30 per cent or more from the cost of buying a new enterprise PC.