Monthly Archives: November 2008

Chris Nuttall

Cocoa PuffsTed McConnell’s 30 years within Procter & Gamble include three as a company futurist, so when the company’s general manager for interactive marketing and innovation questions Facebook’s merits for marketers, it is hard to dismiss as Luddite carping, writes Andrew Edgecliffe-Johnson.

In a speech to a digital media conference in P&G’s home town of Cincinnati, McConnell said it was “predatory” and “arrogant” to “hijack” conversations on social networks. Read more

Tim Bradshaw

These days, €40m ($51m) is a big funding round for any company whose revenues are based entirely on advertising. Blyk provides free mobile calls to 200,000 British 16- to 24-year-olds in exchange for them receiving advertising messages, a membership it reached much faster than expected. Its response rates of 25 per cent have attracted 180 advertisers – but is even that enough to maintain revenues, with advertisers pulling budgets from even the most tried and tested of media?

Blyk’s fundraising – its third, coming from existing investors, who include Goldman Sachs and Sofinnova Partners – was accompanied by a “new media partnership strategy”. Blyk currently operates using a mobile virtual network, airtime bought wholesale from Orange in the UK and Vodafone in the Netherlands. But for further international expansion, Blyk’s co-founder and chief executive (and a former Nokia president), Pekka Ala-Pietila, says: “We don’t need to work purely on our own.” Read more

Chris Nuttall

DevicescapeWi-fi can be a hard thing to figure out for a user on-the-go – all those networks, signal strengths, passwords and WEP encryption keys.

While popularising wi-fi with its Centrino chipsets for laptops, Intel did a pretty poor job with the software, in my opinion, making it impossible for me to log on to some networks from my corporate notebook. Read more

Richard Waters

jerry-yang-yahoo.jpgAfter all the personal criticism he has taken in his 17 months as CEO, it’s worth remembering the reception Jerry Yang got when he was picked by Yahoo’s board to replace Terry Semel.

The assumption on Wall Street was that he would be a stop-gap boss, there to keep the seat warm until Sue Decker had done enough to prove she was up to running the show. According to people who know him, he was always happiest in the Chief Yahoo! role, where he could exercise significant behind-the-scenes influence (the relationship with Jack Ma of Alibaba owes much to Yang) while still getting the time to hone his impressive golf game. Read more

Chris Nuttall

Bertrand CambouSpansion, the memory chip maker, embarked on a new litigious business model on Monday, but its moves against Samsung will not mean iPods being absent from retail shelves this Christmas.

The company said it was filing two separate patent infringement complaints in the US against the biggest memory chip maker, one in a Delaware court and the other with the International Trade Commission. Read more

Chris Nuttall

Livescribe for MacLivescribe’s digital pen, the Pulse, is just the sort of gadget that should appeal to a Mac user.

It is innovative, comes with cool software that can search your handwriting and is aimed at an audience – college students – which is buying Macbooks hand over fist. Read more

Chris Nuttall

Give One Get OneIt seems churlish to question the success using commercial criteria of One Laptop Per Child, when as a non-profit organisation it has done much to raise awareness of the possibilities and need for cheap computing power.

Getting the XO laptop into production and use around the world was an achievement in itself,  but government orders so far have been underwhelming. Only South America has responded in significant numbers, with 100,000+ orders coming from each of Colombia, Uruguay and Peru. Read more

Chris Nuttall

Verismo The latest box to make internet content viewable on a TV is also the smallest.

 Verismo Networks’ VuNow fits in the palm of your hand and at 3.5″ x 4″ looks about half the size of Netflix’s Roku box, the SlingCatcher or Apple TVRead more

Richard Waters

It’s understandable that companies should want to sugar the pill when they have bad news, but some pills simply can’t be sweetened.

Take Sun’s sweeping job cuts today (nearly a fifth of the workforce.) Asked what these cuts will actually mean – surely there will have to be severe retrenchment, or even closure, of some parts of the business? – Sun had this to say: it is “amplifying focus in geographic markets where there are growth opportunities.” Read more

Chris Nuttall

Sling.comCable and satellite companies need to work out a way of bringing the web revolution to their TV services fast or face being trampled underfoot by internet innovators, according to executives at the intersection of broadcasting and the web.

Blake Krikorian, chief executive of Sling Media, told the New TeeVee Live conference in San Francisco that the living room was cable and satellite’s to lose. Read more