Murdoch on AOL, Google

One reason why Rupert Murdoch is who he is, is because he has been blessed with this ability to cut through the crap, and get straight to the point. In an article in Wall Street Journal (sub required), he talks about his interest in AOL, and why others are jostling to get a piece of the action.

“Microsoft, who’d clearly like to damage Google, would like to get that search switched to Microsoft search, which has very little critical mass. Google heard about it and thought they better defend their turf, and now other people are sniffing around it, Comcast, Yahoo and so on … Google is as much an advertising machine as a technology company, and they’re very brilliant.”

So there it is folks – Google’s game plan. No need for coherence as long as you can attach advertising to it. Or as I like to say, a company that makes profits one page-view at a time.

AOL Belle of The Ball?

Carl Icahn, the great pillager of airlines, seems to have it for Time Warner. The corporate raider who is as savvy about the post-broadband landscape as David Hasselhof is about rap music, wants Time Warner to sell off its cable assets, and get rid of AOL. Never mind that his last effort at such meddling didn’t go down so well.

Question: if AOL was such a dog, why would not one but three suitors, all flush with cash line-up to get a piece of the action? Microsoft, Google and Comcast are all interested in working out a deal where they can get a piece of AOL. The New York Times says ever wily old fox, Rupert Murdoch was interested in getting in on the AOL action,

Time Warner, I hope doesn’t fall prey to the “management by Wall Street” syndrome. I remember another great company, AT&T, that paid too much attention to some of the dimwits in downtown Manhattan. Instead, it would be wise to pay attention to Rupert Murdoch, and his recent forays into broadband and the Internet world. The man is borrowing money to get aboard the always on bandwagon. I think if there is one eternal truth about the media landscape, it is Rupert’s ability to see around the corner. Time Warner’s future is with AOL, and not without it.

(Disclosure: I work for Business 2.0 magazine, which like AOL is owned by Time Warner.)

Sprint Nextel sues Vonage for patent infringement

Sprint Nextel Files Patent Infringement Lawsuit against Vonage. Oops…. now Vonage IPO has some problems. Sprint says it has patents, “that protect a series of innovations that enable the processing and delivery of packetized voice and data communications, including Voice over Internet Protocol (“VoIP”) communications. … willfully infringed seven patents relating to voice over packet technology developed by Sprint Nextel.” Vonage is not the only one. VoiceGlo and theGlobe.com are also being sued.

Taking Rest of The Day Off

I am taking rest of the day today and tomorrow off…. writing for the magazine and also plan to have a lot of drinks this evening… starting my 365 day countdown to 40…..

Update: Thank you all for kind and warm wishes. Russell sent me a Zero-Cal Cake, while Julia got me a 1000-Cal Cake. Appreciate it. And Technorati, sent me a birthday gift – for a day I was in the Technorati 100 Blogs list. #99 actually! Laziness got me kicked out! Oh my head hurts… my wish … if only I could get the same amount of bandwidth as the # of years I have spent on the planet…. i would be happy!

iPod Nano and The Curse of Market Leader

Update: Apple is doing the “right thing” and kudos for that!

ipod nanoIf Bill Gates is letting out a cackle over the recent iPod Nano debacle, one can’t blame him. He has been on the receiving end of consumer ire for a decade now, many of whom (including myself) have experienced windows inspired rage many a few times. Apple is for the first time experiencing the ire of very angry customers. (Of course, there are others who have watched the love fest, and would like to sneak in a punch or two at Apple!)

Broken screens, scratches, and what not – this is a full scale PR disaster in the making. Steve Jobs and the gang have never enjoyed the market share, and the consumer glare like this ever before. The response from the company, even in its statements is less than adequate.

> “This is a real but minor issue involving a vendor quality problem in a small number of units,” said Schiller. “In fact, this issue has affected less than 1/10 of 1 percent of the total iPod nano units that we’ve shipped. It is not a design issue.” Read More about iPod Nano and The Curse of Market Leader

Huawei backlash?

Huawei’s relationship with Chinese military and government are making Indians worried. They feel that their strategic telecom infrastructure might be at risk. Good time for Cisco to parachute 100 sales people. This could actually be a bigger problem for Huawei going forward. India is one of the big markets for the telecom equipment maker. I wonder when this fear spreads to other countries and a Huawei backlash starts to gather momentum. So far the company has coasted because of cheap gear which fits in with limited budgets of emerging economy telecoms. via