PortalPlayer IPO this week

Wall Street Journal reports that PortalPlayer, whose chip powered the hit IPod is going public sometime this week, selling 6.25 million shares at $11 to $13 a share. Citigroup Inc. and Credit Suisse Group’s Credit Suisse First Boston are leading the IPO. “It’s on everybody’s radar screen now,” Sal Morreale, who tracks IPOs for Cantor Fitzgerald LP in Los Angeles told Wall Street Journal. “People want a piece of the iPod, and they haven’t had too many chances.”

Why we need federal oversight of VoIP?

This past Friday Ravi Sakaria, the chief executive officer of New Jersey-based Voice Pulse had a rude awakening. He got letters from two California cities, Burbank and El Monte, both asking the company to pay certain utility taxes because the company was offering VoIP services to some of their residents. Forget states imposing their own regulations, this is local level regulation of VoIP. And it adds a whole new wrinkle to the regulatory mess that surrounds the Internet Voice market. “This really opens up a whole new can of worms,” says Sakaria.
Burbank and El Monte’s moves illustrate the fact, that unless the FCC steps in, and imposes federal rules on the VoIP technology, the start-ups who are trying to promote VoIP will go the way of the bell-bottoms and Bay City Rollers. This fact illustrates the potential havoc that could be wreaked on VoIP startups if they are subject to the regulation of 50 different regulatory bodies (states) much less deal with every city in the country that wants to impose their own set of rules and regulations on the service.
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Verizon’s Fiber Loop Dreams

“How about those Red Sox?” Verizon’s Paul Lacouture. Maybe by 2006, Verizon’s VOD will allow you to watch the game again. (via DSL Prime)
Following closely on the heels of SBC’s LightSpeed announcement, Verizon announced accelerated plans for FTTH deployment. On October 21, it added more markets [in addition to the areas previously disclosed (in Texas, Florida and California)] in Virginia, Maryland, Massachusetts, Westchester, Rockland, and Nassau counties in New York, Pennsylvania and Northern Delaware.  Verizon is guessing that it would have one million homes passed this year and another 2 million homes passed next year. In a conference call, the company said that engineering is complete, construction is underway and deployment is on schedule. In addition, Verizon will use this new platform to go after video customers beginning in 2005.  More deployments will likely be announced in 2005.” Plans include a 5Mbps download/2Mbps upload product for $34.95 in the bundle and $39.95 standalone; and a 15Mbps download/2Mbps upload product for $44.95 in the bundle and $49.95 standalone. The company is pretty serious about its VoD service as well, expected to hit the market next year.

Apple’s next Pad

June 6, 2004, I wrote: “I expect a new device from Apple – which is somewhere between a laptop and a PDA, but completely connected and be mostly used by the thumb tribes, i.e. young people who cannot live without IM. (Okay – it just a guess about what Apple should or could be building next!)” Funny, exactly two months later we have a similar rumor surface on The Register (via Engadget and Gizmodo) “Apple has filed for a European design trademark which may provide a tantalising glimpse of the company’s long-awaited tablet computer. The filing, made in May this year but only published this week, covers a “handheld computer” and contains sketches of what look like an iBook screen minus the body of the computer,” The Register writes. EWeek had reported that something like this might be in the works at Apple in November 2003. Well looks like this cacophony might result in a new Mac Symphony!

Nacchio behind MCI bid?

nacchioMemo to Regulators and Law Makers: Between Martha Stewart and Joe Nacchio, the dude from Denver is a bigger con-man. Just in case you forgot. And he is out there doing business seriously impedes any credibility about seriousness of our government’s desire to investigate fraudsters. The former con-man and former chief executive Qwest is advising Leucadia National’s supposed bid for MCI, according to the Wall Street Journal. Wow!
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Car Guys: make bluetooth easier

Car Guys to Bluetooth Guys: Make the damn thing easier: Auto makers, while embracing Bluetooth, warned at the Wireless Connectivity World here this week that the wireless standard has yet to be fully developed as a stable short-range wireless interface in cars. Several car manufacturers made it known during the conference that they are frustrated with the Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG)’s inability to decide on a standardized phone book transfer method between a car kit and a mobile handset via Bluetooth. The Bluetooth community, although fully aware of the automotive industry’s need, has been bickering over a data synchronization method over the last three years.

Commoditization quake hits Consumer Electronics

The consumer electronics business is undergoing a massive upheaval as more and more players jump in with products that could only be produced by giants such as Sony and Panasonic till recently. Dell, HP, and nameless players are all riding the consumer electronics bandwagon. I had mentioned this in my story, The Rise of The Instant Company. But today Wall Street Journal has made it front page news, with this story, Off-the-Shelf Parts Create New Order In TVs, Electronics.
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World Cup Final Preview – India Versus Australia

Well finally it is the moment of truth is here for the Indian cricket team. Can they continue their dream run? Or will they crumble against the awesome pace of Brett Lee and Glen McGarth? Or will Sachin and Shewag will use their bats as “weapons of mass destruction” just like they did against the awesome “Pakistani pace battery.” These are tough questions, as I sit and wait in anticipation. Safe to say these are the longest 15 hours of my life. As an Indian fan, I would love to see us win. But then that is what every single Boston Sox says every year before the opening day. In the end it is those “Damn Yankees.” Or in our case, Damn Ozzies.

An amazing word of support from unexpected quarters. “I am not saying Australia can be beaten easily. But I would back India for the title. Particularly seeing the way they have been playing in the last few games. The team now believes it can beat any side in the world. Maybe Sunday they will take revenge from Australia,” said Zaheer Abbas, a class act from Pakistan.

I have be trawling through some of the best cricket sites and here I have a collection of headlines which might entertain you, anger you and if you are an Indian fan, lull you into a sense of delusion about our pending victory.

Sachin:: The big stage for the master [Wisden.com]
“TendulkarÌüs greatness as a batsman has never been open to question. But that said, his most memorable match-winning performance sits rather incongruously against his colossal stature. It was a stirring win against Australia in Sharjah, but it would have escaped no one, not the least Tendulkar himself, that it was only a three-nations tournament, and it was five years ago. From the moment he stepped into this World Cup, he has seemed like a man possessed with a zeal to set the record right.”

Tendulkar is Australia’s only obstacle: Warne [Rediff.com]
“There is only one thing that stands between Australia and back-to-back World Cups and that is the Little Master, Sachin Tendulkar,” Warne wrote in the Herald Sun newspaper on Saturday.

Tendulkar and the toss are key to India challenge [Guardian UK]
“f Australia bat first they usually win. And if they score in excess of 200 they almost inevitably win.”

Intimidation will be name of the game against India :: Brett Lee [Sydney Morning Herald]

Ponting’s Strategy [Sydney Morning Herald]
RickyPonting, playing in his third successive World Cup final, believes Sachin Tendulkar and India’s three-pronged pace attack – Javagal Srinath, Zaheer Khan and Ashish Nehra – represent Australia’s main obstacles in defending their world champion status.Labelling the final as “the biggest event in world cricket”, Ponting said his pacemen would restrict Tendulkar to back-foot strokes, while predicting his top order would look to dominate India’s quicks in the early overs.

Winning is everything for Ganguly [HTCricket.com]

Cash money and more [Daily Mirror, UK]
In addition to sharing a possible ®£3million in prize money and bonuses, a sponsor has promised Tendulkar and his India team-mates a seven-star apartment each if they topple the Aussies.With the Bhaji Army colonising vast tracts of the South African capital last night, they are already guaranteed huge support at The Wanderers and the TV audience is tipped to be a staggering 250million in India alone.

Numberon ki hera pheri suggests India will lift World Cup! [Indian Express]
Numerologists JumaaniÌüs have announced their predictions for the forthcoming World Cup final between India and Australia on Sunday.Sanjay B Jumaani had recently on a radio channel recommended that Saurav Ganguly wear a number Ìü?24Ìü, T-Shirt instead of Ìü?99Ìü as his lucky number is Ìü?6Ìü, and Saurav did heed to the recommendation, going on to hit 3 centuries for the team making him the only cricketer to have hit three centuries in the current world cup matches. The reason being Saurav is numerologically no.Ìü 8;Ìü and his T-Shirt adds up to 9+9=18, which was unlucky for him.For the forthcoming matches, the JumaaniÌüs have a tip for Virendra Sehwag suggesting that he should wear a No. Ìü?46Ìü T-Shirt, instead of his present No. Ìü?44Ìü, which adds up to 8 – a Saturn number, which is unlucky for Sehwag.

India Australia Match-ups – classic matches.