Lost Series Finale a Twitter Earthquake

The season finale of Lost yesterday was seen by 13.5 million viewers in the U.S., plus millions more around the globe through an unprecedented simulcast aimed at preventing P2P piracy. Pundits may think that’s weak, since earlier episodes of had up to 20 million people viewers, but one thing hasn’t changed: Lost gets people talking.

Lost fans sent out a total of 437,613 tweets during the series finale, according to new data from Trendrr. Just as a quick frame of reference: Twitter darling Glee got less than 20,000 tweets when its most recent episode aired last week.

Of course, “lost” isn’t exactly the easiest term to track. People lose their keys, get lost on the way to a restaurant, and so on. In fact, there were a total of 643,000 tweets mentioning the word yesterday (note to networks: if you want to utilize social media, learn from Glee and don’t use generic show names). Trendrr excluded all mentions of the word itself except for the time the finale aired, which means that countless “can’t wait 4 Lost finale 2night” tweets didn’t even make it into these stats.

Also noteworthy: The tweets include some early morning participation from Europe, as the UK’s Sky1 aired final episode simultaneously with the U.S. West Coast. Brits got to see the finale today at 5 a.m. local time, according to a report from the Guardian. There were also simulcasts in Italy, Spain, Portugal, Israel, Turkey and Canada. From the Guardian story:

“The unprecedented scheduling move aims to prevent illegal Internet downloads of the finale – and save UK fans of the show from having to spend five days dodging web spoilers.”

I know exactly what they’re talking about. I didn’t catch the finale yesterday, and I’ve been on a Twitter diet all day…

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Why Juniper’s Polycom Partnership Is Destined to Fail

Juniper and Polycom will deliver products and services to answer the looming threat Cisco plays in the videoconferencing space. But by taking a page from Cisco’s playbook, they may have doomed themselves to failure. Instead of marrying the network and device, they should open things up.

How to Revive a Dead Apple Bluetooth Keyboard with Tin Foil

apple-wireless-keyboardI was so mesmerized with my new Apple Magic Mouse yesterday that I neglected to share an interesting, yet wacky, problem. I bought the new mouse to get away from typing and navigating on my MacBook. I already had an Apple Bluetooth keyboard, although I hadn’t used it in nearly a year. So I just bought the mouse. As I was setting up my more traditional setup, I realized that my keyboard wouldn’t power up. That’s to be expected, I thought. After all, the batteries have been sitting in there for a year. So I swapped the batteries and… nothing. No little green light to tell me the power was on. No keyboards found in the Bluetooth settings on my Mac. I really thought that the keyboard was shot and was quite annoyed, since I had just come from the Apple store. Then I did a little online research and found dozens of people with the same problem
Read More about How to Revive a Dead Apple Bluetooth Keyboard with Tin Foil

Dell Plays the Networking Field With Juniper Deal

datacenterDell (s dell) today said it’s agreed to resell gear from Juniper Networks (s jnpr) as the Round Rock, Texas, computer maker attempts to fill the networking hole in its product line. It signed a similar agreement with Brocade in August in the face of an onslaught of competition around unified computing systems (UCS) ignited by Cisco’s (s csco) launch of its own brand of servers in the spring. HP (s hpq), with its line of networking gear, is similarly forcing Dell to think outside the server box. Read More about Dell Plays the Networking Field With Juniper Deal

IBM Fires Juniper-Loaded Salvo at Cisco

juniper-logoIBM (s IBM) said today it will resell switches and routers made by Juniper (s jnpr) under the IBM brand to compliment Big Blue’s server products aimed at data centers. The move is a direct response to Cisco’s (s csco) creation of its own brand of servers it calls the Unified Computing System, as well as efforts by Hewlett-Packard (s hpq) to bring that company’s ProCurve networking gear closer to its servers. They’re all part of a larger attempt to keep pushing the boundaries of virtualization beyond hardware and into the network itself. Read More about IBM Fires Juniper-Loaded Salvo at Cisco

Meraki Makes Its Enterprise Move

[qi:045] Meraki, the wireless access point maker, today sent out emails informing its customers than it’s launching two enterprise access points that can be managed via the web (Meraki, in an attempt to hop on the cloud buzzwagon, calls this a cloud controller). That means Meraki is going to compete with folks like Cisco (s CSCO), Juniper (s JNPR) and Motorola (s MOT) for enterprise business. Meraki says its equipment costs half that off the average setup, which if true, would indeed put pressure on the margins of said competitors.

However, this is Meraki’s second or possibly even third attempt at finding a market for its mesh networking technology. The company has pushed municipal Wi-Fi and is also trying to make a business selling access points to hotels, business districts and apartments interested in Wi-Fi.  It has some cool technology and ideas, but can it transition from selling to municipalities and folks trying to set up local networks, to the enterprise? If it does so, it would make its transition from an open-source, cheap hardware provider to money-making-business complete.

Cisco’s Data Center Moves to Spark More M&A

Update: Last week Cisco (s CSCO) announced its move into the data center (something Om prophesied a year ago) with what it called a Unified Computing System that will compete with offerings primarily from HP (s HPQ) and IBM (s IBM). A few days later, rumors circulated that IBM might buy Sun Microsystems (s JAVA) for $6.5 billion (or that maybe Cisco should). And as these tech titans fight for supremacy of the data center, at least one analyst firm believes the end result will be even more M&A.
The way it’s likely to play out is Cisco will strive to look more like HP and IBM, while they in turn may seek to look more like Cisco, with its networking focus. A UBS report issued yesterday offers a rundown as to how this all may happen. Read More about Cisco’s Data Center Moves to Spark More M&A

IBM Scorns Cisco and Gets Serious About Clouds

ibmlogoIBM (s IBM) yesterday trumpeted its cloud computing strategy with a demonstration at its Silicon Valley campus and a press release touting new customers, products and other tidbits we are going to ignore (you can read the release here). Amidst it all, however, IBM did announce two important things. The first was via an internal memo that let staffers know that Erich Clementi, GM of enterprise initiatives — otherwise known as the guy heading IBM’s cloud efforts — will report directly to Chairman and CEO Sam Palmisano.

With this reporting change, IBM is signaling that cloud computing isn’t a mere services play, but has broad potential for enterprise IT. The other noteworthy item could be found in Big Blue’s press release: It’s chosen Juniper Networks (s JNPR) as its partner for overflow clouds. Great news for Juniper, but also an indication that IBM isn’t impressed with Cisco (s CSCO)  intruding on its turf with a rumored line of servers, and other jaunts into the data center.

New Year’s Resolutions For the Internet: Station Conversation

NTV StationAs 2008 comes to a close, Liz Shannon Miller and Jill Weinberger look forward to improving themselves and the Internet in the New Year. Find out their New Year’s resolutions and their recommendations for others in online video in today’s Station Conversation!

Liz: Happy New Year, Jill!

Jill: Happy New Year! You’re ready for all the revelry?

Liz: Yes! And I have a New Year’s resolution to kick things off: I resolve to give web series that are longer than five minutes more of a chance. I have long been a cranky lady about 10-minute episodes, but how much of that is due to my innate laziness is yet to be determined. So I’m going to learn to sit still for slightly longer. It’s a challenge, but one I’m up for. How about you?

Jill: I am going to work out and become a badass. And how is this relevant to online video, you ask? Because I am going to do so using the online videos of Ford Model Chris Comfort!

Liz: Wow, Chris Comfort got his start in 2007! Is he STILL making workout videos?

Jill: Yeah, well, everything old is new again. And why shouldn’t I have something pretty to look at while I work out? Look — abs. Read More about New Year’s Resolutions For the Internet: Station Conversation

Meraki Seeks Money Making Outlet for Free Wi-Fi

Meraki, the Google and Sequoia-backed startup that focuses on citywide Wi-Fi networks, hasn’t let the demise of municipal Wi-Fi halt its efforts to make money or make the wireless network technology available in more places. It has scaled back considerably on its visions of open source, low-cost Wi-Fi for municipalities, instead focusing on Wi-Fi for apartment buildings, city squares and environments where someone is willing to pay to provide the service. Instead of connecting the world, Meraki wants to connect with paying customers. And that’s a good thing.
Today the company announced a Wi-Fi access point that plugs into a wall, and on Dec. 4 will release a lighter solar-powered access point to go places where power doesn’t. In a briefing about the products, it’s clear that Meraki still holds onto its altruistic views, with CEO Sanjit Biswas trumpeting the growth of Wi-Fi networks in Africa and small Chilean fishing villages. However, he’s quick to point out that hotels and apartment buildings can use the new Meraki products to rapidly install Wi-Fi networks that will cover a complex all the way from the pool to inside bedrooms.
In the last year, the startup has changed its business model several times, from trumpeting cheap hardware and charging a fee to access a dashboard, to tripling the price of its hardware and pushing ads. Such shifting hasn’t sat well with some citywide Wi-Fi network proponents, but the bottom line for many cities and customers is that Meraki’s Wi-Fi networks are still cheaper than those from vendors such as Cisco (s csco) or Juniper (s jnpr). As Wi-Fi becomes more important, Meraki’s capitalizing on its cheaper gear with new packages that offer to unwire a city street for $10,000, or today’s launch of a residential package designed for apartments and hotels that costs less than $5,000.
Wi-Fi is of growing interest for both consumers and ISPs. Earlier this year, Quentanna, a Wi-Fi chipmaker hoping to build a plug-in home access point to boost wireless signals, launched with a few ISP customers on board. A few weeks ago AT&T (s t) purchased hot-spot provider, Wayport for $275 million. If Meraki can figure out a way to spread Wi-Fi and make money, it could be in a good position as ubiquitous access to the Internet becomes more important for gadget-toting consumers. Wi-Fi is one of the most common gateways to the web, and even in a down economy Meraki thinks it can make money on the tools to build those gateways rather than by managing them. Meraki has realized that instead of saving the world, it needed to save its business.