TechUniversity: Conditional Formatting with Numbers

Conditional formatting in Numbers lets you format the contents of a cell based on certain rules. So say you want to show all negative numbers as red and bold…conditional formatting lets us do that! We’ll cover how to apply conditional formatting to numbers, text and dates.

Mobile Tech Minutes: Consumer ThinkPad Edge on Video

[wpvideo hEDZXZn9 w=560]

The ThinkPad brand has long been associated with top-notch business-class notebooks. The famous black notebooks have appeared in conference rooms the world over, and the ThinkPad brand has come to mean fine quality business notebooks. The folks at Lenovo look to bring the ThinkPad into the consumer space, and the ThinkPad Edge is the first effort to get folks to bring the ThinkPad home.

The Edge is available in three sizes, 13, 14, 15 inch screens, and all have a sporty cover that is available in either glossy black or red. Lenovo has attempted to make a consumer notebook that fits into the high-quality mold of the ThinkPad, and the Edge is a good first effort.

I have been fortunate enough to receive a ThinkPad Edge prior to launch, and have been using one for a few weeks. In the video I show the build quality and nice design touches that Lenovo has put in this first consumer ThinkPad. The model in the video is the 13-incher, with a glossy (smudge magnet) black lid. I demonstrate the unique features of the Edge, including the nice chiclet keyboard and the inclusion of both a multitouch trackpad and a ThinkPad trackstick.

I state in the video that the Edge will be available for a starting price of $450, but I have received updated information from Lenovo that corrects that figure. The Edge pricing will start at $549, still a good price for a ThinkPad product. The 13-inch model is available from Lenovo currently, and the 14 and 15-inch models will be available in the second quarter of this year.

AT&T Creates Private CDN for Corporate Video

logoStarting today, enterprise customers can get all the bandwidth for high-definition video they need from AT&T (s T), which has launched a private content delivery service for video inside company firewalls. The explosion of video inside corporate networks is straining resources, according to the carrier. But unlike the tiered service that AT&T is experimenting with for its last-mile consumer networks, it’s offering enterprise customers a service that helps them track, compress and prioritize video traffic within the network.
AT&T explains pretty clearly why this is necessary in its release:

“On the average business day, about one-third of the more than 17 petabytes of traffic traversing AT&T’s global backbone network is video content. A mere three years ago, video content traversing the AT&T network produced barely a blip,” said Roman Pacewicz, senior vice president of strategy and application services, AT&T Business Solutions.

AT&T, rather than become a dumb pipe that acts solely as a conduit for the video deluge, is hoping to monetize that video traffic. Read More about AT&T Creates Private CDN for Corporate Video

Qwest Looks to Sell Long-Haul Network

Qwest Communications (s Q), the regional telephone provider, is looking to sell its long-haul network, according to a story in the Wall Street Journal. The company, which has $14 billion in debt, wants to continue its consumer last-mile business, which serves 11.6 million customers. However, without a wireless business (Qwest resells Verizon Wireless) the nation’s third-largest phone company has little to fall back on as landline losses accelerate and faster cable connections lure consumers away from DSL.
The long-haul network, which serves businesses and governments, brought Qwest $3.27 billion in sales during 2008. Potential bidders for the network are other long-haul network companies, including Level 3 Communications (s LVLT), AT&T (s T) and Verizon (s VZ). This would be a big move for a company that has been fairly cautious about transformative deals, but it may not be enough to keep Qwest relevant in a world where wireless broadband will soon be a large part of any carriers’ broadband strategy.

Level 3 Lays Off 450

[qi:010] As the recession deepens and the telecommunications industry braces for some tough quarters, Level 3 (s LVLT) said yesterday it will lay off 450 U.S. employees — or 8 percent of its work force. The reduction affects employees at all levels, will take place before the end of the year, and will result in a restructuring charge of approximately $12-15 million in the fourth quarter of this year.  Level 3, one of the companies providing the backbone of the Internet, has high levels of debt and worried shareholders, so the news is not unexpected. But our hearts go out to those suddenly without a job.

4G Wireless & the Ensuing Bandwidth Boom

I sat down this week with John Roese, chief technology officer of Nortel and one of the most astute people I know in the broadband business. Since he seems to have a much better handle on the 4G timeline than others in the wireless industry, I asked him about the wireless backhaul business and the bandwidth demand that LTE will create. Continue Reading

Crowe: Online Video Will Keep Fiber’s Future Full

Given its proximity to the Broomfield, Colo., headquarters of Level 3, there’s always a good chance that the Silicon Flatirons telecom conference will get a visit from Jim Crowe, Level 3’s CEO. He made the short drive up Hwy. 36 on Monday afternoon for a well-reasoned talk about long-term trends in communications that had several key takeaways, including one that says demand for online video means backbone service providers won’t be going out of business anytime soon.

As one of the bigger communications infrastructure providers, Level 3 knows itself some Internet video — according to Crowe, IP-based video today accounts for between 60 and 70 percent of all the traffic on Level 3’s fiber. Read more over at GigaOM.

Paul Kapustka, former managing editor for GigaOM, now has his own blog at Sidecut Reports.

Crowe: Online Video Will Keep Fiber’s Future Full

Given its proximity to the Broomfield, Colo., headquarters of Level 3, there’s always a good chance that the Silicon Flatirons telecom conference will get a visit from Jim Crowe, Level 3’s CEO. He made the short drive up Hwy. 36 on Monday afternoon for a well-reasoned talk about long-term trends in communications that had several key takeaways, among them:

  • Internet video use is here to stay, and will only increase going forward
  • Bundling services with devices is yesterday’s strategy
  • Legislators and regulators are right to be concerned about the potential for monopolistic practices by AT&T, Verizon and cable companies
  • Net Neutrality violations could be handled better by the FTC than the FCC

Read More about Crowe: Online Video Will Keep Fiber’s Future Full

Limelight’s Share Surge: Don’t Celebrate Yet

Content delivery network Limelight Networks’ shares surged nearly 20 percent Friday after saying it expects fourth-quarter revenue to come in at the high end of its previous guidance. The bad news is that the sales are estimated to range from $29.3 million to $30 million, essentially flat compared with the previous quarter.
Given that there’s a price war among the big CDNs, a war that last fall prompted Level 3 to announce it would take its CDN prices to about half the going rate, Limelight’s (LLNW) stable sales may be largely due to deep discounting. As Limelight spends about 60 cents on every $1 it earns just to provide service, whereas Akamai spends about 30 cents, I’m not sure how low Limelight can go. Or for how long.