DivX Lays Off 21 People

Video codec company DivX has let go of 21 people, or roughly 10 percent of the company’s workforce in San Diego (though some of the cuts rook place globally as well), TechCrunch is reporting. A DivX spokesperson confirmed the layoffs with us via email saying “The layoff was 21 people, across multiple departments. It was driven by the economic environment.”

It’s been a tough year for DivX. The company kicked off 2008 by shuttering its video-sharing site Stage6 in February amidst increased operating expenses and pre-emptive copyright litigation. Then in November, it sued Yahoo for allegedly backing out of a toolbar marketing agreement that reportedly represented 20 percent of the company’s revenue. Oh, and its CTO resigned at the start of this month.

DivX CEO Kevin Hell stopped by our office in August to talk about the transition DivX was undergoing as it moved from a PC-based video company to platform that could play video on multiple devices (clip embedded below). Hell also said this was “win or go home” time for DivX. Unfortunately, the company sent a lot of people home.

Structure 08 Recap: Yo Founders! There’s Gold in Them Clouds!

GigaOM’s Structure 08 event offered a terrific opportunity to survey the changing landscape of computing infrastructure. But as with all technology shifts, innovation won’t just belong to the big established players like VMWare, Amazon, Google, Sun Microsystems, Salesforce.com and NetSuite. With that in mind, Found|READ asked a panel of conference participants to share their thoughts via email on some of the more compelling business opportunities for startups in the cloud computing space. Specifically, we asked them:

F|R: Let’s say you’re about to start, or fund, a new business. Considering the changing landscape for computing architecture, what emerging or ignored problem in cloud computing would you target? What business or service would you launch to try to address it? Read More about Structure 08 Recap: Yo Founders! There’s Gold in Them Clouds!

Introducing GigaOM Briefings

Yesterday, at our Structure08 conference we launched our newest effort, GigaOM Briefings. We launch with our first briefing on Cloud Computing, which has been written by Alistair Croll, whose work you know from our site.

So what are our Briefings? Briefings are downloadable digital reports that contain in-depth, timely and actionable information on current technologies and technology trends. Our aim is to identify the roots of change behind the trends, the impact they will have and the opportunities they present, and to bring such information to our audience in a format that is concise, factually accurate and easy to understand.

We have started Briefings after many of our readers and also our network of sources pointed out that they wanted to know more about a topic, but didn’t have time to research or read long research reports. We could expand our blog posts. We love blogging and we like to think we have taken part in taking it to a higher level of credibility through our editorial values. But blogging demands that we be succinct.

Hence, GigaOm Briefings.

A GigaOm briefing will be a 20-to-30 page report, that gives you facts and insights in a quick-to-consume manner. The knowledge to empower your business. You can find out which companies are important in a sector, who is going to be important in a sector and well, who is going to get crushed. We will release reports as topics arise and warrant them, so stay tuned. Much the way the Zagat guides help you make decisions about where to eat, we hope our reports become your constant companions in your quest to navigate the ever-changing technology landscape.

Our first briefing looks at Cloud Computing is 18 pages long and costs $249 a copy. You can find more details on briefings.gigaom.com. Future briefings will focus on Location-Based Services, The Smart Grid, & Application Delivery Networks.

Nick Carr: The Big Switch to Clouds

Nick Carr, author of “Does IT Matter” and “The Big Switch,” helped us kick off the Structure 08 conference yesterday with a short and sweet message about the shift to cloud computing and why we need to think about the ethics of infrastructure. He also pointed out our conference was being held in the week Bill Gates retires from Microsoft. Carr sees it as an end of one era of computing and the start of another. Watch his message on this video:

STRUCTURE 08: Sun’s CTO Greg Papadopoulos

Sun’s CTO Greg Papadopoulos paints a picture of The Invisible Hand of Web Architecture — sounds spooky. Here are some notes:

Greg Papadopoulos, Sun MicrosystemsYou all “get” software-as-a-service so I don’t have to sell it to you. Here’s one conclusion — there is a danger of doing the proprietary systems thing all over again. That could hold back the market in a fundamental way.

The reason why I think software-as-a-service and cloud computing smokes the other one is not so much the economics but because of innovation. The service model out innovates “just bits” hands down. We’re struggling now to find what is the platform to scale.

Scale drives “brutal efficiency.” That doesn’t mean that computers themselves that are commodities, it’s computing that is.
Read More about STRUCTURE 08: Sun’s CTO Greg Papadopoulos

Programming Alert: Structure 08 & GigaNET

The big day has finally come. In a few hours we are going to kick off Structure 08, which we will be covering extensively today – from live blogs to video interviews to a live video stream. So stay tuned for more and in the meantime please check out these articles from our network:

  • NewTeeVee: Flick write, change channels. All you need is a Hillcrest remote.
  • NewTeeVee Station: Shaq raps, slams Kobe. Now on tape. … or whatever!
  • Earth2Tech: Interviews René Penning de Vries, an SVP and chief technology officer of NXP about the business of designing energy efficient gadgets.
  • OStatic: Symbian goes open source.
  • WebWorkerDaily: Tips to aggregate all your social networks and stay on top of the data flow.

GigaNET Headlines: Weekend Edition

Meet Refresh The Net, an accompanying blog for our conference Structure’08. The mini-blog is going to feature thoughts from some of the speakers and attendees at the conference, and why they believe that the Internet infrastructure should be rethought. We hope to offer these articles and our own work on cloud computing as a PDF download on the day of the conference. We already have three excellent articles that are worth your time this weekend.

Also check out these posts from rest of our network.

  • WebWorkerDaily: The Perfect Productivity System.
  • Earth2Tech: Major League Solar: Baseball Goes Green.
  • OStatic: Phoenix Mars Lander, a victory for Open Source software.
  • NewTeeVee: Google thinks YouTube is all about Paris Hilton.
  • NewTeeVee: What’s hot on BitTorrent? Check out the NTV weekly report, thanks to data from Big Champagne.

Structure 08 Update: Level 3 CEO Jim Crowe to Keynote

Structure 08It’s been awhile since I’ve provided an update on our upcoming conference, Structure 08, which will be held at San Francisco’s Mission Bay Center on June 25. We’ve been busily adding speakers and further finessing the agenda to address some of today’s biggest technology themes — such as cloud computing — and their impact on the web infrastructure.

Today I am very excited to announce that Jim Crowe, chairman and CEO of Level 3 Communications, will deliver a keynote speech at the conference. He joins our two other stellar keynote speakers: Werner Vogels, CTO of Amazon.com, and Sun Microsystems’ CTO Greg Papadopoulos.

Taken together, the three of them will present a holistic view of the web infrastructure, its challenges and, most importantly, its opportunities. Crowe can offer a view of the web from a bandwidth perspective, Papadopoulos can address the challenges from a hardware perspective, while Vogels can provide the context as to why cloud computing is the obvious way forward for the tech industry. We will be announcing more speakers and a full schedule for Structure 08 over the next week or so. In the meantime, here’s how you can sign up.