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Archives: May 2009

Watching Sergey Wander: A Sliver of Insight Into Google?

Posted by: Rob Hof on May 28

Sometimes it's the littlest things that reveal the most, and I had that experience today just watching Google cofounder Sergey Brin walk a couple of San Francisco city blocks. For...

High-Def Cables Get Smarter

Posted by: Cliff Edwards on May 28

Is it time to throw out your HDTV and home theater equipment? Consumer eletronics makers sure hope so. The consortium of companies that help create the standard for high-definition multimedia...

Cyber Czar's Identity to be a Mystery a Little Longer

Posted by: Keith Epstein on May 28

With the computer security and intel world abuzz over President Obama's long-awaited decision on new authority for a "cyber czar," a White House source tells BusinessWeek that the new czar...

Palm Pre: Is It Exclusive to Sprint Or Not?

Posted by: Olga Kharif on May 28

For months now, Sprint Nextel has been drumming up publicity for the soon-to-be-launched Palm Pre smartphone. Due to go on sale on June 6, the phone was supposed to be exclusive to Sprint, and to help the wireless carrier combat rivals and stem subscriber losses. But just how long is the phone exclusive to Sprint for?

At Least 18 Android Phones Coming This Year

Posted by: Olga Kharif on May 28

Speaking at a Google conference, executive Andy Rubin has just announced that 18 to 20 smartphones based on cell-phone operating system called Android will arrive later this year. They'll be made by eight to nine different manufacturers.

Microsoft Search: Q&A With Steve Ballmer On The Importance of Bing

Posted by: Peter Burrows on May 28

"I think we've got a good product, and we'll make some progress. [But] doubling our share in a year isn't going to happen."

AT&T's Stephenson: The Road to 4G

Posted by: Stephen Wildstrom on May 27

The two largest U.S. wireless carriers, AT&T and Verizon Wireless, will be using the same technology, a European standard called LTE, for the next generation of their wireless networks. That...

UpClick: Picking Up Credit Card Fees

Posted by: Olga Kharif on May 26

Banks, watch out. UpClick, a company that officially launched on May 26, could take a bite out of your business. The company picks up the tab on other merchants' credit card transaction processing fees, which can run up to 7% of purchase price.

Everyone Says NetApp Will Be Acquired--Except Its CEO

Posted by: Peter Burrows on May 20

"I know the bankers want a big transaction, but I just dont see it. The theories are intellectually stimulating, and people have fun with the game. But this isn't Monopoly. It's the real world."

craigslist Sues South Carolina Attorney General

Posted by: Olga Kharif on May 20

Today, craigslist announced it has sued South Carolina Attorney General Henry McMaster in federal court in South Carolina to forestall a criminal investigation McMaster announced last Friday. craigslist is "seeking declaratory relief and a restraining order with respect to criminal charges he has repeatedly threatened against craigslist and its executives."

Yahoo Plugs Search Progress: Toward a Web of Objects

Posted by: Rob Hof on May 19

With Microsoft set to relaunch its search engine as early as next week, its rivals have been talking up the new and upcoming features of their search engines. Google held...

Dell Takes Netbooks To School

Posted by: Stephen Wildstrom on May 19

K-12 education is a big and growing market for netbooks. The little laptops small size, light weight, and probably most important, low cost, makes them very popular for schools that...

Sprint: Palm Pre Ships Nationwide June 6

Posted by: Stephen Wildstrom on May 19

In a surprise announcement, likely forced because the news was slipping out through the sieve that is the Internet, Sprint said today the long awaited Palm Pre would ship on...

Do You Back Up Your Data?

Posted by: Cliff Edwards on May 18

Which came first: the data backup software, or the computer crash? If you're like many consumers, the answer is obviously the computer crash. Despite the best efforts of hard drive...

Who's Ever Heard of Macrovision?

Posted by: Cliff Edwards on May 18

What's in a name? According to copy-protection pioneer Macrovision, not much. Known for years as the company that made software for electronically distributing software to computers, Macrovision also holds key...

A Phone to Watch: Archos

Posted by: Olga Kharif on May 18

A lot of new, highly anticipated smartphones are due to launch this summer. There's the Palm Pre, the new iPhone (or several), new Samsung phones. But there's one gadget that's not getting as much hype as it should: Archos's upcoming smartphone.

Wolfram Alpha: Clever, But for What?

Posted by: Stephen Wildstrom on May 18

I've been playing with Wolfram Research's new Alpha research tool--I am deliberately not calling it a search engine--since it went public over the weekend, and it has left me with...

Cisco and IBM: Partners Forever?

Posted by: Peter Burrows on May 15

Philosophically, I don’t partner and then compete later. I won’t enter into strategic partnerships that I think will not have lasting evolution. Secondly, using IBM as an example, that company...

AT&T: The U.S. Smartphone Carrier?

Posted by: Olga Kharif on May 15

Carrier AT&T announced today that it has twice as many smartphone users as any other U.S. mobile operator. Nearly 32% of its postpaid subscribers now use an integrated device. AT&T, of course, is the exclusive service provider for the Apple iPhone in the U.S.

Google's Outage Affected More than Google Users; Other Sites Hit Too

Posted by: Rob Hof on May 15

Much of the kerfuffle over Google's hourlong outage for some users today centered on the impact to those direct users--the people who were trying to search or get their email...

UPDATED: Google Outages Resolved, Blamed on Data Traffic Jam

Posted by: Rob Hof on May 14

UPDATE: Google has now explained, sort of, what happened on the company blog: This is your pilot speaking. Now, about that holding pattern... 5/14/2009 12:15:00 PM Imagine if you were...

Terrestrial Radio Royalties Bill Gets Through Mark-Up

Posted by: Olga Kharif on May 13

The House Judiciary Committee today approved a performance rights bill that would require traditional radio stations to pay royalties to copyright holders for playing music over the air. This landmark piece of legislation strives to change practices that date back to the 1920s. In all the history of radio, stations have played music for free.

Sony Walkman X: Hands-On Video

Posted by: Douglas Macmillan on May 13

Sony introduced its first Walkman cassette player in 1979, and the world changed. People began walking city streets and riding buses sporting big, bombastic headphones and enjoying a personal, portable...

Intel--Anti-competitive or No?

Posted by: Cliff Edwards on May 13

CORRECTED second graf to add dropped word "billion" As one might expect, Intel CEO Paul S. Otellini this morning denied that the chipmaker has engaged in anti-competitive practices, as alleged...

What Google's David Lawee Recently Said About Twitter

Posted by: Spencer Ante on May 13

Here's a belated though interesting bit of news. I wanted to post this item a few weeks ago but life got in the way. I am posting it today because...

New Google Search Features: We're Not Dead Yet; Not Even Resting

Posted by: Rob Hof on May 12

Amid a flurry of Internet search developments by other companies recently, Google today sought to demonstrate that it's not ceding any leadership in the Internet's most valuable territory. At the...

Google: Government Barks, Company Tempts Fate

Posted by: Stephen Wildstrom on May 12

I'm in San Mateo, Calif., hosting the 3rd annual Tech Policy Summit, so I'm spending more time than usual thinking about tech policy. It happens that the opening day of...

Nortel Inches Closer to Unit Sales

Posted by: Olga Kharif on May 11

On May 11, Nortel reported yet another quarter of disastrous results -- results that could, potentially, further pressure prices of business units the company has up for sale. Revenues, at $1.73 billion, were down 37% year over year. The company lost $507 million in the quarter.

Dell Clarifies It's M&A Record, And Weighs In On Acer's Market Share Gains

Posted by: Peter Burrows on May 08

I just heard from Dell's public relations folks, about my May 7 post "Nightmare In Round Rock: Acer Closes In On Dell For No. 2 In PCs." They had some...

Apple's Pricey Notebooks: Time For a Change

Posted by: Stephen Wildstrom on May 07

The birth of a new class of inexpensive thin-and-light notebooks, described in my current Tech & You column, is a good-news, bad-news story for most laptop manufacturers. To the extent...

Why an Apple Tablet Won't Challenge Kindle

Posted by: Stephen Wildstrom on May 07

"It doesn’t matter how good or bad the [Kindle] is, the fact is that people don’t read anymore. Forty percent of the people in the U.S. read one book or...

LIVE from Google's Annual Meeting

Posted by: Rob Hof on May 07

Wireless gods willing (and they're a little recalcitrant right now), I'm going to blog the highlights of Google's annual meeting at the Googleplex, starting at 2 p.m. Pacific, as well...

Nightmare In Round Rock: Acer Closes In On Dell For No. 2 In PCs

Posted by: Peter Burrows on May 07

Acer's ambition to be the world's largest PC maker by 2011 would have been laughable a year ago. But as my colleague Bruce Einhorn recently pointed out in his...

Ballmer Says Venture Freeze Will Spare Startups in Key Fields

Posted by: Aaron Ricadela on May 06

The pullback in business spending and venture capital investing will winnow the field of startups, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer in an May 6 speech at Stanford University. But “there’s really...

Meet Kindle’s Big Brother

Posted by: Douglas Macmillan on May 06

On Wednesday morning, Amazon confirmed reports that had been circulating about the company’s upcoming release of a large-screen version of its Kindle electronic book reading device. The Kindle DX, now...

Dell: Working on an Android Netbook?

Posted by: Olga Kharif on May 06

Dell may be cooking up a series of netbooks based on Android software. On May 6, software company Bsquare announced that "it is porting Adobe's Flash Lite 3.17 technology onto Dell Netbooks running Google's Android platform."

Google + Wolfram?

Posted by: Rob Hof on May 06

Here's a post from my colleague and editor Peter Elstrom, who spoke with British mathematician and entrepreneur Stephen Wolfram two days ago about his new search technology effort, called WolframAlpha:...

Boost Mobile: Getting a Boost

Posted by: Olga Kharif on May 05

Today, I talked with Boost Mobile's president Matt Carter, and he says he's only getting started in marketing the prepaid offering. On May 1, Boost hired car racing champ Danica Patrick to promote its service in ads. At the end of May, Boost will roll out its first phone equipped with a Qwerty keyboard, Motorola's i465. It's also preparing to open a slew of retail stores.

America: DTV Ready?

Posted by: Cliff Edwards on May 05

It looks like the federal government's decision to delay until June 12 the switch-over to all-digital television broadcasting brought enough time for many tardy consumers to prepare their homes for...

Google: Don't Brush Off Antitrust Concerns

Posted by: Stephen Wildstrom on May 05

It's time for Google to be very careful not to make the same mistake Microsoft made in the 1990s. Microsoft failed to understand that its growing market power would draw...

The Great Skills Mismatch: Wall Street Quants Thumb Their Nose at Tech Startups

Posted by: Spencer Ante on May 04

There's an emerging structural shift in the U.S. economy that has created a serious mismatch between employers and employees in today's economy. That's the provocative thesis of this week's cover...

Technology Helps Take a Bite Out of Newark's Crime

Posted by: Spencer Ante on May 04

Here's some great news. On May 1, the city of Newark announced that for the first four months of 2009, Newark saw the fewest murders in the city since 1959....

Can Palm Pre Show iPhone-like Sales?

Posted by: Olga Kharif on May 01

In today's note, USB analyst Maynard Um examines an interesting possibility: What if Palm Pre, a device expected to hit Sprint Nextel stores shortly, sells as well as the legendary Apple iPhone?

Vonage: Not a Telecommunications Service

Posted by: Olga Kharif on May 01

Today, the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in favor of Web-calling provider Vonage in a landmark case. In Vonage Holdings Corp vs. the Nebraska Public Service Commission, the court determined that Vonage and other Voice over Internet Protocol (VOIP) providers whose services can be used nomadically won't have to contribute to the state's universal service fund (USF), because these companies provide an "information service" rather than a "telecommunications" service.


Bloomberg Businessweek writers Peter Burrows, Cliff Edwards, Olga Kharif, Aaron Ricadela, and Douglas MacMillan, dig behind the headlines to analyze what’s really happening throughout the world of technology. Tech Beat covers everything from tech bellwethers like Apple, Google, and Intel and emerging new leaders such as Facebook to new technologies, trends, and controversies.



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