Tuesday, June 30, 2009

What's Going on with Nortel?

Wed, June 24, 2009 — Network World — With Nokia Siemens bidding on Nortel's wireless business and Avaya rumored to be grabbing up its enterprise gear, it is all but inevitable that the rest of company will be broken up and sold off in pieces, which raises questions. Here are some of them and the answers.

Who is likely to buy the enterprise business?

Reportedly, Avaya has put in a $500 million bid for the enterprise division, which sells switches, routers and telephony products. With its focus on enterprise VoIP and unified communications, the company could use Nortel enterprise infrastructure, which includes switches, security gear and phones. It would boost Avaya instantly into the No. 4 spot for Layer 2 and 3 Ethernet switching and give it entry into more corporate accounts.

What did Nokia Siemens bid on?

Nokia Siemens bid on the CMDA wireless business and the R&D unit working on LTE wireless.The company's technology overlaps with Nortel's, but that's OK because its customer base doesn't overlap as much. Both companies, for example, have CDMA and Long Term Evolution technology, but Nokia Siemens doesn't have anywhere near the penetration into North American carriers that Nortel has. If it closes the deal, Nokia Siemens will do everything it can to take advantage of Nortel's client list. Nokia Siemens says the deal would boost its share of the North American carrier market from less than 6% to more than 30%.

Beyond that, the business Nokia Siemens wants to buy netted $700 million last year, according to the Wall Street Journal. If it remains that profitable, that will pay off the $650 million purchase price in less than a year.

By Tim Greene

Sunday, June 28, 2009

$100 Laptop Becomes a $5 PC

The open-source education software developed for the "$100 laptop" can now be loaded onto a $5 USB stick to run aging PCs and Macs with a new interface and custom educational software.

"What we are doing is taking a bunch of old machines that barely run Windows 2000, and turning them into something interesting and useful for essentially zero cost," says Walter Bender, former president of the One Laptop per Child (OLPC) project. "It becomes a whole new computer running off the USB key; we can breathe new life into millions of decrepit old machines."

Bender left OLPC last year to found Sugar Labs, which promotes the open-source user interface, dubbed Sugar, and educational software originally developed at OLPC. Bender has dubbed the new effort Sugar on a Stick. The software can be downloaded for free from the Sugar Labs website as part of the new initiative, which will be announced at a conference in Berlin today.

The Sugar interface was custom-designed for children. The new Sugar on a Stick download features 40 software programs, including core applications called Read, Write, Paint, and Etoys. Many other applications are available for download, most of which emphasize creative collaboration among children. The USB software can boot up an aging computer, or a netbook, and save data from any of the programs.

The Sugar interface and related software have already been used by more than one million children, nearly all of them users of the original OLPC XO laptop.

And now, with Sugar available to run old computers, the OLPC learning model can expand in a new direction. "Putting Sugar on a stick is absolutely the right thing to do," Negroponte added.

By David Talbot

Friday, June 26, 2009

Michael Jackson :1958 - 2009

Michael Jackson leaves a larger than life legacy. His music serves as a beton from liking music to the the intricate magic of relishing the moment of excelent music. Living the message of the song and embracing the wonderfulness of the lyrics and tunes that was related to us in a profound way throught the magic of his vocals. He touched many across the world. His music transcended to the far corners of the world and brought happiness to despair and hopelessness. May his soul rest in peace.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

10 Cloud Computing Companies to Watch

Mon, May 18, 2009 — Network World — Cloud computing is spreading through the IT world like wildfire, with innovative start-ups and established vendors alike clamoring for customer attention.

Generally speaking, cloud providers fall into three categories: software-as-a-service providers; infrastructure-as-a-service vendors that offer Web-based access to storage and computing power; and platform-as-a-service vendors that give developers the tools to build and host Web applications. Here are 10 cloud companies that are worth watching.

Company name: Amazon
Founded: 1994

Location: Seattle

Cloud offering: Amazon Web Services, a half-dozen services including the Elastic Compute Cloud, for computing capacity, and the Simple Storage Service, for on-demand storage capacity.

Why we're watching it: Amazon is one of the true innovators in Web-based computing, offering pay-as-you-go access to virtual servers and data storage space. In addition to these core offerings, Amazon offers the SimpleDB (a database Web service); the CloudFront (a Web service for content delivery); and the Simple Queue Service (a hosted service for storing messages as they travel between computers). By launching the Elastic Compute Cloud in 2006, well before most of its competitors, Amazon has become almost synonymous with "cloud computing." But criticisms are starting to pop up regarding Amazon's reliability and service-level agreements.

CEO: Jeffrey Bezos, Amazon's founder, was previously a financial analyst.

How Amazon got into cloud computing: One of the largest Web properties in existence, Amazon always excelled at delivering computing capacity at a large scale to its own employees and to consumers via the Amazon shopping site. Offering raw computing capacity over the Internet was perhaps a natural step for Amazon, which had only to leverage its own expertise and massive data center infrastructure in order to become one of the earliest major cloud providers.

Who uses the service: Tens of thousands of small businesses, enterprises and individual users. Prominent customers include the New York Times, Washington Post and Eli Lilly.

Company name: AT&T

Founded: 1983

Location: Dallas

Cloud offering: Synaptic Hosting, an application hosting service that offers pay-as-you-go access to virtual servers and storage integrated with security and networking functions.

Why we're watching it: Amazon and Google may be the biggest names in cloud computing today, but don't discount the built-in advantage telcos have when it comes to infrastructure. "Building publicly accessible cloud infrastructure is not inexpensive or uncomplicated," Pund-IT analyst Charles King says. "The service providers already have those infrastructures in place – the data center assets, connectivity and billing."

While AT&T has a head start, rival Verizon offers cloud-based security services and seems poised to make a larger run at the cloud market later this year

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Virgin Media developing unlimited DRM-less music service

Yet another music distribution service is in the works, this time from industry giant Virgin Media Incorporated. In cahoots with the world’s largest label, Universal Music Group, Virgin plans to unveil their DRM-free music subscription service in the UK prior to the coming holiday season. The company is presently holding discussions with other labels and publishers as well.

There is no officially recognized pricing but, sources familiar with the service are hinting at a charge of £10-£15 ($16.30-$24.50). Virgin Media claims its broadband network will be the world’s first subscription service to offer unlimited DRM-less music. The company’s network serves about four million residential consumers. Universal Music’s chairman, Lucian Grainge, sees this as “completely ground breaking” – don’t ask me how.

The company acknowledges that it faces an uphill battle. Its service will be up against two well-established competitors: iTunes, and the pirate community. Downloading music illegally is now, from my perspective, socially acceptable among most crowds and Apple doesn’t need me to tell you how large iTunes has become. Furthermore, parents buying music for their children’s MP3 player probably can’t justify a monthly fee, and someone who downloads vast quantities of music likely already steals it.

by Matthew DeCarlo on June 15, 2009, 3:35 PM

Windows 7 Starter Edition priced at $45-55?

With Windows 7 on the horizon and the netbook market still going strong, Microsoft has its sights set on targeting even this low budget segment. It already removed the three-application limit which plagued the Starter Edition of its forthcoming operating system, after receiving a fair share of criticism, but another major factor has yet to be addressed: pricing. Unfortunately, things aren’t looking as promising on that front.

Although the software giant has yet to publicly disclose its pricing for Windows 7 licenses, DigiTimes is reporting the “netbook version” is currently priced at $45-55. This doesn’t seem like a big deal on the surface, but could be prohibitively high compared to the $15-35 XP costs for netbooks, a segment where margins are already low. First-tier vendors are reportedly still negotiating with Microsoft hoping to bring the price down. Others are looking at tying their upcoming N450-based offerings to Windows 7 and charging a premium, while using full-fledged copies of Windows XP for current N270- and N280-based machines.

Microsoft has so far managed to keep Linux from grabbing much of the netbook market by selling XP for cheap. As contenders from Android to Moblin jump into the market, they might need to consider a similar strategy with Windows 7 if the company wants it to become the de facto OS on next-gen netbooks. Then again, it might not matter much in the end, with many arguing that the ‘netbook’ term won’t even exist for much longer due to the blurring lines between these low-cost machines and entry level notebooks.

By Jose Vilches, TechSpot.com
Published: June 15, 2009, 4:45 PM EST