Snapchat stock tanks – Can smaller services compete?


Can smaller services compete against juggernauts like Facebook? Snap’s stock took a tumble. Built on “cool”, how can this service transition to monetizing without alienating users?

Continue reading “Snapchat stock tanks – Can smaller services compete?”

AT&T to Beat Google in Offering Gigabit Fiber in North Carolina

How fast is 1 GBPS?Competition is good. Even the threat of competition from companies like Google is spurring more traditional carriers and ISP’s to step up their game. Pricing is getting better in “threat” areas, and speeds are starting to improve. Google doesn’t even need their own Fiber service to be profitable for this experiment to be successful, so long as potential Google customers have access to the next generation of web, media, and advertising services.

Case in point, AT&T is already putting out rumblings of offering their GigaPower Fiber to another community outside of Texas. Residents in North Carolina might soon their broadband increase to 1Gbps over the next two years. This investment should also improve their LTE and WiFi hotspot offerings in the area.

Coming on the heels of Google’s announcement that they were examining expanding Fiber to 33 new cities over the coming years, traditional ISP’s are starting to take the threat seriously. It’s no longer a passing oddity, and are starting to proactively respond. Consumers only stand to benefit so long as competition is increased.

Full AT&T PR below.

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Google Completes Stock Split – Shares Trading at $570

google stock price split april 2014Google’s been planning on splitting this stock for a while now, and following several months of trading at over $1100, the split has finally arrived.

Today, in a straight up 2 for 1, if you’re lucky enough to own some Google Stock, you just doubled your shares. This split also creates a “Class C” stock where people can own a chunk of the company but forfeit voting rights. It’s a smart play for Google as it helps insure company control as stocks are often used for acquisitions and employee compensation.

It’s not without a little controversy however as some analysts are claiming this move is intended to dilute voting rights.

Shares split today and traded as high as 580, at the time of this writing they’ve settled down to the high 560’s. Do you own any Google stock? Will this split affect your investments?

Newegg Premier Membership aims to take a bite out of Amazon Prime

newegg premier membership serviceOh, the time I used to spend putting together dream workstations on Newegg. Looks like they’re getting tired of people like me putting products in our shopping carts, and are looking for ways to make it easier for us to push “Ship”.

Welcome Newegg Premier, a $49.99 per year membership fee gets you three day shipping (better rates on 2-day and overnight), no restocking fees on returns with complimentary shipping, early notifications on sales and events, and exclusive deals. You can sign up for a free 30 day trial, and Newegg will throw in 100 “Egg Points” (worth a dollar towards your next purchase).

Newegg will have to combat Amazon’s included media services, but the timing on this move could be pretty good, as there are rumors Amazon might be increasing the price of Prime. For people focused on the shopping experience, this could be an interesting (potentially cheaper) alternative.

Newegg Premier Membership

UPDATED: Sony’s Next Stage? Reforming TV Business, Selling Off PC Division

Sony logo*** Update: Enobong Etteh from joined me on Youtube to discuss all the Sony news announced today (embedded below)*** 

It seems to be the major challenge for large corporations, adapting to current market trends, and attempting reorganization.

Sony has their hands in a lot of different tech markets: phones, PC’s, TV’s, Cameras, Playstations, and media (TV/Films/Music). That’s a big ship to steer, and they’ve attempted two previous company wide reorganizations in 2009 and 2012. Ahead of their positive third quarter financial statement showing a 20% revenue increase over the same period in 2012 thanks to the PS4. Unfortunately they’re forecasting a shocking $1 Billion loss for the fiscal year, and now  Sony is announcing their next major corporate reform plans.

Their intention with TV’s is to reduce R&D costs, and streamline manufacturing. They’ve reduced losses from this division from 147 Billion Yen to 69 Billion Yen over the course of a year, and they estimate they should be able to reduce that further to 25 Billion Yen ending fiscal year 2013. They don’t expect the TV division to become profitable until early 2015 (ending fiscal year 2014).

sony-vaio-flip-575x368More drastic, Sony is also selling off their VAIO PC division. Rumors pointed to VIZIO or Lenovo possibly acquiring them, but it’s now official that Sony will be selling to Japan Industrial Partners Inc.  It’s unknown how much the PC line will be sold for. Sony will cease design and production of new PC models after the current announced line up of PC’s is released this Spring.

On top of these measures, Sony will also be cutting 5000 jobs in response to this new poor forecast. In early trading this morning Sony stock is up almost 5% following the announcements.

Enobong Etteh from joined me in a Google Hangout to discuss the announcements:

Full Sony press release below.

Continue reading “UPDATED: Sony’s Next Stage? Reforming TV Business, Selling Off PC Division”

Microsoft names Satya Nadella CEO, Gates steps down as Chairman

satya nadella microsoft ceoIt’s official! The rumors and speculation can finally end. Satya Nadella has been named the third CEO of Microsoft as Ballmer exits.

46 year old Nadella was born in Hyderabad, India, and has been with Microsoft for 22 years. He comes from Microsoft’s Servers and Tools Business, where he pushed cloud initiatives, supporting many other divisions within Microsoft including XBox, Bing, Office, and more. He’s an interesting pick, as his background would suggest Microsoft is focusing on bringing more cloud integration to consumer products. I personally hope to see more unification between various products, and cloud data is going to be key in delivering on a “One OS Per Person” strategy.

A New Chairman of the Board…

Bill Gates is also stepping down from his position of Chairman, and will be moving to a new position on the board. He’ll be “Founder and Technology Advisor”, and will be working directly with Nadella in shaping future Microsoft strategies.

John W Thompson Microsoft ChairmanJohn W. Thompson of Virtual Instruments (former CEO of Symantec, and former General Manager of IBM Americas) will move into the Chairman position on Microsoft’s Board of Directors. This appointment further reinforces their focus on cloud computing.

Following news of the announcement, trading has been quietly positive. At the time of this post, MSFT was up almost two tenths on the NASDAQ.

Microsoft has put together a wonderful Welcome Page for Nadella’s announcement with interviews and video, and you can read the full press release below.

Continue reading “Microsoft names Satya Nadella CEO, Gates steps down as Chairman”

AT&T Releases new cheaper Family Plans with focus on data

ATT logoAT&T’s Mobile Share plans have been criticized in the past for being too confusing. It looks like they’re working to improve that situation while offering up less expensive plans for families to share data.

Rather than having a bunch of sliding scales, picking how much data, how many texts, how many minutes, this new base plan picks all of that for you. The only thing you need to pick is the number of phones you’ll be activating.

All plans now come with Unlimited Talk & Text and 10GB of Data. Starting with two lines for $130 a month, and climbing up to five lines for $175. Each additional line after that fifth is an additional $15. Much easier to understand, and depending on your data requirements, potentially less expensive as well.

ATT Family Plan Rates

What’s interesting is how AT&T is positioning this new plan. Continue reading “AT&T Releases new cheaper Family Plans with focus on data”

Updated: Lenovo to buy Motorola from Google for $3 Billion!

lenovo-logo-1Well now that the dust has settled a bit, we can actually take a closer look at some of the details of this proposed deal. Though it was kind of funny how many corporate experts came flocking out of various corners of the internet following the freakish suddenness of this announcement.

The Motorola that Lenovo will acquire will be a very different animal than the one that Google purchased for $12.5 Billion. Firstly, there’s no set-top division. That was sold to Arris Group for $2.35 Billion.

We also know that the experimental division of Motorola responsible for the modular Project Ara will be staying with Google. As will most of the patents they acquired in buying Moto. Lenovo will receive all of the Motorola branding and trademarks. Not too shabby as they’ll instantly become the number three Android manufacturer.

Lenovo will also receive a patent licensing deal. The timing on this makes perfect sense when placed next to the deal Samsung and Google hammered out recently. Google is making a tremendous amount of patent material available to the top Android manufacturer, and the number one PC manufacturer (who also happens to be making a play for more of the mobile market). Lenovo and Samsung get more IP weapons, and Google gets a Samsung less focused on altering Android and a new home for Moto for them to keep stave off any perception of impropriety. Lenovo gets a great brand with a lot of history, and like IBM’s Thinkpads, Lenovo is proving itself very capable of reviving old brands. My histrionic speculation below doesn’t feel like it was TOO far off the mark…

So why aren’t I happier about this? Rationally I know this is probably the best possible move for all parties involved. I think I’m somewhat disappointed on Motorola’s behalf. It takes a long time to incorporate a company following a buy out. We were just starting to see the fruits of a newer, leaner, meaner Moto. The Moto X was a terrific handset, and Moto G was the best possible Android answer to the onslaught of low cost Windows Phones like the Lumia 520.

Now little Moto has to move to a new home. I’m very confident Lenovo will be a solid keeper for the beleaguered brand, but I’m bummed seeing anything which might interrupt the little bit of momentum that we’ve started to see.

And while this makes fantastic business sense for Google, both from a revenue standpoint and to maintain good relationships with other manufacturers, it makes me feel like this entire procedure really was a cynical grab for a patent portfolio. The very accusations I defended Google from back in 2012. I don’t like being wrong like that.

More details on the Motorola Blog and Lenovo’s Press Release. My original article below. Continue reading “Updated: Lenovo to buy Motorola from Google for $3 Billion!”