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Businesses

Submission + - Startups a Safer Bet Than Behemoths (techcrunch.com)

ScuttleMonkey writes: "TechCrunch's Vivek Wadhwa has a great article that takes a look at difference between startups and "established" tech companies and what they each mean to the economy and innovation in general. Wadhwa examines statistics surrounding job creation and innovation and while big companies may acquire startups and prove out the business model, the risk and true innovations seems to be living at the startup level almost exclusively. 'Now let’s talk about innovation. Apple is the poster child for tech innovation; it releases one groundbreaking product after another. But let’s get beyond Apple. I challenge you to name another tech company that innovates like Apple—with game-changing technologies like the iPod, iTunes, iPhone, and iPad. Google certainly doesn’t fit the bill—after its original search engine and ad platform, it hasn’t invented anything earth shattering. Yes, Google did develop a nice email system and some mapping software, but these were incremental innovations. For that matter, what earth-shattering products have IBM, HP, Microsoft, Oracle, or Cisco produced in recent times? These companies constantly acquire startups and take advantage of their own size and distribution channels to scale up the innovations they have purchased.'"
Microsoft

Microsoft Spends $9 Billion On Research, Focuses On Cloud 133

superapecommando writes to share that Microsoft appears to be going all-out on research in the coming year, with a great focus on the cloud. They're supposedly planning to spend $9.5 billion in R&D; that's $3 billion more than the next-closest tech company. "'Especially in light of the tough difficult macroeconomic times that we're coming out of, we chose to really lean in and double down on our innovation,' [Microsoft COO Kevin] Turner said. Turner contended that Microsoft has more cloud services than any other company, ranging from its consumer email service to hosted enterprise products such as its Dynamics CRM (customer relationship management) system to its Azure cloud operating system. 'We're going to change and reinvent our company around leading in the cloud.'"
Businesses

Red Hat Support Continues To Flourish 215

ruphus13 writes "As the pure-play Open Source companies continue to dwindle, Red Hat has thrived through the recession. Its support revenues have grown 20+%, and account for 75+% of its revenues. 'Instead of the traditional strategy of selling expensive proprietary software licenses, as practiced by the Microsofts and Oracles of the world, Red Hat gets the vast majority of its revenues from selling support contracts. In the third quarter of last year, support subscriptions accounted for $164 million of its $194 million in revenue, up 21 percent year-over-year. All 25 of the company's largest support subscribers renewed subscriptions, even despite a higher price tag.'"
Businesses

CES Vendors Kicked Out of Hotels For Showcasing Wares in Room 285

An anonymous reader writes to mention that a number of companies attempting to stretch their dollars by showing their new gear in hotel suites around Vegas during CES were kicked out of the rooms they paid for by CES organizers and hotel staff. According to sources as many as 30 small electronics companies may have been kicked out of The Venetian and The Palazzo on Thursday. One anonymous vendor claims they were coerced into paying $10,000 to the CEA lest they be kicked out of their (paid for) suite and barred from exhibiting or meeting with clients. 'States our source, "I asked the hotel staff if there were any limitations for using the suite. They said the only limitations were how many people were at our parties. They didn't say there were any limitations on displaying product. We set up our product on the first day. Then on Wednesday a cleaning person came in and reported what they saw to management. From there we got kicked out on Thursday."'
Businesses

Codeplex 100 Day Deadline Passes Unremarked 106

Andy Updegrove writes "As you may recall, Microsoft announced back on September 10 that it had launched a new, open source organization called the CodePlex Foundation. Since then, it has announced Project Acceptance and Operation Guidelines, its first 'Gallery' (a project area), supporting Microsoft's ASP.NET, and two projects in that gallery. But it had also launched in a 'less than open' state with an interim Board of Directors, and a promise to elect a permanent one in 100 days. Problem is, December 19 — the 100 day mark — passed quietly, with no announcement of a new Board or a status update on the other goals it had set for the launch period. So what's up with the CodePlex Foundation, and its pledge to promptly transition into a more independent organization?"
Businesses

Skeptics Question OLPC's Focus With $75 Tablet 159

With the recent announcement of OLPC's shift in focus, many are criticizing the nonprofit's attempt to design what could be seen as unrealistic hardware at an impossible price point. "The OLPC project has become an unrealistic hardware 'dream' and lost its focus on education, wrote blogger Wayan Vota on OLPC News, which has followed the OLPC since its inception. The project comes up with unrealistic hardware designs and price points that destroy its purpose even more, he wrote. 'Excuse me if I get mad at the XO-3 hype. I'm angry at the energy devoted to fantasy XO hardware instead of OLPC educational reality. I miss the original OLPC Mission, where children, not computers, controlled our dreams,' Vota wrote."
Businesses

Twitter Buys Mixer Labs For Geolocation Services 25

itwbennett writes "In a blog entry Wednesday, a Twitter official wrote that the company has acquired Mixer Labs, maker of GeoAPI, a service that helps developers build geolocation-aware applications for Twitter. 'Software using the service will allow Twitter users to tag the location where a message was written,' Agam Shah writes in an article on ITworld. 'Twitter did not immediately respond to comment on how much it paid for Mixer Labs.'"
Businesses

Best Open Source Business Tools? 164

An anonymous reader writes "My wife and I started an S Corp in 2009 mainly to provide small scale consulting services for friends with small businesses of their own (we build them websites and do odd technical jobs). Now that the year is closing I'm giving thought to our corporate tax filings which will be due March 15th. I've scoured the web for free/open source legal templates for hiring contractors, issuing W-2s, keeping shareholder minute meetings, etc, but haven't been able to find any decent sources. It seems like this should be a priority of the open source community since reducing the cost of entry into small business could drive open source development. What are the best sources of open source legal templates, tax filing software, corporate compliance templates, etc?" What experiences have others had with open sources businesses and the best way to consolidate the necessary corporate mojo into a workable model?
Businesses

Psystar Not Closing Up Shop 439

Despite several sources reporting that post-indefinite-injunction Psystar was closing their doors for good, the company's lawyer is claiming Psystar plans on going forward with PC sales — they just won't be pre-loaded with Apple's OS X. Psystar plans on selling systems pre-loaded with "other operating systems," including Windows, as well as selling their "Rebel EFI software" that allows consumers to load OS X on generic PCs.
Businesses

Google In Talks To Buy Yelp 95

There have been many rumors floating around concerning a possible buyout of Yelp by Google, but it appears that at least a few details have escaped, painting this as a much more serious possibility. Pointing the needle to something north of $500 million, the acquisition would mean a substantial step into localized business for Google. "Google has been showing greater interest in the local business market in the United States. It has expanded its profile pages for local businesses, which include location and hours, maps and reviews from other Web sites. In June, Google gave local businesses the ability to manage what people see on their profile pages, similar to what Yelp does. Google has been reaching out to local businesses with simpler ways to advertise on the search engine. It is also distributing stickers that businesses post in their windows and passers-by can scan with cellphones to get coupons or information about the business. The deal between Google and Yelp could still unravel, one person said, particularly if another acquirer comes forward now that details have leaked."
Google

Submission + - Google in Talks to Buy Yelp (nytimes.com)

ScuttleMonkey writes: "There have been many rumors floating around surrounding a possible buyout of Yelp by Google, but it appears that at least a few details have escaped painting this as a much more serious possibility. Pointing the needle to something north of $500 million, the acquisition would mean a substantial step into localized business for Google. "Google has been showing greater interest in the local business market in the United States. It has expanded its profile pages for local businesses, which include location and hours, maps and reviews from other Web sites. In June, Google gave local businesses the ability to manage what people see on their profile pages, similar to what Yelp does. Google has been reaching out to local businesses with simpler ways to advertise on the search engine. It is also distributing stickers that businesses post in their windows and passers-by can scan with cellphones to get coupons or information about the business. The deal between Google and Yelp could still unravel, one person said, particularly if another acquirer comes forward now that details have leaked.""
The Courts

eBay vs. Craigslist Courtroom Fisticuffs Start Today 129

davekleiman writes with news that former eBay chief exec Meg Whitman took the stand today to kick off the battle that has been brewing between Craigslist and eBay. The waters are further clouded by Whitman's upcoming bid for governor of California. "eBay wants to shed light on the 'coercive plan' that it has said Newmark hatched with Craigslist Chief Executive Jim Buckmaster to dilute eBay's ownership stake, ultimately stripping eBay of its seat on the Craigslist board. Craigslist has hit back that eBay used its board seat to glean information to launch its own classified site, Kijiji. Craigslist also claims that eBay used deceptive tactics to direct traffic away from its site."
Businesses

Comcast to Buy 51% of NBC, GE Goes After 49% 258

An anonymous reader writes to tell us that Comcast and General Electric announced a joint venture yesterday to control NBC Universal, with Comcast coming out with the controlling interest. Comcast's hopes seem to be on succeeding in a marriage of distribution and content, where Time Warner failed. "The deal was approved by the companies' boards, and is subject to regulatory approval. GE said it expects the deal to go through in the third quarter of 2010. Congress has already said it will hold a hearing to investigate whether Comcast will gain 'undue advantages' from the deal that gives it access to programming."
Communications

Telcos Want Big Subsidies, Not Line-Sharing 340

It seems that a recent survey of global broadband practices by Harvard's Berkman Center at the behest of the FCC has stirred the telecommunications hornet's nest. Both AT&T and Verizon are up in arms about some of the conclusions (except the ones that suggest offering large direct public subsidies). "Harvard's Berkman Center study of global broadband practices, produced at the FCC's request, is an 'embarrassingly slanted econometric analysis that violates professional statistical standards and is insufficiently reliable to provide meaningful guidance,' declares AT&T. The study does nothing but promote the lead author's 'own extreme views,' warns a response from Verizon Wireless. Most importantly, it 'should not be relied upon by the FCC in formulating a National Broadband Plan,' concludes the United States Telecom Association. Reviewing the slew of criticisms, Berkman's blog wryly notes that the report seems to have been 'a mini stimulus act for telecommunications lawyers and consultants.'"
Businesses

How Do You Evaluate a Data Center? 211

mpapet writes to ask about the ins and outs of datacenter evaluation. Beyond the simpler questions of physical access control, connectivity, and power redundancy/capacity and SLA review, what other questions are important to ask when evaluating a data center? What data centers have people been happy with? What horror stories have people lived through with those that didn't make the cut?

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