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Lego Buys Paul Allen's Zowie Intertainment 50

Cy Guy writes "Lego has announced that they are buying Paul Allen's Zowie Intertainment. Zowie's toys let you animate your own cartoons by tracking the movement of character pieces on a play set connected to your PC. Lego plans to integrate the Zowie technology into its popular Mindstorms products. No word as to whether Allen was selling his toys because of the sudden devaluation of his MS stock. "
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Lego Buys Paul Allen's Zowie Intertainment

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  • by Anonymous Coward
    paul allen has so many millions upon millions of dollars invested in so many different areas (prolly real estate, gold, swiss accounts as well as stocks, mutuals, whatever) blah, blah blah.

    by now, he's diversified enough that microsoft stock could be $0 tomorrow and he could still spend the rest of the waking moments of his life kneeling next to a toilet with Jeri Hall and flushing gobs of $20's as fast as they could, and they'd still die of old age doing it (Jeri sooner than him!)

    What, a toilet takes about 45 seconds to flush. Let's guess you could flush about $300 in $20s with each pull of the handle.

    Furthermore, let's assume he has a solid 30 years left to live (depending on how much partying he does when he's not playing in his garage band or humping Jeri and her eurotrash gal pals) *and* he could somehow keep flushing for 16 hrs. a day. That's roughly 1280 flushes.

    That's $384,000 a day, or $140,160,000 a year, or about $4.2 billion over the remainder of his life.

    Given the diversity of his portfolio, and the interest on any current investments over the specified time period, he and Jeri could kneel in front of seperate toilets, and flush money non-stop, and never run out. I seem to recall that he has tens of billions in assets. This duet of flushing toilets would still be under $10 billion when they start digging the graves.

    That, my friends, is a lot of money. And Billy Gates, the federal criminal, has many times that amount, and has much more in diversified holdings.

    Now, aren't all you stupid fucking windows people who have been trashing Rob's site proud of what you've done?

    The descendents of these scumbags are going to have little or no intellect, no interest in bettering themselves, the "Gates" and "Allen" descendants are going to whore politicians, foundations, etc. for generations to come all so a few shareholders could spank their collective monkey to the sound of MSHAFT stock increases and splits.

    Generations to come, long after Microsoft is gone, will be screwed by this legacy. Blah! Fools!
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Almost 1/2 of it's value mere days ago! VA Linux is at 17% of it's IPO peak. The class action lawsuits are going to kill the companies though. According to www.cala.com [cala.com], "One out of every four Silicon Valley high tech companies has been involved in at least one class action lawsuit following a decline in share prices." Through the hyped IPO's here on Slashdot and allowing just about anyone to sink their entire savings account into a couple of shares, the Linux trio has set themselves up for a massive class action lawsuit.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Hrm, was your alphanumeric pager turned off? Maybe that's why you missed it... they tried to let everyone know, but hey, if you were incommunicado... well, let's just try to stay a bit more on top of things next time, ok? :/
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Why? What has happened to slashdot? I have been here for a long time (User # 2xxx)

    And you just noticed this?
  • probably becuase, despite all the va/andover/redhat hype, /. just doesn't pull any signifigant revenue, let alone enough to justify that kind of iron.

    /. just tailors to a bunch of intelligent freeloads, who, if faced with having to actually pay for something, do thier best not to. it's kind of hard to make money off of us.
  • That post was a reply to an anonymous post.
    You are reading threaded. It's the first post of the thread what sets the order.

    Don't get paranoid.
  • I'm surprised that anyone would suggest Mr. Allen would be selling his stock because he is afraid of it's devaluation. Aside from his Microsoft stock he own's several highly profitable ventures including the Portland Trailblazers and Seattle Seahawks. His income from alternative sources other than MS stock are such that there is little chance he would really care in a strictly financial sense.

    Of more concern to those of us who care about others rather than ourselves would be that various foundations lost TONS of money because of the verdict and the fact that much of their assets is still in MS stock.

    The last sentence in this story makes me want to puke.
  • Oh with the current quality of the journalism on this site it's only a matter of time until a slander lawsuit of some type will be brought against SlashDot.
  • Looks like Mr. Allen sold off some of his stock *just* at the right time. If you take a look, just before MS takes a hit, he sold off something like half a billion or so. If this teaches you anything, it's to watch out for big guys selling lots of stock in their companies.

    Take a look here [yahoo.com].

  • I couldn't get through when using www.slashdot.org, but when I tried slashdot.org it worked. There seams to be alot of name server dropouts on the net lately. You guys need to keep your name servers code up to date. The Bind [isc.org] that comes with RedHat 6.1 on the CD has a known root exploit [cert.org] that is actively being exploited. You need to upgrade to BIND 8.2.2 patchlevel 5 [isc.org].

  • I'm surprised that anyone would suggest Mr. Allen would be selling his stock because he is afraid of it's devaluation. Aside from his Microsoft stock he own's several highly profitable ventures including the Portland Trailblazers and Seattle Seahawks. His income from alternative sources other than MS stock are such that there is little chance he would really care in a strictly financial sense.


    The last sentence in this story makes me want to puke.

    Agreed. it's akin to saying "No word yet on whether Paul Allen really did kill 80 people in a barrom fight eight years ago."

    Slashdot take note: the stuff you print in the story blurbs is Journalism. The example cited is Yellow.
  • "No word as to whether Allen was selling his toys because of the sudden devaluation of his MS stock"

    Give me a break. /. is the ultimate journalistic joke - Rob, you should be embarrased. /. I've got a new name for you all -

    "The Linux Enquirer - all the crap that's fit to print."

    The above is NOT flamebait, despite what some moderator thought. It is a legitimate comment on the objectivity of Slashdot's stories.

    "No word as to whether RobLimo was continuing to run Slashdot to support his $30,000 / month hardware habit."

  • and the first thing said stock market book will tell you is to not listen to people running their mouths about stocks on public bulletin boards
  • probably has alot to do with the fact that MS stock took a hit BECAUSE paul allen sold off half a billion or so. that's the way these suit-types work; they don't get technology, or software, or software companies, just big guys selling their stock.
  • I have 5 moderator points to burn... but for some reason I can't moderate that post (Poor Slashdot/Andover/VA Linux - the truth hurts up or down. I wonder if this is the new Slash one-dot-oh .
  • Will they introduce new sensors to the Mindstorms product line?
    Imagine, if you will, the combination of the Zowie Intertainment technology
    and Mindstorms Lego and new 'joint' sensors that can detect angle (in the 1d/2d
    hinge joints) or depth (in the case of 1d slide joints). You could roll your own
    Monkey2 [didi.com] animation armature. Being able to tell where the armature is
    and how its posed would be excellent for setting up 3d scenes, etc.
    This is some of the coolest news I've heard yet for the Mindstorms line.
  • I'm not sure if the Yahoo insider page is updated in a timely matter, however... notice that they are all "planned sales", not actual sales. That's the point of insider trading regulations: Mr. Allen must tell everyone what he's going to do, before he actually does it. So, he may not have sold yet.

    Regardless of the timing, he's not hurting. Today's closing price for MSFT (even though its down nearly 20% in the last couple days) is almost exactly the same as it was late last year on the day that the DOJ news hit.
  • The page that I first say when I got the 500 error was basically citeing another individual who was (I think at least) not directly related to the main core of slashdot developers. Also considering that the page was perhaps generated from somewhere else. Some host called linuxxxx.dn.net or something like that (may be horribly inaccurate).
    What is also very interesting is that even in lynx (standard almost as miniminalistic as it gets) it didn't work well at all. And this was after 10+ times of trying to fetch the page (just didn't respond to my http get request.
  • He's one of transmeta's primary investors.
  • Paul Allen has been selling his MS stock for quite a while now. He used the proceeds to buy, among other things, the Seattle Seahawks, the Portland Trailblazers, and a bunch of tech companies said to make his the most valuable tech portfolio in the world.
  • Paul allen started transmeta. Its his venture capital. Here is the proof [cnet.com] ... its an old c|net article, but it shows my point.

  • You can listen all you like, just dont trust anything you hear unless you feel comfortable with their source or reasoning for the information.

    Get your information from as many sources as possible.
  • Didn't Allen sell all of his stock off to Gates a few years ago?

  • Glances over at Nasdaq ticker...

    hmmm...I guess that portfolio must currently be worth about $4.28 ;-)
  • Looks like Mr. Allen sold off some of his stock *just* at the right time.

    What are you talking about? According to the link you posted, his planned sales were on April 3 and 4. On March 31, MSFT closed at 104.125. On the next trading day, April 3, MSFT opened at 94.4375, and then fell another 3.5 points. On April 4, it fell about 2 points. I can't think of much worse possible timing.

  • No he didn't. He still owns a large chunk of the company. do some researching and you can probably find out how much he still owns.
  • I think it's ironic that this post was posted by an "Anonymous Coward"
    Don't underestimate the power of peanut brittle
  • Phfwaar... That's gotta be a joke on their part or something - slashdot on IIS.

    Link here [netcraft.com].

  • So if the mindstorms robot was combined with this it could be aware of its own position? The ability to do this would be a major boon to them. All that would be required is the ability to pass the information from the computer to the robot.

    Very Cool!
  • Check out the latest incarnation in Lego. Right Here [npsis.com]

    Nathaniel P. Wilkerson
    NPS Internet Solutions, LLC
    www.npsis.com [npsis.com]
  • So, now all I need to do is build a giant lego replica of myself, bung it down in front of the computer at 'work' (uni) and sit at home directing it's actions remotely. (Pour Coffee. Make Sexist Remark. Hide From Supervisor)

    And with the general level of caffeine dependance, nobody would be the wiser until at least 3pm.
  • Oh yeah, they bought some penny ante american outfit :)

  • I'm not even sure if I like Paul Allen, the deal is if he cashed in his stock, devalued as it is, he would send the stock market diving, just considering his holdings, they're that big. He's a rich rich man, and for good reason, so no more jabs, i bet he thinks 20$ billion is as good as 30$ billion, hes not worried; he has no reason to be.
  • Yeah, sorry about that before...

  • I doubt it was because of Microsoft's drop in stocks. It usually takes a good month (at least) of just negotiating before something like this would happen. I suppose he could have seen it coming and prepared for it, though... 2nd reason why its unrelated to MS stock: Come on, this guy has to have quite a bit of $$$ lying around...Sure, he is probably loosing 100s of thousands (or more), but unless hes been blowing it all, I would think he would be fine.
  • First off, using Oracle or Sybase sort of misses the point. The idea is that you *can* create something like this and go strictly open-source with it. Now I'm not all that familiar with the guts of Slashdot. But I know for a fact that the nice thing about opensource is that you can turn a pile of junk into something like a rather nice entry-level Beowulf or something of the sort, so cheap hardware for redundancy and high availability is no big deal. And I do suspect that a nice distributed-Slash project would be very helpful; abstracting the database-access portions away from MySQL dependency might be a good idea as well. But the simple fact is that Slashdot usually does work pretty well. IMHO, however, VA/Andover would probably be right to put some funding into creating a distributed version of Slash; the abstraction layer would be quite a helpful bit of hackery in and of itself. /Brian
  • This is awesome!!! But will I be able to use the 100,000,000 legos I have sitting in my basement that are'nt "Mindstorm" with this technology?
  • Duh, that's the point. They're doing it on purpose so ppl can't troll "1st" or at least look a lot more stupid when they do b-cuz they're really 8th.
  • Most likely they will work just fine. Lego is the standard that other companies immitate. They would quickly lose business if they were no longer compatible with themselves. P.S. Isn't it amazing how many Anonymous Cowards we have here who can only write one word: dumbass?
  • He sold Zowie to Lego so he can buy Shquille O'neal, Grant Hill, Tim Duncan, and any other damn basketball star out there. He tried to buy the best players for this year. This however did not turn out the way he planned. So now he has to sell his little toy store to buy more NBA players. Damn the BLAZERS SUCK!!
  • This sounds really neat. I never made anything out of lego mindstorms, but I'm pretty impressed by any kid's toy that has a programming language, or allows you to build a scanner, a computer case, a Millenium Falcon, etc., etc.

    In other news, a new subatomic particle was discovered: the legon. It turns out that there are many varieties of these interlocking particles, and they form the building blocks of reality, bonded together by duct tape. It is speculated that virtual worlds might be composed of pure legons without duct tape, presently referred to as "Zowie!" particles. Yow, are we virtual yet!?!!!

    And if I hear anyone rant about the plural of lego being 'lego' and not legos or legoes or leggo my eggo or anything else, I'm going to stuff legos down their pants. (ha ha ha, a new slashdot trend!)
    pb Reply or e-mail; don't vaguely moderate [].
  • What is the deal with slashdot?

    The site goes down for hours and NO reason is posted.

    Story headlines are changed and no notice is given that they where changed.

    Why? What has happened to slashdot? I have been here for a long time (User # 2xxx)

  • A month or 2 ago, someone on Lugnet posted scans of a newspaper interview with one of Lego's top brass. After losing money for a few years or quarters, Lego turned a profit last year.( after also firing 1000 people)
    Now, that's all well and good, but the thing that annoyed me most was his statement that "the goal is still to be the best known brand in families with kids (before Disney and Coca Cola) by 2005."
    IMHO, as soon as a company tries to be known for its "brand" instead of its product, that's a sure sign of death. "Brand" promotion, such as what Nike and Sony do, only works with a diverse product line: Nike makes sport clothing, but many different types, same with Sony: they make everything :) Lego makes plastic toys, and has a couple of theme parks based on such toys.
    Just my 2 cents. Go Lego!!

  • I suggest that anyone who thinks that NASDAQ:MSFT is really hurting, step over to your favorite financial site. My fave is www.fool.com [fool.com].

    Work up a chart of MSFT stock price over the three year period that this DOJ case has been "haunting" investors and major stock-holders like Paul.

    I did a neat little overlay for all you Andover fans (ANDN). It's been a plummeting stone since it opened. I added on RedHat (RHAT), and it looks like the path of a Scud missile. Up to dizzying heights, then a fall back to its opening neighborhood.

    Some of Paul Allen's holdings, as found on this site [friends-partners.org] on www.friends-partners.org:

    Paul Allen ranks as the third-richest American with a fortune estimated at $7.5 billion.

    Paul Allen owns a majority stake in TicketMaster

    Paul Allen owns a chunk of Egghead Software (150 stores), and PetSmart retail businesses (397 stores internationally).

    He has holdings in StarWave, Dreamworks SKG, and Trilobye Software.

    He has six acres on the not-cheap Lake Washington coastline, 60 acres on the lake closer to Boeing for a business site, and 385 acres for a "family retreat" on the beautiful San Juan islands near Victoria Canada.

    He buys and sells companies weekly. I doubt the MSFT "slump" (gee, back to the December 99 price) affected his decision to sell off holdings in a small one-product toy company.

  • I've seen these things on TV. They're basically fancy game controllers. Instead of hitting a combo of buttons to fire the cannon, you place a person by the cannon on the physical ship in front of you and that character is there. It can distinguish between different characters. You can use the wheel to steer the ship. Pretty innovative concept. Maybe Lego will make some sensors so you can design your own game or download plans and game files. Put it together and then play the game.
  • In the 2 days before the DOJ anouncement he gave notice that he was selling 4 lots of shares which totalled $1 billion dollors... that was before MS stock slumped over 15%

    Looks like hes definitely cashing some of his chips.

    Tech stocks are way overpriced and markets are due for a major crash. If you dont think the market is overpriced then you should go find a stock market book and read up on the teltale signs of an overpriced market

    Tech stock prices are NOT based on fundamentals, sooner or later they will be.

  • by JayBonci ( 92015 ) on Wednesday April 05, 2000 @05:56PM (#1148794)
    Pauls done some really awesome stuff. Whoever took that jab at him in the article should really be ashamed. Transmeta is his, these toys were his, he has a kick ass movie theater, and has done tons for technology. Lets see some respect where it is due --jay
  • The Slashdot "editors" decide to post a submission with a dumb speculation about a possible Microsoft stock connection. One poster decides to address this point and gets marked down as "Offtopic." That's truly pathetic, as well as cowardly.

    At least it's been so very entertaining as Slashdot/Andover/VA Linux fiddle while Rome burns: Today, Andover.net stock hit an all-time low since the day of the IPO, and VA Linux stock has now fallen 82% in less than four months. All the while, Slashdot pleadingly tells us how Microsoft is in so much trouble, and the desperate-to-be-a-geek-hero Jon Katz tells us how irrelevant Microsoft is.

    Note to the Slashkiddies: It's a little hard to believe your arguments of Microsoft irrelevance (or that you even believe it yourselves -- your brave facade is fooling no one), if you didn't spend hour after hour jealously bitching about them.

    "Open source, closed minds, we are Slashdot" - some truly insightful (+5) guy.

"Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler." -- Albert Einstein