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America Online

AOL Lays Off 450 In California 389

bmarklein writes "AOL has laid off 450 in California. The former Netscape campus is going from 675 employees to 300. The San Francisco office, which they obtained when they acquired Spinner (now Radio@AOL), and which housed Nullsoft after their acquisition by AOL, is being closed along with an office in San Diego. 100 employees have been offered jobs in Virginia or New York. No word on how this affects products like WinAmp. Justin, are you out there?"
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AOL Lays Off 450 In California

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  • Woah! (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 10, 2003 @09:48AM (#7679336)
    That has to be a good .03% of their workforce.

    Slow day already?
    • Re:Woah! (Score:3, Informative)

      by PipianJ ( 574459 )
      Actually, it's 2% of their workforce [yahoo.com].
    • Re:Woah! (Score:5, Funny)

      by fuzzix ( 700457 ) <flippy@example.com> on Wednesday December 10, 2003 @09:55AM (#7679405) Journal
      "OMG d00d LOL!! ur fird!!!11"

      2% of their workforce got this over AIM...
  • surprised? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 10, 2003 @09:48AM (#7679340)
    Hardly a surprise given their sudden lack of enthusiam for non-microsoft products, now they've kissed and made up with Redmond.

    Anyone would wonder if Winamp and Netscape were just tools to help them get their way.

    Go mozilla...
    • Re:surprised? (Score:3, Insightful)

      by rf0 ( 159958 ) *
      Well I wouldn't be surpised if winamp was sold to microsoft and they merged it into media player, or just killed it. As for Netscape commercially it might be dead however mozilla is still going strong

      Rus
    • Re:surprised? (Score:2, Insightful)

      by thales ( 32660 )
      "Anyone would wonder if Winamp and Netscape were just tools to help them get their way."

      To an extent they were always bargining chips, but the real change came when the TW people found out that they got screwed in the merger and won a sucessful fight to take control of the company including the former AOL holdings. The people who are now running the AOL holdings are from outside of the software industry, with no experiance of Microsoft's tactics. They just see it as a choice between an alliance with a com
      • Re:surprised? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by wawannem ( 591061 ) on Wednesday December 10, 2003 @11:18AM (#7680007) Homepage
        but the real change came when the TW people found out that they got screwed in the merger

        Why is it that every time someone uses a phrase similar to this one, they get modded up insightful? I am voiding my mod points right now to respond to this uninsightful BS.

        TW was not a clear 'victim' in the merger... So the stock fell... Is that AOL's fault? Everyone's stock has fallen since the late 90s. If you think that the entertainment industry wasn't hit, take a look at the following graphs:
        Disney [yahoo.com]
        Viacom [yahoo.com]

        So, just because the stock tumbles, it is AOL's fault? It looks to me that TW stock probably would have fallen just as well... Has anyone ever thought for just a second that maybe AOL was the victim? I mean, didn't TW accept the terms of the merger because they were in debt up to their neck? In fact IIUC, a great deal of AOLTW's current debt is left over from TW pre-merger. So the bubble burst before AOL could pay it down for them, does that make TW a victim (or a bunch of whiners)?

        I have a vested interest in TW, but I don't think AOL bashing does any good. It also seems like this is just another case of people letting the press think for them, and not doing any research on their own.

        One note I will make though, is that the AOL management was inexperienced compared to the TW management, and the company is in good hands now with the previous TW management in charge (Dick Parsons, et al.). But that doesn't mean it was a fight to push AOL mgmt out because AOL screwed TW, I think that the board just saw the value of TW mgmt experience and moved them up the ladder.
        • Re:surprised? (Score:3, Interesting)

          by thales ( 32660 )
          When that merger happened I was amazed that the TW management was willing to trade stock that represented the very real assets that TW held for overinflated dot.com shares that had a lot of hype and damn few real assets behind them.

          All stocks went down after the 90s buble burst in 2000, but if AOL had remained independant it would have sunk like a rock instead of dragging AOL/TW even lower than the general decline. You might also note that the bloodletting included dumping TW people that played key roles
          • Re:surprised? (Score:4, Insightful)

            by wawannem ( 591061 ) on Wednesday December 10, 2003 @12:04PM (#7680454) Homepage
            damn few real assets behind them ?????

            You consider millions, I repeat, MILLIONS of customers damn few real assets?

            Everyone forgets that this is real revenue... AOL has more paying customers than any other ISP on the planet. Last time I checked in the U.S. AOL was kicking the crap out of everyone (broadband providers included). There will be a continuing migration to broadband, but this will take a while. People like to keep their email address, and the mass exodus to broadband is only happening at about a 5% subscriber loss per year. By my math, that means AOL will still have customers for over twenty years. That gives them some time to find a new niche, or a slow death. Neither one has them dying overnight.

            None of that affects the key part of my statement that the turn around in how AOL viewed Microsoft came After TW people stagged their revolt and took over management of the AOL holdings.

            This isn't necessarily true. I work here at AOL and I remember when we started using the Gecko engine in another re-branded version of the AOL client (CompuServe). I was disappointed that we stuck with IE in the AOL client. However, it was asked in an All-Hands why we were suddenly happy with Microsoft. The answer was never clear, but I do remember that this decision came shortly after M$ settled with AOL over an old Netscape lawsuit [slashdot.org] to the tune of 750 million dollars. Up to that point, I think Netscape and Mozilla were just bargaining chips and backup plans. The TW big-wigs don't run the day-to-day decisions on implementation of technology. In fact they really don't care how we do what we do, just that we get it done. Before the lawsuit was settled, M$ was a foe, afterwards, we wanted to be friends again, which makes sense. The AOL mgmt was smart enough to figure it out on their own.
            • Re:surprised? (Score:4, Informative)

              by thales ( 32660 ) on Wednesday December 10, 2003 @12:35PM (#7680772) Homepage Journal
              "You consider millions, I repeat, MILLIONS of customers damn few real assets?"

              AOL dosen't OWN those people. A Subscriber list can't compare as an asset to TW's Copyrights to Time Magizine, to Warener studios, to Turner Broadcasting. There is no way in Hell that the AOL subscriber list was equal in value to the very real assets that TW held.

              AOL has always had an attrition problem, of people leaving because they didn't like the service. There are Millions of former AOL subscribers out there. They were able to paper over this retention problem during the big growth phase of the internet when they signed up new customers faster than they lost old ones, but that phase is over.

              AOL juggled the books during the merger to hide that a large part of thier claimed customer base were reciveing AOL for free, either thrugh the inital free offer or through extensions of free service that AOL sales reps gave when people called to cancel after the inital free offer expired. You could get AOL for free for several months just by calling to cancel and a lot of people knew it and took advantage of it by signing up for a new free account as soon as they couldn't get free extensions any more.

              You are assuming that the present decline in AOL subscribers will stay at a static 5%. It won't it will increase as low cost dial ups eat at the subscriber list from below, and the cost of Broad Band access falls and eats at the subscriber list from above.

              AOL also did some creative bookkeeping to make it look like ad revenues were higher than they actually were.

              • Re:surprised? (Score:4, Insightful)

                by wawannem ( 591061 ) on Wednesday December 10, 2003 @01:02PM (#7681042) Homepage
                Are you just spouting this stuff off? I mean, some of it makes sense, and I acknowledge it when it does, but *so* much of it doesn't.

                A Subscriber list can't compare as an asset to TW's Copyrights to Time Magizine, to Warener studios, to Turner Broadcasting.

                With the exception of Warner Bros. Studios, these companies are based on subscriber base. How can you sell ad space without a large subscriber base? The millions of people AOL reaches through it's service, and the billions it reaches through it's properties (AIM, etc.). Goes further than the subscriber base of Time. The content of these channels is not so valuable, if no one is buying the magazines or watching CNN, which seems to be the case lately at no fault of AOL...

                You are assuming that the present decline in AOL subscribers will stay at a static 5%. It won't it will increase as low cost dial ups eat at the subscriber list from below, and the cost of Broad Band access falls and eats at the subscriber list from above.

                You didn't hear about AOL undercutting [slashdot.org] these guys did you? AOL will be able to throw their marketing power at their own low-cost ISP, and stem the exodus before it gets out of control. United Online has a small customer base, only a fraction of the total dialup market, broadband is a much formidable foe, especially with SBC/Yahoo! offering broadband at a rate only a few dollars more than standard AOL. But, even if the customer dropoff doesn't stay static, do you really think that everyone will dump AOL all at once? Show me an example of this happening to any subscription based service. AOL has time to find a way to compete with Broadband. If they don't, they will die, there is no doubt about that. What I am saying is that there is time for them to find this competitive product. It ain't over till the fat lady sings ;).

                The doctoring of the books you talk about was only a small percentage of the customer base. We called those accounts 'bicyclers.' We eliminated the bicyclers in '02. And, it didn't affected the books so drastically as you seem to think.

                My point is that AOL has quite a bit of time before they close all the doors. And, my other point was that they didn't 'screw' TW in the merger, and if you still think they did, you have to admit, that it wasn't intentional.
                • Re:surprised? (Score:3, Interesting)

                  by thales ( 32660 )
                  "they didn't 'screw' TW in the merger"

                  The Merger rated AOL as being slightly more valuable than TW. There is no way in Hell that AOL was worth more than a fraction of the value of TW at that time. As to who screwed who, that was a joint screwing. Just how much of it was AOL screwing TW stockholders, and how much of it was TW screwing themselves is debatable, but the TW stockholders did get screwed and they blame AOL for the screwing.
        • Re:surprised? (Score:4, Insightful)

          by zangdesign ( 462534 ) on Wednesday December 10, 2003 @11:48AM (#7680289) Journal
          It wasn't just AOL's stock price that screwed TW, though. There were allegations of shaky accounting in both real dollars from advertising revenue and in customer accounting. These things were not apparent at the time of purchase.

          It's more a case of corporate culture clash than anything else. TW had no clue what they were getting into, and neither did AOL, I suspect. I tend to think of it more as an experiment gone horribly, horribly wrong than anything else.

          I have no vested interest in either one, except making sure that I never use an AOL disk again nor allow any of my friends to do so.
      • Re:surprised? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Malcontent ( 40834 ) on Wednesday December 10, 2003 @12:55PM (#7680979)
        "From that viewpoint going with Microsoft sounds like the smart thing to do. "

        An alliance with Microsoft always looks good on paper. It's probably pretty good financially too until the day MS stabs you in the back and takes off with you technology or customers.
    • Agreed, especially now that iTunes is available on Windows. AOL need no longer spend money providing an alternative music player when Apple is doing a better job of it.

      Disclaimer: I realize that that Winamp can play things other than music, but does anyone realy use it for that? Aside from when one forgets to not let Winamp associate with *everything* during the install?
  • by BillFarber ( 641417 ) on Wednesday December 10, 2003 @09:48AM (#7679344)
    of the old joke...

    Q: What do you call 450 lawyers at the bottom of the ocean?

    A: A good start.

  • Hmm... (Score:5, Funny)

    by hookedup ( 630460 ) on Wednesday December 10, 2003 @09:48AM (#7679346)

    "What we're doing is actually moving some of our projects into teams in other facilities."

    Sounds to me like winamp will have a distinct bangladesh feel to it next version :)
    • Re:Hmm... (Score:5, Funny)

      by Digital Mage ( 124845 ) on Wednesday December 10, 2003 @10:02AM (#7679457)
      Winamp!....It really whips the elephant's ass!
    • Re:Hmm... (Score:4, Funny)

      by poot_rootbeer ( 188613 ) on Wednesday December 10, 2003 @12:18PM (#7680584)
      Sounds to me like winamp will have a distinct bangladesh feel to it next version :)

      Mark my words, if Winamp development ends up being sent overseas, the product will suffer.

      Just watch. Bad design decisions will creep in. They might even go so far as to use an awkward bitmapped interface instead of standard GUI widgets!

      It may even end up being the case where they release a new major version number, and it ends up being so bad that everyone sticks with the previous one instead!

      Oh wait.

    • Re:Hmm... (Score:4, Funny)

      by BluedemonX ( 198949 ) on Wednesday December 10, 2003 @01:07PM (#7681092)
      Ever have the feeling this whole thread could just be replaced by a small script, macro or preprocessor directive?

      #include "thank_you_come_again.h"

      #include "indians_are_great_I_work_with_em_here.h"

      #include "taking_all_our_jobs.h"

      #include "youre_fat_and_lazy_and_expensive.h"

      #include "curry_muncher_7_11.h"

      #include "Nazi_accusation.h"

      #include "Godwins_law.h"

  • New math? (Score:5, Funny)

    by withak53 ( 463555 ) on Wednesday December 10, 2003 @09:49AM (#7679349)
    675 - 450 = 300?
  • what about other aol services that non aol people use? aka aol instant messenger, icq, etc etc?
  • by Lshmael ( 603746 ) on Wednesday December 10, 2003 @09:50AM (#7679361) Homepage
    ...especially since the new Winamp [winamp.com] is supposed to come out sometime really soon.
  • Does affect Nullsoft (Score:5, Informative)

    by RussGarrett ( 90459 ) <russ@gar r e t t . c o .uk> on Wednesday December 10, 2003 @09:52AM (#7679380) Homepage
    Two Nullsoft employees (Brennan and Aus) were yesterday. Winamp will continue though. [winamp.com]
  • by ThomasFlip ( 669988 ) on Wednesday December 10, 2003 @09:53AM (#7679391)
    AOL started out in the dial up industry which from what I can tell has gone right down the shitter for them, however they still managed to merger with Time-Warner before they figured out. Now what have they got? Certainly dial up won't get them anywhere, and the broadband service they offer is just a piece of seemingly annoying proprietary software. Where can they go from here ?
    • by IWorkForMorons ( 679120 ) on Wednesday December 10, 2003 @10:23AM (#7679590) Journal
      and the broadband service they offer is just a piece of seemingly annoying proprietary software.

      If you didn't notice, AOL is the leading provider of seemingly annoying proprietary software, along with Microsoft and SCO...
    • so sayeth ThomasFlip:

      AOL started out in the dial up industry

      Actually AOL started in the timeshare industry, backed by (I believe) TymeNET, then got into the dialup side of things after genie/prodigy/compuserve/etc got more popular. They ended up buying out the local isp I started way back when to 'kickstart' (thier word) local usage. It wasn't too bad back then (version 1.0 or something to that affect), but I thought at the time that the other services would trample them, but I didn't really care (by th

    • I think so. First, dialup isn't dead, at least not for a few more years, so they still have several million people sending in $23.90/month (or whatever it is now). That at least gives them a little time.

      Second, they have some killer brand names: AOL, WinAmp, AIM. Don't underestimate the power of a brand name (see napster). They have the opportunity to spin off into other area's (hopefully not spyware). Why doesn't AOL have a music download service like iTunes? They had TimeWarner's music catalog avai
  • by _Pinky_ ( 75643 ) on Wednesday December 10, 2003 @09:53AM (#7679392)
    So does this mean I can expect a reduction of AOL cds in my mail?
    • No actually it's an increase that's coming in the future. They've actually laid off a brewing anti-"cd shipping" group within the company that was distributing propaganda to eliminate the cd's that we enjoy getting in the mail. Thank God they shut these guys down. Now I can finish building my house of CDs...egg-cellent.
  • About the layoffs... (Score:4, Informative)

    by Clay Mitchell ( 43630 ) on Wednesday December 10, 2003 @09:53AM (#7679398) Homepage
    I heard from a friend who works for AOL - their entire internal support staff is being moved offshore (to india).

    i have no idea if this is the same layoffs though...
    • That's okay - I'm used to not understanding anyone I talk to from AOL.
    • For real.. Show you "buy american" spirit and protest or cancel your accounts or get your family switched off aol.

      Doesn't is PISS YOU OFF that not only are these workers being layed off and jobs being transfered out of america, but they continue to jack up prices, restrict service and push cheasy upgrades as major features. On top of that, how can any company keep the word AMERICA in its title and start transfering jobs overseas.

      The ISP land is already a joke. You can pickup AS5200's, Ascend Maxen and o
      • >Show you "buy american" spirit and protest or cancel your accounts or get your family switched off aol.

        If you do this with alot of things you buy you almost will buy nothing.

        Take a cellphone. Where was assembled? Where were the parts made? Where is the head/design/engineering office?

        Its getting hard to not buy a true domestic technological product these days.
      • That's global capitalism for you. National or ethnic loyalties disapear in the interests of infinite growth. A stagnant business in a capitalist economy is a dead one; even if it is pulling in huge profits- if it isn't growing it's dead. Like a shark, which moves just to stay alive. More and more businesses will be pulling more and more off-shore stunts- after all, when they have a market saturated you have to find new profits, new growth somewhere.

        Global capitalism and corporate wellfare are a very bad
    • I heard from a friend who works for AOL - their entire internal support staff is being moved offshore (to india).

      I actually do work for AOL, and I can clear this up a bit...

      There was an attempt to open *one* Indian call center. The call centers for AOL in America have been very difficult to maintain, they have a 35% churn and this gets costly when you think about it from a maintenance and training perspective. Someone had the idea that maybe we could take advantage of the cheap labor in India (this was
  • by Spencerian ( 465343 ) on Wednesday December 10, 2003 @09:55AM (#7679408) Homepage Journal
    Hello!
    You got laid off!
    Goodbye.
    %$##@!
  • Welcome! (Score:4, Funny)

    by Gothic_Walrus ( 692125 ) on Wednesday December 10, 2003 @09:58AM (#7679425) Journal
    You've got a pink slip!
  • by demigod ( 20497 ) on Wednesday December 10, 2003 @10:00AM (#7679443)
    Tis the Christmas Season, I got my notice yesterday,
    though I don't/didn't work for AOL.

    That drops our ratio of UNIX admins to UNIX servers
    from 1/200 to 1/400.
  • ho, ho, ho (Score:5, Insightful)

    by twitter ( 104583 ) on Wednesday December 10, 2003 @10:01AM (#7679447) Homepage Journal
    Merry Christmas!

    Oh well, it can be worse. You could get ranked and yanked, like I did. When that happens, they paper your file, rake you over the coals for a few months and fire you individually. It looks great. In my case, my supervisor made sure he nailed me on my birthday. Another great and integral part of rank and yank is bonus incentives for those not fired. The company was talking about bonuses as high as 15%, knowing they could split the salaries of the people they planned to fire. It's strange how no one but supervisors were excited about that.

    Look forward to getting the usual communist propaganda from the company by mail for a while. The idiots in HR sent me a big fat glossy book, personalized with my own numbers, about what great benefits the company has for it's employees. The only thing they missed in the personalization was the fact that I was fired. How sofisticated, the company really loves me.

    My company was big, but Time/Warner is much bigger. I wonder if the Netscape people are going to have it that much worse than I did. Nah, it's hard to get worse than fired, no matter how the jack-asses dress it up.

    Welcome to the great suck that is the "recovery". I've been out of real work for more than a year. I'm not really happy to have lots of company.

    • by MadAnthony02 ( 626886 ) on Wednesday December 10, 2003 @11:20AM (#7680026) Homepage

      The idiots in HR sent me a big fat glossy book, personalized with my own numbers, about what great benefits the company has for it's employees. The only thing they missed in the personalization was the fact that I was fired. How sofisticated, the company really loves me.

      That sounds sadly typical of the people who work in HR departments. A few years ago, my mom was laid off from an insurance company after they decided to close the office she worked at. Several days later, they called her at home to do an exit interview, and one of the questions they asked was "why did you leave this position?" - which made her start crying.

      Come to think of it, this was just after Christmas - I was home at the time on Christmas break from college. The timing may have been more a fiscal calender that conincided with the calender year, but it still seemed kind of harsh.

    • This just in - the power lunch is back [nytimes.com]. A close example from that article:

      Over at the Four Seasons, events of some significance are on the menu along with the white truffle risotto ($130 for an appetizer portion) and grilled dorade. On Nov. 20, Edgar Bronfman Jr. and Roger Ames spent a good long while chatting amiably with heads bent toward each other while other captains of industry, including Ronald O. Perelman, Steven Rattner and Ronald S. Lauder, casually took in the significance of the pairing. A fe

  • No suprise (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Lipongo ( 704267 ) on Wednesday December 10, 2003 @10:03AM (#7679467) Homepage
    I for one was expecting this. Considering that earlier in the year AOL Time Warner decided to change its name back to just Time Warner. It is common knowledge that they have been losing thier clients to other ISP services like MSN and Comcast. When your user base shrinks the company must as well to keep from losing to much money on having to large of a workforce for thier userbase.
  • Well its not suprising. I'm just expecting an announcement in the next couple of days that they are outsouring themselves to India

    Rus
  • by segment ( 695309 ) <`gro.xirtilop' `ta' `lis'> on Wednesday December 10, 2003 @10:10AM (#7679510) Homepage Journal
    Somebody tell me that little icon fscker running man was included in those layoffs, and also will some of their users be laid off ...

    source http://www.antioffline.com/aolstory.html

    Confident with the US government's standing on its purchases, AOL announced today they will purchase themselves in a hostile takeover move in an effort to ensure they don't compete with themselves.

    Time Warner an AOL subsidiary backed AOL's decision with the company's spokesperson stating "We as a company are please to announce that customers will have the ability to choose between AOL and the new line of products titled XAOL which simply translates to eXtended AOL which will feature more robust happy face icons with a slightly higher 102 megabyte overhead of icons and sounds.

    "In addition we are now ceasing the abilities of hackers by bundling XAOL with the latest in our very own firewall which features will include packet filtering, AOHell punters for our chatters, and SpamGod v.1 for our users who send bulk mail."

    As for the takeover plans include an overhaul of the technical support group which will now have mandatory classes at Romper Room and a new set of AOL for Dummies, Internet for Idiots in 21 days for Dummies, and The Internet Who'd of Thunk it, books in order to facilitate their skills.

    "Customers will also have new screen names to keep up to date with the changes of the net, so a user named billybob will have all aliases associated with that name to keep AOL as hip as ever. BiLLyBoB, xXxBiLLyBoBxXx, b1llyb0b, are some of the combinations available at this time." states Justin Case CTO Operations.

    Along with these added new functionalities in AOL, monopolies will be built around Time Warner's existing empire and the entire cast of the WB's popular will fill chat rooms from 6-9pm and the cast of Buffy the Vampire Slayer will also join popular chatroom channels such as DesperateAndDumbHousewives.

    Investors are delighted to this deal and are pouring millions of dollars into this new venture in hopes of someday being able to interpret anything related to technology. "As long as its on the Internet it must be profitable, so we filled out portfolios and dumped our life savings into this wonderful idea."

    Phil McGroin analyst Meryll Lurch
  • Winamp 3 shelved (Score:5, Informative)

    by Mr_Silver ( 213637 ) on Wednesday December 10, 2003 @10:14AM (#7679535)
    Interesting quote from Russ on the winamp forum:
    How about "never". The official line is that Winamp3 development is now stopped. Shelved. At least temporarily. And here I am sitting here trying to look optimistic. It's not "soon" any more, it's "maybe".

    The golden rule of customer service is: Give the customer what they want. The customer didn't want Winamp3, that much is clear. The customer didn't care about the most powerful API this side of, well, anything. They didn't care about platform independence. The average Winamp user is only vaguely aware of what Linux is, let alone how to use it. Much less than 1% of Winamp users want Linux support.

    Find it here [winamp.com].

    Personally I don't want Winamp 3 because every version I tried was horribly unstable and I had to end up uninstalling it. The only really cool thing about it was the media library and that ended up in 2.x. So, I never saw any need to migrate.

    • Re:Winamp 3 shelved (Score:5, Informative)

      by RussGarrett ( 90459 ) <russ@gar r e t t . c o .uk> on Wednesday December 10, 2003 @10:19AM (#7679565) Homepage
      Hmm, that'd be me. Being rather melodramatic.

      I was rather more optimistic [winamp.com] about things until yesterday [winamp.com]. Most of Winamp3 is now open-sourced (except the skinning and scripting engine), and there are people working on a fully open-source version of Winamp3, now known as wasabi.player [wasabidev.org] (and much improved since the old, old release which is still on the winamp.com frontpage).
    • Re:Winamp 3 shelved (Score:2, Interesting)

      by SuperMo0 ( 730560 )
      My problem with Winamp3 was that for the longest time, it would pop up 6 or 7 error boxes that I'd haev to click OK on to get it to work. That and it was a total memory whore.
    • Re:Winamp 3 shelved (Score:5, Interesting)

      by lennart78 ( 515598 ) on Wednesday December 10, 2003 @10:23AM (#7679589)
      In the past I've seen some pretty neat things that could be done within winamp(2) visualisation. Somebody even managed to program a 3d-rendered asteroids game in it. It's not really usefull, but it warms my geek-heart to see a product with such versatility.

      However: the bottom line is: I've always regarded winamp as a software mp3-player. And when I double-click an mp3, I want to hear it instantly, and not wait around for something like 10 seconds on a PC with recent hard and software for the music to start.

      It's cool if it's got lot's of features, but it should at least do that for which it was designed/intended. Winamp3 failed it, so I switched to an alternative, and many more with me for as far as I know. Complies with the qoute above it seems...
      Too bad for winamp. Really liked it so far...
  • Why don't they cut their advertising and high budget Matrix/Mission Impossible TV commercials?

    Do we really need to see the Yellow Guy?

  • by Channard ( 693317 ) on Wednesday December 10, 2003 @10:27AM (#7679612) Journal
    Cue the inevitable gags -

    'You've got dole!'

    'You've got a P45.'

    'You've got food stamps!'

    . Any more? I suspect said ex-employees will be finding out if you can build a house out of AOL cds.

  • by malelder ( 414533 ) <kurtchrist AT outlook DOT com> on Wednesday December 10, 2003 @10:46AM (#7679753)
    They have also layed off people at their Tucson, Arizona support site...so that should be up to about 2.2% of their work force. So you AOL'ers have a longer wait time on hold for your 7 minutes of support now (;
  • by pvt_medic ( 715692 ) on Wednesday December 10, 2003 @10:54AM (#7679825)
    I hope that their layoff comes with a nice deal, like maybe getting an AOL CD in the mail.
  • by The Lynxpro ( 657990 ) <lynxproNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Wednesday December 10, 2003 @01:29PM (#7681323)
    If anything, AOL Time Warner sued Microsoft. Sure, AOL shouldn't have settled their antitrust case, but large institutional shareholders have been pressuring the board to start cutting costs and reducing debt (kinda funny how AOL Time Warner has $25 billion in debt and shareholders are complaining yet Comcast has a debt of $30 + billion and its JUST a cable company) and they didn't have the stomach to continue fighting Microsoft which probably would've lasted in court another 5 years. So instead of winning a $10 billion case, having the damages trippled to $30 billion and then having to fight Microsoft on appeals for several more years, AOL Time Warner took the $750 million settlement and "promised" to look at Microsoft's Windows Media technology.

    Since then, AOL has been aligning itself with Apple. Instead of using WMA files, AOL has been shifting to support the iTunes Music Store. Big loss for MSN. Sure, AOL has been cutting out Mozilla development, but they haven't snuggled up to Microsoft either. I would be willing to bet that AOL Time Warner was embarassed to fund Mozilla once Apple brought Safari to market (I'd bet money AOL would offer a Windows-based "Safari" if Apple made an official port). Check out that AOL PC. AOL is rebundling Star Office as "AOL Office." That's not exactly endearing themselves to Microsoft. AOL also gave lipservice in the settlement to AIM/MSN interoperability, but nothing has happened on that account (I'd expect to see AIM/Yahoo Messenger interoperability before that). AIM is now available on all the major mobile phone services in the U.S. (Cingular just signed on).

    So where exactly is the so-called Microsoft-love? AOL is still fighting Microsoft, although it is more special ops style than overt displays. And if AOL cuts Nullsoft, it isn't because of Microsoft, its because of Apple's iTunes... After all, Steve Jobs pretty much praised AOL in that interview with Rolling Stone, plus anyone with a Mac with Safari as their browser knows that the Netscape/Apple webpage is the default homepage for nothing...

    ps. Oh, I completely forgot about AOL and Apple's cozy relationship with iChat...hmmm...

  • Incredible (Score:3, Interesting)

    by kortex ( 590172 ) on Wednesday December 10, 2003 @03:24PM (#7682419)
    In my snail mail. AOL 9.0 in a tin box. I wonder how much they spent on these tin boxes. I also wonder if it was worth the jobs of 450 people. The idiocy of some corporations new cease to amaze me.
  • by EvilStein ( 414640 ) <spam&pbp,net> on Wednesday December 10, 2003 @03:52PM (#7682667) Homepage
    That's where I used to work. 475 Ellis St. Now I work at NASA, literally down the street from the Netscape/AOL campus.

    AOL took the "Netscape" logo OFF of the signs facing the street. The Netscape flag is gone. The parking lots are almost always empty and there are several "FOR LEASE" signs dotting the campus.

    Meanwhile, the *old* Netscape building houses Verisign and the old Netscape fountain has the %$#@! Verisign logo on it.

    It's really sad and depressing.

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