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   Technology StocksThe *NEW* Frank Coluccio Technology Forum

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To: Frank A. Coluccio who wrote (31016)8/17/2009 3:24:24 AM
From: axial
   of 46820
"So whaddayathink? Ya think it's time I assumed an alias in these parts? Eh?"

Maybe. It's a question of degree isn't it? Nobody works in a completely honest system. Not judges, not cops, not purchasing departments, not governments, not unions.

"Yet, bizarre occurrences appear to unfold regularly, and when all else fails the answer is: Forbear it. Again and again and again until you've created a revolving door of forbearance."

When does forbearance become acceptance? I don't know, but at some point we begin to realize there's no practical difference between our supposed "morality" and that of the Banana Republics we disdain.

Then, we're not just talking about petty graft by low-level players, we're contemplating systemic corruption that goes to the highest offices in commerce and government. In many cases at present, corruption occurs in so many sophisticated ways that it's indistinguishable from business as usual.

Are we there yet?


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To: axial who wrote (31017)8/17/2009 8:11:18 AM
From: Peter Ecclesine
   of 46820
Doctored Data Cast Doubt on Argentina
Economists Dispute Inflation Numbers
By Juan Forero, Washington Post Foreign Service, Sunday, August 16, 2009

BUENOS AIRES -- Workers at the government's National Institute of Statistics call it crass manipulation: Their agency, under pressure from above, altered socioeconomic data to reflect numbers palatable to the presidency. Inflation and poverty miraculously dropped, they said in interviews, and the economy boomed.

At least officially.

"They just erased the real numbers," said Luciano Belforte, an 18-year veteran at the institute. "Reality did not matter."

The alleged manipulation, which is under investigation by anti-corruption prosecutors, has angered Argentines. But in a globalized world, where a pensioner in Italy might be as likely to invest in Argentina as in Fiat, the suspected modifications are being felt far beyond this city.


Statisticians, mathematicians and survey-takers who still work at the INDEC described how managers stopped surveying products that had recorded steep price hikes. "If something went up more than 15 percent, they'd take it off the list," said Marcela Almeida, a mathematician and one of several workers deposed by prosecutors.

Almeida said managers would obsess about certain products, such as bread, urging surveyors to come back to the INDEC office with prices that remained low. If they were not low enough, Almeida said, "the person who received their forms would change this price."

The controversy has raised questions about the government's official poverty figure. The INDEC's calculation is 15.3 percent; the Catholic Church says it is closer to 40 percent. After Pope Benedict XVI called poverty in Argentina a "scandal" this month, the government acknowledged that as many as 23 percent of Argentines might be poor.

But economists, among them Juan Bour, of the Latin American Foundation for Economic Investigations, said they expect no major changes in the INDEC's data-gathering. "It would be a recognition of significant failure," Bour said.

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From: Lou K.8/17/2009 9:44:25 AM
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Over the last few days my neighborhood as become a sea of orange cable markings. Most of the routes are lead to and from CATV hatches and cross sidewalks to enter into backyards - apparently there is some shallow "Fiber" as well?

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From: LindyBill8/17/2009 1:56:55 PM
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'Big' Hollywood Kills RealDVD?

By Ken Blackwell on StealDVD

A while back, I authored a post here on Big Hollywood about the movie industry's battle against RealDVD, an innovative technology that, if permitted to exist, would allow DVD owners to make personal "backup" copies of their movies, while simultaneously adding an encryption to discouraging piracy.

In September of 2008, calling it "StealDVD," the big Hollywood (no pun intended) studios filed suit against RealDVD.

And this past Tuesday — as PC World wrote - RealDVD was dealt a "devastating blow" when U.S. District Court Judge Marilyn Hall Patel "granted a preliminary injunction against sale of RealDVD, pending a trial over copyright infringement."

It's too soon to know what will happen, but it appears the movie industry has the upper hand. But is it a victory they cannot afford to win?

As I noted months ago, the irony is that by opposing RealDVD, the movie industry seems to be operating against its own long-term self-interest. As consumers desire more freedoms and options, the most successful companies are embracing the societal changes. Meanwhile, the movie industry has adopted a very un-progressive posture and is hunkering down and simply suing the innovators.

Whereas the music industry seems to have learned that swimming against the modern-day consumer's demand is a fool's errand, the movie industry is doubling down. As PC World noted, "It's perfectly legal to rip music from a CD and upload it onto an iPod for personal use; why can't a person do the same with their own copies of movies?"

iPod owners own the right to make a certain number of personal copies of their music. Systems are in place to prevent mass piracy. RealDVD would essentially do the same thing. Again, PC World hit the nail on the head, writing that RealDVD allowed "only a single digital copy to be placed on your hard drive. After paying extra licensing fees, you could transfer the digital copy onto as many as five other hard drives. Disc-based burning was never an option."

It will be interesting to see how this plays out. Hollywood has long presented itself as "cool" and "cutting edge," yet when it comes to guiding their own industry, they seem mired in a 20th century mindset. The irony here is that instead of allowing a legitimate and innovative company flourish, the movie industry will likely find that more and more piracy sites will emerge and that fewer and fewer people will be buying what they are selling.

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From: LindyBill8/17/2009 2:04:03 PM
1 Recommendation   of 46820
Redbox: Is the movie biz doomed to relive the Napster nightmare?

By LAT Blogs


As Yogi Berra would say: Yikes, it's deja vu all over again.

In recent days, my newspaper has been chock-full of stories about the the latest round of legal battles between the Hollywood studios and Redbox, the upstart $1-per-night DVD rental kiosk company. My colleague Ben Fritz has done a wonderful job of chronicling all the fussing and fighting, having reported on how three of Hollywood's biggest studios -- 20th Century Fox, Warner Bros. and Universal -- are refusing to provide DVDs to Redbox until at least 28 days after they go on sale.

Warners has even gone further, saying it would impose the same restrictions on Netflix and other DVD by-mail subscription providers unless they agreed to a "day-and-date revenue sharing option." Since Netflix already has a revenue sharing deal in place with Warners, the translation of that restriction threat is pretty simple: You're making boatloads of dough on DVD rentals while our DVD sales are plummeting, so unless you cut us a better deal, buster, we're going to freeze you out.

Two of the industry's other studios, Sony and maverick indie Lionsgate, recently agreed to long-term distribution deals with Redbox, netting the studios hundreds of millions in revenues in exchange for guaranteeing Redbox a free flow of DVD product. But the other studios have been doing a lot of saber rattling. Universal has already ordered its distributors not to sell Redbox any DVDs until 45 days after store sales began. Fox has a 30-day edict that goes into effect in October, right after the DVD release of the studio's "Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs" hit film. Redbox has filed suit against Universal and Fox, accusing the studios of using their clout to "unlawfully coerce" distributors from allowing Redbox access to DVD product, calling it "a naked restraint of trade."

Napster I'll let the legal experts weigh in on the lawsuits. But I know what the real story is here. There's no way of getting around the fact that the studios who are trying to put the muscle on Redbox are making the same mistakes the music business made nearly a decade ago when it attempted -- and failed, quite spectacularly -- to squash unauthorized downloading of music by destroying the dreaded Napster Web file-sharing service.

Whether the studios like it or not, Redbox is a brilliant, consumer friendly product. In a few short years, it has enjoyed spectacular growth, allowing moviegoers to cheaply rent DVDs from thousands of kiosks around the country, located at McDonald's (where the company got its start), grocery stores, pharmacies and Wal-Mart outlets. There are now 18,000 Redbox kiosks around the country. But the key, most telling statistic is this: The company's revenues grew by 110% last quarter while Blockbuster, the nation's leading retail DVD chain, saw its second-quarter revenues plummet by 22%.

By trying to keep their product away from Redbox for as long as possible, the studios are doing what all businesses do when threatened by dramatic change -- they're trying to hang on to their business model for as long as possible. But once you get past all the legal mumbo jumbo, it's impossible to ignore the obvious: The DVD market is undergoing a seismic shift where many of the same people who once wanted to buy every DVD in sight are now far more eager to rent movies, and rent them cheaply at that.

At some point we'll have a longer, perhaps more intriguing discussion about why so many people have gone from buyers to renters. Is it the rotten economy? The rotten quality of movies? The growing awareness that DVDs are a dying format? The poorly timed arrival of Blu-ray, which for many consumers simply signaled a steep hike in the cost of DVDs?

But the shift has happened and it has happened fast, almost as fast as the sudden arrival of unauthorized file sharing in the late 1990s, which undermined the music industry's lucrative CD model almost overnight. The studios are deluding themselves if they believe they can hold off the widespread embrace of $1-per-day DVD rentals, since if you can learn anything from the tumult of the Internet era, it's that you can't fight the power of consumer choice. You can delay the inevitable with threats and lawsuits, but as everyone in the music business discovered, much to their chagrin, you will only tick off your most loyal consumers. Once people embrace something they want, you can't stop them -- the customer is always right.

This fight is really about profit margins. The studios still make money from DVD rentals, just not anywhere nearly as much as they make from DVD sales. The music business had a similar dilemma. Napster was a dire threat, since it allowed fans to listen to music for free. But the record companies had years to assemble an authorized and easy to use downloading service -- and they dawdled, burdening their few hapless experiments (remember Pressplay?) with so many restrictions that no one wanted to go near them.

It was all about delaying the inevitable and trying to wring a few more years of CD sales out of consumers, since the CD profit margin was clearly far superior to anything the Web could ever offer. Of course, the end result was that a much savvier entrepreneur from outside the business came along -- Apple's Steve Jobs - -who created iTunes, a lucrative authorized downloading business that served Jobs' interests (helping him make zillions selling iPods) while leaving the record labels on the outside looking in.

The same thing will happen to the movie studios if they continue to try to slow consumer choice while squeezing a few more years of windfall profits out of their DVD sales format. But they delay at their own peril. In this era, where disruptive technology rules the Earth, if you don't give the customers what they want, you will find yourself on one side of the river, while the person who's embraced the new business model is on the other side, where all the action is.

Once DVD sales decline even further, someone will bite the bullet and eventually try to buy Redbox, figuring it's probably better to overpay and at least own the company that's trying to put you out of business. It's essentially what Rupert Murdoch did by acquiring MySpace, even if it turns out that he probably bought the wrong company. But at least he got one foot across the river when the ground on his side was crumbling under his feet. My bet is that Redbox will have a lot of suitors in the coming days.

In Hollywood, a town that always chases what's hot, Redbox is hot new face, the new A-list movie star who will make the studios pay dearly for ignoring its irresistible mainstream appeal.

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To: Peter Ecclesine who wrote (31018)8/17/2009 2:05:01 PM
From: axial
   of 46820
Bananas, anyone? Thanks Peter, I guess we're there... and not only in the US.


BILL MOYERS: Yeah. Are you saying that Timothy Geithner, the Secretary of the Treasury, and others in the administration, with the banks, are engaged in a cover up to keep us from knowing what went wrong?

WILLIAM K. BLACK: Absolutely.


BILL MOYERS: Yeah, and this week in New York, at this conference, you described this as more than a financial crisis. You called it a moral crisis.



WILLIAM K. BLACK: Because it is a fundamental lack of integrity. But also because, if you look back at crises, an economist who is also a presidential appointee, as a regulator in the Savings and Loan industry, right here in New York, Larry White, wrote a book about the Savings and Loan crisis. And he said, you know, one of the most interesting questions is why so few people engaged in fraud? Because objectively, you could have gotten away with it. But only about ten percent of the CEOs, engaged in fraud. So, 90 percent of them were restrained by ethics and integrity. So, far more than law or by F.B.I. agents, it's our integrity that often prevents the greatest abuses. And what we had in this crisis, instead of the Savings and Loan, is the most elite institutions in America engaging or facilitating fraud.


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From: Frank A. Coluccio8/17/2009 3:40:21 PM
   of 46820
DirecTV's 'Ticket' to Broadband Content
Jeff Baumgartner | CDN | August 17, 2009

DirecTV Group Inc. and the NFL are going to teach cable operators what it feels like to be a dumb pipe provider. In New York City, those who live out of range of DirecTV's satellite service will have a chance to order a broadband-delivered version of its "Sunday Ticket" football programming package.


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From: Frank A. Coluccio8/17/2009 4:04:22 PM
   of 46820
Agile optical networking reduces cost and complexity in WDM networks
By Steven D. Robinson, Meriton Networks | April 2009 Issue | Lightwave

Agile optical networking eliminates cost and complexity from existing carrier networks by creating a fully automated optical layer.

With consumer broadband expected to surpass business use of bandwidth within the next four to seven years, the telecommunications industry is facing extraordinary change. In a recent report, industry analyst Tom Nolle predicts that "by 2010, consumers will outspend [enterprise] companies by almost 3:1 and will generate over 90% of the offered load of the public network in the US. In other parts of the world, consumers will make up virtually all of the market in both traffic and revenue."


FAC: The part above by Nolle (in bold) [Ref: Tom Nolle, CIMI Corporation, Netwatcher, October 2005] is not something I'd earlier seen quantified in print in quite the sames way, but I suppose it makes a lot of sense. The dating of the citation and the issuance of the article above remain somewhat nebulous to this consultant, but the message remains intact. On the surface, at least. Would this projection still hold true if government and research swarms were included in the total? Who knows. Incidentally, the efficiency and agility to be obtained through the use optical networking schemes by telecoms providers hold equally (at a minimum) true for enterprises and municipalities, as well, in a myriad of ordinary situations, despite how IT continues to treat optical as though it were in a blind spot for all but the most obvious backbone and datacenter types of point solutions. Since the reference article above was supplied a vendor organization, the usual caveat emptor applies, although I've read it and can safely suggest that, from a generic standpoin, at least, it's both sound and relevant.


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From: Frank A. Coluccio8/17/2009 4:40:25 PM
   of 46820
Google Summit: Data Center Best Practices
August 17, 2009 : Rich Miller | DataCenterKnowledge

The Google Energy Efficient Data Center Summit in April brought together many of the industry’s thought leaders on best practices for a question-and-answer session featuring Kenneth Brill of The Uptime Institute, James Hamilton of Amazon Web Services, Olivier Sanche of eBay and Bill Tschudi of Lawrence Berkeley National Labs. The panel is moderated by Luiz Barroso, a distinguished engineer at Google. The discussion includes some interesting give-and-take over tier levels and reliability, and the relative importance of hardware and software in differnet types of data centers. This video runs about 30 minutes.**

**This is actually a 2-hour plus program segment that's been captured by a video of equal duration, despite the author's claim of it being 30 min in duration. Note, the beginning of this video runs idly until about the 1min 20sec mark. Clicking on the screen results in being brought to YouTube where it's shown in three parts.


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From: Frank A. Coluccio8/17/2009 5:36:14 PM
1 Recommendation   of 46820
"Imagine if FedEx and UPS each built their own interstate highway systems.
-- Bob Frankston

Esme Vos, on MuniWireless:

Pipes – the dumber the better
August 17, 2009


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