12/10/2006

C&W consolidates Bulldog staff

It seems anyone in the Bulldog division who competes with a C&W employee directly is to loose their job.

Who's going to go at AOL now they're owned by Carphone Warehouse?

Tiscali already seem to have moved everyone out of the VideoNetworks building and into Tiscali (and maybe out the door). When Tiscali get bought, that'll be another lot consolidated too.

Internet in the air for free

Flying to the US (west coast) is normally not an exciting experience, though you do get to watch lots of movies you wouldn't normally.

SAS have Boeing's Connexion service which is WiFi in the plane and then some mysterious connection to the rest of the net (assume satellite). Normally this incurs a charge, but as they are shutting the service down they're giving it away. You still have to register as though you're signing up for the full service, but it costs 0.0 per hour (billing records in case you do something dubious).

The seat also had power, so the laptop got a full charge.

Download speeds of 70KB/s were pretty good and a Mac Office upgrade (50MB) didn't take too long at all. Round trip times were around 600ms. Most applications seemed to work, including MSN and Skype.

The best part of the journey was lending my Apple Powerbook to the nice lady sitting next to me, who happened to work for Microsoft, she could read her Email and let her husband know what time to pick her up. The HP laptop running XP couldn't find a wireless network.

11/10/2006

Carphone Warehouse buys AOL UK for £370m

Carphone Warehouse (CPW) has purchased the UK division of AOL for £370m. This may seem expensive (some £200+ per customer) but it's reasonably cheap for what they're getting. Since CPW have not yet unbundled many (if any) exchanges, being able to move their customers over and off IPStream is a huge saving for them (WLR + IPStream for 20 quid a month, they're losing lots of money per customer). AOL will already have booked to go into x00 more exchanges, while CPW starting from scratch will be
looking at an extended (time) roll-out, just because it takes so long for BT to get access.

Now CPW have 1.5m + 700K'ish broadband customers, it makes them the 3rd largest provider of broadband in the UK (BT Retail and NTL larger), plus they have 2m+ phone customers.

Though they now expect to make a big loss next year, they've got those customers away from BT and BT will find it difficult to get them back (assuming they fix their support/provisioning etc, which they are bound to do - actually purchasing AOL effectively gives them a working provisioning/CRM system).

LLU/broadband is all about scale and now CPW have it on a massive scale.

Tiscali UK are next to go (BSkyB/BT are though to be front runners though maybe CPW will also bid). Then the smaller providers will be swallowed up.

09/10/2006

Confirmed, YouTube sells out to Google

Google have acquired YouTube for $1.65bn, their biggest purchase to date.

Both companies feel each other will be a good fit.

Intel to buy NVidia

AMD is buying ATI (the Canadian graphics chip manufacturer) and now Intel is rumoured to be buying NVidia.

NVidia makes high performance chipsets for motherboards (their NForce range) which currently get the best peformance out of AMD CPU's.

Intel make their own graphic chipsets, but they have always been considered low-end and underpowered. The purchase of NVidia would give them a boost in this area, and also may hurt AMD in the process.

MAX from Microsoft

Microsoft have released (codename) MAX which is designed to let users share photo albums. Though it can do that, it also has the ability to read RSS and ATOM feeds in a very nice format.

It requires the .NET v3 framework (which will be downloaded if needed) and runs on XP. It wont currently run on Vista.

There's a lot of album sharing software and sites out there, like Google's Picasa, and does the world need another? The RSS/ATOM reader is very well done though.

Google to buy YouTube?

Google are rumoured to be after YouTube making them an offer of $1.6bn. Google Video hasn't proved that popular, while YouTube is one (if not the) most visited sites on the web. Google could then utilise their on-line advertising skills to make YouTube turn a profit (or even make some money).

The directors of YouTube (who left Ebay to start it) can expect to make several hundred million each if the deal goes through.

Google have over $10bn to spend on acquisitions.

JahShaka v3 released

JahShaka is an open source real-time video editing package that uses OpenGL as its underlying strength (which also supports hardware acceleration and effects).

JahPlayer has also been released which supports 2K and 4K video formats.

The system has been designed to be multi-platform using Trolltech's open source Qt libraries and works under Windows, Linux and MacOS.

It's a very powerfull package and free, but whether it will dent sales of things like Apple's Final Cut (Express) is yet to be seen.