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Thursday, December 17, 2009

Classic Christmas Songs by the Orginal Recording Artists!

Visit Classic Holiday Radio.com

Thursday, July 9, 2009

EMC to Acquire Data Domain

This is the official press release and is not my own work.

EMC to Acquire Data Domain 

HOPKINTON, Mass. - July 8, 2009 

EMC Corporation (NYSE: EMC) today announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement with Data Domain, Inc. (NASDAQ: DDUP), a leading provider of deduplication storage solutions, under which EMC will acquire Data Domain in a cash tender offer for $33.50 per share. The transaction is expected to have a total enterprise value of approximately $2.1 billion, net of Data Domain’s cash.

EMC’s all-cash tender offer commenced on June 2 and is scheduled to expire at 12:00 midnight Eastern Daylight Time on July 17, 2009, subject to customary tender offer conditions being satisfied. EMC also announced today that the condition to its tender offer related to the termination of the NetApp merger agreement has been satisfied.

The acquisition is expected to be neutral to EMC’s non-GAAP earnings per share in its fiscal year 2009 and accretive to its non-GAAP earnings per share in fiscal year 2010. 

Following the completion of the acquisition, which is expected to occur before the end of July, Data Domain will help accelerate EMC’s pace of expansion and leadership in the fast-growing next-generation disk-based backup and archive market.

Joe Tucci, EMC Chairman, President and CEO, said, “This is a compelling acquisition from both a strategic and financial standpoint. We look forward to bringing Data Domain together with EMC to form a powerful force in next-generation disk-based backup and archive. I have tremendous respect for Data Domain’s people, technology and business, and anticipate great things ahead for our respective companies, our customers and partners.”
Important Information for Data Domain Stockholders

This press release is neither an offer to purchase nor a solicitation of an offer to sell any shares of Data Domain. EMC and Envoy Merger Corporation (“Envoy”) have filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) a tender offer statement on Schedule TO containing an offer to purchase, forms of letters of transmittal and other documents relating to the tender offer, and these documents have been mailed to the stockholders of Data Domain. These documents contain important information about the tender offer and stockholders of Data Domain are urged to read them. Investors and stockholders of Data Domain are able to obtain a free copy of these documents and other documents filed by EMC and Envoy with the SEC at the website maintained by the SEC at www.sec.gov. In addition, the tender offer statement and related materials may also be obtained free of charge by directing a request to the Information Agent for the offer, Morrow & Co., LLC at (800) 662-5200, or by email at emc.info@morrowco.com.
About EMC

EMC Corporation (NYSE: EMC) is the world's leading developer and provider of information infrastructure technology and solutions that enable organizations of all sizes to transform the way they compete and create value from their information. Information about EMC's products and services can be found at www.EMC.com.
Press Contacts

Michael Gallant

Forward-Looking Statements 

This release contains “forward-looking statements” as defined under the Federal Securities Laws. Actual results could differ materially from those projected in the forward-looking statements as a result of certain risk factors, including but not limited to: (i) adverse changes in general economic or market conditions; (ii) delays or reductions in information technology spending; (iii) our ability to protect our proprietary technology; (iv) risks associated with managing the growth of our business, including risks associated with acquisitions and investments and the challenges and costs of integration, restructuring and achieving anticipated synergies; (v) fluctuations in VMware, Inc.’s operating results and risks associated with trading of VMware stock; (vi) competitive factors, including but not limited to pricing pressures and new product introductions; (vii) the relative and varying rates of product price and component cost declines and the volume and mixture of product and services revenues; (viii) component and product quality and availability; (ix) the transition to new products, the uncertainty of customer acceptance of new product offerings and rapid technological and market change; (x) insufficient, excess or obsolete inventory; (xi) war or acts of terrorism; (xii) the ability to attract and retain highly qualified employees; (xiii) fluctuating currency exchange rates; (xiv) litigation that we may be involved in; and (xv) other one-time events and other important factors disclosed previously and from time to time in EMC’s filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. These statements are forward-looking, and actual results may differ materially. EMC disclaims any obligation to update any forward-looking statements in this release after the date of this release.

EMC is a registered trademark of EMC Corporation. All other trademarks used are the property of their respective owners.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Sony Walkman Turns 30, But Who's Celebrating?

Happy Birthday! The Walkman Turns 30 by PC World: Yahoo! Tech

Posted using ShareThis

The Walkman is turning 30 as Sony’s media player sales slide into oblivion - does anyone care? Sony has been coasting on it’s brand recognition for years and it’s finally starting to catch up to them. They want to be a consumer products company, but treat the consumer like a criminal using proprietary, closed software, hardware and media codecs (formats). A prime example is the last Sony product I acquired: the Sony Mylo COM1 communication and media device.

I had high hopes for it based on the Sony brand and some of the features that seemed interesting that were not very common on similar media devices at the time. These included WIFI, IM (gTalk, Yahoo!, and Skype), and the Opera web browser. The device plays MP3’s, ATRAC (one of those proprietary Sony beasts), and WMA files. It played videos, but only in Sony’s old PSP MP4 format (SP) and didn’t even come with a useful tool to convert other video formats for portable play. In fact it only came with Sony’s SonicStage software for audio.

This device started crashing when trying to IM with Yahoo messenger, and sometimes when accessing the web. Other than Skype (and gTalk once in a while), Yahoo is the main IM service I use. The problem is likely that Yahoo had changed something on their servers or in their protocol that the Yahoo Messenger version on the Mylo couldn’t handle. This could easily be fixed with a software update, but there are no new updates for it. Sony hasn't released a firmware update in over 2 years. The last update was released only about a year after the product debuted. The unit carried a 1 year warranty, which is ridiculously short for a (originally) $350 dollar electronic device. For all intents and purposes, the Mylo COM1 is abondonware. This is one of the examples of treating the customer like a non-entity.

The SonicStage software that comes with it is a poor product. To copy music along with the cover art you have to meticulously and tediously apply the CD Cover Art to every song in your library, and that only works for the main memory. Playlists are only supported on the built in memory - at least I haven't seen or heard of anyone else being able to use playlists on their MemoryStick. SonicStage can't access the 1Gb MemoryStick Pro Duo I bought for additional storage. You can just drag and drop your music to the thing via a file manager - just don't plan to be able to use a playlist, have cover art, or have any decent media management capabilities.

Sony’s support desk was also not informed about the product. They were nice people, but had obviously not received training or information on the device. The only 3 answers they could offer were: format the device and reinstall the last firmware release, install the last firmware release without formatting the device, or send it in for repair. If it's out of warranty you have to pay a ridiculous amount for them to send it back to you in basically the same shape it left in if it's a software problem, or replace the hardware part and send it back to you with the same ancient firmware.

If Sony wants to stay in the game, they should listen to their consumers and provide quality service, open standards, and stand behind their products 10o%. They have gotten so big that they are disconnected from the people that buy and use their products. Sony, listen up! It’s time to reconnect with your customers so you can start to repair the damage to your reputation that has been caused by neglect on your part.

Support your products, and make sure everyone in your support organization is familiar with them. Allow the community to get involved - look at the success of Apple’s iPhone App store. People like to be able to update, customize, and add applications they like to devices they paid hard-earned money for. Become a friend of the Geek, the prosumer, and develop on a platform that encourages hacking and enhancing. Support open formats like OGG Vorbis, FLAC, other media formats, and standard peripherals like a 3.5mm headphone jack.

If Sony doesn’t get it’s head out of the sand, this will be the last Walkman anniversary they celebrate because they will be out of the media player business.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Farewell, GoEverywhere ...

GoEverywhere was a Beta project at Symantec that researched the viability of a Webtop as a single sign-on personal portal. I used it on and off and thought it was pretty neat, but it just was not a killer application. I found that just having the few online services I used regularly open in browser tabs was just as productive.

Where this technology would be useful is perhaps on thin-client systems that access corporate in house web applications. Unfortunately this is not a ubiquitous occurrance at this point in the IT world. Most companies and individuals are still primarily dependent on a few stand alone or networked client-server applications.

Cloud computing is a nifty idea, but the infrastructure, security, and products are just not feature-rich enough to replace the prevalent IT landscape. Additionally, corporate customers are reluctant to place all their eggs in the "Cloud" basket for any number of reasons. Until there is truly instant, secure "Internet Everywhere", I see Cloud Computing remaining merely an interesting sidenote in corporate IT.

One niche where I see it being useful in the short run is for individuals that have light to moderate productivity needs, or that just want access to a few documents from anywhere. Though the later requirement could be easily achieved by editing documents on the local computer and uploading them to an online storage account, or even just emailing the to yourself, it may still be useful to create them online.

I always hate to see applications fading into the twilight, but perhaps Symantec will make the code available under a community license. That would allow small groups, or maybe educational institutions to at least put what was done to good use.

Goodbye, GoEverywhere!

Dear Beta Tester,

Thank you for participating in the beta program for Symantec GoEverywhere. This innovative project in cloud computing was very successful and provided a number of insights on technical features and usage patterns derived from substantial user feedback. However, the beta program for GoEverywhere will come to a close on June 30, 2009. At that time, the service will no longer be accessible and available for use.

Symantec continues to develop innovative technologies and remains focused on its vision to become the leading provider of cloud-based offerings that secure and manage the world's information. However, at this time we do not plan to release Symantec GoEverywhere as a standalone service.

Account information, including log-in information for accounts you have connected to through GoEverywhere, will be securely deleted, and no personal information will be retained.

We thank you for your active participation and support. If you have any questions about Symantec GoEverywhere, please contact us at support@goeverywhere.com

Thank you,

The GoEverywhere Team
*Sorry if you have received this email more then once.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Why Twitter is Great

I have seen numerous articles about whether or not Twitter is going to make it. I am thinking, "How can it not make it?" Unless they do something incredibly stupid and alienating, they cannot help but succeed. Let me tell you why.

Look at this Blog ... Kinda sparse, huh? Postings a bit irregular and not very consistent. It takes a lot more time and effort to maintain and keep a full fledged blog up than I have. Micro-blogging on the other hand is quick and easy. Most people, especially anyone with a spouse and kids, do not have the cycles to spend writing lengthy tomes on their blog.

Twitter on the other hand, allows anyone to make a quick observation about something they read, learn, hear, or do. It can enable a large segment of the population to express themselves and their opinions about anything that matters to them. It could especially appeal to all the SMS text users, who are used to constant, shorthand, streaming communications. Twitter is your life in motion.

I also love the fact that I can post on Twitter, and have that information automatically cross-posted to one or more of several social media sites. I want to duplicate effort as little as possible. My spouse complains that I already spend too much time in front of the computer.

The only real problem Twitter has is that they have not figured out a way to fully monetize the service. This is a slippery slope and they have to tread lightly. Something I would consider is maybe partnering with Google and taking advantage of the AdWords/AdSense programs they have. Google is definitely the master of non-invasive advertising.

Another possible route is to create premium services that can be added on. Fortunately or unfortunately, some of the areas where this could be profitable are being filled by 3rd party developers. For example using Twitter for job searches, or for sharing pictures.

Maybe they can market Twitter to corporations for internal use. All the employees in a department or group could follow each other and always know where each member is on various projects. This is another niche that some other companies have already started to jump into.

Finally, perhaps they can charge corporations on Twitter a fee. I think this is very fair, and should not disenfranchise current individual contributors. The beauty of this is that companies will be followed by people that are already interested in them. It is like consumer driven product marketing and placement, unlike TV where the entertainment companies try to target advertising to a demographic based on who they think will be watching the movie of the week.

I do hope Twitter is able to find that right balance between making money and keeping it's users happy. It is a terrific service that allows people to express themselves and keep up with friends, associates, and family. It allows you to show your life in motion, and to answer that constant question: "I wonder what so-and-so is doing right now".

Linpus Linux Lite for Netbooks

Linpus Linux Lite is not for everyone, but it does provide a very fast booting responsive operating system that works well on my Netbook. It boots to the desktop in 15 seconds, and is on wifi in like 20 seconds. It is based on Fedora 8, so you can add additional software to it if desired. For quick web connectivity, it's hard to beat.


Friday, February 20, 2009

Google Communications and Media Convergence

By way of introduction to this article, here is an email that I sent to Google's CEO, Eric Schmidt:


I am writing an blog article that I have titled "Google Communications and Media Convergence". The basic premise is that Google is poised to become the center of "everyman's" media and communications experience. I envision AdWords/AdSense making the jump to cell phones, television, and home phones using the entertainment and communications as a service model.

Services including Android powered mobile and home phone (or possible VoIP phones using wifi and 3G), Android powered TV's or set top boxes and radios offering streaming media services, all free ad supported services. Enabled by Google's nationwide infrastructure, which will be enhanced by the administrations "Stimulus Package" with funds for broadband, and through your partnership with GE for revamping the power grid.

If you would like to read it, please visit my blog at:


Thank you.

Jeffrey C. Johnson

I recon it's pretty presumptuous to think he or anyone at Google will ever read this post, but thought it would be a nice gesture none the less.

Google wants to be the center of your world by combining rich media and telephony into a giant advertising mashup. Picture this, you turn on your mobile or desktop phone and call Uncle Charlie. During the course of the conversation, uncle Charlie mentions that he is looking for a good price for a digital media center. Your phones then pop up several internet ads for media center packages and components. You click on a link or say, "looks like Big Buy has some good deals", and your touch screen home or mobile phone pulls up the Big Buy ad with a prompt saying "Would you like to be connected to this merchant after your call?" You or your uncle say "Yes" or press "OK" on the phone and when your call ends you are automatically routed to the stores website and the closest store to you has their phone number dialed, and the same ad you are looking at pulls up on store clerks terminal.

Add to this the possibility of GoogleTV. Internet based TV service that includes web enabled features that allow much more focused advertising to viewers. It seems like a logical progression from today's media-center integration. People like having all their various media types available from a central location, which for many is the living room television. Going back to the example above, if you are getting all your services (internet, home phone, mobile phone, video broadcast, etc.) from the same vendor, all the services could be tightly integrated. Instead of the Ad popping up on your phone, it could show up in a ticker at the top of your TV screen. Since your TV is web enabled, you could then pop up a PIP view of the Ad with your remote then connect to the site and buy immediately.

Sounds kind of far out, right? Well, maybe, but the technology already exists and is being used piecemeal right now. Look at some of Google's new products, acquisitions, and partnerships over the past couple of years and you see a pattern emerging. Many have speculated about a Google Desktop Operating System, but I think that completely misses the boat. That is a small vision that is destined to failure. However, a platform like Android, that is vendor, and hardware independent - That is grand, and extremely compelling.

Google has been consistently improving it's infrastructure over the past several years. We have seen stories about Google buying Dark Fiber, and about their work building "portable datacenters". With the Broadband money in Obama's "Stimulus Package", combined with Google's recent partnership with GE for overhauling the nations energy grid, that trend is sure to continue. "Hey, while we have the ground open working on the energy pipelines, how about we add some of this dark fibre we happen to have here ...".

This is just a very rough overview sketch of future possibilities, but like any good pundit, I am going to guess a timeframe for this type of convergence. We should see something like this by 2020. I do believe, however, that we will begin seeing fruition of some of these ideas and technologies sooner rather than later. As with any prediction, there are many factors involved - political, economic, social, and technological.

For example, I think a smart company like Google will go slow on this path, especially during the present "Big Business Hostile" administration. After all, no sooner than the current president has taken office, than his newly appointed "antitrust chief" has set her sights on Google.

Keeping this in mind, unless the newly elected president really messes something up, I think it's safe to assume he will be re-elected, which pushes us out to 2016 before this type of media, entertainment, communication consolidation has a chance. Anything done before then could run the risk of nationalization or at least huge antitrust battles.

This article is subject to editing and revision, as it is somewhat of a rough draft. I also hope to follow up with more details on some of the concepts mentioned in future blog posts.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

A Plea to Software Companies in Troubled Times

In our currently troubled economy, there is more risk than ever that companies will go under. Those that don't are probably considering trimming the fat on their product portfolios and concentrating on their biggest money makers.

This presents the possibility that some software products may be discontinued or abandoned. My plea is this—that companies open–source their software under an approved license if they are no longer marketing it.

While open–source is not a panacea for every application out there, it does at least add to the wealth of code available to programmers. Why reinvent the wheel if there is already a servicable component to use? Some software is reinvigorated via the open–source model. Some may just benefit other programming projects.

Of course, there is the possibility that a vibrant community will develop around it and opportunities may arise for providing support contracts. An example of this might be NetManage ECCO Pro (though not open–source). Another scenario is that programmers who worked on the product might continue to do so in their spare time, perhaps even with encouragement from their company. This demonstrates good will and is appreciated by many developers and end users. An example here might be OpenOffice (if there is a better example, please post it in the comments). Really, I am surprised that more companies don't do this.

I think perhaps some of them are afraid that the open–source product might be competition for them. Lay your fears to rest. If the open–source revolution has demonstrated anything, it is that despite there being high-quality, free solutions available, most companies continue to purchase commercial software.

Perhaps they do so partly out of habit, but more often than not, they do so because they have a company to hold accountable and service contracts to help with bugs or other issues they encounter. In fact, it is rare indeed to find a company that relies exclusively on free software.

As for competition—I think most people agree that a little competition brings out the best in all parties. It could be argued that many commercial products owe at least some of their success to competing with eachother and with free solutions. Competition drives innovation.

Once again, please consider releasing code for products that are no longer in your portfolio, or to your software assets if you are unfortunately forced to close your doors.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Broadband Infrastructure Included in Stimulus Package

Broadband funding in stimulus plan sparks debate (AP)
Posted on Fri Feb 6, 2009 9:27AM EST
From Yahoo! News
Add articles about technology to your My Yahoo!

The gist of this article is that the President's stimulus package includes some good old "pork" in the funding barrel for his over $900bn blow out. It does not specify how much is earmarked for expanding broadband, but speculates $6bn to $9bn. Here is an excerpt:

"These investments will create new jobs up and down the economic food chain, said Robert Atkinson, president of the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation. His group estimates that a $10 billion investment in broadband would produce as many as 498,000 new jobs.

Those include the construction workers and telecommunications technicians who must dig up streets, lay down fiber-optic lines and install wireless towers, as well as the engineers and factory workers at companies that make the fiber, electronics and computer equipment needed to build the networks."

"WOW, that sounds great!" you might say ... and it does, until you do a little simple math. Let's see here, $10,000,000,000 / 498,000 = $20,080.32 / job. OK, so which of you Telecommunications Engineers and other high tech folk are going to rush off for one of these jobs? Any takers? Another thing to keep in mind is that they are talking about a one time investment of $10bn, so is that $20,080.32 supposed to be stretched over 5 years? 10 years?

All this "broadband infrastructure" won't appear overnight. Heck it will take well over a year of planning before they even consider beginning. Most of the money will probably be eaten up by red tape and bureaucracy before they get to the implementation phase.

Now, before you go and get all "this guy is against the 'Stimulus Package'" on me, let me say, I do believe we need either a good stimulus package to help the nation get back on it's feet or we need to buckle our belts and be prepared to wait it out. I am not really sure one option is better than the other.

I am afraid that the current proposed stimulus package will be bad for my wallet in the long run and will fail to get results. The money will just be spread too thin (too many projects), and going back to the example of broadband - what will happen when only 10% of the 14% (example: 14% of 100,000 = 14,000 and 10% of 14,000 = 1400), who geographically do not have access to broadband, sign up for the service? Either MY broadband rates will go up or my tax rate will go higher to cover the shortfall.

A good stimulus package would focus on core consumer spending and limit its scope to the most critical areas. I mean, does an 80 year old farmer in the middle of nowhere really need, or want, broadband Internet? Or does he just need someone to buy his crops?

Commentary by Jeff

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Toshiba handheld hits 1GHz with 'Snapdragon'

Toshiba handheld hits 1GHz with 'Snapdragon'

Looks like Toshiba will be the first to market with a smart phone running a 1GHz CPU! Of course you need every bit of that 1GHz to make Windows Mobile appear to run normally.

I would be first in line to buy one of these with Google's Android or Palm Pre's WebOS. It would also be a great fit for a MID, or for a Netbook based on Linux or another alternative operating system. I would love to see Haiku or AROS run on this chip. It would make for a very fast, portable, full featured device.

For a long time now, I have been waiting on the great Communications and Media Convergence. This has the potential, with the right software and hardware, to bring this vision one step closer to reality.

iolo System Mechanic

iolo technologies, LLC