TechRadar

Author Archive

Now this has some interesting repercussions.

Who would’ve imagined that a pakistani move to ban you tube would be replicated globally amongst ISPs, leading YouTube being blocked for more than a couple of hours on Sunday. So, if you would’ve tried to access YouTube during those times, all you would’ve got was a 404 page not found.

Probably Pakistani ISPs tried to change their DNS to put YouTube to a non existent entry. That would all have been fine if it was not replicated by the DNS servers worldwide. The guys at Open DNS have though referred this as IP hijacking. Whatever might be the case, this should spark serious discussions on our mechanisms to propagate DNS changes and how to insulate different ISPs from malicious ISP’s or even the hijacking of a DNS.

Youtube is back up now and hope this becomes food for thought for all concerned.

Wall street journal is reporting that Yahoo’s board plans to reject Microsoft’s bid. WSJ is still paid, so below is what Bloomberg has to say.

I can’t say whether its undervalued or not, but Yahoo’s brand would definitely get diluted with microsoft’s acquisition.

Yahoo! Inc., the world’s second most popular Internet search engine, plans to reject Microsoft Corp.’s $44.6 billion unsolicited takeover offer, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing a person familiar with the situation.

The board decided the price “massively undervalues” the Sunnyvale, California-based company, and Yahoo may face risks because regulators could oppose the combination, the newspaper said today. On Feb. 1, Microsoft offered $31 a share in cash and stock for Yahoo. The company wants at least $40, or more than $12 billion more than Microsoft offered, the Journal said.

Chief Executive Officer Jerry Yang, who said this week that Yahoo is examining its options, may consider a partnership with bigger rival Google Inc. or ways to wrest a higher offer from Microsoft. Yahoo’s failure to crack Google’s dominance in search led to eight straight profit declines and cut the stock’s value in half in the two years before the offer.

“Yahoo still has one of the largest brands on the Internet,” Bill Tancer, general manager at researcher Hitwise Pty. in San Francisco, said in an interview before the report. “It confines Google to continue to grow their revenue from a single revenue stream, which is search.”

Yahoo directors, who met over the past week to weigh the offer, will send a letter to Redmond, Washington-based Microsoft on Monday that outlines its position, the Journal said.

“The board is continuing to evaluate the proposal,” Yahoo spokeswoman Tracy Schmaler said today after the report. “We’re not commenting beyond that.” Microsoft spokesmen Frank Shaw and Bill Cox didn’t immediately return calls.

Higher Bid

Yahoo is betting Microsoft won’t take hostile measures to win the bid, the Journal said, even though the software maker has indicated that is a possibility. A person familiar with the matter said this week that Microsoft may seek to oust Yahoo board members should they reject its offer.

“Microsoft reserves the right to pursue all necessary steps to ensure that Yahoo!’s shareholders are provided with the opportunity to realize the value inherent in our proposal,” Microsoft CEO Steven Ballmer said in a letter to Yahoo’s board that was made public on Feb. 1.

Yahoo rose 16 cents to $29.20 yesterday in Nasdaq Stock Market trading and Microsoft added 44 cents to $28.56.

The offer is 62 percent more than Yahoo’s stock price before the bid. The shares have climbed above the value of the cash-and- stock bid, showing shareholders expect a higher price. Microsoft plans to let investors choose cash or stock, at a ratio that will end up being about 50-50.

$34 to $37

Microsoft shares have declined since the bid, lowering the value of the stock portion and pushing the total value of the deal to about $29.08 a share. Microsoft may have to bid $34 to $37, said UBS AG’s Heather Bellini, the top-ranked software analyst by Institutional Investor magazine.

Since the bid is half cash and half stock, Microsoft may fix the offer at $31 before pursuing an increase, so the value doesn’t decline with its shares, she said.

Yahoo is getting financial advice from Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. and Moelis & Co., according to two people familiar with the matter. Spokespeople for Goldman and Lehman declined to comment and a Moelis representative didn’t immediately return a phone call.

Morgan Stanley and Blackstone Group LP are counseling Microsoft.

Google Possibility

Yang, 39, has resisted letting go of the company he co- founded in 1995 as a graduate student at Stanford University. Initially a way to help people find their favorite places on the Web, Yahoo became the most-visited U.S. Internet site by combining search, news, sports and finance in a single place.

He replaced Terry Semel as chief in June after Yahoo’s share of Web searches tumbled and the company lost sales of banner ads.

Yahoo might seek help from rivals, soliciting other bids or seeking partnerships with Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. or Google to thwart Microsoft, according to analysts including Stanford Group Co.’s Clayton Moran.

The New York Times reported Feb. 4 that Google CEO Eric Schmidt contacted Yang to suggest a partnership between their companies. A partnership with Google may allow Yahoo to outsource its search service, shedding the costs of running its own search engine and sharing ad revenue with its larger rival.

Google spokesman Matt Furman didn’t immediately respond to an e-mail today seeking comment.

Regulatory Scrutiny

While a search and advertising partnership with Google is an option, it would face stiff regulatory scrutiny, Moran said. News Corp. isn’t interested in bidding for Yahoo, Murdoch said on a Feb. 4 conference call. That means Yang’s options probably won’t pan out, said Andrew Frank, a New York-based analyst at research firm Gartner Inc.

The U.S. Justice Department is “interested” in reviewing the antitrust implications of a Yahoo-Microsoft transaction, agency spokeswoman Gina Talamona said last week. Neelie Kroes, commissioner of competition for the European Commission, said her agency also would scrutinize a deal.

Google has grown faster than Microsoft in every quarter since Google’s 2004 initial public offering as its search engine won more users. Even after CEO Steve Ballmer’s efforts to build a new search engine from scratch, Google outsold Microsoft in Internet ads by 7-to-1 in Microsoft’s latest fiscal year.

Microsoft and Yahoo combined would still fail to seize the lead in Internet search. Google, based in Mountain View, California, got 56 percent of U.S. Web queries in December, which is almost double Yahoo and Microsoft’s shares together, according to New York-based Nielsen Online.

Alright, this one is no where related to the posts I usually make here, but the internet is abuzz with conspiracy theories.

It all started with two cables from FLAG telecom(owned by Indian telecommunications giant Reliance) snapping near Egypt. And it all was attributed to the a ship anchoring off the cost. But now FLAG sources say that everything is speculation right now. A couple days later a third cable snapped. And then a fourth and fifth one has snapped recently. Too many to atrribute to random anchorings.

Here’s a snippet from internet reports about the cable breaks :

“These are SeaMeWe-4 (South East Asia-Middle East-Western Europe-4) near Penang, Malaysia, the FLAG Europe-Asia near Alexandria, FLAG near the Dubai coast, FALCON near Bandar Abbas in Iran and SeaMeWe-4, also near Alexandria.”

Now, leaving conspiracy aside the possible reasons could be:

  • Fishing trawlers which have equipment which rubs on the sea floor near coast.
  • Ships anchoring off the coast(Keep in mind that the width of the the cable is almost a human finger).

But still five snapping are a high coincidence in itself.

It also creates questions on our reliance on internet. Normally we tend to think of internet as something which is non-physical and forget about the submarine cables which link continents and maintain our connectivity, which actually have been proved to be susceptible. We need to find alternative communication channels so that we are less dependent on large physical mediums which are vulnerable and hard to fix (it will take around 15 -20 days for these cables to be fixed since they were broken).

How much Facebook earned last year? 50 million?, 100 million?

The actual figure is $150 million which Facebook’s 23-year-old CEO Mark Zuckerberg revealed in a company wide open call. Obviously Mr Zuckerberg didn’t think that these details could be leaked.

The Times carried an article on how the leaked figures look like.
Overall, the details are pretty interesting and show how the company is bracing up for the future. They say that they are going to invest $200 million of expenditure which looks like to be mostly on storage capacity. With millions of photos on facebook, that’s sure going to be a good investment.

What obviously doesn’t come up here is whether Facebook would be making any acquisitions ? I myself would think that if they had a cash pile, then an overture(which was acquired by yahoo) like acquisition would be the best investment for them given that all of their earnings come from serving ads.

Its true that Microsoft handles it for them now but given that Facebook’s revenues are all from ads – I won’t keep something as important as that disassociated from the company.

Let’s see how’s facebook performing in the context of SNS advertising market

Here’s a presentation on SNS(facebook) market valuation …to help you understand where facebook stands today in the over all SNS advertising market…..

Read the rest of this entry »