Computer Daily News

Daily News
Monday, February 11, 2008
Issue No 4794
See page 4
‘Please, sir, can
we have more?’ –
Yahoo!’s board set
to try Oliver twist
EW YORK – The usual suspect dogs that sniff
around massive deals on Wall Street are now
barking off the same hymn sheet: Yahoo!’s board
plans to reject Microsoft’s unsolicited $44.6 billion offer.
All the wire services and financial newspapers attribute
the response to “a person familiar with the situation”.
The deliberate leak says that in a series of meetings last
week Yahoo!’s board determined that the $31 a share offer
“massively undervalues” Yahoo!. It also doesn’t account
for the risks Yahoo! would face by entering into an agreement that regulators may toss out.
How much, then? The word is $40 a share – substantially in cash. Associated Press’s sources say Microsoft is
prepared to offer as much as $35 a share.
Reuters says it’s the first clear signal the board might
be prepared to negotiate and sell the Internet media giant. Even so, there’s no indication Microsoft will sweeten
the pot. It’s reached the end of its massive cash stash and
needs to go to the banks to finance the deal, which now
looks as though it must be all cash as Microsoft’s shares
submerged below Yahoo!’s stock.
On Friday Yahoo! gained 16 cents to close at $29.20
Friday; Microsoft shares gained 44 cents to close at $28.56,
after dropping earlier in the week.
Continued on page 2
Sol to star in Barcelona
BARCELONA — Telstra CEO Sol Trujillo is to be one of
the star speakers at the three-day Mobile World Congress
which opens in Barcelona later today.
Sol will be part of a keynote “power panel” tackling the
subject “Ubiquitous Networks” tomorrow afternoon.
Also on the panel is Carl-Henric Svanberg, CEO of Er-
icsson, an old mate and
business partner. The
last time Sol shared a
stage with Carl-Henric
was at the 2006 launch
of the Next G network
in Sydney, for which
Ericsson had provided
most of the gear.
Other members of the Barcelona panel are Qualcomm
CEO Paul Jacobs, Manoj Kohli, boss of India’s biggest
telco Bharti Airtel (with 50 million customers), and Andrew Parker, a Financial Times journalist.
Previously known as the GSM World Congress or
3GSM, the Mobile World Congress is the world’s biggest
communications industry event. It’s expected to draw
around 50,000 visitors this year. The reason for the change
in moniker is a growing trend to embrace other technologies beside GSM and 3G – including a big emphasis expected this year on WiMax.
Ultimate star attendee looks likely to be Hollywood
legend Robert Redford. At a special one-day Mobile
Entertainment event, he’ll be discussing the potential of
mobile screens as a medium for independent filmmakers
to reach new audiences.
Telstra’s wireless engineering and operations director,
Mike Wright, is also speaking in Barcelona at a high-speed
packet access (HSPA) workshop.
Woolies IT exec: bribe charge
SYDNEY – A former senior technology executive of
Woolworths has been charged with nine counts of fraud
after allegedly swindling almost $4 million from the retailing giant over several years. Some consumer electronics
companies are reportedly being questioned about possible
payments to the man.
The unnamed executive, 57, arrested on Thursday at his
home in Castle Hill, in Sydney’s north-west, allegedly took
more than $3.7 million worth of kickbacks after awarding
contracts worth $37 million
Police alleged that fraudulent activities took place while
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he was handling a $130 million scanning system project
involving an American and Israeli company.
The executive had allegedly worked at Woolworths for
nine years until he left in 1999. He had regularly travelled
overseas representing Woolworths-operated businesses,
including Big W, Dick Smith Electronics, Dan Murphy’s
and BWS. He has been granted bail .
Sit tight, sweet Chariot
ADELAIDE – Listed ISP Chariot Internet has advised
its shareholders to sit tight after SP Telemedia bid $245
million to buy Chariot’s major shareholder, TPG.
Privately owned TPG holds a 70 per cent stake in
Chariot. SP Telemedia, which sells Internet services under
its Soul brand, has offered $150 million in cash and 270
million shares valued at around $95 million for TPG.
Big day for cybersafety
CANBERRA — You mightn’t have realised it, but today
is Safer Internet Day in Australia as well as almost 50 other
countries round the world. The aim is to increase awareness among kids of dangers lurking in the Internet
The Australian Communications and Media Authority
is co-ordinating the day’s activities in Australia.
ACMA plans to take part in a worldwide cybersafety
“blogathon” organised by InSafe, a European network for
internet safety; organise a role-playing game, Cybersmart
Detectives; and launch a cybersafety brochure targeting
issues in social networking.
Cybersmart Detectives is described as an innovative
online game that teaches children key Internet safety
messages. They work online liaising with community
professionals to solve an Internet-themed problem.
TNZ shaky in Shaky Isles
– and still losing in Australia
WELLINGTON – Telecom New Zealand cast gloom as
it undertakes the huge financial cost of a national rollout
of a fibre broadband network
And, looking at its Australian businesses, CEO Paul
Reynolds admitted that AAPT has problems with a new
billing system while at home TNZ struggles with slow,
1.1 percent sales growth at $NZ2.83 billion.
Net profits for its first six months fell 13 percent to
NZ$397 million (A$350 million).
Reynolds forecasts TNZ’s broadband market share
will settle at 50-60 percent. He believes the new fibre-tothe-node network will bring longer term improvements,
including speeds of between 10-20Mbps to towns with
more than 500 lines.
In Australia, AAPT’s loss from operations increased 5
per cent to $21 million despite sales rising 6.8 per cent to
$727 million.
“The integration of AAPT and Powertel is on track for
completion in Q3,” Reynolds said. But he admitted that the
company had major problems in migrating its customers
to a new “lost-cost” billing and customer service platform.
MON, FEB 11, 2008
Please - can we have more?
Continued from page 1
It’s unclear whether Microsoft would be willing to
pay a premium, which would increase the value of its
original cash and stock bid by more than $12 billion.
Yahoo! has also been making it known that it has
some shots in its armoury, which would include a
search advertising partnership with Google – probably boosting Yahoo! profit by hundreds of millions of
dollars annually. As far as Microsoft is concerned, this
would be the worst of all possible outcomes.
Yahoo! would no longer need several thousand
workers and probably would fire them to help boost
the company’s stock, in addition to the 1000 job cuts
that Yahoo! announced just before Microsoft made
its bid.
“We have been experiencing a higher than expected level
of calls into our call centres, causing delays in the migration plan,” he said.
”While the soundness of the platform itself is not in
question, these delays do mean it will take longer to
shut down legacy platforms and realise migration cost
TNZ is also reviewing its IT services business Gen-i
in Australia, which earns 75 per cent of its sales from the
Commonwealth Bank. The CBA has been applying the
blowtorch to IT costs.
Austar PVR box a hit
SYDNEY — Pay TV provider Austar says sales of its
new personal digital recorder, MyStar, have exceeded expectations — but has not revealed actual sales figures..
Austar released MyStar to existing customers in late
2007 and to new customers at the beginning of February.
The device allows viewers to record two programs while
watching another, and integrates free-to-air and satellite
reception with a single remote.
Reptile rounds
Media events this week for reptiles of the Australian IT
l Tomorrow: Peter Allor, IBM worldwide director of intelligence, Internet security systems leads briefing on new Big
Blue’s latest “X-Force” report on cybercrime’s changing nature. Over lunch at PowerHouse Museum, Sydney; noon.
- Reckon CEO Clive Rabie available
to discuss acquisition strategy and other
matters in wake of latest financial results,
announced this day; Dorothee Stommel
at Text100 can set you up.
l Wednesday: Aussie startup PipeVines
directors Peter Spoto and Paul Davidson discuss contact-centre industry
plans; over lunch at Quay Restaurant,
The Rocks, Sydney; 12.30pm.
- Text100 Australia celebrates 10th anniversary with a
knees-up at Blue Hotel Water Bar, Woolloomoloo, Sydney;
l Thursday: EMC’s visiting content management division
president Mark Lewis reveals group’s technical and strategic
directions; EMC offices, Miller St, North Sydney; 10am.
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Austar has a claimed 650,000 subscribers, most in rural
and regional areas, making it the second largest subscription TV operator behind Foxtel. CEO John Porter expects
around a third these to have a MyStar after three years.
The company, whose major shareholder is US magnate
John Malone of Liberty Media, is due to release its 2007
results on February 26.
Kiwi earns stars at Redmond
SEATTLE – A Kiwi is playing a key role in Microsoft’s
dramatic $42 billion bid to takeover Yahoo!, and is reportedly changing the culture within Microsoft.
With no background in technology, rugby-playing Chris
Liddell joined Microsoft as CFO from International Paper
in 2005, just as investors were clamouring for the company
to loosen the purse strings on its substantial cash holdings
and revitalise a stagnant stock, Reuters reports.
“In about three years, he has helped transform Microsoft from a miser that socked away money for a rainy day
into a spendthrift, and he has successfully challenged
the philosophy that Microsoft, given enough time and
resources, should build its own technology to take on all
comers,” Reuters says.
Liddell has completed nearly 50 deals since joining the
company in May 2005. His boldest move yet, Microsoft’s
offer to buy Yahoo!, could use up nearly all the legendary
cash stockpile Liddell inherited – so now he wants to issue
debt for the first time in Microsoft’s 33-year history.
Show me the staff, integrator
SYDNEY – Insufficient staff, not technology, has
emerged as the most frequent barrier to completing application integration tasks. “It may be that organisations
could more successfully connect and extend applications
if they had more staff resources and budget,” observes
InterSystems Australia in its annual integration survey.
The report found that 26 percent of the cost of putting
in new applications is consumed by integration tasks, and
that 64 percent of organisations surveyed were hindered
by inadequate staff resources.
“No wonder organisations have insufficient staff resources to integrate new applications, when it consumes
26 percent of the budget,” said InterSystems Australia
MD Denis Tebbutt. “If organisations expect more staff
resources to come to their rescue in the midst of a growing
IT skills shortage, many will be disappointed.”
Scan-a-cheque for PCs
MILWAUKEE – If anyone still does it, online banking
service provider CheckFree Corp is rolling out technology
that could mean customers will no longer have to go to a
bank branch to deposit cheques.
Remote deposit capture technology scans cheques
through home computers and deposits them electronically. Bob Meara, a senior analyst for Celent, said lots of
smaller competitors may follow CheckFree’s lead, but he
queries how many banks will adopt it.
Computer Daily News is published by David Frith Computer Services, PO Box 906, Milsons Point, NSW 2061.
Phone: (02) 8920 2398
(02) 9954 5963
[email protected]
Managing editor:
David Frith
Co-editors: John Stackhouse
Dorothy Kennedy
Kate Castellari
Special reporter: Gareth Powell
Design & production: Therese Griffith
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Android phone on way
LONDON – The first mobile phone to incorporate
Google’s Android platform is set to be revealed this week,
a source close to British chipmaker ARM Holdings has
told Reuters.
ARM will introduce a prototype for a mobile that uses
Android as its operating platform at this week’s Mobile
World Congress in Barcelona, the source said.
Google and its 30-odd partners in the Open Handset
Alliance announced the open-source Android platform
last November with the goal of spurring third-party developers to create new and innovative applications for
mobile devices.
Although neither Google nor ARM would comment on the rumoured Android phone, ARM did post
an announcement on its Web site saying it planned to
“showcase visually stunning mobile Internet devices”
at the Mobile World Congress that would deliver a “full
Web-in-your-pocket” experience.
Agenda of 12 for Patch Tues
SEATTLE – Microsoft has issued advance notice of 12
security bulletins ahead of its February patches with critical flaws affecting Vista, Internet Explorer and Office.
ZDNet says the most notable patch is likely to cover the
Excel zero day vulnerability that surfaced last month.
Dell again cool on AMD chips
SAN FRANCISCO – A storm is blowing up over Dell’s
decision to drop from its Web sales most consumer PCs
with AMD chips. It will still sell some AMD-based PCs
in stores and by phone.
The news sent shares of AMD down as much as 4.7
percent to $6.28. A Dell spokesman said the decision only
affects consumer computers and could change.
Shares of AMD rival Intel were up 22 cents at $20.27
and Dell added two cents to $19.45.
Dell will continue to offer AMD-based systems online
to business customers.
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MON, FEB 11, 2008
Daily News
Med cables up and running
CAIRO - Internet service in Egypt should be back to
normal by today after repairs to undersea cables are completed, said an official at Telecom Egypt.
Meanwhile cable operator FLAG Telecom blames an
abandoned anchor for cutting another undersea Internet
cable, severed last week in the Gulf, 35 miles north of
Dubai. The 5-tonne anchor has been recovered.
Write-downs cripple Alcatel-L
PARIS - Telecommunication equipment vendor Alcatel-Lucent predicts uncertainty through global economic
woes in 2008 following a not-so-good 2007. It reported a
fourth-quarter loss of $3.76 billion and $5.12 billion for the
year – as it also booked $3.71 billion in write-downs and
scrapped its dividend for last year.
The Franco-American company had some good news,
however: Sales rose and it swung to an operating profit in
the fourth quarter. Q4 revenue of $7.61 billion was up 18
percent with an operating profit of $441 million.
Flash moves into terabytes
LONDON – BitMicro Networks has announced plans
for a 1.6-terabyte solid-state drive, the Altima E3S320, the
size of a standard 3.5-inch hard disk, and with standard
SCSI connections.
It’s expected to ship in volume by the third quarter
this year in capacities ranging from 16GB to 1.6TB. The
company has not disclosed pricing.
Yo-yo markets still have jitters
NEW YORK – The Nasdaq composite index posted an
11.82-point gain on Friday, climbing 0.5 percent to 2304.85. shares rose 3.7 percent after the online
retailer’s board signed off on a plan to repurchase up to
$1 billion of its stock over the next two years.
Google, Research In Motion and Apple each rose more
than 2 percent. Microsoft, Intel and Hewlett-Packard
– the latter on the NYSE — also rallied, with HP the day’s
strongest performer among blue chips.
Nasdaq 3Com Adobe Systems
Alcatel Lucent
B E A Systems
B M C Software
Borland Brocade C A
CheckPoint Cisco Citrix Systems
Concurrent Computer Sciences
Electronic Arts
Epicor Extreme Networks
Hewlett Packard IBM
Level 3 Comms
Lexmark Mcafee Microsoft
Network Appliance
Nortel Novell
Progress Software
Red hat
Sun Microsystems
Telstra Texas Instruments
Xerox Close
2304.85 3.99 33.19 6.00 6.34 125.48 38.94 16.43 18.66 + 11.82
- 0.01
+ 0.57
- 0.25
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+ 4.24
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23.54 34.50 8.06 0.84 43.67 19.45 17.16 44.57 15.48 12.25 3.15 516.69 41.88 103.27 18.41 20.27 76.25 3.00 34.32 34.65 28.56 22.18 22.47 11.07 6.55 19.19 29.90 18.20 50.87 47.40 16.37 27.38 17.90 4.57 29.60 60.27 4.01 15.33 + 0.16
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32.08 - 48.47
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83.00 - 202.96
36.74 - 51.32
12.64 - 35.45
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24.77 - 37.05
2.33 - 6.22
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43.62 - 61.62
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437.00 - 747.24
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73.09 - 110.01
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4.04 - 4.97
28.00 - 39.63
51.50 - 125.25
3.04 - 9.70
12.30 - 20.18
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