Posted tagged ‘TechCrunch’

Hewlett Packard Acquires 3Com

November 11, 2009

Just saw that Hewlett Packard is acquiring 3Com for deal valued at around $2.7 billion.

3Com will also provide Hewlett Packard with its TippingPoint portfolio which is a network security system.

From TechCrunch:

HP says the acquisition will further its data center strategy “built on the convergence of servers, storage, networking, management, facilities and services.” The acquisition of 3Com also help to expand HP’s Ethernet switching offerings, add routing solutions and significantly strengthen the company’s position in China thanks to 3Com’s strong presence in China.


3Com took in $1.3 billion in revenue last year on its networking and securities solutions products. The Marlborough, Mass.-based company mostly does business with corporate clients, and its H3C networking unit is a market leader in China.

HP  said it made the acquisition to expand its networking solutions offerings and to “significantly strengthen the company’s position in China.”

Over the past year, HP has increased its services and business solutions business exponentially, catapulted by its $13.9 billion acquisition of services firm EDS last year.

From InformationWeek:

3Com will bring a wide-ranging portfolio of network switching, routing and security solutions to HP. The technology will boost HP’s already potent networking offerings, which are centered in HP Procurve.

“By acquiring 3Com, we are accelerating the execution of our converged infrastructure strategy and bringing disruptive change to the networking industry, HP executive vice president Dave Donatelli said in a statement.

HP’s converged infrastructure architecture, announced Nov. 4, essentially creates a one-stop data-center shop. It packages HP’s compute, storage, networking offerings into a highly virtualized bundle which can be centrally managed.

That move came shortly after Cisco linked up with EMC and VMware in a partnership which tightly integrates storage alongside easy-to-manage virtualized data-center bundles called V-Blocks.

Twitter and LinkedIn Join Forces

November 9, 2009

Today, Twitter and LinkedIn joined forces in an agreement that will allow users of both services to sync their status updates.

From TechCrunch:

LinkedIn will now allow you to update your status on your LinkedIn profile and then share the message automatically to Twitter. To enable to enable the cross posting feature, you just need to click the new Twitter box under your Network Updates box on the homepage and sync with your Twitter account (via oAuth).

The integration works the other way as well. You can also share Tweets to your LinkedIn profile from Twitter or any other client by adding the hashtag “#in” or “li”. As part of the setup process on LinkedIn, you can choose to either send all your tweets or select tweets that have the hashtag “in” from Twitter back to LinkedIn as a status update. You can also import your Twitter stream into your profile now, which is also an op-in feature. So your profile will show a “Recent Tweets” section that will include a real-time stream of your Tweets.

Google Sued For Discrimination

November 3, 2009

Google is being sued by James Bara, a Georgia-based former employee for sexual and religious discrimination in violation of the Civil Rights Act.

From TechCrunch:

Lawsuits can be the source of all sorts of surprising and off the wall stories and this one, filed by a Google Atlanta-based former data center employee takes the cake. In the lawsuit, which was filed on Oct. 29 in a federal court in Atlanta, the former employee, James Bara, alleges both sexual and religious discrimination from his superior.

While it doesn’t sound juicy, the stories that Bara tells are. Bara was initially a contractor for Google’s Atlanta office, working as an assistant in the Data Center. After six months, he was hired by Google as a full-time employee. According to the complaint, all was rosy for the next two years until a female transgender employee joined the group Bara worked for. Bara’s boss, a woman named Pam Sohn, allegedly made inappropriate comments about this woman, and ridiculed her sexual preference.

From InformationWeek:

In his court filing, James Bara, a practicing Wiccan, claims that a manager in Google’s Atlanta office, Pam Sohn, made numerous jokes about the sexual orientation of a female transgendered employee who joined the company in July 2008.

“I informed Ms. Sohn the remarks were inappropriate and she stopped making them,” he says in his discrimination complaint. “Shortly thereafter, Ms. Sohn began making inappropriate comments about my religion.”

Bara’s complaint then describes a series of escalating human resources complaints and alleged workplace retaliation.

He charges that he began being treated differently in the office and was required to be in the office when female workers were not.

Facebook Has Acquired FriendFeed

August 10, 2009

Big news in social media today as Facebook appears to have acquired FriendFeed.

Not a lot of details yet but TechCrunch is breaking the news of this major acquisition.

From TechCrunch:

At this point details on the acquisition are still very sparse, but it’s clearly a good match. Over the last year or so, Facebook has “borrowed” quite a few of features that FriendFeed popularized, including the ‘Like’ feature and an emphasis on real-time news updates.

Obviously Facebook has already built out some of FriendFeed’s functionality so there is some overlap, but there are still numerous ways FriendFeed beats out Facebook’s News Feed setup. One of these is the way stories are ‘floated’ to the top as new users comment on them. And FriendFeed’s system is truly real-time, unlike Facebook’s feed which users have to manually refresh.

FriendFeed has also just posted a note to their site announcing the acquisition:

We are happy to announce that Facebook has acquired FriendFeed. As my mom explained to me, when two companies love each other very much, they form a structured investment vehicle…

The FriendFeed team is extremely excited to become a part of the talented Facebook team. We’ve always been great admirers of Facebook, and our companies share a common vision. Now we have the opportunity to bring many of the innovations we’ve developed at FriendFeed to Facebook’s 250 million users around the world and to work alongside Facebook’s passionate engineers to create even more ways for you to easily share with your friends online.

Here is further confirmation from a Facebook press release this afternoon:

Facebook today announced that it has agreed to acquire FriendFeed, the innovative service for sharing online. As part of the agreement, all FriendFeed employees will join Facebook and FriendFeed’s four founders will hold senior roles on Facebook’s engineering and product teams.

“Facebook and FriendFeed share a common vision of giving people tools to share and connect with their friends,” said Bret Taylor, a FriendFeed co-founder and, previously, the group product manager who launched Google Maps. “We can’t wait to join the team and bring many of the innovations we’ve developed at FriendFeed to Facebook’s 250 million users around the world.”

“As we spent time with Mark and his leadership team, we were impressed by the open, creative culture they’ve built and their desire to have us contribute to it,” said Paul Buchheit, another FriendFeed co-founder. Buchheit, the Google engineer behind Gmail and the originator of Google’s “Don’t be evil” motto, added, “It was immediately obvious to us how passionate Facebook’s engineers are about creating simple, ground-breaking ways for people to share, and we are extremely excited to join such a like-minded group.”

Google To Acquire Twitter?

April 3, 2009

It’s just a rumor but…wow!

According to a report by TechCrunch, Google is in late stage negotiations to acquire Twitter.

From TechCrunch:

We don’t know the price but can assume its well, well north of the $250 million valuation that they saw in their recent funding.

Twitter turned down an offer to be bought by Facebook just a few months ago for half a billion dollars, although that was based partially on overvalued Facebook stock. Google would be paying in cash and/or publicly valued stock, which is equivalent to cash. So whatever the final acquisition value might be, it can’t be compared apples-to-apples with the Facebook deal.

Why would Google want Twitter? We’ve been arguing for some time that Twitter’s real value is in search. It holds the keys to the best real time database and search engine on the Internet, and Google doesn’t even have a horse in the game.

From Silicon Alley Insider:

One of Arrington’s sources says the deal is in “late stage” negotiations, while another says the deal is in “fairly early stages” and that the companies are also just talking about working together on a “Google real time search engine.”

There is a price for everything. But unless Google is offering a fortune — in cash — it’s too early for Twitter to sell itself.

Twitter is flush with cash, having just raised another $35 million at a $250 million valuation. Its growth shows no signs of slowing, it has little competition beyond Facebook — which has struggled to elegantly replicate Twitter’s real-time chatter — and has only just started trying to make money, with several revenue opportunities ahead.

If the price is right — $750 million to $1 billion in cash — Twitter and its investors are smart to take the money and run. Twitter doesn’t want to become the next Digg, which wasn’t able to sell itself at the peak of the Web 2.0 bubble, and now will have to do a lot of work to get a big deal. But we still think Twitter is in a very good position to become the “rails” that the real-time Web rides on… and that could be worth a LOT of money someday.

Meanwhile, why would Google want Twitter? It’s not making any meaningful money. And while that doesn’t usually stop Google — see YouTube, etc. — sales and profitability are more important today than in 2006.

The difference between Twitter and YouTube: Twitter actually has significant relevance to Google’s main search business. As Twitter’s popularity increases — which it is, rapidly — the idea of “real-time search” will be increasingly important to Google.

Is Too Many Friends/Followers a Bad Thing?

January 29, 2009

In the world of social media, it’s all about the metrics: the number of people who are following you on Twitter, the number of friends you have on Facebook, etc.

But, if too many users and entrepreneurs focus on this, those measures may become meaningless.

From BusinessWeek:

If I’ve learned anything in 10 years of covering entrepreneurs, it’s that they love to cheat. If you ever play a game with one of them, be very clear about the rules. Here’s why: To an entrepreneur, it’s not just winning that’s important—it’s also outfoxing the game. Don’t forget that many of the most famous startup guys—from Apple (AAPL) co-founder Steve Wozniak to Microsoft (MSFT) co-founder Bill Gates to Slide founder Max Levchin—began as hackers, breaking the rules mainly for sport.

This tendency isn’t always a bad thing, at least not from a business point of view. Starting companies is a risky mix of luck and skill. The more an entrepreneur can take something normally left to luck and make it a test of skill, the more likely he is to win or otherwise overcome a challenge.

But lately Silicon Valley’s system-gaming penchant has shown up in a frenzy to add social media friends and followers faster than everybody else. This is no mere popularity contest among bloggers with fragile egos. By using tricks to inflate the number of new people who click on a person’s blog, profile page, or Web site, friend-adding and link-baiting schemes threaten to undermine the credibility of one of the few reliable yardsticks left for measuring a Web site’s traffic: the unique user.

Taken in by Twply

Evidence of the troubling fad can be seen seemingly everywhere with increasing frequency, as sites, bloggers, and individuals struggle to monetize their popularity. Remember the early Facebook apps that sent unauthorized “Zombie” invites to all your friends? The tactics became so heavy-handed that Facebook announced last May it would start penalizing spammy applications.

Now we’re seeing it on the microblogging sensation Twitter. In December an application called Twply launched asking users for their Twitter user names and passwords. It used those logins to send out a Tweet pretending to be from each user that read: “Just started using to get my @replies via e-mail. Neat stuff!” The trend spread rapidly as A-list bloggers and techies, including Michael Arrington of TechCrunch, not only tried it but appeared to give it their blessing. Soon, people saw that either all their friends suddenly began saying “neat stuff!” or they’d been had. A backlash started, but it hardly mattered. Twply sold itself—and all the user login data—on for $1,200 just hours after it launched.

That’s not so different from link-baiting, the cozy tendency among bloggers to agree to link to one another to drive up the number of unique visitors.