capitalists’ confidence has sunk to a new low, according to a report released
Wednesday by Mark V. Cannice, founder and director of the University of San
Francisco Entrepreneurship Program, who surveys Silicon Valley venture
capitalists every quarter.
Cannice asked venture capitalists how confident they are about the high-growth
entrepreneurial environment over the next six to 18 months on a scale from one
to five, with five being the highest confidence. In the third quarter, their
confidence level was 2.89, the lowest it has been since he began the survey in
2004 and a fourth consecutive new low.
reason most cited for the pessimistic outlook was the unprecedented
deterioration of the economy and the resulting impact on the venture business
model, Mr. Cannice said. The I.P.O. markets are shut off to venture-backed
start-ups. Only six have gone public this year, the lowest number since 1977,
according to the National Venture Capital Association.
funds are frozen with uncertainty,” Dag Syrrist of Vision Capital told Mr.
Cannice. Another investor, Joe Mandato of De Novo Ventures, said his confidence
level was 3.5, not because of lack of venture money or good deals, but because
of the uncertainty over how to cash out of investments.
federal bailout plan for Wall Street will hurt the venture industry by sharply
lowering valuations of venture firms’ portfolio companies, worried Igor Sill of
Geneva Venture Partners. Institutional investors will eventually put less money
into venture capital, predicted Steve Carnevale of Point Cyprus Ventures.
capitalists’ responses have so far always been prescient, Mr. Cannice said. Confidence
began to severely decline in the last quarter of 2007, even though that quarter
was strong for I.P.O.s. The next quarter, I.P.O.s dropped off.
bright spot: venture capitalists had the widest range of confidence in the
third quarter since Mr. Cannice began surveying them. Some responded with the
highest confidence rating possible, saying that high-tech entrepreneurs are as
active and hopeful as ever. Historically, downturns have spawned successful
start-ups, said Robert Ackerman of Allegis Capital."
"When asked again this week about her puerile linkage of foreign policy proficiency and Alaska’s proximity to Russia, this time by Katie Couric of CBS News, here is what Ms. Palin said she meant:
“That Alaska has a very narrow maritime border between a foreign country, Russia, and on our other side, the land — boundary that we have with — Canada.”
She went on, but lost her way midsentence: “It’s funny that a comment like that was kind of made to — cari — I don’t know, you know? Reporters ...”
Ms. Couric said, “Mocked?”
“Yeah, mocked,” said Ms. Palin. “I guess that’s the word. Yeah.”
Ms. Couric asked Ms. Palin to explain how Alaska’s proximity to Russia “enhances your foreign policy credentials.”
“Well, it certainly does,” Ms. Palin replied, “because our, our next-door neighbors are foreign countries, there in the state that I am the executive of. And there—”
Gently interrupting, Ms. Couric asked, “Have you ever been involved in any negotiations, for example, with the Russians?”
“We have trade missions back and forth,” said Ms. Palin. “We do. It’s very important when you consider even national security issues with Russia. As Putin rears his head and comes into the airspace of the United States of America, where do they go? It’s Alaska. It’s just right over the border. It is from Alaska that we send those out to make sure that an eye is being kept on this very powerful nation, Russia, because they are right there. They are right next to our state.”
It was surreal, the kind of performance that would generate a hearty laugh if it were part of a Monty Python sketch. But this is real life, and the stakes couldn’t be higher. As Ms. Palin was fumbling her way through the Couric interview, the largest bank failure in the history of the United States, the collapse of Washington Mutual, was occurring."
At VMware, a Firing Is Still Reverberating
"By ASHLEE VANCE - In the summer of 2007, Diane Greene was lauded as a business hero for leading VMware, a maker of business software, to the hottest stock debut since Google. But in the ensuing year, despite her popularity with employees and on Wall Street, her relationship with her directors, and especially VMware’s chairman, Joseph M. Tucci, grew increasingly chilly.
On July 7, she found out just how cold it had become. After Ms. Greene made a special presentation to VMware’s board, Mr. Tucci, who heads VMware’s parent company, EMC, pulled her aside, according to people familiar with the events, who asked for anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss internal company decisions.
Inviting Mendel Rosenblum, Ms. Greene’s husband and the co-founder of VMware, into the room, Mr. Tucci told Ms. Greene she was fired, effective immediately. And he said the board wanted Mr. Rosenblum, VMware’s chief scientist, to take her seat on the board. Mr. Rosenblum declined the offer.
When Ms. Greene’s firing was announced to investors the next morning, VMware’s shares plunged 24 percent, and the high-flying company was thrown into a tailspin from which it has yet to recover.
In the wake of Ms. Greene’s departure, three other key executives loyal to her have left, including Mr. Rosenblum, who announced his resignation and return to Stanford as a full-time professor in a companywide message on Monday night."
Almost Dell had been successful in trademarking the general term "Cloud Computing". Unbelievable? No, read:
InfoWorld vom 21. August 2008: "Dell edges out SAP and Oracle for 'Bozo of the Month'
The company that invented nothing tries to hijack cloud computing with a cheesy legal play. Don’t let them get away with it.
By Bill Snyder
I know I'm supposed to be objective -- or at least restrained in my opinions -- but I can't help but see Michael Dell's attempt to trademark "cloud computing" as anything other than the cheesy, contemptible antic of a clown.
There, I said it.
There's not much excuse for Dell's action, but it would be less upsetting if Dell and company were great technologists. Or even OK technologists. But Dell has built the world's largest screwdriver shop on top of other people's technology, and if the company has ever made a serious technological contribution, I've yet to hear of it.
As it happens, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has apparently soured on the idea of allowing Dell to trademark "cloud computing" after first giving it a tentative OK. Dell has six months to appeal the decision. Given the way Washington, D.C., works these days, Dell's money may well talk. We in the IT community should have a say as well. Give a call to Ruth Nybold, the PTO's public affairs officer, at (571) 272-8400 or send an email to Ruth.Nyblod@uspto.gov, and tell her what you think.
If Dell is my first official "Bozo of the Month," (Merriam Webster Dictionary: bozo = a foolish or incompetent person) SAP and Oracle, both of which snuck in hefty price increases earlier this summer, are runners-up. Sure, big software vendors make no pretense of being charities -- nor should they -- but at a time when IT budgets are being pressured by the worst economic climate in decades, squeezing the customer is really, really stupid."
"Sun Profit Falls 73 Percent, but Beats Expectations
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- Sun Microsystems Inc.'s profit plunged 73 percent in the fiscal fourth quarter as slumping sales to big U.S. companies and restructuring charges weighed on the server and software maker.
The results reported Friday still beat Wall Street's muted forecast, though some investors remain wary of Sun's prospects considering its heavy reliance on the turbulent U.S. market, which makes up about 40 percent of its sales.
Those fears have been reflected in Sun's steadily declining stock, which has fallen 50 percent since the company's 1-for-4 reverse stock split in November. The maneuver was supposed to improve Sun's image, but instead seemed like a sign of trouble."
Aus einem Interview mit dem in der Türkei entführten bayerischen Bergsteiger Lars Reime (Süddeutsche Zeitung, 24. Juli 2008):
Reime: (...) Auf einmal pfiff einer herüber, kam her und fuhr uns mit einem Auto zu einer Militärkontrolle, wo der Polizeipräsident der Region einstieg und uns in eine Kaserne brachte. In der Zwischenzeit hatte ich über Handy schon meine Frau erreicht.
SZ: Was sagten Sie ihr?
Reime: Wir sind frei! Sie sagte: Super! Danach brach die Verbindung ab.
Dieses Bild erscheint, wenn man ausgerechnet diesen Link in einem NetApp-Newsletter anklickt:
"Das White Paper ''Zukunftsperspektiven des Datenmanagements'' diskutiert in einem Modellentwurf die Weiterentwicklung von Datenspeicherlösungen in den nächsten 20 Jahren und darüber hinaus.
"Somalia ranks as the country most at risk for failure, according to an annual index that ranks nations in order of their likelihood of collapse.
The past two years, Sudan has held the dubious first place position in the Fund for Peace's Failed States Index. But Sudan is now second to Somalia, which is called the least stable nation in the world.
Iraq, which ranked second in 2007, improved to fifth in 2008, primarily as a result of the surge, according to the index's authors. In contrast, Iran jumped from 57 to 49 over the past year. Zimbabwe and Chad filled out the top five most unstable nations.
Israel grew more unstable between 2007 and 2008, dropping from a position of 75 to 58 in the list of 177 nations. It is the first time Israel ranked in the list of the world's 60 most vulnerable states.
Twelve social, economic, political and military indicators determine how the states are ranked in the list, which is used to develop early warning and performance measures aimed at preventing conflict.
The indicators include: mounting demographic pressures; movement of refugees or internally displaced persons; legacy of vengeance-seeking groups; chronic and sustained human flight; uneven economic development and sharp economic decline; the criminalization and/or delegitimization of the state; deterioration of public services; suspension or arbitrary application of the rule of law and widespread violation of human rights; a security apparatus that operates as a state within a state; rise of factionalized elites; and intervention of other states or external political actors.
The report is a "guide to understand factors that contribute to state failure," Fund for Peace spokesman Mark Loucas told FOXNews.com. It is designed to "stir dialogue and call attention to these pressures (and used) as a tool to promote dialogue between civil society members and journalists in ... the countries with the highest risk."
According to this list, Israel's stability dropped as a result of the increase in all 12 indicators, with the most severe threat being from vengeance-seeking groups. Despite its drop, Israel is not yet at an "alert" stage, the lowest of a four-measure ranking of instability. Iraq is still in the "alert" stage despite its moving up the list.
Only 15 states ranked as "sustainable" — or with the greatest degree of stability. They were Norway, at the top, followed by Finland, Sweden, Ireland, Switzerland, Iceland, New Zealand, Denmark, Australia, Austria, Canada, Netherlands, Luxembourg, Belgium and Japan.
The United States and United Kingdom ranked second with "moderate" status, a stability level they've held since 2006. Neither was included in the 2005 survey.
The Fund for Peace is a research and educational organization whose mission is to prevent war and alleviate the conditions that cause war. The 2008 index is the fourth annual report released by the organization."
[Fox News, 23-6-08]
"Like EMC, HP is offering different deduplication products to different backup markets, with a post-processing Virtual Library System (VLS), based on Sepaton's DeltaStor technology, and inline processing D2D systems for small and medium enterprises.
Deduplication strips out redundant data from files at the sub-file level. HP isclaiming it can provide a reduction in backup file size of up to 50:1; pretty ambitious. It assumes a standard business data mix and actual results will vary with data type, backup methodology and the length of time data is retained.
Inline deduplication is applied directly to incoming data. Post-processing deduplication is applied after incoming data from a backup run has finished arriving.
Dave Russell, a Gartner VP, said: “Deduplication technology is poised to transform the backup and recovery marketplace.”
HP's StorageWorks D2D 2500 and 4500 Backup Systems emulate up to 16 LTO tape autoloaders or libraries and can consolidate backup of up to 16 servers onto a single network-connected, disk-to-disk (D2D) device. These are not virtual tape library systems. They deduplicate data, using in-house HP Labs deduplication technology, inline, as backup data is ingested. HP calls this Dynamic Deduplication and notes that disk space is saved as no capacity needs to be set aside to hold incoming raw backup data."
"Brasiliens Biosprit könnte weltweit nicht nur Teil der Lösung für allfällige Klimaprobleme sein – sollten diese tatsächlich so gravierend und sollte die Reduktion von Treibhausgasen der geeignete Lösungsweg sein –, sondern auch das Problem der steigenden Lebensmittelpreise mildern helfen. Würden Länder wie die USA oder jene Europas etwa auf Bioethanol aus Brasilien zurückgreifen, flössen die bisher anderswo für die Herstellung von Biotreibstoffen verwendeten Getreidemengen wieder auf den Nahrungsmittelmarkt und könnten zu einer Entspannung der Preise beitragen. Doch sowohl die Europäische Union als auch die USA haben längst hohe Handelsbarrieren aufgebaut.
Brasilianisches Ethanol wird beim Importieren in die USA mit einem Zoll von $ 0.54 pro Gallone bzw. $ 0.15 pro Liter belegt. Die EU fordert umgerechnet $ 0.19 pro Liter. Zudem wird in den USA und in Europa die eigene Produktion von Agrarkraftstoffen von den Regierungen stark gefördert. Etwa 3,7 Mrd. € haben die Regierungen der EU-Länder im Jahr 2006 als Subventionen für Biotreibstoffe ausgegeben, schätzt die in Genf ansässige Global Subsidies Initiative (GSI) des International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD). Umgerechnet wird damit jeder in der EU produzierte Liter Bioethanol mit € 0.74 subventioniert. (...)
Die so errichteten Handelsbarrieren haben zu der absurden Situation geführt, dass in den USA nun mehr Ethanol produziert wird als in Brasilien, und das, obwohl das Mais-Ethanol der USA viel teuer ist, eine viel schlechtere Umweltbilanz aufweist und in Ermangelung von Landreserven in direkter Konkurrenz mit dem Anbau von Mais als Nahrungsmittel steht. Angesichts der mächtigen Ethanol- bzw. Mais-Lobby in den USA und in der EU wirkt es mitunter heuchlerisch, wenn Brasiliens Ethanol aus umwelttechnischen oder sozialen Gründen in die Kritik gerät, zumal Brasiliens Zucker – der aus der gleichen Pflanze, nämlich Zuckerrohr, gewonnen wird wie Ethanol – von eben diesen Kritikern seit Jahrzehnten ohne diese Bedenken konsumiert wird. Denn auf der «Zuckerseite» funktionieren die internationalen Märkte: Brasilien ist mit einem Marktanteil von 60% der weltweit grösste Zucker-Exporteur."