Blockbuster to Rewire Circuit City?

bbi circuit citIn the past few months, shareholders have gotten especially active in pushing their corporate boards to act as they wish.  Carl Icahn squeezed Motorola to a new Chairman and an eventual breakup plan.  Electronic Arts has Take Two by the collar. Microsoft is chasing Yahoo.   It used to be proxy fights and hostile takeovers were rare but now the rules are changing.  The rough games are becoming common and they seem to be looming like a scripted sequel to Oliver Stone’s Wall Street.   Is something in the water on Wall Street?    

Today, just when it seemed more surprises were unlikely, up popped Blockbuster with a billion dollar Gordon Gecko maneuver of their own. Click to Read More

Venture Funding Ok: Proof From Move Networks, Visible World and Realtime Worlds

fundingRecently published data from the National Venture Capital Association showed fewer venture funds have been out raising capital (57 in Q1 2008 versus 83 in 2007 and 75 and 2006) but there’s no shortage of funding.  So far this year, about the same amount of money has been raised for new funds (compared to the same period last year) despite the smaller group of fund partnerships with their hands out.  The cumulative cash raised in 2007 was also high, insuring plenty of capital waiting to be deployed.  But if that’s not evidence enough, then recent investment rounds should be; three companies, Move Networks, Visible World and Realtime Worlds have all raised more than $25m in new rounds just announced.

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STAFFING REPORT: Changes at AMD, BBC, Washington Post and More

staff changesThe revolving doors of corporate suites are always turning. New hires coming in, new executives restocking teams with teams of their own choosing, people moving to new challenges or to pasture.  It’s a constant.  This past week, however, has seen enough executive staff shifting to keep any HR team busy.  From Motorola to AMD, from the BBC to NBC and CBS, from the Washington Post to the Wall Street Journal, the corporate trees got a good shake.  Here’s the recap of who’s in and who’s out: Click to Read More

Judging DVRs: TiVo Beats Dish in Court Again

tivo dish courtDo the Justices of the Supreme Court use TiVo or record programs on a DVR? And if they do, what do they watch? Gossip columnists stand by. There could be a story coming, probably not, almost definitely not, but it’s possible. Today, the DC based U.S. Court of Appeals denied Dish Network’s appeal for a new hearing in the Satellite provider’s long running battle with TiVo over digital video recorder (DVR)  patents.  The next stop for the case could be the Supreme Court.

The dispute underlying the appeal began in 2004 when TiVo charged DVR’s offered by Dish Network (EchoStar) violated their patents. Click to Read More

Rumor Mill: Blockbuster Streaming On-Demand

bbi on demand coming?As part of an effort to fix an ailing business, Blockbuster scaled back their big spending marketing campaign to compete with Netflix mail order DVD rental service.  The first order of business for Blockbuster CEO Jim Keyes was to fix the stores.  Now rumors suggest Blockbuster is gearing up to fight Netflix again only this time the battlefront is different.   In the new frontier, instead of targeting mail-order, Blockbuster is reportedly aiming for the digital landscape.

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Wii TV from the BBC

bbc wiiNintendo’s Wii isn’t the target of many complaints.  It’s fun.  It’s accessible.  It’s playable.  What the Wii isn’t, and it doesn’t claim to be, is a high performance gaming beast.   It’s not about horsepower and bleeding edge graphics rendering.  The Wii’s creative interface and controllers put playability first and at that, it succeeds.  That doesn’t mean the Wii doesn’t aim to be more, just the opposite, it continues to chase large ambitions.

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Yahoo Microsoft: Two Fateful Days in April

msft yhooMicrosoft’s ultimatum expires on April 26th.  If no deal is struck by that date, they are threatening to take their offer to Yahoo’s shareholders and go hostile.    Is it a bluff or a promise? Only a few insiders know for sure.  But before that game of chicken can lead to an incident, two pivotal dates will first pass on the acquisition calendar: April 17th and April 22.  What happens on those two fateful April days may have a more significant impact on what happens next than just about anything else.

April 17th is the day of Google’s earnings announcement.  On the second date, Yahoo will announce results of their own.  Combined, information revealed from the pair of earnings releases will serve as a barometer for the Internet economy. Click to Read More