This call may be recorded. ZDNet Australia reports that RIM, the maker of the BlackBerry, records ALL employee phone calls. Wow. In the piece RIM's CIO says that the company does this to keep a lid of pre-release products and other IP assets (Via TechMeme).
How did Vizio sneak into the world of Super Bowl advertising? The New York Time's Gadgetwise blog has the goods on how the maker of flat panel and LCD TVs got ad space for considerably less than the reported $3 million cost for a 30-second spot. And, here's news that Vizio is now the second-biggest seller of flat-panel TVs in the U.S. For more on Vizio's founder William Wang, check out our stories here and here.
Big fish rejected by small pond. After rounds of layoffs, there are more and more big business alumni on the job market, and many are turning to smaller employers in search of opportunities. But the Wall Street Journal, reports many small businesses regularly turn these applicants away, assuming they won't fit with the culture. A biotech startup told one 18-year vet of a pharmaceutical giant they were afraid he "just wouldn't be able to move as fast." All the same, it's a good time to hire self-starters with transferable skills.
Does the new Mac lineup connect with small business? Not according to David Coursey at PC World. Coursey blogs today that although the Mac OS X Leopard Server is Mac OS X Leopard Server "does pretty much everything you would want a server for a small business to do." But the affordable Leopard Server requires two network cards on the machine running it, which rules out the new Mac Mini. Coursey offers a couple suggestions for Apple, and a lament: "a little more focus on business customers would be most welcome, not to mention profitable for Apple."
Online video delivery gets a flashy facelift. ZillionTV, a new start-up, aims to offer a twist on web TV—DVD-quality video delivered to your TV over the internet, with three payment options—renting, buying or watching commercials. As the L.A. Times Tech blog reports, the quality is impressive—as long as you have 1.5 Mbps of bandwidth. Another impressive feature of ZillionTV—founder Mitch Berman has raised money from multiple VC's, Visa, five movie studios and a chip-maker. Now that Berman and ZillionTV have persuaded the investors, they only have to contend with Netflix's streaming video, Amazon's VOD moves, and AppleTV, oh yeah and those pesky MSOs like Comcast who are making their own movies into online video. GigaOm's Chris Albrecht thinks he's heard this one before, but with the entire industry in a state of flux, now would be the time.
Google's Holy Grail. Slate's Michael Agger talks to a Google developer who says having your friends on Facebook, sharing items on Google Reader, blogging on Tumblr, and bookmarking on Delicious, with a separate login at the New York Times is a barbaric approach to technology. Google's Holy Grail? "Any app, any site, any friend." The idea being that any web activity, say checking stocks, would be better if the site recognized other people (say investors) that you cared about. Agger points out that consumers will ultimately benefit from the competition between Facebook and Google as we move toward the end goal of "a command center for our online self." Says Agger: "This may seem like an arcane, technical struggle, but I believe that a year from now, you are actually going to care who owns your social network."
Reverse brain drain. Duke University professor and two-time tech CEO Vivek Wadhwa, whose research has been getting a lot of play as evidence to make the case for H-1B visas to Congress, releases the fourth part of his study on America's New Immigrant Entrepreneurs. In his column, Wahwa says young immigrants (the average ages are 30 and 33) are returning to India and China in droves to fuel innovation and economic growth in their native countries, which could impact the U.S.'s long-term economic health.
Iman's advice for building a brand. Business Week profiles supermodel Iman, whose successful line of cosmetics for women of color started with her own difficulty finding foundation—even the photographer who first shot her for Vogue didn't have a formula for black skin. She talks about the challenges of building and maintaining a brand over the years: "Yes, we were a huge success at the beginning, but I learned it is staying in business that is the difficult part."
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