Posts Tagged ‘street-journal’

Carl Icahn Wants to Fire Michael Dell (Video)

May 10, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

If he ever gets control of struggling computer maker Dell, billionaire investor Carl Icahn essentially said he plans to fire its founding CEO, Michael Dell. Taking to CNBC’s airwaves in another one of his candid phoned-in afternoon rants (the last was an epic 28-minute on-air slugfest with hedge fund investor Bill Ackman in January) with host Scott Wapner during the closing half hour or so of the network’s “Fast Money Halftime Report” show, Icahn revealed that on Monday he will nominate a slate of 12 new directors and, if successful, he’ll see to it that Michael Dell doesn’t remain CEO. “He will not be running the company,” Icahn said. “It’s not that I have anything against [Michael] Dell. I’m sure he’s a very nice guy,” Icahn said. “But it’s a new world out there.” Icahn has had a busy day on the Dell front. First he reported in a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission that his stake in Dell amounts to 4.52 percent. He also joined Southeastern Asset Management, Dell’s largest outside shareholder, in making a joint bid for the company . (The Wall Street Journal’s Moneybeat has the full text of the joint Icahn-Southeastern letter to Dell’s board here .) The special committee of Dell’s board has in the last several minutes issued a statement saying it is “carefully reviewing” the Icahn-Southeastern offer. “Mr. Icahn and Southeastern have outlined a potential leveraged recapitalization transaction that they want the Dell Board either to recommend at this time or to consider if the existing going-private transaction is rejected by Dell shareholders

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CBS Invests in Syncbak

April 23, 2013  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

CBS has made an investment in TV streaming firm Syncbak, according to The Wall Street Journal . The network, the Journal speculates, could use Syncbak technology to power a TV Everywhere service , following in the footsteps of Time Warner and Univision . It could also work as a direct, "over the top" service like Aereo, Hulu and Netflix. Syncbak—which allows local TV stations to stream live programming over the Internet—is backed by the National Association of Broadcasters, the Consumer Electronics Association and three former NBC execs. The technology, currently being tested by more than 100 TV stations in 70 markets, delivers broadcast TV signals to tablets and smartphones. The service also offers a usage-based DVR-in-the-cloud feature. The investment appears to be a strategic response to the broadcast industry's escalating legal battle with Aereo . Syncbak's platform is similar to Aereo's but will only be available to pay-TV subscribers and will allow stations to track metrics for advertising purposes. Broadcasters including CBS, NBCUniversal, Fox, Tribune, PBS, Univision and WNET have sued TV-streaming start-up Aereo for copyright infringement. The courts have repeatedly sided with Aereo, and broadcast companies are trying to adapt to prevent further disruption to their revenue streams. “Across the country, broadcasters are looking for the best way to respond to consumer demand for streaming their content,” said Syncbak CEO Jack Perry in a statement. “Syncbak’s technology provides the right solution at the right time to make that happen." CBS did not disclose the amount of its investment.

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Dish Network Makes $25.5 Billion Bid for Sprint

April 15, 2013  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Satellite TV provider Dish Network proposed a $25.5 billion merger with Sprint Nextel this morning in a bid to drive out competition from Japanese carrier Softbank, which in October offered $20 billion to take a 70 percent stake in the cellphone company. Dish Network's offer consists of $17.3 billion in cash and $8.2 billion in stock. Sprint shareholders would get $7 per share, based upon Dish's closing price on Friday. "Sprint is in play," Dish Network chairman Charles Ergen told The Wall Street Journal . "We think we've made an offer that's much more compelling than the Softbank transaction." In an open letter , Ergen proposes a combined company that would "offer a fully integrated, nationwide bundle of in- and out-of-home video, broadband, and voice services." This deal would be latest in the telecom industry to address a relentless demand by consumers to watch video, surf the Internet and communicate on any device at any time and anywhere, The Washington Post reported. Ergen has long expressed an interest in breaking into the wireless industry and becoming a viable competitor to AT&T and Verizon. In January, Dish attempted to gain control of Clearwire network, which is partially owned by Sprint. In December, Dish gained approval from the Federal Communications Commission to build its own LTE network. The mogul likened today's development to an episode of Seinfeld. For Ergen it has been a meandering narrative of business moves, and this is the neat conclusion that ties it all together. “I think everybody on this call probably has two necessities in life: food and shelter,” he reasoned on a conference call with The Wall Street Journal. “But after that you probably get to your mobile device and your TV as three and four…You want to be able to be connected no matter where you are, and you want to be able to watch your television no matter where you are.”

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HuffPost Live Thrives on Tape

March 29, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

Late last summer, Huffington Post launched a streaming video news service , backed by 100 employees, lots of cash and a heap of hype. So how’s it going? Pretty good, says HuffPost Live boss Roy Sekoff. Especially if you choose to look at HuffPost Live as a video clip generator: Sekoff says his service is set to serve up 48 million streams this month, up from 17 million in November. The vast majority of those views don’t come from people who are watching HuffPost Live itself, but are finding embedded videos on AOL and HuffPo pages, like this story about Sasha and Malia Obama’s spring break plans . If you’re looking at HuffPost Live as a standalone news “channel” a la CNN or Fox News, it has a much more modest reach: A bit more than 2 million viewers a month, and a live audience that wouldn’t register by TV standards. Sekoff says its concurrent viewership tops out around 40,000 people. But those patterns are standard for the Web right now. Just about everyone who does live video, including AllThingsD ’s corporate cousins at The Wall Street Journal, gets almost all of its viewership after the fact, on demand. It’s possible that all of that changes if and when we get True Convergence Of All Devices All The Time.

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Google Cutting 10 Percent of Jobs at its Motorola Unit

March 8, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

Google’s Motorola Mobility unit is in the process of cutting a further 1,200 jobs amid continued challenges in its core cell phone business. As reported earlier on Thursday evening by the Wall Street Journal , the cuts will eliminate more than 10 percent of the hardware maker’s workforce. A Motorola spokesman confirmed the company is making cuts, but declined to go into details. “These cuts are a continuation of the reductions we announced last summer,” Motorola said in a statement. “It’s obviously very hard for the employees concerned, and we are committed to helping them through this difficult transition.” Google announced in August it would cut some 4,000 jobs, or 20 percent of the Motorola workforce . In December, Motorola announced a significant cutback of its South Korean operations , a move that resulted in 500 job losses. The same month, Google said it was selling Motorola’s set-top box business to Arris for $2.35 billion .

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Barnes & Noble Founder Riggio Bids For Stores But Not Nook

February 25, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

Barnes & Noble founder Leonard Riggio, who still owns 30 percent of the company, has offered to buy the bookseller’s retail operations , but not its Nook e-reader business. The Wall Street Journal forecast Riggio’s offer last night.

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Authors Buy Way Onto Best-Seller Lists

February 23, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

Last August, a book titled “Leapfrogging” hit The Wall Street Journal’s list of best-selling business titles upon its debut. The following week, sales of the book, written by first-time author Soren Kaplan, plunged 99% and it fell off the list. Something similar happened when the hardcover edition of “Networking is Dead,” was published in mid-December. A week after selling enough copies to make it onto the Journal’s business best-seller list, more hardcover copies of the book were returned than sold, says book-sales tracker Nielsen BookScan. Read the rest of this post on the original site »

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Facebook Hacked, Claims "No Evidence of User Data Compromised"

February 15, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

Facebook announced on Friday that it had been the target of a series of attacks from an unidentified hacker group, which resulted in the installation of malicious software onto Facebook employee laptops. “Last month, Facebook security discovered that our systems had been targeted in a sophisticated attack,” the company said in a blog post . “The attack occurred when a handful of employees visited a mobile developer website that was compromised.” Facebook said that these employees then had malware installed on their laptops as a result of their visiting the website. The hack used what is called a “zero-day Java exploit,” a known vulnerability in Oracle’s software which has gained much attention in recent months. Essentially, anyone visiting a website using this attack who also has Oracle’s Java enabled in their browser was vulnerable. As a result, hackers inserted malware onto the laptops of multiple Facebook employees. “As soon as we discovered the presence of malware, we remediated all infected machines, informed law enforcement, and began a significant investigation that continues to this day,” the post read. In the company’s post, Facebook notes that it had “found no evidence that Facebook user data was compromised.” Facebook did not say what the hackers did have access to, however, after the installation of said malware. Facebook’s announcement comes on the heels of a string of recent attacks on other major websites. Twitter, the microblogging social network that hosts more than 200 million active users on its service, announced it had been hacked two weeks ago, and that upward of 250,000 user accounts may have been compromised as a result. Other targets have included the Washington Post, the New York Times and The Wall Street Journal, all of which have said they believe that the Chinese government was somehow involved in their system infiltration. But both Facebook and Twitter, in their respective blog posts, made no accusation or direct comparison to the hacks made on the Times, the Journal or the Post.

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With Dell Buyout Poised to Be Announced Today, the Bromance Between Microsoft and Silver Lake Gets Serious

February 5, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

Of all the complex aspects of the $23 billion leveraged buyout that is set to take PC maker Dell private — which sources said is likely to be announced sometime early today — one of the more interesting parts of the mega-deal is the evolving relationship between software giant Microsoft and private equity powerhouse Silver Lake Partners. As part of the massive and complicated transaction led by Silver Lake and founder Michael Dell, as reported yesterday by The Wall Street Journal and others, Silver Lake is ponying up $1 billion and Dell 16 percent stake in the company worth $3.8 billion, as well as $700 million more from his investment firm. There will also be $15 billion in bank debt too. Microsoft’s contribution will be to invest about $2 billion in a form of debt from its nearly $64 billion cash kitty. That’s in part to protect its important Windows operating system franchise, which has been under siege as the device market has moved swiftly to a mobile-based one at the expense of PCs. It’s a big check to write to do so, but one that it’s been willing to consider when it comes to Silver Lake, which has been on both sides of the table with Microsoft in recent years in big-money transactions. The most prominent was when Silver Lake was the seller and Microsoft the buyer in the $8.5 billion deal for Skype , the global telephony company, in mid-2011

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Here a Hack, There a Hack, Everywhere a Cyber Attack

February 4, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

Who hasn’t come under some kind of cyber attack or another in recent days? It’s quickly becoming clear — and the recent batch of attacks has only reinforced it — that pretty much every company under the sun is at risk. The latest victim of digital miscreants is the U.S. Department of Energy, in an attack, the New York Times says, that resulted in the compromising of personal data on “ several hundred employees .” It is, of course, hard to know whether this incident is connected to the high-profile attacks upon that newspaper’s computers along with those of The Wall Street Journal (which, like this Web site, is owned by News Corp.), the Washington Post and Bloomberg News. The apparent targets were journalists who cover China. One can easily imagine a scenario where attackers acting in the pay of Chinese political leaders were tasked with learning as much as possible about “sources and methods,” which — in the intelligence business as well as in journalism — are the twin crown jewels of the trade: Who provides information that shows up in stories, and how that information is shared. The source of another attack, this one on Twitter , is as yet unknown, and may not be connected to the China-sourced attacks on the media organizations. When one rash of attacks comes to public light, it sort of behooves other companies to disclose attacks that may be wholly unconnected in order to soften the blow to a corporate reputation. When computer security disclosures take place in groups, it’s easy to conflate them and make them all seem like one big story, even if each disclosed incident may be unconnected. And these are only the companies that have admitted to being targeted in the latest round of incidents. It’s easy to imagine that there are probably more that decided it was not in their best interest to go public with the information, or that haven’t done so yet. In prior incidents, companies like Intel and Google have conceded that they, too, have been attacked by parties working in China. Disclosure may soon become the rule rather than the exception. According to new rules expected to be proposed Thursday before the European Union parliament, search engines, banks and utilities will be required to disclose attacks against them. The timing of the disclosures comes as the Obama administration is said to be working on a classified set of guidelines on the conduct and use of cyber weapons. While Twitter or news media organizations aren’t exactly considered critical infrastructure that if attacked would trigger a retaliation, the sheer volume and effectiveness of attacks suggest a time is coming when attacks against systems crucial to the flow of daily life, like power utilities and the banking system, will become more routine. Last month, government sources disclosed that Iran was thought to be behind a series of denial-of-service attacks against several U.S. banks

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