Archive for May, 2010

It looks like the New York Times is serious about charging for online content. The paper’s editor in chief Bill Keller has discussed his plans to adopt a metered model for online content. The plan would only charge so-called heavy users of the website. Most people would be allowed to go on through to the content without paying. However, subscribers to the print edition will get access to the website at no additional charge. The changes will go into effect in January.

Keller prefers this system as it is less restrictive than a traditional "pay wall" model. "Under our metered model, basically people who use as their newspaper, who read a lot and depend on it, will be asked to pay a small subscription price,” said Keller. The plan will also make some of the most popular content available freely to everyone in order to drive traffic and encourage subscriptions.

Do you think it can work? We imagine they will be tracking users via IP addresses and that could be easy to spoof. The Wall Street Journal makes quite a bit selling an online subscription, but their content is mainly aimed at business people with expense accounts. Do you read more than a few articles per month on the Times’ website?


LCD TVs with LED backlighting are relatively new, so we fully expect to pay a pricing premium over those which use fluorescent lighting from tubes. But if history tells us anything, it’s that prices tend to creep downwards over time. That isn’t necessarily the case here. Citing sources from packaging houses, DigiTimes reports that LED backlight products may see price hikes to the tune of 5-10 percent.

Ironically enough, it’s the strong market demand that’s driving prices in the wrong direction. LED chip makers have said that they raise prices for rush orders, sometimes by as much as 10 percent. Genesis Photonics, for example, has already hiked up the prices for its green LED epitaxy wafers, while Huga Optotech, Tekcore, and possibly Formosa Epitaxy all plan to do the same.

What impact this will have on the LED TV market remains to be seen. Some vendors are expecting LED-backlit LCD TVs to see a 20-25 percent total market penetration in 2010, but not everyone agrees. Market observers are a little more conservative in their estimates, predicting 15 penetration for LED-backlit models. In addition, there’s the possibility of oversupply of LEDs as chip makers increase new capacities in the third quarter, observers warn.

Networking specialist Cisco this week reported its third quarter earnings for the period ended May 1, 2010, noting third quarter net sales of $10.4 billion. Net income (GAAP) came out to $2.2 billion, or $0.37 per share, while non-GAAP net income reached $2.5 billion, or $0.42 per share.

"Our financial results were outstanding, achieving record level revenue and earnings per share results. We witnessed a return to strong balanced growth across geographies, products and customer segments that we haven’t seen since before the global economic challenges began. We emerge from this downturn gaining market share, a larger share of the total wallet spend of our customers, dramatically improved customer relations as a trusted technology and business partner, and having next-generation products in almost every product category. It is clear that our game plan for how to handle economic downturns is hitting on all cylinders," said John Chambers, chairman and CEO of Cisco.

Chambers went on to say that Cisco’s operations exceeded expectations in every measurement perspective, including revenues, earnings per share, new products, successful acquisitions, and internal startups. In other words, it was a heck of a quarter for Cisco.

Much more here.

In an official blog post on Thursday, Skype announced it is previewing a brand new version of its VoIP software which, among other things, supports group video calling for up to 5 people.

"With the latest version, you’ll be able to bring the whole family together for a chat, for lunch, or even a birthday," Skype wrote. "You’ll be able to spend quality time with your best friends, planning a trip, or even hosting a book club. And you’ll be able to meet with colleagues from across the world without leaving your desk."

Skype made sure to emphasize that its video calling is currently in beta, meaning "there might be a few rough edges, and that it might not work perfectly every time." And to take advantage of group video calls, everyone in your party has to be running the new version.

Skype Download

Image Credit: Skype

The Onlive cloud-based game streaming service hasn’t even launched in the US yet, but plans are already being laid for a European version of the service. British Telecom has committed to taking a 2.6 percent stake in the Onlive product. In return, British Telecom will receive exclusive rights to bundle the gaming service with its broadband internet packages. Onlive will also be available as a separate purchase to users of other telecoms.

Onlive probises to deliver high quality 3D gaming to various devices with weaker hardware. This could included inexpensive laptops, mobile phones, or even TVs. A Beta test has been underway in the US, and a final release is supposed to happen next month. It’s unclear if Onlive will be striking any special deals with US ISPs.

Onlive has been trying to gain a foothold in Europe since 2009, and has even gone so far as to set up data centers to test the service. Tests have been run in several countries with the aim of having different data presences in each country because of regulatory concerns. Resolution may not be what PC gamers are used to, but it might find its audience. Would you subscribe to Onlive?


 Page 3 of 6 « 1  2  3  4  5 » ...  Last »