corporate Stories May 19, 2014

Tom Wheeler — the Chairman of the FCC, the federal commission currently in the middle of a firestorm surrounding net neutrality — today praised Google for its checklist of requirements for cities to meet that are interested in working with Google to roll out fiber networking.

Google’s checklist includes various measures and decisions that help enable the company to quickly add their fiber services to a city or municipality. Wheeler specifically cites this as something that the FCC should look into, as it effectively cuts through red tape and speeds up deployment of faster service: expand full story

corporate Stories January 22, 2014

Using your own smartphone at work? Watch that it doesn’t get wiped when you leave …

Employees who use their own electronic devices at work under a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) arrangement may have unwittingly authorised their employer to remotely wipe their device when they leave the company, reports the WSJ.

In early October, Michael Irvin stood up to leave a New York City restaurant when he glanced at his iPhone and noticed it was powering off. When he turned it back on again, all of his information—email programs, contacts, family photos, apps and music he had downloaded—had vanished […]

It wasn’t a malfunction. The device had been wiped clean by AlphaCare of New York, the client he had been working for full-time since April. Mr. Irvin received an email from his AlphaCare address that day confirming the phone had been remotely erased.

A survey found that 21 percent of companies perform a remote wipe of employee-owned devices registered on the company network, with employees ostensibly agreeing to this when they connect to the company network.

Many employers have a pro forma user agreement that pops up when employees connect to an email or network server via a personal device, he added. But even if these documents explicitly state that the company may perform remote wipes, workers often don’t take the time to read it before clicking the “I agree” button.

The legality of the practice has reportedly not yet been tested in court.

In principle, backup should allow wiped Android devices to be restored, but you may want to pay a little more attention to the small-print next time one of those corporate messages pops up on your screen, to find out what it is you’ve been agreeing to …

corporate Stories December 6, 2013

Much like it has in recent years by offering employees their choice from a selection of devices as a Christmas/holiday gift, we’ve learned from several sources that this year Google will continue the tradition. Rather than the choice of Chromebook, a Motorola phone or the Nexus 7 tablet like it offered last year, this year the company will offer an option between the Nexus 5 and new Nexus 7.

Backing up our info is the screenshot below showing a family member of a Google employee mentioning the gift: expand full story

Everyone can use an Echo Dot: Just $50!

corporate Stories August 12, 2013

Blackberry bows to the inevitable, seeking ‘strategic alternatives’ (buyout)

Trading in Blackberry shares was briefly suspended in the lead-up to the company’s announcement that it is exploring ‘strategic alternatives’.

The Company’s Board of Directors has formed a Special Committee to explore strategic alternatives to enhance value and increase scale in order to accelerate BlackBerry 10 deployment. These alternatives could include, among others, possible joint ventures, strategic partnerships or alliances, a sale of the Company or other possible transactions.

The company, which once dominated the enterprise market, was extremely late moving into touchscreen phones and found itself increasingly isolated by both Bring Your Own Device policies and aggressive pitching to the corporate market by both Apple and Samsung.

This tweet by Techmeme editor Mahendra Palsule perhaps says it best:

In an interesting development,  the press release notes Prem Watsa CEO Fairfax Financial has resigned from the board:

With the announcement of the Special Committee, Prem Watsa, Chairman and CEO of Fairfax Financial informed the Company that he felt it was appropriate to resign due to potential conflicts that may arise during the process. Fairfax Financial is the largest BlackBerry shareholder. Mr. Watsa said, “I continue to be a strong supporter of the Company, the Board and Management as they move forward during this process, and Fairfax Financial has no current intention of selling its shares.”

Perhaps this indicates that the Blackberry’s largest shareholder is at least considering a buyout.

corporate Stories July 29, 2011

Samsung, which reported earnings today, also said it would stop reporting sales data and forecasts for its mobile phones and tablets, “probably due to its continuing legal battle with Apple”, analysts tell The Wall Street Journal. The company did not provide phone or tablet sales data in today’s earnings report, the decision Robert Yi, Samsung’s chief of investor relations, said in a conference call with analysts was due to competitive reasons:

As competition intensifies, there are increased risks that the information we provide may adversely affect our own businesses.

And in the earnings release Samsung only wrote that “shipments of mobile handsets increased in the high-single-digit range quarter-on-quarter”. Per latest IDC and ABI Research second-quarter cell phone survey, Samsung shipped…

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corporate Stories July 28, 2011

Motorola Mobility reported June quarter earnings today, nearly hitting Wall Street estimates with the reported GAAP net loss of $56 million, 19 cents a share. Revenues for the quarter topped $3.3 billion and non-GAAP earnings were nine cents a share. One of the noteworthy highlights includes shipments of 400,000 Xoom tablets, although the company wouldn’t divulge actual sell-through numbers. Xoom shipments amount to some 2.65% June tablet market share, per Strategy Analytics’s cumulative figures.The company also shipped eleven million mobile devices in total, including 4.4 million Android smartphones. Analyst Tomi Ahonen wrote on Twitter that Android shipments amount to an eight percent market share, making Motorola “8th biggest smartphone maker and 5th biggest Android”.

Xoom aren’t bad at all, actually a bit higher than the 300,000 units investors were expecting. Furthermore, the Xoom, Motorola’s inaugural Honeycomb tablet, arrived to market with little or no support from third-party developers plus devices from rivals ensued soon thereafter. Motorola benefited from an expanded distribution of the Atrix 4G smartphone and Motorola Xoom tablets in Latin America, China, Korea and Europe. They also rolled out four new smartphones in China. Moving forward, the company previously pledged to launch ten new devices in 2011 with Sprint, including Motorola Photon 4G which launches this weekend. Other tidbits right below…

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