Refugees in America?

Refugee – One who flees in search of refuge, as in times of war, political oppression, or religious persecution.

While watching all the news channels I noticed they suddenly started to use the word “refugee” to characterize the people in New Orleans who DID NOT listen to the mandatory evacuation calls for hurricane Katrina. I’m sure things are much different at ground zero, but watching many people complain about the lack of social services, water and security makes me realize they are not refugees – most didn’t listen in the first place. As far as all the looting they are showing on TV, I personally hope its isolated, but it does makes for great TV. After watching the same helicopter free 10 people over 30 minutes, that footage got pretty tiresome. However, watching people cart off with shoes, TV’s and other non-essential items makes for great commentary on the current state of affairs.

Voice over IPO

Yes, Vonage is going public. After months of speculation, they have decided they need another USD $600 million. I just don’t think in today’s environment they have a stable business model. The FCC is looking at taxing VoIP services and basically kill the pricing advantage that they currently have over Telcos. Only time will tell, but in the mean time all the VC’s guys and Jeff Citron, Vonage CEO, are gonna make a killing on this.

Gooden tangles with the law…again

Former baseball pitching star Dwight Gooden turned himself in after nearly four days as a wanted man. Police had issued a warrant for the 40-year-old former Yankee on charges of DUI, fleeing and eluding police and resisting arrest without violence. According to reports, a Tampa police officer stopped Gooden about 2:40 a.m. Monday on Cleveland Street because Gooden’s BMW was weaving in and out of his lane. The officer said Gooden’s speech was slurred, his eyes bloodshot and he smelled of alcohol. Gooden was the 1984 Rookie of the Year and the 1985 NL Cy Young Award winner while with the New York Mets, he went 194-112 with a 3.51 ERA before retiring in 2001.

Back in 1984 when i first got into trading baseball cards, his 1984 Topps Traded card shown above (# 42-T) was the hottest item on the block. I remember paying $20 for the card via a mail-order company, the card went to $40-50 that summer. My first lesson in supply and demand.

Format Wars: Round 2 – HD DVD vs. Blu-ray Disc

Round 1 was Betamax vs VHS back in the early 80’s. You would think these guys would learn, there are a ton of business cases talking about the early Betamax debacle, but to no avail. Anyways, the two sides decided to stop talking since they can’t seem to agree on a common format. The HD-DVD camp includes Toshiba, NEC and Sanyo. The Blu-ray Disc camp includes: Sony, Panasonic, Dell, Samsung and Apple to name a few. Although it seems that that Blu-ray Disc group has more of an edge that was the same feeling back in the early 80’s with Betamax and yet Sony got it’s as!@#$ kicked in the market place. Both formats are based around blue lasers, which have a shorter wavelength than red lasers used in current DVD equipment. This allows discs to store data at higher densities, providing enough storage capacity for high-definition movies and television. Gentleman back to your corners and let the marketplace decide. HD DVD website Blu-ray Disc website

Google Talk now available

As expected the newest offering from Google is a windoze only application (Mac and Linux users can connect to Google Talk using other IM clients). However, the talk functionality only works on the windoze platform, the other platforms will have to settle for plain old IM. Google Talk enables you to call or send instant messages to your friends for free–anytime, anywhere in the world. UPDATE: after using Gtalk, i realized i don’t need another IM client or Skype wannabe. They just don’t have any new or exciting features to bring to the table. Google Talk for Windows download

Cisco Systems earnings call wrap-up

On Tuesday Aug 9, Cisco announced it latest earnings for Q4 and Fiscal Year 05 (FY05). It was Cisco’s 62nd conference call. Although, Cisco rarely comments on rumors, John Chambers did address the Nokia merger rumors as false. The merger would go against what Cisco internally has always said, never buy a company of equals (this was the Cisco/StrataCom merger, which some say was a failure) and IF IT is a merger of equals don’t buy one that is clear across the country or for that matter in another country.
– Q4 FY05 & Year End
– 62nd conf. call summary (Aug.9.2005)
– Q4 Revenue: $6.6b
– FY05 Revenue: $24.8b
– Q4 Operating Cash Flow: $2.4b
– FY05 Operating Cash Flow: $7.6b
– Q4 Net income $1.5b (GAAP); $1.6b (Pro Forma)
– FY05 Net income $5.7b (GAAP); $6.1b (Pro Forma)
– Q4 EPS:$0.24 (GAAP); $0.25 (Pro Forma)
– FY05 EPS:$0.62 (GAAP); $0.76 (Pro Forma)
– 67.9% Total Gross Margins
– $16.1b in Cash and Investments
– Headcount: 38,413
– OpEx is 35.9%
– Repurchased 130 million shares @ average price of $19.14 for an aggregate purchase price of $2.5 billion.
– As of July 30, 2005, Cisco had repurchased and retired 1.5 billion shares of Cisco common stock at an average price of $18.15 per share for an aggregate purchase price of approximately $27.2 billion since the inception of the stock repurchase program.
– During Q4 completed the acquisitions of FineGround Networks, Inc., M.I. Secure Corporation, NetSift, Inc., Sipura Technology, Inc., Topspin Communications, Inc. and Vihana, Inc.

Need to share pictures?

One of the reasons I put this blog together was to facilitate the sharing of pictures. I was sick of getting e-mails from people saying “hey, can you send me those pics from the weekend.” And, I wasn’t a big fan of ofoto, snapfish, etc…because although you can share pictures, you can only view them at some lame resolution (640×480) this way you are forced into buying their printing services. That’s where flickr comes in, it was recently bought by Yahoo and it allows you to upload your pictures and share them with the whole world at any resolution. For all you Mac fans there is an iPhoto plugin that will upload pictures directly from iPhoto – awesome. Over the next few months I’ll be converting my pictures section and have the photos reside on flickr.