Once Canada's largest, is valued at $194m, compared with about $250bn at the peak of the telecoms and internet boom in 2000. In the wake of the 2001 telecoms meltdown, Nortel was hard hit first by an accounting scandal and more recently by the scaling back of capital spending by some of its biggest wireless customers, including Sprint Nextel, the third-largest US mobile network operator.
Virgin Mobile has announced the launch of its "Texts into Space" service which "allows people to send their text declarations of love and affection into the unchartered territories of space where they will travel through the cosmos for all eternity". Launching in time for Christmas, the texts are transmitted via a satellite Earth Station in Cornwall by SentForever.com. Virgin says: "Once sent you can ensure your message will live on eternally, a concept that will surely touch the recipients heart" - or make them slightly nauseous, depending on the amount of schmaltzy sentiment they can bear.
That Nokia & NTT DoCoMo virtual mobile network operator that was announced several weeks ago will actually be established between the Japanese carrier and Vertu, Nokia's luxury handset division. The new MVNO's official name will be Vertu Club. A perfect moniker for an operator that plans to sell exclusivist handsets like the recently-appeared Vertu Boucheron 150.
With the economy in the shape it's in, even Microsoft and Google are thinking twice before dropping $100 million on a new datacenter. But the two tech giants are easing off the funding pedal for different reasons.
After years of rumors and brusque denials, it appears the Zune phone is the real deal. According to Trip Chowdhry, an analyst at Global Equities Research, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer will announce a Zune-style mobile device during his keynote address at the upcoming Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, on January 7, 2009.
Google will soon take Chrome, the Web browser the search giant launched last summer, out of beta, vice president Marissa Mayer announced recently at Le Web 08. The move is significant, TechCrunch says, because Google already has a number of eager customers who can't offer the open source browser until it's out of beta. With Chrome, Google is essentially trying to redefine the browser around open standards. On Monday, the search giant rolled out a new open source software platform called Native Client, which GigaOm says moves Google "even closer to fulfilling the early promise of a 'web operating system."' This was one of Microsoft's original fears when Marc Andreessen brought Netscape to prominence over a decade ago: that the browser maker would be able to offer services and features that compete head on with Microsoft's desktop software products. Famously, Bill Gates and co. countered with the scripting language ActiveX and the browser Internet Explorer, which ultimately clobbered Java and Netscape. Now, Google is offering Native Client as its own scripting language, in the hope that developers will receive it as a "friendlier version" of ActiveX. Native Client allows browsers to run code in the language understood by users' PCs, which means browser-based services will run faster and offer more functionality than they do now. As Mathew Ingram observes, the combination of Native Client, Chrome and Google Gears "makes for something that is awfully close to being a web OS."
Apple's iPhone "is fast developing into a breakthrough product for mobile advertising," says BusinessWeek's Peter Burrows. With "a stellar display, a tremendous Web-surfing user base, and GPS-enabled apps" the iPhone holds much promise for advertisers and possibly, Apple. However, so far, Apple doesn't get a cut of ad revenues from advertisers, as it does on software sold through the App Store. It may one day change that, especially as new tools (like this new one from Google) enhance the iPhone's advertising capabilities.
Facing increased costs of postage and maintaining its circulation, Newsweek has been quietly considering a drop its circulation. Sources say that the magazine is considering slashing up to 1.6 million copies from Newsweek's current rate base of 2.6 million, which would put the magazine's rate base at 1 million.
While the New York Times is trying to find more financing for the company next year, the website is where it is at, or so it says in a new marketing campaign, available here online. The video/interactive campaign, created in-house, is a series of 12 original unscripted videos with celebs talking about their favorite sections on NYTimes.com. The personalities are Kenneth Cole, Padma Lakshmi, John Leguizamo, John Cameron Mitchell, Isaac Mizrahi, Bebe Neuwirth, Cynthia Nixon, Dr. Mehmet Oz, Lynn Redgrave, Eric Ripert, Ben Stein and Justin Tuck. And Stein considers NYTimes.com a "magic carpet"; his video embedded in full post. Some more details on the campaign here.