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Apple-Google learn Corporate Governance 1.0

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LONDON, Aug 3 (Reuters) – The resignation of Google CEO Eric Schmidt from Apple’s board should come as no surprise to anyone with an inkling of what corporate governance means.

But then Silicon Valley’s idea of corporate boards has long consisted of cozy, interlocking directorships which would be considered collusion in most other industries.

Google’s CEO is not leaving Apple’s board voluntarily. He is only stepping down in response to the increased government scrutiny of obvious potential conflicts of interest between the two companies.

Yet regulators shouldn’t be content with Schmidt’s departure. The truth is that Apple and Google have been heading into the same markets for years. A veritable chain of overlapping business ties remain in place even if the most obvious formal link is now broken.

Tech results give few clues to economy: Eric Auchard

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Windows 7 touchscreen demonstrationBy Eric Auchard

LONDON, July 24 (Reuters) – Investors have proved all too ready to interpret positive earnings trends from Intel, IBM and Apple as signs of economic recovery and to justify a continued rally in technology stocks.

Now they are taking the wrong lessons in reverse by reading disappointing results from Microsoft Corp as evidence that a nascent rebound in the economy has stalled.

The hollow ring of tech earnings reports: Eric Auchard

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By Eric Auchard

Morgan Stanley Hi-Tech Index year-to-dateLONDON, July 17 (Reuters) – For technology investors looking for clues to how the sector is faring, Intel Corp sent a false positive signal with its upbeat quarterly report this week. Subsequent reports from IBM, Nokia and Google show how hollow any recovery for growth stocks is proving to be. Even though the growth sector has defied the broader market sell-off in recent weeks, all the signs point to weak trading in months ahead.

Nokia, the world’s largest mobile phone maker, offered a harrowing reminder of what life is like for companies exposed to the wider vicissitudes of consumer demand. It is struggling in a handset market set to decline around 10 percent this year, even though Nokia signalled the industry may be stabilising.   

Don’t read too much into Intel’s success: Eric Auchard

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By Eric Auchard

Intel CEO Paul OtelliniLONDON (Reuters) – Intel Corp has cheered up investors by once again making forecasts about its financial performance. The trouble with reading too much into its rebound, however, is that this is largely due to productivity gains of its own making, rather than a broader awakening of demand.

To be sure, Intel’s revenue, profit and margins surged past all published analyst expectations for the second quarter. Partly, this was merely the “snapback” that occurred after Intel throttled back production to as low as 25 percent of factory capacity in the first quarter, amid a glut of unsold chips and shriveling demand.

In monopolies we love

The market is soaring today largely because chip-maker Intel reported better than expected earnings and Goldman Sachs bested even the most optimistic earnings predictions. But is it any shock that these two defacto monopolies would produce outsized earnings.

Even in a crummy economic environment, companies that dominate their sectors can do well. And that appears to be the case with Intel and Goldman. Of course, Goldman is getting a big hand from Uncle Sam. But that’s the subject of another blog post.

from MediaFile:

Netbook name game

Netbook is a remarkably clear and memorable terrm as far as most computer industry jargon goes. Which is why, as with any hot product category, it's hard for the computer industry to agree on exactly what it means.

Most people who started using the term over the last two years say it refers to a new class of tiny, low-cost, Web-connected computers.  That's at least what Intel thought when it adopted netbook last year as a generic term.  

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