MediaFile

Blue Jeans Network’s chipping away at Cisco with video technology

Blue Jeans Network, a small rival of network equipment giant Cisco, is taking John Chambers by his word.

Cisco CEO Chambers’ mantra that video is the new voice all depends on how easy and simple it is to start a video call.

Blue Jeans, which claims it is the leader in making video services work together, says its new browser access technology does just that. (http://bluejeans.com/works-with/browser.)

All it takes is a browser and camera to join video meetings  or audio connections thus allowing technology, which is often proprietary, to work with services that are often not compatible, its CEO Krish Ramakrishnan said.

So callers on Skype can hook up with people using Polycom for example

Video calls and meetings have yet to see widespread adoption beyond the corporate boardroom but new services and software are enabling a high-speed Internet connection and a standard desktop computer, smartphone or tablet can provide quality similar to expensive systems.

Cisco tries to free up internet traffic jam

There is nothing more infuriating than a slow mobile connection. With people bringing their own devices to  workand everywhere else, wireless networks will be working hard to accommodate the mobile traffic flood.  

Here’s where Cisco comes in: On Tuesday, it unveiled a wireless access point called the Aironet 3600 Series, which can increase the speed of connection by up to 30 percent on any kind of mobile device no matter how weak or strong the network is. 

According to Cisco, it is the first company to offer access points with four antennas and three spatial streams. What does it mean?  Essentially more people have more range to use their devices, even if there is more traffic.

Tech wrap: Adobe scraps Flash for mobile browsers

Score a point for Apple. Software maker Adobe scrapped its Flash Player for mobile devices after a mutli-year battle with Apple over the merits of the technology, which is used to view videos and play games on the Web. Take a look back at the legendary tech spat in this blow-by-blow timeline that stretches back to January 2007 when Apple launched its iPhone with a browser that was not compatible with Adobe’s Flash player. The company said in a blog post it plans to focus its future mobile browsing efforts on HTML5, a competing technology that is now universally supported on all major mobile devices.

Online business reviews site Yelp has hired bankers to lead an intitial public offering that could value the company at up to $2 billion, several people familiar with the matter told DealBook’s Evelyn M. Rusli. Goldman Sachs and Citigroup will participate in the offering, which is expected in the first quarter of next year, one of the sources said.

Cisco Systems singaled a turnaround on Wednesday when it raised its forecast revenue and earnings above Wall Street expectations as demand from government and enterprises for its network equipment remained resilient despite global economic troubles. Earlier, the company reported quarterly earnings per share that beat estimates, signaling that efforts to revive growth are beginning to pay off.

Tech wrap: Cisco beats “low bar”

Cisco Systems Inc’s quarterly results edged past Wall Street’s scaled-back expectations as IT spending held up despite fears of a severe pullback, buoying its shares in extended trading. The world’s largest networking equipment maker reported sales of $11.2 billion in the fiscal fourth quarter, surpassing expectations for under $11 billion.

“They beat a low bar. A lot of it is coming from cost cutting, which we anticipated. In that sense it’s a relief,” Joanna Makris of Mizuho Securities USA told Reuters.

Groupon Inc’s plans for an initial public offering have been dented by the stock market slump and new financial disclosures that suggest the daily deal company’s business is slowing in North America, analysts said on Wednesday.

Tech wrap: Is Groupon’s IPO window closing?

As the Nasdaq Composite index continued its week-long tailspin, tech investors and analysts are wondering what the stock plunge could mean for the pending IPOs of companies like Groupon and Zynga.

The coming week, which has about a dozen IPOs scheduled to price, will be a good test of the severity of the selloff, according to Nick Einhorn, an analyst at Connecticut-based IPO research house Renaissance Capital. “Less mature, less profitable companies could have a tougher time going public,” Einhorn told Reuters.

If there was to be another recession, writes Investor Place’s Tom Taulli, “the IPO market will freeze up. It will mostly be only standout companies – such as Zynga and Facebook – that will get traction. A company like Groupon, which has substantial losses, may have to delay its offering or cut the valuation.”

Tech wrap: Yahoo battle with Alibaba heats up

Yahoo’s battle with Alibaba intensified as they issued contradictory statements over the Chinese company’s transfer of a major Internet asset to its CEO. Analysts said the handover of Alipay, an online e-commerce payment system, to Alibaba CEO Jack Ma has reduced the value of Yahoo’s 43 percent Alibaba stake.  Yahoo said it had been blindsided by the deal, while Alibaba countered that Yahoo was aware of the transaction by virtue of having a board seat, now held by former Yahoo Chief Executive Jerry Yang, who is also a Yahoo director.

PR agency Burson-Marsteller, in the spotlight after it was revealed that Facebook had hired the firm to run a smear campaign against Google, said it will give the employees in charge of the operation extra training instead of firing them, The Daily Beast’s Dan Lyons writes.

Cisco Systems is expected to cut thousands of jobs in possibly its worst-ever round of layoffs to meet Chief Executive John Chambers’ goal of slashing costs by $1 billion. Four analysts contacted by Reuters estimated the world’s largest maker of network equipment will eliminate up to 4,000 jobs in coming months, with the average forecast at 3,000. That would represent 4 percent of Cisco’s 73,000 permanent workers. It also has an undisclosed number of temporary contractors.

Tech wrap: HTC trumps Nokia

An employee holds a HTC Sensation mobile phone during its launch in London April 12, 2011. Taiwanese smartphone maker HTC unveiled on Tuesday a new handset model that offers a library of movies and TV shows via a wide screen that will be available on the Vodafone network. REUTERS/Luke MacGregorHTC launched the HTC Sensation, offering an entire library of movie and TV shows via a wide screen, with a fast 1.2GHz processor. While Nokia, which dumped its once-dominant Symbian software earlier this year after falling behind Apple in the high-end handset market, launched two new models improved with better text input, faster Internet browsing and a refreshed Ovi Maps application, in a bid to stem customer defections while it works on a new offering.

“The new HTC Sensation phone reflects the mountain Nokia needs to climb to close the hardware and software gap with its rivals,” said Ben Wood, research director at CCS Insight. “On the day Nokia unveils the 600Mhz X7 ‘entertainment phone’ it has been trumped by HTC’s Sensation which has a dual-core 1.2Ghz processor”.

Cisco Systems will dump its Flip video camera division, retiring the popular brand rather than selling it in a first step toward reviving a company CEO John Chambers admits has lost its way. The decision to nix Flip, along with a planned folding of its Umi home videoconference business into the more successful TelePresence arm, underscores Chambers’ need to whittle down a money-losing consumer division that also includes Scientific Atlanta set-top boxes and Linksys home routers. Among the steps announced, Cisco plans to combine its lackluster Umi service with its TelePresence system for corporate clients. The company will also change the way it manufactures its Linksys line of networking equipment.

Poll: After Cisco’s Flip, what’s next for the smartphone serial killers?

The iPhone and its rivals claimed another scalp in the consumer electronics industry this morning when Cisco announced it was powering down its Flip video camera business. The market for dedicated digital video recorders has looked precarious even since Apple added video to the iPhone with the launch of the 3GS model in June 2009, just three months after Cisco announced the Flip acquisition. Since then, the ever-improving functionality of the iPhone and Android devices have steadily eroded demand for still cameras, GPS devices and a host of other gadgets. Which ones have you stopped using?

My phone is so smart, I no longer see the need for a separate:

    Stills camera Video camera Email device GPS MP3 player E-book reader Portable game player Kitchen timer Life partner

View Results Loading ... Loading ...

Tech wrap: Cisco ripe for activist assault?

John Chambers, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Cisco, participates in a panel discussion titled ''Enhancing Access to Modern Technology,'' at the Clinton Global Initiative, in New York, September 23, 2010. Reuters/Chip EastIn a remarkably candid memo to employees, Cisco chief John Chambers admitted that the networking giant had been slow to make decisions, fallen down on execution, lacked discipline in an aggressive expansion and will need to change to restore its credibility. He warned staff to prepare for a number of unspecified changes in the next few weeks and coming fiscal year, starting in August.

Cisco’s poor performance, valuable assets, cash pile and years of capital misallocation provide the kindling to spark long-suffering shareholders into an uprising, writes Rob Cox.

Tens of millions of customers and employees of banks Citigroup and Capital One, retailers Walgreens, Best Buy and Target, and hotel chains Hilton and Marriott are at risk of “spear-phishing” attacks if they respond to camouflaged emails seeking their credit card numbers or other information, after hackers stole their email addresses in what may become one of the biggest data breaches ever, security experts warned. Using emails that appear to come from a trustworthy source to steal data — is sometimes known “spear-phishing” because such emails are more focused than traditional “phishing” emails.

from Summit Notebook:

Cisco home TelePresence: online school heaven?

CISCO4

You can just hear the University of Phoenix licking its chops right now.

Cisco expects to have  its home TelePresence system -- a living room version of what you have seen in those quirky Ellen Page commercials (see below) -- by the holiday season at around $500 (plus some kind of monthly service fee), Cisco Executive Vice President Rob Lloyd said on Thursday at the Reuters Global Technology Summit. He and some other Cisco employees are about to start a round of internal testing.

The system will let two users have a conversation with video. Ok, yes, Skype does that every day over garden variety laptops. But TelePresence, as described by Lloyd, uses your high speed Internet link, and your own flat-screen TV, to deliver crisp video, and overcome that weird latency issue where you and your conversation partner both talk at the same time, and both stop to say "no...you go."

The key benefit, he says, is that it works over your home TV and brings the myriad tools of the Internet to your conversation. So if you are talking about the family tree, you can bring up photo apps during the chat, or video or other useful information. And for school... its priceless.