MediaFile

from Summit Notebook:

Dell: stay tuned for “Streak”

It's hard to tell how much anticipation there is out there for Dell's upcoming "Streak" micro-tablet. The No. 3 PC maker's latest foray into a consumer arena that Apple's iPad has essentially helped create is set to hit stores this summer in the United States.

Consumer business unit chief Steve Felice told the Reuters Global Technology Summit that Dell isn't interested in becoming the No. 1 player in the smartphone and tablet mobile devices categories, where Apple and Google are waging a very high-profile war. But the former leader in personal computers fully intends to be a "top-tier player".

streak1"We look at this whole thing as an experience between the computer and the remote device. We still view these as complementary devices," he said.

Like a bunch of other tablet computers in the pipeline -- courtesy of everyone from Hewlett Packard to Acer -- Dell's is getting a fair share of Web attention, but this one is a little different though. At just 5-inches, the gizmo isn't quite a smartphone, yet can't quite call itself a tablet a la Apple's 11-inch product.

It remains to be seen where consumers will actually want a smartphone-tablet size-hybrid. Much of that may depend on price of course, but Felice isn't talking -- yet.

SanDisk on bullets and phone wars

Eli HarariWatch out for that smartphone! The iPhone, Android phones and the like are the weapons of the latest technology war, in the view of  flash memory maker SanDisk, which supplies the memory chips that hold pictures, video and apps to the phone makers.

“We sell them ammunition. There is a war going on and we sell the bullets,” Eli Harari told the Reuters Global Technology Summit.

And bullets are selling briskly, even in the developing world, where people without computers are buying $20 phones and then adding a gigabyte or two of memory to hold all their pictures, the CEO said.

from Summit Notebook:

VC’s Lament: the ones that got away

Vic Gundotra, Vice President of engineering at Google (R) and Omar Hamoui, founder and CEO of AdMob converse during the "Mobile: Where's The Money Going?" panel at the Fortune Tech Brainstorm 2009 in Pasadena, California July 23, 2009. REUTERS/Fred Prouser
Whether it’s passing up on a ticket to Woodstock or not buying Apple stock at $80 a share in January 2009, everybody has regrets.

So what do VCs regret?

We asked the panel of three money-men gathered for the VC Panel at the Reuters Technology Summit for their biggest laments when it comes to the deals they let get away.

“For me the one that comes to mind is AdMob,” said Khosla Ventures partner David Weiden, referring to the mobile advertising firm that Google announced plans to acquire for $750 million in November.

Actually, Yahoo is not spending another $85 million on ads

The news that Yahoo is spending $75 million to $85 million on an ad blitz has provoked a wave of disparagement in the blogosphere, with many critics slamming Yahoo for throwing more money away on an ineffective marketing strategy.

But much of the outcry appears to stem from a misunderstanding.

YahooBannerThe $75 million to $85 million in advertising is actually part of the $100 million campaign that Yahoo announced in September; It does not represent an additional $75 million to $85 million in ad spending.

A Yahoo spokesperson confirmed that Yahoo has only spent between $15 million and $25 million on the “It’s You” ad campaign since it was rolled out in September, with the remainder of the $100 million budgeted for the new ads, which represent phase two of the campaign.

Inside Google’s M&A machine: 3 months, $145 million, 9 deals

It’s no secret that Google has been on a buying binge, snapping up tech start-ups at a rapid-fire pace. What’s less transparent is how much that spree is costing it.

How much money is forked over is mostly a matter for speculation. Google doesn’t disclose financial terms for most acquisitions and only a few of the deals have had financial details leak out onto the blogosophere.

So it’s a bit of a welcome surprise that TECHNOLOGY CESGoogle shed a little more light on the matter on Wednesday in a regulatory filing with the SEC, in which it said it paid a total cash consideration of $145 million for nine acquisitions in the first three months of the year.

Google’s Facelift: Meet the new “nav-bar”

Google’s Web search engine is getting a bit of a facelift.

The company said on Wednesday that Web surfers will begin to see a new column of tools running down the left side of all their search results, as well as a slightly new look for Google’s famous multicolor logo (the shadows on the Google logo will be less pronounced).

The logo redesign probably won’t excite anyone but the most obsessive corporate branding wonks, but the new left-hand navigation bar represents Google’s latest effort to evolve its search engine to the changing nature of the Web and the competition.

GOOGNAVBAR Google’s new left-hand tool bar presents a slew of options that allow web surfers to filter their search results according to various categories of information indexed in its massive databases, from blog posts to videos.

Google unveils new ads in bid to tap into local merchant market

Google is revamping its efforts to court local merchants, as the Internet search giant faces a growing band of rivals aiming for a piece of the lucrative small business market.

On Monday, Google introduced a new way for local merchants to advertise on its Web site, as well as a variety of additional features to entice small and medium-sized businesses to use Google more often.

Store1Google’s local business center, which allows merchants to provide more information about their business listing on Google, is being re-branded Google Places. According to Google, some 4 million businesses worldwide have already “claimed” their listings among the 50 million generic business listings in Google’s directory of Places Pages

Meebo enlists Google, Microsoft in new social networking standard

With social networking services booming, website operators are increasingly looking for ways to make their sites play well in the social world.

Witness the clutter of “share this” buttons on websites urging surfers to share a video or an article with a litany of social networking services that the user may or may not belong to.

xauth2Now Internet chat and toolbar company Meebo is introducing another option that it says will allow websites to custom tailor the experience to each visitor’s personal social networking predilections.

Viacom digs up more YouTube documents for court case

EricSchmidt1Viacom’s ongoing legal fisticuffs with Google over alleged piracy on YouTube rages on. The MTV and Nickelodeon owner on Thursday put out nine additional exhibits in addition to the hundreds of pages that were  put out last month including transcripted deposition from Google CEO Eric Schmidt.  Viacom, which extended CEO Philippe Dauman’s contract today, said the exhibits “make clear one of our core claims in the case: that Google made a deliberate, calculated business decision not only to profit from copyright infringement, but also to use the threat of copyright infringement to try to coerce rights owners like Viacom into licensing their content on Google’s terms.”

Viacom is making that claim based on various statements from Google senior employees while management was considering buying YouTube. 

As for Schmidt’s deposition from May 2009 it’s not particularly controversial, with perhaps the most interesting statement being that he owns 30 computers and claims it has been his practice for 30 years to not retain his emails unless asked specifically.

In Tweets, paid search pioneer Bill Gross sees another goldmine

Like an ancient riddle, the secret to making money from Internet social media has obsessed, and frustrated, Web entrepreneurs for years.

But Bill Gross is not your ordinary entrepreneur.

As the founder of Goto.com in the late 1990s, Gross created the first successful implementation of  paid search, the concept that today underlies Google’s roughly $24 billion-a-year cash machine.

His latest project, TweetUp, aims to do something similar for Twitter messages by ranking Tweets by relevance and by allowing Twitter users to bid money for their messages to rise to the top. (Under the bidding system, a person selects keywords and bids a penny, a quarter, or more, for their Tweets to appear on searches for those keywords).