MediaFile

Do US Open organizers really think the iPad is dangerous?

venuswilliams The organizers of the US Open pride themselves on using technology to help tennis fans enjoy the sport more both inside and outside the stadium.
But, as far as iPad is concerned the tournament’s tech love affair only goes so far, as the grand slam organizers appear to have banned the device from the stadium itself.
Some visitors to Arthur Ashe Stadium learned about this the hard way; by being turned away from the gates when security guards found them carrying the offending gadgets.
Given that the event organizers take space on their website to boast about their iPhone app, it was not immediately clear why its bigger cousin the iPad should be forbidden.
One security worker explained to a disappointed fan of both tennis and the iPad that the ban was due to concerns about  terrorists.  “They’re  using iPads to detonate things.”
Really?  A US open official was not immediately available on Wednesday to verify this was the tournament’s official stance.

Hidden in the security section of the visitor’s guide to the US Open website is a list of items prohibited from the event including computers and laptops as well as video recorders.

But the irony was not lost on tech reporters and executives attending the game on Tuesday night because US Tennis Association has been reasonably forward looking when it comes to technology.  The event’s tech boasts include an augmented reality iPhone app that IBM developed for the USTA. That  app promises to warn you about the quickest bathroom lines or   off what’s happening in other courts if you point your phone  in the right direction.
You could also enjoy the action of simultaneous matches by flicking between video streams on devices such as iPad.

Yet even Joe Ambeault, a product development executive for Verizon, explained how he was held up on his way to Verizon’s suite at the stadium because his bag included an array of gadgets such as an iPad, a laptop and some smartphones.
Then Ambeault went on to discuss how devices like iPads could be used to expand the use of Verizon’s FiOS video and internet service and improve enjoyment of sporting events, or at least those events where they are allowed.

(Reuters Photo: Venus Williams celebrating a win that gives her a spot  in the US Open semi-final)

from DealZone:

Playing in Larry’s sandbox

Having spent more than $42 billion to buy about 60 companies, Larry Ellison’s Oracle has set something of a daunting standard for merger activity in the business software industry. So while SAP’s plan to buy smaller business software maker Sybase for $5.8 billion may not roil markets, it could certainly shake up things in an already  busy infotech sector.

With Sybase, SAP gets a boost in mobile technology, but will also end up with a big database business that provides steady revenues but little else on which SAP can grow its business.

The database chunk is by far the bigger earner for Sybase, with the mobile aps business accounting for only a little over a quarter of annual revenue, so it could make an attractive business for SAP to hive off. Breakingviews columnist Robert Cyran points out that keeping a hand in the database world could also prove awkward for SAP as it exacerbates competitive friction with its allies, Microsoft and IBM.

Dot-Com: ‘Three Letters and a Punctuation Mark’ That Changed the World

DellTwenty five years ago, on March 15, 1985, the first commercial dot-com domain name – Symbolics.com – was born. It was one of only six dot-com domain names registered that year (Among the 15 oldest are Northrop.com, Xerox.com, HP.com, IBM.com, Sun.com, Intel.com, TI.com and ATT.com.)

A lot has happened between then and now: the fall of the Berlin wall, the dot com boom and bust, two Gulf wars, Sept. 11, at least one major global economic crisis and the creations of YouTube and Facebook. To give you an impression of the passage of time, REO Speedwagon’s “Can’t Fight This Feeling” had just succeeded “Careless Whisper” by Wham! on the U.S. pop charts.

Today there are more than 80 million websites and the Internet, for many, is nearly as omnipresent as air.

Technology Earnings

from Breakingviews:

Tech services deals count on more with less

Xerox button

The U.S. computer services industry is back in favor, after a decade of struggling to cut costs and compete with offshore firms from India and elsewhere. At least that would be the obvious conclusion to draw from a recent string of multibillion-dollar deals.

Xerox has agreed to buy Affiliated Computer Services for $6.4 billion while Dell is paying $3.9 billion for Perot Systems. They are picking up where Hewlett-Packard left off when it paid $13.9 billion to buy Electronic Data Systems in 2008.

But what's driving these deals is not a bet on the improving growth prospects of the services industry. Instead, the buyers value computer services companies more as sales pipelines for their own products.

from Commentaries:

Dell shows discipline in opting for Perot

-- Eric Auchard is a Reuters columnist. The opinions expressed are his own --
  
By Eric Auchard

Eric AuchardLONDON, Sept 21 (Reuters) - Dell Inc has made a solid move into computer services by buying Perot Systems, even if the hefty price Dell is paying is hard to justify on Perot's standalone prospects alone. 

And the price looks very rich indeed.  Dell is spending nearly $4 billion in cash -- a premium of 68 percent to Perot stock's recent close -- to buy a slow-growing U.S. computer services firm focused on health care and government clients.
  
That's 1.4 times Perot's expected 2010 sales, or roughly two times more than rival Hewlett-Packard paid when it acquired EDS in a $13.2 billion deal last year.

Who runs mergers and acquisitions at Dell?

(Update: Dell PR misspoke about Johnson’s responsibilities, and we’ve made changes below as indicated.)

Dell, which announced plans to buy Perot Systems for $3.9 billion on Monday, completed the deal without help from an executive in charge of mergers and acquisitions.

It’s a touchy subject for Dell, which earlier this year named David Johnson to its executive team, poaching him from IBM where he served as head of M&A. IBM filed a lawsuit, saying that Johnson violated a non-compete agreement by taking the job with Dell. But IBM failed to persuade a judge to bar Johnson from working at Dell while the litigation is pending.

from Commentaries:

Bon chance getting this deal done, Alcatel-Lucent

It beggars belief that humbled telecom equipment supplier Alcatel-Lucent could be scooped up by a Chinese rival with nothing better to do. Huawei or ZTE seem credible candidates. The question is, why would they ever bother?

PLA soldiers perform during a rehearsal of a musical drama in Beijing

That didn't stop shares of Alcatel-Lucent from rocketing up as much as 21 percent on Wednesday on rumors of an unnamed suitor. Momentum was helped by a rating upgrade on the depressed stock by French broker Natixis. The shares later settled back somewhat to trade at 2.75 euros, up 12 percent on the day in Paris.

Why would a Franco-American company that is widely considered a failed example of industry consolidation be doing the same thing over again, but with the added complexity of China in the mix?

from Commentaries:

A brutal logic to Dell’s reinvention: Eric Auchard

-- Eric Auchard is a Reuters columnist. The opinions expressed are his own --

By Eric Auchard

Michael Dell in New DelhiLONDON, July 22 (Reuters) - Dell Inc needs to reinvent itself to cope with falling margins for key products and a spate of mergers which are rapidly reshaping the competitive scene.

So the computer maker's moves into business services that help customers slash costs rather than add new programs look promising, given that every company under the sun is chasing this goal.

The other shift in Dell's favour is that corporate buyers look ready to start spending again on technology to generate new business, albeit at lower levels than before.

Recession? Liver transplant? Nothing bothers Apple

A good day for Apple — or a bad one? Judging from the early reaction in the stock market, investors seem to have already gotten used to the idea that Steve Jobs underwent a liver transplant two months ago,  as reported by the Wall Street Journal on Saturday. Shares of the company opened a touch higher.

One reason might be that — for most investors — certainty is also preferable to uncertainty. Know the risks and you can deal with it. And until this weekend, there was very little information on the nature of Jobs’ health problems, which began in 2004. (Apple, by the way, is not commenting on the WSJ report, other than to say that the company’s leader will return by the end of the month, as planned).

Another reason for the stock strength may be more basic: business looks pretty good. Apple said this morning that it had sold more than 1 million units of its newest iPhone in the first three days of its launch, a big number in the context of the current economy.  The device, which offers faster speeds, longer battery life and the ability to take videos, hit stores on Friday.