Hear that? It’s HP founders Bill and Dave spinning in their graves

 

Corporations, especially big American corporations, file lawsuits all the time for many reasons. Often they sue to force others to comply with agreements or to punish non-compliance with the law. But sometimes they sue, well, just because they can. I suspect that is what’s happening in Hewlett Packard’s current fight over Autonomy, the UK software company HP bought two years ago for $11.1 billion. The HP board seems determined to demonize Autonomy founder Mike Lynch for being smarter than they are.

Given the smarts that HP board has shown in recent years, we may all be at risk of being sued by the company.

HP, its business faltering with no mobile strategy to speak of and its stock dropping, has been looking like stupid-on-a-stick for years […]

By |November 28th, 2012|2012, Business, Companies, Computing, Industry, Technology, Uncategorized|Comments Off

Apple is greedy says Fallon Cringely

My son Fallon, who is six and still hasn’t lost any teeth, has a beef with Apple, iTunes, and the iOS App Store. “Apple is greedy,” Fallon says. But he has come up with a way for Cupertino to improve its manners through a revised business model.

Fallon would like to buy more apps for his iPod Touch, but the good ones cost money (what Fallon calls computer money) and he has been burned in the past by apps that weren’t really as good as the reviews suggested, probably because the reviewers weren’t six.

“If I buy an app and I don’t like it, I want Apple to give me my money back,” says Fallon. “Or maybe they […]

By |November 26th, 2012|Companies, Software|93 Comments

While the Intel board was firing Paul Otellini they should have fired themselves, too

Paul Otellini this week resigned his position as CEO of Intel as I’m sure you’ve already heard or read. Analysts and pundits are weighing-in on the matter, generally attributing Otellini’s failure to Intel’s late and flawed effort to gain traction in the mobile processor space. While I tend to agree with this assessment, it doesn’t go far enough to explain Otellini’s fall, which is not only his fault but also the fault of Intel’s board of directors. Yes, Otellini was forced out by the board, but the better action would have been for the board to have fired itself, too.

If there was a single event that triggered this end to Otellini’s tenure at Intel I’m […]

JOBS Act crowdfunding is unlikely to help most startups

Earlier this year I wrote a series of columns about crowdfunding and the JOBS Act, which was signed into law last April with several goals, one of which was to help startups raise money from ordinary investors. Those columns were about the promise of crowdfunding and the JOBS Act while this one is about what progress has been made so far toward that end. For startups, alas, the news is not entirely good. Crowdfunding looks like it may not be available at all for the smaller, needier companies the law was supposedly designed to serve.

It’s one thing to pass a law and quite another to write rules to carry out that law. Title 3 […]

Geek Idol: A Competition to Promote Competitiveness

A couple weeks from now we’re going to start serializing my 1992 book Accidental Empires: How the Boys of Silicon Valley Make Their Millions, Battle Foreign Competition, and Still Can’t Get a Date. It’s the book that was the basis for my 1996 documentary TV series Triumph of the Nerds and ultimately led to this column starting on pbs.org in 1997.

What goes around comes around.

We’ll be serializing the complete 1996 paperback edition which is 102,000 words in length, pumping the book onto the intertubes at around 2,000 words per day. In about 51 days, give or take a bit, we’ll put the entire work on the web with no ads and no subscription fee, just lots and lots of […]