Business and Tech Links and Notes #7

January 13, 2010

1-13-10

1. http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=a4tjrm_Hz8xI&pos=1

“Google’s China Exit Would Put Baidu in Charge of Biggest Market”

Google really has little to lose by leaving China, and Baidu has plenty to gain. Although China is a large country, Google never really made that much money from the Chinese. I think a (if not the) major reason why Google is leaving China is because the cyber attacks prove how little incentive Google has to stay in China. Why market to an audience that gives little in the way of income and plenty in the way of headaches? Google has tried over the years to appease the Chinese government, but China’s censorship policies really put a damper on Google’s business model. I think Google’s desire to leave has little to do with principles and everything to do with money.

2. http://www.walletpop.com/blog/2010/01/13/jackpot-how-much-contestants-really-take-home-in-game-show-winn/

“Jackpot? How much contestants really take home in game show winnings”

The only thing that really annoyed me about this article was the mention about annuities and how they are worth less if contestants take lump sums instead. The author never mentioned anything about the net present value of money or inflation. In reality, the lump sum may very well be worth more than the annuity, depending on the strength of the currency of the annuity. Moreover, lump sums can be invested earlier than annuities, creating more opportunities to make even more money.

3. http://www.infoworld.com/d/mobilize/lg-bets-android-despite-windows-mobile-deal-829

“LG bets on Android despite Windows Mobile deal”

LG excels in selling basic, inexpensive phones to people who have little need for advanced mobile features. Although mobile computing is gaining popularity, there are still many people who simply desire to have a mobile phone without too many bells and whistles. Although LG should build up its smartphone division, I think LG should milk the low-end market for all that it can. I think LG would be best served to hold up on getting too aggressive with smartphones and wait for a clear winner in the mobile software competition before committing too many resources.

4. http://news.cnet.com/8301-13577_3-10434237-36.html?tag=newsLeadStoriesArea.1

“In urgent times, avoiding online charity scams”

I think the big thing to take out of this article is to give to someone reputable and not let emotions get in the way of good common sense. In the social networking age, anyone and everyone is suddenly a charity, and it is sometimes very difficult to tell who is for real and who is not. Like the article says, giving a basic donation to the Red Cross, UNICEF, and so forth is the best way to make sure the money is actually going to help disaster victims.

5. http://www.informationweek.com/news/security/antivirus/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=222300863

“Facebook Partners With McAfee For Security”

This is a wonderful idea. Although I have a personal preference toward other antivirus companies, I think in an age where every John and Jane has a Facebook, malware protection needs to be a top priority. In particular, a number of people on social networking sites have limited knowledge or interest in computers beyond the use of those sites. For those people, Facebook’s blatant show on Internet security may prompt them to be more careful about viruses and such. Malware is not only a danger to one person’s computer, but it can endanger the computers of anyone that person associates with.

6. http://www.technewsworld.com/story/Wii-Completes-Netflixs-Video-Game-Trifecta-69097.html

“Wii Completes Netflix’s Video Game Trifecta”

This is another example of integrated entertainment. The video game console becomes a means of getting movies on demand. Personally, I am just waiting for all of entertainment to become part of the cloud, and then a person’s media console (TV + computing device) will allow users to watch all live and recorded audio and video media, as well as play video games. Like all consolidation concepts though, the biggest flaw is when something goes wrong with the unit. If the unit can do more things, if that unit breaks, a person is left without being able to do more things that were left for that unit to do. Regardless, this comment had only secondary specific relevance to the article, but it is the first thing that comes to mind whenever I read about these kinds of things.

7. http://blogs.zdnet.com/BTL/?p=29392&tag=content;col1

“IT spending in U.S. to jump 6.6 percent in 2010; Will the optimism stick?”

I think IT spending will go up this year, due to the fact that the U.S. has to innovate to keep ahead of the world market in tech. We have outsourced so many of our less glamorous IT jobs that the only way we can remain competitive is to continue building new technologies. In particular, not only cloud computing and Windows 7, like the article mentions, but mobile technology as well, will be at the forefront of software developers’ minds in the coming year. In other words, I believe the optimism will stick, kind of like a forced march.

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