the world as we write it

smiley status'

    eat my Twitter?

    The Black Rider

    authentic since 1981 'welcome to my bomboclot mind'

    Sunday, December 18, 2011

    Reuter site - Exclusive: Google CEO's inner circle: Meet the L Team

    This article was sent to you from bombastic4000@yahoo.com, who uses Reuters Mobile Site to get news and information on the go. To access Reuters on your mobile phone, go to:
    http://mobile.reuters.com/article/technologyNews/idUSTRE7BF1T420111217

    Exclusive: Google CEO's inner circle: Meet the L Team

    Fri, Dec 16 23:11 PM EST

    By Alexei Oreskovic

    SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - The most powerful group at Google Inc used to be known simply as "The OC," short for operating committee. Now, it goes by a more telling name: "L Team," short for Larry's Team.

    The change is more than a mere rebranding after Google co-founder Larry Page became chief executive nine months ago, reclaiming a title he last held in 2001. Page has moved quickly to remake the company in his image, and this influential group is responsible for plotting strategic priorities, such as social networking and mobile computing.

    In the revamping of the group earlier this year, Page swapped out several of the executives who previously had seats at the table and brought in managers spearheading key initiatives.

    Among the new members of Page's cabinet are social networking head Vic Gundotra, Android mobile chief Andy Rubin and YouTube head Salar Kamangar, according to people familiar with the matter.

    Page meets regularly with the team, which also includes Google's top finance and legal executives and is now internally called the L Team, to discuss, evaluate and approve their plans, from acquisitions to new products.

    "All major decisions flow through that group," said one of the people, speaking anonymously because of the confidential nature of the topic.

    The new team was appointed around the time that Page took over as CEO and reorganized the company's management structure. In addition to placing directors of key product groups under his direct supervision, and giving those groups more leeway to operate autonomously, Page transformed the operating committee into the L Team, a move not reported until now.

    A Google representative declined to comment on the changes Page made to the team. The company also declined to make executives available for interviews.

    The revamp is part of Page's efforts to make the world's No. 1 Web search engine more nimble and competitive amid a shifting technology landscape in which Google is increasingly battling heavyweights like Apple Inc and Facebook.

    To make room for his new advisers, Page chose to remove some well-known and powerful executives from the inner circle instead of expanding it, according to the sources.

    They said the executives who have left the group include Marissa Mayer, the head of Google's local, maps and location services business; Rachel Whetstone, its London-based global communications and public affairs chief; and Shona Brown, who previously oversaw business operations and now heads the company's philanthropic arm.

    Mayer's membership within the group was particularly short-lived. The former head of Google's flagship search product and user experience was appointed to the operating committee in October 2010, roughly around the time she was assigned a new job overseeing Google's local business.

    But she and other executives Page moved out of his inner circle were not completely sidelined, the sources said. Mayer still has a "huge job," said another person familiar with the matter. Whetsone was promoted to senior vice president in April.

    The changes to the group reflect the shifting influence within Google's top ranks, said first source, who added that changes were natural with a new CEO in place.

    "I think Larry was thoughtful about how he approached this, and I don't know of too many bruised egos. Some change is expected to happen when the power center shifts," the source said.

    Page did retain some members of the original "OC," including finance chief Patrick Pichette, Chief Business Officer Nikesh Arora and Chief Legal Officer David Drummond.

    It was unclear if Eric Schmidt, who ended his 10-year stint as CEO to become Google's executive chairman, and co-founder Sergey Brin have formal roles on the L Team.

    Schmidt is often traveling as part of his new role, while Brin focuses on advanced research projects that are less directly related to the day-to-day business.

    Founded by Page and Brin in 1998, Google has grown into a corporate behemoth, with roughly $29 billion in revenue last year and nearly $43 billion in cash and securities on its balance sheet as of the end of September.

    While Google has dominated Internet searching for a decade, the company has struggled to find its footing in social networking, with Facebook, Twitter and other start-ups stealing Web traffic and engineering talent.

    Under Page's watch, Google has launched its most ambitious challenge to Facebook's social networking dominance with the Google+ social network.

    In August, Google said it would acquire mobile phone company Motorola Mobility Inc for $12.5 billion, a deal that allows Google to add hardware capabilities to its Android smartphone software.

    At the same time, Page has pruned the company's sprawling portfolio of products, eliminating projects involving green energy and health among others, even as headcount has swelled to more than 31,000 employees.

    "More wood behind fewer arrows" is how Page described his approach, when speaking to analysts on a conference call this summer.

    "Focus and prioritization are crucial given our amazing opportunities," he said, noting that Google had substantially increased its "velocity and execution" with its new management structure.

    (Reporting by Alexei Oreskovic; Editing by Peter Lauria and Steve Orlofsky)

    Paging L team, paging L team

    http://us.mobile.reuters.com/do/getNewsImages?n=technologyNews&u=USTRE7BF1T420111217&i=1

    Sent via BlackBerry by AT&T

    Reuter site - Exclusive: Google CEO's inner circle: Meet the L Team

    This article was sent to you from bombastic4000@yahoo.com, who uses Reuters Mobile Site to get news and information on the go. To access Reuters on your mobile phone, go to:
    http://mobile.reuters.com/article/technologyNews/idUSTRE7BF1T420111217

    Exclusive: Google CEO's inner circle: Meet the L Team

    Fri, Dec 16 23:11 PM EST

    By Alexei Oreskovic

    SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - The most powerful group at Google Inc used to be known simply as "The OC," short for operating committee. Now, it goes by a more telling name: "L Team," short for Larry's Team.

    The change is more than a mere rebranding after Google co-founder Larry Page became chief executive nine months ago, reclaiming a title he last held in 2001. Page has moved quickly to remake the company in his image, and this influential group is responsible for plotting strategic priorities, such as social networking and mobile computing.

    In the revamping of the group earlier this year, Page swapped out several of the executives who previously had seats at the table and brought in managers spearheading key initiatives.

    Among the new members of Page's cabinet are social networking head Vic Gundotra, Android mobile chief Andy Rubin and YouTube head Salar Kamangar, according to people familiar with the matter.

    Page meets regularly with the team, which also includes Google's top finance and legal executives and is now internally called the L Team, to discuss, evaluate and approve their plans, from acquisitions to new products.

    "All major decisions flow through that group," said one of the people, speaking anonymously because of the confidential nature of the topic.

    The new team was appointed around the time that Page took over as CEO and reorganized the company's management structure. In addition to placing directors of key product groups under his direct supervision, and giving those groups more leeway to operate autonomously, Page transformed the operating committee into the L Team, a move not reported until now.

    A Google representative declined to comment on the changes Page made to the team. The company also declined to make executives available for interviews.

    The revamp is part of Page's efforts to make the world's No. 1 Web search engine more nimble and competitive amid a shifting technology landscape in which Google is increasingly battling heavyweights like Apple Inc and Facebook.

    To make room for his new advisers, Page chose to remove some well-known and powerful executives from the inner circle instead of expanding it, according to the sources.

    They said the executives who have left the group include Marissa Mayer, the head of Google's local, maps and location services business; Rachel Whetstone, its London-based global communications and public affairs chief; and Shona Brown, who previously oversaw business operations and now heads the company's philanthropic arm.

    Mayer's membership within the group was particularly short-lived. The former head of Google's flagship search product and user experience was appointed to the operating committee in October 2010, roughly around the time she was assigned a new job overseeing Google's local business.

    But she and other executives Page moved out of his inner circle were not completely sidelined, the sources said. Mayer still has a "huge job," said another person familiar with the matter. Whetsone was promoted to senior vice president in April.

    The changes to the group reflect the shifting influence within Google's top ranks, said first source, who added that changes were natural with a new CEO in place.

    "I think Larry was thoughtful about how he approached this, and I don't know of too many bruised egos. Some change is expected to happen when the power center shifts," the source said.

    Page did retain some members of the original "OC," including finance chief Patrick Pichette, Chief Business Officer Nikesh Arora and Chief Legal Officer David Drummond.

    It was unclear if Eric Schmidt, who ended his 10-year stint as CEO to become Google's executive chairman, and co-founder Sergey Brin have formal roles on the L Team.

    Schmidt is often traveling as part of his new role, while Brin focuses on advanced research projects that are less directly related to the day-to-day business.

    Founded by Page and Brin in 1998, Google has grown into a corporate behemoth, with roughly $29 billion in revenue last year and nearly $43 billion in cash and securities on its balance sheet as of the end of September.

    While Google has dominated Internet searching for a decade, the company has struggled to find its footing in social networking, with Facebook, Twitter and other start-ups stealing Web traffic and engineering talent.

    Under Page's watch, Google has launched its most ambitious challenge to Facebook's social networking dominance with the Google+ social network.

    In August, Google said it would acquire mobile phone company Motorola Mobility Inc for $12.5 billion, a deal that allows Google to add hardware capabilities to its Android smartphone software.

    At the same time, Page has pruned the company's sprawling portfolio of products, eliminating projects involving green energy and health among others, even as headcount has swelled to more than 31,000 employees.

    "More wood behind fewer arrows" is how Page described his approach, when speaking to analysts on a conference call this summer.

    "Focus and prioritization are crucial given our amazing opportunities," he said, noting that Google had substantially increased its "velocity and execution" with its new management structure.

    (Reporting by Alexei Oreskovic; Editing by Peter Lauria and Steve Orlofsky)

    Reuter site - Europeans lukewarm on Nokia Windows phone: survey

    This article was sent to you from bombastic4000@yahoo.com, who uses Reuters Mobile Site to get news and information on the go. To access Reuters on your mobile phone, go to:
    http://mobile.reuters.com/article/technologyNews/idUSTRE7BF0K520111216

    Europeans lukewarm on Nokia Windows phone: survey

    Fri, Dec 16 04:48 AM EST

    HELSINKI (Reuters) - European consumers show little interest in Nokia's first smartphone using Microsoft's Windows Phone software, a survey by Exane BNP Paribas showed on Friday.

    "With only 2.2 percent of surveyed buyers firmly intending to purchase the Lumia, Nokia's first flagship Windows Phone is ... far behind the current blockbusters, Apple's iPhone 4S and Samsung's Galaxy S II," analyst Alexander Peterc said in a note.

    The brokerage slashed its view on sales of the Lumia to end-users to just 800,000 from its initial "ballpark estimate" of 2 million and said this compared with launch-quarter sales of between 3.5 million and 4 million for Nokia's previous flagship, the N8.

    Exane BNP Paribas cut its price target on Nokia shares to 3.30 euros from 3.70 euros and stuck to its "underperform" rating on the stock, which was down 1.3 percent at 3.736 euros by 0939 GMT.

    The brokerage surveyed 1,300 consumers in the five markets where the Lumia 800 had gone on sale in the week started December 5, but narrowed the sample to 456 who had declared an intention to purchase a smartphone in the next month.

    (Reporting by Tarmo Virki; Editing by David Holmes)

    Hello my friend we meet again

    http://us.mobile.reuters.com/do/getNewsImages?n=technologyNews&u=USTRE7BG03120111217&i=1

    Sent via BlackBerry by AT&T

    Reuter site - Analysis: Could RIM's survival mean abandoning the BlackBerry?

    This article was sent to you from bombastic4000@yahoo.com, who uses Reuters Mobile Site to get news and information on the go. To access Reuters on your mobile phone, go to:
    http://mobile.reuters.com/article/technologyNews/idUSTRE7BG03120111217

    Analysis: Could RIM's survival mean abandoning the BlackBerry?

    Fri, Dec 16 20:36 PM EST

    By Alastair Sharp and Pav Jordan

    TORONTO (Reuters) - It might seem like corporate heresy but an increasing number of technology investors and experts are asking whether Research in Motion needs to ditch its BlackBerry handset business to survive.

    The idea that is gaining favor, albeit only among a minority of shareholders, would see the Canadian company fully open its secure and highly respected network to rival smartphone providers and concentrate on that business while getting out of the hardware game altogether through a sale.

    Disappointing quarterly results, including a dismal outlook for Blackberry sales and word that RIM would delay the introduction of new devices, sent its shares down more than 11 percent to their lowest levels in almost eight years on Friday.

    Just before those numbers were released, activist shareholder Jaguar Financial called on the company to sell its handset business and monetize its patent portfolio while retaining the high-margin services business. "Jaguar believes that the road map to value restoration lies in a sale of RIM whether as a whole or in separate parts," it said.

    RIM's spidery, data-crunching network reaches behind corporate firewalls and taps into mobile networks globally.

    The network, unique among handset makers, has been a cornerstone of the BlackBerry's growth - with email and instant messages routed through RIM's own enterprise servers and data centers, where it is encrypted and pushed out to subscribers.

    There are no middlemen to intercept corporate or state secrets, or even the flirty chats of teenagers who love the free BlackBerry messaging.

    TERMINAL DECLINE?

    Jaguar, which claims support from shareholders who own about 8 percent of RIM's stock but only owns a tiny fraction itself, also reiterated its call for a change in the company's leadership.

    It has called for a new "transformational" leader to replace RIM's co-CEOs Mike Lazaridis, the company's co-founder, and Jim Balsillie, the mercurial salesman who has marketed the BlackBerry to the world.

    It is not alone in wondering whether a sharp decline in Blackberry sales - the company said it expects the number of devices it ships in the quarter including Christmas will drop as much as 26 percent from a year ago - is a sign of terminal decline for the product.

    The company's network has stronger margins and more secure recurring revenue, though it still needs to be fully exploited.

    "If they want to maintain that asset, if not stabilize or grow it, they need to open it up to the other platforms and look at themselves as an enterprise software company," ThinkEquity analyst Mark McKechnie said.

    RIM is likely already working on just such a change, said a U.S.-based shareholder, who declined to be identified. The fund manager, whose firm owns more than 1 million RIM shares, said delays launching new software and devices may reflect efforts to fully accommodate devices from outside RIM's own stable.

    A year ago, talk of ditching the BlackBerry would have been almost unthinkable, let alone garner any serious attention. That was before a spectacular meltdown that has seen the device, once an essential tool in the top echelons of business and politics, being pushed aside by Apple's iPhone and smartphones powered by Google's Android software.

    The deterioration in the business has been so great that some analysts now estimate that RIM is barely making money on BlackBerry sales.

    MASSIVE DISCOUNTS

    That isn't its only problem. The PlayBook, the company's latecomer in the tablet market dominated by Apple's iPad, has been a deflating disappointment, forcing RIM to offer massive discounts on the unloved device. It took a $485 million pre-tax charge for the Playbook, which runs on QNX software that RIM plans to use in its future devices.

    The severity of RIM's problems shows up in its share price. It crashed to a low of just $13.12 on Friday, after trading as high as $144 in 2008 and about $70 in February this year. A company that was once worth almost $80 billion is now valued at barely $7 billion.

    Meanwhile, the subscriptions that businesses and network operators pay RIM each month brought in more than $1 billion in each of the past two quarters.

    The company declined to comment on talk that it will ever abandon the BlackBerry and did not grant interviews with either Lazaridis or Balsillie for this story.

    Balsillie announced a comprehensive review of RIM's operations on a conference call with analysts on Thursday.

    "We plan to introduce new devices into the smartphone and tablet market, as well as products and services that better leverage our global cloud infrastructure, and unique capabilities within the smartphone market, he said.

    While RIM hasn't given any indication it plans to give up on its BlackBerry handset, it has started to emphasize its services business.

    EXTRA STEP

    In late November, RIM took a first step that could eventually lead to establishing the network as a standalone operation. It introduced a software tool giving corporate customers the option of linking iPhones and Android devices to the BlackBerry network.

    The move stops short of offering outsiders access to its unique technology that encrypts data and pushes it out to the BlackBerry. Going that extra step is exactly what some critics suggest that RIM needs to consider.

    RIM charges a monthly fee to every BlackBerry user, making its network a stable stream of revenue and giving the company an advantage over every other handset maker. For RIM, it has become a more reliable source of profit than shipping its own smartphones.

    The strategic reasoning goes: Why build a staid Volvo or a flashy Ferrari when you can own the toll highway on which they drive?

    "There is a massive under-utilized asset in the services infrastructure which is very profitable. I think they are getting ready to come to market with a way to leverage that," said the U.S. fund manager. "At a minimum, I think they are going to start aggressively doing things that leverage their infrastructure beyond RIM handsets."

    RISK IN WAITING

    Mike Abramsky, an analyst at RBC Capital Markets, raised the prospect of RIM splitting in two back in July. For him, the biggest risk is waiting. He says RIM's still-growing global subscriber base gives it time to make the move, but the network too would suffer if the BlackBerry keeps slipping.

    Alternative networks that provide many of the same features as the BlackBerry enterprise network are already making inroads. Eventually even that jewel could lose its cachet, he says.

    "The risk in waiting is that as more companies switch over to alternatives, it will be difficult to attract them back to BlackBerry even as a network-only business," he said, referring to companies such as Good Technology and SAP's Sybase, which encrypt and manage data for iPhones and other devices.

    Abramsky said offering a managed network for users of all handsets would expand RIM's potential market by six times or more. At the same time, the network business likely boasts an 80 percent gross margin versus a handset business in the high 20 percent range.

    Lazaridis has been betting on reinvigorating the Blackberry by hoping that QNX, the new operating system, will help RIM catch up and perhaps overtake the iPhone and Google's Android and stifle Microsoft's emerging mobile platform.

    The new system is supposed to allow devices to be updated on the fly and should also help third-party developers that struggle to write appealing apps in RIM's aging framework. A dearth of BlackBerry apps compared with Apple and Android has limited RIM's attractiveness to many consumers.

    But RIM has yet to show it can make the transformation successfully. The first of the new generation of QNX-equipped smartphones - the BlackBerry 10 line - was initially promised for early next year, but on Thursday RIM said it did not expect to release a BlackBerry 10 device until the latter part of 2012.

    The delay in the make-or-break QNX line will only accelerate the drive among investors for sweeping change.

    What's clear to many investors and analysts is the status quo will mean an accelerating fade into irrelevance.

    "Investors have been extremely patient and they're being asked to wait another year," said a Canada-based shareholder. "A year from now, will all this be too little, too late?"

    (Editing by Frank McGurty, Janet Guttsman, Martin Howell)

    Reuter site - BlackBerry delay darkens RIM's future

    This article was sent to you from bombastic4000@yahoo.com, who uses Reuters Mobile Site to get news and information on the go. To access Reuters on your mobile phone, go to:
    http://mobile.reuters.com/article/technologyNews/idUSTRE7BD1ST20111217

    BlackBerry delay darkens RIM's future

    Fri, Dec 16 20:50 PM EST

    By Euan Rocha

    TORONTO (Reuters) - A months-long delay in Research in Motion's new BlackBerrys and a dreary quarterly report sent RIM shares tumbling again on Friday and pushed some analysts to sound the death knell for the mobile device that once defined the industry.

    RIM's announcement late Thursday that it expected to launch smartphones powered by its new QNX operating system months after initially expected revived calls for the ouster of RIM's co-CEOs Mike Lazaridis and Jim Balsillie.

    The delay, combined with a dismal performance outlook issued along with the quarterly results, sparked renewed chatter about the break-up of the Canadian tech giant, which has floundered as nimbler competitors claw away at its market share.

    "RIM confirmed the BlackBerry 10 smartphones will be delayed until the latter part of calendar 2012. This could be game over for the BlackBerry franchise," analysts at Canadian brokerage National Bank Financial wrote in a note to clients. BlackBerry 10 is the name the company has given to the QNX phones, which RIM had initially expected to deliver in the first quarter.

    On Friday, the delay spurred several brokerage firms to cut their price targets and ratings on RIM shares and sent the Waterloo, Ontario-based company's shares tumbling more than 12 percent on Friday.

    "We see a high risk that this is too late to turn around RIM's position and believe the risk of further delays is meaningful," Nomura analyst Stuart Jeffrey said in a research note. "Even in the best case, however, it seems unlikely RIM will have large volumes of its BB10 devices on sale within 15 months."

    RIM has been counting on the new QNX operating system to make up ground lost to Apple Inc's iPhone and iPad and the slew of devices that use Google Inc's Android software. The delay portends another long year of transition for RIM, allowing rivals to make further in-roads into RIM's market share.

    RIM on Thursday also provided a gloomy outlook for earning as sales of an interim line of legacy BlackBerry 7 smartphones lag during the crucial holiday season. Even if shipments hit the high-end of RIM's expectations during Christmas, the company will still post the first annual decline in its history.

    The constant stream of bad news from RIM over the last year has driven its shares to their lowest since early 2004, and it has led to analyst and investor demands for Balsillie and Lazaridis to step down.

    "RIM reminds me of a beloved grandparent. You love them, but they are very outdated and sooner or later they will be gone," said independent analyst Jeff Kagan in an email.

    "Either the existing CEOs must update their thinking or bring in a new CEO to lead the company out of the darkness and back into the sunshine before it is too late."

    PRICE TARGET CUTS

    Canaccord Genuity cut its price target on RIM's U.S.-listed shares to $15 from $18, citing the delay in the launch of BlackBerry 10 and the company's plans to spend more on sales and marketing to help sustain interim sales.

    Barclays shared similar concerns about the company's projected investments in marketing and loyalty programs to regain "mind" share.

    "Benefits of the investments are not guaranteed but are likely to keep RIM's operating margins at sustainably lower levels through 2012 and 2013," Barclays said.

    Barclay's cut it price target on RIM's U.S.-listed shares to $14 from $16; Citigroup reduced it price target to $12 from $15, and National Bank Financial dropped its price target to $8 from $10.

    Research in Motion shares, which have lost almost half their value in the last three months, fell 11.2 percent to $13.44 Friday afternoon on the Nasdaq. The Toronto-listed shares fell 12.1 percent to C$13.89.

    (Reporting By Euan Rocha in Toronto and Ashutosh Pandey in Bangalore; Editing by Frank McGurty)

    About Me

    My photo
    If you know me then you know my name. I am The Black Rider and the world is my Flame. The rider writes, observes, creates, produces, and learns the world around him. Ride on. Ride on!

    The Remnants