Techzone 360 Week in Review

By Tony Rizzo May 04, 2013

Let’s get to the tech week’s most important stuff right away – some big names were in the news. The ol’ Oracle of Omaha himself, Warren Buffett, has finally gotten himself a Twitter account, and even managed to pull off his first tweet while appearing on national television. His followers immediately jumped from 0 to 142,000 (how many of us wish that was our Twitter reality?) though last we looked he’s still not following anyone. Yet another celebrity, New York Senator Chuck Schumer, will announce, this coming Monday, new legislation that will target patent trolls and seek to reduce their ability to bring patent lawsuits to the courts with the United States Patent and Trademark Office providing a thorough review first. For tech vendors, this could possibly be big news.

We’ll hit you with one last big name (though you need to be in the telecommunications industry to really get it). Tom Wheeler has been nominated to head up the Federal Communications Commission. Some of us happen to think that this is a really smart move by the Obama administration. We ourselves fully concur. Find out why we believe this to be the case. Also on the federal front, the issue of government wiretapping on private systems is a divisive, hot-button issue for many. But most of the time, when a court order arrives for wiretapping on certain online systems, it's met with at least grudging cooperation. In some cases, however, it's met with resistance, and a government task force is eager to make resistance even more difficult with a recent push to give court orders even more teeth than they already have.

One last potentially federally-related thing this week – this one about taxes. As some among us now know, Apple launched a massive – and we mean massive – bond sale for $17 billion dollars, which immediately generated orders of $50 billion. That is a sweet capability, but one does have to wonder why a company with $145 billion in cash needs to take on debt of any kind, even in the case where it is enormously inexpensive to do so? Offshore cash and taxes have a lot to do with it.

Facebook announced earnings for its fiscal Q1 2013 period this week. The company is doing much better than one might have guessed. The company has stabilized, revenue and earnings are moving in the right direction and it is quite clear that mobility will not only be important to the entirety of Facebook’s future, but the company seems to be on the right track to ensuring this is the case.

Nokia this week invested in a very interesting company – Pelican Imaging, which provides some awesome camera capabilities. Nokia is looking for ways to enhance its own camera feature set and the investment in Pelican may be just the thing to take Nokia there. Another company – Retwact (sounds like Elmer Fudd, we know) -- has been studying ways to make Twitter more effective, and has come up with the perfect solution – a way to easily untweet your tweets. Sounds simple, but there is actually more to it than meets the eye.

A pair of very interesting market studies have emerged. First, IDC’s quarterly tablet report for Q1 2013 has uncovered very strong growth for the tablet market. The report also uncovered steady overall growth for the collective Android tablet market, which looks to now have surpassed iPads. True enough, but iPad still dominates in a big way. And a new Yankee Group study has emerged that makes the bold claim that iOS is going to dominate Android by the time 2015 is over. That is indeed a bold claim, but the report’s creator makes some strong points in its favor. Combined with strong tablet growth overall ad the Yankee report, it would seem Apple has a lot o life left in it!

We’ll leave you with this very interesting tidbit – the very first Web page to ever become available just turned 20 years of age – we’re showing our own age because, well, we were there for the unveiling! It is hard to believe that we are on the 20th anniversary of the creation of the worldwide Web, aka the Internet as we experience it, by Professor Sir Tim Berners-Lee while he was working at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN). In recognition of the historical significance of the Web, the good folks at CERN realized that the hardware and software that went into development of the very first website needed to be preserved for posterity. And so it has been.

Perhaps even more important to a lot of us, especially the young among us, is that there is another anniversary to celebrate this week. Yes, iTunes is celebrating its 10th year. That may be harder to believe than the first Web page being 20 years old but in its own way iTunes has proven itself to be every bit as disruptive as the Web has been.

Have a great weekend.

TechZone360 Senior Editor

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