Gongol.com Archives: May 2012
Brian Gongol

May 26, 2012

Business and Finance Google closes on purchase of Motorola Mobility
But, right out of the gate, they're making big mistakes. The old CEO is out, and a Google transplant is in. And Google CEO Larry Page says "he's already off to great start with some very strong new hires for the Motorola team". Rule of thumb for businesses: If you like the way a company is working well enough to buy it, keep the management in place. Truly good managers are hard to find. On the other hand, if you don't like the management, why would you buy the company in the first place? For its physical assets? ■ Google is doing something that could very well turn out to be smart -- having vertical integration from the phone people use to access the Internet up through the services that they use while there. And Motorola has been making some good phones lately -- the Droid Razr Maxx is a really good smartphone. Really good. But this is a big gamble for Google -- $12.9 billion big -- and they're paying $64.3 million to get rid of the CEO they decided not to keep around. So, in essence, they're saying that the replacement CEO is worth $130 million to the company...the amount they're paying to get rid of the proven guy who's leaving Motorola Mobility, plus the amount they'll have to compensate the new guy (which has to be at least as much over the next few years as the value of the "golden parachute" they're giving the guy who's leaving. ■ It's decisions like these that should give Google shareholders heartburn and give the rest of us pause to consider whether Google can really remain a juggernaut in its second decade.

Health Injections without the needle
MIT researchers have developed it -- and it could improve delivery of vaccines to the developing world as well as reduce the risk of infections by contaminated needles.

Computers and the Internet Someone attacked a University of Nebraska database with data on 654,000 people
Social Security numbers, addresses, grades, financial-aid information, even bank account details for some people. It's a big attack -- though it's unclear what information they were able to download, if any.

Weather and Disasters "[C]uriosity got the best of us and we watched it for a few seconds"
A family watched two tornadoes merge together on their farm before they decided to go to the basement, whereupon the tornado destroyed the house above them. It's possible we sometimes get a little too casual about tornadoes in the Midwest.

Weather and Disasters Beryl is a strange little storm
It's a subtropical storm (bringing about regular tropical-storm warnings), and it's moving to the southwest, which is an odd direction for a storm on the Atlantic coast to go

Computers and the Internet How the FBI plans to snoop on the Internet in the future
A unit based in Virginia will be working on ways to conduct surveillance on phone calls, Internet activity, voice-over-IP calls, and other communications

Science and Technology The Golden Gate Bridge turns 75

Computers and the Internet Google will warn users with infected computers to get the DNSChanger Trojan removed

News If you decide to go skydiving, do not -- DO NOT! -- chicken out at the last minute
It could cause you to slip out of the tandem harness. Yikes.

Science and Technology A motorcycle that never tips off of two wheels
It's a "self-stabilizing two-wheeler" with an electric powertrain and it has two doors and a steering wheel. It's not a car, nor a motorcycle. It stays upright using two high-RPM gyroscopes. But it looks just about as likely to get a driver killed in a wreck as a Smart Car.

Computers and the Internet New Microsoft user agreements would prevent class-action lawsuits
They've been a major nuisance for Microsoft for a long time, so blocking them entirely would mean a lot of added certainty for their projections and operations

Computers and the Internet So, what's really happening with the team that developed WebOS for Palm?
They got absorbed into HP, but then HP cancelled the enterprise. Now, rumors abound that some of them will move to Google. Officially, the ecosystem around it is now "sponsored by HP", but is supposed to become an open-source affair.

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