Sunday, May 4, 2008

Turns out Resistance isn't futile


Microsoft has officially withdrawn the unsolicited buyout of Yahoo!

quoth the Ballmer:

"...I hereby formally withdraw Microsoft’s proposal to acquire Yahoo!."

and my favorite bit...

Also, after giving this week’s conversations further thought, it is clear to me that it is not sensible for Microsoft to take our offer directly to your shareholders. This approach would necessarily involve a protracted proxy contest and eventually an exchange offer. Our discussions with you have led us to conclude that, in the interim, you would take steps that would make Yahoo! undesirable as an acquisition for Microsoft.

What kind of steps? I just don't know what you are implying.

Yahoo! CEO Jerry Yang responded with his own brand of Job'sian Optimism.

Yahoo! is profitable, growing, and executing well on its strategic plan to capture the large opportunities in the relatively young online advertising market. Our solid results for the first quarter of 2008 and increased full year 2008 operating cash flow outlook reflect the progress the company is making....

..."I am incredibly proud of the way our team has come together over the last three months. This process has underscored our unique and valuable strategic position. With the distraction of Microsoft's unsolicited proposal now behind us, we will be able to focus all of our energies on executing the most important transition in our history so that we can maximize our potential to the benefit of our shareholders, employees, partners and users."

I'm proud of you to Jerry. It cannot be easy turning down giant bucket loads of cash. But I'm glad you did.


Saturday, May 3, 2008

Program Note: Everything has changed

I'm Sorry,

No really, I apologize.

I recently succumbed to the call of corporate America. I am now employed by an enormous company in a position that was tailor made for my talents, so much so that I had no choice but to accept their more than reasonable offer of employment.

There are benefits to being no longer only self employed. Chief among them is a regular bankable paycheck. Add to that a nice benefit package and a sane work environment and management style. It also doesn't hurt that I love the work and have an opportunity to shape the direction of new Linux products.

But there are also some disadvantages.

First off, my new employer is located in Lexington a good 3hrs and a time zone away from what I have affectionately started to call home. My residence is dead smack in the middle of nowhere. Way out in the country with horses, cows, trees, grass and cropland as far as the eye can see and beyond. It is quiet and friendly. My daughter attends a lovely little school with hometown pride and personal attention. She is just about to finish her first year there, meeting new friends, joining the band, academic and archery teams along the way. She is none too thrilled about moving again so soon. So we (Mom and I) have decided it would be best if we waited at least until the school year was over before undertaking the move.

This leaves me holed up in a, shall we say, less than reputable one room hotel in a questionable area of town during the week.

Secondly, Did I mention there is NO INTERNET. I mean none. Being away from the wife and kid is one thing but the Internet too, this cannot stand.

I have been on a personal boycott of the cell phone industry since its inception because I refuse to be charged by the minute. The cost of maintaining the wireless network is exactly the same whether I am on the phone or not and I see no reason why I should pay for the privilege of using my phone on a metered basis. So for that reason I have been unreachable away from my desk for the last 10 years. Kind of nice, never being interrupted at the grocery store or while driving. Of course it was less than convenient when the car broke down or while traveling. Alright, alright, I bought a prepaid cell phone for a trip to Florida once, but that was it, I swear.

After being in this self imposed disconnected exile for 3 weeks, I could stand it no more. Walking in and around town I come across more than one billboard for an UNLIMITED cell phone plan. I make a note to check it out. During lunch at work I pop on over to their website. Hmmm, no contracts, Unlimited Voice, Text, Picture, Data and Web for $50/month. There must be a catch, right.

Yes, the catch is a limited selection of phones and a limited non-roaming coverage area. Roaming is not included in the Unlimited Minutes. However I only need the phone here and I have no immediate travel plans. So I stopped in one of their offices and picked up the cheapest phone and viola I'm reconnected. Web access (slightly painful, but considerably better than nothing) and more importantly access to my family as needed.

I had considered a mobile broadband solution from Sprint or Verizon but the costs including a ridiculous deposit seemed too high. $250 deposit + $60 a month and a 2 yr contract + the cost of the modem. Then of course I had to ensure it would be Linux compatible (Some are, some aren't.) Versus $115 for my shiny new phone and first months service. Only 50 bucks a month with no contract. No brainer.

Here endeth the Cricket wireless commercial.

So why am I apologizing?

For being a corporate whore?

Nah, lots of us are that and there is no reason to apologize. We all have to eat right.

For giving in to the wireless industry?

I have no regrets, I feel like I haven't compromised my ideals and in fact I am supporting a small newcomer who is actively promoting them. I wish them much success, and if you are in their coverage area check them out, tell em MrCopilot sent you. This will mean nothing to them, but it strokes my ego.

No, the real reason I am apologizing is that I have neglected you, dear readers. Not that I haven't had anything to say these last three weeks. I just feel strongly that my work should be completely separate from this particular web presence. Therefore using their resources to post here feels icky. Even if it is just an email. Plus I really have been very busy both getting up to speed on the various technology I'm now working with and arranging a new life here in the big city.

So you will find nothing here going forward regarding my new employer, it's products or practices.

However, through my job I will be exposed to new things relevant to this blog that I will time to time write about. I would like to point out the obligatory statement, that the opinions expressed here are my own and are in no way to be associated or affiliated with my employer.


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