Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Why Cisco is smart buying a cable box maker Scientific Atlanta

On 11/18/05, Cisco announced that it is buying the cable box maker Scientific-Atlanta for $6.9billion. Cisco is the leader in routers and switches, which connects networks together on the Internet. So why has Cisco bought consumer router maker Linksys and now a cable box maker? They're moving to the consumer side of business, and by buying up Scientific-Atlanta, it gets Cisco into the cable provider market. They know IP-based infrastructure, and positioning themselves to move into the consumer side of the business gets them closer to being the network infrastructure provider in businesses as well as in the home. This deal allows Cisco to push the IPTV (internet protocol television) gear to cable companies, phone companies, and media. More and more people are getting their media entertainment online and IPTV has the potential to be a global major market, so with Cisco boxes that serve as access points for businesses and home entertainment, they're looking toward the future.

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Wednesday, November 09, 2005

The Portable and Personal Videos

Portable video for the masses essentially started with the release of Sony's PSP. When the PSP was released, there was wide skepticism about whether people would actually use the PsP for videos. A portable gaming system wasn't and shouldn't be everything to everyone, was the argument. And it had merit because PSP only played movies that were on its proprietary UMD discs. I know I won't buy $30 UMD discs just to watch a movie on my PSP that I can't play on my regular TV. Sony seemed to be a bit too early for the portable video market.

Now, it seems like all the television networks are offering shows for download onto portable video devices. Once Apple released a video version of their iPod, the flood gates opened up.

CBS, NBC, ESPN, ABC, Pixar, are all eager to repackage their programming to your iPod. Even Google, Microsoft, and Yahoo are getting into the game with their video search and download capabilities. Consumers weren't sure how useful cell phones with cameras were, and now that they're pretty much accepted that your new cell phone will have a camera, video on-demand for your cell is not far from the future.

Some links in the past week about video on your ipod or cell phone:

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Tuesday, November 01, 2005

AOL founder Steve Case's Revolution

Steve Case, the AOL founder has started a new company called Revolution LLC to focus on the benefits in health care, living and resorts and the opportunity to invest in businesses that have a bright future. Revolution is a private holding company that Case is funding with $500 million of his estimated $825 million fortune and that will invest in health care, wellness, and resorts.
Initially, Revolution will focus on three domains: resorts, living and health. However, the Revolution approach lends itself to many other sectors, and over time Revolution will expand its focus. Indeed, we have already acquired the rights to the Revolution name for more than 50 other domains, to maximize our flexibility, and to leverage the Revolution brand name across many sectors. But for now, we'll focus on resorts, living and health, as we believe each represents a multi-billion dollar opportunity.
Case believes in the next two decades as aging baby boomers seek their comforts, they will move wellness and living into the mainstream; health care because when his older brother, Daniel Case III, was diagnosed with what proved to be a fatal brain cancer, he saw for himself just how difficult it is for even the privileged to make well-informed decisions about their care. He is interested in those that provide online data about the price and quality of doctors and those that make available electronic medical records; he's considering everything from high-end personalized health coaching services to clinics at retail stores like Target. As he says: "Health care is monumentally complex, confusing, inefficient, and inconvenient. Meanwhile it's the biggest industry in the country, and everybody hates it." The "wellness" business, a $400 billion industry that is expected to grow to $1 trillion by 2020, would be a natural complement to his interest in health care. He's clearly looking ahead and glad to see him going back to his entrepreneurial roots.

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