Posts Tagged ‘Arik Hesseldahl’

Take This Microsoft! Apple Upgrades Mac Computers

October 20, 2009

Check out the Apple scoop from my colleague Arik Hesseldahl, who received an early briefing on their slew of new products.

Preemptive Strike? Apple Upgrades Mac Computers
The Mac laptop and desktop lineups receive a significant upgrade from Apple as Microsoft prepares to introduce Windows 7

By Arik Hesseldahl

Days before archrival Microsoft is set to release the next major version of its flagship computer operating system Windows, Apple unveiled a significant upgrade to its consumer personal computer lines, including a redesigned entry-level laptop and a desktop machine sporting a huge display. The product announcement comes a day after Apple’s earnings report.

Chief among the new releases Oct. 20 is the MacBook, Apple’s $999 entry-level laptop usually aimed at students and first-time Mac buyers. The new machine still sports a polycarbonate shell but now it’s cut from a single piece of material and has rounded edges. And like the higher-end MacBook Pro, the new MacBook also boasts a long-life battery that lasts seven hours and a light-emitting-diode (LED) display.

Apple also updated its consumer desktop lines, including the iMac and the Mac Mini, and added an entry-level server built into a body similar to that of the Mac Mini. The server, for running computer networks and corporate Web sites, is aimed at small businesses and certain high-end consumers.

See the full story and video here.


RIMM and Blackberry Got Their Mojo Working Again

April 3, 2009

Late yesterday, Research In Motion reported blow-out earnings, and increased its sales and profit forecast for the current quarter. The beaten-down stock promptly jumped off the carpet and sprung back to life with a 22% surge in after-hours trading.

As my colleague Arik Hesseldahl reported, RIMM just went a long way towards restoring its once-sterling reputation with investors:

The upbeat forecasts and better-than-expected results went a long way toward alleviating concern that RIMM was sacrificing profitability in its battle with iPhone maker Apple (AAPL). RIM’s stock has tumbled from an all-time high of 148.13 in June as the company raised spending on tricked-out phones designed to better compete with the popular music-playing, Internet-connected iPhone. RIM has had a lot to prove to investors, says RBC Capital Markets analyst Mike Abramsky. “The first is coming out of the penalty box on margins,” Abramsky says. “The second is a reset with investors of their confidence in RIM’s leadership in the smartphone industry. Tonight’s results will help them do both.”

Check out the rest of his story here.

Twitter Gets Shorty (What’s Next? Best Status Updater Awards?)

February 12, 2009

Last night I was getting ready to leave the office and go home when my colleagues Doug MacMillan and Arik Hesseldahl asked me if I wanted to go with them to the Shorty Awards.

“The hooty-hoos,” I said, having no clue what they were talking about.

“It’s the first award show for Twitter people,” said Doug.

Doug and I schlepped out to Brooklyn. When we walked up to the bar, there was a line of about 50 people snaking down the block. That was a shock. People will do anything to promote themselves–especially in a recession.

I won’t bore you with a recount of the evening other than to say, it was not as bad as I expected it to be. The biggest surprise was that the sponsors of the event shrewdly got some mainstream media organizations to sponsor it and buy in. CNN anchor and Twitter-lover Rick Sanchez was the host, MC Hammer made an appearance to promote his online venture and the Knight Foundation actually sponsored the event.

I also got to meet Howard Lindzon, a hedge fund manager who co-founded Wallstrip. I’ve been following Howard’s Twitter posts and enjoying them. He pulls no punches. Howard is actually trying to build a business on Twitter, using the messaging service as a sort of virtual order flow system where people can eavesdrop on what stock traders are buying and selling. The name of the company is stocktwits.

Howard made an interesting point when he told me that the first Blackberry devices took off because brokers and traders would message their friends with their trade orders when their internal networks went down. Now he is trying to revive that idea via Twitter.

The irony is that even thought Twitter has yet to figure out a way to generate revenue from its growing popularity, entrepreneurs like Howard are trying to build a business on it. Howard told me he is going to start charging a monthly subscription fee to get some sort of premium access to this info.

But on the whole the idea of giving out awards to the best twitterers is kind of absurd and reductive. What’s next?

Best Facebooker?
Best Status Updater?
Best Text Messager?
Best Emailer?
Best Instant Messenger?

What silly award show would you like to start?

Book News & Good Reads

December 13, 2008

Apologies for not posting that much lately. In New York, the pace slows down in December. And the imperatives of the holiday season take over. (Yes, I am a last-minute gift getter!)

First, some good news on the book front. I have been invited to give a talk at Stanford University’s Entrepreneurial Thought Leader Seminar next Feb. 4. I am really excited about that invite given the high quality of speakers (Vinod Khosla, Judy Estrin and Guy Kawasaki recently spoke) and the role that Stanford has played in the birth of Silicon Valley.

I have also been invited to give a talk at my alma mater–UC Berkeley. On Feb. 5, I will be speaking at the Lester Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation of Berkeley’s Haas School of Business.

Finally, I want to give a few shout-outs to my colleagues at BusinessWeek who wrote some great stories this week illustrating our global reach and collective intelligence. Check out the following:

* New York online writer Arik Hesseldahl’s Tech Trends to Expect in 2009
* European correspondent Jennifer Schenker’s piece, Alcatel-Lucent’s Perpetual Turnaround
* Silicon Valley bureau writer Peter Burrows on Elevation Partners problems with its Palm investment.

Will Apple Offer a Subscription Music Service (and Steve Jobs Eat Crow)?

March 23, 2008

How much will the recession hurt tech? Will subscription music ever take off? Do Facebook’s privacy controls solve the problem of too much info on the Web? Plus, March Madness picks in this week’s Digital Dish from BusinessWeek reporters Spencer Ante, Heather Green, Arik Hessehdahl and Catherine Holahan.

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Does AOL Have a Strategy?

March 17, 2008

Check out this week’s Digital Dish, where BusinessWeek reporters Spencer Ante, Heather Green, Arik Hesseldahl and Catherine Holahan discuss AOL’s buy of, the endgame in the Microsoft-Yahoo! mating dance and a South by Southwest wrap-up. It’s not all about the parties (really).

HOW TO BUY CREATIVE CAPITAL: To pre-order Creative Capital and get a 34% discount, click here and go to Amazon

Ding Ding Ding: Tech Fight Night

March 2, 2008

BusinessWeek puts the gloves on for tech fight night. In this week’s Digital Dish, BW reporters Spencer Ante, Heather Green, Arik Hesseldahl, and Catherine Holahan debate whether Microsoft, Google and Sprint deserve the whuppings they got this week. Plus, from the department of weird leading indicators, the Dish talks about the ginormous tab for Steve Jobs’ private corporate jet.

HOW TO BUY CREATIVE CAPITAL: To pre-order Creative Capital and get a 34% discount, click here and go to

Did Steve Jobs Miss the Bullseye at Macworld?

January 19, 2008

BusinessWeek technology reporters Heather Green, Arik Hesseldahl, Catherine Holahan and Spencer Ante discuss Macworld, whether the tech sector is headed for a downturn, and the billion-dollar-plus buys of MySQL and BEA in this week’s broadcast of the Digital Dish.

My colleague Arik is bullish on the future prospects of Apple’s new online movie rental service. But I am less optimistic. Apple TV will get better and do better but it’s not a groundbreaking product like iTunes/iPod or the iPhone. Jobs can’t ride into the local square and save the day because there are already a few sheriffs in town. Netflix is the dominant player in online movie rentals and they are offering a download service for FREE with 6,000 movies and TV shows right now. Interestingly, the top five most-watched shows are all TV programs, according to the list on the NetFlix Web site on January 19: Heroes, The Office and 30 Rock.

As for Macworld, the maestro Jobs turned in a middling performance. He was due for one, no doubt. That’s the nature of creativity. Every film Martin Scorses makes can’t be a masterpiece like Raging Bull or Taxi Driver. Every once in a while you’re going to have a Casino or a Bringing Out the Dead. Macworld 2008 was the Casino of Steve Jobs career.