Alcatel had to beat Ericsson no matter what, and managed to top the latter’s 70% drop in profits with a massive 1.1 billion Euros loss. Why does this enormous nosedive matter to us here in the antipodes?
It matters, because AlcaLucentel is big in this part of the world. The company runs Telecom New Zealand's network and does serious work on those of competing providers as well. In other words, it’s a big player in the local tech market, and we can’t ignore it.
Are the Alcatellies worked up about the loss then? A little, but that’s easily drowned out by the joy of “WHEE! NO MORE PAT RUSSO!” cries heard through the Dilbertian corridors and cubicles throughout the telecommunications giant’s offices around the world.
Russo, it turns out, was universally hated. Investors, customers, employees — nobody liked her. Without French and equipped with a dislike of things Françoise, Russo was never going to be loved. She leaves with a six million Euro payout by the end of the year, having accomplished job cuts but nothing much else to please the markets.
Chairman Tchuruk who was well-liked but, ultimately, had to take responsibility for the Lucent purchase in 2006 that has so far resulted in a market value evaporation of almost two-thirds. For this “achievement”, Tchuruk will hop out of his corner office window on the first of October.
Alcatel-Lucent will have to think hard and fast to reverse the rot that began with the Lucent purchase; however, the company is being chased by Huawei, whose business model entails selling better gear than ALU can supply for less money.
Who will take the hot chair after Russo? Not Fred Rose, who resigned recently and leaves in early September. Rose might have been a candidate for the job, but he’s off to be CEO at Thomson instead.
Ben Verwaayen, formerly of BT, has been mooted as a replacement, but the question remains if he’ll want to stick his head into the French hornet’s nest.
Aussie Mike Quigley was hugely popular, but got promoted sideways into a chief scientist role after being the COO and CEO of North America. He didn’t like that, and retired instead.
Whoever takes over after Russo and Tchuruk will have to wear some serious armour to survive the internal politics of a tech company hamstrung by a dysfunctional merger. The right candidate will no doubt be remunerated in rich emoluments of hitherto unheard amounts for his or her pain.
Do we have sufficient DNS randomness yet, port and TXID side? We hope so. Not seeing any alerts and patches for consumer gear like DSL routers, and Internet-capable mobile phones though. What’s with that?
New test for transaction ID randomness, courtesy of Duane Wessels at dns-oarc.net:
$ dig txidtest.dns-oarc.net
To complement the porttest.dns-oarc.net one; cheers for that, Duane.
And, apologies to the ISPs that weren’t tested last week due to lack of time.
Robert X Cringely
Pole axed: Microsoft and XP, Apple and Porn
Over the past two months my minions and I have been running surveys on the BuzzDash home site and the Tynan on Technology blog to take users' temperature on issues such as censorship and innovation. Now it's finally time to report on what we've found. The results may surprise you. First Question: If someone built an Internet free from pornography, would you come? (Hold your dirty jokes to the end, please). With 375 votes tallied, the score is “Yes” 22%, “No” 61%, and “Define pornography, please” with 17%. In other words, three-quarters of Netizens either don't want or don't trust ISPs or Uncle Sam to filter the Net. No big surprises there, IHMO. Johnshier comments: "Ewww. I'm really disgusted that 25% of the people voted yes. I'm just as disgusted if not more so at the people who think that judgment is needed to define pornography. I am strongly against censorship in all its forms." Question Deux: You're buying a new OS. Which one would you pick? More than 400 people responded to this one, and the results are: Windows Vista (13%), Windows XP (70%), Linux (8%), and the Mac OS (9%). Frankly, this one surprised me. Oh, I knew Vista would take it in the shorts, but I expected a stronger showing by the Mac OS. The Apple fanboys were probably too busy trying to get MobileMe to work to weigh in. Commenter Austin says, "I run XP on four machines and Ubuntu on another machine. Hell will freeze over before I install Vista. Dell's customer support may stink to high heaven but their marketing is smart to continue selling XP." Question the third: "Complete the following sentence: The Apple iPhone is...." Here's a real shocker. "God's gift to geeks" (24%) lost to "Overhyped and underpowered" (57%). Didn't see that coming. Sixteen percent of our 160+ voters consider it just another smart phone, and the rest responded "What's an iPhone?" (You people really need to get out more.) Finally, Question IV: "What company has created the most innovative technology?" This was a much tighter race than I'd anticipated. With 128 votes counted, Apple leads with 35%, followed closely by Google (30%) and Microsoft (25%). Sony and Palm bring up the rear. I thought Apple and Google might split the vote, but I'm shocked Redmond registered so high. Then again, maybe I picked the wrong mix of companies. Someone calling him/herself The Geekster suggested a lineup of "Intel, Apple, Xerox, and Motorola." Not a bad call. Maybe we'll use that for a future poll.