The only good spammer is...

OK, that's a bit harsh, but I bet you very few people miss Russian mega-spammer Vardan Kushnir.

Top Stories

- Hell is a hi-tech company conference call

- The only good spammer is…

- Packet Deprioritisation Queue?

- AMD pwns Intel’s Conroe launch

- Consolidationitis

Hell is a hi-tech company conference call

Did I mention already how odd it is that hi-tech organisations like software houses and electronics giants have an incessant penchant for phone conferences? No? Well, here’s how they do it:

Daily Motion: International Conference Calls

The only good spammer is…

OK, that’s a bit harsh, but I bet you very few people miss Russian mega-spammer Vardan Kushnir. Good story by Wired’s Brett Forrest on a spammer who couldn’t care less and probably paid for it with his life.

- Wired: The Sleazy Life and Nasty Death of Russia’s Spam King

Packet Deprioritisation Queue?

Today TelstraClear will announce… PDQ. FryUp will be there, wondering if there’s a minister ready to wax lyrical over yet another TCL service offering that’ll come to nothing, just like with the HomeLine stuff.

Midday will tell if it’s resold Telecom DSL with phone lines and tolls that TCL is announcing (yawn) or something else, like a cosy duopoly deal between the telcos. Stand by for further details.

PDQ broadband service launched by TelstraClear

AMD pwns Intel’s Conroe launch

Intel may have AMD on the ropes with its new processors, but the fight is far from over. AMD sucker-punched not only Intel with its purchase of ATI, but also graphics chip rival Nvidia. Not only that, but AMD timed the announcement impeccably: smack-bang to coincide with Intel’s Conroe launch.

The AMD-ATI deal creates a big headache for Intel: not only did the chip giant have to scramble to replace ATI cards in Conroe demo systems with Nvidia ones for the launch, but the deal also means that Intel could potentially be without dual-graphics card support for its motherboards and chip sets.

While not volume sellers, there’s plenty of prestige and high margins to be had from selling dual or even quad graphics card systems to gamers with fat wallets. Presently, Intel’s motherboards are set up to use ATI’s Crossfire technology for dual cards, and don’t support Nvidia’s SLI. If AMD owns ATI, how’s the Crossfire support going to pan out so soon before the Christmas season?

Nvidia can’t be very happy about the deal either. The ATI graphics card vendor rival has branched out into motherboard chip sets and the ones for AMD processors have been very successful, especially in conjunction with SLI-configured graphics cards. What’s Nvidia going to do? Intel doesn’t like competition in the motherboard chip set arena, and would want Nvidia to stop supporting AMD products there.

AMD meanwhile could build graphics processors for ATI using smaller and cooler fabrication processes – ATI is having a tough time of it currently in its battle with Nvidia. However, ATI could also supply motherboard chip sets for AMD, which unlike Intel hasn’t had good, complete solutions for integrators in that area.

Some interesting times ahead there, in other words, but AMD’s sucky reps in this part of the world couldn’t be bothered to contact us about the deal. They didn’t even respond to enquiries about it.

- AMD will buy graphics vendor ATI for US$5.4B

Consolidationitis

Woosh Wireless went and bought Quicksilver instead of announcing a WiMAX-based network. Not surprising perhaps, but disappointing. Some industry observers would call this consolidation but is that really the right word? Isn’t it just desperate ISP owners selling up to those with capital to burn?

The broadband industry was bleak enough for providers leeching a margin off Telecom’s DSL, because it invariably meant that they lost profitable dial-up customers and gained loss-making CUBS ones. So the more successful you are attracting broadband customers, the more likely it is that you’ll have to grab your ankles and kiss your provider behind goodbye, because you’re not going to make money out of them on present wholesale terms. The average revenue per customer a year is only sixty dollars, I hear. Yes, $60.

I’ve also noted a curious way by providers to pump up customers numbers ahead of sales. Ihug for instance says it has “over 120,000 services”. Now that is not the same as unique customers. It could be the number of billable services, or invoices, but is it? We don’t know if it’s customers paying for services, or getting them for free like mailboxes or parked domains.

One industry figure says that the rule of thumb is to divide the services number by two or two-and-a-half. That would leave ihug with between 48,000 to 60,000 actual customers and Quicksilver with 4-5,000 instead of the 10,000 reported.

The asking price for Quicksilver was apparently over $3 million, but we don’t know how much Woosh paid.

In the case of ihug, iiNet hopes to get over A$40 million for the 120,000 services.

Given that providers here are looking at serious investment in building their own infrastructure, that kind of money for a Telecom services reseller like ihug seems wildly optimistic.

- Woosh buys ISP

- Woosh bullish about future

- iiNet in $40m ihug sale

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