Monday, April 25, 2011


A man and his wife in Buffalo, New York are awakened when federal agents break down their door and storm in throwing the husband to the floor and aiming guns at them. The agents had tracked the homeowners IP address; an IP address that was used to download child pornography. The innocent man was actually a victim of theft. The homeowner had tried unsuccessfully to put a password on his wireless router and now someone else has used it for illegal information, and is now looking for an ESOP Lawyer.
During the morning of the arrest, investigation agents tapped away at the homeowner's desktop computer, eventually taking it with them, along with his and his wife's iPads and iPhones. Within three days, investigators determined the homeowner was innocent. If someone was downloading child pornography through his wireless signal, it wasn't him. About a week later, agents arrested a 25-year-old neighbor, screen name “Doldrum”, and charged him with distribution of child pornography. The case is pending in federal court.
Another man in Sarasota, Florida received a similar visit from the FBI last year after someone on a boat docked in a marina outside his building used a potato chip can as an antenna to boost his wireless signal and download an astounding 10 million images of child porn, or the North Syracuse, New York, man who in December 2009 opened his door to police who'd been following an electronic trail of illegal videos and images. The man's neighbor pleaded guilty April 12.
For the Buffalo man, he later got an apology from U.S. Attorney William Hochul and Immigration and Customs Enforcement Special Agent in Charge Lev Kubiak for the invasion into his home and wrongful accusations. But this wasn't a case of officers rushing into the wrong house. Court filings show exactly what led them there and why.
On February, 11, an investigator with the Department of Homeland Security, which oversees cybersecurity enforcement, signed in to a peer-to-peer file sharing program from his office. After connecting with someone by the name of "Doldrum," the agent browsed through his shared files for videos and images and found images and videos depicting children engaged in sexual acts. The agent identified the IP address, or unique identification number, of the router, then got the service provider to identify the subscriber. Investigators did not take the extra step before going inside the house to see whether there was an unsecured signal. That alone wouldn't have exonerated the homeowner, but it would have raised the possibility that someone else was responsible for the downloads.
After a search of his devices proved the homeowner's innocence, investigators went back to the peer-to-peer software and looked at logs that showed what other IP addresses Doldrum had connected from. Two were associated with the State University of New York at Buffalo and accessed using a secure token that UB said was assigned to a student living in an apartment adjacent to the homeowner. Agents arrested John Luchetti March 17. He has pleaded not guilty to distribution of child pornography.
Luchetti is not charged with using his neighbor's Wi-Fi without permission. Whether it was illegal is up for debate. The question is whether it's unauthorized if the wireless point is open and unprotected.
In Germany, the country's top criminal court ruled last year that Internet users must secure their wireless connections to prevent others from illegally downloading data. The court said Internet users could be fined up to $126 if a third party takes advantage of their unprotected line, though it stopped short of holding the users responsible for illegal content downloaded by the third party. The ruling came after a musician sued an Internet user whose wireless connection was used to download a song, which was then offered on an online file sharing network. The user was on vacation when the song was downloaded.
It's unknown how often unsecured routers have brought legal trouble for subscribers. Besides the criminal investigations, the Internet is full of anecdotal accounts of people who've had to fight accusations of illegally downloading music or movies. Unfortunately, even if you are not guilty you look like you are because the activity is linked back to your router. Experts say that this is just one of many reasons to secure home routers.
Experts say the more savvy hackers can go beyond just connecting to the Internet on the host's dime and monitor Internet activity and steal passwords or other sensitive information. A study released in February provides a sense of how often computer users rely on the generosity - or technological shortcomings - of their neighbors to gain Internet access.
The poll conducted for the Wi-Fi Alliance, the industry group that promotes wireless technology standards, found that among 1,054 Americans age 18 and older, 32 percent acknowledged trying to access a Wi-Fi network that wasn't theirs. An estimated 201 million households worldwide use Wi-Fi networks, according to the alliance.
For some, though, leaving their wireless router open to outside use is a philosophical decision, a way of returning the favor for the times they've hopped on to someone else's network to check e-mail or download directions while away from home . These people feel letting the public use their Wi-Fi is for the common good.
The government's Computer Emergency Readiness Team recommends home users make their networks invisible to others by disabling the identifier broadcasting function that allows wireless access points to announce their presence. It also advises users to replace any default network names or passwords, since those are widely known, and to keep an eye on the manufacturer's website for security patches or updates.
People who keep an open wireless router won't necessarily know when someone else is piggybacking on the signal, which usually reaches 300-400 feet, though a slower connection may be a clue.
Although it may take extra time to read through your wireless routers manual, or Used Cisco Switches manual, it is highly recommended to make the effort to protect yourself by using passcodes.


After his recent death, Noria Ohga’s life story is revisited. A man, not necessarily known by his name, but definitely by his accomplishments. His visions helped to create the Compact Disk, but will be remembered by so much more.
Ohga had graduated from Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music in 1953 and Berlin University of the Arts in 1957. He was set to pursue a career as a baritone opera singer when Sony co-founders Masaru Ibuka and Akio Morita, intrigued by his complaints about the sound quality of Sony tape recorders, recruited him to the company. He was a Sony executive by his 30s, a rarity in a Japanese company. He was appointed president of CBS Sony Records in 1970, chairman of what later became Sony Corporation of America in 1988, and chief executive of Sony in 1989. He left the day-to-day business in about 2000.
As a young man, aspiring opera singer Norio Ohga wrote to Sony to complain about the quality of its tape recorders. That move changed the course of his life, as the company promptly recruited the man whose love of music would shape the development of the compact disc and transform the Japanese electronics maker into a global software and entertainment empire.
Sony's president and chairman from 1982 to 1995, Ohga, 81, died Saturday in Tokyo of multiple organ failure.
Ohga's connection to music steered his work. The flamboyant music connoisseur insisted the CD be designed at 12 centimeters (4.8 inches) in diameter to hold 75 minutes worth of music - in order to store Beethoven's Ninth Symphony in its entirety.
From the start, Ohga recognized the potential of the CD's superior sound quality. In the 1970s, when Ohga insisted CDs would eventually replace record albums, skeptics scoffed. Sony sold the world's first CD in 1982 and CDs overtook LP record sales in Japan five years later. The specifications are still used today and fostered the devices developed since.
It is no exaggeration to attribute Sony's evolution beyond audio and video products into music, movies and game, and subsequent transformation into a global entertainment leader to Ohga-san's foresight and vision. Some decisions made during Ohga's presidency, such as the $3.4 billion purchase of Hollywood studio Columbia Pictures, were criticized as unwise and costly at the time. But Ohga's focus on music, films and video games as a way to enrich the electronics business helped create Sony's success in his era. Ohgas claimed the big secret to Sony’s success was that they were always chasing after things that other companies would not touch.
Shattering the stereotype of the Japanese executive, the debonair Ohga was never shy, his hair neatly slicked back, his boisterous manner exuding the fiery air of an artist. His persona added a touch of glamour to Sony's image at a time when Japan had global ambitions. Ohga is remembered as an outgoing, international-minded executive who could talk about business and a wide variety of music. He was very outgoing, was always talking, always smiling and laughing.
An experienced pilot, Ohga at times flew the plane himself for business trips. A gourmet, he boasted about his roast beef. His hobby was cruising on his yacht and was thought to use car shipping.
Chairman of the Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra since 1999, he continued to conduct there a few times a year. In 1993, he conducted the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra at Lincoln Center's Avery Fisher Hall in a charity event funded by Sony.
Ohga often compared leading a company to conducting an orchestra. He felt that just as a conductor must work to bring out the best in the members of his orchestra, a company president must draw on the talents of the people in his organization.
Sony started amid the destruction and poverty after World War II and built itself on the popularity of transistor radios, the Walkman, the Trinitron TV, the CD - shaping the history of modern electronics.
The company says he was key in building the Sony brand, especially working on design, as well as quality, to make products that looked attractive to consumers.
Ohga had tried to lead a double life of artist and Sony man. One day, he dozed off from exhaustion in the stage wings while waiting to go on in the "The Marriage of Figaro," rushed in from the wrong direction and watched his embarrassed co-stars stifling giggles. He gave up his opera career but still promoted classical music in Japan by supporting young musicians and concerts.
He will be greatly missed by his wife, Midori, and those at Sony who saw him as an innovative, businessman. A private wake is currently being planned.


Which came first, the patent lawsuit by Apple Incorporated or Sasung Electronics Corporation. The two are playing a tug of war in the court system. Some are calling the recent suit brought on by Samsung as revenge against Apple for their lawsuit.

First, Apple sued Samsung for patient rights violations, then a few days later Samsung returns the favor with a duplicate suit for the same reasons. Samsung is accusing Apple of violating its rights to 10 smartphone and computer patents. The company filed lawsuits Thursday in Seoul, Tokyo and Mannheim, Germany. Apple alleges Samsung's Galaxy line of smartphones and tablet computers copy Apple's popular iPad and iPhone.

The recent attacks are just two battles in long war between phone makers. Many suits have been filed with the large phone makers over their patents and with the growing technology; this war seems far from over.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011


Cisco has not been doing well with its returns and investors are uneasy. Cisco has to make some major changes in order to restore investor confidence, hence the recent decision to start getting out of the consumer business. This week Cisco announced that it will stop making the Flip camera, a popular pocket-sized video camera. A change that shocked many because of the money that Cisco spent only a couple of years ago for the technology from a company called Pure Digital.
The big change was an effort for the business to realign itself to focus on selling its core products like Cisco Network Equipment. This network-centric platform strategy will focus on how to help their enterprise and service provider customers optimize and expand their offerings for consumers, and help ensure the network's ability to deliver on those offerings.
Cisco bought Pure Digital, the maker of the Flip camera, in 2009 for $590 million. The decision to stop making the camera is a hard pill to swallow since the Flip products are considered market leaders and Pure Digital remains far and away the leading consumer video camera company.
Cisco needed to do something drastic to show Wall Street that it was getting back on track. For more than two decades, Cisco has dominated its core markets of Internet Protocol routing and switching. It has provided networking equipment to almost every large company, government entity, broadband and telephone service provider, and thousands of small and medium businesses around the globe.
Unlike many other tech companies, Cisco has managed to weather dips in the economy and almost always emerges from recessions stronger than it did going into them. CEO John Chambers is viewed as managerial guru and technology oracle. Investors, customers, and even governments listen carefully to what he says and the tone of his comments for glimpses of advice and insight which have helped the business stay strong.
As Cisco moved into new markets, sales in its core businesses slowed and Cisco lost market share. While Cisco still dominates in the IP routing market, it has been more challenged in its Ethernet switching business, where it faces stiff competition from a slew of competitors, including Hewlett-Packard and Chinese manufacturers, such as Huawei. Investors have begun questioning whether the company can hit its long-term growth projections of between 12 percent and 17 percent.
Cisco has a long history of growing its business through acquisition to enter new markets. In fact, its lucrative Ethernet switching business was the direct result of an acquisition in the mid-1990s. But for much of its history, Cisco has kept it acquisitions close to its core business: Internet and corporate network infrastructure.
In the past five or six years, Cisco has ventured beyond its core competencies as it tries to enter new markets. The company's first major foray into the consumer market was its 2003 acquisition of home routing company Linksys.
For several years, Cisco toyed with the idea of offering more products in the consumer space like Used Cisco Hardware. Then, at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas in 2009, Chambers revealed Cisco's ambitions for the consumer market. He said that he expected Cisco's consumer business to generate between $5 billion and $10 billion over the next few years.
Cisco's consumer strategy has largely been one failure after another. Cisco's home-grown products, such as the Linksys Wireless Home Audio system and the Umi telepresence product have all been priced too high for consumers. And even though Cisco acquired a successful consumer business with the acquisition of Pure Digital, it has managed to stifle growth in that product area.
Flip has actually lost market share since Cisco acquired it in 2009, even though overall sales of products in this category have increased 5 percent between 2009 and 2010. Flip, which had led this product category in early 2010 with 26 percent market share, had a disappointing 2010 holiday season. The business unit's sales fell 19 percent versus the prior year, and its market share dropped to 17 percent. Analysts attributes the decline in Flip camera sales to strategic marketing missteps, and more aggressive competition, as opposed to any evidence of an underlying fall in demand.
But slowing sales momentum is not likely the main reason that Cisco decided to abandon the Flip product. The biggest problem for Cisco was likely rationalizing the thin product margins in the consumer business. Cisco is used to getting profit margins in the 60 percent to 70 percent range. But consumer electronic products are lucky to get profit margins in the low 30 percent range. Even though Flip was already an established brand, its cameras, which generally sell for between $100 and $200, were likely not profitable enough for Cisco.
Still, the Flip camera could have been an attractive and profitable business to another company, even if Cisco felt it was a drag on its earnings. While Cisco does not break out sales of individual products, it is estimated that Flip camera sales total about $400 million annually. This is small compared with Cisco's total yearly revenue of about $40 billion, but sales of this product could have been significant to a potential acquirer. Questions are being raised as to why the Flip product line, which is a growing market, was just not sold by Cisco. Cisco’s comment was that after a detailed analysis, and it was determined that the best thing to do was to shut down the business. Others believe that that the reason was because Cisco may be using the technology at another time so they would not want to sell it off.
Cisco does acknowledge that it still sees video as an important part of its strategy. They also stated that the knowledge they have gained about video and the people who use it have helped them with advancing the company with their core products.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

New Video Podcast is Promoting Michigan Businesses, Communities and People

Photo: Duane Weed and Frank Krywicki on the set recording the upcoming Buy Local TV episode.

Welcome to Buy-Local TV, a video netcast where hosts Duane Weed and Frank Krywicki, have teamed up to promote Michigan businesses, communities and its people.

“The goal is to show the importance of buying local in your community,” states Frank. “We are producing county spotlights, promoting businesses and events, as well as, providing marketing and technical tips that will help the consumer and business professional.”

The duo has video episodes highlighting the new format. Topics recently covered in these Michigan video profiles include: Spotlight on Montcalm County, Mecosta County and even a road trip for the “Up North Adventure.” “The ‘Up North Adventure’ is style we want the show to have,” Frank commented. “That is going on-site to communities, events, meeting with the people and showing off what Michigan has to offer. Duane has even interviewed Detroit Red Wing legend Ted Lindsay which is on episode #56.”

“What started out one year ago as a simple one minute internet marketing video podcast entitled the ‘Buy-Local Minute’ has grown into spotlighting businesses, communities, and events that inform and promote Michigan. They are now 10 to 20 minute video production segments entitled ‘Buy Local TV,’” comments Duane. “The show is an extension of what we are doing with the Buy Local Video Profiles - that is ‘Everyone has a story to tell and we are telling it.’”

According to Frank, “Since the format is new it will take awhile to reach the desired audience. That is ok, as our main goal is to promote Michigan by showing off what great people and businesses we have here. In addition if we can bring tourist and businesses to Michigan and show off the importance of buying local that will be a bonus.”

“Just like the seasons in Michigan, the show will change and evolve as we grow”, Duane continues. “We invite everyone to check out the show at, on Facebook, Twitter and through our Buy Local Video blog.”

Buy Local TV is a division of DW Video & Multimedia, LLC ( Have a show idea or need some internet video marketing or technical advice? To learn more about promoting your Michigan business contact Duane at 231-937-5420. The Buy Local TV team will be happy to air your ideas on an upcoming episode.

Duane Weed
5510 Maple Hill Rd
Howard City, MI 49329
(231) 937-5420

Wednesday, April 6, 2011


The Chief Executive Officer, John Chambers, for Cisco Systems Inc. emailed employees that Cisco is struggling financially, but a solution is in the works. The email message stated that Cisco has lost its credibility and now changes would be made to restore the company. Chambers warned staff to prepare for a number of unspecified changes in the next few weeks and coming fiscal year, starting in August.
Chambers, one of Silicon Valley's most respected in the corporate realm, confessed in an internal email that the networking giant had been slow to make decisions, fallen down on execution and lacked discipline in an aggressive expansion. The long-serving CEO, who has apologized repeatedly to shareholders for missing Wall Street's targets, confessed his company let investors down and confused its own employees.
Chambers stated that the business had been slow to make decisions, had surprises where they should not, and had lost the accountability that has been a hallmark of their ability to execute consistently for customers and shareholders. He also added that this is unacceptable and it is exactly what they will attack.
Cisco's last two quarterly results have disappointed the market. In November, the company announced sales growth would be lower than analysts expected. In February, it warned of dwindling public spending and weaker margins from tough competition. The shares have lost a third of their value over the past 52 weeks. Including that slide, Cisco has lost slightly more than half its value since the start of 2001, when it was almost worth $40 a share.
Cisco has lost some of the credibility that is foundational to its success, and now must earn it back. Chambers believes Cisco’s and its market are in transition. He contends that the time is right to define this transition for Cisco and its industry.

Monday, April 4, 2011


After a couple of years of low profits, Philips replaces their ceo. Frans Van Houten started as chief executive officer of Royal Philips Electronics NV on Friday, April 1 with the challenge of turning around the 3 billion-euro ($4.2 billion) television business, a task that eluded his predecessor.

Van Houten, whose appointment was approved by shareholders on March 31st, succeeds Gerard Kleisterlee, who is stepping down after 10 years at the helm.
Van Houten has made it very clear that turning around the business is the top priority.

In a timely reminder of the job in hand, Philips this week predicted a first-quarter loss from TVs of as much as 120 million Euros ($170 million), close to the unit’s entire deficit for all of 2010. TVs are a remnant of the once consumer- orientated electronics company that Philips was before Kleisterlee spent a decade buying and selling businesses to focus on more profitable industries such as medical equipment.

Philips forecast it will likely fail to break even with the business this year, which would mark the fifth consecutive annual loss. The television subsidiary has suffered as Sony Corp. and Panasonic Corp. cut prices to combat local Chinese suppliers.

Philips has lost 5 percent in value over the period of Kleisterlee’s tenure. Kleisterlee sought to make Philips’s earnings more stable by selling assets including the chip business, which van Houten ran before returning last year.

Philips felt investors’ discontent on March 28, when the shares dropped 1.8 percent after the company said the TV business is heading for a loss of 100 million to 120 million Euros in the first quarter. Last year, Philips lost 125 million Euros from televisions, measured as earnings before interest, taxes and amortization. TVs account for 12 percent of sales. The company’s stock is little changed so far this year, valuing it at 22 billion Euros.

The appointment of Van Houten, who rejoined Philips in October last year for an introduction period, is part of a broader management reshuffle. Chief Financial Officer Pierre- Jean Sivignon was succeeded by Ron Wirahadiraksa, who used to be CFO of the Philips’ health-care unit. Former Royal Dutch Shell Group Plc Chief Executive Officer Jeroen van der Veer was appointed chairman, succeeding Jan-Michiel Hessels.

The new management team looks very promising yet it will take some time to make significant progress on the main challenges facing Philips. With the TV business so weak, the strategic options open to van Houten could be limited.

The new executive comes with restructuring credentials. After overseeing the semiconductor unit’s spinoff and eventual sale to private-equity owners, van Houten set up an advisory firm at the end of 2009. Among his services was helping ING Group NV break into banking and insurance companies in 2009.

Philips, which invented the compact disc, now consists of three
businesses: health-care, lighting and a consumer lifestyle division that aims to develop electronics that synch with aging population and healthy lifestyle trends. Among Philips’s most recent products is an air-powered dental floss.

Kleisterlee revived earnings from the low point in 2001 and 2002, the first years of his reign, when the company posted losses. With the exception of 2008, the company has been profitable since with margins climbing from near zero. Profitability equaled 8.1 percent of sales in 2010.

Shareholders have yet to reward his efforts. The total annualized return over the past decade was negative. The company has been underperforming peers such as Siemens AG, which has been more aggressive in divesting loss-making units and focusing on growth. Siemens had a total annualized return of 3.16 percent since 2001.

Philips is unlikely to make sweeping strategy changes or major acquisitions.

In lighting, the new CEO will find the marketplace in flux following a Siemens’ announcement this week that it will carry out an initial public offering of Osram, the world’s No. 2 lighting supplier after Philips. Slicing off a business with sales of 4.68 billion Euros and 40,000 workers could change the dynamics of the industry.

Home health care is one of the targeted growth areas for Philips. The division represents about 15 percent of total health care revenue of 8.6 billion Euros in 2010. Healthcare Chief Executive Officer Stephen Rusckowski predicted in an interview last week that the market for medical products that can be used at home will grow 7 percent to 9 percent annually.

Philips recognizes that in the past it has been notorious for failing to monetize its inventions, many of which haven’t been successful on a commercial basis.

Van Houten has a lot on his plate to get Philips in a positive market position, and he has the knowhow and initiative to make it happen.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Cloud Storage Available From Amazon

Now you can upload and store files like music, videos and photos for free. Inc. wants to be more than a destination for shopping online: It also dreams of being a place where you can store your music, photos, and videos and access them any time, from any computer.
The online retailer launched two offerings late Monday: Amazon Cloud Drive and Amazon Cloud Player. The first lets you upload and store files such as music, videos and photos on Amazon's servers, which you can get to from a Web browser on a Mac or PC. The second lets you play songs you've uploaded on your computer or on a smartphone that runs Google's Android operating software. The "cloud" in the services' names refers to the practice of storing content online and streaming it to a computer over the Internet
Google Inc. and Apple Inc. also are believed to be working on similar services to allow consumers to store and access music and other content when away from their home computer.
While Amazon will charge for the Cloud Drive service, it's offering anyone with an Amazon account 5 gigabytes of free storage. That's less space than you'd get on the smallest iPod Touch, but it's a move that's likely to woo plenty of users who might later decide to pay for more storage space.
The Seattle-based company, which already runs an online storage service for companies called Amazon S3, decided to roll out a consumer cloud service to make it easier for customers to access digital content no matter where they are.
The offerings could also benefit Amazon's bottom line: The company realized customers were hesitant to purchase music digitally at work because they didn't want them tied to their office computer, so Cloud Drive and Cloud Player may drive more impulse music shopping.
The company also wants to sell cloud storage. If your tunes and videos take up more space than the 5 GB Amazon is giving out, you can pay an annual storage fee to use Cloud Drive: The use of 20 GB of storage, for example, will cost $20 (and this includes the 5 free GB). For an undisclosed period of time, however, Amazon is offering 20 GB of free storage to those who buy a digital album from its Amazon MP3 store.
Documents or videos you've uploaded to Cloud Drive will open with programs on the computer you're using, while songs in the standard digital formats - MP3 or AAC - will be playable through the Web-based Cloud Player.
The Cloud Player claims to be simple to use especially for people on the go. Listening to music anywhere is available with an updated version of the Amazon MP3 digital music-buying app, which will include Cloud Player. This allows users to get to their Amazon stored music via their cell phone.