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Quo Vadis GPS?

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SiRF Technology, GPS chip maker, says there’s weaker-than-expected demand for all products, especially personal navigation devices. They will reduce workforce by 7%, close South San Francisco and Stockholm offices, and pull the plug on plans to develop mobile TV products. GPS was the darling of retail in 2007, so this trend from the chip provider may foretell future retail inventories.  Go SiRF

Notebook Battery Shortage

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Dell, Asus and HP say there’s a shortage of laptop batteries, partly because of a recent fire at LG Chem, second biggest Korean battery maker. The fire has driven PC makers back to other makers including Sony (remember world’s largest product recall of tales of exploding batteries?) LG Chem expects the Ochang plant to start production again in three months.   Go LG Chem

Geek Grandma vs. Giants of Industry

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GertrudeOnce more the name Rothschild strikes fear in the heart of the business community. Dr. Gertrude Neumark Rothschild holds patents she thinks cover "short-wavelength (e.g., blue, violet)” LEDs and laser diodes used in handheld mobile devices, instrument panels, billboards, traffic lights, high def DVD players (Blu-ray), and data storage devices.  The US International Trade Commission takes her claim seriously and will officially investigate a Who’s Who in Electronics (Hitachi, LG, Lite-On, Panasonic, Motorola, Nokia, Pioneer, Samsung, Sanyo, Sharp, Sony, Sony Ericsson, and Toshiba).  Go Gertrude

Motorola Splits Off Its Mobile Business

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Motorola splits off its mobile handset business into a separate public company. How well does Motorola know the mobile handset business? Apparently not very well, according to billionaire investor Carl Icahn (major shareholder in Motorola). He wants a court order to force the turnover of documents related to Motorola’s spin-off of the cell-phone unit and to the selection of Motorola's senior officers. IcahnIcahn says, "… the statements and predictions of Motorola's management and the board about mobile devices business have too often proven to be wrong.” He wants to know to what extent the board of directors of Motorola failed in supervising management and setting policy/direction at Motorola.  Motorola tried to buy Icahn by offering two board seats, but Icahn wants four seats, and he’s not in the mood to deal.  Go Motorola Splits in Two

 More about Carl Icahn 

Low Cost Intel PC Platform Comes to Europe

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Classmate PC1Classmate PC3Computer makers in Europe will sell a 2nd-generation version of the Intel-designed Classmate PC for about 300 euros.

 Intended as kiddie PCs, their arrival in the market will fuel the low-cost computing movement.

The new, low-cost laptops developed from Intel technology will run on Windows. Intel says makers in India, Mexico and Indonesia already sell Classmate PC laptops to retail clients.

  Go Classmate 

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