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Maureen O'Gara

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Top Stories by Maureen O'Gara

Google has told the SEC that its billion-dollar acquisition of 5% of AOL, made in 2005 to prevent Microsoft from doing it and giving AOL a $20 billion over-the-top valuation, “may be impaired,” accounting-speak for it ain’t worth what it was (if it ever was). Google, supplies a lot of AOL’s ads, anticipates unquantified write-offs that may be “material,” but continues carrying the investment at cost. Speculation has the losses amounting to $500 million. The market seems to have taken the news as a harbinger of an AOL sale. See, Time Warner last week said it’s figured out how to divide AOL’s advertising and subscriptions so it could dump the toxic piece of one of the world’s worst mergers. It means to divvy things up by early next year and there are supposed to be on-going talks with both Yahoo and Microsoft; Google could demand that Time Warner buy back its position... (more)

AMD Adopts New OpenCL 1.0 Standard

AMD says it’s going to adopt the shiny new OpenCL 1.0 standard just ratified the other day by the Khronos Group standards body and integrate an OpenCL-compliant compiler and runtime into its free ATI Stream SDK next year. And just to prove it can make the deadline, it says its engineering team has already started running code on its initial Stream implementation. OpenCL is supposed to make it easier to write vendor-neutral applications that can execute on either a system’s CPU or GPU and take advantage of whichever processor is best suited for the task at hand. It’s become fashionabl... (more)

Apple Makes Highly Eccentric Hire

Apple polished its reputation as a contrarian Tuesday when the news broke because of an SEC filing that it had hired Adobe's CTO Kevin Lynch to be VP of technology and reportedly coordinate its hardware and software teams. Adobe confirmed his departure effective Friday, March 22. He will report to SVP Bob Mansfield, Apple's core hardware maven, who leads Apple's Technologies Group, which includes its wireless and semiconductor interests. Provocatively Mansfield is scheduled to retire from Apple for the second time next year. Lynch, a Macromedia legacy, violently backed Mobile Fla... (more)

Icahn Lashes Out at Dell Board & Dell Himself

After joining with Southeastern Asset Management in signing an open letter to Dell’s special board committee – which is wrestling with Michael Dell’s offer to pay $13.75 a share, 10 cents more a share, to change how the stockholders vote on his leverage buy-out offer is counted – telling the special committee he expected them to tell Michael Dell “no” – activist investor Carl Icahn wrote another open letter to Dell shareholders characterizing Michael Dell as a “whining” “sore loser” and major corporate “liability” and castigating the Dell board for “making a mockery of what lit... (more)

Is Motorola the Next Sun? Thanks to Ed Zander

Since Ed Zander led Sun into the valley of the shadow of death back – what? – over five years ago now, it has never recovered. And there’s a good chance the same thing may happen to Motorola. With a year left to run on his contract, Zander quit yesterday – and clearly not a moment too soon given the events of the last year or so. There are people who would have gladly ridden him out of town on a rail months ago and it’s assumed he’s resigning now to avoid getting fired. Zander, whose telecom experience consisted of answering the phone, was brou... (more)