Pontiac is history, 9/11 revisited, Apple cans 1600 workers and Geocities shuts down

  • General Motors announced more cuts and the elimination of the Pontiac brand.  Earlier this year, GM had said it would curtail the brand, perhaps by selling Pontiac badged vehicles at Chevrolet dealers or reducing the lineup to just a few vehicles.  Alas, GM announced today that the brand will disappear altogether.  I have a soft spot for Pontiac:  the first real car I bought was a 1973 Pontiac Grand Prix.  I bought another ‘73 shortly afterward.  I loved those cars.  Big, fast and bad on gas.  The way it should be.
  • For a few minutes today, New Yorkers relived 9/11.  Air Force One and two accompanying fighter escorts flew very low over the city, coming very close to the Trade Center site.  The flight was for a ‘photo op’.  While the NYPD, apparently, knew about the flight, not many outside of the department knew.  Many buildings went on alert and evacuated.  Mayor Bloomberg was ‘hopping mad’ that he was not made aware that the event would be taking place, saying he would have nixed it.  Just who thought this would be a good idea anyway and leaving the public blind-in NEW YORK CITY?  What the hell were they thinking?  I smell a lawsuit…
  • Apple lays off 1,600 people from the retail operation.  That’s about ten percent of the total number of workers at Apple’s 250 retail stores.  Apple says they are not going to close any of the retail stores and acknowledged that expansion of the retail business has and will require a substantial investment in assets and infrastructure.
  • Apple loses a patent infringement suit.  A US District Court ruled that Apple had violated a patent for “predictive snooping of cache memory for master-initiated accesses” or, in plain speak, a method for high speed communication between a physical bus and the L1 cache memory.  Uh, right.  Anyway, Apple has been ordered to pay $19 million dollars to OPTi.
  • Broadcom and Qualcomm come to an agreement on the years-long battles with each other.  Broadcom will pay Qualcomm $891 million, in cash, over the next four years.  $200 million will be paid before the end of June.  Both companies agreed to not sue each other over their intellectual property. This feud began in 2006.
  • A billion apps sold in the App Store.  OK, I’m not one to call some one out for stretching the truth, but this is one ‘fact’ that I just have a hard time swallowing.  A billion apps ‘sold’ or, more appropriately, downloaded.  Now, does that figure include re-downloads as well?  Does it include the apps that Apple revoked?  given that there aren’t that iPhone / iTouch owners, how in the world did they arrive at that number?  And, anyway, just why do we care?  Why did I just spend five minutes typing this out?
  • Geocities to shutter.  Yahoo! announced that Geocities will go the way of Pontiac and the dodo bird.  Geocities, if you do not remember, was the free web site hosting community with the very annoying Geocities bouncing box.  Did I mention it was free?
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