Hulu.com Joins Web Video Competition
- By Peter Varhol
NBC and Fox are set to launch an advertising-supported online
video site called Hulu.com
in an attempt to draw some of the eyeballs away
from YouTube. A test version of the Web site went live yesterday, and the permanent
site is scheduled to be available early next year.
Hulu.com will host programming from the two networks, as well as TV shows and
films from Sony and MGM. It will provide viewers with tools that let them embed
full episodes on their own blogs, Web sites or personal profile pages. However,
it doesn't look like it will permit users to post home-grown videos.
Do we need another video site? Do you want to watch old TV shows and movies
online? Let me know at [email protected].
House and Senate Pass Separate Internet Tax Moratorium
After the U.S. House of Representatives passed a proposed four-year moratorium
on Internet taxes earlier in October, the Senate passed legislation that would
a moratorium on Internet access taxes for seven years.
The proposed moratorium would extend the existing ban on Internet-only taxes,
which is set to expire on Nov. 1. The different bills must be reconciled in
conference, and signed by President Bush in order to become law.
While we've long taken for granted the lack of a tax on our ISP bills, that
would change pretty quickly if the moratorium were discontinued. Federal, state
and local governments would be allowed to add taxes, such as access and bit
traffic taxes, on information as it travels through a jurisdiction.
I have two ISPs (broadband and a dial-up that includes my hosting service),
so any taxes would weigh double on me. How do you feel about taxing Internet
access and traffic like we do the telephone? Tell me your thoughts at [email protected].
Oracle Offer for BEA Expires
Oracle's offer to acquire BEA at a price of $17 a share -- or $6.7 billion --
expired on Sunday, and Oracle has withdrawn
the offer. Oracle has also responded to BEA's putative counteroffer of $21
a share, or about $8.3 billion, by saying that it was "impossibly
Still, most industry observers believe that a deal will happen sooner or later.
BEA continues to perform below expectations, and investor Carl Icahn, who owns
about 12 percent of the company, has complained about the board's response to
the Oracle offer. And it's telling that no other company has come forward with
a competing offer.
Oracle has made a lot of big acquisitions in the past several years. Do you
think it's ready for another? Give me your Oracle story at [email protected].
Peter Varhol is the executive editor,
reviews of Redmond magazine and has more than 20 years of experience as a software
developer, software product manager and technology writer. He has graduate degrees
in computer science and mathematics, and has taught both subjects at the university