Icahn Edges Closer to Yahoo Control

I didn't see this coming. Yahoo has actually given in to corporate raider Carl Icahn, and is allowing him and two others of his choosing to join the Yahoo board. Icahn now controls three out of the 11 seats.

As owner of 5 percent of Yahoo shares, it makes sense to have Icahn on the board. Then again, he's actively trying to dismantle the company. If I were the Yahoo chairman, I'd treat Icahn like a Mexican jalapeno and steer clear!

Jobs May Be Ill
Rumors have been circulating that Steve Jobs was ill when he showed up to the latest iPhone debut looking thin and gaunt. Apple reps claimed that Jobs was getting over the flu, but rumors persisted, especially since Jobs was diagnosed with cancer of the pancreas several years ago.

Wall Street flipped out over the rumors that Jobs is seriously ill after the company refused to talk about his health on a recent earnings call. Investors promptly started dumping the high-flying stock.

Another indication that Jobs is sick is the fact that Fake Steve Jobs is tossing in the Fake Steve Jobs Towel, and will now post under his real name: Dan Lyons. One theory is that Mr. Lyons wouldn't want to satirize a sick man.

I have no clue what may be wrong with Jobs. My hope is that the cancer is still contained. It could be that his pancreas isn't working and he's fighting against full-on diabetes, which could explain the weight loss. That's not a great scenario, but is far better than metastasized cancer.

Jobs is a rather remarkable man, and losing him as the head of Apple would be a crushing blow for the entire industry. What are your thoughts? Send opinions and comments about Jobs to dbarney@redmondmag.com.

BlackEyeBerry
Research in Motion just plugged a hole in its BlackBerry that could allow hackers to use PDFs to break into BlackBerry servers. The company suggests that customers patch by moving to BlackBerry Enterprise Server version 4.1, service pack 6 for Exchange.

I have a BlackBerry and love the e-mail. I hate, though, the way it deals with attachments -- or doesn't deal with attachments. Talk about a kludge. No wonder so many are switching to the iPhone.

Mailbag: If You Ran VMware, More
Doug asked readers recently what they would do if they ran VMware and needed to take on Hyper-V's pricing (read: free). Here are some of your suggestions:

What would I do if I was VMware? PANIC.
-Anonymous

Well, I would ultimately slash the price of the ESX products, give away the Workstation and servers for free (but have fees for support), add more hardware vendor support or alliance, and publish more books or best practice guide documents.
-Cornelio

Here is a plan for VMware: Provide a hypervisor and a VM maker for home users. Servers are where the money's at, but if you want users to keep your name, you have to provide the same wares at home. Well, maybe not the same, but something that will transfer readily between work and home.

What I envision is a VM platform that would allow a home user to run one or more OSes independent of the hardware. When it's time to upgrade your hardware to a better system, you just package up your system as-is, copy it somewhere (online storage, DVD, whatever), get your new machine and drop it down. How many people are forced to move to Vista (for example) because they got a new laptop? If it were a VMware microkernel, they could just mount their old OS on a new system -- no fuss, no settings to reset, no new or significant nuances to learn. No doubt people would pay a PC premium for this ease of use, and it would knock down Microsoft significantly as it cannot force a vendor to upgrade to its new OS package since any VMware-ready machine would be OS-independent.
-Tom

A price increase might work for Smirnoff vodka, but it won't work for software. It's the death knell for VMware. Just ask your corporate managers who will force you to go with the lower-cost alternative -- especially from a name-brand vendor like Microsoft.
-Mike

Add Pat to the ever-growing list of people who don't like Vista:

No, you are not being too rough on Vista. You're just not being rough enough. I have been preaching to all my users not to purchase computers with just Vista alone, but to purchase business PCs with both operating systems on them (Vista with a downgrade to XP). This way, they can choose and later ease into Vista if they want to or when Microsoft cleans it up. Some of my users did not heed the warning, went out and purchased a new computer, and are now complaining, "It operates too slow, can't get on the Internet, stops me from creating documents," and the list goes on and on.

I personally do not own a Vista computer and will not until Microsoft fixes the kernel, but if I wanted to imitate a Vista computer, all I would have to do is to let my XP Pro computer get fragmented and full of temporary Internet files.
-Pat

And if you're an iPhone fan that gets teased for your iFervor, give this reader's advice some consideration:

In response to the YouTube video you referenced, I was really hoping to see some pwnage, but I didn't see or hear any. That guy didn't own the reporter; he sounded like he wanted to go home and cry. Where's his sense of humor? I was expecting some kind of humorous response in response to a pretty humorous question.

How about answering the question, "Have you ever seen a woman naked?" with, "Why, yes, in fact your mom told me I'd get an encore of her performance last night if I stood in line to get her the new iPhone. But I'm actually getting this one for myself. I wouldn't pay to see THAT again." Did I miss something?
-Chris

Got something to add? Let us have it! Leave a comment below or send an e-mail to dbarney@redmondmag.com.

About the Author

Doug Barney is editor in chief of Redmond magazine and the VP, editorial director of Redmond Media Group.

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