Weekend Reading: September 3rd Edition

weekend reading books

Intel Buys Chipmaker Infineon

Chipmaker Infineon may not be a household brand itself, but the devices the company’s chips power most certainly are. iPhone. iPad. Yes, Infineon is the chipmaker for these popular devices and Intel has purchased the company at a price tag of $1.4 billion.

Which begs the question – when will Apple start developing its own wireless chips? The company has a history of keeping things in-house, designing and building what it needs rather than outsourcing core components to another company. So as Intel plans to close the deal as early as Q1 2011, all eyes are on Apple’s next move.

Rumors of Apple buying a communications chip vendor in the near future have invaded the blogosphere, with loyal Apple followers noting that buying a chipmaker will prevent the next iPhone from becoming dependent on Intel.


Virginia Still Reeling from IT Outage

Some important public serving government agencies in Virginia were still experiencing service disruptions this week, despite the repair of a storage network that last week caused major IT system failure statewide.

At least two dozen agencies and about one-fifth of the state government’s computers were affected by the August 25th crash. The department of taxation and the state board of elections were two departments still experiencing issues from the outage, but likely Virginians were most frustrated by the outage’s effect on their DMV, which was unable to process driver’s licenses all week.

A public relations nightmare for sure, VITA and its corporate partner, Northrop Grumman Corp., have been criticized in scathing reports from the General Assembly’s investigative arm, the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission, for cost overruns, service outages, slow service and delays.

More than a full week after the outage began, Northrop Grumman’s president of Information System formally apologized via a written statement:

“Northrop Grumman deeply regrets the disruption and inconvenience this has caused state agencies and Virginia citizens. Over the last week, we have deployed significant resources and our staff has worked tirelessly in unison with VITA and our partners to thoroughly verify and restore access to data and restore normal operations to the agencies”

The company also said it is trying to learn from the problems it experienced, and intends to improve its own internal processes so it can respond more quickly in restoring state agency operations. Too little, too late? A formal review of the outage by an outside organization has been ordered by Gov. McDonnell, and Northrop Grumman will saddle the cost of the review.

Making matters worse, today (Friday) Twitter is flooded with tweets and retweets citing a high possibility that Virginia will lose sensitive data that has at this point still not been recovered.



Free E-Book Streaming Coming Soon

All of us here at Mobility PR are already big fans of music sharing site Pandora and are power-users of its mobile app. While music tops our list of mobile content we love to consume, we’re all avid readers as well; and if you can share music for free through ad-supported sites like Pandora, it would certainly make sense that the next step is sharing books. Say hello to 24symbols: the Madrid-based platform that lets anyone with an e-reader share digital books using their browser.

As the tablet craze gains momentum and e-readers continue to flourish, 24symbols is set to take book sharing to a whole new level. The start-up offers free reading privileges to any user connected to the Internet thanks to the site’s advertising support and premium content model. Tapping into the social and community aspects of a service like this, 24symbols empowers users to write reviews and even highlight particular passages in a book before sharing it with a friend.

The start-up is currently managing its first round of venture funding, and is actively seeking a financial partner to help solidify funding and take the offering global. 24symbols is set to launch in its native Spain (launch date still TBD, but expected towards the end of the 4th quarter, 2010), followed by Latin America, France, the UK and Germany, and then finally reaching the US and Asia.

Open invitation to the 24symbols team: We love what you guys are doing guys, and when you are ready to talk about launch plans and ongoing PR, we hope to hear from you!