Big news this week: Microsoft has offered to buy Yahoo for $44.6 billion. That's a huge premium over what the market price for Yahoo stock has been for some time, so it looks like a pretty great deal for Yahoo shareholders. It's also a huge amount of money: More than Warren Buffett's huge bequest to the Gates Foundation.
Dan criticizes the deal as just another attempt by Microsoft to buy out another company's technology rather than developing its own. Brian views it as a high-tech version of an inducement or incentive prize. Now, that's not to say that every company should grow just by buying out other companies -- in fact, most of the time, it's better if companies grow by developing on their own, among other reasons because there's less chance that anyone will get away with accounting shenanigans. But in certain cases, like high technology and publishing, it might make sense to grow through acquisitions. If innovative people know that there's a chance they could get a lot of money by selling out to big firms (like Google or Microsoft), that gives them a lot of incentive to try to get creative and to push the bounds of technology. It's a good deal for the companies doing the buying, since they only have to pay when someone else has taken all the risk and demonstrated that their ideas work. The prize concept still needs to be used to solve some of our energy problems.
Dan claims to have put a V8 into his Ford Pinto. He's not the only one who likes the Pinto: They even have a fan club.
The Internet outages in the Middle East and southern Asia this past week sure look suspicious. That's three cuts in just a few days.
Dan thinks Bacon Salt may be the greatest invention of the 21st Century.
It turns out that you can use the iPod to listen to audio books -- and bookmark the place where you left off. Callers say that both the iPod Shuffle and iPod Touch allow the user to pause the playback of a file and return to it later.
Van Halen is coming to town this coming week. Maybe Dan will arrive at the concert in a Pinto.
Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak is still dating Kathy Griffin. What a bizarre pair.
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has launched a weblog to offer a new method of communication with the traveling public. So far, there are 418 comments responding to the TSA's request for "your TSA experiences -- both the good or the bad." Speaking of transportation security, a spy satellite is going to crash to Earth sometime between now and March, and the officials have no idea where it's going to hit.
Apple thinks a million iPhones have gone AWOL, and there are a lot of people who think that many of them have been shipped to Hong Kong. The "missing" iPhones are the difference between the number Apple claims to have sold and the number AT&T says it has activated.
It turns out that supposedly "private" photos stored on SmugMug might not be so private after all. It's just another reminder that you should avoid putting anything on the Internet -- even behind a password barrier -- that you don't want to see out in public.
Firefox users, be on the lookout for a security update scheduled for later this week.
Keywords in this show: Apple • audio books • bacon • Buffett, Warren • energy • Firefox • Ford • Gates Foundation • Google • Hong Kong • inducement prizes • Internet • Internet outages • iPhone • iPod • mergers • Microsoft • Pinto • privacy • sabotage • satellites • SmugMug • Transportation Security Administration (TSA) • weblogs • Wozniak, Steve • Van Halen • Yahoo