Tag Archives | Cisco

The New Flip (Bonus Question: Does the Flip Have a Future?)

Flip Mino HDA new high-end $229.99 version of the Flip MinoHD pocket camcorder is out–it’s got 8GB of memory (up from 4GB), a bigger screen and an HDMI port. It’s also got a new aluminum case which the Flip folks say makes this “the world’s sleekest HD camcorder” and which Gizmodo raves over–although oddly enough, the official specs seem to say that the new version is a tad chunkier than the old one. (The marketing materials refer to “soft, rounded edges”–maybe they give the new Mino, which I haven’t seen in person, a svelter feel than its predecessor.)

The new Mino sounds cool, and  the whole Flip line’s image quality for the price, industrial design, clever features (like the pop-out USB connector), and general commitment to usability are commendable. You gotta think that the clock is ticking on the whole product category, though–between phones with video camera capability and ever-better video from still cameras and video built into still other devices, the world isn’t going to need dedicated low-end video cameras forever. I don’t expect Flips to go away immediately–for one thing, even the standard definition ones have much better image quality than my iPhone 3GS–but I’d love to know what Cisco has in the works that might make the $590 million it spent to buy the Flip into a smart investment rather than the technological equivalent of buying a gallon of milk even though its expiration date is about to come.


Is Cisco/Flip the US Robotics/PalmPilot of 2009? Hope Not!

Cisco Flip A great big domineering company that’s synonymous with communications equipment. A spunky little company with a cool, pocketable gadget that brings new technology to the masses. Today’s news that Cisco is spending $590 million in stock to buy Pure Digital, makers of the Flip line of low-cost, easy-to-use camcorders, reminded me of another acquisition that happened so long ago that I’d almost forgotten about it: The buyout of PalmPilot creator Palm Computing by one-time modem kingpin US Robotics back in 1995.

But once I started thinking about the Palm/US Robotics marriage, I remembered a historical tidbit that’s worth recording. I met with Palm executives in 1995, months before the first Palm PDA was announced. (At the time, they told me it was going to be called Taxi, but that’s another story for another time.)

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Confirmed: Cisco Shutting Down For Four Days

Cisco logoTechnologizer has confirmed claims by UBS Research that Cisco is preparing to shut down for four days at the end of this year in a likely effort to cut costs. It would be the first time in the company’s history, and probably means things in Silcon Valley are worse than we think. The information comes from an employee within the company.

Add to this some details from Om Malik, who claims that an “major annual internal event” has also been postponed, and you must begin to question how well Cisco’s doing. Altogether, the effort would save the company about $1 billion. (Our source says he knew nothing about any event cancellations).

This is in addition to a hiring freeze and cutback of non-essential events as part of a broader plan to save money in 2009. With such uncertainty, that is probably a good idea.

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