Tech News: Dell Will Go Private and Twitter's Vine Has a Porn Issue
Plus, MorphLabs competing with Amazon, social ad spending to increase by 40%, and leaked DOJ documents on drone strikes.
Link: Dell Taken Private as PC Market Slump Hastens $24 Billion Buyout
"Dell Inc. (NASDAQ:DELL), the world's third-biggest maker of personal computers, is going private in a deal valued at $24.4 billion, undertaking the biggest leveraged buyout since the financial crisis.
"Chief Executive Officer Michael Dell and Silver Lake Management LLC will pay $13.65 a share, the companies said today in a statement. That's 25% more than the closing price of $10.88 on Jan. 11, the last trading day before the buyout discussions became public. Michael Dell is taking back majority control of the company he started almost three decades ago.
"Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ:MSFT) is contributing $2 billion, according to the statement. Silver Lake, a technology-focused private-equity firm, was working with partners to line up about $15 billion in funds for the buyout, people familiar with the matter have said.
"Dell, which trails Hewlett-Packard Co. (NYSE:HPQ) and Lenovo Group Ltd. (HKG:0992) in the PC market, slid 2.6% to $13.27 on Feb. 4. Its stock plummeted 31% last year as it struggled to adapt to the industry-wide shift to smartphones, tablet computers, and cloud computing services."
Link: Is Twitter's Vine the New 'Micro-Porn' Service?
"Well that didn't take long did it? Only a couple of days after Twitter launched its new video service, Vine easily searchable pornographic video clips are circulating around Twitter.
"Vine positions itself firmly around brevity. It captures six second videos and posts the content to Twitter. These videos now play in an endless loop in your feed.
"Vine is available for iPhone and iPod touch which gives Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) an issue over inappropriate content. Last week Apple removed 500px from the App store. It was easy for users to find nude photographs using the app Apple said:
The app was removed from the App Store for featuring pornographic images and material, a clear violation of our guidelines. We also received customer complaints about possible child pornography. We've asked the developer to put safeguards in place to prevent pornographic images and material in their app."
Link: MorphLabs OpenStack Cloud to Arm Service Providers Against Amazon
"MorphLabs is banking that service providers wanting to take on Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) Web Services will want to take a look at mCloud Osmium, the company's new OpenStack-based public cloud infrastructure.
"Other OpenStack distributions have been available for a while but MorphLabs claims that its offering can provide a secure, multi-tenant infrastructure that these companies can pay for on a subscription basis, and that will provide them with all the billing capabilities, credit card validation and processing that they need to bill out to customers, said Yoram Heller, VP of business development for the Manhattan Beach, Calif. based company.
"There is indeed a market for something like this. As Amazon.com's AWS arm takes on more IT loads for customers of all sizes, it's competing more with traditional IT outsourcing companies and hosting companies aka the sorts of service providers MorphLabs is targeting here."
Link: New Technorati Report Says Most Marketers Expect Social Ad Spending to Go Up 40 Percent This Year
"Technorati has released a new Digital Influence Report, and the big theme (probably not surprising coming from a blog and social media ad network) is that most online marketing dollars aren't being directed to the 'blogs and influencers' where they could have the greatest effect. At the same, social ad spending is expected to increase significantly this year.
"The company previously released annual State of the Blogosphere reports, but starting this year it's expanding the report's scope to include social media - hence the change in name. The company says that it surveyed 1,200 consumers, 150 brand marketers, and 6,000 influencers."
Link: Leaked DOJ Memo Justifies Drone Strikes on US Citizens
"A leaked Justice Department white paper reveals a draft legal framework which describes in detail the targeting of American citizens by drones without due process or proof of specific intent to harm. That's terrifying.
"The document, obtained by NBC News, explains that targets believed to be 'senior operational leader[s] of al-Qa'ida' or an 'associated force' who 'pose an imminent threat' can be targeted by US drones without the need for excessive quantities of paperwork or due process."