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Monday, December 29, 2008

Cisco in your living room ?

For several years, Cisco Systems, the leading provider of the routers and switches that handle Internet traffic on the way to your front door, has been looking for ways to get into the house. Looking at the increasing sophistication of home networks, Cisco sees a sweet spot for its expertise if it can just get consumers to start associating its name with Apple, Sonus, TiVo and others aiming to help people access video, audio and online content on an assortment of devices scattered around the house. A daunting task, but in the new year, the push will begin in earnest. At the Consumer Electronics Show in January, the New York Times reports, Cisco will introduce a line of entertainment products for the home, including its own wireless digital stereo.
The appeal of the residential market is obvious. With sales directly to consumers representing only 2 percent of Cisco's $40 billion total in the most recent fiscal year, the growth possibilities are tantalizing. And the company can leverage not only its own plumbing technology, but its acquisitions of cable-equipment supplier Scientific Atlanta and home networking company Linksys as well. Plus, whatever Cisco starts with now will serve as a beachhead on the way to the big prize -- bringing easy, high-definition video conferencing to the family room.


Is Amazon a solipsist...?

Amazon claims 2008 holiday season has been its “best ever”.

It laid out some stat for support - The online retail giant said it sold more than 6.3 million items worldwide on its peak day, Dec. 15, or the equivalent of "a record-breaking 72.9 items per second." Last year, the company claimed it sold about 5.4 million units on its peak holiday shopping day, which in 2007 was Dec. 10.

Unclear is how a shortened holiday season affected Amazon's results. Because Thanksgiving fell on a later date this year, the shopping season was about five days shorter than a year ago, meaning consumers had to crunch more shopping into a smaller window of time. Amazon's statement came during an overall slump in holiday sales and global economic turmoil. Data released by MasterCard SpendingPulse unit showed total retail sales, excluding automobiles, fell from the year-earlier period by 5.5% in November and 8% in December through Christmas Eve.

Why does the word “solipsist” come to mind…?

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