Safari 4's Messy Trail
The big value-proposition of the Mac has been that it is easy for the non-geeky user to use. Unfortunately, things like these make those very users vulnerable. Without exposing easy ways to flush potentially sensitive and private information, it is the same users Apple attempts to serve that will be exposed. And, this will probably be the default browser for most new systems, so unless this is patched, expect the problem to proliferate...
MS Releases Open Source Alternative To BigTable
This came about as a result of their acquisition of Powerset. Those guys have been working on Hadoop, and contributing back for a while (pretty much since the beginning). Here's what the linked article in the OP states, "When Microsoft acquired the company, Powersetters Michael Stack and Jim Kellerman took a hiatus from their full-time HBase contributions. But by October, Redmond had cleared the pair to resume their open coding. And that's what we'd call giving yourself cancer. "While Microsoft has supported open source in the past," a company mouthpiece tells us, "this is the first time that Microsoft has continued to support open source with an acquired company."" So, rather than release their entire effort as Open Source, the participants in Kumo/Powerset will continue to work on Open Source projects and software they embed.
What To Do When a Megacorp Wants To Buy You?
Eugene Kleiner,the founder of Kleiner Perkins, the VC firm behind some of the biggest successes of our times (Amazon, Google, Intel, Genentech, etc. etc.) said it best - "When they pass the hors d'oeuvres around, take two". When there's money on the table, you take it.
Love your money, not your stock.
Let's face it - if you came up with this concept with a bunch of your buddies sitting around, you can always come up with another one. Getting a company off the ground is VERY hard, and it is much easier with success under your belt. This will classify as a success. It will make the next one, should you choose to do another, much easier. It will be easier to raise venture money if required, it will be easier to attract talent, and it will be easier to sell to customers. You will learn a lot about taking a product to market, seeing it deployment and learning how customers made purchasing decisions.
Unless, for some reason, you have some killer IP and a clear path to revenue (both of which are, more often than not, not worth the paper they are printed on - technologies have short half-lives and customers change strategies, get acquired, lose or make more than anticipated and contacts within firms get re-org'd, fired or they quit), you really should have a very strong reason for assuming you will do a better job than Megacorp. The only reason to pass would be if you feel the deal is not high enough. That can only be validated via a counter offer. Again, as Eugene Kleiner said, "Never sell unless there are at least two buyers". So, if you feel this offer is fair, you better have a strong reason for thinking you can do better than Megacorp.
Also, get some solid advisers (perhaps professors who serve on boards, or alumni or something) to help you think through this before engaging the professionals (lawyers).
IANAL, but know the following (you prob already do, but I didn't see it discussed here):
- There is a big difference between a cash offer and a stock (if illiquid) offer.
- Lockouts - how long before you can leave, should you want to
- Earnouts - what milestones do you need to hit before you get all your monies disbursed
- Non competes
Facebook and Google are well known for going through the halls of places like Stanford and doing 'manquisitions'. The developers get some cash up-front (similar to a signing bonus), get an exit under their belts, get a smaller piece of a hopefully bigger pie, and it gives FB/GOOG a few solid developers to work on projects that the devs are passionate about.
A wormhole has opened up. Don't saunter by!
Microsoft Donates Code To Apache's "Stonehenge" Project
Choosing to contribute sample code here is definitely interesting here, given that the Stonehenge project is meant to promote interoperability between Web service standards. First Microsoft contributes money, and now they contribute sample code to promote interoperability (between standards and platforms)! Wonders never cease!
Ericsson and Intel Offer Remote Notebook Lockdown
I found this laptop and started writing this reply when it suddenly froz...
OpenSolaris 2008.11 Released, Reviewed
Fedora recently claimed that it would take $10B+ to re-build it from scratch. Given that OpenSolaris came from Solaris/Unix, how much more stable/solid is it, as compared to the Linux kernel? Also, I bet there are more Open Source apps that have yet to be 'ported' to it. No empirical data - just a thought...