Highlights last week on Philly Tech News (8/20/2012 to 8/26/2012)

SAP co-CEO Jim Hagemann Snabe said in an interview with a German newspaper last week that "further acquisitions are possible", a comment that set off alarms for some because similar comments from him in the past have preceded major SAP buys. However, this time he specified that no particular deal was in the pipeline right now, and it seems unlikely to me that SAP would try to pull something else off until the Ariba deal is settled.

The proxy battle over NextGen Healthcare parent Quality Systems ended with what appears to be a partial victory for dissident shareholder Ahmed Hussein, as he and NextGen Healthcare founder and former Quality President Patrick Cline were elected to the board. Former NextGen President Scott Decker announced he was leaving the company. It was not clear whether the timing of the departure of Decker was related to the proxy battle. Electronic health records vendor NextGen, which is based in Horsham, constitutes most of Quality Systems' business.

Inc. Magazine released its annual Inc. 5000 report, and the top Philly metro companies are shown here. Leading the way are Leadnomics (Philadelphia), Accolade (Plymouth Meeting), and WebiMax (Mount Laurel).

Fallout continued from Comcast's layoffs at NBC's Tonight Show and Jay Leno's pay cut, which created a bit of a chill over the classic car market. Comcast won a stay from the US Court of Appeals' DC Circuit delaying enforcement of the FCC's order that the cable operator place the Tennis Channel on the same tier as the Comcast-owned Golf Channel and NBC Sports Network. And a story broke that Comcast-Spectacor and Live Nation were making a proposal that Virginia Beach build a new arena with the supposed promise of an NBA team (the Kings, it was rumored), though Comcast-Spectacor denied in a statement that any specific pro team was lined up. The proposal to Virginia Beach's City Council was to be made today.

Harrisburg Patriot-News to go to three days per week print schedule; Are Advance Publications' NJ papers next?

Tom Paine

Advance Publications is expanding its transition to a three days per week print schedule for its newspaper properties. The new format, which Advance first initiated at a Michigan paper and then expanded to Alabama and New Orleans, is now being rolled out to Harrisburg and Syracuse.

The Harrisburg Patriot-News and Advance's online arm in Pennsylvania, PennLive.com, will form one organization, PA Media Group, and the company will change its print schedule to three days a week beginning in January 2013, the Patriot-News announced today. "At the same time, the organization will intensify its online and digital news-gathering efforts 24 hours a day, seven days a week", the Patriot-News says. A print edition will continue to be published on Sundays and the other two editions will be "on the scale of the current Sunday editions". Sunday circulation has fallen from 176,000 in 1992 to 118,000 today, and daily circulation has taken a similar plunge, according to the paper. A similar announcement was made today by the Syracuse Post-Standard.

No word yet from Advance's New Jersey group, which includes the Newark Star-Ledger, The Times of Trenton, and the NJ.com website, but it would not be surprising if they were the next to fall.

Obviously, with few exceptions the newspaper industry business model is still trying to find a bottom.

A personal note: as a child I delivered Advance Publications' flagship paper, the Staten Island Advance, and the Star-Ledger.


Daily Links 8/28/2012: News from VMworld

Unisys Rolls Out Updated Private Cloud Solution (CRN)

Devon IT Selected By Acer As Software Provider For Its New Line Of Thin Client Solutions (Press Release)

VMworld shows a VMware in flux (Gigaom)

Active in Cloud, Amazon Reshapes Computing (New York Times)

Time Warner Cable Boosts New York Speeds as Google Project Looms (Bloomberg)
Don't really consider this comparable to Google Fiber, as that project is consumer-oriented and TWC's is business-oriented. Comcast has done a couple of limited buildouts like this in small parts of certain cities (Boston, Seattle, I believe), but don't know if they have anything planned for Philly.

Comcast's ThePlatform Opens Window On Video Storefronts
Commerce Extension for MPX Enables Multiscreen Transactional Content Purchases
(Multichannel News)

ESPN shells out $5.6 billion to keep Major League Baseball (LA Times: Company Town)
Double ESPN's previous deal per annum. We (consumers) will pick up most of the tab through ever increasing cable prices. NBC still looking to get foot in MLB door.

Takeaways from three years of angel investing (Gabriel Weinberg's Blog)