Links 10/29: Arris Drops; 3Q Revenue Miss; Gartner magic quadrant for database management systems is out

Walgreens-Rite-Boots-Aid-Alliance: Trust us, it will work! (Fortune)

X1 momentum could result in Comcast adding 25K+ video subs in Q4, analyst says (FierceCable)

Arris Drops; 3Q Revenue Miss; 4Q Guidance Dimmer Than Expected (Barron's Tech Trader Daily)
Arris is in part an area firm since it acquired Horsham-based Motorola Home from Google.

Magic Quadrant for Operational Database Management Systems (Gartner)

Oracle Sued by N.Y. Pension Over Political-Giving Disclosure (Bloomberg)

Software Problems Delay NBPA Pilot Program for License Plate Readers (New Brunswick Today)

Its Official: IBM to buy Weather Channel data & analytics assets

Tom Paine

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Officially announced: IBM is buying The Weather Company's tech & data assets to integrate with Watson.

IBM lays out a rather detailed game plan for what it plans are for the Weather Channel assets here. (BTW, that document was available online last night, minus the purchase announcement). The plan envisions specific services tailored to vertical consumer and business markets. This is another set of apps for its Watson analytical engine (I guess that what I should call it). Of course, I've learned that IBM, like the Pentagon, is great at making detailed plans. The key is execution.

Although terms were not announced, previous reports estimated the price to be in the $2 billion range.

Comcast's NBC owns about 1/3 of TWC, along with two private equity firms who own the rest. The deal would only include TWC's weather data and various analytical tools, not the broadcasting operation.

You might be happy to hear that Al Roker wasn't included in the deal, but his show was dropped late last month anyway, though he'll continue to make mobile-only video clips in the morning. TWC's owners (Bain and The Blackstone Group, both very smart, have been Comcast's PE partners) have been unhappy with broadcast ops, though I think their own missteps have added to the problems. A major programming overhaul began in September.

The three current owners paid a bit less than $3.5 billion in 2008 to acquire TWC from Landmark Communications, according to a report at the time in the New York Times.

RIP Thomas Stemberg, Staples founder

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A quick note on Thomas Stemberg, founder of Staples, who passed away recently at the age of 66.

The concept of an office supply superstore seems rather old-fashioned now with Walmart and Amazon around, back when he started Staples in 1986 it was revolutionary. Until then the office supply category was the domain of specialists. There were larger vendors who catered to big companies, but the small guys were dependent upon the old-fashioned neighborhood office supply stores, with their high prices, limited selection and slow service.

While Stemberg would eventually have Mitt Romney at Bain Capital behind him, he actually by himself stocked the shelves in the early stores to get them up and running.

And although Stemberg, a former grocery executive with a Harvard MBA, probably didn't plan it this way, in my memory it seemed as if Staples pionereed the category of providing a consumer-like msss marketing approach for selling products or services to the SMB and SOHO markets, in turn making it possible for those firms to function as never before.