Stories by Andrew Birmingham

Monday Grok: Former Cheyenne CEO's tragic end

Reijane Huai committed suicide two weeks ago outside his home in Long Island. That was one day before the former 2009 Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year was going to plead guilty to charges relating to a bribe he paid to an employee of JPMorgan Chase to secure contracts from the company. Those allegations had already forced him out of FalconStor, the company he founded in March 2000.

Thursday’s grok: Xbox has Microsoft halfway home

About five years ago, in another life, Grok dined with some visiting Microsoft boffins who told us that Bill Gates' vision would see the company generate half its revenues from advertising within 10 years. The suggestion is less remarkable these days, but back then it was crazy talk, and crazy people don’t make for the best lunch partners. Unless they’re picking up the tab, and they weren’t.

Wednesday's grok: Dude, where’s my iPhone 5?

So just how shallow are you people? If Apple brought out an iPhone 5 in all but name but it looked like grandpa’s old iPhone 4, would you buy it? Apple is betting it has the fanboys so hooked on the drip that the answer is yes. Grok isn’t so sure, and yet... and yet...

Thursday Grok: Kindle v iPad, Google v Facebook, and an Aussie Bill

Markets don’t always work — just ask a pharmaceutical company. There, the economics of the industry are underpinned by government sponsored structural monopolies (we call them patents because it sounds more first world than IP cartels). But in reality without the gift of legislated dominance for 20 years we would not benefit from all those life changing, almost magical blockbuster drugs*.

Wednesday grok: permanent war

Ziggy was leaving pretty much from the moment he arrived, Sol was crazy and you wondered where he buried the bodies, but incumbent Telstra CEO David Thodey appears to have achieved quite the trifecta: Telstra's boss is no longer the story, surnames are back in vogue, and those long suffering share holders including every Australian with a superannuation account have seen growth in the stock for almost a year.

Cisco wields the axe

Cisco Australia has begun the painful process of culling its local head count, with the cuts falling heaviest in its Channel group, e-commerce and marketing.

News Interactive Chief Heads Off To The Big Apple

Almost two months after he oversaw a significant restructure of the News Interactive division in Australia, Rupert Murdoch's local internet chief Patrice McAree is leaving to work in News Corp's New York operation.

ACCC Examining Telstra's Wholesale ADSL Program

Telstra is charging its wholesale customers more for ADSL connections than it is charging many of its own retail customers, but wholesalers are restricted from discussing the issue because of non-disclosure arrangements in their contracts.