Raytheon completes acquisition of BBN for $350M — Both companies do defense R&D and are packed with MIT grads. Raytheon works on military projects such as the Army Expeditionary Warrior Experiment. R&D company BBN makes cheery Internet publishing tool suite EveryZing, but the company also developed the sniper detection system Boomerang, used by American soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan.
U.S. Army troops in their MRAP vehicles are currently equipped with 6,000 Boomerang systems over there. Within a second, the soldiers get a talking display that tells them the direction, distance, and altitude of a shooter.
BBN has always had a reputation as a kickass engineering house. Boomerang was developed from idea to working model in 68 days. Raytheon and BBN are both headquartered near MIT in Cambridge, Mass., but BBN will apparently work with Raytheon Network Centric Systems in McKinney, Texas.
Verizon continues the tech sector’s sweep of earnings reports — America’s second-largest phone company, and new #1 wireless carrier, beat analysts’ expectations for the third quarter. The company reported $27.3 billion in sales and $1.18 billion in revenue, a gain of nearly 25 percent over last year. A substantial chunk of that came from new acquisition AllTel.
Wall Street’s reaction was — well, actually there wasn’t one. Share prices declined a piddly 21 cents to $28.64.
Verizon, which laid off 4,000 workers in its shriveling land-line business last quarter, said a similar cut was coming in the new quarter, too. The company is focusing on HDTV and fiber-optic FiOS service. While waiting around for Apple’s exclusive contract with AT&T to expire, Verizon is moving forward on selling the BlackBerry Storm2 and Android-based Droid smartphones.
Netflix to offer movies for Sony’s Playstation 3 consoles — Xbox 360 owners (pictured) have been able to play Netflix movies on demand for a year now. Next month, Sony will finally catch up. Netflix currently has 11.1 million customers. Sony has sold 9 million PlayStation 3 systems. You do the math. The deal leaves Nintendo’s Wii as the last major console without Netflix streaming. Yet the Wii is still Number One in sales.
Sony doesn’t deny that the move is aimed at older people — Sony wants grownups to embrace game consoles as entertainment centers. The Netflix video service is targeted at men and women from age 18 all the way up to 49. “Technology that was mystifying to the consumer three years ago is being coveted now,” said Jack Tretton, the CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment of America.
Twitter and Y Combinator team up for startup stream access — At this past weekend’s Startup School event in San Francisco, Twitter co-founders Evan Williams and Biz Stone concocted an idea with Y Combinator chief Paul Graham: A deal to ensure that Y Combinator startups working on Twitter-related projects have priority access to the tweet stream, as well as access to Twitter’s team. Y Combinator has also added a new Request For Startups:
RFS 3: Things Built on Twitter
Twitter is important because it’s a new protocol. Fundamentally it’s a messaging protocol where you don’t specify the recipients. It’s really more of a discovery than an invention; that square was always there in the periodic table of protocols, but no one had quite hit it squarely.
Successful new protocols are rare. There are only a handful of commonly used ones: TCP/IP (the Internet), SMTP (email), HTTP (the web), and so on. So any new protocol is a big deal. Each one of those protocols has spawned many successful companies. Twitter will too.
We want to fund those companies. And the people at Twitter also want to encourage people to built stuff on top of it. So together we came up with a plan: anyone YC funds to do a startup based on Twitter will get priority access to the Twitter stream, and to people at Twitter.
Facebook hires journalist Andrew Noyes — The goal is simple: Better leverage in Washington. Noyes, who blogged for National Journal’s CongressDaily on”‘Politics And Policy in The Wired World,” is seen as an insider. From Facebook’s announcement:
Specific policy issues on the agenda for Andrew and the rest of Facebook’s DC office include enhancing cybersecurity and online safety, expanding digital privacy protection through user control of data, and protecting free speech.
WhiteHouse.gov now runs on Drupal — You’re either totally stoked or have no idea what I’m talking about. Drupal is an open-source blogging platform used on sites from student home pages to IDG’s Industry Standard. Personal Democracy Forum has the story.
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