News Schmooze: The week it rained executives

Executive burnout continued, the Monkey found itself out of a job and rats joined the mobile revolution

This was The Week It Rained Executives, judging by the departures of people like Ed Zander of Sun and Bernie Ebbers of WorldCom, but it's been going on for a while and it isn't going to stop. Unfortunately, tying your company to its stock price seems to make things tougher in an ugly market. The Schmoozer feels rather sorry for those chief executive types -- it must be stressful laying off tens of thousands of your own workers. Hopefully they have enough left out of the millions they made in the late 1990s to take a little holiday and get a mud bath.
Sun's Zander to step down
Executive exodus expected to continue
Baptism of fire for new WorldCom chief Let's just get the rest of the bad news out of the way: Telewest decided it would be a good idea to cut another 1,500 jobs, while ITV Digital staff all found themselves out of a job. The ITV Digital collapse is particularly worrying: what's going to happen to Monkey?
Telewest cuts 1,500 jobs
ITV Digital collapse could harm Internet take-up Poor old Macromedia. It launches a well-reviewed new product and the next minute everybody else in the world wants a piece of it. No sooner does Flash MX hit the market than Apple and Adobe are both in court to claim different aspects of it as their own: Apple doesn't want Flash to use a streaming video codec similar to one in QuickTime, and Adobe says the way Flash uses palette tools infringes on an Adobe patent. What's more, Adobe has gone and won its case, which could mean the software gets pulled from the shelves only a few days after it arrived. O Flash, we hardly knew ye....
Macromedia makes Web services key with Studio MX
Flash MX Review
Apple sues over Flash MX video technology
Adobe wins Macromedia patent suit Newer, cooler mobiles are always welcome, but it might be wise to remember the old adage about new, cutting-edge technologies, i.e. that they have a way of breaking all the time. At last week's Symbian Developer Expo the new Nokia 7650 and Sony Ericsson P800 were both on display, featuring built-in cameras, colour screens and the like, but the Schmoozer was surprised to discover that only authorised personnel could touch them. "We're not allowed to let people play with them," said a Symbian exhibitionist, squinting at the Schmoozer's badge: "Especially not journalists." After a few tantalising feature demonstrations, the camera software suddenly started displaying an error message. "Nokia is going to kill me," she said, dropping the phone into a bag which already contained several of the phones. "They gave us ten of those for the show and I've already broken three of them." To be fair, Microsoft is taking things a step further even than Nokia with its mystery Smartphone, which has only been previewed by a few blind Himalayan monks.
Symbian rallies developers against Microsoft What would the week be without a good robo-rat story? This turns out to be one of those populist news stories that both ZDNet and the Daily Mail agree is of the utmost importance: the imminent use of computer-controlled rats to search for victims underneath earthquake rubble. On the other hand, the last thing the Schmoozer would want to see crawling towards his face as he's trapped under tons of fallen rock would be a hideous rat covered with sparking electrodes.
Robo-rats to the rescue The News Schmooze is ZDNet UK's irreverent take on the week's news. Send your tip-offs to: mailroomuk@zdnet.com.


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