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Squawk Box Jan 18: Sun, Hasbro and more

This morning we recorded another SquawkBox with Randall Howard, Howard Thaw, Jim Courtney and myself.  We talked about 

  1. Sun's acquisition of MySQL this week for a cool $1 billion.  What's Sun's game here?  Speculation runs the gamut from building enterprise applications to compete with Oracle all the way to cloud computing a la Amazon EC3.  Why pay so much for this asset? What will they do with it?
  2. DSL Reports leaked Time Warner Communications internal memo that talks about testing a usage metered version of the Internet in Beaumont Texas.  The memo says that the system is aimed at gaining additional revenue from the "5% of subscribers who use half the bandwidth" on the network. Who are these people? How will customers respond?  Will people simply go to service providers that don't have limits?
  3. The report that China is close to surpassing the US as the worlds largest internet market, measured by users. According to statistics released by the Chinese, they're now just 5 million shy of passing the US.   Will this mean more freedom and less censorship for the Chinese?  Is this end of US dominance of internet technologies.  
  4. Scrabulous — the wildly popular Scrabble clone running on Facebook.  With over half a million daily users it has popularized Scrabble to a brand new generation of game players, many of whom have never played it before.  Now Hasbro and Mattel have come forward, claiming that their trademark is being infringed, and have asked that Scrabulous be removed.  It's turned into a PR nightmare for the company as thousands of Scrabulous players have spoken out against the move.  What should Hasbro do?  While within their rights to enforce their trademark, they risk a brand damaging black eye.
  5. And what about the Apple Macbook Air?

Next week the SquawkBox moves to 11 AM Eastern Time, or 8 AM Pacific.  Enjoy this week's recordings, and I hope to hear you on the call next week.  

UPDATE: I am not sure why, but this file doesn't play correctly directly from this web page in the Podango player.  Click the download link, however, and it will play properly from either QuickTime or Windows Media.

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