Dell Ramping Up in the Valley with New Hires: Dell plans to expand its Silicon Valley operations after quickly reaching capacity with 700 employees in its 240,000-square-foot Santa Clara R&D facility, which has been open only since October. The company will expand next door this summer and will continue adding hundreds of workers each year through acquisitions and new hires. Dell should have about 1,500 employees in the facility within the next several years. Marketwatch
Hiring In the Tech Sector Gains Momentum: Among U.S. tech companies with market values of more than $100 million, almost 50 increased employment by more than half in the most recently reported two-year period, according to Bloomberg data. Some small and mid-size businesses boosted payrolls by almost five-fold, underscoring the resilient demand for Internet services, software, and electronics. In the software and services industry, 74 companies with more than $100 million in market value expanded their workforce by at least 10 percent, more than any other industry group measured by Bloomberg. Bloomberg
NEC Plans to Cut Thousands of Jobs: Japan’s venerable NEC Corp. said it will cut 10,000 jobs, about ten percent of its workforce, to cut costs as competition from foreign rivals, including Apple, continues to hurt its bottom line. Headcount will be reduced by the end of September and around 7,000 of the layoffs will be in Japan. The remainder will come from international operations. Reuters
Irony: Monster Lays Off Workers: Monster Worldwide Inc. says it has laid off approximately seven percent of its worldwide workforce, around 400 people, including about 100 in Massachusetts. According to a company spokesperson, some workers will be hired back mainly in sales and marketing roles. An official statement said, “Moving forward, we will focus on rolling out these innovations globally and growing revenue through an increase in sales and marketing activity consistent with our historical norms. To that end, we plan to add revenue-generating positions opportunistically throughout 2012. We appreciate the effort and contribution of our nearly 6,000 employees in helping us achieve our continued growth.” Boston Business Journal
The FCC Seeks to Help Spread Rural Broadband: The FCC announced changes to its Lifeline subsidy program that will help fund a new test program to bring broadband to low-income households. The 25-year-old Lifeline program, which helps subsidize the cost of telephone service for those who can’t otherwise afford it, is seen by experts to suffer from waste and abuse, so a new database will be created to make sure subsidies aren’t funneled to multiple phone carriers on behalf of the same individual. The FCC hopes to save $2 billion over the next three years, $25 million of which will go towards a new Broadband Adoption Pilot Program that will help subsidize the cost of Internet access itself to low-income rural homes. The providers participating in the program will be required to address the price of the necessary hardware and overall education on digital services. The Verge
Twitter’s Country-Specific Blocking Stirs Up Social Media: Twitter will comply with government requests to block tweets in specific countries, and opinion is decidedly mixed on the controversial decision. While Twitter may lose some of its power as a tool for political change, it may also help expose those places where censorship is practiced. On its own blog, Twitter said, “In short, we believe the new, more granular approach to withheld content is a good thing for freedom of expression, transparency, accountability—and for our users. Besides allowing us to keep Tweets available in more places, it also allows users to see whether we are living up to our freedom of expression ideal.” CIO.com
Smartphones Are Seen As Essential Shopping Tools: Over half of U.S. adult cell phone owners used their handsets for shopping assistance while in stores during the 2011 holiday season, a survey from the Pew Research Center has found. Sixty-three percent of cell owners from ages 18 to 49 either called a friend for buying advice or looked up product reviews online. A quarter of adult cell users went online to see if they could find a better price for a product they were considering buying. The numbers are scary for brick-and-mortar stores because they know that consumers will soon insist stores match or beat the prices of their online competitors. PC World
Upcoming Tech Events
February 13-16—Santa Clara
Cloud Connect brings together the entire cloud eco-system to better understand the transformation we’re experiencing and promises to be the defining event of the cloud computing industry. Enjoy four days of conferences plus a product expo and plenty of opportunities to network.
February 16—Washington, D.C.
Now in its sixth year, Cloud/GOV attendees will leave with key information, strategies and connections for selling SaaS and cloud applications to the government. Cloud/GOV is the conference to bring ISVs, system integrators, value added resellers, developers and government together to understand cloud computing and its impact on the public sector.