Monday, February 11, 2008

Tech Check for 11 Feb: Instant Film Fades While Starbucks Gets AT&T and Yahoo! Rejects MSFT

Polaroid to shutter instant film, Starbucks switches WiFi provider and Yahoo! says "no, thanks" to Microsoft.... on today's Tech Check for Monday February 11, 2008.

Remember the iconic film made popular in the 1950's? The instant satisfaction of a print that reveals before your eyes? Polaroid, which stopped producing cameras that used this film in commercial lines in 2006 and consumer models a year later, has announced plans to shut down factories that produce the film. If you have a Polaroid camera, there'll be enough film to last you until 2009.

Coffee shops are addicting. Some are addicted to the coffee -- me? It's the WiFi. In an attempt to draw more traffic to its stores, Starbucks announced today it will end its partnership with T-Mobile in favor of a new agreement with AT&T. The new plan gives customers using a Starbucks card two hours free access with additional hours for two bucks each. We've heard Steve Jobs announce access for Apple's iPhone devices at Starbucks stores. The iPhone works exclusively on the AT&T network in the USA. For those with a T-Mobile plan, a roaming agreement between AT&T and T-Mobile hotspots will keep you connected. Or you could order a cup of coffee.

Microsoft may have to up the ante' on their $40 billion (down from almost $45 billion given a slump in MSFT stock) bid for rival Yahoo. Leaked over the weekend, and made official by Yahoo's board today, the move may cause Microsoft to increase its offer -- or take the deal directly to Yahoo! shareholders. Yahoo! is rumored to be in discussions with Google about a potential buyout-averting partnership. The Times of London is reporting talks between Yahoo and also-struggling AOL / Time Warner. As Yahoo searches for the right deal -- what will Microsoft do and how might Google respond?

That's today's Tech Check. Look for another update on the day's top tech stories tomorrow... right here.

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