Tech Roundup: Papermaster Stuck, Options Swim, Wipro Delays Atlanta Office, More

Judge plasters Papermaster -- A district court judge has granted a temporary injunction against former IBM chip exec Mark Papermaster actually doing anything for Apple after being hired by the company. Papermaster was to replace Tony Fadell, who was reputedly the brains and taste behind the iPhone. IBM was concerned that Papermaster might bring some intellectual property with him and help Apple further its interest in creating a microprocessor to support the iPhone -- and who knows how many other consumer electronics devices. [Source: VentureBeat, BNET Industry Technology Blog]

Silicon Valley stock options sink -- If you think that housing prices are left many underwater -- owing more on their mortgages than the current value of their homes -- then you can see the latest sample of aquatic daring don't in tech companies. Many people are seeing stock values sink far below the price of their stock options. The problem is that options are a major part of the compensation of many, but given the way the market in general has gone, investors in tech companies might be reluctant to see companies re-price options, which would further dilute the value of outstanding shares. However, there is some good news on the options front. The financial bailout bill effectively gave a way out for many who owed significant sums on options they had received as far back as 2000. [Source: Wall Street Journal on options sink and tax break]

Thin-film solar modules facing financial grim reality -- A number of companies in Taiwan and China that make thin-film solar cells are facing some financial problems. Not sales â€" they are still coming in strong with stable prices. But the companies have yet to reach volume production, which means costs are far too high, and they're having problems getting enough backing to expand production. [Source: DigiTimes]

Wipro puts off Atlanta opening -- Indian outsourcing company Wipro was supposed to open a software development center in Atlanta, in a continuation of the reversal in where outsourcing happens. But given the financial situation of many prospects and customers, it is putting off the action for now. Wipro saw a 36 percent year-over-year revenue increase in its third quarter, but profits only increased by 1.3 percent. [Source: Computerworld]

Yasni.com tries to enter U.S. in blaze [UPDATED] -- A people search engine called Yasni.com is planning to open shop in the U.S. tomorrow and "intends to dominate the US people search business," according to an email from a PR rep, apparently inspired to write by our Q&A with Spock.com co-founder Jay Bhatti. Originally I had cast doubt on its relative size to its U.S. competitors, but the company emailed and finally mentioned that the original site is Yasni.de, not Yasni.com, which is the English-language version. On checking Alexa, Yasni.de does, indeed, appear to have more traffic than Spock, Wink, or Pipl individually. What seems particularly curious is just how much people searching goes on in German-speaking areas, given that over 94 percent of its traffic comes from Germany, Austria, and Switzerland, meaning a much smaller total market than in the U.S. Is it that compelling, or are Americans losing the global curiosity race?

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