Indian Visa Anomaly

As I am planned to visit India next month for business and my previous Visa expired, I visited the Indian Visa Application Center website to understand what I need to arrange beforehand.

As I was browsing, I found a strange anomaly in the Employment visa section:
Visa for Israeli citizens cost 10 (6 months period) to 5 (1-5 years) times than a Visa for US citizens.

I wonder why? Is it because Israeli are richer than US citizens? Do Israeli application requires a different and more expensive process?

See below (and on the website):

India Visa

Liar's Poker

Liars Poker

I am reading Liar’s Poker by Michael Lewis for maybe the 4th time, and it is as interesting and funny as it was in the 1st time.

What caught my eye this time is a review printed on the very first page:

“Makes the bond-trading business look like a cross between Animal House and Greed Incorporated… Lewis recounts incidents that should make customers stuff their money in mattresses.” – The Washington Post

That was the 80’s, which I guess is enough time for the masses to get their money out of the mattresses and give it to the wrong people (again).

As I am in Japan, I am having a problem which I have to figure out: What if you don’t have a mattress. As we sleep in the traditional Japanese way, futons over Tatami, it is impossible to hide the money there. I need to figure out what is the traditional Japanese way of stashing.

AIRN to AIRO

Airspan (formerly AIRN) has previously announced a voluntarily de-list from NASDAQ.

Therefore, I was a bit surprised to read about the 1-15 reverse stock split and the new ticker : AIRO.

Change of ticker, change of luck.

From Airspan PR:

With this new funding, we believe that Airspan will be well positioned to weather the current economic downturn and to benefit from some of the current initiatives in our industry. After a long process wherein we looked at many strategic alternatives, we believe the new funding from Oak Partners represents the best path forward for Airspan and our stakeholders.

Good luck!

Candian RuggedCom acquires WiNetworks

WiNetworks was founded in 2004, received investments of about $28 Millions according to Globes, or $40 Millions according to TheMarker. RuggedCom is expected to pay $14 Millions, of which $5 Millions will go to cover WiNetworks debts.

Thinking very hard what I can write about WiNetwork:

  • They had a reasonable strategy: Developed smaller Base stations intended for smaller deployments or for additional coverage, which was previously Airspan’s Niche.
  • Had some traction in developing countries, but not enough revenues to justify their existence.
  • Most recent products were based on Sequans chipset which means less development efforts, but less IP.

Sony Walkman Gaining Ground over iPod

According to bcn ranking (jp), in what looks like a stable trend, Sony walkman sales in the last week of August surpassed iPod sales.

Blue represents Sony Walkman, while Red is the iPod. It appears like iPod is losing it’s market share, from around 56% in January to 43% in August, while Sony is gaining steadily.

bcn sony ipod ranking

Sony’s Lineup is quite impressive and offers both Video enabled devices to stylish 2GB earphones.

Google Japan Mobile Promotion

Google Japan is posting once in a while promotional videos on Youtube.

I really don’t like these Google Mobile videos. Maybe because of the annoying music and graphics, or the silly plot:

In the first one, the couple searches for a cinema screening “Super Dog 2” movie:

Second one, “the business story”, our heroine searches for business manners: “Where should she sit in the Taxi?” followed by a search for a train station and directions.

Airspan Announce Preferred Stock Sale

No need to speculate anymore.

In another twist in our plot, Airspan announces yet another preferred stock sale to Oak Investment Partners.
Neither Axxcelera nor Gilat managed to reach an agreement.

The press release explained the process:

Before entering into the Purchase Agreement with Oak, the Company conducted an extensive and lengthy strategic review process overseen by a special committee of independent directors, which retained Stephens Inc. as its financial advisor in February 2009 to assist with the process. While extensive negotiations were undertaken with several parties, no agreements could be reached on terms acceptable to the Special Committee. Following the termination of discussions with one such party on August 10, 2009, Oak made the offer which, following approximately three weeks of negotiations between the parties, resulted in the execution and delivery of the Purchase Agreement on September 1, 2009.

And Airspan’s dire financial situation:

Without the new investment, the Company would deplete its cash resources in the fourth quarter of 2009.

Either Oak Investment partners believe in Airspan’s turnaround or think future negotiations will help them return their investment. It is also obvious that Airspan cannot maintain their current burn rate and in need of extreme measures to save the failing company.

Alvarion's new CEO

Alvarion IR informed today that the board of directors named Eran Gorev (LinkedIn Profile) as the new CEO and president. Eran is currently the Chief Business Officer at NICE systems (another Israeli Company) and will assume day to day responsibility only in December.

I am sure Eran will face many challenges in his new role; I obviously wish him all the best, especially because we both graduated from the same high school (Eran is 6 years my senior).

Tzvika Friedman, the departing CEO, was probably not very effective in Q3, 09 while I doubt Eran Gorev will manage to change anything by end of Q4, 09. I wonder if this lack of leadership will affect the earning reports.