Gaim 1.1.1 Released

Here’s the changelog:

version 1.1.1 (12/28/2004):
* Allow SILC authentication via public key if your key is password protected (Michele Baldessari)
* More MSN bug fixes (Felipe Contreras)
* Drag-and-drop to conversation window file transfers work again
* Disable the delete button on pounces that aren’t saved yet anyway (Kevin Stange)

Sprint, Nextel Reach Tentative Deal

Sprint, Nextel Reach Tentative Deal
Combined Entity to Spin Off
Sprint’s Local Exchange Carrier

December 10, 2004 3:58 p.m.

Sprint Corp. and Nextel Communications Inc. have tentatively agreed to economic terms of a merger of equals that would create a third giant cellular carrier with nearly 39 million subscribers, said a person familiar with the matter.

The talks, characterized as advanced negotiations, could still fall apart, but if things stay on track, a deal could be announced soon. Those terms will pay Nextel shareholders the equivalent of 1.3 shares of Sprint stock, with a small cash element in order to ensure that current Sprint shareholders have more than 50% of the combined company.

That is important, this person says, because the combined company, post-closing, will be spinning off Sprint’s local-phone carrier. This new spin-off will maintain its headquarters in Overland Park, Kan.

Current Sprint Chief Executive Gary Forsee will continue to serve in that role at the new, largely wireless company, which will be called Sprint-Nextel. Nextel Chief Executive Timothy Donahue would serve as executive chairman of the new company. The company would have a 50-50 split among board members.

The company will have a corporate headquarters in Reston, Va., where Nextel is currently based, with an operating headquarters in Overland Park, KS, where Sprint is currently based.

Write to Dennis K. Berman at and Jesse Drucker at

T-Mobile USA puts UMTS on hold due to lack of spectrum

T-Mobile USA puts UMTS on hold due to lack of spectrum
By Dan Meyer

Citing current spectrum constraints, T-Mobile USA Inc. said it does not expect to launch UMTS-based services for at least two years and will instead rely on its ongoing deployment of EDGE technology on its network, which the carrier plans to begin offering commercially next year.

“I don’t see [the deployment of UMTS] happening in the next two years,” said Robert Dotson, chief executive officer of T-Mobile USA, speaking at Credit Suisse First Boston’s 2004 Media and Telecom Week conference.

Dotson said the carrier would delay the buildout of UMTS technology until it had enough spectrum to support the service. T-Mobile USA currently controls on average less than 30 megahertz of spectrum in most of its markets, with UMTS requiring at least 10 megahertz of clean spectrum to launch service.

The delay in launching UMTS-based services is expected to place T-Mobile USA well behind its larger competitors in providing a high-speed component to its service. Cingular Wireless L.L.C. recently announced that it plans to begin deploying UMTS technology next year with near-network wide availability by the end of 2006. CDMA operators Verizon Wireless and Sprint PCS have said they plan to provide EV-DO technology across most of their networks’ by the end of 2005.

Dotson did note that T-Mobile USA has an approximate $1.3 billion budget to purchase additional spectrum, with the upcoming Federal Communications Commission’s Auction 58 scheduled for January as the most likely source of additional spectrum. Analysts have also noted that T-Mobile USA could make strategic acquisitions to bolster its network and spectrum position.

Sprint, Nextel consider merger, says report

Sprint, Nextel consider merger, says report
By Dan Meyer

Less than two months after Cingular Wireless L.L.C. garnered governmental approval for its $41 billion acquisition of AT&T Wireless Services Inc., creating the nation’s largest wireless operator, a Wall Street Journal article today indicated another big deal could be in the works between No. 3 Sprint Corp. and No. 5 Nextel Communications Inc.

The report cited speculation on Wall Street that a possible deal between the two carriers was becoming increasingly likely, though neither Sprint nor Nextel would comment on the report.

Analysts have speculated about a possible combination between Sprint and Nextel for some time, noting such a deal would create a third “mega-carrier” with more than 38 million subscribers that could compete more effectively against the recently strengthened Cingular and No. 2 Verizon Wireless. Many have also noted that following Cingular’s acquisition of AWS, government regulators would likely approve only one additional merger between the country’s nationwide operators, which would bring the number of large carriers down from six to four.

Further fueling merger rumors is Nextel’s pending decision on its next-generation technology path. Analysts noted that if Nextel decides to install a CDMA-based network using the 1.9 GHz spectrum it’s likely to acquire from the Federal Communications Commission as part of a re-banding effort designed to reduce interference in the 800 MHz spectrum band, Nextel could set itself up for a possible deal with either Sprint or Verizon Wireless.

On the other hand, analysts noted that if Nextel decides to implement a non-traditional technology similar to Flarion Technologies’ Flash-OFDM system, which Nextel has installed in parts of North Carolina, the carrier could be readying to remain a standalone entity.

Another potential tie-in between Nextel and Sprint is that both companies control significant spectrum holdings in the 2.5 GHz spectrum band, which both carriers have previously said they could use for next-generation services.

Standard & Poor’s Equity Research reiterated its “strong buy” on Nextel’s shares, noting a combination with Sprint would provide an even stronger leadership position in the wireless business market. Nextel is currently seen as a strong player in the business market led by its Direct Connect walkie-talkie service, while Sprint has recently reorganized its business operations to provide a better focus on lucrative business customers.

Alamosa to Buy AirGate PCS for $630M

Alamosa to Buy Fellow Affiliate AirGate PCS for $630 Million, Including Assumed Debt

LUBBOCK, Texas (AP) — Alamosa Holdings Inc., the largest mobile phone affiliate of Sprint PCS Group, said Wednesday it has agreed to purchase fellow affiliate AirGate PCS Inc. for $630 million, including about $238 million of assumed debt.

Alamosa said both companies’ boards have approved the transaction, in which AirGate shareholders will receive 2.87 Alamosa shares for every share of AirGate common stock held. Based on Alamosa’s closing share price on Dec. 7, the acquisition if valued at $33 per AirGate share.

In addition, AirGate shareholders will have the option to receive cash instead of Alamosa stock — up to $100 million — with the per share cash price based on the Alamosa’s average closing price in the 10 trading days prior to the completion of the transaction, multiplied by 2.87.

Alamosa said the merger will create a Sprint PCS affiliate with about 1.25 million subscribers.

The transaction is expected to close in the second quarter of 2005, subject to regulatory review, approval by Sprint and approval of the shareholders of AirGate and Alamosa.

Sprint To Spend $3 Billion On Wireless Network Over 3 Years

Sprint To Spend $3 Billion On Wireless Network Over 3 Yrs

OVERLAND PARK -(Dow Jones)- Sprint Corp. (FON) plans to invest about $3 billion in its wireless network over the next three years, awarding contracts to Lucent Technologies Inc. (LU), Motorola Inc. (MOT) and Nortel Networks (NT).

In a press release Tuesday, the phone company said it earmarked about $1 billion of the $3 billion to upgrade its network to “Evolution, Data Optimized,” or EV-DO, technology which it says will increase mobile device data speeds by a factor of ten.

In a separate statement Tuesday, Lucent said its share of the total included a three-year contract renewal likely to exceed $1.5 billion.

Lucent will upgrade base stations that it previously supplied to Sprint, adding radio frequency carriers, where needed, so the stations can support EV-DO service.

The Murray Hill, N.J., telecommunications equipment company said it will also provide key elements of its IP Multimedia Subsystem product which will allow Sprint to introduce new voice over IP, or VoIP, and multimedia services over mobile wireline and converged networks.

AirGate PCS a Step Closer to Merger with Alamosa

AirGate PCS a Step Closer to Merger with Alamosa

Shares in Atlanta-based AirGate PCS, a Sprint wireless retailer, were down about 2.5% in the final hour of trading on Tuesday after Alamosa Holdings, a Texas-based Sprint affiliate, announced that it has entered into a confidentiality agreement with AirGate regarding a potential merger between the two companies. Alamosa said it has completed its due diligence and is extending its merger offer until the close of business on Wednesday. Under the proposal, AirGate shareholders have the option of receiving 2.8 Alamosa shares for each AirGate share, or up to an aggregate of $100 million in cash.



Mozilla Foundation announces the release of its open source email software

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. – December 7, 2004 – The Mozilla Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to preserving choice and promoting innovation on the Internet, today announced the worldwide availability of the Mozilla Thunderbird 1.0 email client. Thunderbird focuses on new features and settings to help stop spam and prevent viruses, the two biggest problems facing email users today. Mozilla Thunderbird follows last month’s highly successful release of Mozilla Firefox 1.0 that has been downloaded by over nine million users.

Today’s announcement marks the immediate availability of Thunderbird 1.0 for Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux-as a free download from and by CD from the Mozilla Store. Thunderbird is now available in English, German, Greek, and Turkish with more languages on the way.

“Thunderbird 1.0 marks another successful product milestone for the Mozilla Foundation, made possible by hundreds of community volunteers and developers around the world,” commented Mitchell Baker, president of the Mozilla Foundation. “Thunderbird is the perfect companion to Firefox and demonstrates another success of the open source development model.”

Research firms estimate that fighting junk mail and viruses are costing billions of dollars each year. “We think people will benefit from our adaptive junk mail filters in addition to new features like saved search folders and RSS integration,” said Scott MacGregor, lead engineer for Thunderbird. “We view Thunderbird as a big step towards providing people with a better email experience.”

A Better Email Experience
Millions of consumers are already using Thunderbird because of its stability, trustworthiness, and innovative features.

* Adaptive junk mail controls – Thunderbird’s junk mail controls learn and improve from emails that you receive to stop spam.
* Integrate RSS news and blog reader – View RSS news feeds and blogs with Thunderbird to quickly scan and sort through hundreds of headlines.
* Saved search folders and search bar – To help you find emails faster you can save common searches in virtual folders and find emails with the search bar.
* Tools to efficiently manage email – Global inbox, message filters, grouping, message views, labels, and much more are available to help you manage your email.
* Extensible with themes and Add-ons – Extensions like Palm Synchronization with address book make Thunderbird even more customizable and convenient to use.
* Easy migration – With Thunderbird it’s easy to switch from Outlook Express and other email clients. When you first launch the product, Thunderbird migrates your mail account from Outlook, Outlook Express, Eudora, and Netscape Communicator.

Extensive Support Network
With thousands of technology contributors and advocates engaged in the development, documentation, testing and marketing of Mozilla Thunderbird, a rich ecosystem of support resources and tools is available. Online documentation, tutorials, FAQs and links to commercial support partners are available online at Independent news, commentary and community support is available from mozillaZine at

Getting Thunderbird
Mozilla Thunderbird 1.0 can be downloaded for free or purchased in a CD-ROM Edition with Thunderbird Guidebook from the Mozilla Foundation at Thunderbird supports both IMAP and POP3 protocols and works with popular email services. Check with your company or email provider to learn how to setup your email account to work with Thunderbird.

IBM, Lenovo Plan Joint PC Venture

IBM, Lenovo Plan Joint PC Venture
Chinese Firm Would Pay
Up to $2 Billion for Stake
In Big Blue’s Business

December 7, 2004; Page A3

International Business Machines Corp. and Lenovo Group Ltd. plan to create a new U.S. personal-computer company that would own IBM’s PC business, according to people familiar with the negotiations.

The new company would be majority owned by Lenovo, with IBM holding on to a minority stake small enough that its revenues and profit or loss would be excluded from operating results.

While the deal hasn’t been finalized, Lenovo is expected to pay as much as $2 billion for the majority share of IBM’s PC business, say people involved in the talks. The purchase price is only a fraction of the IBM unit’s estimated $10 billion in annual sales, but by dealing with Lenovo, which has little presence outside China, IBM holds on to the ancillary service and financing business, which can be lucrative.

Both companies will have incentive to make the new company successful. IBM wants to continue to get income from financing and servicing the millions of PCs its salespeople sell to big corporate buyers around the world. Lenovo wants the economies of scale it would get by buying the world’s No. 3 PC maker, and needs the valuable IBM brand and access to IBM’s accounts.

The discussions, which have been rumored for weeks, were confirmed by participants. The deal could be announced as soon as today.

A person familiar with the plan said Lenovo will move the new company’s headquarters to Raleigh, N.C., where the IBM PC unit’s design-and-development activities are based. It is expected that 2,500 IBM employees would join the new company. IBM’s PC headquarters are currently in Somers, N.Y., where many other IBM operations are based. IBM doesn’t make PCs, having outsourced those operations almost three years ago.

Although Lenovo is eager to expand beyond its home base of China, in purchasing IBM’s PC unit it risks taking ownership of a marginally profitable business in a commoditized industry. In a worst-case scenario, IBM customers who are unsettled by dealing with Lenovo could quickly switch to Dell Inc. or Hewlett-Packard Co., the industry’s leaders. “If they immediately change the brand from IBM to Lenovo PCs, there’d be customers running for the hills,” said Martin Gilliland, a Gartner Inc. analyst in Singapore.

As a result, the deal is being structured for IBM to continue providing sales, service and financing support for several years, a person involved in the talks said. Lenovo would use IBM’s name and the ThinkPad brand for the widely admired notebook line.

The structure appears similar to that used for the TV manufacturing operations of France’s Thomson SA, one of the biggest takeovers of a Western company’s operations to date by a Chinese manufacturer. The maker of Thomson and RCA brand TV sets, placed its set-manufacturing operations in a joint venture with China’s TCL Corp. earlier this year. While TCL controls the venture, Thomson continues to provide sales and service to its traditional customers and is positioned to convert its stake in the venture into TCL shares.

Shares in Lenovo were suspended from trading on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange yesterday and are unlikely to trade again until the companies either reach a deal or Lenovo makes a formal announcement to investors. A Lenovo spokesman said yesterday morning that the company was preparing an announcement, but the company ultimately made none. IBM said its policy is not to comment on rumors.

A deal would provide Lenovo with an international presence and size, but it will present the company with many execution challenges and is likely to dilute its profits. With only $400 million in cash, Lenovo would likely issue new stock to help pay for the purchase and the earnings from the IBM PC business wouldn’t be enough to offset the potential dilution, wrote Johnny Chan, a JPMorgan financial analyst in Hong Kong, in a research note.

Write to William M. Bulkeley at, Evan Ramstad at and Kate Linebaugh at