5 Companies That Dropped The Ball This Week

Oracle Loses Channel Chief Althoff To Microsoft Poaching

Popular Oracle channel chief Judson Althoff jumped to Microsoft for a role leading the software giant's North America sales and marketing, in what amounts to the latest dose of bad news for Larry Ellison and crew.

Althoff held a variety of roles during his 14 years at Oracle and for the past five years served as senior vice president of worldwide alliances and channels and embedded sales. During that time, Althoff increased partner training for Oracle products and stepped up focus on specializations and rebates, while also leading Oracle's cloud efforts in the channel.

BlackBerry Ships 1 Million Z10s But Subscriber Base Declines

Even when BlackBerry gets a bit of good news, it's wrapped in a layer of ominous news.

BlackBerry shipped about 1 million Z10 smartphones since launching it in January and shipped 6 million devices overall during its recently concluded fiscal fourth quarter. The company also posted better-than-expected results with $2.7 billion in revenue with a profit of $94 million for the quarter. Yet BlackBerry lost another 3 million subscribers during the quarter, with its customer base falling to 76 million subscribers.

Google Rescinds Google Glass Invitations

Google earlier this week picked 8,000 entrants to its "If I Had Glass" competition and bestowed upon them the privilege of being the first to buy headsets, which are priced at $1,500 each. But a couple of days later, Google said that some of the winners hadn't complied with the rules and would not be granted early purchase rights for Google Glass headsets after all.

"It's become clear that a few applications that don't comply with our terms have slipped through the cracks, and we're going to have to disqualify applications like these," Google said on its Google Glass page on Google Plus, as reported by the New York Daily News.

Cisco Trims 500 Jobs In Latest Round Of Layoffs

Cisco is cutting 500 jobs as part of an effort to "align investments based on growth opportunities," a spokesperson told CRN. "Earlier this week, Cisco performed a limited restructuring that will impact approximately 500 employees which is less than 1 percent of our population globally. These actions are subject to local legal requirements, including consultation, where required."

The reduction in force is part of Cisco's ongoing effort to trim $1 billion in expenses. Cisco laid off 1,300 employees in July, and in 2011 cut 6,500 positions, 15 percent of them vice president-level or higher positions.

Computer Criminals Using Evernote As Staging Ground

The note-taking app Evernote has become a popular staging ground for the command and control of a newly detected malware strain, according to researchers from Trend Micro.

The Vernot malware, an information-gathering Trojan, gets its commands from an Evernote account that is also thought to be a drop-off point for stolen information, the security vendor said.

"As stealth is the name of the game, misusing legitimate services like Evernote is the perfect way to hide the bad guys' tracks and prevent efforts done by the security researchers," wrote Nikko Tamana, a Trend Micro threat researcher, in his analysis of the Vernot malware.