Market crisis: watch bloggers react

In Wednesday's IT Blogwatch, Richi Jennings wonders what the financial turmoil means for the IT industry. Not to mention erasing your online identity in 10 steps...

Preston Gralla offers rare praise unto Redmond:

New Dollar bill
Microsoft has begun lobbying for Congress to pass the bailout bill that was just shot down, warning that it's vital to make sure that jobs aren't lost, and the economy doesn't slide further into a deep recession ... Microsoft sent an e-mail to Washington state congressmen who voted against the bailout legislation, urging them to reconsider their votes.
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On the same day, Steve Ballmer warned that the global economic crisis will hurt Microsoft.
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Microsoft is right here. No one wants to reward the Wall Street slezoids who plunged us into this crisis, but something has to be done. The current bill, as imperfect as it is, may help avert a serious recession, has some protection for taxpayers, and does at least something to stop the Wall Street sleazes from getting big payouts. If the government does nothing, the sleazes will get big payouts, anyway.
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Ed Oswald adds:

Ballmer warned that as the financial crisis deepens, businesses and consumers alike will further cut spending. Obviously, the worst effects would be across the financial services industry, hit the hardest by the current crisis.
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Those statements add to comments last week where he said in rather general terms that hardware and software sales would suffer ... [It] seems to have Ballmer worried. Simply put, the less businesses can borrow as the availability of credit shrinks, the less they will be willing to spend.
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We may not necessarily agree 100% on a taxpayer-funded bailout of these guys who made mistakes giving loans out flippantly, but credit still needs to flow. Ballmer’s on the right track here.
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Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols is more predictable:

For reasons beyond my understanding the NYSE (New York Stock Exchange) is up more than 3.5% after yesterday's financial fiasco. Hello, Wall Street, what part of "No one has a new bailout deal; the House hated the old deal, and it's the week of Rosh Hashanah so it won't be a full week at Congress anyway" do you not understand? Even if you believe the bailout will magically work wonders for the economy -- I don't -- it's not going to happen this week.

No matter what happens to the bailout, it's a safe bet that times are going to be hard. So what can you do if you're not in Congress and you want to get new programs, but not pay an arm and a leg? After all, it's not like you can print money. Unlike, say, the U.S. government. The choice is clear: switch to open-source software.
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Betsy Schiffman runs the numbers:

After one of the bloodiest trading sessions in years, tech stocks -- including Microsoft, Yahoo, Google, Apple and Oracle -- recovered slightly, but not enough to recoup Monday's losses.

The tech-heavy Nasdaq index inched up 3 percent in Tuesday's session, but it has a ways to go before it makes up for Monday's selloff, when it fell 9 percent to 2004 levels. Apple, one of the hardest hit tech stocks on Monday, climbed up roughly 5 percent on Tuesday, but it was still nearly 14 percent off of Friday's close.
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Michael Arrington runs screaming:

More than a few traders had heart palpitations today. As the market closed, Google’s share price appeared to fall apart, falling to $200 from an opening price of $396 ... That was $62 billion in market cap that was zapped away in the last four minutes before the fiscal quarter ended.
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So what happened? “It was a data glitch, which is extremely rare” said one hedge fund guy I know. “But yeah, for a second we freaked out.” In after hours trading Google is back to normal, trading at $407.
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NASDAQ has posted an official statement, and is canceling all of the erroneous trades.
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Jackson West laughs:

Technical glitch, or some sort of wily trader gamesmanship? Because if somebody actually caught a nearly 200-point swing in a trade of Google shares, they just made a mint.
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As one tipster speculated based on reports of a low at $200, "I bet you a nickel some ass traded 400 shares at 200 instead of 200 shares at 400".
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But Louis Gray sighs:

So now, we get advice from all sides. Buy stocks before Congress passes any version of the bailout bill, which is sure to raise stocks. Sell all your stocks and go to cash, as it's the only "safe" place. Get your cash out of the bank and into gold. You name a theory, and it's out there ... despite my experience, I know I'm no expert. And the current market situation is unprecedented.
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Robert Scoble agrees:

In the past 18 hours I’ve read literally thousands of posts and have done almost nothing but hang out on FriendFeed. I’ve seen a LOT of idiocy. And these are supposedly from the smarter, more educated people around.
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The downside of this new media world is that you’ll hear a lot of opinions. Which one is right? ... The **** I’m seeing out of all of our mouths is just so, um, wrong. As my history teacher back in the 1980s used to say “the masses are asses.” This is shaking my belief system pretty thoroughly, because I actually do believe that a decentralized system is stronger than one with one guy or gal in the middle controlling everything.
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And finally...

Buffer overflow:

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Richi Jennings is an independent analyst/adviser/consultant, specializing in blogging, email, and spam. A 22 year, cross-functional IT veteran, he is also an analyst at Ferris Research. You can follow him on Twitter, pretend to be Richi's friend on Facebook, or just use boring old email: blogwatch@richi.co.uk.

Previously in IT Blogwatch:

FREE Computerworld Insider Guide: Five IT certifications that won’t break you
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