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Tech Halloween Roundup: Motorola, Consumers and Tech Woes, Spam

On Halloween eve, what better to do than look at some of the scary and strange stories in high tech?

Motorola turnaround plan getting thumbs turned down -- Motorola has been in a tough spot and analysts say it won't get easier. The whole plan to spin off the handset division has been tripped by a $397 million loss on the back of a 15 percent revenue drop. The handset division's sales dropped 31 percent. Co-CEO Sanjay Jha said that the division's focus on Android and Windows Mobile would leave a hole in the low and middle parts of the company's product portfolio. It's also going to leave a hole in the employment ranks to the tune of 3,000 jobs, mostly coming out of said handset division. Analysts show little enthusiasm over the new rescue plans having been down that road once too often -- and the numbers reflected crucial holiday purchases. Ho, ho, oh. [Source: Red Herring, Silicon Alley Insider, BusinessWeek]

Consumer concerns batter tech -- In the post dot com bubble days it was easy to blame tech woes on idiotic business models and investors overly-excited about the possibility of making a killing. Now consumers aren't in a position to take on the debt that ultimately has kept the industry floating, plus they have the lowest level of financial confidence ever recorded and the economy is literally shrinking. European consumer confidence has also been taking a tumble. Many companies have lowered their earnings expectations and entrepreneurs are donning foul weather gear. But apparently some start-ups in London are in denial. [Source: BusinessWeek, New York Times, Financial Times, GigaOM]

Spam, thy name is politics -- Take two scary things â€" U.S. national politics and spam -- and combine them. What do you get? Secure Computing's The Spammer's Vote. Apparently a lot of spam has been using subject lines invoking either Obama or McCain, and the pattern is fascinating. As Obama has gained in the polls, so has his name been increasingly invoked by spammers, with McCain seeing almost a literal mirror image. Talk about electronic voting. [Source: Secure Computing]

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