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John Furrier  has been working in technology and starting technology startups for some time and his blog has a lot of good perspectives from a clever guy.    John was a founder of PodTech, the video startup, and I had a couple of nice talks with him at CES where the PodTech Bloghaus was a huge hit with hundreds of the thousands of bloggers swarming all over Las Vegas.

Yahoo – Game Over Dudes?

Kara Swisher over at All Things D  has an excellent post about the Yahoo Microsoft merger where in my view she suggests correctly that the game is pretty much over.    Google won’t do much to get in to this mess (they’d almost certainly be prohibited from aquiring Yahoo due to antitrust rules), and Microsoft is unlikely to up the generous offer which now amounts to about $29-$30 per share depending on Microsoft’s share price at the deal.   Most importantly, the Yahoo board cannot turn this down without the risk of lawsuits from now until the singularity.    If Microsoft had only offered a few dollars above the sagging YHOO share prices last week this story could be different, but I cannot see how the Yahoo board can come up with a plan to keep the stock around $30 per share AND turn down the Microsoft offer.    I suppose Google might sweep in with a good enough partnership that investors would not be spooked, but that now appears less likely and frankly if anybody might have a hint about that it would be Kara Swisher who has significant insider information about Google.

Ergo, MicroHoo appears to be coming soon to an internet near you.

Disclosure:  Long on Yahoo.

Check your hosting plan!

Some of us – I’m a good example – can be too stubborn about hassling with technology changes because I know that with technology stuff you always can expect the unexpected.   However sometimes this costs me a lot more than the value of the stress it saves me.

I’ve had many hosting plans for many sites over the years and it has been nice to see  the costs come way down from the old days.    

I’m just now switching my Verio shared hosting plan from the $50 monthly to the $13 monthly, and it looks like I’m getting better features at about a quarter of the cost.    Also switching my Godaddy “virtual dedicated” server plan, which I was not all that happy with anyway due to SMTP problems neither they or I could solve.    That plan still allows me to have many domains on the server, but cost is going from about $40 monthly to about $16.   

About five years ago I think I was paying something like $800 per month for a dedicated plan, and over at US History I think we may still be mistaken to run our own servers with all the associated costs for bandwidth and maintenance, but that system would be hard to untangle right now.

The morale of this story is simple:    Regardless of the size of the site you run you should review your hosting plan to make sure you are taking advantage of the new very inexpensive options available from most hosts.   Also, I think it’s a mistake to assume that the “elite” hosts are better than the cheap ones.  Virtualization (running one physical server as several virtual servers), IP sharing, and load balancing, and customer service quirks mean that the cheap plans can be *better* than the more expensive ones, even at the *same host*. 

Verio was very helpful *after* I asked them about options for reducing my costs, though they would have earned much more customer loyalty from me if they’d recommended a switch a few years ago when they changed my server but didn’t let me know I should be switching to the cheap plan.