Friday, March 30, 2012

Avaya Delays IPO to Avoid Competing With Facebook, Others

Facebook, that $100 billion dollar gorilla having an IPO (Initial Public Offering) in a couple of months, is effecting other company’s IPOs now. Other companies are looking to delay their IPO’s.

Officials with Avaya, a networking, and communications vendor are worried about a lukewarm response if it launches its $1 billion IPO around the same time as Facebook. Avaya executives may wait until later this year or 2013 before its initial public offering. They don’t want to be lost in the wake of more anticipated IPOs this year from companies such as Facebook and Palo Alto Networks.

Facebook came out valued at $102.8 billion after its final stock auction on the secondary market as March ended. That’s more than $7 billion beyond what the company was valued at the start of Friday, with its stock price climbing from $41 to $44.10 a share. Facebook’s IPO should be in early May.

No official word on how this will affect Palo Alto Network’s $250 million IPO. Estimated valuation of the IPO, $1.5 billion. More on their IPO at

Other companies still talking about an IPO – Avast, as previously written about. Workday, which makes HR software, and ServiceNow, which makes technology management software. and Yes, there is a hyphen in the name.

An unfortunate side effect of Facebook stopping its selling of shares on secondary markets is that the online private equity market SecondMarket will lay off 30 of its 130 employees, according to CNET. SecondMarket has risen to prominence as a venue for buying and selling stocks for private companies, such as Facebook, Twitter, and Zynga.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Avira Acquires Social Monitoring Startup SocialShield

Avira announced today that they’ve acquired social monitoring startup based SocialShield. SocialShield is a web-based service. It allows parents to monitor child's use of Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, Google+, and FormSpringl. The product’s web-based console aggregates data from these sites and flags friends, posts, and photos, that parents may find an issue with. The company is based in California. Avira will incorporate SocialShield’s social network monitoring technology into the company’s free security product portfolio.

SocialShield received 4.5 stars from PC Magazine’s Neill Rubenking and was an Editors’ Choice in 2011. You can read his review of SocialShield and similar products at,2817,2394460,00.asp

SocialShield received two special Certificates of Congressional Recognition in 2011 from Republican US Congressman John Campbell and Democrat US Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez. This was in recognition for their “Outstanding Work in Improving Internet Safety for Children.” SocialShield was participated in a “Bullying Prevention Summit” hosted by the White House last year to launch its initiative and have discussions on policies and programs to prevent bullying.

A number of malware and internet security companies are involved in various initiatives to assist with monitoring children’s internet usage and keep them protected and from being followed while on the internet. Monitoring software solutions include SocialGuard, MinorMonitor, and SocialWeb. Parental Control products can be found as both standalones and bundled within company's internet security suites.

According to the OPSWAT Inc. March 2012 report on “Security Industry Market Share Analysis”, Avira is number two at the endpoint in worldwide market share with 11.7%. Avast leads with 16.3%.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

89% First Day Pop for Firm Going IPO on NYSE

What firm, over the last week, had an 89% pop on its first day of trading? Hint – it is located close to, but is not in Silicon Valley. The answer is Annie’s Inc., the maker of organic and natural foods such as bunny-shaped crackers. Annie's is based Berkeley, CA and trades as BNNY on the NYSE. That’s a hella hop, I mean pop, for an IPO (Initial Public Offering). The sun definitely rose today for Annie’s and its investors. Credit Suisse Group AG (CSGN) and JP Morgan Chase & Co. (JPM) led the IPO.

(March 29 addendum - BNNYwent up another $2.00 or 5.57% on day 2 of trading.)

The above is in direct contrast to a number of firms over the last couple of months who had relatively small pops in comparison. The Facebook announcement that they would be going public sucked the air out of a number of IPO’s. Unlike.

Was the IPO underpriced? In a story in the WSJ - “The Art of the IPO”, “It's a fine line. Price your shares too high, and you'll collect a lot of money. But the subsequent drop may alienate investors and demoralize your employees. Price them too low and you'll grab plenty of headlines as your stock soars on takeoff, but you've failed to raise nearly as much as you could have, and the initial buying frenzy may end up costing you some long-term investors.”

According to Cully Davis at Credit Suisse Group, "An IPO is a brand-new investment for an investor, so the notion of having some upside built into the IPO price to engage with the investor is important," The upside expected by investors in an IPO varies, but generally ranges from about 10% to 20% according to Davis. The phrase, “leaving money on the table” seems to be occurring less and less frequently as the press looks for these large pops. Improper pricing, failure to have enough shares available on the opening day, and investor exuberance all play a role, as well.

Globally, IPO activity in Q1 of this year, is actually down over last year. So far, in the first quarter, 157 deals have raised $14.3 billion, with only one of those deals raising more than $1 billion, according to data released by Ernst & Young on Thursday. $46.6 billion was raised via 296 deals in the first three months of 2011. This has been the lowest quarter for IPO activity since Q2 2009.

Thirty-two companies have gone public on U.S. exchanges so far in Q1 , raising $4.8 billion. Eleven of these were tech firms. Of course, the $100 billion dollar gorilla, Facebook, is supposed to be coming out in the near future. This IPO, by itself, will dwarf the value of IPO’s in any recent quarter. To see a list of the Q1 IPO activity, go to

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

PC Magazine Best Free Software of 2012

This year’s PC Magazine Best Free Software of 2012 list contains 257 products in over 40 categories. Something for everyone!,2817,2381528,00.asp In the interests of this being a security focused blog, below is a link getting you right to the antimalware (best free antivirus) “stuff”.

Antimalware (Antivirus)

Below are the preferred free antivirus products, in order. There are links taking you to these products. You may want to look at sites such as , and to see how these companies’ products test, in general. For some of the advanced features for the free antivirus, you may be required to download and install a toolbar.

1. AVG Anti-Virus Free 2012

2. avast! Free version

3. Avira Free Antivirus 2012

4. Comodo Cleaning Essentials

5. Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware,2817,2381531,00.asp

Should you decide to upgrade from the free antivirus to the paid Antivirus product or Internet Security Suite, visit the above sites to see how well these companies stop malware. You can also go to None of the companies in the top 5 above are among PC Magazine’s top 5 Internet Security Suites.

Only Avira (in the products above) was represented in the AV-Comparatives Summary Report for 2011 ( ) as having a top 5 product with Kaspersky topping the list. This 129-page report containing information on a number of internet security suite solutions is well worth checking out.


The AV-TEST Institute is a leading international and independent service provider in the fields of IT security and anti-virus research. The aim of the research work carried out by AV-TEST is to directly detect the latest malware, to analyze it using state-of-the-art methods and to inform their customers of the top-quality results obtained.


AV-Comparatives is an Austrian Non-Profit-Organization, which provides independent Anti-Virus software tests free to the public.