AT&T Grabs T-Mobile, Online Retail’s Tax Drain, Thoughts from “Chasm” Author Geoffrey Moore, & More in the Seattle-area Tech Roundup

3/22/11Follow @curtwoodward

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business world, why social networking and powerful online communication tools are the next big frontier for business IT investment, how big companies have to change to build innovation into their DNA, and the million-users-first, revenue-later model of the new tech bubble. And from the small-world department: Moore is related to Technology Alliance director Susannah Malarkey.

—With the natural disasters in Japan now threatening to spin into a full-blown nuclear crisis, we noted that the folks at Nathan Myhrvold’s Intellectual Ventures were vigorously defending the next-generation technology behind their TerraPower spinoff, a nuclear-power company that counts Bill Gates among its supporters. In a post on its blog (under the anodyne headline “Our perspective on events in Japan”), IV said rather bluntly that TerraPower’s “traveling wave” technology made the Japanese plant’s tech look like “a Ford Model T.” Intellectual Ventures said it was making this point in response to unspecified inquiries about TerraPower in the wake of the ongoing efforts to repair the Japanese plant.

—On the cleantech-meets-IT front, we had an update from Verdiem, the power-management software company that’s been quietly growing its footprint and is poised to make a big move from managing PCs to being the traffic cop for electricity usage for the broader realm of networked hardware. One big part of that transition is a change in CEOs—longtime Seattle-area tech entrepreneur Jeremy Jaech has left the company, replaced by John Scumniotales, who said the switch was mutually agreed upon. Scumniotales sees an opportunity to really kick innovation and products up a notch, and Jaech reports that he’s moving over to his alma mater, the University of Washington, in a somewhat undefined “thinker in residence” (my label) role that will probably focus on finding emerging tech platforms.

Curt Woodward is a senior editor for Xconomy based in Boston. Email: cwoodward@xconomy.com Follow @curtwoodward

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