A 2-Time Win-a, Wally Whinna Sells Allnet to SnapAV

A Dramatic Shift in SnapAV’s Strategy

Photo of Wally Whinna

Wally Whinna

SnapAV announced today that it has acquired Allnet Distributing, the Chicago-based distribution company owned by Wally Whinna, who years ago sold a distribution company to Ingram Micro as part of their acquisition of AVAD. This makes Whinna a two-time winner, having created two distribution companies and selling them off, likely for a handsome profit – this time to industry powerhouse SnapAV.

See more about this latest acquisition by SnapAV… Continue reading

Apple & Google Brands Drop Big in Latest Survey

A Drop So Surprising that Reuters Deems it Newsworthy

Reuters is reporting that the Apple and Google brands both saw precipitous drops in their brand reputation in the latest version of an annual survey conducted by the respected Harris Poll. At the same time, and perhaps offering a dire warning, Amazon came in at number one (again!) and Tesla saw a big jump in their brand reputation.

See more on the somewhat surprising results of this latest brand survey… Continue reading

Far From Legally Dead, Monster Slugs Back at Beats

Beats Gets More Awarded; But Monster Wins a Key Ruling Too

Photo of Noel LeeWhen we last visited this legal clash of the titans, a jury had just found that Monster must pay Beats nearly $8 million to reimburse them for the legal expenses in fighting the lawsuit that Monster had brought against them in 2015. Now, we have learned that the judge in that case has increased the judgment with an additional “directed” verdict. And in the matter of a separate case, Beats vs. Monster filed late last year, Monster has filed a countersuit and won a key ruling.

This Beats and Monster slugfest goes on… Continue reading

With A Sharper Focus on Krell, a Blurry Picture Emerges

Krell logoWe reported last week that Krell Industries owner Rondi D’Agostino vehemently denied reports we had received from various sources that the company was in bankruptcy or considering bankruptcy. D’Agostino said that things may not be perfect, but it’s business as usual at Krell. Even better, she told us, the company is close to finally launching a new model. Sounds good…right?

Since our report was published, the trickle of sources approaching us about Krell…became a torrent. In messages public (in the Comments section below our original article) and private, we heard from more sources, many directly connected with Krell, who told a much different story.

See a more detailed picture of Krell’s situation… Continue reading

Gibson, After Light Pruning, Plans Global Layoffs

Hundreds of Employees Facing Pink Slips

Gibson CEO Juszkiewicz

Gibson’s CEO Henry Juszkiewicz

Gibson Brands, a major provider of musical instrument and consumer electronics products, is in the midst of a widely reported liquidity crisis. With more than $500 million dollars in notes coming due late this summer, the company is seeking a knight in shining armor to ride in on a white horse with a big bag of money to refinance the company’s crushing debt.

To make the company appear attractive to a lender or investor, at the end of February the company sold off its shuttered Cakewalk division and laid off about 15 employees from its famous Custom Shop. Now we learn the company is planning more substantial layoffs across the board.

See more on this latest development at Gibson… Continue reading

Consumers Deeply Worried IoT is Prone to Hacking

Survey Shows Concern about Smart Device Security is Global

eMarketer logoNew research from Irdeto, a digital platform security firm, shows that a wide majority of consumers around the world are deeply concerned about the security of IoT (Internet of Things) devices. While the rollout of IoT devices continues to balloon, consumers are telling researchers that they are worried these devices are prone to destructive hacking.

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Is Krell Out of Business?

A Krell mono amplifierRecently, we have spoken with multiple sources who have said that Krell Industries, a maker of high-end, high-performance electronics, has fallen on hard financial times. Some suggested the company closed at the end of last week for good. Others told us the company may be already in bankruptcy or in the process of filing for bankruptcy. Is this another Classé situation?

So what is really going on at Krell?… Continue reading

Geek Squad: Nerdy Repair Man or Proxy FBI Agent?

Photo of Geek Squad GeekAh…those geeks on Best Buy’s Geek Squad. They’re so cute aren’t they? With their little white shirts, clip-on black ties, and nerdy glasses taped on the nose bridge. You just know that when you give them your misbehaving computer, they’re going to get right to fixing it. But would you hand your computer over to a member of the Geek Squad if you knew he was acting as a kind of paid FBI agent by proxy, one who intends to scour your hard drive and look through your files to find anything possibly compromising to hand over to the FBI…and collect a bounty? Or would you choose a different repair center, one that simply focuses on repairing your computer?

Yes, some Geek Squad members are paid informants for the FBI… Continue reading

Amazon Invests in Another Smart Home Startup

Popular Executive Leaves the Company

Photo of the Ecobee4Just one week after Amazon made a widely reported purchase of video doorbell maker Ring (for a reported eye-popping $1 billion), we learn that it has made another investment into the smart home space, taking a share of smart thermostat maker Ecobee. Although this was an investment made through their Amazon Alexa Fund and not an outright acquisition, it seems pretty clear that Amazon is getting very serious about the smart home business.

See more on this unexpected development from Amazon… Continue reading