Feeds

Wide Open News Gold Mine a Bust? Pan for Linux!

Gold or tech, it makes no difference

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

The essential guide to IT transformation

What do you do when cash is short, your stock is down, and your gold mines have seen better days? Change your name to LinuxWizardry! That's the investment strategy pursued by Flame Petro-Minerals, a Canadian mining company that owns a 50 per cent stake in the Fish Creek Claims outside Fairbanks, Alaska. In February, the company acquired a Linux router company called LinuxWizardry, Inc.. On March 22, Flame Petro-Minerals changed its name to LinuxWizardry Systems, Inc. a shell corporation holding 100 per cent of LinuxWizardry, Inc. shares. The same day, it began trading on the Over-the-Counter Bulletin Board, home of cheap "penny" stocks. LinuxWizardry Systems' stock price has been bouncing between the $2 and $4 range -- quite volatile but holding its own as Nasdaq tech stocks were getting hammered. The penny stock market is loaded with legitimate companies and not a few scams. Unlike some Linux startups without a real product or service to demonstrate, LinuxWizardry showed off its Apprentice Command Center router technology in February at LinuxWorld Expo 2000 in New York. Running on Linux and using graphical interface written in Java, the LinuxWizardry router is being hawked as a low-cost, easy-to-use competitor to Cisco products for small- and medium-sized businesses. John G. Robertson, president of the shell company, is upfront about his motivations for switching from gold mining to Linux. "The one thing public companies have in common is the mission to make shareholders money," he told Wide Open News. "It doesn't make any difference whether it's gold or whether it's tech." "Right now," says Robertson, "there's a real slump in mining companies...Linux is hot. You've got to go with the trends." The router company, LinuxWizardry, Inc., is headed by CEO Mike Carpenter, who tells Wide Open News that before launching his startup he worked on IBM's Via Voice for Linux speech processing software, and has also consulted for Motorola. IBM verifies that Carpenter was a contractor working for the company's Worldwide Speech Development organization on text-speech processing for about a year before leaving in January to start his own company. On March 27, the shell corporation announced $5 million in private placement financing to be used to complete development and production of the router. Carpenter says the company has signed an agreement with a distributor -- he won't say who -- and plans to begin selling the product later this year. Carpenter, who works out of Boca Raton, Fla. with a small team of developers, said "a friend of a friend" introduced him to Flame Petro-Minerals. Using the OTC shell company was preferable to seeking venture financing, both Carpenter and Robertson said, to finish the product as soon as possible. "Speed to market is essential," Robertson said. Drumming up venture capital would have set the project back by months, he said: "If you go through a VC company, you have to present a business plan." In the penny stock market, by contrast, LinuxWizardry raise funds quick and just go for it. And penny stock investors are apt to either reap big rewards -- or get slammed. ® Tune into Wide Open News and check out those Linux, Open Source and tech business stories.

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
6 Obvious Reasons Why Facebook Will Ban This Article (Thank God)
Clampdown on clickbait ... and El Reg is OK with this
Banking apps: Handy, can grab all your money... and RIDDLED with coding flaws
Yep, that one place you'd hoped you wouldn't find 'em
No, thank you. I will not code for the Caliphate
Some assignments, even the Bongster decline must
Barnes & Noble: Swallow a Samsung Nook tablet, please ... pretty please
Novelslab finally on sale with ($199 - $20) price tag
Video of US journalist 'beheading' pulled from social media
Yanked footage featured British-accented attacker and US journo James Foley
Primetime precrime? Minority Report TV series 'being developed'
I have to know. I have to find out what happened to my life
Broadband slow and expensive? Blame Telstra says CloudFlare
Won't peer, will gouge for Internet transit
Netflix swallows yet another bitter pill, inks peering deal with TWC
Net neutrality crusader once again pays up for priority access
prev story

Whitepapers

Best practices for enterprise data
Discussing how technology providers have innovated in order to solve new challenges, creating a new framework for enterprise data.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Advanced data protection for your virtualized environments
Find a natural fit for optimizing protection for the often resource-constrained data protection process found in virtual environments.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?