Feeds

Motorola dodges $4bn damages

Orbital sword of Damocles sheathed

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

Motorola has settled claims outstanding from the company's involvement in the ill-fated Iridium satellite phone system, ending up having to pay nothing despite creditors' attempts to squeeze $4bn out of the beleaguered technology company.

Iridium was and is a mobile phone system based on connecting handsets direct to satellites, and was one of a few systems announced with great fanfare in the late 90s to provide connectivity anywhere in the world.

The problem is that launching satellites is very, very, expensive, and it takes a long time. This means that calls over satellite are also expensive - as those planning to use in-flight mobiles will soon discover. Also, satellite technology is always slightly old by the time it's in use, so ground-based systems can offer faster speeds based on newer technology.

That combination led to insufficient customers, and bankruptcy in 1999 after less than a year in operation. The assets were then snapped up on the cheap, the system is still operational and used by those people who find coverage more important than cost - as evidenced by the Iridium Flare - reflections from the satellites visible to the naked eye.

Motorola's dispute harks back to that bankruptcy, with creditors accusing the company of "voidable preference, fraudulent conveyance, breach of contract and breach of fiduciary duty" and claiming the aforementioned whacking great sum in damages.

Escaping such a hefty payout must have brought out the little plastic cups of cava at Motorola - it could certainly do with a bit of good news these days. ®

Remote control for virtualized desktops

More from The Register

next story
Download alert: Nearly ALL top 100 Android, iOS paid apps hacked
Attack of the Clones? Yeah, but much, much scarier – report
Broadband sellers in the UK are UP TO no good, says Which?
Speedy network claims only apply to 10% of customers
Virgin Media struck dumb by NATIONWIDE packet loss balls-up
Turning it off and on again fixes glitch 12 HOURS LATER
Yahoo! blames! MONSTER! email! OUTAGE! on! CUT! CABLE! bungle!
Weekend woe for BT as telco struggles to restore service
Fujitsu CTO: We'll be 3D-printing tech execs in 15 years
Fleshy techie disses network neutrality, helmet-less motorcyclists
Facebook, working on Facebook at Work, works on Facebook. At Work
You don't want your cat or drunk pics at the office
Soz, web devs: Google snatches its Wallet off the table
Killing off web service in 3 months... but app-happy bonkers are fine
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
10 threats to successful enterprise endpoint backup
10 threats to a successful backup including issues with BYOD, slow backups and ineffective security.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Internet Security Threat Report 2014
An overview and analysis of the year in global threat activity: identify, analyze, and provide commentary on emerging trends in the dynamic threat landscape.