Under normal circumstances a Q&A session with a tech CEO is a fairly bland event. Sure sometime you get a Ballmer-esque monkey-boy moment, but usually it’s an opportunity for the CEO to break some news and to get out without looking clueless. This week though we are reminded why a room full of tech-savvy web developers is a very different crowd.
Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook was to appear in what was billed as a keynote but ultimately was a sit down Q&A with Business week reporter Sarah Lacy. Lacy and Zuckerberg have a history together in that she has written a book about Web 2.0 and this newest wave of internet movers and shakers that Zuckerberg is currently riding. It should’ve been a simple session with everyone going home with some more extra information on Facebook and not much else. It wasn’t.
Is that the sound of bubbles popping I hear? Ask.com has announced that it is cutting 40 jobs in a restructuring move.
“Today, we unveiled a new direction for Ask.com,” Ask.com Chief Executive Jim Safka said in a statement. “Moving forward, we will focus on our core customers, and what they come to Ask.com for most: answers. Our loyal base of 45 million unique users come to Ask.com for answers at a rate that is three times more than any other major search engine.”
Google has continues to invest in projects other than what advertisements to post when someone searches for LOLcats by throwing the weight of it’s giant stacks of cash at Harvard’s George Church. Dr Church plans to spend $1 billion to tie DNA information to each person’s health history in an attempt to create a database more »
Niche cell service Helio has amassed a fantastic $560 billion dollars in debt over the last three years. Helio, which is co-owned by Earthlink and SK Telecom was created to bring many of the cellphone features that Asian customers enjoy to the US. Losses have increased steadily over the three years with an understandable $47 more »
eBay continues their upper management shake-up that began in January with the exit of longtime CEO Meg Whitman by hiring new CEOs for both internet telephony service Skype and Shopping.com. Current Shopping.com president and Evite co-founder Josh Silverman will take the reigns at Skype. Andre Haddad is replacing Silverman at Shopping.com. Haddad has been with more »
I’m glad the format war has ended. It means a slight return to sanity for consumers wondering how to spend their dollars at the check out counter. It certainly goes a long way toward the everyday consumer adopting an HD disc-based format. According to an analyst at ABI research the end of the format war was not the true measure of consumer demand when it came to the choice of HD format. The true decision was made by Warner brothers decision to jump ship to Blu-ray. The decision to switch may have been principally decided not by which format the consumers of Warner’s preferred, but by a nearly $120 million payoff from Sony. That payoff created a signal that retailers like Wal-Mart and rental companies like Netflix followed. Consumer sales did not overwhelm one side or the other. Consumers didn’t receive a benefit or feature that made one format superior to another. A simple back room corporate deal seems to have ended the war. This is not how a consumer demand driven marketplace should work.
The money pit that is SCO seems to have gotten a lifeline this week in the form of a $100 million dollars in private investment from Stephen Norris Capital Partners (SNCP) and some of its undisclosed associates. There is apparently a restructuring plan in the works. SCO famously attempted to become profitable by suing everything that moved in the Linux world. This detestable plan ended in epic failure and SCO was almost universally reviled by the tech community. Any plans SCO might have for returning to this tactic seem extremely unlikely to succeed. Why would anyone invest in such a mess?
Based on recent reports, HotOrNot is about to be purchased for $20 million dollars by investors connected with Avid Life Media. Avid Life is reportedly interested in setting up a larger HotOrNot media company and might be in the buying mode for a few other similar properties. HotOrNot was originally founded back in 2000 by more »
After Yahoo spurned Microsoft as it’s suitor, it seems that Yahoo isn’t going to let the letdown of that massive buyout slow them down. Yahoo is buying online media provider Maven Networks for a reported $160 million dollars. The Cambridge Massachusetts-based Maven Networks has helped professional media companies create, distribute and profit from direct-to-consumer Internet more »
NASA plans on beaming The Beatles Across the Universe into space making it the first song to be used in such a way. The transmission of the song will mark the 40th anniversary of the song’s recording. It will be aimed at the North Star, Polaris, 431 light years away from Earth, and it will more »
Rumor has it that TiVo is planning on killing off it’s higher-end Series3 model in favor of concentrating on it’s more affordable HD TiVo. The Series3 came to market less than two years ago and it seems as though they’re ready to kill it off. The details of how this is going to happen are more »
Sony has made some significant announcements today, introducing three new digital photo frames. All the frames contain 800 x 480 WVGA displays with an aspect ratio of 15:9, and are capable of displaying pictures up to 48-megapixels in size. The 7-inch DPF-V700 and 9-inch DPF-V900 contain 512MB of internal storage, have built in Bluetooth, and more »