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Catching Up (9/8)

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Lars Rasmussen: Google Maps Founder on His Tips for Start-ups - Growth. Lars Rasmussen confesses that he doesn’t have much of a sense of direction.

Lars Rasmussen: Google Maps Founder on His Tips for Start-ups - Growth

But that didn’t stop him creating Google Maps, one of the world’s leading tech success stories of the past decade. In a recent trip back to Australia, where Google Maps was born, Rasmussen, now a top engineer at Facebook, chatted to StartupSmart about innovation, entrepreneurship and failure. After Arrington: Anarchy at TechCrunch.

Michael Arrington is out at AOL.

After Arrington: Anarchy at TechCrunch

For Real. After presenting his ultimatum, AOL has fired the TechCrunch editor, reports Fortune's Dan Primack. "Not TechCrunch editor. Not AOL Ventures employee. Google acquires Zagat, enters original content business. Google on Thursday acquired Zagat in an effort to bolster its local products with the restaurant rating service.

Google acquires Zagat, enters original content business

More notably is that Zagat is a content company. In a blog post, Google said that Zagat will "be a cornerstone of our local offering. " Google just got ZAGAT Rated! “Did you know there's a place in Menlo Park near the Safeway that has a 27 food rating?”

Google just got ZAGAT Rated!

One of my friends asked me that about two years ago, and I was struck because I immediately knew what it meant. Food rating... 30 point scale... Zagat. And the place... had to be good. With no other context, I instantly recognized and trusted Zagat's review and recommendation. Exclusive: Viewsonic pulls the plug on Boxee TV — Online Video News. Viewsonic has abandoned its efforts to bring a Boxee-powered TV set to market, citing high costs and insufficient interest from consumers in so-called smart TVs.

Exclusive: Viewsonic pulls the plug on Boxee TV — Online Video News

The company had shown off a 46” TV set running Boxee’s media center software at CES, and at the time, said it would be available in the second quarter of 2011. Things have obviously changed since then: “ViewSonic is not releasing a Boxee-powered set in the near-term,” the company told us in an emailed statement this week after we asked about the status of the product. The decision to pull the plug on the product is bad news for Boxee, which had hoped to move beyond set-top boxes with this collaboration. Privacy groups: behavioral opt-out system "insufficient and ineffective" A number of privacy groups have spoken out against the adoption of a proposed opt-out plan for behavioral advertising in the US and Europe.

Privacy groups: behavioral opt-out system "insufficient and ineffective"

The groups are referring to the Advertising Option Icon introduced by the Interactive Advertising Bureau almost one year ago, which purports to make it easy for users to opt out of ad tracking on participating websites with the help of an easily recognizable icon. The system was proposed by the advertising industry as a way to avoid stricter legislation on how they can use information obtained from behavioral tracking, but the privacy groups call it a "flimsy self-regulatory system" that will end up "insufficient and ineffective" at protecting consumer privacy on the Internet. The Advertising Option Icon is based on an industry report from July 2009 that focuses on education, transparency, and consumer control when it comes to targeted ads. Whither TechCrunch? The media has had a lot of fun over the past week watching AOL, Huffington Post, TechCrunch, and Mike Arrington figure out how to move on.

Whither TechCrunch?

I feel badly for the TechCrunch crew including MG, Erick, Sarah, and many others. They are awesome at what they do and I feel that they've been left dangling as this soap opera has played out. I do not feel badly for Mike. He's a bigtime player in silicon valley and he will be fine. Contrary to what many in the media say, he does not need TechCrunch as a platform to be influential. But TechCrunch is a big question mark. Yes, Of Course I’ll Resign Unless Mike Arrington Chooses His Successor.

Oh boy.

Yes, Of Course I’ll Resign Unless Mike Arrington Chooses His Successor

The post-Jobs era: Tim Cook brings philanthropy back to Apple. For all his fame and fortune, Steve Jobs has what some consider to be a blight on his record: a lack of public philanthropic activity.

The post-Jobs era: Tim Cook brings philanthropy back to Apple

Andrew Ross Sorkin laid it all out just last week, but the issue has long been discussed and debated. Why wouldn't Jobs join Bill Gates and Warren Buffett and pledge to give away half his fortune? Why hasn't Jobs devoted more of his time and money to charitable causes? Jobs' personal attitude towards philanthropy is said to have trickled down through the ranks of Apple over the years. But all of that is changing now, as Apple adopts an impressive corporate matching policy for charitable contributions. Mr. Team: I am very happy to announce that we are kicking off a matching gift program for charitable donations. It wouldn't be accurate to say that Jobs has never done anything charitable—he did campaign for better transplant rules in California, for instance, and Apple joined the consumer-facing Product (RED) program under his leadership.

Amazon.com cuts California sales tax deal in stunning turnabout. Posted: 05/02/2012 10:35:42 PM PDT0 Comments|Updated: about a year ago.

Amazon.com cuts California sales tax deal in stunning turnabout

Costolo: Advertising Is Key, Promoted Tweets In Stream Coming Everywhere, Including Third-Parties.