Catching Up (9/8)
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Lars Rasmussen confesses that he doesn’t have much of a sense of direction. But that didn’t stop him creating Google Maps, one of the world’s leading tech success stories of the past decade.
Michael Arrington is out at AOL. 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 on Thursday acquired Zagat in an effort to bolster its local products with the restaurant rating service. 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." Zagat is best known for its original reviews and rating service. There are a few key elements to the Zagat purchase: Google will build out its local coverage and have reviews in more than 100 cities.
“Did you know there's a place in Menlo Park near the Safeway that has a 27 food rating?” 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.
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. 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 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. 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.
Oh boy. At this point, even the shit-show is becoming a shit-show. According to Dan Primack at Fortune, Mike Arrington has been fired by AOL . My inbox is full of emails from journalists, friends and total strangers — all asking if I can explain what’s going on. The vast majority of those correspondents are clearly hoping for a mass walk-out of writers if Mike is really gone. The Atlantic Wire is already predicting what might happen post-walkout.
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. 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.
Today at Twitter’s headquarters in San Francisco, CEO Dick Costolo sat down with some members of the media to talk a bit about the state of the company. He rattled of plenty of stats , and also gave the all-important update on the state of the business. Of note, Costolo confirmed that Twitter is in the process of rolling out Promoted Tweets in the stream to everyone — whether you’re following a particular advertiser or not. And that doesn’t just mean on Twitter.com (where this roll-out is starting), these Promoted Tweets will be going everywhere Tweets flow, Costolo said.