Get flash to fully experience Pearltrees
Startups in Silicon Valley are like old generals. They don’t die anymore, buoyed on life-rafts of lingering venture capital and modest revenues. They just fade away, eventually purchased for assets that are a shadow of their former promise.
When it comes to files, we love to share. No, we need to share. Thanks to the massive capacities of Gmail and other email services, it’s become remarkably easy to share files. Of course, most email services limit the size of the file you can share. Gmail’s, for example, is 25 megabytes.
You did know that Facebook is a ‘massive online surveillance program run by the CIA,” right? And that Mark Zuckerberg is a CIA agent codenamed the Overlord? Just watch the Onion video above. It explains the whole thing. I especially like the Congressional “testimony” from the deputy CIA director: After years of secretly monitoring the public, we were astounded so many people would willingly publicize where they live, their religious and political views, an alphabetized list of all their friends, personal emails addresses, phone numbers, hundreds of photos of themselves, and even status updates about what they were doing moment to moment.
With nearly $30 billion in annual revenues last year, Google needs to keep both dominating search and find new billion-dollar businesses fast. Google’s biggest opportunities beyond search are display advertising, video advertising (YouTube), mobile search, and local. And if it ever gets its act together on social, that could be a wild card. Last October, the company pointed out that its display advertising business (including YouTube) and mobile search was already bringing in an additional $3.5 billion in annualized gross revenues. Citi analyst Mark Mahaney breaks down some of Google’s opportunities for new billion-dollar businesses in a new research report he released this morning. In particular, he focuses on two of Google’s most promising growth opportunities: YouTube and local advertising.
News Analysis March 21, 2011 12:07 PM ET Computerworld - AT&T and its investors would clearly be winners if the $39 billion proposed takeover of T-Mobile USA is approved by federal regulators. The deal would make AT&T the largest U.S. wireless carrier by far, with 130 million subscribers. But some other winners might come as a surprise: Apple is one, gaining quick access to T-Mobile's 34 million customers as potential buyers of iPads and iPhones . Enterprise customers of both AT&T and T-Mobile are also winners, several analysts said, because of the combined networks' expanded coverage in the U.S. and the opportunity to move to LTE networks faster in 95% of the U.S.
When students asked what subjects they should major in to become a tech entrepreneur, I used to say engineering, mathematics, and science—because an education in these fields is the prerequisite for innovation, and because engineers make the best entrepreneurs. That was several years ago. I realized how much my views have changed when the The New York Times asked me to write a piece for its “Room for Debate” forum this week. The paper wanted me to comment on the divergence of opinion between Bill Gates and Steve Jobs. In a speech before the National Governors Association on Feb 28, Gates had argued that we need to spend our limited education budget on disciplines that produce the most jobs. He implied that we should reduce our investment in the liberal arts because liberal-arts degrees don’t correlate well with job creation.
Yesterday, I laid out why the new Netflix original content plan could be a game-changer in terms of television content and the ultimate disruption of cable. But it still all depends on if the show(s) they pick end up being hits. It appears that Netflix’s first bet, House of Cards , is just about as good of a bet as you could make — but it’s still no guarantee. Here’s an idea that could be much more of a guarantee: saving cult hits.
Three years ago, if you had asked people to choose between cable television and Netflix, the vast majority would have laughed at you. A DVD-by-mail service versus thousands of pieces of content always at your fingertips? No one is laughing anymore. Netflix has confirmed that they intend to pay for House of Cards a new show being produced by David Fincher (yes, he of Fight Club , The Social Network , etc) and starring Kevin Spacey (yes, he of The Usual Suspects , American Beauty , etc). Netflix is not paying for the full production of it, but instead they’re paying for the first-rights access to air it.
Update: Kevin Rose Resigns From Digg, Closing Round On New Startup How bad are things at the once-mighty Digg these days? Not so good. It’s been months since Digg relaunched in August in a quest for relevance. They had 18 million unique worldwide visitors that month according to Comscore.
Bloomberg is reporting that Microsoft has finally decided to put an official end to its Zune media player line. “A person familiar with the decision” has informed them that Microsoft will not be putting out any new hardware in the line, and will be henceforward focusing on integrating Zune functionality with the Windows Phone 7 platform. Not exactly unexpected; the Zune hardware hasn’t changed since mid-2009′s release of the Zune HD , although it has received several significant software upgrades. The writing has been on the wall for a long time, but whether Microsoft would double down (again) or cut their losses was far from clear. Let’s just have a quick trip down memory lane.
In what appears to be mostly about the talent of its founding team, LivingSocial has moved to acquire Ruby on Rails consultancy outfit InfoEther . The social ecommerce giant, which has raised $232 million in venture capital to date and has been getting nearly as acquisitive as its rival Groupon lately, says InfoEther’s agility and expertise will enhance its ability to innovate more effectively. Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed. InfoEther is a leading technology consultancy shop specialized in the open-source Ruby software development language and its related Web development framework, Ruby on Rails , which is the basis of the technology upon which LivingSocial is based. Originally founded in 2001, InfoEther is believed to be the first US-based company that generated revenue from Ruby, which was created in Japan. Since 2007, it has specialized in the Rails framework, in more than 40 client engagements internationally.
Sponto , maker of a mobile party discovery application for college students, has scored $200,000 in initial equity financing from Amplifier Ventures . As part of the investment, Sponto has joined the investment firm’s Business Accelerator Program. Sponto uses the GPS capabilities built into modern smartphones to help students discover, publicize and meet up at parties, concerts and other gatherings, in real-time . The service is currently in beta and open only to students at the University of Maryland with an UMD.edu email address. The funding will be used to complete the first commercial release of the Sponto event-sharing platform in the second quarter of 2011, to expand to new schools, and to grow its team. Sponto is a mobile, location-based, social networking platform that allows college students to publish and dynamically detect parties and other events in real time.
YouTube seems laser-focused on amping up its overall content quality as of late, with the acquisition of original video site Next New Networks just last week and today’s news that it has acquired digital video technology company Green Parrot Pictures. “Some of YouTube’s most popular or moving videos are shot using low-quality mobile phones and video cameras. Take, for example, videos of recent protests in Libya. Although emotionally captivating, they can be jerky, blurry or unsteady.