bad news

Few Youth Living With Parents Highly Inclined to Get Pay-TV When They Strike Out on Their Own


TDG-Millennials-at-Home-and-Pay-TV-Intent-Aug2013More Millennials are living at home, per recent research, and that could mean bad news for the pay-TV industry. That’s because 18-24-year-old broadband subscribers don’t show much of an interest in signing up for pay-TV services once they move into their own residences, according to new data from The Diffusion Group (TDG). Just 31.3% of this group said they’d be highly inclined to do so, suggesting that they might join the group of “cord-nevers.”

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Friday, August 16th, 2013 news No Comments

Google Search Satisfaction Lowest on Record Continues Decline


ACSI-Customer-Sat-Portals-Search-Engines-2013-v-2012-July2013Overall, the major search engines fared better than the largest social media sites in customer satisfaction, per the ACSI report. But, the trend is moving in the wrong direction for each of the portals and search engines tracked

The bad news continues for Google – which saw declines in customer satisfaction ratings for Google+ and YouTube. Turning to its core business – search – Google experienced a 5-point drop to a score of 77, its lowest since the ACSI began tracking its ratings more than a decade ago.

On a more positive note for Google, it maintained its position as the highest-rated search engine or portal, as Bing also fell 5 points to a rating of 76, Yahoo slipped a couple of points to 76, MSN dropped 4 points to 74, and AOL declined by 3 points to 71. The aggregate of all others plummeted by 10 points, to 70.

The overall rating for portals and search engines – 76 – is the lowest since 2007. Customers were most frustrated by the quality of the ads and page loading speeds, per the study.

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Thursday, July 25th, 2013 news No Comments

Barnes and Noble posts $119 million loss in Q4 2013, will partner with third party on future Nook tablets


Barnes and Noble posts $119 million loss

Barnes and Noble has not had an easy go of it. The brick and mortal stalwart has seen its revenues and profits steeply decline as we’ve entered the age of the ebook. In fact, profits haven’t just shrunk, they’ve disappeared. During the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2013, the company suffered a net loss of $118.6 million, down significantly from the already poor showing it posted in 2012 when it lost $56.9 million in Q4. For the year that put Barnes and Noble’s losses at $154.8 million — more than double what it lost in 2012. Revenues have dropped both at retail outlets and its Nook digital business by $105 million and $56 million, respectively year-over-year. For its e-reader and ebook arm, that represents a 34 percent drop from Q4 2012. The bad news there is that device sales have declined dramatically and, while content sales were up for the year, in the fourth quarter they fell by 8.9 percent. Barnes and Noble attributes the year-over-year fall in sales to be attributed to the lack of blockbuster titles. In Q4 2012 revenues were boosted by juggernauts like Thirty Shades of Grey and The Hunger Games.

Going forward Barnes and Noble wants to significantly cut its losses on the struggling Nook business. To do that the company will be partnering with an as yet unnamed third party to manufacture and co-brand its tablet line. The Nook line of e-readers will continue to be designed and built in-house, but the retailer will be looking beyond its Manhattan office walls for help with the flailing Nook HD line. Existing products will be supported for the foreseeable future however, so don’t go tossing your Robert Brunner-designed slate in the trash just yet. If you’d like more detail check out the PR after the break.


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Tuesday, June 25th, 2013 news No Comments

Facebook’s "Like" Buttons Are Under Threat (FB)


Mark Zuckerberg

Web sites are not allowed to collect infomration on users under 13 without their parents permission.

it’s part of a child-privacy law called COPPA.

This is trouble for Facebook because of “like” buttons, which are on about 9 million Websites. 

You can image how hard it would be for Facebook to make sure that everyone who clicks a like button is over 13.

Really hard. Even a little added friction, such as a “are you 13 and over?” dialogue box would tremendously slow down volume.

So that’s why Facebook sent a 20-page letter to the FTC (.PDF), last week, arguing (begging?) for a change in this  rule. Facebook argued that Like buttons are free speech.

The rule should change.

How is the fact that a kid clicked “like” any kind of threat to their saftey or privacy?

But sometimes the government does stupid things, so maybe the law won’t change.

That’d be pretty bad news for Facebook, which is dependent on all those “likes” for a lot of traffic and engagement.

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Tuesday, October 2nd, 2012 news No Comments

Microsoft Burns Another Half Billion Online


The good news: Microsoft has stabilized the amount of money it loses online. The bad news: It’s still on track to lose almost $2 billion online this year.

This quarter Microsoft lost $476 million. But, a year ago in the same period it lost $776 million. So, progress!

chart of the day, msft online operating income, april 2012

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Sunday, April 22nd, 2012 news No Comments

Groupon Has Completely Collapsed (GRPN)


Groupon’s stock has been absolutely crushed since the middle of February. The stock dropped another 5% today.

The bad news for shareholders is that it’s still arguably overpriced. With a $7 billion market cap, it’s trading at 3X revenue. It still has some room to fall.

The good news for shareholders is that it’s not going to zero. There’s a business in there, it just needs to find a proper valuation.

chart of the day, groupon stock, april 2012

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Sunday, April 22nd, 2012 news No Comments

Cable Cutting Intensifies


Cable Cutting IntensifiesBad news for cable TV. According to a new report, some 2.65 million subscribers have abandoned cable or satellite TV since 2008 in favor of Internet and over the air delivery. Nearly half of that, 1.05 million, came in 2011 alone. Another million or so customers are expected to do so by the end of 2012. [Convergence Online via Bloomberg]

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Thursday, April 5th, 2012 digital No Comments

I Read 21 Books About The Financial Crisis And They Explained Nothing


andrew lo

Ever thought you would have to read 21 books to get to the bottom of what caused the financial crisis?

Andrew Lo, an economist at MIT, has some bad news: it’s going to take at least 22.

Lo, a leading expert on hedge funds and financial engineering, has written a paper (h/t NPR) for the Journal of Economic Literature describing his experience reading 21 books on the crisis — nine by journalists, 11 by academics and one by a former Treasury Secretary.

His conclusion: In a field that prides itself on its scientific rigor (however dismal), the books reveal that alarmingly few facts about the crisis have been agreed upon. Was there too little or too much regulation? How much of a factor were low interest rates? No one’s been able to say conclusively.

“After each book, I felt like I knew less,” Lo told NPR’s Planet Money.

Economics, he says, has fallen well short of that standard when it comes to understanding the crisis:

“Many of us like to think of financial economics as a science, but complex events like the financial crisis suggest that this conceit may be more wishful thinking than reality.”

Read Andrew Lo’s Reading About the Financial Crisis: A 21-Book Review >

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Monday, February 6th, 2012 news No Comments


US Military To Get Secure Android HandsetsIn a war zone, a standard mobile phone, with its countless possible security flaws, is no use — which is why the military doesn’t rely on them. But now that’s changing, as the US military is investing in secure Android handsets.

It’s not the first time we’ve heard about the army handing out smart phones — hell, they even run competitions to develop apps. But CNN is reporting that the US military is, after two years of testing, intending to “install its custom software on commercially available phones.” It’s starting out with a custom modification of Android’s kernel. The ideas is to give fine-grained control over data, applications and information transmission, as well as providing officials with detailed usage feedback.

Interestingly, this looks set not just to be limited to the military, as CNN reports that “each version of the Android OS [will] be certified once for all federal agencies”, suggesting that these new secure Android handsets may become standard issue across the whole of the US government. That would be bad news for BlackBerry, because RIM currently provides most federal phones — even Obama’s. The new secure handsets are to be shipped out to soldiers by March for testing. [CNN; Image: U.S. Air Force]

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Monday, February 6th, 2012 Uncategorized No Comments

More Bad News for Omniture – Biggest Sites of 2011 All Use Google Analytics Instead

Using a browser plugin called Ghostery, I looked at all the tracking packages, JS includes, beacons, and cookies of various sites.  Soon I made the observation that everyone seemed to be using Google Analytics. Then I looked at the top trafficked websites of 2011 (see chart below) to see what percent used GA.

I went down the list drawing a red rectangle around each one that used Google Analytics. Turns out, to my surprise (and delight) it was 100% — ONE HUNDRED FREEEKIN’ PERCENT.  And the 2 green boxes are the ones that still used Omniture (probably left it in and forgot to yank it).  Ruh-Roh for Omniture…  🙁

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Wednesday, January 11th, 2012 news No Comments

Dr. Augustine Fou is Digital Consigliere to marketing executives, advising them on digital strategy and Unified Marketing(tm). Dr Fou has over 17 years of in-the-trenches, hands-on experience, which enables him to provide objective, in-depth assessments of their current marketing programs and recommendations for improving business impact and ROI using digital insights.

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