deal

YouTube takes to the skies with Virgin America content deal

Source: http://www.engadget.com/2012/12/07/youtube-virgin-america/

YouTube takes to the skies with Virgin America content deal

Admittedly, we’re more likely to hit up YouTube for its hilarious and bizarre amateur content than to pop in on one of those well-funded Original Channels, but that won’t necessarily be the case going forward. Several of the site’s original programming venues will soon be available through Virgin America’s in-flight entertainment system — “H+ The Digital Series,” “Blue,” “Written by a Kid,” “Crash Course” and “The Key of Awesome” are expected to hit aircraft beginning December 15th, according to Variety.

Sure, you could navigate to YouTube on your own through the carrier’s in-flight WiFi, but you’ll soon be able to enjoy at least a few titles in (presumably) higher quality through the 9-inch panel mounted to the seat in front of you, while freeing up bandwidth for those hardworking business travelers (and a few occasional Engadget editors) in the process. These latest YouTube selections join a variety of other content unique to Virgin, and considering that legacy carriers stock their IFE with “classic” flicks and a dismal selection of dated TV shows (assuming they offer the service at all), the nation’s “fun” alternative airline is starting to look even more appealing.

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Via: < a target="_blank" href="https://twitter.com/skiftnews/status/277138197446795264">Skift (Twitter)

Source: Variety

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Friday, December 7th, 2012 news No Comments

Google buys BufferBox, might give Amazon Locker a run for its money

Source: http://www.engadget.com/2012/11/30/google-buys-bufferbox-lockers-online-purchases/

Google buys BufferBox, might give Amazon Locker a run for its money

Google has just snapped up BufferBox, a Waterloo, Ontario-based startup that offers temporary lockers for online purchases much like the ones recently deployed by Amazon. Instead of 7-Elevens and RadioShacks however, the relatively young startup has only just started a deal to install parcel kiosks in Canada’s Metrolinx GO Transit stations. The Mountain View company hopes to keep BufferBox alive through the acquisition, with plans for 100 kiosks in Greater Toronto and Hamilton in the next year. Of course, we can’t help but think this could all be part of Google’s master plan for a rumored same-day delivery service that might make Amazon a touch nervous. Hopefully this means future Nexus deliveries will be a just little faster, eh?

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Source: Financial Post, BufferBox

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Saturday, December 1st, 2012 news No Comments

1,000 Jobs Gone At Groupon And LivingSocial; Can The Daily Deal Sector Turn It Around? (GRPN)

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/layoffs-at-groupon-and-livingsocial-2012-11

Daily deals title image lifehackerThe daily deal world is in turmoil.

LivingSocial just announced the firing of 400 employees, which is about 8.9% of its total workforce.

What’s more unnerving is that over the past six months, Groupon reduced its workforce by 648 positions.

More than 1,000 reductions across both businesses is a huge deal. Those reductions aren’t all layoffs; some are through attrition.

To cap it all, Groupon CEO Andrew Mason’s job was in question all week, and he only received his board of directors’ seal of approval late Thursday.

If this was happening at Facebook or Twitter — or any other major tech brand — people would be freaking out.

So why isn’t anyone freaking out yet?

Arguably, this is a recession in the daily deal business.

It’s the industry’s first, given that it didn’t exist until about four years ago.

LivingSocial told Business Insider via email about the job cuts. “After two years of hyper-growth from 450 to more than 4500 employees, these moves will align our cost structure against our 2013 plans and will help us set the company on a path for long-term growth and profitability. Specifically, they will allow us to invest more in critical pr! iorities like marketing, mobile, and the hiring of additional technology staff.”

LivingSocial told CNNMoney that it is moving much of its customer service from its headquarters in D.C. to Tuscon, “so some job openings will be available in that area.” Sales and editorial, however, have simply been “streamlined.”

The job losses reflect the shaky economic underpinnings of the daily deal business, which Groupon and LivingSocial have yet to wrestle into control.

LivingSocial posted a net loss of $566 million in Q3 2012. $496 million of LivingSocial’s loss stems from a huge writedown of some of its acquisitions from 2011, the Washington Business Journal reports. LivingSocial’s revenue also fell to $124 million in the three-month period, down from $138 million in the second quarter.

As of market close today, Groupon’s stock price is currently sitting at $4.54, according to Yahoo Finance. The 52-week range is shocking: it reached a high of $25.84. That followed six months’ of shrinking total billings at the company. (Its American business is robust; the international arm less so.)

A Groupon spokesperson tells us that its layoffs were largely due to new technology the company invested in that made those jobs irrelevant. In fact, we’re told, Groupon has 200 job vacancies open across North America right now.

And, of course, the job cuts don’t mean that Groupon and LivingSocial are going to vanish tomorrow. They’re huge businesses after all. But they are cause for concern as they illuminate potential weaknesses in the daily deal ! business model.

The main problem is operational scale.

Both companies are dependent on large salesforces. It is very difficult for them to leverage operation scale: To sell more, they need to employ more people. Groupon historically has prided itself on the long-term relationships its salesforce builds with its merchants. They have struggled to leverage self-serve, turnkey sales the way Facebook has.

In fact, Groupon and LivingSocial aren’t even tech companies. Rather, they’re email companies. Although email is here to stay for a long time, the tidal shift among consumers is away from email to instant messaging, social media messaging, and mobile phone messaging. They need to pivot into alternate methods.

Groupon is trying just that, with Groupon Goods, which so far has been a success. And both companies need to do what Groupon says it is trying to do, which is replace human-to-human selling with tech that can increase each individual worker’s selling power.

Lastly, the downturn ask whether the daily deal business has hit one of its natural ceilings: new merchants. Both companies need a fresh supply of new merchants to offer more deals, or to re-up on repeated deals. It’s an open question that both Groupon and LivingSocial now have to prove: Is there enough new merchants or incremental repeat business from merchants for the sector to continue to grow?

A thousand-plus layoffs suggest that, for now, the question lacks a satisfying answer.

Don’t Miss: Groupon CEO Andrew Mason Keeps His Job!

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Friday, November 30th, 2012 news No Comments

Actually, You Only Get To Use About Half The Storage On The Cheapest Surface Tablet (MSFT)

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/microsoft-surface-storage-2012-11

The cheapest model of Microsoft’s new Surface tablet comes with 32 GB storage, twice that of the cheapest iPad.

But here’s why: According to Microsoft, the Surface’s operating system takes up nearly half that space, leaving you with only 16 GB to play around with. In contrast, Apple’s iOS operating system only takes up about 1 GB of space.

Here’s the full breakdown from Microsoft, which we originally saw on TNW:

surface rt operating system

In a Reddit AMA session a few weeks ago, Microsoft’s Surface team said that the 32 GB model would have about 20 GB of free space. It looks like you actually get a bit less than that.

So while 32 GB sounds like a good deal, keep in mind you’re only getting a bit more storage than you would get on a similarly-priced iPad.

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Monday, November 5th, 2012 news No Comments

Google Wallet update purportedly leaks plans for a real-world card, transfers and transit passes

Source: http://www.engadget.com/2012/11/01/google-wallet-update-purportedly-leaks-plans-for-real-world-card/

Google Wallet update purportedly leaks plans for a realworld card, transit passes and transfers

Google Wallet hasn’t had much uptake in the real world. When most of its use has revolved around one carrier, few payment points and even fewer phones, most of us have had to sit on the sidelines. If an Android Police source really did come across a leaked future build of Google Wallet as he claims, though, we may know how Google surmounts that problem: going old school with a real-world card. Screenshots in the app supposedly show a mail-in option for plastic that could completely replace credit and debit cards without turning to NFC. Any charges after a typical swipe of the magnetic strip would simply go to whatever payment source is set as Wallet’s default, letting minimalists slim down their actual wallets while sharing in the same discounts as their phone-wielding counterparts. Digital-only purists would still get something out of the deal, as the update could also bring person-to-person money transfers and support for mass transit cards. How soon the as yet unconfirmed app would appear is still a mystery, but it dovetails with Google teasing a Wallet revamp that’s rumored to take mobile use beyond its Android-only roots; we just didn’t anticipate that the company might bypass our phones altogether.

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Google Wallet update purportedly leaks plans for a real-world card, transfers and transit passes originally appeared on Engadget on Thu, 01 Nov 2012 16:54:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Thursday, November 1st, 2012 news No Comments

Some Guy Bought the Data of 1.1 Million Facebook Users for Just 5 Bucks

Source: http://gizmodo.com/5955086/some-guy-bought-the-data-of-11-million-facebook-users-for-just-5-bucks

Some Guy Bought the Data of 1.1 Million Facebook Users for Just 5 BucksBogomil Shopov, a Bulgarian blogger and digital rights activist, bought 1.1 million Facebook names, user IDs and e-mails for the ridiculously low price of 5 dollars. Yes, for a price of a Subway footlong, Shopov was able to get his hands on your personal data from Facebook. What a deal!

Luckily, Shopov isn’t out to spam people or anything. Instead, he wants to use this as an example of how terribly lax Facebook can be with its security. How did those names and e-mail addresses become available in the first place? Facebook apps. Forbes says:

According to the seller of the information, a Gigbucks user with the handle “mertem,” the data was collected from Facebook applications.”The information in this list has been collected through our Facebook apps and consists only of active Facebook users, mostly from the US, Canada, UK and Europe,” reads the Gigbucks post. “Whether you are offering a Facebook, Twitter, social media related or otherwise a general product or service, this list has a great potential for you.”

The personal data of Facebook users isn’t just from people who keep their profile public, Shopov said he found e-mail addresses that were private and hidden too. Facebook is currently looking into the breach of user data but they haven’t yet come to a resolution. We are at their mercy. [Forbes]

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Friday, October 26th, 2012 news No Comments

Facebook posts $59 million net loss in fiscal Q3, touts 1.01 billion active users

Source: http://www.engadget.com/2012/10/23/facebook-posts-59-million-loss-in-fiscal-q3/

Facebook Mark Zuckerberg

The bloom is slightly off the rose for Facebook. After a banner first post-IPO quarter, it’s recording a net loss in its fiscal third quarter of $59 million despite its revenue climbing to $1.26 billion — a big swing that the company is blaming on payroll tax tweaks and income taxes, which becomes clearer when you learn that the company posted a $311 million profit before factoring in standard accounting practices. Facebook hasn’t said exactly what had the biggest impact, although its closing the Instagram deal wouldn’t have helped matters. Still, the company isn’t glum about its prospects: following an earlier mention of the milestone by founder Mark Zuckerberg, the earnings report touts that there are over 1.01 billion active Facebook users who check in at least once a month, over 604 million of which were mobile. Between a reworked iOS app, a freshened Facebook Messenger and new ad-friendly SDKs, the social network is bracing for a potential bonanza ahead.

Continue reading Facebook posts $59 million net loss in fiscal Q3, touts 1.01 billion active users

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Facebook posts $59 million net loss in fiscal Q3, touts 1.01 billion active users originally appeared on Engadget on Tue, 23 Oct 2012 16:32:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Tuesday, October 23rd, 2012 news No Comments

Source: http://gizmodo.com/5948948/facebook-is-reading-your-messages-and-liking-things-for-you

Facebook Is Reading Your Messages and Liking Things For YouYou might think clicking “Like” is the only way to stamp that public FB affirmation on something—you’re wrong. Facebook is checking your private messages and automatically liking things you talk about. Without asking you.

The scanning, which is either an oversight on Facebook’s part of a deliberate effort—we’re waiting to hear back from FB—increases the Like count for a given page just by you talking about it. Auto-scanning is nothing new: Gmail has done it since day one to serve us ads. But there are serious potential personal consequences here—what if I’m talking about something disgusting, loathsome, and offensive with a friend? Do I want Facebook to automatically chalk that up as a Like? No. And I doubt you do either.

The auto-liking could also be a big deal for those who want to artificially inflate their popularity online—say, people with something to sell. “Yeap, it won’t drive any traffic to your website. But if your [sic] visiting an online store and you see a lot of likes under the product then this might cloud your judgement,” notes one commenter on Hacker News, where the mechanism was first reported.

Facebook Is Reading Your Messages and Liking Things For You

To test the auto-scanning, message this link to a friend—it should increase the like count by two. I was able to independently verify the same effect by messaging a link to singer The-Dream’s official page to a friend. It increased his Likes without me ever clicking the button. As much as I truly to Like (and love!) The-Dream, this isn’t how it’s supposed to work, Facebook.

So uh, yeah, in the meantime, hang tight, and maybe don’t send that private message about incest and Al-Qaeda. [Hacker News via Forbes]

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Thursday, October 4th, 2012 Uncategorized No Comments

Hard drive shipments recover from floods in Thailand, expected to reach record high

Source: http://www.engadget.com/2012/09/29/hard-drives-thailand-floods-recover-record/

Hard drive shipments recover from floods in Thailand, expected to reach record high

Last year’s floods in Thailand caused hard drive shortages after wreaking havoc on a number of electronics manufacturers, but new stats from IHS iSuppli indicate that the HDD market for PCs has fully recovered and is poised to hit an all time high. The firm expects 524 million units for internal use in PCs to ship this year, besting the previous record by 4.3 percent. What’s giving the recovery an added boost? According to the analytics group, the extra demand comes courtesy of Windows 8 and Ultrabooks. Unfortunately for deal hounds, the company noted in a report earlier this year that prices aren’t expected to dip below the pre-flood range until 2014. If IHS iSuppli projections hold true, total annual hard driv! e shipme nts could reach 575.1 million by 2016.

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Hard drive shipments recover from floods in Thailand, expected to reach record high originally appeared on Engadget on Sat, 29 Sep 2012 16:48:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Sunday, September 30th, 2012 news No Comments

Scoot aims to be Zipcar of electric scooters, launches in SF

Source: http://www.engadget.com/2012/09/26/zipcar-of-electric-scooters/

DNP Scoot aims to be Zipcar of electric scooters, launches in SF

Aiming to be the Zipcar of electric scooters, Scoot Networks has officially launched in San Francisco after months of beta testing. Ideal for areas with problematic parking, the Chinese-made scooters are 100 percent electric with a 20Ah SLA battery each, and there’s even a dock built into the dash to charge most Android or iPhone models. With a screaming top speed of 30 miles per hour, they’re obviously meant for short trips and not for the highway. It costs $10 to sign up, $5 per month, then $5 per hour. You can also get a $10 per day deal or a $19 per month option that includes three workdays or overnights. Even though you don’t need a motorcycle license to rent one, the company does offer tutorials to get newbies comfortable with the vehicles. If you do have a license, you can opt for the $185 a month plan that lets you get your own personal scooter. A potential issue is that the battery on the electric scooter only lasts around 20 to 30 miles, but San Francisco might have enough EV-friendly parking spots to make that less of a problem. You can watch the company’s promo video after the break.

Continue reading Scoot aims to be Zipcar of electric scooters, launches in SF

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Scoot aims to be Zipcar of electric scooters, launches in SF originally appeared on Engadget on Wed, 26 Sep 2012! 17:24:0 0 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink   |  sourceScoot Networks, GigaOm  | Email this | Comments

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Wednesday, September 26th, 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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