March

Apple Is Suddenly Spending Billions Of Dollars On Secret Projects (AAPL)

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/apple-is-suddenly-spending-billions-of-dollars-on-secret-projects-2012-12

In the quarter ending June 2011, Apple spent less than $1 billion on property, plants, and equipment.

By March 2012, the number had spiked beyond $2 billion, beyond $3 billion, and approached $4 billion.

Horace Dediu thinks that number will zoom past $4 billion in 2013.

Here’s a chart he made to show what the spike looks like so far:

Apple Spike

Here’s the the interesting part about all this massive spending.

No one outside of Apple knows where it’s going.

“The capital is being deployed almost silently and, though vast in scale, barely gets a mention from analysts,” writes Dediu. “Not even a single question has been raised at any earnings call about this spending.”

His theory is that Apple, which prefers an “integrated” approach in everything it does, will soon make more of the components inside its gadgets, like chips.

That would explain why Apple has been so busy hiring former Texas Instruments employees, for example.

The truth is, Apple is a very secret company and it doesn’t have to say, specifically, where it’s spending that money.

For all we know, it could be building TV set factories.

One thing one know for sure is the Apple is always working on products that would cannibalize its current lineup. 

Maybe Apple is investing billions in a product that could kill the iPhone, like computerized glasses.

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Thursday, December 13th, 2012 news No Comments

Yahoo Acquires Startup OnTheAir (YHOO)

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/yahoo-acquires-startup-ontheair-2012-12

OnTHeAir

Yahoo has acquired a startup called OnTheAir. 

OnTheAir launched in March of this year.

It’s been described in the past as a “Skype Meets Google+ Hangouts.”

A Mashable review of the product says this is how it works:

“Say you want to host a channel about blogging, you can schedule live conversations at any time and moderate who speaks. If you connect the tool to Facebook and Twitter, the site automatically shares the time of the chat to Facebook friends and Twitter followers.”

Investors include Scott Banister, Will Smith, True Ventures, and Triple Point Ventures.

Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer has said that one way she intends to restock the company with talented engineers is through small acquisitions. These transactions are often called aqui-hires.

They are a nice way for a failed company to end.

Here’s the blog post from OnTheAir, announcing the news:

We are excited to share some big news: OnTheAir has been acquired by Yahoo!.

When we started OnTheAir, we had dreams of building a company that made a difference in the daily lives of millions. Our pursuit was challenging: We put in late nights together. We debated intensely. We worked like crazy to build a product we were proud to put our name on.

Despite the challenges, our experience has been a rewarding one. We got to launch multiple products to a wonderful community. We were coached and mentored by some of the brighte! st inves tors and advisors in Technology (see our list below and work with them if you ever get the chance!). Most importantly, we developed deep bonds as a team and learned how to work together as a unit.

While we haven’t yet attained our dream of building a widespread daily use product, we are just as committed to it. And this is why we’re so excited to be joining Yahoo!. When we first met with the team at Yahoo!, it was clear that everybody there is committed to making mobile products the backbone for the world’s daily habits. All in all, it’s a fascinating time to be joining Yahoo!. There’s a tremendous amount of energy in the company. There are big things to be done and great products to be built, and we’re thrilled to be a part of it.

We want to conclude this letter with a word of gratitude. Thank you to all of our customers, team members, mentors, advisors, investors, consultants, friends, and family for being a special part of OnTheAir. Building a company is no easy task, and we realize we wouldn’t be anywhere without your support.

The OnTheAir Team
Abel, Dan, Erik, Josh, and Mike

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Tuesday, December 4th, 2012 news No Comments

Microsoft Takes On Trolls In IE10 Ad Targeting Haters

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/microsoft-ie10-ad-says-ie-sucks-2012-11

hater

Microsoft has dropped another of its “Browser you loved to hate” commercials, in which the company admits — and confronts — the fact that a lot of people just don’t like Internet Explorer.

And it’s completely charming.

The company started the quirky campaign in March of this year with a commercial that suggested IE was the browser you used only to download another, better browser. That spot, from CP+B, featured a guy ignoring his up-for-it girlfriend while he tried to uninstall Explorer from this PC. (The joke, for non-nerds, is that you cannot uninstall Explorer from a Windows machine.)

In the new commercial, a basement dwelling geek — signified by a lava lamp, an ET doll, double screen setup, etc. — attempts to troll Microsoft by repeatedly leaving the message “IE SUCKS” on comment boards and Twitter.

The company responds by extolling IE10’s virtues, including “IE adopts an island of kittens and donates them to children everywhere!!!” Check it out:

SEE ALSO: Internet Explorer 10’s ‘Do Not Track’ Function Is NOT Located In Its Privacy Settings

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Friday, November 30th, 2012 news No Comments

How To Create The Fastest Growing Media Company In The World

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/upworthy-how-to-create-a-fast-growing-media-company-2012-11

eli pariser ted upworthy

On March 26, 2012, a new media startup called Upworthy launched.

Today, it is the fastest growing media company in the world. Upworthy finished October with 7 million monthly uniques, up from 6 million the month prior. In August, it hit four million uniques, up from 2.5 million in July. Its fast growth was rewarded with $4 million from investors.

There are lots of media companies out there, but none have grown that quickly.

Are Upworthy’s growth and business model sustainable? We’re not sure, but either way the stats are impressive. We asked CEO and co-founder Eli Pariser what Upworthy has been doing to smash traffic records every month.

Here’s what he had to say.

Don’t write about politics.

Before he started Upworthy, Pariser worked for a digital, political publication, MoveOn. He and his co-founder, The Onion’s former Managing Editor, Peter Koechley, thought the upcoming election would drive traffic to Upworthy.

But people weren’t sharing much of Upworthy’s political content, so the pair ditched that angle and broadened the site’s coverage.

“We thought, ‘Ok, it’s an election year, people are going to be really interested in politics and the campaign, and we’ll get a leg up that way,'” Pariser says. “The election was our whole argument for starting Upworthy this year. But it turned out to be a total non-driver of growth. Of all our top pieces, only a couple deal with politics or the election.”

It can be tough for startups to let go of initial ideas and pivot to what’s working. But as soon as Pariser let go of! the pol itics angle, traffic soared.

Find story ideas on social media feeds, not other websites.

Upworthy’s curators don’t start their days surfing other websites for news. They surf social media outlets like Twitter and Facebook instead.

Sometimes it’s easier to highlight a conversation than to start a new one.

“We have our team of curators spending all their time looking on the Internet for stuff,” says Pariser. “We go for visible, sharable stories and really stay away from doing more typical, text-driven articles and blogging. We lean into images and videos.”

Focus on Facebook, not Twitter

Upworthy has found that Twitter is small traffic potatoes compared to Facebook. At the end of the day, Facebook is where the most people spend the vast majority of their time online.

“Facebook is a huge piece of the puzzle for us,” says Pariser. “Our Facebook community has grown from zero in March to over 600,000 likes.”

Pariser says Upworthy hasn’t done anything particularly brilliant to juice Facebook for traffic. It just spent a lot of time and energy cracking the social network.

“Honestly, I think part of [our success with it] is we take Facebook much more seriously than many of the other social networks,” he says. “I love Twitter, and Twitter is a fun place to hang out with smart people, but it’s a small fraction of our traffic compared to Facebook. The time and attention most sites spend on [perfecting] their homepages is probably what we spend on Facebook. If you look at our homepage, it’s pretty mediocre.”

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Monday, November 5th, 2012 news No Comments

Apple’s Not Saying How Many iPad Minis It Sold

Source: http://gizmodo.com/5957701/apples-not-saying-how-many-ipad-minis-it-sold

Apple's Not Saying How Many iPad Minis It SoldApple doesn’t hesitate to trumpet its successes, but its first public acknowledgement of iPad mini sales is mostly notable for how much it doesn’t say.

The company’s crowing this morning focused on total iPad opening weekend sales of three million; that’s iPad mini and fourth-generation iPads combined. And, for all we know, still-available iPad 2 sales as well. It’s a healthy number, no doubt, and one that would be the envy of Amazon and Google and Microsoft no matter what the breakdown. Still, the fact that Apple’s chosen not to be more granular—and that it didn’t sell out of what was widely believed to be a supply-constrained product—might give some pause. From the press release:

AppleĀ® today announced it has sold three million iPads in just three days since the launch of its new iPadĀ® mini and fourth generation iPad-double the previous first weekend milestone of 1.5 million Wi-Fi only models sold for the third generation iPad in March.

Apple sold three million total retina iPads its opening weekend in March, but was available in only 12 countries. The iPad mini and iPad 4 were available in 34 countries at launch (and are two products, not one), so it’s not exactly an apples to apples comparison.

Again, three million tablets in three days is a lot of tablets, no question about that. But there’s enough spin here to a top up for days, which makes you wonder if the iPad mini didn’t live up to someone’s—or everyone’s—expectations. [Apple]

Update: Apple has confirmed with AllThingsD that the three million number includes only the current-generation iPad and iPad mini.

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Monday, November 5th, 2012 news No Comments

Absurdly Hyped Startup Airtime Has Officially Flopped And Top Execs Are Fleeing

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/absurdly-hyped-startup-airtime-has-officially-flopped-and-top-execs-are-fleeing-2012-10

Olivia Munn Airtime

Airtime, the startup with a product that connects random Facebook users in video chats, is a huge flop and its senior people are fleeing the company, Liz Gannes of All Things D reports.

CTO Eric Feng, brought in through a March acquisition, is on his way out. Cofounder Shawn Fanning is no longer day to day at the company.

It’s particularly bad news that Feng is leaving because after joining the company in March, he fired everyone who had been working on the startup’s tech before.

Airtime, which raised $33 million from Kleiner Perkins, only launched its product 12 weeks ago, but it’s already pretty obvious not many people want to use the thing. Gannes reports that it only has 11,000 daily active users. By comparison, Instagram has 11 million.

Fanning’s cofounder is Sean Parker, the guy played by Justin Timberlake in the Facebook movie. Gannes says he was the driving force behind Airtime’s weird product launch event, which was attended by all sorts of mid-level celebrities. He says this launch “worked” because it drove traffic. Uh huh.

Gannes talked to Parker, and has more quotes from him here >>

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Tuesday, October 2nd, 2012 news No Comments

Instagram’s Daily Users Blow Past Twitter’s (FB)

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/chart-instagram-twitter-2012-9

Daily Instagram users has surpassed daily Twitter users in the U.S., according to comScore’s Mobile Metrix, which tracks app and web usage through a metered panel of users,

Instagram usage has exploded since March. It really kinked higher in May, which is a month after it was launched on Android and Facebook acquired it.

chart of the day twitter instagram

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Thursday, September 27th, 2012 news No Comments

The Winner Of The Apps vs. Browsers War Is… (AAPL, MSFT, GOOG)

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/bii-report-the-winner-of-the-apps-vs-browsers-war-is-2012-9

apps vs browserThe mobile web is unique because it has two distinct access points: browsers and apps.

In a special report on Mobile Usage just out from BI Intelligence, we analyze patterns around all types of mobile behavior, including the recent trends in mobile browser and app usage.

Access The Full Report By Signing Up For A Free Trial Today >>

So, apps vs. browsers. Who is winning?

The report has lots of charts and data that can be easily accessed, downloaded, and put to use. 

In full, the report also looks at:

To access BI Intelligence’s full report on Mobile Usage, sign up for a free trial subscription here.

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Wednesday, September 19th, 2012 news No Comments

Fujifilm sees which way wind is blowing, ends production of cinema film

Source: http://www.engadget.com/2012/09/13/fujifilm-ends-cinema-production/

Fujifilm sees which way the wind is blowing, ends cinema film production

Since your average talkie is now recorded onto SD card and SSDs, companies that produce old-timey film are feeling the squeeze. As such, and despite its own efforts, Fujifilm is shuttering a large part of its cinema business by March 2013. While it’ll continue to produce stills film (for the time being, at least) and archival material similar to Kodak’s Asset Protection film, moves are under way to redirect its focus toward digital tools that won’t be left behind as people start to make movies on their smartphones.

Continue reading Fujifilm sees which way wind is blowing, ends production of cinema film

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Fujifilm sees which way wind is blowing, ends production of cinema film originally appeared on Engadget on Thu, 13 Sep 2012 16:59:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Thursday, September 13th, 2012 news No Comments

Source: http://lifehacker.com/5937580/the-best-times-to-shop-online-if-you-want-the-most-savings

The Best Times to Shop Online If You Want The Most SavingsGrabbing the best prices is all about where and when you shop. Retailer reporting service SumAll has identified the best (and worst) days and months to find online deals and packed it all in this handy calendar infographic.

The data is compiled from over 3,000 merchants and almost half a billion transactions over four years.

It probably won’t surprise you that November offers the biggest discounts (an average of 5.99%), followed by post-holiday January (4.95%), but the calendar also warns you that March is a dismal time to shop if you’re looking for sales (2.76%).

The best days to buy are Tuesday and Thursday. Forget big savings on Sunday.

And new companies (just opened or under two years old) offer the biggest deals versus established ones. So don’t wait to shop at a new site.

Here’s the whole graphic, which includes which states offer the best deals (click to expand, right click to save):
The Best Times to Shop Online If You Want The Most Savings

Keep in mind that there are specific days and months that are best for particular shopping categories (see our best time to buy anything guide or this handy infographic). If you’re just planning your shopping in general, though, consider waiting until the days and months with the highest discounts.

Discounts…Get the Inside Scoop | SumAll via DailyFinance

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Saturday, August 25th, 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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