Reuters

Oren Etzioni Could Be The Most Successful Entrepreneur You’ve Never Heard Of

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/oren-etzioni-is-one-successful-founder-2013-9

Oren Etzioni

Decide.com announced on Friday that it was being acqu-hired by eBay and would shutter its service at the end of the month.

The entire team of 26 people will now go work for eBay.

Decide.com predicts the prices on electronics and helps people pay less for them. It’s not surprising eBay would want to buy this company. Decide.com had been using eBay’s data to help with its predictions, CEO Mike Fridgen said in a blog post.

But one of the most remarkable things about this deal is that it marks the sixth-in-a-row successful exit for cofounder and CTO Oren Etzioni.

Etzioni helped invent the concept of big data back when the Web was young, way before the term “big data.” We’re talking even before Google.

Etzioni is a computer science professor at the University of Washington (and these days, also a partner at Seattle’s Madrona Venture Group). In between teaching and publishing hundreds of technical papers, he keeps creating valuable tech.

In 1994, four years before Google was born, he created one of the web’s first search engines MetaCrawler, bought by Infospace (and still running today). In 1995, he cofounded the first shopping comparison engine, NetBot, bought by Excite. Then he created ClearForest, which summarizes text documents, bought by Reuters.

In 2003, after he learned that he paid more for an airline ticket than the guy sitting next to him, he created a program that scraped travel sites to predict airfare prices. That became FareCast. It sold to Microsoft in 2008 for $110 million and is now a part of Bing.

In 2011, he took what he learned at FareCast and launched Decide.com to predict electronics prices. It was backed by Madrona (naturally) but also early Google early investor Ram Shriram and Rich Barton (cofounder of! Zillow, Expedia, Glassdoor).

Now, two years later eBay bought Decide.com. Terms weren’t disclosed, but we know that it raised about $17 million including a recent $8 million round in March that included Microsoft cofounder Paul Allen’s VC firm Vulcan Capital.

Given Etzioni’s history we’re willing to make our own prediction. He’ll be back with another successful startup and soon.

 


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Saturday, September 7th, 2013 news No Comments

The Syrian Electronic Army Just Hacked Another Big Twitter Account

Source: http://gizmodo.com/the-syrian-electronic-army-just-hacked-another-big-twit-956491103

The Syrian Electronic Army Just Hacked Another Big Twitter Account

Even with Twitter adding two-factor authentication, the Thomson Reuters’ Twitter account @thomsonreuters has been hacked by the Syrian Electronic Army. If you remember, the Syrian Electronic Army has been responsible for hacking the Twitter accounts of The Onion, E! Online, CBS and more.

Read more…

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Tuesday, July 30th, 2013 news No Comments

drag2share: Researchers Hack Verizon Device, Turn It Into Mobile Spy Station For Less Than $300

source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/businessinsider/~3/IBdeqnUmvOQ/researchers-hack-verizon-device-2013-7

verizon phone

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Two security experts said they have figured out how to spy on Verizon Wireless mobile phone customers by hacking into devices the U.S. carrier sells to boost wireless signals indoors.

The finding, which the experts demonstrated to Reuters and will further detail at two hacking conferences this summer, comes at a time of intense global debate about electronic privacy, after top-secret U.S. surveillance programs were leaked by a former National Security Agency contractor, Edward Snowden, last month.

“This is not about how the NSA would attack ordinary people. This is about how ordinary people would attack ordinary people,” said Tom Ritter, a senior consultant with the security firm iSEC Partners.


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Monday, July 15th, 2013 news No Comments

Flash Sale Sites Have A Social Media Problem

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/flash-sale-sites-are-losing-customers-2013-5

Fab.com FacebookFlash sale sites are reaching the end of their growth trajectory, and might start consolidating soon.

Many analysts have blamed the problem on an inability to get designer labels.

But a recent study shows that various customer service issues could be responsible for the decline of sites like Fab, HauteLook, ideeli, and RueLaLa.

About 44% of social network commentary related to flash sale sites is negative, according to the study by Dotcom Distribution.

Consumers’ biggest complaints are related to shipping, log-in, marketing, and customer service.

According to the survey, BeyondTheRack, HauteLook, and ZuLily had the worst consumer feedback for shipping issues.

Fab’s site forces users to log in, which infuriated many customers.

Customers also expressed frustrations with “misleading” email marketing, according to the study.

One woman wrote that she was frustrated with TheFoundary.com because it sent out an email advertising free shipping when in reality the promotion only applied to purchases greater than $75.

These problems hurt the sites two-fold, according to the study: Customer service complaints on Facebook and other social media sites drive away both existing customers and potential new ones.

Flash sale sites can solve their social problem by responding to customer complaints regularly, and advertising promotions accurately, according to Dot! com Dist ribution.

The sites represent a $2 billion business, according to Reuters.

But to keep customers and attract new ones, flash sale sites are going to have to focus on the customer experience.

 

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Tuesday, May 14th, 2013 news No Comments

Logitech gambled big on video conferencing, lost

Source: http://www.engadget.com/2013/01/23/logitech-video-conferencing-slowdown/

Logitech gambled big on video conferencing, lost

Logitech’s PR machine is on the loose this morning, trying to dampen expectations before the company announces its quarterly financial results later in the day. The key message is that we shouldn’t expect any great shakes from the video conferencing side of the business. In fact, there’ll be a $211 million charge against earnings, which is big enough to wipe out the previous quarter’s income four times over, and which stems entirely from this source of pain:

“The enterprise video conferencing industry has experienced a slowdown in recent quarters and consequently, through this period, the video conferencing unit has not sustained the growth Logitech originally anticipated.”

That’s a blanket statement, describing a whole section of the industry and not just pinning the blame on LifeSize, the video conferencing company that Logitech picked up in 2009 for $405 million. It so happens that Polycom and Cisco have also reported ongoing slides in video conferencing sales, so Logitech’s explanation is entirely justified — not that it makes the LifeSize acquisition look any smarter.

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Wednesday, January 23rd, 2013 news No Comments

AMD hires chip experts from Qualcomm and Apple, aims to move beyond the PC

Source: http://www.engadget.com/2013/01/22/amd-hires-chip-experts-from-qualcomm-and-apple-aims-to-move-bey/

Even more transfer news from chipmakers, although this one isn’t quite as litigious. AMD has hired two senior engineers with experience at both Qualcomm and Apple. The hires have been confirmed by AMD, which added that the new recruits would help the chipmaker expand into new markets — though the spokesperson didn’t specify what these markets would be. Charles Matar, with expertise in low-power and embedded chip design will join from Qualcomm as AMD’s new vice president of SoC Development, while Wayne Meretsky, formerly of Apple, was named vice president of software IP development. AMD still derives around 80 percent of its revenue from PCs, a market that continues to slow as smartphones and tablets continue to flourish. Both will likely be involved in the development of whatever AMD’s got planned for after Temash.

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Tuesday, January 22nd, 2013 news No Comments

Outraged Students Sue Facebook Over Privacy (FB)

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/students-sue-facebook-over-privacy-2012-12

max schrems facebook austrian law student

VIENNA (Reuters) – An Austrian student group plans to go to court in a bid to make Facebook Inc, the world’s biggest social network, do more to protect the privacy of its hundreds of millions of members.

Privacy campaign group europe-v-facebook, which has been lobbying for better data protection by Facebook for over a year, said on Tuesday it planned to go to court to appeal against decisions by the data protection regulator in Ireland, where Facebook has its international headquarters.

The move is one of a number of campaigns against the giants of the internet, which are under pressure from investors to generate more revenue from their huge user bases but which also face criticism for storing and sharing personal information.

Internet search engine Google, for example, has been told by the European Union to make changes to its new privacy policy, which pools data collected on individual users across its services including YouTube, gmail and social network Google+, and from which users cannot opt out.

Europe-v-facebook has won some concessions from Facebook, notably pushing it to switch off its facial recognition feature in Europe.

But the group said on Tuesday the changes did not go far enough and it was disappointed with the response of the Irish Data Protection Commissioner, which had carried out an audit after the campaign group filed numerous complaints.

“The Irish obviously have no great political interest in going up against these companies because they’re so dependent on the jobs they c! reate,” europe-v-facebook founder Max Schrems told Reuters.

Gary Davies, Ireland’s deputy data protection commissioner, denied Facebook’s investment in Ireland had influenced regulation of the company.

“We have handled this in a highly professional and focused way and we have brought about huge changes in the way Facebook handles personal data,” he told Reuters.

Facebook did not immediately respond to a request for comment. It is due to hold a conference call later on Tuesday to answer customer concerns about its privacy policy, which will include representatives from Facebook Ireland.

LOSING PATIENCE

Schrems, who has filed 22 complaints with the Irish regulator, said more than 40,000 Facebook users who had requested a copy of the data Facebook was holding on them had not received anything several months after making a request.

The law student also questioned why Facebook had only switched off facial recognition for users in the European Union, even though Ireland is the headquarters for all of Facebook’s users outside the United States and Canada.

Facebook is under pressure to reverse a trend of slowing revenue growth by selling more valuable advertising, which requires better profiling of its users.

Investors are losing patience with the social network, whose shares have dropped 40 percent in value since the company’s record-breaking $104 billion initial public offering in May.

Last month, Facebook proposed to combine its user data with that of its recently acquired photo-sharing service Instagram, loosen restrictions on emails between its members and share data with other businesses and affiliates that it owns.

Facebook is also facing a class-action lawsuit in the United States, where it is charged with violating privacy rights by publicizing users’ “likes” without giving them a way to opt out.

A U.S. judge late on Monday gave his preliminary approval to a second attem! pt to se ttle the case by paying users up to $10 each out of a settlement fund of $20 million.

Ireland also hosts the European headquarters of other high-tech firms including Microsoft and Google thanks to generous tax breaks.

Europe-v-facebook said it believed its Irish lawsuit had the potential to become a test case for data protection law and had a good chance of landing up in the European Court of Justice.

Schrems said the case could cost the group around 100,000 euros ($130,000), which it hoped to raise via crowd-funding – money provided by a collection of individuals – on the Internet.

(Additional reporting by Conor Humphries in Dublin; Editing by Mark Potter)

(This story was corrected to fix the headline, lead and the first paragraph to show that the campaign group plans to sue Irish regulator, not Facebook, in the first instance)

Copyright (2012) Thomson Reuters. Click for restrictions

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Tuesday, December 4th, 2012 news No Comments

Staples Is Getting Amazon Lockers

Source: http://gizmodo.com/5958020/staples-is-getting-amazon-lockers

Amazon lockers are a great new idea, allowing people to pick up their parcels when it suits them. Now, Amazon has announced that it’s rolling out the scheme across the Staples chain, too.

Reuters reports that the office supply stores will be the latest string of locations to feature Amazon’s ultra-convenient pick-up system. When we tried them out last month, we were convinced:

The lockers are stupidly simple. You can even have your locker code texted to you when your order arrives. It doesn’t cost anything-standard, one-, and two-day shipping is available for free if you’re on Prime. If you have the need for a surrogate mailbox, using Lockers is pretty much a no-brainer.

Amazon has already partnered with other stores in the US— including 7-Eleven, Rite-Aid, Safeway, and Walgreen’s—but Staples is a biggy. Just don’t mention that Amazon is stealing custom from right under its nose, because that would be rude—and at any rate, you can be sure some serious cash is changing hands to set this scheme up. [Reuters]

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Tuesday, November 6th, 2012 news No Comments

Meet Nestle’s Squadron of Internet Comment Warriors

Source: http://gizmodo.com/5955484/meet-nestles-squadron-of-internet-comment-warriors

Meet Nestle's Squadron of Internet Comment Warriors Every company has to deal with people who talk about it on the Internet, and different ones handle it differently. Nestle for instance, maintains an elite team of Digital Accelerators that, as an article by Reuters reveals, watches the wide world of Internet comments like a hawk.

The Digital Acceleration Team, comprised of over two dozen people, is located in Nestle’s HQ in Switzerland where they man a control room outfitted with all manner of displays, keeping a close eye on the words of commenters across the globe, and deciding when to intervene.

From Reuters:

Pete Blackshaw, 47-year old head of digital marketing and global media, is in charge. On a recent weekday, the American and his staff of 30 to 40-year-olds were monitoring the online action on such topics as the latest cute dog photo on the Purina pet food website, or who was drinking Nescafe.

…”If there is a negative issue emerging, it turns red,” says Blackshaw, indicating a screen powered by software from Salesforce.com Inc., which is also used by such brands as Dell computers and delivery company UPS. It captures millions of posts each day on topics of interest to Nestle.

Nestle insists that it neither pays pro-Nestle bloggers nor buys fake fans and followers. Instead, it merely supports a group of professional browsers to comb over the most mundane references to the company day after day, week after week. Historically, Nestle has had some serious enemies, so the lengths to which they’re going might not be too far out, but it’s still wild to imagine the control room devoted to this monitoring, and knowing it actually exists.

You can read more about how this team works over at Reuters, and even see pictures of their super serious-looking office. Commenting about Nestle is serious business. [Reuters]

Image by PozitivStudija/Shutterstock

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Sunday, October 28th, 2012 news No Comments

up 22 percent thanks to smart TVs and other new markets

Source: http://www.engadget.com/2012/10/23/arm-q3-2012-financials/

ARM posts healthy Q3 profits up 22 percent thanks to 'inroads' into new markets

UK chip designer ARM has just revealed its accounts for Q3 2012 and they show a familiar pattern: namely, a double-digit rise in both revenue (up 20 percent to £144.6 million) and pre-tax earnings (up 22 percent to £68.1 million).

Developing…

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ARM posts healthy Q3 profits: up 22 percent thanks to smart TVs and other new markets originally appeared on Engadget on Tue, 23 Oct 2012 03:00:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Tuesday, October 23rd, 2012 news No Comments

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