Archives: September 2007

Facebook to Let Us Be Choosier About Friends

Posted by: Rob Hof on September 30, Categories: Facebook, Social Media, social networks

In the works at Facebook, according to an official posting, is a way to "sort out your friends"--something many people have been asking about for awhile as older folks join...

Apples and Orifices

Posted by: Stephen Wildstrom on September 28, Categories: Apple Computer

At the D Conference in May, 2006, Apple CEO Steve Jobs, explaining why Apple would not get into the handset business, famously denounced wireless carriers as "orifices" that choked the...

OS Skirmishes, Browser Wars

Posted by: Stephen Wildstrom on September 26, Categories: Firefox

I don't know how much extrapolation I can safely do based on what I have seen at an elite tech conference, but my observations at the DEMOfall 07 conference, which...

Vonage Gets Another Black Eye

Posted by: Olga Kharif on September 25, Categories: VOIP

For Vonage, things have gone from bad to worse. On Sept. 25, a jury found that Vonage infringed on Sprint Nextel's patents. It asked Vonage to pay $69.5 million in damages and a 5% royalty rate for future use of the patented technology. Sprint may also seek an injunction against Vonage; Vonage say it will appeal. So, what does this mean for Vonage? Basically, Vonage will need to find its way to break even faster now, as its cash has taken a major hit and it can't afford to lose money for much longer.

Just a Few More Questions on Facebook

Posted by: Rob Hof on September 24, Categories: Facebook

... in the wake of stories about Microsoft's play for a piece of the company. There are probably perfectly good answers, but I don't have them yet. Feel free to...

Facebook Still Dancing for Dollars

Posted by: Rob Hof on September 24, Categories: Facebook

After failing to pony up enough money to buy Facebook a few months ago, Microsoft is now looking to buy just a piece, according to the Wall Street Journal (subscription...

Wiretapping for Dollars

Posted by: Rob Hof on September 24, Categories: Privacy, Skype, VOIP, telecom

No, it's no joke: A company called Pudding Media is offering people free Internet phone service if they allow advertisers to pitch them ads based on the content of...

Integrating the High End: HP vs. Dell

Posted by: Stephen Wildstrom on September 21, Categories: Personal Computers

In 2006, Dell and Hewlett-Packard both went after PC makers specializing in high-end gaming systems. Dell bought Alienware and HP acquired Voodoo. Dell's strategy remains opaque, with a lack of...

A TV That Listens Up

Posted by: Olga Kharif on September 20, Categories: TV

TV maker Westinghouse Digital Electronics just polled 1,200 people about what features they'd like to see in their TV. Voice recognition topped the list: People want to be able to tell the TV to tune to Super Bowl, or to start taping a show. I bet that if a product like that comes out, sales would go through the roof.

Web 2.Uh-Oh?

Posted by: Rob Hof on September 18, Categories: Entrepreneurship, TechCrunch, Web 2.0, startups

Fred Wilson, a VC who has sometimes thrown cold water on the notion that there's a new bubble in Web investment, is now getting worried that a downturn is coming...

Disney Mobile: Another MVNO In Trouble

Posted by: Olga Kharif on September 18, Categories: wireless

It looks like Disney is evaluating whether to keep its Disney Mobile effort going. Frankly, I am not surprised: Disney's offering just hasn't been differentiated enough to attract more users.

Microsoft and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good , Very Bad Week

Posted by: Stephen Wildstrom on September 18, Categories: Microsoft

Things are not going well for the colossus of Redmond. The European Court of First Instance has upheld a $613 million fine for antitrust violations. Now IBM, which Microsoft drove...

Facebook Launches Fund for Applications Developers

Posted by: Rob Hof on September 17, Categories:

Speaking at TechCrunch40, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg popped out a surprise announcement minutes ago: The company, with Facebook investors Jim Breyer of Accel Partners and Peter Thiel of the Founders...

Flock: Social Network Aggregator?

Posted by: Rob Hof on September 17, Categories: social networks

I've occasionally used Flock, the Web browser you've probably never heard of, but hadn't had a compelling reason to do so regularly. Today at TechCrunch40, Flock CEO Shawn Hardin demonstrated...

Another Big Yahoo! Acquisition: Zimbra

Posted by: Rob Hof on September 17, Categories: Yahoo

Yahoo's continuing its acquisition tear with the $350 million acquisition of Zimbra, the highly regarded (and highly funded) online office-productivity applications. Clearly, Yahoo's cofounder and new CEO Jerry Yang has...

Britney, Paris, and Web 2.0 Demos

Posted by: Rob Hof on September 17, Categories: TechCrunch

I'm at the TechCrunch40 conference in San Francisco this morning, and the third of only the first five startups demonstrating their new services is doing so with references to Britney...

Yahoo Tries Social Networking... Again

Posted by: Rob Hof on September 16, Categories: Facebook, Yahoo, social networks

I just got an invite from Mike Speiser, Yahoo's VP of community, to join its newest social network, called Mash. Actually, he created a profile for me, illustrating an interesting...

Xsigo Systems -- The Next New Data Center Star?

Posted by: Peter Burrows on September 13, Categories: Data Centers

Keep an eye on Xsigo Systems, a new start-up that just had its coming out party after three years of developing its product. It makes what it calls an I/O...

Does Google Need the gPhone?

Posted by: Olga Kharif on September 13, Categories: wireless

Does Google even need to come out with the gPhone? One expert believes it does not, anymore.

Showtime for Yahoo Hacks

Posted by: Rob Hof on September 12, Categories: Yahoo

And you thought Yahoo! wasn't a tech company? Just a warmed-over old-media company? Maybe there's some truth there, but it's not the whole story. There are still a lot of...

New Cell Phone Display to Conserve Battery Power

Posted by: Olga Kharif on September 12, Categories: mobile computing

A start-up called Unipixel has developed a new approach to making cell phone displays, currently consuming the majority of a device's battery power. If the start-up's technology works, we could enter an era of longer mobile phone battery life and more sophisticated, larger displays.

Yet Another Social Networking Invite. Kill Me Now.

Posted by: Rob Hof on September 12, Categories: Facebook, Google, Marc Andreessen, Yahoo, social networks

Just got an invite to Yet Another Social Networking Service, called Quechup. I'd heard some buzz about it, so I decided to check it out. Ack, a dating site. Oh,...

Facebook Looking for Even More Funding?

Posted by: Rob Hof on September 11, Categories: Facebook

So says Kara Swisher at allthingsd.com, and I wouldn't be surprised, despite the fact that it's likely to do $150 million in revenues this year. You raise money when you...

The iPod Touch--Phoneless Phone, PDA, or What?

Posted by: Stephen Wildstrom on September 11, Categories: Apple Computer

So exactly what sort of beast is the iPod Touch going to be when it surfaces later this month? When he unveiled it last week, Steve Jobs made it sound...

Will Apple Benefit From The iPhone Price Cut?

Posted by: Olga Kharif on September 07, Categories: Apple Computer

Consultancy Compete just came out with data indicating that, thanks to Apple's recent price cut, 18% vs. 8% of consumers would be interested in buying the iPhone now. What will this mean for Apple's financial performance? Here's my back-of-the-envelope calculation.

Crazy Like A Fox

Posted by: Stephen Wildstrom on September 07, Categories: Apple Computer

So does anyone believe that Steve Jobs' announcement yesterday of a $100 credit for folks who bought iPhones before the $200 price cut was really a spontaneous response to angry...

Apple's Puzzling iPhone Moves

Posted by: Olga Kharif on September 05, Categories: Apple Computer

Apple made several surprising announcements relating to the iPhone today. The company said it will cut the price on the 8 Gigabyte device by $200, to $399. At the same time, it will phase out the 4 Gigabyte model, costing $499. The announcements leave me puzzled.

Targeting You: Yahoo Moves Deeper into Behaviorial Targeting with BlueLithium Purchase

Posted by: Rob Hof on September 04, Categories: Google, Microsoft, Yahoo, advertising, behavioral targeting

With the $300 million purchase of ad network BlueLithium today, Yahoo! is moving further into targeting ads based on people's online behavior. Behavioral targeting, as it's known, helps marketers track...

The Future of Palm

Posted by: Stephen Wildstrom on September 04, Categories: mobile computing

While I agree with my colleague Cliff Edwards' post saying the Palm made the right move in canceling the Foleo "companion device," I'm considerably less sanguine about how much help...

Palm Cancels Foleo

Posted by: Cliff Edwards on September 04, Categories: mobile computing

Looks like Palm finally wised up and decided Jeff Hawkins' new baby was indeed worth throwing out with the bath water. In a post on the company's blog, CEO Ed...

Tracking Stephen Dukker's Thin Client Dreams

Posted by: Peter Burrows on September 03, Categories: Personal Computers

Dukker, then CEO of eMachines, helped make the PC affordable for millions in the 1990s by pioneering the market for PCs priced as low as $400. But when PC market...

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BusinessWeek writers Peter Burrows, Cliff Edwards, Olga Kharif, Aaron Ricadela, Douglas MacMillan, and Spencer Ante dig behind the headlines to analyze what’s really happening throughout the world of technology. One of the first mainstream media tech blogs, Tech Beat covers everything from tech bellwethers like Apple, Google, and Intel and emerging new leaders such as Facebook to new technologies, trends, and controversies.

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