Industry Roundup

1. A New Page Has Turned: Google CEO Larry Page has stated that every employee’s bonus depends on the success of the company’s social media strategy. Google has failed thus far on the social media front and are concerned with the success of Facebook and Twitter. Products such as OpenSocial, Dodgeball, Buzz, Wave, Jaiku and others have all been misses and were unable to compete in the social space. Page says, “This is a joint effort so it’s important that we all get behind it.” +1 is Google’s most recent effort, which is a similar feature to Facebook’s “Like” button and is described as a “social search service.” Read this article for more info.

2. Facebook Friends: Facebook is hoping to improve its relationship with several news media companies. They hope to spread their reach and through the “Like” button allow users to more easily share content and read important world news on Facebook. Many of the news sites could use a boost in traffic, and their partnership with Facebook would do just that. Chief Opertaing Officer Sheryl Sandberg said, “In a world where people are spending so much time on Facebook…we want news to be a big part of that.” Check out more on the story here on Yahoo News.

3. 365 Days, 377 Percent Increase: Social Media’s new favorite number is 377, as their combined value increased by an amazing 377% this past year. Companies such as Groupon, Zynga, Facebook and Twitter have enjoyed tremendous jumps from 2010 to 2011. Zynga has raised 80% to 8 billion, Facebook grew 57% to $65 billion, Twitter is up 7.7% to $4 billion and Linkedin went up 43.4% to $2.2 billion. Check it out.

4. YouTube gets a British Accent: YouTube is preparing for the internet’s takeover of the television (or as the Brits would say, “The Tube”). YouTube is reorganizing its content around “Channels” and Google apparently willing to spend up to $100 million to produce high quality content for TV’s that will allow people to watch the internet in their living rooms. Some believe YouTube would like to compete with broadcast and cable television. Read more about YouTube’s new direction and the meeting of TV and the internet it here.

5. Rodeo or Google Drive?: Google is expanding its SoCal reach by opening up a 13, 465 square foot office in Beverly Hills. It will host Google’s entertainment division. Google will move in by the end of 2011, and have signed an 11-year contract with the city. Google wants to get more involved with the entertainment industry, and along with GoogleTV and their attempt to create original content for YouTube, this is a further sign of their desire to strengthen their entertainment reach. Also, Google recently signed a lease for more than 100,000 square feet of offices in several Venice locations. Google is SoCal.

6. iFight: Time Warner Cable and Viacom are in a legal battle over the iPad. Viacom hopes to block Time Warner from streaming its cable channels on the iPad. Time Warner has asked a federal court to rule that they are legally able to stream Viacom’s content, and the fight is heating up between these two giant media empires. Time Warner’s new iPad app allows users to watch live TV on the tablet. iSue.

7. Xoomsday: Motorola’s Xoom is having a very slow lift-off. The tablet is running Android’s Honeycomb software and has sold a mere 100,000 in its first six weeks. Apple’s iPad has sold between 2 and 3 million in its first four weeks on the market. Rhoda Alexander of IHS said, “At this point, it’s still a one-horse race.” No Xoom Boom yet.

8. Hack Attack: The Hacking Group called “Anonymous,” and an off-shoot of the group, has targeted Sony websites and executives in what it calls, “Operation Payback.” Sony had sued Hacker GeoHot for sharing “jailbreaking” tools that allow users to run unauthorized software on the Play Station 3. Anonymous believes Sony violated the “privacy of thousands” by attempting to find out who downloaded the jailbreaking tools, and have warned Sony to “Expect us.” Read more about it here.

9. A Rod, Kobe, Brady, and Jobs: Apple’s iPad and iPhone will now offer live ESPN content. Those who subscribe are able to watch live ESPN TV on their pad or phone. “WatchESPN” is now available in the app store, and this is yet another step forward in the move to mobile. This is a very exicting development for sports fans and techies everywhere. Check it out!

10. What’s Your Vice?: Tom Freston is a media giant who is largely responsible for MTV’s success and the start of the The Daily Show. Freston is a former Viacom CEO and has now invested in Vice, a small media company that he’s been interested in for many years. Freston believes Vice has huge international potential, and it’s main demographic are men who are 20-something hipsters. With Freston behind Vice, it is a real possibility that the company could take off. Hipsters 2.0

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Industry Round-up: 4.4.2011

GOOGLE

No stranger to the public eye, Google has been keeping busy this week with several announcements about feature upgrades, patents and leadership changes, just to name a few:

  • Google has added imagery of a number of historic sites in Italy and France to Street View. The integration with Google Maps includes 360-degree displays and a street-level view of locations all around the world.
  • Google has announced changes to how it displays ads in Gmail, which should increase the quality of the ads, ultimately resulting in fewer ads shown per person.
  • Google has agreed to buy Nortel’s approximately 6,000 patents, a portfolio that includes a wide array of wireless, 4G, semiconductor and data networking IP. Canada-based Nortel Networks was once one of the largest telecom companies on the planet, worth $398 billion at its peak during the dot-com boom. The stock crashed and burned and the company was not able to recover. It filed for bankruptcy in 2009 and has been selling off its assets to pay back creditors.
  • Google co-founder Larry Page replaced Eric Schmidt as CEO of the company Monday. Schmidt will continue as the executive chairman. Page was already the CEO of Google once, and has had a leading role since the company’s beginning.  it does raise questions of how the company will change under the new CEO.
  • Google’s announced that it’s adding a “+1” button to incorporate sentiment into its search results in an attempt to make search results more germane.

GODADDY

Normally, GoDaddy flies under the PR radar until Superbowl time, but this week, the web hosting giant has been making waves…and not in a good way:

  • A video of GoDaddy CEO Bob Parsons shooting an elephant in Zimbabwe made the rounds Thursday, causing the domain registry company to become the subject of criticism. Since the video surfaced, GoDaddy has yet to address the PR nightmare, but  rival Network Solutions has offered a spirited, albeit unlikely, retort via its celebrity spokeswoman Cloris Leachman.
  • Here’s the original video. WARNING..it’s a little graphic!

APPLE

Tech-giant Apple remains in the news this week with rumors swirling around the iPhone 5.

  • In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, Sir Howard Stringer, CEO of Sony, accidentally told everyone in the world that his company will be supplying image sensors for Apple‘s iPhone 5.
  • For the latest in iPhone 5 rumors, check out this awesome infographic from the folks over at Nowhere Else, via Mashable.

TWITTER TRENDS OF THE WEEK

Top 10 Twitter Trends for 4.4.2011


OTHER NEWSWORTHY EVENTS….

  • Shawna Redden had a harrowing couple of hours tonight when a six-foot hole was ripped in the top of a Southwest flight she took on Saturday night. The hole resulted in the loss of cabin pressure. Redden documented the whole experience via pictures shared on TwitPic. They can be seen here.
  • Epsilon, the world’s largest permission-based email marketing services company that serves TiVo users and many more, reported a breach in its security Friday, and the list of companies affected keeps on growing. TiVo users had a rude awakening this morning, finding out the email address they’d given to TiVo as part of their account registration had been compromised.

That’s all the news that’s fit to print. Check back next week for more interesting stories from the digital world!


News Update: Google Glitch Causes .08% of Gmail Users to Lose Email, Logs, Hope.

Wow. 150,000 gmail fans are pressing the dislike button this morning after discovering that their accounts are now empty. Of course this news has to happen RIGHT as I publish my roundup. Such is life.

Luckily, an ex-mouseketeer (yes, live THAT one down JT) sums it up for me with the chorus from this one:

Check out this story for more details. This sounds like rough-going for engineers down in Mountain View. Google has stated that tech teams are now working to restore service and access, so cross your fingers for the folks who have been cut off.

Lifehacker brings some levity to this and reminds us to SAVE. SAVE. SAVE.


Industry Roundup Part Deux – American Institutions Under Attack

Is it a full moon?  Have we been transported back to 1911? It might feel like that with some of the non-tech related headlines grabbing attention this week. They all seem to have one thing in common though, republicans.  It is just really too much to ignore, so it must be included in this weeks headlines. I will add that the opinions expressed here are my own.

Do you like weekends? Most people do. Except Wisconsin’s new Republican governor Scott Walker who wants to break unions. (Just a reminder that unions are why we have weekends and children are no longer day laborers — just sayin’).

Do you appreciate ‘Sesame Street’ and ‘Morning Edition‘? Shows broadcast by the beloved National Public Media that republicans feel should no longer be national or funded. That includes PBS and NPR. ‘Sesame Street’, ‘This American Life’, ‘Which Way LA’, ‘All Things Considered‘, and some of the best unbiased reporting are at stake.

The internet is pretty cool. Log on, go anywhere, see anything, publish whatever. Net Neutrality insures this continues. Again, republicans are not fond of the FCC’s efforts to maintain a free internet highway. They feel that though the American people have already paid through tax dollars to lay the cable of the cable companies, that the cable companies should be able to charge more for the use of the internet and possible even control the content.

Woman’s rights have long since been secured and fought for. The leading non-profit providing basic medical services of all kinds to women who do not have healthcare, Planned Parenthood, is another American institution that republicans feel should no longer be funded. It is not just about abortions, which are in fact a small part of their operation. (Besides, forcing women to have children guarantees they will make excellent parents and not end up on welfare; another program republicans would like to cut.) Are we in 1911 in Iraq? No, I didn’t think so. I am starting to wonder though.

Remember after 9/11 when Americans watched the New York Stock Exchange open once more sending a message to the nation that America was back in business? The icon of American commerce, New York Stock Exchange, got sold this week to a German company. I am sure republicans had something to do with that too.

Republican or not, I have to believe that the majority of Americans whatever their party lines are, have to wonder if this leadership truly represents what people want.

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By Desdemona Bandini