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Showing posts from 2012

Facebook stock likely to get boost from inclusion in Nasdaq 100

Social-networking company's stock will be added to stock market's collection of largest companies on December 12.

Facebook's stock might be getting another boost soon, thanks to Nasdaq. The social-networking company is set to replace Infosys on the Nasdaq 100, the collection of the largest 100 nonfinancial companies trading on the stock exchange. The company will be added to the index on December 12, according to CNBC, roughly seven months after its difficult IPO. In addition to being an apparent nod toward the company's growing influence in the tech community, the move is also expected to lead to a stock price uptick as index fund managers snap up the stock to ensure that their fund reflects the makeup of the Nasdaq 100.A Facebook representative declined to comment on the move. After going public in May at $38 a share, the company's stock was stuck on a largely downward trajectory, trading below $18 in early September. Since early November, the shares have experie…

Apple sacks two-per-customer rule for iPhone 5

As supply chain issues come under control and unlocked models of the device are available, the tech giant lets customers buy more than just two iPhone 5 smartphones at a time.

The "limit two per customer" rule became conspicuously absent from the iPhone 5 order form on Apple's Web store today. It seems that supply has finally met up with demand and the tech giant is letting people order the device willy-nilly. Not only has the two-per-customer limit been removed, but the 10-phone per lifetime limit has also been lifted, according to MacRumors. Now, MacRumors reports, customers are limited to ten devices for each transaction and no lifetime limit. Apple started selling unlocked iPhone 5 smartphones last week, which frees users from being tethered to a network. Users can instead insert a nano-SIM card from any supported carrier into the smartphone and it will be ready for use anywhere around the world.It's likely that many of the customers who will be buying the iPhone…

Yahoo acquires tiny mobile video-chat startup OnTheAir

Buyout of five-person company appears to be geared toward beefing up the Web pioneer's engineering ranks rather than getting a hold of the startup's technology.

Continuing CEO Marissa Mayer's march toward all things mobile, Yahoo has acquired tiny mobile video-chat startup OnTheAir. Yahoo snapped up the San Francisco-based startup today, the five-employee companyannounced on its Web site. Yahoo confirmed the acquisition, its second since Mayer took over as chief executive this past July. "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," the company wrote. The mobile market is growing rapidly, and Mayer has said the space is integral to Yahoo's future growth.Our top priority is a focused, coherent mobile strategy," she said during a quarterly earnings conference call, adding that one-half of the company's technical work force will one day …

Apple's Eddy Cue lets go of $8.76M in stock

Apple's iTunes and iCloud chief has sold off a healthy chunk of stock, but he's still got plenty of shares tucked away. Apple's iTunes, iCloud, and Maps chief, Eddy Cue, let go of a portion of company stock last Friday, a new filing shows. According to a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission this afternoon, Cue sold off 15,000 shares last week, worth just under $584 apiece on average. The total sale was worth just less than $8.76 million. Cue was promoted to senior vice president last September, a month after Tim Cook took the helm as CEO. As part of the promotion Cue oversaw iTunes, iCloud, iAd, and Apple's iBookstore. With an executive shuffle in November, Cue was also given responsibility of Apple's Siri voice assistant product, as well as its homegrown mapping service as part of an "online services" group. Before making too much out of last week's sale, consider that Cue was given a hearty bonus of 100,000 restricted stock units

Microsoft Surface sales may exceed 1M in Q4, says reseacher

Microsoft's first PC product is expected to see sales of more than 1 million units in the fourth quarter

Microsoft's Surface RT tablet is expected to see sales of more than a million units in the fourth quarter, IHS iSuppli told CNET today. "We see estimated sales of 1.3 million" in the quarter, Rhoda Alexander, an analyst at IHS iSuppli, said in a phone interview today. The fourth quarter still has a few weeks left. "I would be surprised to see it much above that," she added as a qualifier. The Surface RT version of Microsoft's tablet first went on sale October 26, well into the fourth quarter, so sales of over a million would have occurred in roughly two months. By comparison, Google's Nexus 7 tablet, which went on sale in June, started at a pace of about 500,000 units a month and is now selling at close to 1 million per month. The Nexus 7 has an entry-level price of $199, whereas the Surface RT tablet -- which runs a limited version ofWindows 8 -…

PlayStation 3 is 'largest TV-connected platform' for Netflix

Do you enjoy Netflix at home? Chances are good you're watching the streaming video service through a PlayStation 3.

Three years after Sony introduced Netflix for the PlayStation 3, the two companies jointly announced today that the gaming system stands as the most popular option for delivering the service to the living room. "PS3 is our largest TV-connected platform in terms of Netflix viewing, and this year, at times, even surpassed the PC in hours of Netflix enjoyment to become our number one platform overall," Netflix CEO Reed Hastings said. "PS3 is a natural fit for Netflix in terms of developing and first deploying our most advanced features. We can transparently update our application with new features on a daily basis."Netflix often uses the PlayStation 3 as a test bed for advanced features. In the past, the PS3 was the first gaming console to deliver 1080p video with 5.1-channel Dolby Digital Plus surround sound from Netflix, as well as other features i…

Google grants $23M to nonprofits in new award program

The funds go to will go to philanthropic organizations tackling big global programs using novel applications of technology.Google today announced a new charitable grant programdesigned to help solve big problems using technology.
Today the company announced its first round of Global Impact Awards, granting $23 million to seven organizations it says are changing the world. "Technology has dramatically improved our lives -- from the speed at which we get things done to how we connect with others," said Jacqueline Fuller, director of giving at Google, in a blog post. "Yet innovations in medicine, business and communications have far outpaced tech-enabled advances in the nonprofit sector." The awards attempt to change that. The beneficiaries are: charity: water. The organization that promotes access to clean water got $5 million to install remote sensors at 4,000 water points across Africa, monitoring and recording water flows to improve access for more than 1 million p…

The skinny on Netflix-Disney deal

Disney said today that it has signed an exclusive film distribution deal with Netflix starting in 2016.
Netflix is finally getting access to movies directly from a top Hollywood studio. Here are some frequently asked questions to help understand what the deal means.

Netflix will become the only U.S. subscription TV service to offer films from Pixar, Marvel, Walt Disney Animation and Disneynature. Wall Street seemed overjoyed by the news. Netflix shares rose 14 percent following the announcement. To help readers better understand the deal, CNET has put together this FAQ. Why is this agreement special? 
It's the first time that Netflix has acquired access to relatively newer movies from one of Hollywood's top six film studios. Netflix has plenty of titles produced by the major studios, but they're decades old. In three years, Netflix's streaming service will offer access to movies from Disney right after they're made available for sale and rental. This is a period when …

AOL snaps up advertising company Buysight

Looking to hone its advertising savvy, the Web giant acquires a startup with know-how on online ad targeting and retargeting.

AOL upped its advertising cache today by announcing that it bought Buysight, an ad company that focuses on retargeted and intent-based targeted advertising. Buysight will be folded into AOL's Group. This group works on ad technology for desktop, mobile, tablets, and Internet connected televisions. "We strongly believe that both brand and performance display, as well as mobile and video campaigns benefit from dynamic, targeted creatives and messaging," Group CEO Ned Brody said in a statement. "The acquisition of Buysight brings proven Dynamic Creative Optimization and machine learning capabilities which will further enhance AdLearn, our market-leading optimization engine."Buysight was founded four years ago in Sunnyvale, Calif. The goal of the company was to use online data and make tailored ads that would …

Forget about the Mars rover -- how about we build a Death Star?

Petition posted to the White House's We The People platform advocates construction of the universe's ultimate weapon as a way to boost the economy.

In the off-chance that during their deep-space explorations, the Voyager spacecrafts encounter an Alderaan-like planet that the U.S. government deems ripe for destruction, a petition has been created that advocates the construction of a Death Star. With the U.S. approaching the "fiscal cliff," backers suggest that creation of the universe's ultimate weapon might give the economy a much-needed boost, according to the petition hosted on the White House's We The People platform.  By focusing our defense resources into a space-superiority platform and weapon system such as a Death Star, the government can spur job creation in the fields of construction, engineering, space exploration, and more, and strengthen our national defense. The petition offers no estimates on how much it will cost or how long it will take to co…

Amazon makes kid play with new Kindle subscription service

Kindle FreeTime Unlimited serves up kids books, games, apps, movies and TV shows to Prime members for $2.99 a month -- or $6.99 per Family.
In a bold experiment to differentiate its tablets from the competition, Amazon has launched a new service called Kindle FreeTime Unlimited, which is geared towards 3-8 year-olds and allows kids to access a wide assortment of books, games, apps, and video content after parents ante up a monthly fee. Amazon is initially offering FreeTime Unlimited, which costs Prime members $2.99 per month per child -- or $6.99 per family -- on the Kindle Fire (2012), Kindle Fire HD, and Kindle Fire Fire HD 8.9. If you're not a Prime member, the monthly fee jumps to $4.99 and $10.99 respectively. The name of the service is a bit oblique. FreeTime is a parental-control feature on the latest Kindle tablets that allows parents to manage how much time their children spend on Kindle tablets and what content they interact with (you can opt to turn off the Web browser…

Windows 8 touch PC demand strong

Touch-screen WIndows 8 PCs are in demand. In fact, PC makers can't get enough supply of some models.

Demand for Windows 8 touch-screen PCs is strong, according to two analysts who spoke with CNET. "Touch machines are actually selling above expectations," said Bob O'Donnell, a program vice president at IDC. And that means supply shortages. "Some vendors are actually facing shortages because touch panels are in limited supply. Vendors are saying they can't get as many touch-based machines as they would like to meet the demand that they're seeing." Rhoda Alexander, an analyst at IHS iSuppli, echoed O'Donnell's comments. "We've talked to a number of PC makers that are having trouble obtaining touch panels and some of the vendors I've talked to said they can't keep them on the shelf," she said. And Microsoft has said as much. Tami Reller, chief marketing and financial officer for Windows,said last week that there are "n…

New Xbox this time next year?

Microsoft could be readying the next Xbox for this time next year, 3D printing comes to Staples, and we say goodbye to Nintendo Power.

Microsoft might have a new Xbox for the 2013 holiday season.

new report from Bloomberg suggests that Microsoft might be readying the successor to the Xbox 360 for the 2013 holiday season. We here at CNET have been speculating the company might do the big unveiling at E3 2013 next summer and then set up a release shortly after. Some of the rumored features of the next Xbox -- aside from an obvious bump in performance -- are a Blu-ray drive and a more precise version of Kinect. Industry site has discovered some information about the iPhone 5's LTE functionality. Apparently, Apple will not permit LTE to work in the phone until the carrier it resides on is properly vetted. Meaning Apple could essentially prevent the phone from using LTE if the company isn't satisfied with a specific network's performance. 3D printing is coming to …

Redbox Instant's full launch won't be until spring 2013

The video streaming and DVD rental service aiming to compete with Netflix won't be commercially available until next year, however its public beta should be ready within the next month.

It looks like the rumor mill was a little off this time -- Verizon's Redbox Instant won't be launching this month, as was previously speculated but rather in 2013. However, its public beta should be good to go within the next few weeks. Verizon chairman and CEO Lowell McAdam announced today at an investor conference that after public beta testing the commercial launch of the video streaming and DVD rental service should kick off either at the end of 2013's first quarter or the beginning of the second quarter, according to The Hollywood Reporter."We are in the process of internal employee beta testing right now and we are very pleased with the progress," McAdam said at the conference. "I think later this month into the first part of January, we will open it up to customers…

Google's Schmidt sends Apple message about 'adult way to run a business'

Eric Schmidt describes uneven ties between the smartphone rivals and registers surprise at recent Apple decisions governing their relationship.

Hard to believe that at one time in the not-very-distant past, Apple's board of directors included one Eric Schmidt, at the time the chief executive of Google.Of course, Schmidt's stint as a board membercame to an end in 2009as Google began to more directly compete against Apple. The ensuing war of words between the companies shows little ebb, and in an interview with The Wall Street Journal today, Schmidt, now Google's executive chairman, used the occasion to gob-smack Apple around just a bit, contrasting the way the two companies manage their business decisions.
Alluding to the "on and off" relationship between Apple and Google in the last year, Schmidt expressed surprise at Apple's decision to stop using Google's map app in iOS6, a decision that led to much embarrassment in September after users reported getting…