Monthly Archives: July 2010

Google Spent $1.1 Billion On Startup Acquisitions (So Far)

Google has spent $1.1 billion in the first half of 2010 on startup acquisitions alone.  The company has bought 22 startups so far this year.   However, the majority of the amount was spent in the somewhat recently completed acquisition of mobile ad service AdMob.

Google’s acquisition spree has been geared towards smaller startups, but Google did list 20 of its acquisitions under one lump sum totaling $293 million which is an average of $14.7 million per deal.  Another interesting fact revealed by Google was that its AdMob acquisition cost was in fact less than the previously announced price of $750 million.  The closing price of the AdMob acquisition came in at $681 million, consisting of Google stock and $26 million in cash.

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Why You’re Not Gettin’ Any: Donations

Once you have established yourself on the Internet, you will surely find yourself incurring fees and expenses in maintaining your website. Be it for materials for projects, fees for hosting, or simply your time, you will want to be compensated and reimbursed for your efforts. Sure, you could load your site with ads, but that disturbs the design of your site and can make it look cluttered. Because of this, you may want to seek donation from your visitors. However, getting donations to cover all of your costs can often be a futile process.

You have to consider that people are not going to donate if they do not feel that you and your site are worthy of their money. This being, your content or product (such as a donationware application) needs to truly stand out from similar content or products on the Internet. In line with this concept, you also have to show dedication the the content or product that you are providing. If you do not put a significant amount of time and effort into producing your “labor of love”, then people will not see it worthy of donating towards. This being, no one is going to donate money towards a blog that is rarely posted to or an application that is infrequently updated.

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Review: Vuzix Wrap 310 Video Glasses

Whenever you think of video glasses, you think of the future. You think of being able to whip out a pair of RayBans and watch your favorite movies and TV Shows. Well we are not yet there style wise, but we do have a line of video glasses from the company Vuzix. The Wrap 310’s are apart of this line and come in at a steep $249.95 USD. You are probably not going to want to wear these out of your house (maybe an airplane), but nonetheless, they are still very cool.

The glasses come with a nice carrying pouch, a cord that seems to be a proprietary, two seperate earphones that connect individually to the glasses, and a remote that serves as an adapter so you can connect your iPhone/iPod/iPad and even your gaming console (adapters for 30-pin products and RCA cables are included). The remote lets you control volume, brightness, contrast and much more features that you will likely find on your computer monitor’s settings. The view piece for the glasses sit slightly high up, so you can stills see the outside world when you look straight ahead.

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VaultPress Review: WordPress Backup

Recently, I signed up for VaultPress.  What is VaultPress?  It is a subscription-based protection, security and backup service for WordPress blogs and sites.  Subscriptions range from $15-$40/month.  Right now, if you sign up and are accepted into the private beta, you can get in at $15/month (Basic package) for the lifetime of your membership.  The Basic package is expected to be priced at $20/month once VaultPress opens to the public.

How does VaultPress work?  It’s super simple to setup.  Once you sign up, you download the custom plugin file which was created specifically for your site, upload it, and activate it.  That’s it.  It will now start backing up your entire WordPress install, plugins, themes, and database.  VaultPress keeps up to the minute snapshots which can easily be downloaded in the case you need to restore everything or just a single file.  Additionally, you can choose whether you want to download everything or just certain backed up data such as your plugins, uploads, database, or themes.

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Why You’re Not Gettin’ Any: Advertisers & Sponsors

Advertisers and sponsors are easily some of the most important aspects of a website or blog. Both give the administration behind the site crucial funding to not only continue their content, but improve it as well. For example, a blog funded by advertisers and sponsors has the ability to purchase products for review, and ultimately to expand their content. So what do you do to get advertisers and sponsors, and ultimately get the funding needed to better your site?

Off the bat, you have to put yourself in the shoes of a potential advertiser. Think about it. If you were an advertiser, would you rather have a billboard in a rarely ventured-to alley, or a billboard next to a busy freeway? Any advertiser is sure to choose the second option, meaning that in order for your site to be seen as worth while for them to advertise on, you need to have decent amounts of traffic. Because when it comes down to it, a potential advertiser is looking to get his or her ad seen by as many people as possible, while spending as little as possible to do so.

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Why You’re Not Gettin’ Any: Comments & Replies

So you’re finally to the point with your website where you’re getting a frequent and steady flow of visitors. But despite the number of people viewing your site and the amount of quality content that you have, you just aren’t seeing high numbers of comments or replies to your content. Without this type of activity, your site is likely to look like there’s little action and that you do not have a wide viewer base. So what do you do to encourage your viewers to participate more in your site?

First, you have to consider that one of the great things about the Internet is that it’s a two-way street. Unlike traditional media such as newspaper, magazines, and even television, the Internet allows for viewers to be a lot more interactive with the sites that they frequent. And because everyone seems to have an opinion on just about every topic or issue, there shouldn’t be any shortage of people willing to put in their two cents.

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Facebook Launches Q&A Service

Facebook is in the process of rolling out their brand new Q&A service called Questions.  Questions has been in development for months now as we saw with their request for beta testers.  Could this be the future of Facebook?  If Facebook can build up a decent quality database of questions with good answers, it may very likely prove to be a useful alternative to searching Google.  And with 500 million users, there is bound to be some smart people who can provide some decent answers.

Aside from the potential threat to Google, there is a more immediate effect to Yahoo Answers, Mahalo Answers, Quora, and everyone else who is crazed about Q&A type sites.  How will the new Questions portion of the site work?  You will be able to ask a question from a few locations on the site: the Questions tab that appears in the left navigation area, the publisher box which appears at the top of the page, and perhaps, most interestingly, the search box.  When you start typing a question into Facebook’s search box, the site will start displaying a list of similar questions that have already been asked on the site.  If your question doesn’t show up, or you just want to re-ask the same question, you can do that directly from the search box.

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Motorola Strikes Back At Apple: No Jacket Required

Motorola released a full page ad in the New York Times today in which they fired back at Apple’s claims that the Droid X also suffered from attenuation when held in a particular way.  The ad which read, “No Jacket Required” is clearly a shot at Apple.  To make it even more apparent, the ad goes on to list additional features which the Droid X has that the iPhone 4 does not citing things such as the 8MP camera with dual-LED flash, HD video capture with a built-in HDMI port, 3G mobile hotspot for up to 5 devices, etc.

At the bottom of the ad, Motorola states: “At Motorola, we believe a customer shouldn’t have to dress up their phone for it to work properly.  That’s why the Droid X comes with a dual antenna design.  The kind that allows you to hold the phone any way you like to make crystal clear calls without a bulky phone jacket.”  And if that wasn’t harsh enough for you, the ad goes on to say, “For us it’s just one those things that comes as a given when you’ve been making mobile phones for over 30 years.” Ouch.

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Why You’re Not Gettin’ Any: Website Visitors

So you bought a domain, got yourself web hosting, and designed a website. Now you have a beautifully website, but you just can’t figure out why you’re not getting any visitors? Does this sound like you? Well, today BestTechie is starting a five-part article series entitled “Why You’re Not Gettin’ Any”. These articles, which will be posted one per day, will cover the reasons why businesses and blogs have lacking online presence, and what you can do to improve yours.

Getting visitors to your site is the first step in building a successful online presence. This being, visitors and users are the people who not only view your content, but share it with others as well. But without visitors, your website is pretty much a sitting duck. So how do you get visitors?

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Should You Buy Apple’s Magic Trackpad?

Should you buy an Apple Magic Trackpad?  It is one of Apple’s latest creations that was released today along with a whole slew of other stuff such as updated iMac’s, Mac Pro’s, and even a new 27″ LED display.  But the most interesting addition today was in fact the Magic Trackpad.  Why?  Because it is something we really haven’t seen before.  The Magic Trackpad may potentially be the hottest selling of all of these new product releases.  Let me tell you why.

For one, it’s cheap(er) than the other new products aside from Apple’s new battery charging device (I’d just like to say – Finally).  Priced at $69 the Magic Trackpad is a much more manageable buy.  And two, perhaps the most important, Apple’s best selling computers tend to be their Macbook and Macbook Pro lines.  What do both products have in common?  A multi-touch trackpad.  It is something everyone who has owned one of these notebooks is familiar with and that I think will be beneficial.

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Google Launches Google Apps Version Tailored for Government

I love Google Apps. All of my personal domains use Google Apps for email, calendar, and documents, and I highly recommend the product to anyone setting up email and collaboration services for a domain.

I know I’m not alone in my love for Google Apps; thousands of businesses, organizations, and individuals use Google Apps for their domains. And today, after receiving government certification to ensure that their infrastructure was secure enough to handle sensitive information, Google may have another client: the United States government. You see, the Google Apps system that I and many other users enjoy, may soon be the collaboration system that some government agencies choose to use as apposed to hosting, managing, and deploying their own in-house collaboration and email services.

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Copyright Office Makes Changes, Gives More Rights to Consumers

Yesterday the United States Copyright Office held a rare meeting (held once every three years) to review and change some copyright law. In doing so, the Copyright Office made a landmark decision that can definitely be seen as a win for digital rights supporters. Changes to the 1998 Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) allowed for more freedom for users wishing to install custom firmware on to their phones, as well as (some) users who wished to make backups of their DVD movies.

First and foremost the new rules allow owners of smart phones such as the Apple iPhone to legally develop, distribute, and use non-approved third party applications. On the iPhone, this process known as “jailbreaking”, allows a user to install an application from a source outside of the Apple App Store; a store that is often attacked for being too strict.

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