Monthly Archives: June 2011

MySpace Sells for $35 Million

It’s amazing how quickly things in life can change.  Just a few short years ago social networking website MySpace was legendary and considered hip amongst the younger generation.  Really, I remember a time when you would meet a person in line at a grocery store, and instead of swapping mobile numbers or even email addresses you would link up on MySpace.  And the socially driven website wasn’t just a hit with run of the mill folk like you and me, either.  Businesses, organizations, and bands from all areas flocked to MySpace as a mechanism to attract and keep up with fans and customers.  Simply put, MySpace was the place to be on the Internet.  Needless to say, the seemingly endless potential of the website was just too much for Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation who swept up the then-popular website in July of 2005 for an eye-popping $580 million.

Over the years, though, MySpace has gone south in more ways than one.  Even after working to redefine its public image and re-attract user, the company was forced to lay off about 500 employees earlier this year.  Why?  The company simply wasn’t generating enough capital to justify the investments that News Corporation was putting into it.  This said, it shouldn’t come as any surprise that the company sold off MySpace this week to Specific Media for a sum of $35 million.  Sure, it’s a pretty chunk of change, but compared to what the site was worth just years ago I for one think it’s pretty pathetic.

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Firefox Support Cycle Draws Criticism From System Administrators

On June 17th of 2008, three years and less than two weeks ago, Mozilla Corporation released the 3.0 version of the Firefox web browser; a promising and steadily growing web browser than many people, myself included, thought would finally take a stab at the dominance held by Microsoft’s Internet Explorer.  I remember the day well because I, a die-hard Firefox 2 user, sat at my desk constantly refreshing the download page in anticipation of the Firefox 3 release.  Through a thread on Digg (the fact that Digg was still popular at the time probably gives you a better feel for how long ago this was) I found a link to a copy of the setup executable for the then legendary web browser.  Admittedly, I was probably a bit crazy to have been obsessively wasting my time trying to get my hands on the 3.0 release, but I know for a fact that I wasn’t alone.  People from around the world were just as eager as I was to get their hands on the latest offerings as well.

What’s my point?  Just over three years ago, the release of a new Firefox version was a big deal; the last major release (2.0) having been released about a year and a half earlier in October of 2006.  But earlier this year, Mozilla introduced a new release cycle that put the release of Firefox 7 on the calendar by the end of 2011. While many have viewed this move as invaluable in competing with the constant releases of Google’s Chrome web browser, the rapid paced release cycle of the software has begun to cause concerns with network and system administrators.

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Formspring Reaches 25 Million Registered Users + Infographic

Formspring, a social network that lets people find out more about each other by asking each other questions has reached the 25 million user mark in just 18 months.  The news of the new milestone is also accompanied by the addition of Sukhinder Singh Cassidy to the company’s Board of Directors.  Singh Cassidy most recently served as the CEO at social commerce site, Polyvore, Inc, she also served as CEO-in-Residence at Accel Partners, and also spent some time at Google as the President of its Asia Pacific and Latin American divisions.

At this time, Formspring has yet to share how it plans to monetize the site.  While the site is still new, it appears the company does have some ideas to continue growth and monetize, so it will be interesting to see how it turns out.  It’s also no secret that the Q&A space is very hot right now, there are a lot of new companies in it and all of them are looking for ways to one-up each other.

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Best Buy Stops MacBook Air Shipments

Best Buy, who is one of Apple’s largest resellers, has stopped the shipment of MacBook Airs, while Amazon says their stock is ‘Low’. This is usually a sign of an upcoming refresh. It seems like it was yesterday that the Air’s got their newer, sexy design, but a refresh is due. The internet has been flooded with rumors of new Airs, Mac Pros, and iMacs possibly coming in July.

The main upgrade for the MacBook Air would be a newer processors, and of course, OSX Lion. The Air is one of my favorite Apple laptops, because they are just so darn sexy. I would most definitely buy a new Air if they are upgraded with a more powerful Sandy Bridge processor from Intel. An upgrade in the Mac Pro line also seems imminent.

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Will WebOS Pick Up Where Android Falls Short?

For what seems like forever now, we have seen an ongoing war between rival technology companies Apple and Google, both of whom have managed to tap into the constantly growing mobile industry with their feature-rich operating systems; iOS and Android.  With both companies being huge in the public eye, many have taken up one platform or the other, often times citing features or traits that they claim makes their platform superior to the others.  While many iOS users are quick to cite the large selection of mobile applications available for Apple’s mobile operating system, many Android users are just as quick to point out that Google’s flagship operating system is open source and can be used on a wide array of devices.

While these are fair points, the fact of the matter is that in more recent months Google has taken a number of steps to lock down how end-users and hardware manufactures are able to go about using the operating system.  In all honesty, the changes that Google has imposed – inclusive of delaying the release of source code to the general public and only allowing pre-release versions of the OS to be run on emulators instead of on actual devices – don’t affect that many consumers.  However, even though run of the mill end users likely have little care about this change, Google’s decision to impose stricter restrictions has caused them to step on the toes of one very important group; hardware manufactures.

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How Would iCloud Fare at the Enterprise Level?

When Apple’s legendary Worldwide Developers Conference rolled around earlier this month, I must admit that I was personally a tad disappointed at the lack of new hardware that many expected to be unveiled.  Like many, I myself was secretly wishing that the company would unveil the next generation Apple iPhone.  However, even without the presence of new hardware to show off, Apple’s developer conference wasn’t a blow by any stretch of the imagination.

One of the things that I found most intriguing was the “iCloud” service, which is expected to be unveiled a bit later this year.  The ability to seamlessly synchronize files and collaborate efficiently with other users is a very promising development.  Even though some will argue that Apple mimicked and stole ideas from other developers, I must say that the cleanliness of how things appear to be tied together make the upcoming service something that I believe will be an instant hit with consumers.

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Verizon to Discontinue Unlimited Data Plans Next Month

We’re now seeing news develop that Verizon, one of the largest mobile networks in the US and very well known for a media campaign against rival AT&T, has announced that they too have decided to drop unlimited data services as one of their offerings as well. Now, if you’re a current subscriber to Verizon Wireless service it is important to realize that this change will not affect your plan or bill at the end of the month.

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The Nook Color: A Hint of Things to Come With the Android Tablet?

In the world of online shopping, retailer Amazon is easily one of the largest and most trusted names out there. I for one tend to go directly to Amazon for my shopping needs without doing (much) shopping around simply because I know that Amazon tends to have the best deals; especially with the Amazon Prime service that is offered free to students. But Amazon is far from being just another online retailer.

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Why Does Apple Score So Much Free Product Placement?

As far as weekdays go, yesterday was a pretty relaxing day. Being my day off, I plopped into the lazy chair in the living room; remote and phone on a side-table, dog and laptop on my lap. And for the better part of the day I remained a fixture in this spot while watching a handful of movies and television shows, cleaning off the DVR to make room for television shows next season.

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Should Google Adapt Unlimited Storage?

Today every single Gmail account gets a standard inbox capacity just under seven and a half gigabytes. But although a far jump from what the service offered only a matter of years ago, Gmail’s capacity is no longer an outstanding feature for the service. Other free email providers like Microsoft’s Windows Live Hotmail, Yahoo! Mail, and even America Online have all implemented “unlimited” storage for some time now.

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