Monthly Archives: October 2012

Asus: Nexus 7 Sales Nearing 1 Million Per Month

Asus, the Taiwanese electronics giant that partnered with Google on the Nexus 7 tablet, told the Wall Street Journal that sales of the tablet are approaching nearly 1 million per month. The device, which launched back in July of this year, has recently seen its entry-level $199 model’s storage space jump from 8 GB to 16 GB, and a new 32 GB model has been introduced at the $249 price point. There are also several cellular-enabled models that have recently been added to the line.

“At the beginning, it was, for instance, 500K units a month, then maybe 600, 700K. This latest month, it was close to 1 million,” said Asus CFO David Chang.

Of course, now the Nexus 7 has the iPad mini to contend with, and that’s no small task.

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Major Changes at Apple: Forstall Out, Ive into Larger Role

It appears the Apple Maps fiasco has claimed more than just a few well-known landmarks as victims; according to The New York Times, Senior Vice President of iOS Scott Forstall is exiting Apple next year, and will remain with the company as an adviser until that point.

The NYT attributes Forstall’s exit to politics; namely, the fact that Forstall was close with late Apple CEO Steve Jobs, but otherwise did not have a great deal of support inside the company. In fact, the rift between Forstall and famed Apple designer Jony Ive had grown so large that Ive refused to sit in the same meeting room with Forstall unless current CEO Tim Cook was there to mediate.

The final nail in the coffin for Forstall, though, seems to have been Apple’s Maps product.

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Google Announces New Phones and Tablets At Competitive Prices

It seems like everyone’s gunning for Apple right now, and Google is no exception. Today, the company announced a new selection of products in their Nexus line. While there is much excitement to be had that there are three sizes to choose from — 4.7 inch phone, 7 inch tablet, or 10 inch tablet, the bigger news may be the prices. The new phone, the Nexus 4, starts at $299 without a contract. That’s right, no cellular contract for a $299 phone. Compare that to the $650 that an unlocked iPhone usually sells for.

The two tablets follow an expected price line, ranging between $199 and $499 depending on which size and specs you choose. The $299 Nexus 4 phone, though, only has 8 GB of storage, which is pretty small compared to other smart phones on the market. But if you get it with a contract (as T-Mobile will be offering), you can get the 16 GB version for $199.

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When Is The Best Time for Brands Post on Facebook?

Social media agency, Pandemic Labs, set out to discover the best times for brands to post on Facebook in order to have optimal reach and interaction. In a study of more than 22,000 Facebook pages, over 12.7 million posts, and more than 12.3 billion interactions, they found that the weekend performed the best.

In fact, the three best times (all EST) to post on Facebook are (in order of effectiveness): Saturday at 10PM, Saturday at 8PM, and Sunday at 7PM. These times actually surprised me a bit, I didn’t expect to see that much Facebook page interaction during the weekend, especially in the evening. Then again, Facebook is a very global website, so that needs to be factored in as well. While the three best times are somewhat surprising, the the three worst times to post on Facebook make a bit more sense to me: Tuesday at 4AM, Tuesday at 3AM, and Thursday at 3AM.

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First Images of the Nexus 10 Tablet

Hot on the heels of the Nexus 10 tablet’s user guide leaking out, we now have our first images of the Samsung-manufactured device itself, thanks to mobile tech site BriefMobile.

According to the site, the 2560 x 1600 resolution is indeed the display the device will ship with — Super AMOLED, no less. The Nexus 10 will also be packing a dual-core 1.7GHz Samsung Exynos 5250, and a Mali-T604 GPU for graphics, as well as 2 GB of ram and 16 GB of on-board flash storage. On the camera side of things, it appears that the rear-facing shooter will come in at 5 megapixels, and as far as radios go, you can expect both NFC and Bluetooth 4.0.

Depending on where the Nexus 10 comes in on the price scale, it could be a compelling entry into the tablet space.

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New DMCA Rules To Alter Your Tech Rights

James H. Billington is one of the most important and influential people in the technology world; and chances are, you’ve never heard of him. Mr. Billington is the current Librarian of the United States Congress. The title comes with a number of powers, many of which extend beyond managing the world’s largest library. Mr. Billington also has unilateral power to grant exemptions to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act–the cornerstone piece of legislation in the United States that fuels copyright, licensing, and digital rights management regulations.

The latest collection of DMCA exemptions have been released, and they will be in effect for the next three years.

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Netflix to Offer Subscribers 60 Days of Free Spotify Premium

Look what just made its way into my inbox: “Special Offer for Netflix Members” reads the subject line. Yes, that’s right, Netflix and Spotify have partnered to provide Netflix subscribers with 60 days of free Spotify Premium. That is, if you agree to provide a credit card when you sign up for the offer.

The offer expires November 1, 2012 — so if you’re interested in trying out Spotify Premium, now is the time to do it.

Another small note: since you have to provide a credit card in order to get access to the deal, if you do not want to end up paying for Spotify Premium after the 60 days are over, remember to cancel your premium account before the 60 days are up so you aren’t charged.

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Study: Google AdWords Generates $100 Million A Day

Despite recently “disappointing” investors with its most recent Q3 earnings, Google’s AdWords business is generating some serious cash. In fact, according to a new study by WordStream, in Q3 Google earned more than $100 million a day through AdWords by serving up 5.5 billion impressions per day in search and 25.6 billion impressions per day on the Google Display Network.

WordStream came to its conclusions after examining 2,600 accounts that ran its AdWords Grader audit tool in Q3, ranging from very small to very large across every industry and country where Google does business. The average click-through rate (CTR) in Q3 on Google search came in at 3.5%, which translates to advertisers paying for 192 million clicks daily. On the display network side of things, the CTR was only 0.18 percent, resulting in 45.8 million clicks per day.

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AMD Is Bleeding Cash And Is Firing Employees To Cut Costs

AMD, a company who once battled fiercely with Intel to develop the latest computer processors, is reportedly in the process of firing employees to significantly reduce expenses as the chipmaker faces some serious challenges both financially and technologically. The company’s cash has declined to $1.5 billion in the third quarter, after losing $279 million in the previous period. A continuing trend would mean cash levels would drop to $600 million by this time next year, and with $2.04 billion of debt — it’s not looking good for AMD.

AMD’s best days were in the early 2000’s, when they were constantly battling Intel for the best computer processor. Prior to the release of Intel’s Core 2 Duo line of processors, the top spot appeared to be up for grabs with many people recommending AMD’s line of CPU’s over Intel’s. However, that all changed with the release of the Core 2 Duo and from there it’s been essentially all Intel. But it wasn’t just the Core 2 Duo that has hurt AMD, it’s been the shift in technology — from desktops to mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets that has hurt the company the most.

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Nexus 10 User Guide Leaks, Confirms Device

Ever since the launch of the Nexus 7 back in July, rumors of a 10-inch Nexus tablet have followed. Those rumors really picked up steam in the past week or so, when a source for online publication The Next Web tipped the site off to a device known as “Codename Manta.” The Manta tablet supposedly packs a 2560 x 1600 pixel display (higher resolution and pixels-per-inch than the iPad with Retina) into a 10-inch frame, and runs Android version 4.2.

Aside from the word of a source, however, there was still no concrete evidence that a Nexus 10 tablet existed. That is, until today.

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Microsoft Partners with Four Retailers for Subsidized Xbox 360s

Microsoft recently added two new Xbox 360 packages to its subsidized subscription deal; the 250 GB Xbox 360 model priced at $99, and the 250 GB model with the Kinect sensor for $149. These packages join the 4 GB Xbox 360 with Kinect deal Microsoft has offered at its Microsoft Store locations for $99. For those who don’t have a Microsoft retail store nearby, you now have four more options when it comes to securing these deals, thanks to partnerships struck by Microsoft with GameStop, Toys R Us, Walmart, and Best Buy.

Here’s how it works. Much like a wireless phone provider, Microsoft is subsidizing the cost of the Xbox 360 package you choose by requiring you to sign up for a 2-year Xbox Live subscription, priced at $15 a month. Over the life of this subscription, Microsoft is able to make back the initial discount on the Xbox 360 package, much like a 2-year wireless agreement covers the subsidy you receive when you purchase a phone through a carrier. But is it a good deal?

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Facebook Reveals Progress In Q3 Earnings Report

Between all of the commotion of Apple announcing the iPad mini and Zynga laying off over 100 people today, Facebook was making a seemingly small splash by releasing their third quarter earnings report. That’s right, Facebook, the company that everyone thought was a really exciting stock until it wasn’t; we’re still talking about them. Well good news (kind of)! The numbers that Facebook released today were better than many Wall Street analysts predicted, but they still weren’t great.

The company’s earnings report today revealed that in Q3 Facebook had a revenue of $1.26 billion, which is roughly seven percent higher than what it reported in the previous quarter. Possibly even more exciting news was that the company’s net income based on non-GAAP (generally accepted accounting principles) was $372 million, roughly a twenty-six percent increase from the second quarter. But if you look at the GAAP numbers, which account for such things as income and payroll taxes, Facebook actually suffered a $59 million loss. That’s far from impressive.

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It May Sound Crazy Right Now, But Zynga’s Ad Platform May Save It.

Today Zynga made two announcements, one about the massive layoffs at the company, and the other announcement was that they are working to develop an ad platform for their social games. I’m sure you can guess which announcement overshadowed the other. Right — the news of the layoffs was front and center.

While the layoffs are unfortunate, and are something I hate to see it, I think the news about the development of a Zynga-owned ad platform is actually very positive. I also think it could potentially save the troubled company. How could an ad platform save Zynga? I’ll explain.

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