Tech News Today 492
Recorded: May 2, 2012
Published: May 2, 2012
Tech News Today 492: When Keeping It Real Goes Wrong
New Xbox with 2-year contract costs more! Amazon making sitcoms, Why won't Facebook take advertisers money, and more.
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- Tom Merritt ( )
- Sarah Lane ( )
- Iyaz Akhtar ( )
- Chad Johnson ( )
- Jeff Bakalar
- Exclusive: $99 Xbox 360 + Kinect bundle launching next week with two-year subscription
- Rumor alert: A $99 Xbox 360 with $15-a-month subscription
- Xbox 360 - Kinect bundle on Amazon
- 12-month gold membership on Amazon
- The verge reports Microsoft planning to launch $99 Xbox console with Kinect with 2-year $15 monthly sub. Total 2-year cost of $459
- Xbox Live Gold service and possibly some additional streaming content from cable providers or sports package providers.
- Marketed against Apple TV, Roku and PS3
- Offered at Microsoft stores. You'll have to pay ETF if you end the sub. early
- Xbox 4GB w/ Kinect currently at Amazon for $286.95. 2 12-month Gold memberships $48.41=$383.77
- Spotify for iPad App Arrives
- Spotify for iPad review
- enjoy the app for free during a 30-day trial, but will need to shell out $9.99 a month for a Spotify premium subscription to continue using it after the trial period.
- Retina display graphics and a new "now playing" full-screen view with high-definition cover art, perfect for the new iPad.
- gapless playback and crossfade, two features the streaming music service launched in February.
- search for playlists, tracks, and other Spotify subscribers from a single view.
- "What's New" section offers up new releases, top tracks, trending playlists, and recommended music, and will also show users the music to which their friends are listening.
- Ellis Hamburger from the Verge was not impressed: The useless What's New section, inability to see your Play Queue, and lack of sorting options make the app harder to use, as competent and complete as it is by Spotify's standards. If you know exactly what you want to listen to, the app will make you happy — but it's quite poor for discovering new music.
- Amazon seeks comedies and kids shows to rival Netflix
- Amazon will make its own TV shows
- Amazon Gets Into the Sitcom Business
- Amazon Instant Video Compatible Devices
- Amazon announced its Amazon Studios are developing original comedy and children's series for Amazon Instant Video
- Here's how this works:
- Series creator uploads a proposal for comedy and kids' programming
- Best stuff will be distributed via Amazon Instant Video
- Each month, Amazon Studios will option one project and add it to a development slate (Optioning pays out $10k)
- Then it will be tested for viability
- If it's good to go, creator gets $55k, up to 5% of Amazon's net receipts from toy and t-shirt licensing, along with other bonuses and royalties.
- Amazon has full details on submissions
- Joe Lewis is leading the development w/ Tara Sorensen formerly w/National Geographic Kids.
- Lewis: He's the guy whose LinkedIn Profile sort of leaked this information a while ago. His title read VP of original TV at Amazon then he quickly removed it. Lewis was w/ Comedy Central and 20th Century Fox.
- Amazon Studios head Roy Price told AllThingsD that the shows he makes should look and feel like "real" TV shows, with budgets to match.
- The Big Doubt Over Facebook
- QUOTE FROM ZUCK "Facebook was originally not created to be a company. It was built to accomplish a social mission -- to make the world more open and connected." big advertisers are vocally frustrated with FB, say they can't even find anyone at FB to take their calls or $.
- FB IPO expected for May 18, Zuck & co. expected to start pitching the company to big investors in an IPO roadshow starting Monday
- Facebook offers image and text-based ads like Google & Yahoo, with new spins. EXAMPLE: "Sponsored Stories" feature that lets advertisers rebroadcast people's positive posts on the site's main news feed to highlight them. Advertisers pay a rate based on impressions/views. EXAMPLE: advertisers target a segment of Facebook's users according to location or gender with accuracy and specificity unmatched elsewhere on the web
- People familiar with the matter say FB will seek a $100B valuation, about 33x its advertising revenue, compared with 5.5x for Google. FB is still a young company with faster growth than Google, which is worth $200 billion but had $36.5 billion in ad revenue last year.
- Jed Williams, an analyst at BIA Kelsey, said that in order to justify that valuation, Facebook's revenue would have to grow 41% annually for the next 5 years.
- EXAMPLE OF SUCCESS: Ford Motor Co. said by using FB ads instead of Super Bowl ads in marketing its 2011 Explorer, shopping activity for the Explorer jumped 104% versus the average shopping lift of 14% following a Super Bowl ad.
- In latest quarter FB made over $1B in revenue, vast majority from advertising.
- ad rev rose 37% to $872M from a year ago, but it was down 7.5% from the previous three months. Facebook blamed ""seasonal trends"" for the decline, as well as shifting user growth where the company generates less revenue per user.
- COMPLAINT: Mike Parker, the co-president of U.S. operations of Tribal DDB: "For the longest time, we've been trying to call Facebook to do business with them and there's nobody to pick up the call. They're very focused on the consumer experience, and less focused on revenue and working with advertisers.
- COMPLAINT: exec speaking anonymously to Cnet: "The problem is that Facebook isn't willing to do anything different for the client that wants to spend $10,000 versus $10 million."
- March 31, 2011, to March 31 of this year, the number of full-time employees rose almost 48 percent to 3,539.
- Dropbox working with Apple to resolve app rejection issue
- Dropbox confirms Apple is rejecting apps that use its SDK
- Many apps that integrate to dropbox have been rejected under the rule that links in iOS apps are not allowed for external subscriptions unless the same transaction was also available as one of Apple's in-app purchases because they "allow users to create accounts."
- Dropbox's new SDK handles the authorization of third-party apps: it sends users to a page in Safari where they can grant access. However, that same page also allows new users to create accounts, after which they could drill down through Dropbox's site and upgrade to a paid account.
- Dropbox initially tried removing a link to the desktop version
- Dropbox posted a version of its SDK that removed the ability to create a new account.
- Dropbox issued a statement: "Apple is rejecting apps that use the Dropbox SDK because we allow users to create accounts. We're working with Apple to come up with a solution that still provides an elegant user experience,"
- Microsoft to drop Windows Live branding with Windows 8
- Microsoft is doing away with the Windows Live brand, according to a May 2 post on the Building Windows 8 blog.
- The Windows Live Essentials name for the collection of Windows add-ons -- including Messenger, Photo Gallery, Movie Maker, Writer, Live Mesh and Family Safety -- is going away.
- Other Windows Live services which weren't part of Live Essentials -- like Hotmail and SkyDrive -- also are getting simpler names.
- Outlook Express becomes Mail app, MSN Messenger becomes Messaging app, Photo gallery becomes Camera Roll, Windows Movie Maker becomes…. Movie Maker
- Target announced that it will no longer carry Amazon Kindle and Kindle-branded products beginning in the Spring. However, the store will still carry ereaders and specifically mentioned it will offer the Nook. Some speculative theories for the shift include Microsoft or Apple cajoling Target into the move. Microsoft invested in the Nook and rumors swirl of Apple mini-stores within Target.
- Target drops eReaders left and right
- The Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act has made a new enemy and that's Mozilla. The company issued a statement to Forbes saying that "CISPA has a broad and alarming reach that goes far beyond Internet security. The bill infringes on our privacy." Mozilla said it hopes the Senate takes a close look before moving the bill along.
- Software Developer Xarmin says that it has ported Android 4.0 to C#. While the port is incomplete, it doesn't use Java at all. Xarmin is working on direct graphics access and continues to port Java code to C#. You hear that Google? Maybe you want to buy this company.
- Senior VP for iOS software Scott Forestall just sold off 95% of his Apple shares (about 64,000) to the tune of $38.7 million. Now before you think this means that Forestall is on his way out of the company, that's not the case. He continues to hold nearly 3,000 shares and will receive 250,000 shares of Apple stock as retention bonuses over the next few years.
- Yeah, Scott Forestall is a very important figure at Apple and I don't think that PATENT WARS! First up, Nokia has decided to file against HTC in the ITC for patent infringement and also sued RIM, Viewsonic and HTC in Germany over revolving around 45 patents. Next up on the patent battleground is Motorola, which one an injunction granted by a German court against Microsoft. The injunction would affect the Xbox 360 and Windows 7. However, Motorola would have to put up a 60 million Euro bond to enforce the injunction, so don't expect that to happen.
- Google has won a government contract with the U.S. Department of the Interior to provide email services. For years, this was the domain of Microsoft and Google even filed suit against the Interior Department saying its guidelines were "unduly restrictive of competition."
- According data from Net Market Share, both Internet Explorer and Google Chrome gained marketshare at the expense of Safari and Firefox during April. More troublesome for Firefox is that roughly a third of Firefox users are using older versions of the browser which contains some security flaws. About 16% are on versions 4 through 9. Mozilla introduced Firefox 12 recently.
- An update from the Oracle-Google lawsuit of amazingness: The jury, currently deliberating over copyright issues, presented questions to the court for clarification related to Android revenue and fair use. CNet's Rachel King thinks the questions asked may suggest that the jury thinks Google did violate Oracle copyrights. After hearing attorneys from Oracle and Google, Judge Alsup briefly answered the jury and sent them back to deliberate some more.
- Yet another cloud service got an upgrade. Today, Amazon introduced its Cloud Drive app for Windows and Mac which makes it easier to upload your files to your Cloud Drive. You'll get 5GB for free. Oh, some issues with Amazon's app - it doesn't do automatic syncing. You'll need to upload updated files to your Cloud Drive to keep them up to date. Downloads still require you to visit the Cloud Drive site.
- Vintage Apple sales video surfaces, stars Jobs as FDR
- 3:28 World War IIIIe IIc etc...
- Samsung to Unveil 'Next Galaxy' Device tomorrow. Hype reaches Apple levels right down to blurry pictures next to rulers. More credible leaks point to a dual-core CPU in the Verizon version.
- The President and co-founder of ARM, Tudor Brown, has announced that he has no plans to seek re-election to the board next May, and will retire from the company at the annual shareholders meeting tomorrow May 3rd. Brown's history with the Cambridge UK-based chip manufacturer goes back to the Acorn computer company.He joined the board of ARM in 2001 and finally became president in 2008.
- Also tomorrow LinkedIn announces Q1 earnings
I'm the Head of Mobile here at Eckoh (pronounced like "echo") and was lucky enough to see Ubuntu in Android at MWC this year and of the whole show it was easily one of the most impressive demos on display.
The use case given was that you'd put your phone into an HDMI dock connected to your monitor / keyboard / mouse and the phone would switch into Ubuntu mode and you'd have a full PC. That approach eliminates the battery issues and the idea is that hotels, offices, etc. will eventually have these docks installed so that people can just turn up and use them.
Hope that helps flesh-out the concept, thanks for the great show, Cheers, Ash. "
"I was listening to TNT from May 1, 2012, where you were talking Twitter. Many of you mentioned wanting to mute people you follow. Why don't you unfollow them? Or are you just ""courtesy-following"" people but don't really want to read what they say?
What I really want from the official Twitter clients is syncing across all devices. When I check it on my iPhone, I don't want to have to start over when I go to my desktop or iPad. I want to pick up from where I left off on my iPhone.
Thanks for listening. Love the show!!
-Steve- (New Hampshire)"
- ad times: 00:48 to 00:58 and 15:05 to 16:24
- Edited by: Chad
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