Tech News Today 492

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Tech News Today
Episode 492

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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Top Stories

  • 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.

Discussion Stories

  • 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

News Fuse



  • 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

Production Information

  • Edited by: Chad
  • Notes:
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