• Mossberg: HP Flunks IPad Challenge
    To date, no tablet has come close to challenging Apple's iPad -- and Hewlett-Packard's new TouchPad won't change that fact, according to tech guru Walt Mossberg. No, despite the best efforts of the world's largest PC maker, its first tablet is "simply no match for the iPad," Mossberg writes. Among other "deficits," he scolds, the TouchPad "suffers from poor battery life [and] a paucity of apps." On the bright side, Mossberg professes to like the TouchPad's interface a lot.

    "Instead of a screen full of app icons, the main screen of the TouchPad's operating system, called webOS, presents ...

  • Facebook Comments Plug-In Hits 300K
    Across the Web, Facebook says some 300,000 sites have integrated its Comments Box plug-in since its debut in March. Considering that plug-in had only been integrated into 50,000 sites by mid-April, the announcement actually "indicates adoption has accelerated in the last few months," according to Insider Facebook. "This is a sign that the plugin has matured passed some initial concerns ... and is now a more viable comments solution with added distribution benefits."

    The social network has also announced two updates to its Comments Box plug-in for third-party sites. Users can now select to sort comment reels by ...

  • Yelp Deals Goes Mobile
    About a year after debuting its daily deal service, Yelp is now rolling out Yelp Deals to its iPhone and Android apps. "The next phase of growth for local deals will be mobile," writes TechCrunch, and this week's move shows that Yelp knows it. When users click on the new mobile service, they'll be presented with a list of nearby Yelp Deals for discounts at restaurants, spas, and other businesses. (These are in addition to Yelp Special Offers and Check-In Offers, which already appear on mobile, TechCrunch notes.)

    Users will then get a redemption code, which they can show ...

  • Smartphones Now Lead Cellphone Purchases
    To the delight of mobile advertisers and branded app-makers everywhere, smartphones are fast making features phones obsolete. Indeed, according to new Nielsen data, 38% of domestic mobile consumers now own smartphones, while 55% of those who purchased a handset in the past three months reported buying a smartphone instead of a feature phone -- up from 34% just a year ago. Simply put, "Smartphones continue to grow in popularity," according to Nielsen.

    In particular, "Android continues to be the most popular smartphone operating system, with 38 percent of smartphone consumers owning Android devices." That said, while Android also ...

  • Square Scores $100M At $1B Valuation
    Mobile payments start-up Square has raised $100 million in venture funding at a valuation north of $1 billion. The Series C round was led by venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, while KPCB partner Mary Meeker will be joining Square's board of directors.

    "Square is eager to continue our momentum, and we are proud to have the support and expertise of KPCB among our team of investors and advisors," Square CEO -- and Twitter co-founder -- Jack Dorsey stated. "Our goal is to empower everyone to accept payments anywhere, and we are on course to accelerate ...

  • Animoto Eyes Mobile On $25M Investment
    Cloud-based video platform Animoto has raised $25 million led by Spectrum Equity Investors with participation from existing investors Madrona Venture Group and Amazon.com. In turn, the start-up "is ready to invest heavily in its growing business," according to GigaOm.

    Animoto is a freemium service that lets users create short video slide shows with the pictures and videos they have stored on their computers or mobile devices. "If they want more features, such as custom templates or longer videos, users have the option to pay a small one-time fee for individual slide-show creation or a subscription for an unlimited ...

  • Data: Groupon Losing Grip On Daily Deals
    Little by little, Groupon appears to be losing its stranglehold on the daily deal market. From April to May, its share of online daily deals slipped from 52% to 48%, according to Bloomberg Businessweek, citing new data from deal aggregator Yipit. At the same time, rivals like LivingSocial.com are closing in on the deal leader. From April to May, LivingSocial's marketshare grew from 20% to 24%, according to Yipit, which studied online daily deals in 30 major North American cities for its analysis.

    "The main reason you're seeing Groupon's market share fall is that competition is still on ...

  • Twitter Tops Make "Obvious" Move
    At an uncertain time for Twitter, three key developers -- Biz Stone, Evan Williams and Jason Goldman -- are launching what could be called a quixotic new venture. The Obvious Corporation, so-called, will develop "systems that help people work together to improve the world," Stone explained in a blog post on Tuesday.

    "Our plan is to develop new projects and work on solving big problems." The move, however, marks the latest "musical-chairs shuffle at Twitter, which is undergoing a leadership overhaul as the 5-year-old venture matures from a start-up to a tech industry power player," writes CNNMoney.com. In ...

  • Will "MicroSkype" Irk Apple?
    Skype is reportedly about ready to release an iPad-friendly video chat app. As a result, Computerworld notes, Microsoft -- which recently agreed to buy Skype for $8.5 billion -- is "indirectly ingratiating" itself with Apple. Similarly, it's been widely reported that the Skype app will debut on iTunes, this week.

    "It's interesting that this app puts Microsoft on the iPad --- potentially," Jack Gold, an analyst at J. Gold Associates, tells Computerworld. "MicroSkype takes a bite of the Apple."

    By itself, the Skype video chat app for iPad might not be a big concern for Apple, ...

  • More Reasons To Marvel At Tumblr
    Tumblr president John Maloney just pointed out that the blogging platform is now doing north of 8.4 billion monthly pageviews. As TechCrunch's MG Siegler notes, that number was around 7 billion just a month ago. What explains the huge jump? Well, "It turns out, there was a bit of a bug in Tumblr's data previously -- one that led Quantcast to undercount pageview data. "Last week we noticed a growing discrepancy between our Google Analytics and Quantcast numbers," company founder David Karp tells Siegler.

    "It turns out that we broke our Quantcast tracking code a few weeks ago ...

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