Friday, March 18, 2011
  • Gavin O'Malley, March 18, 2011, 12:48 PM
  • Like Google and other tech titans with West Coast origins, Twitter is looking for a more permanent presence on Madison Avenue -- literally. The Observer's Betabeat blog is reporting that the microblogging platform plans to sublease Facebook's former space on Madison Avenue.

    "Facebook first leased 11,000 square feet on the sixth floor of the glass birthday cake-shaped building, wherein the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency was also housed," Betabeat explains. Facebook later relocated to another Madison Avenue address. Now, "With the world's two most powerful social media companies just blocks from one another, for better or for worse, it seems only a matter of seconds before the classy office strip is dubbed Silicon Avenue (there, done)."

    According to Betabeat, Twitter has set up a temporary home base in Soho back in November, and has since been looking for something more long term. Read the whole story...
  • Don't get in between Angry Birds and its avid audience. The popular online game is learning that the hard way, according to a report in 9to5mac.com. As part of an update to Angry Birds HD for the on iPad, the game has introduced advertising into the mix.

    "No, not the unobtrusive types of an AdMob or AdSense variety seen in some apps," writes 9to5's Christian Zibreg. "In Angry Birds HD, a 'news section' -- a nicer word for advertisements -- hits gamers in the face upon reaching the pause screen."

    The ad apparently pitch "official merchandise," forcing gamers to wait for the promotional animation to finish before they can continue playing the game. In response, one angry gamer wrote in iTunes reviews: "This impacts the time to restart the level and continuous fade-in animation is very distracting. Now we're forced to wait until the news loads EVERY SINGLE time the game is paused before restarting." Read the whole story...
  • A single source tells Business Insider that Yahoo is about to sell bookmarking site Delicious for $1 million to $2 million. "Our source isn't sure what company is buying it, but says it's a 'strategic partner,' something like StumbleUpon." The recommendation recently raised $17 million, so, as Business Insider explains, "it could easily afford Delicious.

    Late last year, Yahoo announced plans to "sunset" the bookmarking site, but it was later revealed that a sale was not out of the question. Earlier estimates pegged the site's worth at about $5 million. Either way, at these numbers, some have speculated that Yahoo is only engaged in sales discussions out of respect for Delicious and its remaining users.

    "People are very loyal to the product, and Yahoo says it's the most widely used internal property at Yahoo," Business Insider writes. Meanwhile, an opportunistic Google recently debuted a tool to import Delicious users' bookmarks to Google Bookmarks. The simple importer takes users Delicious log-in credentials and imports all their bookmarks, while preserving their labels and tags. Read the whole story...
  • Bloomberg Business devotes over 3,000 works to Groupon and its wily young founder and CEO Andrew Mason. After all, the group-buying leader is reportedly eyeing a $25 billion IPO. To merit such an astronomical valuation, Mason plans to turn Groupon into, in Bloomberg Businessweek's words, "a combination Yellow Pages, Valpak coupon packet, and price-conscious concierge for millions of consumers."

    Not only that, but he thinks he can achieve that feat with four simple works: "I'm Hungry" and "I'm Bored." Combining either declaration with a consumer's geographical location -- along with predetermined preferences and other potential variables -- Mason hopes to create, as Bloomberg Businessweek explains, "a huge, liquid market for consumer foot traffic." Read the whole story...
  • Like Eliot Ness and Jim Mobile busting bootleggers, Microsoft and federal law enforcement agents have seized computer equipment from Web hosting facilities across the U.S. in what The Wall Street Journal calls "a sweeping legal attack designed to cripple the leading source of junk email on the Internet." The raids are part of a civil lawsuit filed in federal court in Seattle in early February against unnamed operators of the Rustock "botnet," which is apparently a vast network of computers around the globe infected with malicious software, which let its creators distribute enormous volumes of spam. "Shutting down Rustock could put a huge dent in spam worldwide," reports CNet. Indeed, tech security giant Symantec estimated last year that Rustock was responsible for 39% of the world's spam. "The shutdown is one of the rare victories against cybercriminals who use botnets, or herds of compromised computers, to wreak havoc on the internet," writes VentureBeat. "It shows that technology can be used to perpetrate cyber crime as well as to hunt down cyber criminals." As WSJ explains, Microsoft has taken an aggressive stance on "Internet nuisances" like spam, which it believes inflict harm on its product and reputation. Along with U.S. marshals, Microsoft's digital crimes unit raided Web hosting facilities from Kansas City, Mo. to Seattle, Wa. Alas, "At the moment, it's safest to say Rustock has been made inactive, rather than having been taken down," according to DigitalTrends.com. "The estimated million infected zombie computers are still out there, and if Rustock's creators are wily they might be able to regain control over some portion of them." Read the whole story...