• Microsoft Ends CES Participation

    Add office-party libations to a slow news cycle, and what do you get? Apparently, outrage and intrigue over Microsoft’s decision cut ties with CES after 2012.  "Microsoft didn't pull out of the keynote -- they were kicked out," GigOm reveals, citing a source. The horror!

    “Exciting stuff … However … it seems that the less exciting story is actually the most accurate one,” according to The Verge. Apparently, Microsoft was simply asked to enter into a three-year deal with CES, but declined.  Frank Shaw, head of corporate communications at Microsoft, basically said that the company ...

  • Google and Firefox Renew Search Deal

    In a deal that means a lot more to Mozilla than Google, the two just renewed their Firefox search deal for the next three years.

    For Mozilla, it’s “a crucial arrangement that accounted for roughly $100 million of Mozilla's $123 million in revenues in 2010,” writes eWeek.

    As Softpedia reports: “The previous deal ended in November and, when neither Google nor Mozilla made any announcements about it, it became ‘obvious’ that such a deal was never going to happen and that Firebox was dead.”

    “Firefox, once dubbed ‘Googlefox’ because of Google's support, now has competition in ...

  • Google Building Wearable Tech

    Giving marketers (and rivals) time to catch their breath, Google has recently been streamlining services, and, it was thought, even sidelining innovation.

    The search giant, however, appears to be developing new Web interface technology, which could prove incredibly disruptive to advertisers’ (and competitors’) current plans. 

    While highly experimental, Google is building wearable heads up displays -- or HUDs -- a source tells 9to5Google. “They are in late prototype stages of wearable glasses that look similar to thick-rimmed glasses that ‘normal people’ wear,” it writes. “However, these provide a display with a heads up computer interface.”

    “Similar in concept ...

  • British Telecom Drops Patent Bomb On Google

    The patent wars continue as British Telecom is claiming billions of dollars in damages from Google. In a lawsuit filed in the United States, BT claims that Google’s Android mobile operating system infringes a number of the telecoms company's key patents.

    “The British company's complaints centre on technologies at the core of Google's Android mobile system, search site, and a wide range of other services,” BBC News reports. 

    “The lawsuit … relates to six patents which BT says are infringed by the Google Maps, Google Music, location-based advertising and Android Market products on Android,” The Guardian ...

  • Will Apple Make A Smaller Tablet?

    More than ever, hardware and software makers are shaping the playing field for online advertisers. The most obvious example is Apple’s iPad strategy, which advertisers are having to embrace or face certain obsolescence.   

    Throwing the marketing community another curse ball, Apple now is working on a new, smaller tablet, according to Taiwanese publication DigiTimes.

    “The release of an ‘iPad mini,’ as many have dubbed such a device, would follow an early 2012 release of the iPad 3, which the supply chain sources said would indeed come by the end of the first quarter of 2012,” notes

  • Facebook's New TimeLine Feature: Past Is Present

    Just when you thought Facebook couldn’t paint a more intimate picture of consumers’ lives, the network has gone global with its Timeline feature.

    Regarding the feature, which lets users look at their entire Facebook history, VentureBeat writes: “It might be the most ambitious feature Facebook has introduced since the News Feed.”

    “Timeline is similar to having an auto-generated personal website, replete with everything -- that's everything -- you've ever posted to Facebook,” explains NBC Bay Area.

    While likely to rile privacy advocates, Timeline could also appeal to new (older?) demographics as it lets users exchange their ...

  • Facebook Dives Into Mobile Advertising

    By the end of March, Facebook will reportedly dive headfirst in mobile advertising. What does that mean for the network’s expected IPO, and others trying to compete in the mobile space? 

    First and foremost, it should give Facebook “a fresh source of revenue ahead of a possible initial public offering,” reports Bloomberg.

    “Since mobile ad spend is predicted to reach over $1bn this year, and grow to $4.4bn by 2015 according to eMarketer, this could create a healthy additional revenue stream ahead of a suspected IPO from Facebook next year,” seconds Eonsultancy.com.

    “If Facebook's really does ...

  • Apple Bends On Mobile Ads

    Losing ground to Google and its mobile-ad service, Apple is taking a friendlier approach to mobile advertising.

    “Apple Inc. is learning to compromise,” writes The Wall Street Journal. “It is showing more willingness to bargain on the spending commitment it requires of advertisers.”

    Launched in the summer of 2010, Apple’s iAd service originally asked marketers to commit at least $1 million -- an amount later reduced to $500,000. Now, as a source tells WSJ, Apple is now discussing mobile ad deals with a minimum commitment of $400,000.

    “This is, admittedly, not an ‘Apple-like’ thing to do,” quips

  • Design Flaws May Derail Kindle Fire

    Several bugs and design flaws are threatening to derail the Kindle Fire, and, with it, Amazon’s chances of becoming the first real threat to Apple’s tablet monopoly.

    “The Kindle Fire, Amazon’s heavily promoted tablet, is less than a blazing success with many of its early users,” writes The New York Times. “The most disgruntled are packing the device up and firing it back to the retailer.”

    What’s wrong with the Fire? For starters, NYT notes: “There is no external volume control. The off switch is easy to hit by accident. Web pages take a long time to load. ...

  • Twitter Unveils Redesign

    Always in pursuit of more mainstream appeal, Twitter unveiled its latest redesign this week. What do Web watchers think?

    “It’s trying to make Twitter work for people who don’t see the appeal of what Twitter was supposed to be,” scolds Daring Fireball blogger John Gruber.

    “The Twitter service I signed up for is one where people tweet 140-character posts, you follow those people, whose tweets you tend to enjoy, and that’s it,” Gruber explains. “The Twitter service this new UI presents is about a whole lot more -- mass-market spoonfed [sic] ‘trending topics’ and sponsored content.”

    For better ...

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