• VoIP Industry Future Decided By Vonage Case
    Vonage is breathing easier now that it's been granted a series of reprieves in its patent-infringement case against Verizon Communications, but that calm could be short-lived. A Verizon victory could have disastrous implications -- not just for Vonage, but for the Internet telephony business at large. Indeed, voiceover Internet protocol providers are watching this case closely, as one of three Verizon patents Vonage was found to have infringed upon could affect the way other VoIP providers connect their services to the public telephone network. The case before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit is a litmus ...
  • Google Shouldn't Overlook Microsoft
    Few would argue that Google is eating Microsoft's lunch when it comes to Web advertising. The software giant has tried to build its way (piecemeal) into a position to compete with Google, but its efforts have failed to gain traction--or at least, so goes the consensus in tech circles. Nevertheless, a pair of Gartner analysts paint a picture of Microsoft as a sleeping giant, overlooked by an increasingly complacent Google. In other words, the tables have turned: Google isn't going after Microsoft, as much as Microsoft is Google. "Microsoft is clearly going after the advertising world," Gartner vice ...
  • Apple's 88% Surge Overshadows Jobs Scandal
    If you're an Apple investor, it's easy to forget about an options backdating scandal when your investment posts an industry-beating 88% surge in quarterly profit. Eat dust, Google: Apple is on fire, and the iPhone isn't even out yet. Net income in the first quarter was $770 million on sales of $5.26 billion. The computer maker and consumer electronics giant sold 10.5 million iPods in the quarter and 1.5 million Macintosh computers. Its core computer business grew 36% from last year, raising the company's share of the computer market to 5% from 4%. For Steve Jobs, the news ...
  • Joost Adds 30-Plus Advertisers To Beta Program
    Online video startup Joost has added 31 big-brand advertisers to its roster, including P&G, Coca-Cola, Nike, GM and Visa. The fledgling company is offering a series of units--from 30-second mid-roll videos to digital overlays, display ads, even widgets (embedded programs)--to these marketers on a three-month contract. "The foundation [of the trial] is the traditional 30-second spot, which we believe is far from dead, served on a mid-roll basis," David Clark, Joost's executive vice president of global advertising said. "We're inspired by others who seem to be able to make this work, like ABC for example." Joost ...
  • Doubleclick Strikes Nerve With New Marketing
    As federal regulators continue their investigation of the merits of a Google-DoubleClick merger, the ad serving giant is launching a massive trade campaign touting itself as the "nerve center of digital marketing," a moniker that would be fortified if the Google deal is approved. The campaign centers around a microsite built by the ad shop AKQA that features Web industry bellwethers discussing the most pressing issues facing the digital ad industry. As part of the campaign, DoubleClick's logo has been rebranded, developed by Ogilvy & Mather. The initiative also features print in addition to online media. The ...
  • Photobucket Proves MySpace Can't Push it Around
    Why did News Corp eventually let Photobucket back into MySpace's life? No one knows, but the fact that News Corp. put the stop on Photobucket videos and relented just a few days later is the significant move. And Photobucket just raised its value. Why? Because the "win" proved that the photo and video storage site has become its own force. Once regarded as a kind of purgatory for image and video content, Photobucket is now its own destination, with 40 million users sending links pointing back to over 300,000 different sites. Indeed, Photobucket, like YouTube, has become a force ...
  • GoogleClick Good For Media Buyers
    Ad agency execs weighed in on the Google-DoubleClick merger. Rick Corteville, executive director-media of Organic San Francisco, was, per the trade mag, "practically salivating at the thought of being able to see reports for search, display and rich-media banners, and any click-based media vehicles all in one place." Sounds swell, right? It should be noted that there will be severe limits on merging the companies' data, according to a DoubleClick filing with the FTC, which came in response to privacy concerns flagged by the Electronic Privacy Information Center earlier in the week. Corteville's wish list included that kind ...
  • MySpace Launches Political Reality Show
    Given the unfathomable (and some might say disconcerting) ability of "American Idol" to get America interested in voting, it makes sense that News Corp. and reality TV producer Mark Burnett would team up to turn politics into the next voting-based reality TV program. The aim is to groom one young politician or community leader to represent young America--exactly how remains uncertain (We're talking about adding a House seat here.) Called "Independent," the new show will run on News Corp's MySpace; similar to its TV cousins, users will vote off contestants after reviewing their videos. But users will also help ...
  • SEC Charges Apple Execs
    It looks like Apple is finally in the clear over the infamous backdating of employee stock options, although the part CEO Steve Jobs played in the matter remains a mystery. The SEC ended its investigation of the company by filing charges against two former executives: general counsel Nancy Heinen, and Fred Anderson, CFO until 2004. The latter reached a settlement with the SEC without admitting or denying any wrongdoing, although he couldn't resist firing a parting shot at Jobs. In a statement yesterday, Anderson's lawyer said his client had "cautioned" Jobs about the accounting implications of dating options grants, ...
  • eBay Diversifies To Lift Earnings
    Ebay delivered strong first-quarter earnings, thanks largely to growth from acquired assets like PayPal and Skype. As encouraging as growth outside of its core ecommerce business is, eBay is becoming a little too dependent on expansion to previously uncharted waters, like telecommunications, social networking and ad brokering. Ebay now finds itself in the online payment business (PayPal), which has actually developed some nice synergies with eBay.com, Internet telephony (Skype), ticket sales (StubHub), shopping comparison (Shopping.com) and classified ads (Kijiji). Now it's said to be interested in acquiring the social search site StumbleUpon, according to GigaOm and TechCrunch. ...
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