• The Masses Make Maps
    The practice of cartography has been opened to the masses thanks to a series of simple mapping tools introduced by Web companies. Anyone can draw on or add text, images, sound and videos to maps. The result is that users now are "collectively creating a new kind of atlas that is likely to be both richer and messier than any other." They're also playing a more important role in how information is organized and found. For example, for the environmentally inclined, there are maps of biodiesel fueling stations in New England, yarn stores in Illinois and hydrofoils ...
  • EarthLink Weighed Down By MVNO Woes
    EarthLink added to the tech crunch when it posted a second-quarter oss of $16.3 million, compared with a $16.6 million profit a year earlier. Revenue fell to $312.2 million from $332.1 million. The loss was attributed to a combination of subscriber churn (to the tune of 1 million customers) after a Web service contract with telecom firm Embarq expired in April, and particularly sustained losses from Helio, the mobile virtual network venture with South Korean telecom giant SK Telecom. Helio, seen as a stronger MVNO outfit than the dying Amp'd, is worse off than its rival, ...
  • Microsoft Calm About Under-Performing Areas
    Microsoft Chief Steve Ballmer conceded to a hammering from financial analysts in a recent meeting, who said the company should focus on its core desktop and software business and get out of the content, video games and electronics businesses. Ballmer responded that the software giants needed to be in every sector if it wants to realize its dream of integrating software, media and distribution. Despite tepid second-quarter performances from its MSN Web unit, Ballmer said he's more "optimistic" about Microsoft's future than at any point in the company's history. Analysts are concerned that Microsoft is spread thin, remaining ...
  • Wall Street Expects Big Numbers From AOL
    Since its landmark decision to ditch its dying dial-up Web business, AOL has enjoyed three straight quarters of solid growth in online advertising. The Time Warner company is still miles away from offsetting the revenue lost from its ISP business, but Wall Street appears to be happy. "Time Warner has resuscitated AOL from the dead," said portfolio manager Diane Jaffee of the TCW Diversified Value fund. Her company is the (happy) owner of about 1.3 million shares of Time Warner stock. Indeed, AOL's resurgence has been a major reason for Time Warner's turnaround in the stock market ...
  • Apple Bounces Back On Strong Profit Surge
    Just a day after investors drove Apple shares down nearly 7%, Steve Jobs' empire struck back with yet more stunning earnings, easily beating Wall Street's expectations. The electronics giant boosted sales 24% from last year to $5.41 billion; net income absolutely soared, up 73% to $818 million. Apple shares on Wednesday surged $13 in after-hours before settling again early this morning at around $145. Yesterday's surge came on the heels of a dip on Tuesday, thanks to lower-than-expected iPhone activations reported by AT&T during its second-quarter earnings. In fact, the iPhone, easily the year's most-hyped consumer electronics device, ...
  • ConnectU Given Time In Facebook Prosecution
    Facebook on Wednesday was given a boost in its defense of an intellectual-property lawsuit after a judge told prosecutor ConnectU it did not have enough evidence to prove that Facebook stole its ideas. However, there still isn't an end in sight to the case, as the Massachusetts Federal Judge gave ConnectU's founders Divya Narendra and Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss two weeks to produce factual evidence that Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and a group of early Facebook employees had stolen ConnectU's business model and code. After the Aug. 8 deadline, Facebook will have two weeks to respond The judge's decision ...
  • FCC Doesn't Love Google's Airwaves Plan
    The Federal Communications Commission is not overly excited at the prospect of Google bidding in its next spectrum auction slated for Jan. 28. In a filing with the federal organization last week, the search king stated its intention to bid the minimum $4.6 billion for a piece of the airwaves if the FCC mandates that the auctioned spectrum be leased out at wholesale prices. In response to Google's letter, FCC chairman Kevin Martin said an airwaves-leasing proposal from big G could make bidders "less willing" to build out their networks. Google's bid would be for one-third of the spectrum, ...
  • How Long Can Amazon Party Last?
    Amazon.com has posted consecutive quarters of dazzling results, resulting in a change of tune on Wall Street about the online retailer's long-term prospects--but not necessarily for the better. However, despite the long-term caution, the company's stock rose 24% yesterday following Tuesday's second-quarter earnings report. In the last year, the stock has seen a three-fold increase. Second-quarter results: earnings tripled, revenue was strong and profit margins actually expanded. For years, Wall Street complained that Amazon was myopically focused on sales at the expense of profit, as Amazon turned its attention to technology and content. Now that Amazon has gone ...
  • ComScore Revises Measurement System
    Methodology is a perennial subject of scrutiny in the Web measurement field as the online advertising industry depends on its impartial data to help set advertising rates and broker deals. ComScore, one of the industry's leading firms, has decided to refine its system for determining site usage. Instead of calculating an average from its cross-section of Web users around the country, comScore will divide usage into separate audience segments. The idea is to help advertisers distinguish the minority of heavy Web surfers from the masses of less active users. There categories will created using time-based criteria. The "heavy" category ...
  • Millions Wasted in Second Life
    Second Life is officially over. The virtual world supposedly heralded a new era of online advertising, as consumers increasing adopted massively multiplayer online gaming. Fascinated by Second Life's commercial potential, marketers, news publishers, even interactive ad shops bought the hype. If you wander through Linden Lab's virtual world, you can see virtual replicas of Pontiac's cars, American Apparel stores, an NBA theme park or a Reuters news bureau. However, as Michael Donnelly, Coca-Cola's worldwide head of interactive marketing says, you can also find yourself feeling totally alone. On a recent trip through Second Life to explore branding opportunities, Donnelly ...
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