• NY Times Names Smurl Head of New Metered Model
    Ahead of plans to begin charging for high levels of online content consumption, The New York Times Co. has promoted its VP of advertising Paul Smurl to the new role of VP of NYTimes.com paid products. As such, he will be responsible for implementing what is being called the paper's "metered model," which isn't scheduled to go into effect until next year. He'll also be responsible for its financial performance, along with crossword subscriptions and mobile game products. He'll report to Denise Warren, SVP and chief advertising officer, The New York Times Media Group and GM, NYTimes.com.
  • Google Puts Bounty On Bugs
    Round up the posse! Google just put a bounty on Chrome bugs, as well as any bugs that can be found in Chromium -- its open source codebase used as the testing grounds for its Chrome browser. With a focus on security issues, developers can expect rewards of between $500 to $1,337 for reporting the bugs, which will vary depending on the severity of the security hole discovered. Those bugs deemed "particularly severe or particularly clever" will receive the higher amount.
  • Citysearch Launches Local Ad/Content Network
    Citysearch just launched a set of APIs that makes all of its local listings content and advertising available to other Web sites and mobile apps. Dubbed CityGrid, the APIs include more than 15 million local business listings, 3 million user reviews, and access to 500,000 local advertisers looking to reach people near their places of business. Citysearch presently already distributes its local listings content to about 100 sites and mobile apps with a collective reach of 100 million people -- about a quarter of which is Citysearch.com. "I thought what if I took all the tools that ...
  • Digital Gaga Fashions Industry Future
    Along with her sci-fi aesthetic and genre-bending sound, Lady Gaga's success is due in large part to a "shrewd use of new digital platforms," writes The Wall Street Journal. Adding to huge sales on iTunes, much of Gaga's audience gets her music free and legally, listening to streams -- by the hundreds of millions -- on YouTube and the other online services, according to research firm BigChampagne. On MySpace, meanwhile, Gaga has had 321.5 million plays. (By contrast, singer Susan Boyle tallied only 133,000 plays, despite scoring the No. 2 selling album of 2009.) "While most artists ...
  • Will Facebook Be The Mayor Of Foursquare?
    Citing a single unnamed source, TechCrunch is reporting that Facebook is working on a feature for its mobile users to "check-in," and "broadcast" their location to friends. Local business review community Yelp recently released a similar "check-in" feature. The developments could spell trouble for Union Square Ventures-backed Foursquare, which has quickly established itself as a leader in the location-based social space. "Allowing users to 'check-in' is Foursquare's primary function," writes TechCrunch. Furthermore, "Facebook, with its huge scale and wealth of engineering talent, could squash Foursquare." Not so, says Foursquare co-founder Dennis Crowley -- who sold another location-based social ...
  • Second Coming For Kindle?
    Unless one explodes, maiming or killing a user, we've resolved not to talk about the iPad anymore this week. That, however, still leaves us free to discuss those companies most likely to be affected by new device -- chief among them being Amazon. The online retailer, and maker of the Kindle e-reader, just beat analyst expectations with a healthy margin for the fourth quarter of 2009. It had been expected to earn $0.72 per share, but it actually made $0.85 per share, while revenue rose to $9.52 billion -- up 42% over the same period last year. ...
  • Is Newsday.com Just Misunderstood?
    As it is wont to do, Gawker continues to hound Newsday over what it considers the Long Island paper's "dismal" online subscriber numbers. Tad Smith -- president of Cablevision's Local Media group, which includes Newsday -- just sent a memo to staff explaining that the strategy for Newsday.com "uniquely derives from its carriage on Cablevision." As such, "the newsday.com strategy is entirely different from the strategies pursued by other current and prospective online publishers," which "do not sell high-speed Internet services." (Smith's memo was inspired by criticism over a recent remark Newsday Publisher Terry Jimenez made at an employee meeting ...
  • AT&T Talks Up Network
    AT&T devoted much of its earning call this week to the issue of it network -- "not too surprising, really, considering the cozy relationship between dropped calls, subscriber count, and profit," Engadget notes. Overall, the phones seems to be please with it efforts to improve coverage, due in large part to the addition of new carriers at existing cell sites. With regard to dropped calls, AT&T said that the statistic dropped network-wide from 1.41% to 1.05% between December 2008 and 2009 - "not bad, though the real problems seem to be in key high-density, high-visibility markets like Manhattan where it ...
  • iShock! iPad Imperfect
    Be it constructive or attention seeking, criticism is coming fast and furious on the heels of Apple's big iPad unveiling. Gizmodo has graciously gone to the trouble of compiling a working list of disapproval. "Have you seen the bezel on this thing?!" the tech blog incredulously asks? The bezel, for all you gadget neophytes, is the rim area surrounding a device's screen. "It's huge! I know you don't want to accidentally input a command when your thumb is holding it, but come on." Other gripes, both slight and seemingly significant, include the fact that the iPad doesn't allow multitasking ("This ...
  • For Apple, Loose Lips Sink Partner-Ships
    Break Apple's infamous code of silence at your own risk. Harold "Terry" McGraw III learned that lesson the hard way this week by blabbing about Apple's iPad a full day ahead of schedule. As a result, according to VentureBeat, Steve Jobs removed any mention of the McGraw-Hill publishing company from the partnership portion of his iPad presentation Wednesday afternoon. "Yes, they'll make their announcement tomorrow on this one," McGraw told CNBC on air, before revealing additional details about the companies' partnership, the iPad's operating system, and its broader e-books strategy. Insiders tell VentureBeat that as soon as ...
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