• Case Leading "Startup American" Initiative
    As part of President Barack Obama's plan to promote entrepreneurship, AOL co-founder Steve Case will lead an administration-sanctioned campaign to support private sector investments in startup companies and small businesses. "In his Jan. 25 State of the Union address Obama said part of his plan to 'out-innovate, out-educate, and out-build the rest of the world' includes more investments in education, technology and infrastructure," Bloomberg reports. The initiative includes pledges from companies including Facebook Inc., Intel Corp., Hewlett-Packard Co., and International Business Machines Corp. to increase their investments in startup companies. Carl Schramm, the president and CEO of ...
  • AOL Europe Buys Into Video Distribution
    With an eye on content, AOL Europe just bought online video distribution network GoViral for $96.7 million. As the Guardian notes, "This is AOL's first major European acquisition since its disastrous 2008 deal to buy social networking website Bebo for $850 million." Co-founded in 2005 by Danish Web and advertising execs Jimmy Maymann and Claus Moseholm, GoViral is currently based in London. "AOL Europe said that the deal will strengthen its video offering and 'ultimately' North America," the Guardian notes. "We believe that GoViral ... allows us to match our ambition for premium content creation and engaging advertising, with ...
  • Can Quora Survive Without Scoble?
    To some degree, question and answer platform Quora owes its early success to the heavy involvement of influential tech blogger Robert Scoble. Calling Quora "the biggest blogging innovation in 10 years" didn't hurt either. Over the weekend, ...
  • KIT Digital Buys KickApps, Kewego, Kyte
    KIT digital has acquired three social software and video companies, TechCrunch is reporting. All told, the cloud-based video asset management company just dropped about $77 million on New York City-based KickApps, Paris-based Kewego, and San Francisco-based Kyte. Per the deals, KickApps CEO Alex Blum has been named Global COO of KIT digital, while KickApps CFO David Lapter will now serve as SVP Finance and Administration within KIT digital. Blum will be responsible for the overall business operations of the company, including product management, R&D, client operations, and business administration. "So why KickApps, Kewego and Kyte -- apart ...
  • Google Aims To Own App Market
    Google may now have the most popular mobile software on the market, but Apple is still seen to have the edge on apps. Likely as a result, Google reportedly plans to hire dozens of software developers to create apps for smartphones and other mobile devices. As sources tell The Wall Street Journal, the hiring binge is part of a "new strategy aimed partly at helping Google counter Apple Inc. in one of high tech's hottest sectors." Hires include software engineers, product managers, user-interface experts and other mobile app-focused experts.  Some existing Google employees are now shifting their attention -- ...
  • Google's Android Unseats Symbian
    Ending a near 10-year reign, Google's Android has unseated Nokia's Symbian as the world's leading smartphone software. But, what does the rapid rise mean for Google, and the industry at large? Fortune's Seth Weintraub calls it "the most incredible ascent of any technology I can remember in history" -- the real significance being that "Android is leading the charge to put smartphones, web-enabled handsets, into the whole word's hands. Along with Nokia, "The numbers also highlight Google's success in battling Apple," writes Reuters.  Unlike Apple or Nokia, Google offers its mobile operating system free to phone makers rather ...
  • LinkedIn Is About To Go Public
    Finally set to go public, LinkedIn on Friday had everyone asking why now, what it means for the social network, and which social-centric companies could follow suit."The decision by LinkedIn ... to snuggle up to Wall Street is significant because it's the first such social network to make the jump this year," writes The Register.Likewise, eWeek sees the move as "potentially paving the way for Facebook, Twitter, Groupon and other Internet companies to join the publicly traded sector."Adds GigOm: "While LinkedIn's offering won't quench the demand for IPOs from companies such as Facebook or Zynga, the fact ...
  • E-Book Biz Sends Amazon Over The Moon
    Thanks in large part to the health of its e-books business, Amazon just reported higher profits and a 36% increase in net sales for the fourth quarter of 2010. For the first time ever, Amazon also said that it is now selling more e-books via its Kindle platform than physical paperback books. "The problem, according to Wall Street, was that Amazon's growth was expected, and the stock slid by about 9 percent," PCMag points out. Still, the ecommerce giant reported net income of of $416 million for the fourth quarter, versus net sales of $12.95 billion. Net income rose ...
  • PwC: Media M&A Best, But Not Great
    While it outpaced the overall U.S. deal market, entertainment and media industry merger and acquisition activity increased only slightly in 2010, according to new data from PricewaterhouseCoopers. What's more, in part because of less deal disclosure, "the total value of completed industry transactions with known deal values declined," notes The Hollywood Reporter. PwC cited the continued shift to digital media, strong corporate cash reserves and private equity firms with "dry powder" as key catalysts for deal activity in the media and entertainment space. This year, PwC is also predicting that the space will continue to outperform the broader U.S. ...
  • Tweetdeck Breaks 140-Character Ceiling
    Social sacrilege! Software company Tweetdeck just debuted a new service that will let users post Twitter updates longer than 140 characters. According to the Financial Times the new Deck.ly service is part of a broader strategy on the part of Tweetdeck "to ease its dependence on Twitter and become a greater platform in itself." Now, users of Tweetdeck's desktop, Chrome and mobile apps will be able to read these longer posts seamlessly within the app. Iain Dodsworth, founder and chief executive, tells FT.com that users have been "very vocal" in demanding such a service. "From day one [of Tweetdeck], ...
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