• Kevin Rose Joins Google Ventures
    Before anyone knew Mark Zuckerberg’s name, Kevin Rose was the Web’s golden boy -- and his pursuits still pique the curiosity of tech watchers everywhere. What’s the founder of Digg.com up to? Well, after joining Google in March to work on Google+ -- along with some of his team from mobile app incubator Milk -- Rose has reportedly moved on to Google Ventures. “Rose is now a venture partner at the firm focused on making new investments, and he has already moved internally,” according to AllThingsD. “Rose famously founded Digg and built a sizable personal following through a career as a TV ...
  • Grubwithus Grubs $5M For Social Dining
    Do people want help organizing dinners with like-minded people whom they might not know in an offline setting? Betting that they do, investors -- led by GRP Partners -- are pouring another $5 million into Grubwithus. Betakit attributes the startup’s appeal among VCs to “its pioneering status in what looks like it might be the latest trend among foodies,” i.e., dining with strangers. “The new cash will be used to help Grubwithus reach out to more restaurant partners, focus and expand marketing efforts, and help drive growth,” according to Betakit. “So far, the site has managed to operate in almost 50 different ...
  • Google Reverses Course On "Paid Inclusion"
    The was a time when Google rejected “paid inclusion.” Raising potential concerns for publishers and online searchers, however, the company appears to have embraced the pay-to-play business model. As examples, Marketing Land points to Google Hotel Finder and Google Flight Search, both of which debuted last year. “On the surface, they seem like Google’s other ‘vertical’ or topic-focused search engines,” it writes. “Unlike Google’s other vertical search engines, however, payment seems to have a role in being included in Google Hotel Finder and Google Flight Search. Maybe Google will find your hotel or your flight and list it for “free.” ...
  • Twitter Spurs Speed Of Tweets
    Though a highly technical endeavor, achieving faster load times can do more for a Web site’s success than any creative or design element. As such, Twitter has reengineered its site so that tweets will load five times faster. “The overhaul will also prepare the microblogging service for the next generation of Web browsers by laying the ground for more interactive features,” The Telegraph reports. In fact, as Twitter engineer Dan Webb explains in a blog post: “This new framework will help us rapidly develop new Twitter features, take advantage of new browser technology, and ultimately provide the best experience to as ...
  • Apple Hints At Facebook Tie-Up
    For years, people have wondered if and when Apple and Facebook would join forces. Now, Apple CEO Tim Cook is hinting that the company’s iOS mobile operating system could get Facebook integration in the not-too-distant future. Asked about a potential tie-up at AllThingsD’s D10 Conference, this week, Cook said that he thought the relationship between Facebook and Apple was “very solid,” adding that iOS users should “stay tuned on this one.” Asked about deal-breakers for each company, Cook said that Apple’s goal is to “provide customers simple and elegant ways to do the things they want to do,” and that, ...
  • Changes Boost Search For Google
    Besides driving a few marketers to the brink, what has Google achieved with its recent search changes? According to the tech giant, it is experiencing a noticeable increase in related activity. Indeed, people are “doing more searches as a result” of the revamp, a Google spokesman tells The Wall Street Journal’s Digits blog, citing internal data. In place of relevant search ads or content boxes with Google+ info, Google recently began showing searchers Web searches big boxes of information and photos related to their queries. “Early indications are that people are interacting with it more, learning about more things…and doing ...
  • Does Facebook IPO Foretell Tech Bust
    Recalling Internet bubbles and vast overvaluations, some are suggesting that Facebook’s IPO could send the tech sector into a millennium-style tailspin. “The Facebook fiasco has spooked a lot of tech investors, especially those holding shares of recently launched social media companies with similarly unproven earnings streams,” writes Forbes. “Perhaps it’s a nice opportunity to buy shares in Zynga, Yelp, Angie’s List and the like. Or maybe it’s more like the wake-up call Boo.com gave the market with its bankruptcy in 2000: the one that made everyone suddenly remember that even a wildly popular product won’t save a company that can’t ...
  • Apple Makes Nice With Washington Elite
    Continuing to pave his own path at Apple, CEO Tim Cook paid his first visit to Capital Hill, last week. “The low-key visit [involved a handful of meetings with congressional leaders] was in keeping with the company's traditional approach to Washington,” according to Fortune. “But the fact that Cook visited at all signals a subtle but significant pivot for the outfit inside the Beltway.” Cook’s predecessor, Steve Jobs, was not known to involve himself in lobbying efforts, or political glad-handing. “As his successor begins to put his own imprint on the company, however, Cook wants key players in Washington to ...
  • Groupon Testing Payments Service?
    Potentially expanding its commerce offerings, Groupon is reportedly testing a payments service. Seeking an edge over existing services offered by eBay’s PayPal, Square and Google, Groupon is apparently offering an iPod Touch and card reader to merchants free of charge. “The other [services] provide only the readers for free,” reports VentureBeat. Meanwhile, “The [service’s] pricing is extremely aggressive, with a 1.8% transaction fee and a 15 cent per transaction charge for transactions processed through the terminal,” VB reporting, citing an email from a business that was solicited for the service. Square currently charges 2.75% with no per transaction fee, while ...
  • Why Facebook Needs Another Photo App
    Dubbed Camera, Facebook just released an iPhone app that lets users take photos, add filters to them, and share them on the social network. Naturally, Web watchers are asking why the company needs another photo app after expressing an interest in buying Instagram for about $1 billion. “To us geeks who follow everything that’s going on in the tech industry, it might initially seem a little odd that Facebook would have, want, or need two camera apps,” writes respected tech analyst Dan Frommer. “But it actually makes sense,” he writes on his SplatF blog. “Facebook Camera is for creating photos, ...
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