Truly going global, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) just welcomed in several generic top-level domain (TLD) names that are lighton Latin characters. “Joining the ranks of 22 existing domain names … are four new variations that can appear at the end of a Web address,” Mashable reports. “The latest additions include , which is Arabic for “web/network,” and , Russian for “online.”
Amid broader concerns about the authenticity of online comments and reviews, Taiwan’s Fair Trade Commission just fined Samsung about $340,000 for paying commenters to applaud its products, while bashing those of its closest competitors. The FTC says Samsung used a “large number of hired writers and designated employees” to post in Taiwanese forums, The Verge reports. “The commission does add that the company did this through a third-party marketing company.”
Pinterest reportedly just got $225 million richer. Yes, the picture-sharing network just raised a large round of financing, which was led by late-stage investor Fidelity Investments; it values the company $3.8 billion, AllThingsD reports. “That’s obviously a whole lot of pins,” AllThingsD jokes, noting that Pinterest just raised $200 million this past February.
YouTube is reportedly developing a premium music service, which sources tell Billboard.com will be like Spotify with video. “The service, designed with mobile listening in mind, will have a free component and a premium tier that offers unlimited access to a full catalog of tracks,” it reports. “Premium features would include the ability to cache music for offline listening and removing ads.”
Outbrain just raised another $35 million, the native ad startup said this week. “The funding announcement comes as something of a surprise in light of media reports in September stating Outbrain had hired its first CFO and planned to go public in 2014,” according to GigaOm. Outbrain helps sites like CNN and the Guardian recommend stories to readers.
As expected, Aereo just added an Android app to the Google Play store. “The app … allows users in the seven markets where Aereo operates to access the cloud-based TV service from smartphones, tablets, and other devices running Android operating system 4.2 or higher,” CNet reports. The controversial streaming TV service is already available to Apple users in select cities, including New York and Boston.
Redefining corporate wealth and the value of social media, Mark Zuckerberg reportedly received total compensation of $2.28 billion, last year. “Almost all of it [came] from share options exercised when Facebook went public,” Silicon Valley Business Journal reports, citing a report from research firm GMI Ratings. The astronomical sum easily made Zuckerberg the highest paid North America chief executive in 2012.
Facebook’s removal of a gruesome user-uploaded video, this week, is drawing attention to the network’s role as an arbiter of unacceptable content. Complicating matters, Facebook had originally defended the video’s posting, “considering it a type of free expression from users,” as AllThingsD explains. “The entire debacle speaks to a tension Facebook is currently in the midst of navigating.”
On the eve of Apple’s latest iPad launch, this week, Henry Blodget couldn’t contain his pessimism over the device and its future prospects. “Apple's iPads are too expensive,” Blodget wrote in Business Insider, noting that iPad sales have hit a wall. “Apple is trying to maintain premium pricing in a market in which competitors are increasingly selling high-quality iPad alternatives for significantly lower prices.”
Not about to miss another major industry shift, Microsoft is reportedly testing versions of a device that would compete directly against Google Glass. Microsoft is “determined to take the lead in hardware manufacturing to make sure the company won't miss out on the opportunities in the wearable gadget market," a source tells The Wall Street Journal.