While it's been a rough day for some Netflix users who partake of both online streaming and DVD-by-mail services with word of a 60 percent price hike, today has been downright bruising for Netflix itself. The company is getting battered by irate users taking to social media to vent their red-envelope-tinged fury.
On Netflix's Facebook page, just six hours after the company posted a link to the announcement that appeared on its company blog, more than 9,000 comments have been posted in response. I read a sample of about 100 comments, and only one defended the Netflix … Read more
Some of the children's social-networking sites that are out there make a big deal out of being for kids only, as if allowing kids and grownups to interact is inherently dangerous. It's not. If it were dangerous for kids to be around adults, they would never be around teachers, coaches, or even family members. The issue isn't who kids are hanging out with, but how they are treated by them and how they behave around them.
Of course, we don't want our young children to be hanging out online with random strangers, but I think it'… Read more
In the social-media industry, a company's valuation is always a hot topic. But a recent survey shows that those valuations might need to be taken with a grain of salt.
According to a survey conducted by accounting and consulting organization BDO USA, 75 percent of capital markets executives at investment banks do not believe that social-media companies' valuations can be "justified." The survey also found that 62 percent of the executives say that the chances of a second dot-com bubble "is at least somewhat likely."
However, BDO partner Jay Duke isn't so sure that … Read more
EA, which announced the acquisition after the market closed today, said that the two parties agreed to a price of $650 million in cash and $100 million in stock. In addition, PopCap is eligible to receive up to $550 million in earnouts over the next couple years if the company can hit certain revenue milestones.
PopCap shareholders will receive nothing in earnouts if the company generates $91 million or less in earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) through December 2013. The company's shareholders can stand to make $550 million in earnouts if PopCap'… Read more
Controversial legislation to require Internet providers to store logs about their customers for 18 months has run into an unexpected obstacle: a former supporter.
"This bill needs a lot of fixing up," Rep. F. James Sensenbrenner, a Wisconsin Republican and previous chairman of the House Judiciary committee, said at a hearing today. "It's not ready for prime time."
Netflix today started offering a bare-bones DVD plan as it increased the prices of its DVD-and-streaming plans.
The company's new $7.99-per-month plan, offered at a new page on the Netflix site, allows users to have one DVD out a time on an unlimited basis. According to a Netflix salesperson who spoke to CNET today, those who want to include Blu-ray discs in the new plan will need to pay $9.99 per month. Internet streaming of video content is not included. If customers want two DVDs out at a time, they will need to pay $11.99 per … Read more
As part of a plan to discourage customers from pirating films and music, some of the country's largest bandwidth providers announced last week that they will take punitive action against customers repeatedly caught in the act.
So far, most of the attention has been on the potential impacts to Internet users, but now some are asking how the major Hollywood film studios and four top record companies were able to convince the Internet service providers to take part. For years, executives from AT&T and Verizon have argued that enforcing copyright was up to the content creators and … Read more
Amazon is trying a new tactic in its bid to fight states that force online retailers to collect sales tax.
On Friday, the online retail giant filed a petition for a referendum with the California attorney general's office, the Associated Press is reporting. The referendum would ask voters to overturn a new California law that forces online retailers to collect sales tax there.
Amazon is especially concerned with one of the law's stipulations, which requires online retailers to collect sales tax if affiliates operating in California push customers to an online retailer's site to buy products.
Foursquare has created a daily-deals program that relies upon services that consumers are already using.
The location-based social network that allows people to "check in" at different locations, has formed agreements with LivingSocial, AT&T, and fashion-focused Gilt Groupe, among others, to deliver the deals. According to the company, the daily deals are an expansion of its current Specials program, which allows merchants to advertise deals to the social platform's users.
Foursquare's new offering will help people find deals around their current location. The deals Foursquare offers will be tailored to the person based on … Read more
Google, trying to take a stand with its new social network, requires people to use real-world names on Google+. The real world, though, turns out to be more complex than a simple rule can accommodate.
Now two weeks old and growing like a weed, Google+ is facing issues that became common once the Internet made people's identity into information that can reach potentially anyone on the planet. With Google+ and the Google Profiles service on which it relies, the company is trying to build a service without pseudonyms, anonymous cowards, or impersonation.
"Google Profiles is a product that works best in the identified state. This way you can be certain you're connecting with the right person, and others will have confidence knowing that there is someone real behind the profile they're checking out," according to the Google help files for Google+. "For this reason, Google Profiles requires you to use the name that you commonly go by in daily life."
Most people are known by the name that appears on their driver's license or school registry and probably won't think twice about using that when joining a social network. There are plenty of advantages to that approach: anonymous forums are often degraded by trolling, attacks, and flame wars. Using real names brings some measure of accountability, since your reputation is on the line when you voice an opinion.
But there are acres of gray area, too. Political dissidents may want to avoid persecution. Those who've been harassed may want to avoid more of it. And plenty of people want both online interactions and privacy. … Read more