An unlikely pairing has emerged in the online space.
A new start-up called Backplane has raised over $1 million in venture funding, The New York Times is reporting. The company's investment is led by Tomorrow Ventures, the venture firm that Google Executive Chairman (and former CEO) Eric Schmidt founded.
By investing in Backplane, Schmidt has a new partner: Lady Gaga. The pop artist owns 20 percent of Backplane, according to The New York Times.
Backplane, which has yet to launch, is designed to build and expand online communities around musicians and sports teams. According to the Times, the service … Read more
Though advertising is largely dead, sometimes people come up with wonderfully inventive things that make you stand and smile. Often, those people are in Sweden.
Here is just one wonderful example. It is for McDonald's. The bright minds behind this thought it would be, as the narrator of the video says, "extra fun" to have people stand around in a nice square, whip out their iPhones and play digital Pong on a large billboard.
If you managed to last 30 seconds without being defeated, you would get a coupon for something delicious at Ronald's house.
Internet access came back online in Syria on Saturday after two-thirds of networks in the country became unreachable from the rest of the world in the midst of street protests on Friday. As the strife-ridden country once again became visible to the online world, videos of snipers apparently firing on peaceful demonstrators began to surface, like the unsettling clip below, which turns violent about 20 seconds in.
Apple, what are you doing to me lately? Fresh off the Apple hard-drive crash that forced me to turn to my iPad for word processing, my Apple TV home unit stopped cooperating, leaving me without access to my favorite computer-archived TV shows and movies.
Fortunately, this presented the perfect opportunity to review a new McTivia unit sent my way. Could the McTivia stand in immediately for my late Apple TV? And could I get it set up quickly and easily? … Read more
Following public outcry, Google said on Friday it is revisiting its plan to kill off third-party access to its translation engine. The company will instead develop a plan to offer a paid version for others who wish to incorporate it into their services.
Google said last month it planned to end the Translate API because of abuse, but many of those who had built services using the tool had called on Google to instead just charge for it.
"In the days since we announced the deprecation of the Translate API, we've seen the passion and interest expressed by … Read more
The Justice Department is looking into the bidding for patents being sold by Nortel Networks over fears they could be used to quash competition, according to The Wall Street Journal.
The bankrupt Canadian telecom-equipment maker is unloading 6,000 patents for technology that includes wireless video, Wi-Fi, and LTE mobile data technology. According to the Journal, regulators worry that the patents could be a bludgeon for acquirers to wield against rivals as they move into emerging markets.
The Justice Department seems particularly concerned about Apple and Google. The Journal reports that the agency's antitrust division is reviewing Google's $… Read more
A new burst of hacks has left companies and government organizations picking up the pieces.
Earlier today, The Hacker News reported it had received a message from hacking group Pakistan Cyber Army, claiming the PCA had hacked an Acer Europe server and stole sensitive information. The publication posted a screenshot of the data reportedly collected, which included the personal information of 40,000 customers, including their names, addresses, phone numbers, e-mail addresses, and the names of products they had purchased.
According to The Hacker News, the PCA plans to release more data within the next 24 hours, and will follow … Read more
Apple has inked its licensing pact with Universal Music Group and will reportedly charge $25 a year for an iCloud subscription. That revenue stream--once you factor in splits with the music industry--is essentially peanuts, but the value of iCloud will go well beyond the profit and loss statement.
First the news, CNET's Greg Sandoval reports that Apple has cut a licensing deal with Universal Music. That move gives Apple all the major labels and Universal brings U2 and Lady Gaga to the iCloud party. Meanwhile, the L.A. Times reports that Apple will "eventually" charge $25 a year for iCloud and sell advertising around the service.
When you factor in the revenue split with the music industry--labels 58 percent, publishers 12 percent and Apple 30 percent--Steve Jobs & Co. will get $7.50 in revenue for each iCloud subscription.
As for the rudimentary math, Apple is projected to move 184 million iPhone units in calendar 2011 and 2012, according to Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster. We'll assume that half of those iPhone subscribers will ultimately pay for iCloud with Apple getting $7.50. That's $690 million in revenue a calendar year.
Apple is also expected to sell 75 million iPad units over calendar 2011 and 2012. Again we'll assume half of those iPad users buy the iCloud subscription. Those iPad units will deliver $281 million in revenue a year in calendar 2012.
As for the iPod, Apple is expected to move 81 million units over calendar 2011 and 2012. We'll assume one third of those iPod users will get iCloud--it's unclear whether the Nano will be able to… Read more
Microsoft is now restricting the number of Windows Phone apps that it will approve from a single developer to 20 per day.
In a blog posted yesterday, Microsoft said the new restriction is aimed at cutting down on "bulk app publishing," a process through which developers can flood the Windows Phone Marketplace with hundreds of apps over the course of just a few days.
Though these apps may meet Microsoft's certification guidelines, the company is concerned that such apps can push other recently-published apps out of the "What's New" category, thereby degrading and "… Read more
When Ronald McDonald House in Cincinnati needed a nine-page English document translated to Arabic, the children's advocacy organization turned to Sparked. Someone living in Jordan logged on and translated the prose in a few hours. Then someone from California confirmed the accuracy of the piece. Crowdsourcing skills and bite-size volunteering is what Sparked is all about.
Sparked connects corporate employees with nonprofits via the Internet, giving employees a way to volunteer right from their cubicles. Sparked co-founder Jacob Colker calls this micro-volunteering, a term he's trying to coin.
When I visited the small, barren Sparked office in San Francisco's hip SOMA neighborhood, Colker showed me the company's volunteering platform, which it licenses to major corporations. Employees from companies including new client LinkedIn or Google, Frog Design, Kraft, and SAP can sign in and volunteer during their lunch breaks--and people can focus on certain regions or specific issues. But the volunteer work is not limited to corporate partnerships. Individuals can also sign up at their leisure to help nonprofits with all things digital, from branding issues to blogging advice.
Originally, Colker thought people would volunteer their time while sitting on the bus or lounging by the pool. As it turns out, people out and about are probably not going to be able to help a nonprofit with a branding issue, Colker said. Instead, he maintains, people would much rather help others from their office, right at their desktop, during the free time they have between work-related tasks. The company started as The Extraordinaries in 2008 and within the past eight months rebranded itself to switch its mobile focus more to the Web. … Read more