Google has passed a significant milestone with the release of its first version of Native Client, a software foundation designed to let Web-based applications tap into a person's computer chip.
The software, called Arctic Sea, is available built into Chrome 10, which entered beta testing yesterday. "A big goal of this release is to enable developers to start building Native Client modules for Chrome applications," product manager Christian Stefansen said of the Native Client release in a blog post today.
Native Client--NaCl for short--is an unusual approach to the challenge of letting people download software over the … Read more
The company is trying to secure $500 million in funding on a valuation of $10 billion, AllThingsD reported yesterday, citing unnamed sources. The publication said that Morgan Stanley, Fidelity Investments, T. Rowe Price, and previous investor Kleiner Perkins are involved in the funding round, which apparently is nearly complete.
The New York Times published a similar report yesterday, citing unnamed sources of its own that said Zynga is nearing a $10 billion valuation and a $500 million funding round. The publication's sources said Zynga is also preparing for an initial … Read more
PayPal was hit by an outage early this morning that prevented customers from using the online payment service for more than an hour.
The outage started at 12:11 am PT, according to PayPal's Developer Network. PayPal said it was resolved by 1:23 a.m. PT, though the company acknowledged that access to international PayPal sites, such as ones in the U.K. and Spain, may have been slow or intermittent until 2 a.m. PT
The outage prevented customers from logging into their PayPal accounts. But the company said it didn't affect the ability of merchants … Read more
With Google's six-week update schedule, the new releases are milestones that Chrome users pass--often not necessarily noticing given the software's silent auto-update mechanism. But there are significant new features coming with the new beta.
I've said before, and not too long ago, that only people with poor impulse control buy things at retail prices. But I've recently come to understand that deal-seekers, people who habitually try to save money by using social-shopping sites like Groupon or coupon directories like RetailMeNot, may actually be even more valuable to the retail industry than people who buy stuff at list price. Because they spend more.
Cotter Cunningham, CEO of WhaleShark Media, which runs RetailMeNot, explained to me recently why his straightforward coupon site is working well, and how the Internet is changing how pricing and consumer marketing is done.
Affiliate marketing--paid links to commercial destinations--is the third-most efficient way for consumer goods and services companies to get online business, after e-mailing existing customers and doing good SEO. Coupons make for very effective and trackable affiliate links, because users have to click on them to get the deal, not just visit the site selling the product they want.
And coupon sites succeed because the business of aggregating coupons is very strong: each link is a CPA, or cost-per-action link, which pays out at a much higher rate than CPC, or cost-per-click advertising links.
The goal is to become the big site with the most coupons, as getting into that position makes for a virtuous SEO cycle: the more coupons you have, the more people link to and visit the site, and the higher you rise in the search engines. RetailMeNot pursues this strategy by including even nonaffiliate coupon deals in its listings. Unlike some of the original coupon sites, where each coupon has an affiliate or CPA link attached to it, RetailMeNot encourages its users to submit coupon codes they find around the Internet. These coupons don't generate direct revenue for the site (although pages they're on do serve ads), but they do serve the incredibly important function of improving RetailMeNot's depth and thus its SEO juice and its traffic, making its paid links bigger revenue drivers. … Read more
The streaming market is about to get a bit more crowded, according to a new report.
Redbox President Mitch Lowe confirmed to a group of analysts yesterday that his company is planning to launch a streaming service to compete with Netflix, the Los Angeles Times is reporting. Similar to Netflix, Redbox's streaming service will be subscription-based, requiring customers to pay a single monthly fee for access to its slate of films.
Netflix is the dominant force in the streaming business. The company offers content from major film studios and top television networks across a wide array of devices, including … Read more
Google CEO Eric Schmidt said yesterday that he's "very, very proud" of the key role that employee Wael Ghonim played in the recent Egyptian protest movement.
Speaking at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Schmidt addressed the topic of Ghonim, Google's head of marketing for the Middle East and North Africa, who used Facebook and other online tools to help spark the protests in Egypt.
"They were able to use a set of technologies that included Facebook, Twitter and a number of others to really express the voice of the people," Schmidt said, according … Read more
Movie rental company Redbox is trying to improve its standing in the mobile market.
The company announced today that it has launched a new Android application that will allow its customers to look through available titles, find one of its kiosks around the U.S., and reserve films from the app. In addition, it updated its iPhone app to make the software more responsive to users when they rent movies. The app also now supports box art.
Redbox's iPhone app has performed well. The free application has been downloaded over 2 million times since its launch in December 2009, … Read more
BARCELONA--Apple gets plenty of praise for advancing mobile browsers with its iPhone's version of Safari, but an audience greeted its performance with some laughter as Microsoft compared it to an upcoming version of IE9 for Windows Phone 7.
Joe Belfiore, a Microsoft corporate vice president, showed off the browser here at the Mobile World Congress show during a keynote speech by Chief Executive Steve Ballmer. Specifically, Belfiore showed it running a Microsoft fishtank demonstration that's been in widespread use since the hardware acceleration work began in earnest among personal computer browser makers last year.