Many in the auto industry are touting ethanol as the solution to the challenge of post-petroleum transportation. Major carmakers advertise many new cars can run on E85--a mixture of 85 percent ethanol and 15 percent gasoline--and they trumpet the fuels environmental benefits relative to gasoline. But the ethanol story is not as straightforward as it sounds. Aside from the lack of infrastructure--only around 1,400 out of 170,000 U.S. filling stations have ethanol available--the production of ethanol from corn has drawn criticism for its cost (in terms of food-stocks and land usage) and the relative inefficiency of the … Read more
Looking to capitalize on the popularity of its $400 Linux laptop, the Eee PC, Asus announced it will release three products under the Eee banner later this year: a desktop, an all-in-one PC, and an LCD TV. I can't see any of these forthcoming Eee products matching the Eee PC's early success--a compelling form factor and significant cost savings over similarly sized laptops helped it out of the gate--although the all-in-one PC may have a shot. Let us run through the newly announced products.
In the last few months, both Google and eBay unit PayPal have quietly rolled out new online-payment solutions that specifically target Internet-based political-campaign contributions.
While the companies primarily pitch their new products as methods for "attracting more supporters" and "increasing online giving to your campaign," the Internet titans have also laid the groundwork for phishing-resistant campaign contributions.
The phishing problem is a particular threat to campaign sites, for a … Read more
One of New York's most talked about tech start-ups these days is undoubtedly Etsy, the Brooklyn-based online marketplace for buying and selling handmade goods. And it's continuing to generate headlines: co-founder Robert Kalin announced in a blog post Wednesday that the company has picked up an impressive $27 million in Series D financing.
The venture funding comes from existing investors Union Square Ventures and Hubert Burda Media, as well as Accel Partners' Jim Breyer, who will take on a seat on Etsy's board of directors.
Etsy is "almost break-even" when it comes to profits, Kalin … Read more
With the impossible competition in the mobile phone business, it's not surprising that some manufacturers would try something a little crazy to distance themselves from pack. But we didn't think they'd be this crazy.
First we saw a weird design from NEC for a "Flask" handset that's apparently powered by some kind of liquid fuel. Now, just a day later, we find that Hitachi is introducing a phone that sports a 2.7-inch E-Ink display on the back that's destined for the Japanese market. Gizmodo says the "Silhouette Screen," which comes … Read more
As expected, eBay has lowered fees for listing items to sell and adjusted other fees in response to a slowdown in sales activity on the online auction site. The company also said on Tuesday that it is raising its commission for items that sell, which reduces the risk for sellers in the event an item does not sell, and is offering a free gallery picture with each listing.
Correction 9:30 a.m. PST: This blog initially misstated the day the deal was announced. It is Monday.
eBay company PayPal announced Monday it plans to acquire Fraud Sciences in a cash deal valued at $169 million.
Fraud Sciences, a privately held Israeli company, will lend its online risk tools and analytics to both eBay and PayPal's fraud management systems. Fraud Sciences' technology will also be baked into the companies' next-generation fraud detection tools.
Sony is really trying to outdo itself this Valentine's Day. Not only is it pushing its "Red Collection," but it's gone back to the well with its eBook promotion from last year. Fortunately since that campaign, which was decidedly unromantic, Sony seems to have gotten a little clearer on the concept. Instead of the stodgy leather-bound Dooney & Bourke version, this time it's going with a SkinIt "Cross Your Heart" cover--in pink, of course. But the real kicker is 14 free downloads of Harlequin romance novels. Now all it needs is some Fabio … Read more
Updated at 3:20 p.m. PST with more background, analyst comment.
Meg Whitman is stepping down as chief executive of eBay after a decade, allowing a trusted insider to respond to slowed growth at the online auction pioneer.
Whitman has long said that every CEO should step down after 10 years to seek new professional challenges and make room for fresh leadership. Following her own edict, she will step down March 31 while remaining on the board.
"It's time for eBay, and this community, to have a new leadership team, a new perspective, and a new vision,&… Read more
Microsoft is making a new bid to get governments to go with its technology, rather than open-source alternatives such as Linux and OpenOffice.
At its Government Leaders Forum in Berlin, which kicks off on Tuesday, the company plans to announce what it is calling the Citizen Service Platform. It's not a whole new set of products, but rather templates and architecture that use a range of Microsoft products to provide electronic access for residents.
At its most elaborate, large governments could spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on everything from Dynamics CRM to SharePoint to Internet Information Server to … Read more