Stardust is sprinkled all over music service Spotify.
In recent months, users, reviewers, and even Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg have heaped praise on the European service, which has yet to launch in the United States. But while Spotify may be a nifty service, it may also be a textbook example of how popularity doesn't mean profits.
CEO Daniel Ek appeared to acknowledge that his company has a long way to go before hitting profitability in a candid note he posted to the site on Thursday. Writing on the anniversary of the site's launch, Ek signaled that the service … Read more
Microsoft says that rather than struggle to fix their own PC problems, computer owners have proved themselves more than willing to just click a "Fix it" button and let the computer take care of itself.
Since about January, Microsoft has been adding the automated fixes for an array of PC problems for which there is a single known solution. In the past six months, it has added more than 300 "Fix its" to automate the steps needed to solve problems, change settings, and even protect against viruses.
The U.S. Department of Defense has contracted for the development of bullet resistant windows that dim instantly with a touch of a button, providing "on-demand" light control, privacy, and protection from heat, glare, and ultraviolet rays.
GKN Aerospace was awarded the $425,000 contract by the Combating Terrorism Technical Support Office's VIP Protection Subgroup to incorporate dimmable films with armored glass to provide a "SmartShade" that conceals the location and identity of VIPs traveling in armored vehicles.
The Redditch, U.K.-based company will wed its bullet resistant glazing expertise with a "suspended … Read more
For companies that want to turn all that customer carping on Twitter and Facebook into something more constructive, Salesforce.com is bringing some new services to its cloud-computing infrastructure.
Salesforce.com, which sells Internet-based services as an alternative to business software companies install on their own computers, has added new Twitter and crowdsourced tech support options to its foundation for customer service work.
The Service Cloud 2 options, announced Wednesday, will give new Web-based options to those who pay Salesforce.com to run their customer-support infrastructures. About 8,000 clients use the earlier Service Cloud option, Salesforce.com said, and … Read more
Mac OS X provides several log files that keep track of system operations--a resource that can be extremely valuable when troubleshooting issues. When Mac users experience problems with MobileMe syncing, the sync logs can be used to determine the source of the issue, or sent to the MobileMe support team.… Read more
Microsoft said Wednesday that it is changing its support policies to offer customers more time zone and daylight saving time updates at no extra charge.
Previously, Microsoft had offered the updates free while products were in their mainstream support phase (typically five years from a product's release). However, it had required customers who wanted updates during the "extended support" phase (usually the next five years) to sign up for a paid hot-fix support program to get the updates, which keep a computer's clock and calendar up-to-date with any time zone changes.
Under its new plan, products … Read more
In July 2008, two months before start-up SpiralFrog's aspirations were shredded by the souring economy and a series of management gaffes, the long knives were already drawn in the music service's executive suite.
In a private meeting, CEO Mel Schrieberg was stripped of most of his power after SpiralFrog's board grew tired of his heavy spending on salaries and ineffective marketing strategies. Even worse for Schrieberg, the man intent on driving him out was an old friend and one of his main allies at the company, founder Joe Mohen.
"The board wants him removed now," … Read more
The start-up would offer music free of charge to consumers and attempt to hand the bill to advertisers. Since then, we've seen a dozen companies make names for themselves by offering their own twist on the ad-supported music model, including MySpace Music, Imeem, and Pandora. But regardless of how anyone has tweaked it, not a single service in the still-nascent sector has proven that it knows how to offer consumers a compelling free-music service … Read more
The dot-com era had eToys, Webvan, and Pets.com. The digital-entertainment boom has SpiralFrog.
The day SpiralFrog likely reserved a corner in the pantheon of the Web's most noteworthy busts came on July 14, 2008. At 2 a.m. that day, an agitated Amir Khan, an executive at hedge fund 3V Capital Management, SpiralFrog's main financial backer, e-mailed several fellow board members at the pioneering ad-supported music service.
Khan was frustrated by SpiralFrog's marketing efforts. In one case, the start-up spent $300,000 to host a video from pop singer Alicia Keys that managers claimed would draw … Read more