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Facebook to Investors: You Like What You See?
February 4, 2012
Facebook's finally decided to take a head-first dive into the mountain of cash it's been standing on for years. Following several days of heated rumors and years of speculation about when CEO Mark Zuckerberg was finally going to cash in his chips, the company filed an S-1 statement with the SEC, paving the way for an IPO as early as this May.
Apple Does the Money Dance
January 28, 2012
pple's first fiscal quarter is usually a big one. The way its financial calendar works out, what it considers Q1 ends on Dec. 31, meaning it covers the entire holiday period, as well as maybe a little back-to-school action. But the numbers Apple posted about its most recent Q1 were in an entirely different class than the usual money bender it wakes up from this time of year.
SOPA Shellacked, PIPA Plastered
January 21, 2012
The Stop Online Piracy Act, otherwise known as "SOPA," is losing friends fast, and now it looks like there's a good chance it'll lose the support it needs to make it out of Congress alive, much less the White House. SOPA and its Senate bill cousin PIPA, the Protect IP Act, have been controversial from the beginning, but a recent round of protests have made them almost toxic.
Google's Nettlesome Search Gambit
January 14, 2012
Google has tuned up its search engine once again, but this time instead of shaving a couple of precious microseconds off its response time, it's decided to adjust some back-end systems in a way that changes the kinds of results people get, depending on who they are.
Barnes & Noble's Nook: Life Preserver or Dead Weight?
January 7, 2012
The arrival of the Amazon Kindle Fire gave Apple reason to worry, but it may have given Barnes & Noble a reason to completely freak out. Its Nook Tablet Android device arrived about a month after the Kindle Fire was announced, and the Nook may be in a much more vulnerable position than the iPad.
Verizon and Google Enter Holiday Party Late and Sulky
December 17, 2011
The Galaxy Nexus has finally arrived in the United States after showing up in places like Europe and Hong Kong several weeks ago. This is a Samsung smartphone running the very latest and greatest version of Android, Ice Cream Sandwich. And there are no factory-installed tweaks to the OS either -- it's straight Android, no mixer.
Twitter Rolls the Dice
December 10, 2011
When a social media site undertakes a major redesign, it's kind of like that scene in "Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade." Drink from the right cup, and you're completely re-energized. But there are a lot of poor choices you can make, and drinking from any of the wrong cups will turn your site into a dried-out husk.
Tinkerer, Carrier, Rootkit, Spy
December 3, 2011
The company Carrier IQ became an overnight pariah this week after a security researcher published information suggesting that software it makes could potentially be used to significantly violate the privacy of millions of smartphone users. The researcher is Trevor Eckhart, and he said that the way Carrier IQ's application is used could allow it to tell your cellphone carrier all sorts of things.
Another Grim Week for RIM
October 29, 2011
Research In Motion continues its trend of getting beaten up week after week with more and more bad news. This time, it had to swallow three separate helpings of trouble affecting everything from its PlayBook tablet to its as-yet unborn BBX operating system. It's also going to have to deal with some fallout from the massive, days-long, world-wide service outage it suffered a couple of weeks ago.
Will Microsoft Get Lucky With Yahoo?
October 22, 2011
Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer recently commented on Yahoo's present situation by saying "Sometimes you're lucky." He was referring to his company's rebuffed attempt to buy Yahoo a few years ago for $47 billion. But that doesn't necessarily mean he thinks owning Yahoo now would be a bad idea -- perhaps all he meant was that by waiting a few years, Microsoft may be able to get Yahoo for a whole lot less than $47 billion.
The BlackBerry Blackout: Research In Commotion
October 15, 2011
The Great BlackBerry Blackout of '11 is clearing up, and not a moment too soon for users who rely on Research In Motion's technologies for critical business communications. The problems started early in the week for customers in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, then spread to India and South America before making its way into North America, including RIM's home turf in Canada.
The Fruits of Steve Jobs' Tireless Quest for Perfection
October 8, 2011
Steve Jobs' long battle with cancer came to a sad end Wednesday. The Apple cofounder, chairman and former CEO started his company from a garage, revolutionized the technology industry many times over, got fired from his own business, then came back years later to turn it into the most valuable publicly traded company in the world, all in just over a quarter of a century.
Amazon's Kindle Catches Fire
October 1, 2011
Amazon has launched what may become the first real threat to Apple's iPad. The Kindle Fire has been anticipated for many months now, but this week Amazon officially took the lid off and showed everyone what it's really about. For a device that could eventually loosen the iPad's stranglehold on the tablet market, the Fire's spec sheet doesn't exactly match that of an iPad 2.
The Board Giveth, the Board Taketh Away
September 24, 2011
I'm no HP historian, but it looks like the company must have just set a new personal record for how quickly it disposes of its CEOs. Less than a year after putting Leo Apotheker on the job, HP's board has sent him packing. The news became official a day after rumors began making the rounds that HP's board was looking for a replacement.
Can Yahoo Escape the Valley of the Dulls?
September 10, 2011
When the end of her stint as Yahoo CEO came for Carol Bartz, it arrived via a phone call from the company's chairman. That's what she told employees in a profanity-free, company-wide email when she learned the news. Bartz was fired after nearly three years as Yahoo's chief executive, having failed to turn around the once-great Internet company.
The Wedding Crashers
September 3, 2011
Nobody expected AT&T to have an especially easy time convincing regulators to allow it to buy up rival wireless carrier T-Mobile. AT&T announced its intentions last Spring to purchase the fourth-largest U.S. carrier from parent company Deutsche Telekom for $39 billion, and critics from all corners wasted no time expressing why they thought that would be a very bad idea.
The Lonely Life of WebOS
August 20, 2011
While the iPad remains king of the tablet market in terms of sales, it's getting stared down by a growing gang of competitors, most of which have taken sides with Google's Android operating system. Android tablets come in large and small, expensive and cheap, really nice and complete crap. There are a lot of them out there, but they all coalesce around that same Android platform. Then there are the rebels who go it alone.
The Patent World War
August 13, 2011
Even though Google lawyer David Drummond laid into Apple, Microsoft and Oracle in his public critique of their anti-Android patent lawsuits, it was Microsoft that really ended up tussling with the search giant on open ground. But that doesn't mean Apple and Oracle are easing up their own patent battles; so far, they're just saving their arguments for the courtroom.
Google and Microsoft Take It Outside
August 6, 2011
By just about any measure, the Android mobile platform is making a killing in the U.S. As of last March, comScore said over a third of U.S. smartphone subscribers use Android phones. Every major U.S. carrier supports Android phones, every major handset maker in the world not named "RIM," "Apple" or "Nokia" makes Android phones, and the platform's app selection is almost as ridiculously diverse as Apple's.
Anonymous, PayPal and WikiLeaks: The Grudge That Keeps On Grudging
July 30, 2011
Remember WikiLeaks? It's still around, it's still somewhat leaky, and it's still very much loved by the amorphous hacker entity known as "Anonymous." Anons and WikiLeaks both generally enjoy breaking down barriers of secrecy and scattering what they find into the public view, though they may tend to work with different styles.
Apple Comes In Like a Lion
July 23, 2011
Apple finally pushed out a much-anticipated raft of new products this week. Its new desktop OS, OS X Lion, had been promised for a July release last month at the Worldwide Developers Conference, and some Mac followers had been getting downright antsy for a new MacBook Air, which also touched down.
The Swedish Invasion
July 16, 2011
For U.S. music fans, Spotify's cruel, years-long tease is drawing to a close. The European music platform is finally coming to the United States. For the unhip, Spotify is a platform for streaming music. It was launched in 2008 and now claims 10 million users, 1.6 million of whom are paying members. It comes from Sweden, but it definitely plays much more than just ABBA and death metal back to back on a constant loop.
The Revolution Will Be Video-Chatted
July 9, 2011
More than a week after Google+'s launch, millions of social networkers are still crying out in vain for their invitations. Naturally, though, the tech industry's cultural elite are already inside the door, checking things out and getting an advance look-see. OK, not all of Google+'s first settlers are titans of technology; they're mostly just people who happened to be on the ball enough to ask for an invite.
Google's Social Blowout
July 2, 2011
Google made a very socially awkward move with its rollout of Google Buzz last year. It was Google's attempt to build a social network in part by stringing together various existing pieces of its infrastructure -- your contacts from over here, your Gmail account over there, Google Reader if you use it, so on. The problem with Buzz was that certain wires had a way of getting crossed.
The Hackers Parade Marches On
June 25, 2011
Many more verses have been added to the ballad of LulzSec lately. The hacker group has partnered with Anonymous for an agenda of world cyberchaos, vowed revenge on other hackers who disrupted an online gaming network -- this is after Lulz itself shot down a couple of other gaming networks -- and flipped off authorities who claimed to have caught one of their members.
And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Lulz
June 18, 2011
The hacker group LulzSec has been carrying out a security-busting blitzkrieg across the Web over the last few weeks, and its targets are getting bigger and bigger. You can tell where it's been by the path of sites left shivering in a fetal position -- sites belonging to organizations like PBS, Sony, Bethesda Softworks, and even the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency.
The Softer Side of Apple
June 11, 2011
The WWDC keynote has come and gone, but strangely enough, Apple gave us no new toys to go out and buy. There were no new iObjects gracing the stage this time around at the opening of its developer conference -- guess iPhone 5 will just have to wait until fall. But WWDC is technically a software conference, and there was a lot Apple wanted to talk about in that category.
With No TWIT or FABOO in Sight, Wall Street Gorges on LNKD
May 21, 2011
Rivers of drool run down Wall Street every time a plausible rumor about a Twitter or Facebook IPO comes around. It still hasn't happened -- both are still private companies -- but it's been a topic of conversation for years, and it speaks to investors' hunger to pump money into the world's top social networking sites.
Facebook's Sly-Dog Aspirations
May 14, 2011
One of these days we may see a real public clash between Facebook and Google - a huge bidding war, or maybe the launch of a real Google social network that will have the other one fighting for its life. For now, though, we get a silly little PR disaster that's left Facebook looking like it's lost its Machiavellian mojo.
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Which of these tech companies has the greatest *positive* impact on society?