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Amazon Challenging Google on Another Front

posted Saturday Mar 10, 2012 by Scott Ertz

Amazon Challenging Google on Another Front

I think everyone knows that a great deal of Google's revenue comes from advertising; we have all seen Google AdSense ads all over the Internet, plus the sponsored links at the top and side of search results. Most of that revenue actually comes from a very streamlined set of searches, mainly certain products or product categories. No matter who someone purchases the product from, Google doesn't care so long as they start their purchasing journey through Google. What most people don't know, however, is that Amazon is also in the advertising business.

Over the years, Amazon has transitioned its business model, for better or worse, from one of selling its own content to selling other peoples' content. One of the things they sell is advertising space on their product pages. In addition to showing other products you can purchase from Amazon sellers, they also sell advertising space to other, non-Amazon sellers. This method has allowed Amazon to gain revenue from regular sales revenue as well as stealing away Google's primary revenue stream.

So, how well is it working? Hit the break to find out.

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Activision Blizzard Cuts 600 Jobs After Company Review

posted Sunday Mar 4, 2012 by Nicholas DiMeo

Activision Blizzard Cuts 600 Jobs After Company Review

Activision Blizzard will be cutting a large portion of their workforce after it has finished an overview of its business and needs of the organization. The result is that the company plans to cut 600 employees, 90% of which will be from departments that are not involved in game development. So all my World of Warcraft and StarCraft fans need not worry about their games going away.

Mike Morhaime, CEO and co-founder of Blizzard Entertainment said,

Constant evaluation of teams and processes is necessary for the long-term health of any business. Over the last several years, we've grown our organization tremendously and made large investments in our infrastructure in order to better serve our global community. However, as Blizzard and the industry have evolved we've also had to make some difficult decisions in order to address the changing needs of our company. Knowing that, it still does not make letting go of some of our team members any easier. We're grateful to have had the opportunity to work with the people impacted by today's announcement, we're proud of the contributions they made here at Blizzard, and we wish them well as they move forward.

Current game design, planning and publishing schedules will not be affected. Blizzard has said they will be giving release plans for Diablo III very soon and it is still working on World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria and StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm beta testing.

Blizzard has also said that the company is still hiring and that all job seekers should head to http://jobs.blizzard.com. If you apply, I hope your job isn't next on the chopping block.

When we discover more information about the job cuts and what's happening internally, we will let you know.

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Aereo Prepares for Future Legal Action

posted Sunday Mar 4, 2012 by Scott Ertz

Aereo Prepares for Future Legal Action

I think we all remember Zediva, the little company that streamed movies straight from DVD over the Internet to your computer for $2. We probably all remember their fate as well - shut down by a federal court.

Well, with the confidence inspired by such a success for Zediva, a new company, named Aereo, has decided to try something similar. In this case, instead of streaming movies straight from DVD, Aereo plans to stream television shows straight from an antenna. Yes, you read that properly, streaming full-broadcast television over the Internet. Thank goodness for digital television, right?

This week, all of the major broadcast companies have come together to file suit against the little startup. Hit the break to read about Aereo's plans for success.

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Astronaut Builds an International Space Station While on the International Space Station

posted Sunday Mar 4, 2012 by Nicholas DiMeo

Astronaut Builds an International Space Station While on the International Space Station

Occasionally, we run across cool stories that we just have to share and this is one of those times. You could imagine the day in the life of an astronaut living on the International Space Station. Between the space walks, recording important space data and making sure the whole thing doesn't crash, there's probably a little downtime for the crew that doesn't involve fixing a space toilet.

For Japanese astronaut Satoshi Furukawa, he spent two hours of his downtime building a replica of the ISS out of LEGOs.

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Sprint to Help Clearwire Again with Another $2 Billion

posted Sunday Mar 4, 2012 by Nicholas DiMeo

Sprint to Help Clearwire Again with Another $2 Billion

Just when I think it can't get any worse or stranger for Clearwire, Sprint steps in and adds some more life into this crazy money train we call a wireless network. On March 1st, Sprint sold $2 billion - not a typo - in notes to further aid Clearwire in refinancing, funding and to help with their network upgrades. They've now moved past the "helping too much" level and shot right to "might as well own the company" status.

These notes, totaling $2 billion, include notes due in 2017 at 9.125% interest and notes due in 2020 at 7% interest. This is on top of the $4 billion they put up in November to start Clearwire's recovery process. I suppose Sprint recognizes that they need to continue the upgrades for Clearwire, after LightSquared's problems with the FCC.

It could also have something to do with their abandonment of buying MetroPCS. We learned this week, after the rumors from last week, that the board decided not to acquire the company, as it would have cost up to $8 billion, including debt, which would have been way too much for Sprint to take on, especially with their stock price being around $2.50.

Perhaps all of this will make sense in the long run. Sprint has $6 billion+ tied up into Clearwire now. I hope they really don't decide to abandon them in 2014 as their network support and instead just move to their potential LTE network that Sprint is helping Clearwire build.

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Google Wallet Didn't Ruin Digital-wallets Says Isis CEO

posted Sunday Mar 4, 2012 by Jon Wurm

Google Wallet Didn't Ruin Digital-wallets Says Isis CEO

Earlier this month, Google hit a security snag with Google Wallet that ended up exposing sensitive payment information for people who had their phones stolen and settings wiped. In general, Google doesn't like to think things through and seeing as how they've been racing through development to be at the forefront of digital-wallet adoption, this is not a surprise. Thankfully, Google was proactive about solving the problem and at least gave Google Wallet users some half-baked recourse.

What may come as a surprise to some is the reaction of Isis CEO Michael Abbot. For those of you not familiar, Isis has been in the process of developing a technology that would act as a framework for payment processors to integrate with. It's similar in concept to Bump in the sense that mobile phone manufacturers would build in their NFC technology and consumers could simply tap their phones against a retailers cash registers to render payment. They have been developing this technology with backing from Verizon Wireless, T-Mobile and AT&T and are looking to start technology trials in Austin Texas and Salt Lake City Utah around July this year.

Find out why Abbot's thinks Google hasn't ruined digital-wallet adoption after the break.

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