It's been a long time since an Internet conglomerate purchasing a fast-growing start-up for way above its valuation has caught the world's attention. In fact, the last time it happened was
Google purchasing YouTube in 2006. That is why today's announcement that Facebook has purchased photo sharing service Instagram for a cool $1 billion is such a shocker.
Like YouTube, Instagram has only been around about 2 years and gained popularity rapidly and surprisingly. While YouTube got to where it is because of a single upload of the comedic music video for
Lazy Sunday from Saturday Night Live, Instagram has grown in popularity because of the viral nature of the product itself. Every time someone shares a photo through the service, it is incredibly branded, advertising itself to everyone who sees it. This has helped build the business incredibly fast.
Now, when I say business, I use the term loosely. Like Twitter, who they currently integrate with for photo sharing, there seems to be no business model. The app is free, the service is free but the servers that power it are not. The only business model available to them was an acquisition by an existing company. Now enters Facebook.
Why would Facebook want Instagram as part of their family and why make the purchase now, just ahead of their IPO? Hit the break to find out.
The Great Netflix Debacle of Late 2011, the company has managed to minimize its losses and keep itself under the media radar. At this point, that's probably the best thing for the company, as they look to recover from the damage inflicted.
This week, however, news comes out of the Netflix base for the first time in a while. It was announced that Netflix has purchased the three-letter domain DVD.com. This move is pretty interesting and a spokesperson for Netflix says that "Netflix cares about keeping DVD healthy, and this is just one small investment in keeping DVD healthy."
Several Internet snoopers saw the nameservers change from worldnic.com to ultradns.net, which is the same service Netflix uses, on March 25th, and Netflix confirmed the purchase right before the weekend hit. The URL now redirects to
dvd.netflix.com. With three-letter domains being so expensive, however, I have got to wonder how much cash they forked over to pick it up.
I think it is noteworthy that this is after the whole Qwikster thing didn't work out so well. At least with the DVD.com purchase, you're not leaving the Netflix site and are instead being redirected to it. By the way, does anybody have any of the branding or POP from the Qwikster project? We want some!
It is very rare that we mix politics with technology in the writing of this publication and on our show, however there are times where it becomes a necessity in order to explain what is happening in the ever-evolving world of the Internet. Last week, Avram Piltch, Online Editorial Director for LAPTOP Magazine, discussed on our show in his weekly Piltch Point segment about an article he wrote where
employers are asking employees and candidates for their Facebook and other social network passwords. While Facebook has come out and said they don't agree with the practice, because of a lack of law that prevents this practice, employers are trying to make it a common question during the interview process.
This obviously brings up several problems and one would imagine asking for a password like that would be the same as asking someone's age or asking if it's okay to put a camera in their house for a week during the interview process. As you could guess, now the government wants to get involved and decide one way or the other if something should be done about this.
What happened in our nation's capital this week? The story is after the break.
The FCC has been working very hard to expand their reach over the past few years. They tried to declare themselves
Lord of the Internet, they single-handedly shut down the AT&T/T-Mobile merger and most recently wasted billions in private funding by stopping LightSquared's LTE network.
Most of the country is more than a little concerned about the FCC and their self-proclaimed powers over others. Included in that list are members of the US House of Representatives. Currently, the House has been working on a bill, the
FCC Process Reform Act of 2012, to limit the powers of the FCC. This bill would essentially create oversight for the agency, which has never existed before.
How would this bill make the world a better place? Hit the break to find out.
With piracy in the news constantly right now because of the recent takedown of Megaupload and the future of
piracy in the sky, now is possibly the worst time for a new company to try and make a name for itself in the piracy game. Desktops on Demand, however, is trying to do just that.
If you have ever wanted to have a Windows computer without the hassle of speed or dealing with the peskiness of having a legal copy, then this service is for you. Through the service you can host virtual desktops that allow you to do normal computer functions remotely, through any Windows, Mac, iOS or Android device. They describe themselves as,
Desktops on Demand is a hosted virtual desktop service providing disposable desktops which allow you to protect yourself against malware and cyber attacks. Most malware and cyber attacks occur simply because you use the internet and increasingly sophisticated malware can easily infect your computer and give cyber-criminals access to your personal and financial data.
While their beta will start in less than a month, there is a lot of trouble ahead. Hit the break to find out why.
Since October, Microsoft has been
boosting its media partners that are available on the Xbox 360 and even though all of the partners they announced were not available when the Xbox Dashboard was refreshed, we were promised we'd see the entire list at some point. While the news surely wasn't encouraging, a few days after the refresh Xbox Live was given another bunch of media apps that we were able to play with, however we still were missing around ten that were on Microsoft's initial list. Then, in mid-February, the 360 was given another batch of apps, yet we still did not see Bravo, HBO Go, Vevo, Xfinity and Manga Entertainment and some of those weren't even on the "Coming Soon" list.
Almost six months after the announcement of all of these different media additions to Xbox Live, more were added this week. What's been added and why are we still missing some apps? Learn about it all after the break.