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Sales Team Ganges Up on Groupon

posted Sunday Sep 11, 2011 by Jon Wurm

Sales Team Ganges Up on Groupon

Groupon is a company that was celebrated by investors until August of this year when their web traffic dropped by 50% from June. The company has also been trying to deflect a lot of negative publicity with regards to valuations that put them between $15 to $20 billion even thought Q2 of this year they lost $103 million and claimed revenues of $878 million. Unfortunately for them, things are getting worse with the addition of another class action lawsuit.

Employee dissatisfaction seems to be at an all time high with regards to their sales force. Former salesperson Ranita Dailey will represent hundreds of plaintiffs in the suit that cites Groupon violated state and federal labor laws. They are seeking three years of overtime, other back wages and punitive damages. Filed with the suit was a bi-monthly pay stub that has Dailey working 106 hours and receiving compensation for 19.75 hours along with $478 in commission. The lawsuit was filed last month after alleged Groupon employees were posting comments to the tune of "Immense pressure to hit unrealistic sales goals," and "Sales staff cries all the time," on Glass Door.

I think many of their problems stem from a business model that just doesn't work and businesses are finally starting to realize that offering their services at 50% then giving Groupon a cut is not such a hot idea.

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Apple Wins, Adobe Concedes Defeat in the Flash (Mob) War

posted Sunday Sep 11, 2011 by Nicholas DiMeo

Apple Wins, Adobe Concedes Defeat in the Flash (Mob) War

I can't think of any other way to say this other than, Apple won. Yes, you read that correctly. In the battle that was almost destined to go on forever between Apple and Adobe, Apple won. This week, Adobe announced it would be updating its Flash Media Server to version 4.5, which would include an ability for Apple users to finally see Flash content, in a very round-a-bout way.

For more on this end of war, check after the break.

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Spotify Drops in on Ford, Syncs Up Some Mad Beats

posted Sunday Sep 11, 2011 by Nicholas DiMeo

Spotify Drops in on Ford, Syncs Up Some Mad Beats

This weekend's Hackathon in San Francisco showed some really cool, new, innovative tech off to the masses. Specifically, we saw Spotify and Ford team up "unofficially" to show everyone how easy (and how cool) it is to integrate with Ford's voice-activated SYNC system. Spotify was there to explain details on how easy the API and SDK are and to encourage developers to "hack" the in-dash system to make some great apps.

We have lots more on what you can do with SYNC after the break.

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Twits at Twitter Forgot to Trademark 'Tweet'

posted Sunday Sep 11, 2011 by Jon Wurm

Twits at Twitter Forgot to Trademark 'Tweet'

In the effort of fairness, Twitter forgetting to trademark "Tweet" happened before Dick Costolo took the reins and began trying to turn Twitter into an actual business. However it doesn't excuse this oversight or the way Twitter is trying to get rights to the "Let Your Ad Meet Tweets" trademark that is held by none other than Twittad.

They are a 3rd party integration partner that utilizes the Twitter API to perpetuate it's pay-per-tweet advertisement model allowing users to make money off their tweets. Recently, Twitter's treatment of 3rd party integration partners hasn't exactly been conducive with maintaining healthy relationships seeing as how they pulled a lot of API tokens. Now, add suing one over their own stupidity to the list and you've got a funny, yet not very surprising situation to read and write about. The delightful details of this almost but not quite trademark dispute can be found after the break.

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AT&T Wants to Spend $39 Billion on Insignificance

posted Sunday Sep 11, 2011 by Jon Wurm

AT&T Wants to Spend $39 Billion on Insignificance

Back in March AT&T told the world they wanted to acquire T-Mobile for $39 billion. Then in August AT&T had to do some damage control when a letter stating the real reasons AT&T wants the merger to happen was posted on the FCC's website by someone at a law firm who is working with AT&T on the merger. This evidence, that was so conveniently delivered to the FCC's virtual door step, by a currently unemployed paralegal or lawyer, prompted the Department of Justice to open an investigation.

Last week the DoJ made a statement about their lawsuit to block the AT&T - T-Mobile merger,

AT&T's elimination of T-Mobile as an independent, low-priced rival would remove a significant competitive force from the market.

AT&T's argument against the merger block takes a very different stance,

The new network will be more than the sum of its parts: as a result of engineering efficiencies enabled by the transaction, the combined capacity of the new firm will be significantly greater than what the two companies could do separately. That means increased output, higher quality service, fewer dropped calls, and lower prices to consumers than without the merger. Rather than substantially reducing competition, the combined firm will usher in more intense competition to an already vibrantly competitive market.

Despite their optimistic tenor with regards to this merger, AT&T's take on T-Mobile and it's own LTE network is polar opposite. Will acquiring T-Mobile help AT&T to deliver your world in a better way? Find out after the break.

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Control All of Your Computers With a Single Mouse, From the Garage

posted Sunday Sep 11, 2011 by Scott Ertz

Control All of Your Computers With a Single Mouse, From the Garage

We've never talked about The Garage from Microsoft here at The UpStream, but it is something worth mentioning. The Garage is an initiative at Microsoft, similar to Google Labs, where employees are encouraged to work in innovative projects. Unlike Google Labs, however, some pretty impressive stuff has come out of The Garage. Most of the projects are eventually integrated into an existing Microsoft project or are used internally to speed development or deployment of said projects. From time to time, however, a project is so unique and so useful that it deserves to stand on its own, and today we have one such project.

The product is called Mouse without Borders. The simple, descriptive name succinctly encapsulates what it started out as but hides a lot of its true awesomeness. MwB, as the name suggests, allows you to use a single mouse across the border of your average viewport. In essence, a mouse on one computer in your office or home can move to another computer and control your interactions without having to actually connect the mouse to that computer. Reading that description was all I needed to try it out. What I didn't know was all of the other great features that are hidden behind the name.

To find out what all Mouse without Borders can do for you, see a video about the product and get the download link to try it yourself, hit the break.

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