Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Skyfall New James Bond videoblog

Who's right here? Olympic coverage

Tuesday, Jul. 31, 2012

2012/07/30/london-olympics-riding-unstoppable-wave-of-twitter Bruce Arthur:

Three days into the 2012 Olympics, the Games seems to be sagging a under the weight of the assembled masses, and of Twitter. 2012/07/30/london-olympics-riding-unstoppable-wave-of-twitter

NEW YORK — It took Jason Legate, a Walnut Creek, California-resident, all of 10 minutes to connect his computer to a London-based server and access BBC’s coverage of the Olympics Saturday, thereby circumventing NBC’s lock on coverage in the United States.

The 31-year-old system administrator said he has watched at least 12 hours of live BBC coverage (his favorite sport so far – judo) since he set up a virtual private network (VPN) connection to send all his Internet traffic to a server in London.

Legate is one of many viewers who, turned off by NBC’s ironclad control of access to Olympics coverage in the United States and spotty online streaming, has resorted to a workaround — sometimes legal, sometimes not — to watch the Games when and how they want on feeds from countries such as the UK and Canada.

NBC, which spent US$1.18 billion for the rights to broadcast the Olympics on the Internet and on television in the United States, has made it impossible for people without a pricey cable or satellite subscription to watch the Olympics live in the United States. Viewers can receive a complimentary four hours of live content with a temporary pass.

Only those customers who are first “authenticated” as paying cable or satellite subscribers have access to live streaming of every Olympic event, a move that has led to a explosion of anger at the network on Twitter under the unofficial “#NBCfail” hashtag.

Other complaints included NBC streaming that didn’t work and the network bombarded viewers had too much advertising.

For its regular network coverage, NBC, which is owned by cable giant Comcast Corp, has tape-delayed some of the most popular sports for the U.S. prime-time audience, meaning they air nearly five to six hours after they have happened.

This helps NBC maximize its return-on-investment by saving the top events for the largest audience and thereby the biggest advertising pay-off. But it has also led to event spoilers and criticism that the network was putting the interests of its business over those of its viewers.

The tape delay and some glitches in the coverage fueled wider criticism of NBC. But NBC spokesman Chris McCloskey, who declined to comment on the matter, pointed to the 7 million live streams, which was a record on the first day of competition. The company is making every event available live online — except the opening and closing ceremonies.

Enter a small but vocal group of tech savvy Olympics fans who are finding new ways to watch the world’s biggest sports event away from their TV sets.

These fans use techniques that make it seem like their computers are located outside the United States, giving them access to streaming access to the Games held by companies other than NBC in countries such as Canada or the UK. Think of it as a sporting version of how Internet users in China access banned websites by routing traffic through servers in Hong Kong in order to fool government censors.

“Because all of my Internet traffic looks like it’s coming from that box in England, the BBC thinks I’m located in England,” Legate said of the workaround he utilizes.

Like NBC in the United States, the BBC’s Olympic rights only allow it to show the games to users in the UK. For example, when from the United States to watch a BBC or CTV stream for example they are greeted with various messages telling them that they don’t have access.

Legate still pays for cable service through his local provider Astound, but said he decided to boycott NBC after he was unable to find a live broadcast of the opening ceremonies last Friday. He was also miffed by comments made by an NBC spokesman to the LA Times on Friday about the opening ceremony not translating well online because it is “complex” and requires context for a U.S. audience.

“To me, it just felt like they were insulting everyone so I basically decided to boycott NBC for the duration of the games, which meant I had to find an alternative,” he said.

Legate said he has set up the same connection for a friend who wanted to watch dressage, an equestrian event that she could not find on NBC.

People who are finding ways to circumvent NBC’s restrictions seem to be spreading the word to friends, like New York City journalist Kate Gardiner, who sent out a public service announcement message on Twitter last weekend to urge her followers to use a service called TunnelBear.

The 26-year-old has been using the service to keep up with live swimming broadcasts even though she does not own a television.

TunnelBear is a VPN service that sends a user’s Internet connection to different countries, so in Gardiner’s case it appears her computer is based in London. The decision to avoid NBC was easy for her since she’s one of the millions of U.S. residents without a cable subscription.

“I’m not going to buy a cable subscription to spend three weeks watching Olympics coverage. It’s not going to happen,” she said.

So far it is unclear whether NBC would take on the task of blocking or suing services like TunnelBear or StreamVia, a similar workaround. Typically, NBC has left it to the International Olympic Committee (IOC)to police the piracy of the games’ TV rights.

NBC Sports spokesman McCloskey said the company never comments on issues involving security.

The workarounds–as well as the outrage–so far seem to be having no effect on TV rating for the Olympics. NBC has pointed to record-breaking success through the first three days of the games, with more than 36 million average viewers, including more than 40 million people watching the opening ceremony.

But while these fledgling services may seem popular on Twitter and blogs, many people could be turned off by them because they involve several steps that may be too advanced for a casual Internet user and can cost money, said City University of New York journalism professor Jeff Jarvis, who has tested them out. After 500 megabytes of streaming video, users need pay for a $5 subscription on TunnelBear, for example.

“While TunnelBear is easier than some services, you’ve got to geek out and you’ve got pay,” Jarvis said, adding that the number of people using these services is a fraction of those tuning into NBC.

Jarvis said people circumventing NBC don’t pose a threat and they are just consumers trying to make a point.

“It says ‘Hey, we can go around you,’ and the lesson there is, if you think you can control communication, content and culture around borders, it is going to become increasingly difficult,” he said.

Iphone that almost wasn't

Jony Ive: Apple almost shelved the iPhone because nearly unsolvable problems like ear-dialing
9to5 Staff Apple Inc Comment

July 31, 2012 at 9:25 am

Apple SVP of Industrial DesignJony Ive is making the rounds in London for the Olympics this week. Yesterday he spoke on Apple’s design process and the ‘Bankruptcy Days’ at the British Embassy’s Creative Summit. Today more of what he’s has said was revealed by the Independent and the following quotes stand out:

“There were multiple times where we nearly shelved the phone because we thought there were fundamental problems that we can’t solve,” said Sir Jony, speaking at a British Business Embassy event to coincide with the Olympics. One problem involved an early prototype “where I put the phone to my ear and my ear dials the number”… accidentally.
The Ive-designed iPhone has gone on to enjoy extraordinary success since its launch in 2007, selling almost 250 million and becoming a design classic.

But Sir Jony, who has worked at Apple since 1992, said it was not uncommon to feel during the planning stage of a device that “we were pursuing something that we think ‘that’s really incredibly compelling’, but we’re really struggling to solve the problem that it represents”.

“We have been, on a number of occasions, preparing for mass production and in a room and realised we are talking a little too loud about the virtues of something. That to me is always the danger, if I’m trying to talk a little too loud about something and realising I’m trying to convince myself that something’s good.

“You have that horrible, horrible feeling deep down in your tummy and you know that it’s OK but it’s not great. And I think some of the bravest things we’ve ever done are really at that point when you say, ‘that’s good and it’s competent, but it not’s great’.”

Love the Olympics, on the go? Here you go...

How to Follow the Live-Streamed, Twitter-Friendly 'Smart Olympics'

July 30, 2012By KEITH WAGSTAFF

The 2012 London Olympics will pack an impressive 302 medal events into a little more than two weeks. In past years, catching all of the action meant hours and hours spent parked in front of the boob tube. Not anymore. NBC and the organizers of the Games have finally realized that people are busy and like to keep up with the Olympics on their own terms — often with gadgets like smartphones and tablets. Welcome to the “Smart Olympics.”

NBC has flirted with streaming technology in past coverage of the Games, most notably during the 2010 Winter Olympics when it live-streamed two sports: hockey and curling. This year, sports fans will get to see it all.

Don’t want to miss a single moment of badminton? Afraid NBC won’t give judo the prime-time coverage it deserves? Now you can simply go to


where every single minute of the Olympic Games will be live-streamed with help from YouTube.

That’s about 3,000 hours of coverage. Granted, to watch the the Olympics live online you’ll need to subscribe to a cable tier that includes CNBC and MSNBC, but it’s still better than nothing. If you live in certain countries in Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa, you’ll be able to watch live coverage of the games directly on YouTube.

There will be a wealth of other Olympics-related content on YouTube as well. Want to listen to U.S. athletes try to talk in a cockney accent? Yeah, that’s on Team USA’s official YouTube page. You’ll also be able to find pre-game clips, interviews and more on the NBC Olympics YouTube channel.

Social Media

Anyone who follows sports closely knows that athletes love to tweet. Olympians are no exception. In fact, Greek triple-jumper Paraskevi Papachristou has already been banned from the Games because of a racist tweet.

Hopefully, U.S. Olympic athletes won’t do anything as short-sighted. Follow all of them on this public list and you’ll be privy to all sorts of intimate details, from the state of two-time gold medal winner Misty May-Treanor’s hair to the tale of a lost coach found posing with NBA stars Kevin Durant and Deron Williams. There are official London 2012 Twitter and Facebook feeds as well, although they aren’t nearly as fun.

As Forbes points out, back during the Beijing Games, Twitter and Facebook had 6 million and 100 million users, respectively. Today those numbers are 140 million and more than 900 million. That means if you really want the inside scoop on what’s going on inside the Olympic Village, you’ll want to be watching your Twitter feed, not the TV.


TIME has already published a list of its favorite Olympic apps, but it’s worth repeating that the NBC Olympics Live Extra app will let you stream the Games on your smartphone or tablet (available for both iOS and Android), complete with additional camera angles and instant replay. You can also keep track of how your favorite athletes are doing with the London 2012: Official Results app.


Obviously, NBC and (ahem) TIME will have plenty of Olympics coverage on the web. But there are a few cool websites and apps that should help you keep track of what’s going on. ESPN released this nifty page that explains every single event with animated slideshows. Never again will you be confused by the intricacies of the modern pentathlon.

If you use Google Chrome, you can download the NBC Olympics Scheduler, which lets you pick events you care about and then sends you real-time alerts in your browser when they’re about to kick off. This year, if you miss an event you want to watch, it will probably be your own fault.

Adeven Who are they? What do they do?

App Store infested with zombie software, claims analytics startup Adeven

By David Meyer
Jul. 31, 2012, 5:26am PT

Zombies may provide a perennial source of material for mobile games, but no developer actually wants their app to be the walking dead.

Nonetheless, according to new mobile analytics and ad verification firm Adeven, that’s what almost two-thirds of the iOS App Store constitutes.
The Berlin company’s Apptrace tool launches on Tuesday and as a result it’s showing off several stats as a way of strutting its stuff. The most interesting one is the revelation that around 400,000 App Store apps get no downloads, are invisible to users and have no ranking.

“The reality is there are only a couple of thousand apps that really make some kind of downloads,” Christian Henschel, Adeven CEO, told me. “This is based on Apple’s closed system — it’s tough to discover those kinds of apps. You don’t have proper search, so the only way to discover new apps is through the top listing.”
“If you’re not on those lists, it’s not sure that you’re being discovered by anyone else. The top 25 tend to be the same companies who spend millions of dollars to get to the top of those lists. If you’re an independent, small app publisher, then it’s really tough to be discovered.”

Apptrace finds itself in a busy market, with the likes of Keen.io, Count.ly and (to an extent) Flurry all trying to court developers with the sharpest insights.
But Apptrace takes a different angle. For a start, it’s a free resource that is initially providing something closer to AppData’s outside-view app rankings, only through a prettier interface and with a deeper segment view. Android analytics will come in the fourth quarter, but for now Apptrace collates iOS data from the 155 countries where the App Store is present.

And with a seven-figure Series A round from Target Partners in the bank since April, Adeven already has some key enhancements ready for the rest of this year. The big one will be the addition of in-app analytics: something that will take Apptrace squarely up against Keen.io et al, but Henschel says the combination of the internal and external perspective will be unique.
“We’re not only measuring success within the app, but also within the ecosystem,” he said. “We will also soon be launching a feature where you can compare apps against each other, which is something that’s not available at the moment.”

Apptrace also has a feature lined up for developers with an ad-funded model: at the moment, they need to integrate multiple SDKs into their apps to handle all the different ad brokers such as AdMob and InMobi, but Apptrace will soon come out with a unified SDK that can manage the analytics for all these disparate networks.

And as for making money out of all this?

“The main reason we founded Adeven is to bring transparency into this mobile ecosystem,” Henschel said. “We believe if we provide the transparency then a lot more app dollars will fly into this ecosystem and we will find ways to participate in these revenues. But first, we’re really focusing on getting app developers using our service.”

Which is where those attention-grabbing, suspicion-confirming stats come in. Did you know that the App Store has 1,899 flashlight apps? Madness.

Rona rejects take over bid from Lowes

Rona rejects Lowe’s buyout offer

Facebook | Twitter | Email | Instapaper

Tuesday, Jul. 31, 2012

Rona Inc, a Canadian home-improvement retailer, rejected Lowe’s Cos Inc’s unsolicited US$1.8-billion takeover offer, saying it was not in the best interests of shareholders.

Rona said it received a US$14.50 per share proposal from U.S.-based Lowe’s, the world’s second-largest home improvement chain, on July 8.

Shares of Rona, which has a market value of $1.44-billion, closed at $11.87 on Monday on the Toronto Stock Exchange. The stock has risen 12% in the past three months amid speculation that Lowe’s could be interested in the company.

Lowe’s Chief Financial Officer Robert Hull said in April the company was open to all options should the Canadian chain put itself up for sale. He called Rona a “very interesting company”.

Rona, Canada’s home-grown answer to Home Depot Inc and Lowe’s, has maintained it was not up for sale.

The company should remain focused on executing its business plan with a view to capturing significant opportunities that it sees for its business, Rona said in a statement.

It is now closing or splitting up 23 of its 79 biggest outlets after facing sluggish consumer confidence and smarting from falling sales at established stores.

Scotiabank and BMO Capital Markets were Rona’s financial advisors for the deal.

© Thomson Reuters 2012

Posted in: Investing Tags: Retail, Lowe’s Cos Inc, RONA Inc.


Facebook has just introduced a new feature for their official Facebook for iPhone and iPad app that gives users Instapaper-like abilities to save posts shared on Facebook to read later. Now you too can collect your friends’ most embarrassing social network blunders in a favorites folder for posterity! Oh, and links you want to read later too, of course.

The feature — which is available on both Facebook.com and Facebook’s mobile apps — hasn’t rolled out to us yet, but according to others, it works like this: just by pressing and holding on any Facebook post, you can save it to a folder to read again later. On Facebook’s full site, you simplt click “Save” in the post’s dropdown menu. Saved items show up in a new “Saved” tab under “Favorites” in your sidebar.

Like many of Facebook’s feature updates, you don’t need to update your Facebook app: everything’s done on servers behind the scenes.

Anyone think they’re going to use this feature? I’m not really sure I need yet another inbox of “read later” links in my life. I haven’t even got through my Instapaper queue.

Via: AppAdvice


Twitter rolls out clickable stock symbols, or “Cashtags”, so you can keep up with your investments

Twitter is now rolling out the ability for you to click on stock symbols with a $ sign in front of them. Once you click them, you’ll be able to see all of the conversation about a particular company, much like you would a hashtag.


Now you can click on ticker symbols like $GE on twitter.com to see search results about stocks and companies

Loving our new roll out! Ticker symbols now LIVE! Check out the convos around $APPL $FB #

Now $ + stock symbols (like $GOOG $APPL) are clickable on twitter.com. Feels so nice to see it working on production!!

Sadly, the embeds haven’t been updated to reflect the feature yet.

For example, when you click on $AAPL in a tweet, you’ll be directed to all of the conversations and mentions of that company. A few Twitter employees shared their glee with the wrong symbol for Apple ($APPL). Right now, it looks like Twitter is only making actual stock symbols clickable, as a test of $thenextweb didn’t do the trick.

This is functionality that is extremely similar to what StockTwits provides on its site, but isn’t as full-featured obviously. Ironically, StockTwits founder Howard Lindzon just sold off the rest of his Twitter shares, as we reported last week. Coincidence?

This would have been extremely helpful during the Facebook earnings call, to gather information about everyone’s thoughts on what Zuckerberg and company shared.

On the other hand, “Cashtags” are a primary example of Twitter getting away from its core value, the 140 character commentary that it invented.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Gmail upgrade alert

Who says demand for iPhones has waned

A brief history

A brief history of iPhone development

Business Insider

Design Miscontent? Do we miss Steve already?

More iPhone banter

Peter Jackson makes The Hobbit a trilogy

Twitter reaches 500 million users

Best Buy takeover

Is a battle brewing on the horizon?

Best Buy founder recruits executive team for buyout

Facebook | Twitter | Email | Instapaper

Bloomberg News
Monday, Jul. 30, 2012

Best Buy Co. founder Richard Schulze has been recruiting executives to help lead the retailer if his attempt to take the company private is successful, according to a senior Best Buy executive.

“He is talking to people he trusts,” J.D. Wilson, senior vice president of enterprise capabilities, said in an interview. “There is a small group he’d like to have with him in righting the ship. He is serious as a heart attack.” Wilson, who said his position is being eliminated as part of Best Buy’s cutbacks, was approached by Schulze in June and said he would work for the company if a deal went through.

Schulze also has been seeking to recruit other executives such as former Chief Executive Officer Brad Anderson, said a person familiar with the matter. Anderson has told other former Best Buy executives he is interested in joining Schulze’s effort, the person said.

Schulze, 71, has been exploring taking the world’s largest electronics retailer private after stepping down as chairman last month, a person familiar with the matter has said. An internal probe found he failed to tell the board about allegations that then-CEO Brian Dunn was having an inappropriate relationship with a female employee. Schulze said when he resigned that he would consider all options, including selling his 20% stake in the Richfield, Minnesota-based company.

Through a spokesman, Schulze declined to comment. Bruce Hight, a spokesman for Best Buy, declined to comment. Anderson didn’t immediately return a phone message seeking comment.

Shares Rise

Best Buy rose 2.7% to US$18.24 at 9:41 a.m. in New York after advancing as much as 5.9%. The shares had fallen 24% this year through July 27.

While Schulze has had discussions with several former executives interested in rejoining the company, he hasn’t reached an agreement with anyone, said a person familiar with the matter. He has also been speaking with potential investors and private-equity funds about raising money from them, said this person.

Best Buy has struggled as customers migrated to Amazon.com Inc. and other online merchants, posting a net loss of US$1.23 billion on revenue of US$50.7 billion for the fiscal year that ended in March, its first annual loss since 1991, data compiled by Bloomberg show. Same-store sales have declined in seven of the last eight quarters.

It will be challenging for Schulze to find private-equity firms willing to take on the risks associated with Best Buy and to help fund a transaction, Michael Pachter, an analyst for Wedbush Securities Inc. in Los Angeles, said last month. Best Buy’s cash flow will keep declining and the company will continue to lose money, he said.

A buyout of Best Buy would cost at least US$30 a share to convince long-time investors to sell, Anthony Chukumba, an analyst at BB&T Capital Markets in New York, said last month. That would equate to a total value of about US$11 billion, including net debt.

[external] Bloomberg.com

Tags: Retail, Best Buy Co. Inc.

Gas prices continue to increase

Not a very surprising trend, however what is surprising is consumers appetite for the increasingly pricy commodity. Is this a good thing? How will it affect the average consumers budget? And does it point to the fact that cars are invaluable in our lives, therefore more aggressive car designs (hybrids, ultra efficient) are called for. What do you think?

Perhaps BMW's online promotions are a good gamble after all...

Quick Tips Mountain Lion OSX

Mountain Lion: Pause notifications, edit bookmarks

Posted on Monday Jul 30, 2012 6:20 AM

by Kirk McElhearn , Macworld.com

Couple of quick ones to welcome OS X Mountain Lion to Hints:

If you need a temporary break from all those alerts and banners, but you don’t want to turn off notifications altogether, Hints reader guillaumegete notes that you can pause the Notification Center with one click: Press the Option key while clicking on the Notification icon in the right end of the menu bar. This will pause the display of notifications. To reactivate them, you can either Option-click the same icon again; display notifications at the right of the screen by clicking on the Notification Center icon, then toggle the Show Alerts and Banners switch from Off to On; or just wait until tomorrow, when they’ll go back on automatically.

And an anonymous reader points out that, as of Safari 6 (which debuted with Mountain Lion, but is available for those still using Lion, as well), you no longer need to Control- or right-click on a bookmark in the Bookmarks Bar then fill out a dialog box in order to rename that bookmark. Now you can just click and hold the bookmark; the name will be highlighted and you can then rename it right there.

If typing isn't your thing

Apple purchases mobile security company

Interesting to note that AuthenTec just completed a deal with Samsung for their Android devices.

Apple to buy mobile security company AuthenTec for £227 million - Techworld.com

The Apple vs Samsung saga

Wow, so who's idea was that?

Smoking rumour?

IPhone 5 case? Interesting video...watch

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Wow, a car guy with lots of cars

So I can't afford them, but its nice to see someone who has.

Watch "Tour of Bob Lutz's Garage - Autoline After Hours 158" on YouTube

Simple iPhone app

Wow really?

For all the iPhone robberies no doubt. Wouldn't it make more sense to block stolen phones through the providers? Still interesting tech.

Watch "Dude Gets Tasered By iPhone" on YouTube

And the titanic battle reaches another level

Steve Jobs quote that creativity is just borrowing things might be more true than Apple planned.

Samsung Makes Another Case to Have Apple’s “Sony Style” Put Before Jury - Ina Fried - Mobile - AllThingsD

Like technology? Hungry? This might be the tasty treat your looking for.

Mclaren back to the front thanks to Lewis Hamilton

And the pendulum swings the other way, again. Now that summer break in F1 has arrived, what will the other teams do in response to a Mclaren resurgence? Keep in mind that Alonso extends his points lead over Webber. What a season so far. I can only hope that the second half is as interesting as the first.

F1 News: Hamilton Wins at Hungarian GP - F1update.co.uk

Hungry? Like tuna? Forgot the can opener?

Wow faster, will it still be fun?

Is Twitter ready to step up?

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Hungary GP Red Bull Racing James Allen tweet

#f1 Interesting to see FIA putting stickers over holes in side of Red Bull nose, to cover ride height adjuster? -- James Allen (@Jamesallenonf1)

Red Bull Hungary

Since putting the engine mapping debacle behind them, will Red Bull Racing find form in Hungary? Or do they have an slightly unstable chassis?

It will be interesting to see if Mclaren's new found pace will be real or not from their upgrade package.

And is Ferrari sandbagging or will strategy and quick pitstops be the order of the day?

Hungary has always been a bit of a crapshoot when it comes to brakes and reliability, so barring the usual unpredictable racing incidents, it might be interesting.

Mclaren gets 150th pole in Hungary

Hamilton takes McLaren's 150th pole position
Saturday 28th July 2012, 14:07 by TF1T Staff

© McLaren
Lewis Hamilton eased to McLaren's 150th pole position on Saturday for the Hungarian Grand Prix with a time four tenths faster than second placed Romain Grosjean.
The pole marks McLaren's return to the front after a difficult few races which have seen them off the lead pace set by Ferrari and Red Bull.
Grosjean starts ahead of Sebastian Vettel in third, with Hamilton's team-mate Jenson Button in fourth, seven tenths slower than the pole lap.
Kimi Raikkonen completes the top five with Fernando Alonso, Felipe Massa, Pastor Maldonado, Bruno Senna - his first time in Q3, and Nico Hulkenberg complete the top ten cars.
Mark Webber was the surprise of Q2 as he failed to escape the drop-zone and starts 11th ahead of Force India's Paul di Resta.
2012 Hungarian GP Qualifying Results:
Pos Driver Team Q1 Time Q2 Time Q3 Time
01. L. Hamilton McLaren 1:21.794 1:21.060 1:20.953
02. R. Grosjean Lotus 1:22.755 1:21.657 1:21.366
03. S. Vettel Red Bull 1:22.948 1:21.407 1:21.416
04. J. Button McLaren 1:22.028 1:21.618 1:21.583
05. K. Raikkonen Lotus 1:22.238 1:21.583 1:21.730
06. F. Alonso Ferrari 1:22.095 1:21.598 1:21.844
07. F. Massa Ferrari 1:22.203 1:21.534 1:21.900
08. P. Maldonado Williams 1:22.475 1:21.504 1:21.939
09. B. Senna Williams 1:22.271 1:21.697 1:22.343
10. N. Hulkenberg Force India 1:22.176 1:21.653 1:22.847
11. M. Webber Red Bull 1:22.829 1:21.715
12. P. di Resta Force India 1:21.912 1:21.813
13. N. Rosberg Mercedes 1:22.079 1:21.895
14. S. Perez Sauber 1:22.110 1:21.895
15. K. Kobayashi Sauber 1:22.801 1:22.300
16. J. Vergne Toro Rosso 1:22.799 1:22.380
17. M. Schumacher Mercedes 1:22.436 1:22.723
18. D. Ricciardo Toro Rosso 1:23.250
19. H. Kovalainen Caterham 1:23.576
20. V. Petrov Caterham 1:24.167

21. C. Pic Marussia 1:25.244
22. T. Glock Marussia 1:25.476
23. P. de la Rosa HRT 1:25.916

24. N. Karthikeyan HRT 1:26.178

Q1 107% Time: 1:27.519

FB nosedive?

Is FB poised to fall? An interesting account of FB and Zynga, and perhaps a harsh speculation. Will it come true? What do you think?

Mark Zuckerberg, Founder & CEO of Facebook

July 26 was not a good day for the Facebook (FB) industrial complex. After all, Zynga (ZNGA), that gets 93% of its revenues from Facebook users buying FarmVille tractors and other digital goods, lost 37% of its value.

And Facebook stock — that traded at $29.34 when it opened Thursday, is poised to start today at $23.91 — 19% below where it was before Zynga announced its results and 44% below its high of $43. It matched revenue and adjusted EPS expectations but did not offer a reason for investors to believe its growth would accelerate.

My conclusion: Facebook is worth $7 a share — so if you can borrow its shares and sell them short, there is still time to make a hefty profit. Here are six reasons why:
Competing objectives. The biggest problem Facebook faces is confusion about what it wants to be when it grows up.

At the moment, growth in the number of users and the time they spend on the site trumps making money. But if Facebook tries to advertise, it risks losing those users.

An informal survey I did with about 80 Babson College juniors and seniors found that almost all of them do not want to see advertising on Facebook. Moreover, many of these students told me that if Facebook increases advertising, they will stop using it.

Slowing growth. Facebook is simply not growing fast enough to justify its lofty valuation. At 955 million, it reported that its monthly active users grew 29% from a year earlier — a mere 6% from the previous quarter.

But its headcount during the quarter was up 50% to 4,000. To justify a premium stock market valuation, Facebook must accelerate, not slow, its growth.

Conflicted ownership structure. CEO Mark Zuckerberg controls 58% of the voting shares so he has a job for life. That means he won’t have to worry about nasty things like activist shareholders — in the mold of Dan Loeb who famously figured out a way to oust Yahoo (YHOO) CEO Scott Thompson and replace him with Marissa Mayer. More generally, this means that Zuckerberg can ignore the interests of public shareholders with impunity.

Weak monetization of online and mobile traffic. Facebook has lost advertisers – General Motors (GM) pulled its Facebook ads in May — because companies don’t feel that they’re getting value. But Facebook is fighting back. For example, it crafted an advertising strategy for Samsung Mobile USA that reached 65 million people with targeted ads who were “twice as likely to engage.” And Samsung USA told FT, that the price was “you’d be surprised how much it isn’t.”

Nevertheless, while mobile ads generate click-throughs at 15.4 times the rate of desktop ones — 1.32% compared to .086% for non-mobile ads, according to AdParlor – Facebook charges 30% lower prices for them. With user growth slowing and ad rates falling as users go mobile — it added 110 million mobile users in six months – Facebook’s revenue growth depends on boosting those mobile advertising rates.

Lack of user privacy. Many Facebook users are growing up — and starting to think about getting their first job. So their inability to shield Facebook photos that could scare off potential employers could cause more suffering than pleasure. To wit, 20% of applications “disqualify themselves from an interview because of content in the social media sphere,” according to the DailyMail.

Given how difficult it is for people to protect Facebook information they hope is private and the huge barriers Facebook uses to keep people from erasing their Facebook footprints, the career risk of being on Facebook could be another impediment to its growth.

Over-valued shares. Facebook is way overvalued. Its forward P/E is 70 and its earnings are forecast to grow a mere 14% in 2013 – yielding a Price/Earnings to Growth (PEG) ratio of 5.0. By my reckoning, Facebook stock would be fairly valued at a PEG of 1.0 — this would yield a price of $7.14 (the 14% earnings growth rate times its 51 cents a share expected earnings).

If you could borrow Facebook shares at $23 and sell them short, I would not be shocked if some time in the next year you could cover your stock loan at $7 — yielding a nice 229% profit. Sure this is risky — Facebook could deliver a surprising surge in revenue and profit growth that would cause the stock to pop.

But regardless of what happens, Zuckerberg will still be Facebook’s billionaire CEO. Although if Facebook stock drops to $7, he will only be a billionaire 3.7 times over instead of his current 12.8.

Nice electric car

Friday, July 27, 2012

BMW goes online for auto sales with their electric vehicles

Contemplation, will Ford commit?

It would be great if Ford brought out a supercar to compete with the new Porsche hybrid sports car.

Thread of the Day: Should Ford Revive the GT Supercar Again?

Toyota still tops, beats GM and VW

Chrome how to

How to automatically delete Chrome browsing data

July 27, 2012 | Nicole Cozma

Make Chrome run more efficiently and give yourself some peace of mind at the same time with this convenient extension.

Google Chrome is one of the most popular Web browsers, but sometimes a missing feature can be rather shocking. Automatically deleting things like your browsing and download history, cache, cookies, and even saved form data is missing from Chrome! You could do it manually every time you browse the Web, remember, or get paranoid, but you shouldn't have to.

That's why Click&Clean, a Chrome extension, exists. Not only does it offer more features than the standard check boxes built into Chrome, it also performs actions automatically. That's right, no remembering, lots of being lazy... I mean, doing other things.

First you'll want to install a copy of the Click&Clean extension into Chrome. Once you've done that, it's time to do some configuring so it can automagically work later.

Screenshot by Nicole Cozma/CNET
Click on the new icon in your Chrome toolbar with the C on it. If a new tab doesn't open, and you see a menu instead, click the Options icon.

This extension is great for those who use Chrome at work and want to ensure that none of their browsing habits, cookies, or other information stick around after punching out.

Twitter post

A somewhat radical viewpoint, however with some key opinions of the benefits of Twitter and social media.

The New Twitter Ostriches
By: Oscar Del Santo on July 27th, 2012 at 1:30 pm

Twitter has become the preferred channel to test the mood of the person in the street, and specifically those in the all-important digital community including millennials and other key elements of the population.

And every institution, brand or person who systematically fails to listen, respond, engage or interact with not just her clients but the online community as a whole risks unleashing its wrath and suffering a quick and painful erosion of their prestige and credibility, let alone losing a valuable opportunity to improve their image, find support, apologize (why does it continue to be ‘mission impossible’ for some of our household brands?) or mount a vigorous defense when the situation calls for it.

It is therefore nothing less than shocking to witness the proliferation in Twitter of a new (mutant) species amongst our best-known commercial and personal brands that disregards criticism and feedback as a rule even when – as it is currently happening in Spain with the backlash against the Olympic Committee and its chairman after the fiasco of the official kit to be worn by Spanish athletes at the London Olympics – they are being denigrated and vilified in the social and traditional media alike.

If the microbloggy blue bird was created to chirp and tweet happily away, some of our institutional and business representatives together with a number of notorious yet ill-advised personal brands have degenerated into ostriches that bury their heads in the sand at the sign of trouble imitating the largest of our flightless birds.

The list of ostriches is surprising in its breadth and scope, and includes all those who mechanically publish messages as automaton loudspeakers and in the best of cases sporadically retweet some mention.

Before our most cynical readers jump to conclusions, I hasten to add that this communication policy has nothing to do with size or numbers of followers – though needless to say the latter makes it almost impossible for big Twitter accounts to engage with every single comment.

The fact that there is in many cases not even a standardized answer, or that no effort is made to implement technological solutions –

ITweetLive comes to mind – that would allow them to do so is a telling sign.

The fact is: bidirectional communication continues to remain an uncharted territory for many despite all the hype about ‘engagement’.
Perhaps the most pernicious unintended side-effect our new ostriches face is the so-called ‘boomerang effect’ that their short-sighted attitude provokes, especially in crisis scenarios where they find themselves in the eye of the hurricane at the epicenter of the Twittersphere wrath.

As America’s most prominent crisis management expert Eric Dezenhall has pointed out: “When one has done wrong, repentance is required. When one has been wronged, a vigorous defence must be mounted.”

The Twittersphere is often spontaneously mobilized when it perceives a glaring mistake by a brand.

Oscar Del Santo is a lecturer, consultant, key speaker, blogger and populariser of online reputation and inbound marketing in Spain.

What's going on at Twitter?

Big changes with the service, and who is supported. Are they ready for the big times or have they already damaged themselves? Oh, for the need to make money.

Twitter is looking into making TV shows. That direction would have been unimaginable four years ago. But the Flock has made its nest. Twitter is a media goose that wants to lay a golden egg. And entrepreneur Dalton Caldwell doesn’t believe the company can squeeze it out.

Caldwell is building App.net, which he calls a “real-time social feed without the ads.” He wants a Twitter-like service that acts as infrastructure, the “dial tone for the real-time Web,” not an advertising vehicle with a captive, chattering audience.

ReadWriteWeb caught up with Caldwell in his office on Wednesday, just after Zynga, maker of those addictive games on Facebook and elsewhere, announced its miserable quarterly earnings. “I’ve seen this movie before,” Caldwell said of the ad-based social network landscape. Twitter and Facebook have grown large enough that they're able to make money from socially targeted advertising, but neither has found the formula that will generate enough cash to build a lasting business. “At the end of the day, a crap ad impression is a crap ad impression,” he says.

Caldwell tried the brute-force ad approach himself at imeem and picplz. It didn’t work. He couldn’t mine enough money from these kinds of social media. Facebook and Twitter have ascended on the promise that they can. Caldwell doesn’t buy it.

Twitter’s Chilling Effects

Twitter hasn't made its strategy entirely clear, but recent actions and statements strongly suggest that the company intends to close off its tinkerer's paradise, open for all to invent diverse experiences out of the service's core capabilities, and funnel users into the official Twitter apps. These apps are optimized for the newest features, which deliver rich media experiences designed to hold users' attention while Twitter shows them ads.

The warning signs are everywhere. Twitter has been beating the drum about cutting off the third-party apps responsible for roughly a quarter of its content. It’s doing so in the name of consistency - ostensibly to standardize the Twitter experience.

“You need to be able to see expanded Tweets,” Twitter Product Manager Michael Sippey wrote in June, referring to a rich-media feature that only Twitter's official apps currently display.

And Twitter's axe has begun to fall on third-party developers. In May, Kara Swisher at AllThingsD reported that Flipboard CEO Mike McCue might leave Twitter’s board. Swisher’s sources explained that McCue has begun to feel “that the companies are on a product collision course.” Since Twitter’s latest moves are all about corralling users within Twitter’s walls, the conflict with Flipboard, which repackages material from a user's Twitter stream for personalized browsing, seems obvious.

In June, on the same day Twitter delivered its latest warning about closing off its ecosystem, LinkedIn announced in a mournful blog post that Twitter had cut off the ability for LinkedIn users to automatically publish their tweets as LinkedIn updates.

On Thursday, Instagram released an update in which the "find friends from Twitter" feature is broken. Instagram shows a warning message: “Twitter no longer allows its users to access this information in Instagram via the Twitter API.” Other, smaller services still have this access, but Instagram users are screwed.

Caldwell sees in these events the classic symptoms of an online media company failing to fly. “Media companies are starving,” Caldwell says, “and that’s why they do crazy things.”

Hot Dogs & Caviar

On his blog at daltoncaldwell.com - a must-follow if you’re interested in these issues - Caldwell framed the problem with an appropriately gross metaphor: hot dogs and caviar.

Here's the story that Twitter - and Facebook, too, for that matter - is selling: The social messaging company will create some powerful new “social ad unit” that will turn the “hot dog” ad impressions currently annoying people who are just trying to talk to each other into “caviar” that tastes delicious and is worth lots of money.

That sounds unlikely to Caldwell. But Zynga and Facebook have already committed themselves to this direction. Twitter is another matter, because it doesn’t need to go this way.

At the beginning, “Twitter was the most open, radical, insane thing ever,” Caldwell says. “It was almost like an art project.” It just put this simple service out there, and its users and developers defined the features that built it into a massive service.

But “the ad guys won,” as Caldwell wrote before launching his App.net adventure. Now Twitter wants consistency and control. It wants to be a media company that others “built into,” not “build off” of.

“It makes me angry when I see businesses that are built on controlling bits,” Caldwell says. “Twitter is either going to destroy themselves and sell to Google or turn hot dogs into caviar.”

Caldwell doesn’t want to lose Twitter the service, even if he loses Twitter the company. So he proposes App.net as a business first and foremost, a model that will sustain a Twitter-like service and serve the interests of users and developers - that is, if it can meet its $500,000 crowdfunding goal.

What Is App.net?

App.net will be a paid service. Its members will pay an annual fee to be regular users. That means App.net has to keep them happy. It won’t advertise to them. It will let them own and control all of their data, so their privacy won’t be compromised. And they can leave at any time.

Developers who want to build apps for the network also pay for access. That means App.net has to keep them happy, too. It plans to do so by allowing them to build apps, extensions and businesses of their own on top of App.net’s managed, centralized service. They can even host their own, decentralized versions and just hook in at the end.

The service doesn’t exist yet. If you go to join.app.net, you’ll get the pitch, and you can back the project Kickstarter-style. The member tier costs $50, which covers the first year of service, and you can reserve your user name when you back the project. For $100, you get access to the developer tools, so you can hack on the service. The funding goal is $500,000, and it ends at 11:59 p.m. Pacific on Monday, August 13. At press time, it’s still shy of $100,000.

If App.net doesn’t meet its crowdfunding goal, well, it was worth a try. The backers keep their money. But Caldwell is already talking to well known developers, both of client apps for users and for back-end feed technologies. He says they’re intrigued. If the campaign succeeds, the community will be pretty strong from the get-go.

Caldwell chose the $500,000 goal for its symbolic value, but it represents an important threshold of interest. 10,000 committed users would be enough to incubate the service by experimenting with features and social conventions, just like Twitter did at the beginning.

Reinventing the Stream

Twitter already demonstrated the underlying, world-changing idea: a real-time service for short, public messages where every user can contribute a feed to which anyone can subscribe. That’s vital. Twitter has thrived because people found the service useful, even necessary.

But eventually, Twitter the company had to figure out what business to be in. It decided on ad sales, squeezing money out of the attention paid by its users, which requires clamping down on the Twitter experience. Caldwell is far from alone in feeling disappointed by that decision.

There have been other attempts to build a Twitter-like service that works the way it “should.” Identi.ca is still up and running, but it's hardly a developer's playground. Without business reasons to build better experiences for the service, it will never grow up. Others don’t believe a centralized service can ever be a lasting solution. Dave Winer has offered a neat list of suggestions for how a decentralized messaging service can be achieved, though it has some technical drawbacks.

One obvious problem with a paid, centralized service like App.net is reach. Twitter is great precisely because anyone can be on it. A decentralized service built into the Web itself would expand the reach by allowing people to access it with any app they chose. As a paid service, App.net will be limited, and that kills off much of Twitter’s appeal.

But that’s what the developer ecosystem is for. If App.net can build a good home for developers, it can build the federation needed to reach the outside world. Caldwell's model is GitHub. It's based on a decentralized protocol that anyone can take advantage of, but there's a premium, centralized, managed service that people use for the convenience and peace of mind.

The questions here are less about capabilities and more about motivations. All kinds of technologies can be used to build a new Twitter. But where is the organization that will actually do it?

By starting with a business plan, App.net has put the incentives in place. The product, if it gets funded, may not satisfy everyone. But that’s better than a perfect idea that never gets made.

Money vs happiness? Who wins and where

How Much Money Do You Really Need To Be Happy?

So many of us work long, hard hours to provide for our families and children-often long hours away from home, maybe taking on extra jobs at times or hoping to get a raise in an effort to make our lives richer financially–working harder at the expense of sleeping and taking good care of ourselves in order to have extra money. It seems so many of us just aren’t content with what we have now.

But is there a point at which striving to earn or acquire extra money can be counterproductive? Or, in other words, when having extra money just doesn’t make us “happy” anymore?

In a recent column in the the Sunday Review of the New York Times, Elizabeth Dunn and Michael Norton attempt to answer this question and by doing so create a perfect opportunity for us to reflect about the limitations of how the desire to accumulate money can ultimately affect our happiness.

There certainly is a relationship between your salary and happiness; people who earn a good living are often happier than people who live in poverty. Having extra money can certainly enhance our lives by providing extra food, objects and creature comforts in our homes.

But the irony is that earning additional income will actually not lead to extra happiness, once you have already attained a “comfortable standard” where you have what you need to function and be content. The “comfortable standard” can be quite variable based on the city, state or country you live in. Here in the US, according to Dunn and Norton, the standard falls around $75,000.

Researchers at Princeton examined Gallup poll data from nearly 500,000 US households and found that higher family incomes were related to better moods on a day to day basis. However, the positive effects of money had no effect on people’s happiness and moods after a level of $ 75,000.00 was attained.

The issue then arises why we work so hard after we have reached an income level that is able to make us happy. Beyond a strong work ethic engrained by family values, or the desire to excel and compete with others, it appears that our ideas about money and happiness have gone awry. Dunn and Norton explain that based on their research with a national sample of Americans, the thought that life would be happier with double their salary (from 25K to 55K) did not translate into any measurable happiness. (Twice the money did not lead to twice the happiness). But according to Dunn and Norton’s data, people who earned 55K were only 9 percent more content than those making $25,000.00. 9 percent happier may be difficult to quantify, and better than 0 percent, but not the 100 percent you may be expecting from the extra income.

However the true take-away from all of these mental exercises with money and happiness is that what we do with our money is more important than the money we earn. The thought that making more money can allow us to have bigger houses and fancier cars to nicer digital televisions-more for ourselves- is ultimately ineffective at turning money into happiness.

Research has demonstrated that if you are going to spend money on yourself, you may want to switch from buying material objects (TVs or cars) to buying experiences (trips and special events). Based on additional research by Dunn and Norton, while buying more “experiences”, you will be better off by just buying less in general and instead buy for others.

As an extension of this concept, Dunn and Norton refer to the concept of “underindulgence”- indulging a little less than you typically do- may lead you to a place where you achieve more happiness for your money. The concept is that by denying yourself the excess that you may ultimately desire may allow you to savor and appreciate the finer things in life. Dunn gives the example of indulging in chocolate sparingly -instead of in excess- may actually make you appreciate the taste and texture much more.

An extension of the underindulgence concept also relates to the ban on oversized regular soda that New York City recently proposed. In many areas of the country, the childhood obesity crisis has led to a ban on regular soda in a number of schools and campuses. According to research, restricting access to sugary sodas only at particular times of the day may actually have the ability to improve taste, while having a beneficial effect on limiting consumption. In fact, research from Arizona State University has shown that individuals enjoy the taste of soda much more when they can’t have it immediately.

Food experts have previously recognized that the first sip or the first bite is often more enjoyable than the 30th bite or sip.
A more extreme but scientifically proven means of increasing the happiness you derive from your money is a bit more radical-not spending it on yourself. It turns out that people who spend money on others rather than themselves are actually happier in the long run. They derive a greater feeling of reward and satisfaction and this helps to enrich their inner feelings of sharing and contentment.

So instead of buying that extra watch or TV the next time you have some new found money, consider the alternative: indulging less and offering others the opportunity to share in your wealth.

Spy vs Spy on iOS

One of my all time favorite classic games – and a game that frustrated me to no end – is now available for your iOS devices. Calgary’s Robots & Pencils have brought the classic Spy vs. Spy to your touch screen.

The game of course is based off the cartoon in the Mad Magazine comic. I remember playing this for hours on the Apple II. What’s great about this iOS version is you can play the retro game in all its pixelated glory.

It’s also been updated to be enjoyed on your Retina display device as well.

The premise is simple. Find all the hidden items before the opposing spy and get to your plane — oh, and make sure to plant some booby traps along the way just to frustrate your opponent.

Here’s my video review, and please don’t laugh. I’m still as bad as I was all those years ago.

Robots & Pencils has done a great job porting over Spy vs. Spy and updating it for your iOS devices. You have the eight original embassies to make your way through with the addition of 16 more. And for your added enjoyment, it offers online and local multiplayer support. So you’re sure to get a lot of replay value.

If you were a fan of the original, you’ll love this version.

Samsung posts record profit Sony pay attention!

Smartphones power record Samsung profit of $5.9 billion during Apple lull
By Miyoung Kim
SEOUL | Fri Jul 27, 2012 12:59am EDT

By Miyoung Kim

SEOUL (Reuters) - Samsung Electronics Co, the world's top technology firm by revenue, reported on Friday a record operating profit of $5.9 billion for the June quarter, as rampant Galaxy S handset sales helped stretch its lead over Apple Inc.

September quarter mobile profits are expected to forge further ahead as the latest Galaxy model enjoys a sales boom before the next iPhone launch, widely expected in October, driving Samsung's profit to a record of nearly 8 trillion won ($7 billion). The mobile business brings in around 60 percent of Samsung's earnings.

Profits of the handset division more than doubled from a year earlier and the flat-screen business swung to a profit as LCD prices stabilized.

Shares in Samsung, which also makes TVs and other appliances, flat-screens, and chips, jumped as much as 4.7 percent to a five-week high after the results, outperforming the wider market.

"Solid results from the TV division show its resilience to the euro zone crisis, while the mobile division has become a strong cash cow on the back of strong Galaxy sales," said Seo Won-seok, an analyst at Korea Investment & Securities.

"Weak memory chip prices remain the biggest concern for Samsung in the third quarter, but it will again fare better than rivals as its reliance on Apple, which tends to squeeze suppliers quite a bit, is small compared to the likes of Hynix and Toshiba. It'll have less margin pressure."

JK Shin, head of Samsung's telecoms business, told Reuters on Sunday that sales of the Galaxy S III, the most aggressive competitor to the iPhone, were better than his initial forecast of at least 10 million units in the first two months after its launch in late May.

It is also preparing a sequel to the popular phone-cum-tablet Galaxy Note later this year to counter Apple's new product releases.

Samsung, which earlier this year ended Nokia's 14-year reign as the top global handset maker, is estimated to have increased smartphone shipments to 50.5 million in the June quarter, nearly double the 26 million iPhones sold.

Apple shipments in the June quarter tumbled 26 percent sequentially as the European economy sagged and consumers held off on buying ahead of the release of the iPhone 5.

"Regardless of Apple's performance, Samsung will be strong in the third quarter," said Byun Han-joon, an analyst at KB Investment & Securities. "Actually, for Samsung, Apple's stumble is a chance."

Analysts estimated that Samsung, which now controls more than a third of the global smartphone market, will sell 15 million to 20 million of its Galaxy S III in the September quarter.


Samsung, valued at $160 billion and the world's leading maker of TVs, said April-June operating profit totaled 6.72 trillion won ($5.9 billion), in line with guidance it issued earlier this month.

That is up 79 percent from a year ago and 15 percent from the previous record - 5.85 trillion won in the March quarter.

Still, its net profit of 5.2 trillion won ($4.5 billion) is only half of the $8.8 billion Apple returned in the last quarter from its iPhone, iPad and Mac computer sales.

Samsung's gross margin of 37 percent also lags Apple's 43 percent.

The two technology giants, locked in bruising patent battle globally, will begin a jury trial in federal court in San Jose, California on Monday. Apple seeks roughly $2.5 billion in damages, plus permanent injunctions on some Samsung phones and tablets, while Samsung is demanding patent royalty payments.

Samsung said it expected its third quarter - July to September - to be marginally positive as demand for consumer electronic goods, including smartphones and tablets remains strong. However, it said it expected weak demand for PC DRAM to continue in the third quarter.

Song Myung-sub, a senior analyst at HI Investment & Securities, said chip earnings might pull back slightly in the third quarter.

"But the increase in demand for its products from Microsoft Windows 8 release in September and the iPhone in October will bring demand higher than supply," Song said.

Profit from the telecoms division more than doubled to 4.19 trillion won from a year earlier 1.71 trillion won, with sales of 50.5 million smartphones - or 380 every minute.

Its semiconductor business showed a small decline in profit to 1.1 trillion won from 1.79 trillion won, following weak demand for NAND memory chips and computer memory chips.

Prices of NAND flash memory chips tumbled 46 percent in the first half of this year following a 34 percent plunge last year, forcing Toshiba Corp to cut output by 30 percent.

The flat screen division swung to a small profit of 750 billion won from a year earlier loss of 210 billion won after a global fall in LCD (liquid crystal display) prices stabilized.

The TV and home appliances business returned 760 billion won, up from 470 billion won. Analysts have said the business has been buoyed by solid sales of high-end TV models with 3D and Internet connectivity features.

While the next iPhone will likely slow Samsung's handset earnings growth, it will boost the Korean firm's semiconductor earnings as Samsung is the sole producer of processing chips used to power the iPhone and iPad, and also supplies Apple with mobile memory chips, NAND flash and display screens.

Is Facebook down for the count?

Can they make money? It will be interesting if the largest social network can prove they are a viable business entity, now that the hype balloon is deflating along with their stock.

I will be curious to see if the online. ad model will also be business savvy. What do you think?

Featured Sections: Mobile & StartGet the newsletter
Facebook's Stock Has Never Been Lower: Here's Why


Despite meeting analysts’ operating earnings estimates of 12 cents a share, Facebook shares were hammered Thursday, falling more than 10% in after-hours trading. Here’s why.

Yes, Facebook tied earnings estimates and even eked out slightly better revenue of $1.18 billion. But in its first earnings release, earnings per share and revenue weren’t the numbers that mattered. As investors made their way through a sparse earning release, the more telling numbers were laid bare:

Ad impressions and the number of ads delivered rose, but as CFO David Ebersman noted on the conference call, that was almost entirely attributed to year-over-year user growth of 29%.
Ads delivered only rose 2%, in large part because U.S. user growth slowed and - here’s the key point - more than half of those users increased their mobile use where Facebook has no viable advertising model.
During the second quarter, the number of daily active users in the U.S. and Canada, Facebook’s most lucrative market, remained flat from the first quarter.
And even the 12 cents per share number was deceiving. As an average, it represented a wide range of estimates and was seen as being on the low side. Facebook, in other words, reached base on an error when it needed to hit a home run after a lackluster initial public offering and rough communications with Wall Streets in the weeks since shares started trading.

Simply put, Facebook has saturated most of the world’s major markets. Now it needs to be able to show it can squeeze more revenue and higher earnings out of each user, and that is something the second-quarter earnings release did not demonstrate.

On its earnings call, CEO and Founder Mark Zuckerberg (yes, he did show up and shares rose slightly in after hours trading as soon as he started speaking before falling again) continued to talk about what the company can become. He reiterated previous statements that the company is in the early stages of developing its mobile strategy and that sponsored stories and other social ads were showing “an encouraging start.” He laid out a three-pronged strategy focusing on mobile, building high-quality apps and making its developer platform accessible for third parties.

After a 10-minute introduction, Zuckerberg handed the call off to Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg who talked about Facebook’s “ability to create unique advertising opportunities.” She told listeners about Facebook’s potential to deliver “word of mouth advertising at an unprecedented scale.”

In other words, same story, different over-hyped news event in the life of a public company. Zuckerberg and Sandberg gave no hints of new strategies, instead highlighting some recent success stories, reviewing some recent product launches and reiterating what most observers already knew about the company.

What they didn’t answer were the tough questions. They offered little of the forward-looking guidance Wall Street was looking for. They didn’t address the stock’s lackluster performance since the IPO. And perhaps most telling, they didn’t give the concrete revenue numbers Wall Street was looking for. Yes, the number of mobile users was up from a year-ago, and Sandberg stressed that Facebook is “optimistic with our early tests around mobile.” She said people were “consuming their news feeds and sharing,” but she gave no hard numbers on how many of them were clicking on mobile ads.

At the end of the conference call, Facebook shares were $24.12 in after-hours trading.

Photo by Peter J. Rockwell

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Round two, will it happen?

MotoGP Laguna Seca preview

For the BBM in you

Have an iPhone...read this

Has Apple dropped the ball with the iPhone?

My first Rally Petter Solberg WRC

Facebook a brief history

Updates to iPhoto, Aperture

Apple makes another mountain, of cash

Monday, July 23, 2012

Wow, the closest I'll be for some time

Wow, have you heard? I wonder, wonder, wonder

Wonder what the devs offering free apps are going to think. Will they be protected or will they be in a similar situation as the fate of Android apps in the market....

Report: iOS 6 Ditches Password Requirement for Free Apps | News & Opinion | PCMag.com

Wow, so having the RIGHT patent is a good thing....

Interesting iPhone ad

F1 half season almost. Wow have things changed

I guess most people don't care

Anybody? Anybody?

Interesting although if you use them, please let me know, thanks

Move over Google, Bottlenose launches search engine for the “now” era | VentureBeat

Oh Canada

Please, please don't sell resources like you did with the raw log controversy. Think nationalism please...

China oil deal has Canada squirming - MarketWatch First Take - MarketWatch

Telling? Maybe, but interesting....

Number of times I've used the web, a desktop or laptop computer in the past 2 weeks: 0. All iPhone or iPad. -- Jack Dorsey (@jack)

RIM, go RIM go

Hopefully that command feature would play heavily featuring BBM.
Just a thought....

RIM’s BlackBerry 10 Dev Alpha adds Siri-like voice command - SlashGear

Saturday, July 21, 2012

iPhone photographers needed

Yes this is another kit to take photos with an iPhone, but this one is a little more serious

Business Insider

Friday, July 20, 2012

Another chaos theory? FB on the burner

Considering the hype with Facebook going public, its going to be interesting to see if they can put their money on the line and come out ahead. An interesting point of view

The Facebook Fallacy - Technology Review

iOS best for advertising according to Opera

Seat belt with airbag = Beltbag for Mercedes

Hybrid driving impression BMW 3 series

Food, a cause for concern?

Was your week interesting? Not until you've read this please

Is this really a surprise either?

Facebook purchases Acrylic

Is this a surprise?

HondaLink for canadian market. iPhone users rejoice

Whats the verdict on Nokia?

New feature, if you live in Africa

An interesting video on the ongoing development og GPS

Sparrow acquired by Google

New rival on the horizon? Power up!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Well...at least he's not shy

Samsung's newest and greatest

Honda and Android

Take that iPhone. Is Honda banning Apple to? Just kidding. Mobile with your mobile. Enjoy.

HondaLink brings your Android smartphone into the cockpit, starting with the 2013 Accord | Android Central

Social gaming What's not mainstream about that?

I will be particularly curious to read about the stats on who will be addicted to social games in the future. Gamer profiling has been changed forever. Mobility rocks on. Feel sorry for Las Vegas though.

Game Your Campaign | Think Quarterly by Google

Apple to change dock port?

Who thinks that's a bad idea? Are Apple starting to sound like Sony?

Buying the iPhone 5? Prepare to buy new, replacement accessories | ZDNet

More mudslinging on the horizon?

Siri, take command please...

Apple vs Samsung, who dunnit first

With the tech, will there be wisdom?

The beat continues

And the tech beats on

Is it me or did Google just pull the coup of the century

The appointment of Melissa Mayer as CEO of Yahoo maybe, if you see things in a slightly different way (cynical) as Google's way of gaining either
A) an ally
B) getting Yahoo prepared to be assimilated

What do you think?


Motorola nee Google ban from US market

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Antarctica and the wonders of technology

Check your Yahoo password

Will employment search be a political campaign?

Will social tools turn the job search landscape into a sophisticated political campaign where unpopular or less socially motivated people will be segregated. Will this end freedom for good?

How Social Recruitment Will Change The Future Of Work - PSFK

Yahoo's newest CEO Marissa Mayer

Testing, testing. Hey everybody, are you ready?

Porsche hybrid racer

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Nvidia has security breach

Bruno Senna presented with Lorenzo Bandini award

Bruno is presented with the #TrofeoLorenzoBandini in Brisighella http://t.co/ibNkNtq5 -- Williams F1 (@WilliamsF1Team)

And still more RIM

Study: almost 60% shoppers said they expect the retail experience to extend across physical & digital channels by 2014: http://t.co/59VCQIFi -- GigaOM (@gigaom)

Here RIM, here's the statistic you really need

So MIXX BB10 well and don't forget my list please.

Survey: 52% expect to work while on vacation http://t.co/AmWY9sgh -- CNET (@CNET)


A few thoughts

To put it bluntly, the best marketing always comes from the CEO. If he talks like he's running for office, then it reflects that. Come on RIM, and Mr. Heins, say something of relevance. All the corporate back talk is what bores people, puts them off, motivated them to look elsewhere. IT sounds like your making excuses.

I can understand if you wish to be a little secretive of your newest baby, Bb10, but believe me, the secrets are out already, thanks to devs.

But its the wording. Putting power into peoples lives?  RIM, you have to work out your marketing campaign before the fact, not after, so Thorsten doesn't look the fool.

Wow, and I love using my blackberry, but the incredibly lame hardware (slow) and the low res camera, the poor media experience was enough to make me look to Apple. Shame because the writing experience is as good as using a PC.

Whatever you do, make sure the new machine has

A) kickass hardware,
B) great sound quality, media, etc
C) more RAM (bb hourglass) shudder!
D) A really, really good camera
E) A REAL marketing campaign that won't fall to its knees because you didn't include email support to normal people.
F) LOOKS, not ugly please, I am style conscious. The S3 is an example of, "umm,  nice but in a toyota corolla sort of way (a long way from Apple).

Remember, boredom = a wealth of opportunity

Mix it all together and hurry up!

RIM CEO Thorsten Heins: “We Will Continue To Make The People That Use A BlackBerry Successful” - TechCrunch


Nice idea although I'm waiting for a dock that allows a phone to project an image onto a larger screen just for kicks.

HiveDock: iPhone 4S/4 Screen Magnification And Sound Amplification With No Wires Or Buttons [REVIEW] | Redmond Pie

Although successful, reading business news like this makes me sad

Has the business of Icons gone too far? That success is now measured in the investor paradigm instead of being creative or exceptional? It is good to see that companies like Porsche, Ferrari and Apple are all exceptionally successful, but is it too business oriented now. I tend to think so. Is it the modern equivalent of religon? For sure. This saddens me for sure.

Porsche issues a 500-million euros promissory note | Wheelsology.com

Something to think about folks. Are you wireless aware?

Now thats tech!

If the numbers are true this could get interesting

Business in China,  the good and the ugly?

Business Insider

The price of success?

A little off topic for me but still a good read

A little different view of Apple fandom

Moto GP Mugello

Dont ask why

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Google + & Olympics = ?

Is this the beginning of a shift in pad sales

Growth pains? RIM has problems you say?

Big storm headed to Earth

Is it the wave of the future?

Apple to quick to act?

Will China evolve into an open market?

RIM loses lawsuit

Blackberry update


Investors and mobility

An interesting perspective as to what it takes to keep investors happy

Business Insider

Finally, something that makes sense

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Netflix and why their problem will be everyone's problem in the future

Ths title says it all

I get the distinct feeling that North Americans like throwing money away

ACEEE energy efficiency report finds that the U.S. lags behind China and Europe - latimes.com

Amazon is this going to get crowded or what?

Samsung comes to North America

Build it and they will come

Porsche on the upswing?

Malware Awareness for Android

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Economic meltdown or social

This is an interesting poke in the eye for average Americans. Perhaps some will agree, some will not. One thing is for sure is that the rumblings of so called class warfare is just beginning. If erosion of the middle class to support the rising super class is fiction, then I guess that the super class aren't controlling the supporting statistics or everything as perceived.

Bitter Americans Are Quite Rude Towards Their Economic Superiors

Interesting hardware rant

Funny. People can figure out if a car is good, but computers?

It Never Gets Better - BuzzFeed Mobile

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Smartphone camera comparo all the usual suspects and one big sensor

How does Nokia's latest and greatest rate. Lets find out....

Nokia 808 PureView camera comparison

Google, is this a boo boo?

Next the iApple train rolls on NFC look out!

RIM January, your joking, right?

Is it real this time? The seven inch iPad

Webber extends his stay at Red Bull Racing

Jelly Bean released into the wild