Archive for March, 2012

Unpaid Huffington Post Bloggers Remain Unpaid

March 30, 2012  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

Turns out you can’t give away your work, then demand to get paid after the fact. What? You already knew this? Then you were ahead of the U.S. judicial system, which had to spend the last year on a silly class-action suit brought by a former Huffington Post contributor . Jonathan Tasini, who compared himself and other unpaid HuffPo writers to “modern-day slaves,” was demanding a third of the $315 million Arianna Huffington and her backers got when they sold the company to AOL last year. The logic: He helped build the site up, and, well … Not really any more logic than that, really. Tasini and other contributors agreed to write for free from the get-go. U.S. District Judge John Koeltl has a 24-page decision dismissing Tasini’s complaint with prejudice, and I’ve embedded it at the bottom of this post.

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SecondMarket Lays Off 10 Percent in Light of Facebook IPO

March 30, 2012  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

SecondMarket , the marketplace for private company shares that built much of its business on pre-IPO interest in Facebook equity, laid off 10 percent of its staff today. Prior to the layoffs, the New York City-based company employed approximately 150 people. Word of the layoffs was first reported by CNET . A SecondMarket spokesperson said, “In a post-Facebook market world, we have decided to eliminate some positions that are no longer core to our company’s long-term mission. We reduced our headcount by approximately 10 percent today, but will continue to hire in select areas. We have no additional planned layoffs and look forward to ramping up our headcount in the future.” Facebook is expected to go public in May . A source familiar with SecondMarket said its final auction for private shares of Facebook will end on Tuesday. On the bright side, SecondMarket likely stands to benefit from the higher private company shareholder limits set forth in the JOBS Act, which Congress approved this week and President Barack Obama is expected to sign into law next week. The new limit would be 2,000 shareholders before a company falls under SEC reporting obligations, up from the infamous limit of 500 today. Please see the disclosure about Facebook in my ethics statement .

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And to Think They Used to Say the Japanese Hated the iPhone …

March 30, 2012  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

More accolades for Apple from abroad. This morning, the company was ranked by the Nikkei as the top consumer brand in Japan , the first time it has ever been so honored. In the publication’s survey of 52,000 consumers, Apple captured an overall “brand power” score of 90.5 percent, elevating to it first place in 2012, from 11th place in 2011. In doing so, it bested not only Google, but Uniqlo, YouTube and Disney.

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LivingSocial Finds That Full-Price Offers Work Better on Mobile Than Discounts

March 30, 2012  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

LivingSocial is killing off its last-minute offers for restaurants and spas in favor of a new full-price service it calls Takeout & Delivery. “This is the bigger opportunity we see under real-time commerce, based on the adoption we’ve seen with our members and the feedback from the restaurants,” said Greg Mazanec, LivingSocial’s general manager for Takeout & Delivery. The move is a big step away from the company’s roots of offering large discounts to draw patrons into a store or restaurant. But the step also raises the broader question of whether mobile commerce — as we’ve envisioned it for years — will ever take off. For the past decade, mobile executives and others have promised that, someday, consumers will be alerted of nearby deals or specials on their phone as they walk by a coffee shop or a restaurant.

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Netflix Buys DVD.com Domain, But Says It Won’t Create a Disc-Only Web Site

March 30, 2012  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

Netflix has bought the DVD.com domain name, but the company says it doesn’t plan on cleaving its DVD and streaming businesses into two operations, as it had tried to do last fall with its ill-fated Qwikster plan . A Netflix spokesman says the company purchased the Internet address for purely defensive reasons, and that Netflix users will continue to access discs and streamed movies from the same site.

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Apple Labor Pact Could Ripple Across China

March 30, 2012  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

Manufacturers grappling with rising labor costs and increasing worker demands in China could face further pressure if a critical probe of a major Apple Inc. supplier sets a new standard for China’s factory workers. Apple and one of its top suppliers, Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., agreed to a set of recommendations by the Fair Labor Association following an audit of Hon Hai’s Chinese factories to reduce work hours and change other employment policies. Read the rest of this post on the original site »

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Intel’s Diane Bryant Says CIOs Will Love Its Romley Chip

March 30, 2012  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

Yesterday, I had lunch with Diane Bryant. Until January, she had been CIO at chipmaker Intel. Then, on Jan. 20, as part of a management shake-up , she was named vice president and general manager of Intel’s Data Center and Connected Systems Group. She was in New York yesterday for a lunch with a few journalists, primarily to talk about Intel’s latest generation of Xeon processors for servers. Before they were officially released, these chips were known primarily by their code name, Romley, and often still are when analysts and others talk about them, because the code names are easier to remember than the product names, which, for the record in this case, is Xeon Processor E5-2600. The Romley generation of chips builds on the foundation of Intel’s previous generation of server chips, known by its code name, Nehalem. The main benefit, which Bryant and other Intel execs and customers explain in lengthy detail in this video from the product’s launch in San Francisco three weeks ago, is that the chip is 80 percent faster at certain computing jobs, according to independent tests. At the same time, it is 50 percent more energy efficient. Executives who operate data centers generally worry about two things: The raw number-crunching power they can squeeze out of the chips in their densely packed racks of servers, and the cost of the power required to keep them running and also keep them cool. So the introduction of a chip that can get more work done in a shorter amount of time while using half as much power is, at first glance, a pretty compelling moment to consider an upgrade. And yet, that doesn’t seem to be the case. In a survey of 100 CIOs of large enterprises conducted by the investment bank J.P. Morgan, 91 said that they didn’t see Intel’s Romley chips as much of a catalyst for upgrades in their data center

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Reed Hastings: "I want my HBO Go"

March 30, 2012  |  Variety  |  No Comments

TV News: Netflix chief complains about Comcast broadband loophole

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WB Home Entertainment mines Goldwyn vault

March 30, 2012  |  Variety  |  No Comments

Top News: Q4 release eyed for titles including 'Best Years,' 'Pride of the Yankees'

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Facebook’s First Sales Guy, Kevin Colleran, Joins General Catalyst Partners

March 30, 2012  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

Kevin Colleran, one of the first 10 Facebook employees and its first salesperson, has joined General Catalyst Partners as a venture partner. At the time he left last summer , Colleran was Facebook’s earliest remaining employee, save for Mark Zuckerberg. General Catalyst told the Boston Business Journal that Colleran’s focus will be working with its early stage portfolio companies. Colleran added via email that he is joining the advisory boards of Path, Vaynermedia and Backplane, in addition to similar roles at Buddy Media, Causes and the Basis Health Band. Colleran spent the eight months since he left Facebook traveling with his fiancee, he said. Early Facebookers are big into investing their money in tech. Matt Cohler became a VC at Benchmark Capital in 2008, while Chamath Palihapitiya started the Social+Capital Partnership last year and Ali Rosenthal is now an EIR at Greylock Partners . Many early Facebook employees make angel investments, often in each other’s projects.

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