Archive for January, 2013

NetSuite Shares Rise on Record Q4 Sales

January 31, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

Shares of cloud software company NetSuite are rising sharply after hours as the company reported record earnings and sales for its fiscal fourth quarter. Earnings per share were 6 cents higher than the consensus view of 4 cents on sales of $85 million, up 33 percent over the year-ago quarter. Total revenue for the year was $308 million, up 31 percent. NetSuite shares rose nearly 8 percent to $75.81 in after-hours trading on the news.

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Just Under Deadline, Google Responds to European Antitrust Concerns

January 31, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

Google hit the European Commission’s deadline of January 31 to provide a substantive response to antitrust concerns — but just barely. The company submitted a proposal regarding what it is willing to settle earlier today, said sources, after negotiations in Brussels went to the wire. The big question is whether the EC extracts more concessions from Google than the U.S. According to a source familiar with this week’s active negotiations, the proposal is quite similar to what Google already agreed to in a parallel case with the U.S. Federal Trade Commission , over scraping information to include in search results and sharing information through advertising APIs. However, there are likely to be a few key differences. One source said that the European agreement won’t address patents, and it will likely include instructions to have better labeling in search — a topic that wasn’t touched by the FTC agreements. Perhaps most significantly, as in the U.S., Google won’t have to admit wrongdoing. Neither Google nor the EC are confirming that the submission happened. “We continue to work cooperatively with the European Commission,” said Google in a statement, while the press office of European competition commissioner Joaquin Almunia did not reply to a request for comment. Almunia had announced in December that he expected Google to submit a “detailed commitment text” in January 2013, and had reiterated that deadline in recent comments. The settlement agreement as Almunia has laid it out would be under Article 9 of the EU Antitrust regulation. That’s important, because it’s a different and newer law than what was applied in Europe to Intel and Microsoft. Most critically, it wouldn’t include the substantial fines associated with the traditional European antitrust enforcements. Though both the timeline and the substance of the European negotiations have been made public many times, those involved seem to be trying especially hard to keep details of the submission under wraps. I was able to glean some information from a source familiar with the situation in Brussels, but wasn’t able to confirm it elsewhere as yet. However, other outlets, including the subscription regulatory outlet MLex , are also reporting that Google finally made its submission. So, what would this settlement mean

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B.O.: ‘Warm Bodies’ should shuffle to $20 mil

January 31, 2013  |  Variety  |  No Comments

Teen zombie comedy has little competish this weekend

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China’s Hacking of NY Times Recalls Another Attack in 1998

January 31, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

There’s going to be an awful lot to say about the massive hacking effort by attackers thought to reside in China that rocked the New York Times last year. And much of what can be said is already there in the longish takeout on the incident on today’s front page. If you haven’t read it yet, I’ll spare you the effort. Last fall, the Times was getting ready to publish a lengthy report about how relatives of Chinese premier Wen Jiabao had amassed a sizable fortune. Knowing China’s reputation for carrying out hacking attacks against companies and other entities that annoy it, Times executives had the foresight to have the company’s Internet service provider watch for any unusual activity. Predictably, it showed up. It was a classic spear-phishing attack that contained a remote access tool, packaged in an email attachment innocently opened by an employee. The incident provided the Times and the security firm it hired, Mandiant, the opportunity to watch the intruders’ activity for an extended period of time as they roamed the network. Once Mandiant had a pretty good idea of all the different paths for getting in and out, they shut down and isolated all the affected machines, plugged all the holes and that was that. Interesting. But it’s not the first time the Times has been hacked in a high-profile manner. The story reports that the first attack occurred on Sept. 13. That’s a notable date because it is, coincidentally, the 15-year anniversary of the day in 1998 that the New York Times Web site was attacked by a hacking group calling itself Hacking for Girliez. I wrote about that attack for Wired . The attack was a basic Web defacement. The Times front page was replaced with another page (you can see the results, not completely safe for work, here ) that contained within its HTML code a rambling message about the then-jailed hacker Kevin Mitnick, and a weird poem. No one was ever arrested for the attack and it’s a pretty sure bet no one ever will be, mainly because the statute of limitations would have long expired

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Take That, CBS: Dish Awarded Best of CES Award

January 31, 2013  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Fanning the flames of controversy over Dish's Hopper ad-skipping service, the International CES awarded Hopper with Sling the "Best of Show" co-winner, along with Razer Edge. Handing the award to the Hopper service is a direct slap at CBS, which directed its CNET unit to withdraw the honor to Hopper because the TV network was in litigation with Dish over the technology. To further emphasize its point, the Consumer Electronics Association is not only overriding CBS, but dumping CNET as CEA's partner to run the "Best of CES" awards program. "CES has enjoyed a long and productive partnership with CNET and the Best of CES awards. However, we are concerned the new review policy will have a negative impact on our brand should we continue the awards relationship as currently constructed," Karen Chupka, svp of events and conferences for the CEA, said in a statement. According to numerous reports, CNET's editors were all set to give Dish's Hopper the top prize until CBS CEO Les Moonves intervened and forced CNET editors to remove Dish from consideration because CBS was suing Dish for copyright infringement. CEA has defended Dish's Hopper technology in its lawsuit with the TV networks, recently filing an amicus brief in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

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Losing Game: Super Bowl Ads and the Mute Button

January 31, 2013  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

At first blush, it seems almost painfully unsurprising that a television ad is less effective without sound. And the heavens know that the majority of Super Bowl watchers are not going to miss out on the audio of the big game's hyped commercials. But some old-school sports diehards will still hit the mute button here and there during commercial breaks from the football action in order to be heard in the kitchen that he or she could really use another Schlitz . And in other scenarios, Super Bowl parties tend to be noisy—therefore copy for the ads often gets lost in a room full of conversations. So it's interesting—for Super Bowl ads or just any old TV commercial—to get an idea of what that means to the brand that ponied up for the slot. According to EyeTrackShop data being released today, 28 percent of an ad's impact is lost in terms of brand recall and general perception of the spot if the sound is off. The New York-based software firm conducted an A/B test (sound versus no sound) on 165 consumers who viewed " Goat 4 Sale ," an ad submission (video below) that's a finalist for the Doritos " Crash the Super Bowl 2013 " contest

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Fox’s ‘Idol,’ NBC’s ‘Fire’ hot Wednesday

January 31, 2013  |  Variety  |  No Comments

Music show cruises opposite key ABC, CBS repeats

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Sift Raises More Funding to Help Turn Your Inbox Into a Personalized Shopping App

January 31, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

Sift has raised $540,000 in funding to turn the deluge of offers sent to consumers via email into a shopping app for the iPad. The Burlingame, Calif.-based company, which was incubated by the Tandem accelerator, said the seed funding comes from Shawn Wang, co-founder of Baidu and Unity Ventures; Deep Nishar, SVP of Product at LinkedIn; Bhupen Shah, co-founder of Sling Media; Sand Hill Angels and others. The money will be used to hire more employees.

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Nickelodeon Ad Sales a Drag on Viacom Earnings

January 31, 2013  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

This morning's look back on the last quarter was not much fun for Viacom. Revenues were down 16 percent to $3.31 billion, earnings declined to $461 million, and per-share earnings came in at 91 cents per diluted share. The network had the usual excuses, including that this year was a "difficult comparison" to the year previous, down 42 percent over 2012, when Mission Impossible Ghost Protocol and Puss in Boots

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Film studio squeezes Viacom’s quarter

January 31, 2013  |  Variety  |  No Comments

Par in the red; advertising sales down 6%

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