Archive for December, 2013

How Can You Miss Us if We Won’t Go Away? Paczkowski and Swisher Highlights From AllThingsD.

December 30, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

A day late, but here’s the last installment of highlight posts from AllThingsD staffers , as we reach twilight on Dec. 31 and this site is no more. As one of my fave depressing funeral poems goes: “Do not stand at my grave and weep, I am not there; I do not sleep.” Actually, I don’t sleep, since I am a blogger and, as you all must realize by now, a sparkly vampire, too. Thus, like the undead, we’ll be reanimated in another form and with a new name right quick. And, not to worry, the archives of what we have written since mid-2007 will also forever remain as definitive proof that we existed, thanks to the hard workers at the NSA in its ongoing quest to suck every digital scrap it can find! But before The Wall Street Journal redirects this site’s URL to its own tech coverage, here are some stories by John Paczkowski, the very first editorial hire Walt Mossberg and I made here, as well as some choice bits by me over the years (Yahoo, Yahoo and, well , mebbe some Yahoo, too!). JOHN PACZKOWSKI 1. Who Will Buy Palm? If Not HTC, How About HP? Key lines: “With handheld sales that fell by more than half year-over-year in its first quarter, HP is surely looking for a way to revive them and capture a larger portion of the important mobile market. Acquiring Palm could be a good way to do it.” 2. Google and the Evolution of Search I: Human Evaluators Key lines: “Google had finally acknowledged that its search results were no longer solely and automatically determined by the company’s vaunted algorithms. Now they simply “relied heavily” on them.

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Twitter’s Tanking

December 30, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

After a wild run last week that saw them soar to an all-time high of $74.73, shares of Twitter are crashing brutally back to earth. The company’s stock tumbled more than six percent in early trading Monday, falling to $59.43. The reason? That’s not entirely clear, though perhaps investors are realizing that there’s no fundamental business change with which to rationalize last week’s run.

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U2 to Receive Sonny Bono Visionary Award at Palm Springs Film Festival

December 30, 2013  |  Variety  |  No Comments

The Palm Springs Film Festival will present U2 with the Sonny Bono Visionary Award at its January 4 awards gala. The rock group’s song “Ordinary Love” is featured in the film “Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom.” “We normally present the Sonny Bono Visionary Award to a director, but for our 25th anniversary we wanted to... Read more

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What You Need to Know About Online Gift-Card Exchanges

December 30, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

Chances are you received at least one gift card this week. According to the National Retail Federation, gift-card spending this holiday season was expected to reach an all-time high. Eighty percent of consumers said they planned to buy these oh-so-personal pieces of plastic. But, as we all know, gift cards often go unspent — or half-spent, with a nominal balance left on them for all of retail eternity. So if you’d rather turn them in for cash or another brand-name gift card, this column might help you out. What follows are some possible questions about how online gift-card exchanges work.

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Bringing Inexpensive Mobile Access to Researchers in Antarctica

December 30, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

While cellphone networks have managed to cover large swaths of the six most-populated continents, making a call from Antarctica isn’t so easy. Now, though, researchers in parts of Antarctica have a mobile communication option that goes beyond pricey satellite phones. A new system from Range Networks allows researchers to use ordinary cellphones to connect with one another, and even to the rest of the world, thanks to a satellite connection located at the base station. The system replaces what essentially were walkie-talkies that were used by researchers when away from their desks. And, unlike a satellite-only approach, the Range Networks system keeps the researchers connected to one another, regardless of whether there is a satellite signal. “If there is any loss of connectivity to the outside world, the group can still talk to one another,” said Jacob Winkler, who heads sales and business development for Range Networks. The system, which can handle 400 mobile phones (along with 800 desktop-based IP phones), is also designed to handle data traffic from various sensors. While Antarctica presents some unique challenges, Range Networks is using basically the same approach it has gone with to connect other remote corners of the globe, including Oaxaca, Mexico; Papua, Indonesia; and parts of southern Zambia. Among the hallmarks of the Range Networks approach is its use of off-the-shelf GSM cellphones and the open-source software known as OpenBTS that runs on its base stations. The Antarctic project began roughly a year ago on Macquarie Island, with plans now in place to expand to the Antarctic mainland as well as to those aboard a steel-hulled research vessel.

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LG to Unveil webOS-Powered TV

December 30, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

South Korea’s LG Electronics Inc. will soon take the veils off a television model that will run on the webOS operating system, highlighting its ambition of creating a prominent operating system for so-called smart TVs. LG bought webOS, a mobile-device operating system, from Hewlett-Packard Co. earlier this year. The operating system was originally developed by Palm Inc. to power smartphones that would compete with the likes of Apple Inc.’s iPhones. H-P acquired Palm in 2010 and used webOS to power a tablet and its smartphone models. But the system failed to gain traction with the developers who write apps for devices and the devices didn’t sell well. Read the rest of this post on the original site »

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How technology is changing our likes and loves

How technology is changing our likes and loves

December 30, 2013  |  Blog  |  No Comments

Once upon a time, we worried about how much television we watched. It would destroy our relationships, stop us communicating and turn our brains to mush. How innocent that sounds now. Today, if you peeked through the curtains of any living-room on an average night you’d find more than half of us focused not on our family, nor even the television, but on the other screen on our laps. And it’s not just at home. Look down any Tube platform, or at any diner left alone when their partner goes to the loo, and you’ll see heads inclined, gazing at iPhones and

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Zappos is going holacratic: no job titles, no managers, no hierarchy

Zappos is going holacratic: no job titles, no managers, no hierarchy

December 30, 2013  |  Blog  |  No Comments

Zappos is known for its zany corporate culture. The company’s Q4 “All Hands” meeting in November was aptly-themed “Gone Wild”: one female employee voluntarily climbed into a case filled with tarantulas to win a $250 gift card. The event opened with a Lion King performance put on by employees at the Smith Center in downtown Las Vegas and closed with an after party at the museum next door. Focusing on company culture and customer service is how CEO Tony Hsieh built Zappos into a billion-dollar online retailer. While he’s not getting rid of those priorities, Hsieh is laying the groundwork

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Viral Video: Even Jerry Seinfeld Has a Drone. What’s With That?

December 30, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

Here’s the the trailer for the third season of Jerry Seinfield’s utterly indulgent yet completely entertaining Web show on Crackle, called “ Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee .” There are a bunch of great comics and also an inexplicable drone, which seems to be taking pictures of the various cool cars that the comic employs in the show. It works for me:

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EuropaCorp’s ‘Jack’ To Open UniFrance Rendez-vous

December 30, 2013  |  Variety  |  No Comments

PARIS – A gala screening of “Jack & the Cuckoo-Clock Heart,” the long and much-awaited animated movie from Luc Besson’s EuropaCorp, will open the 16th UniFrance Paris Rendez-vous With French Cinema, a four-day French film market and model for many of the national movie screenings that have sprung up around the world. Over Jan. 10-13,... Read more

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