Posts Tagged ‘facebook’

A&E Ducks Further Controversy, Reinstates Phil Robertson

December 28, 2013  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Call it a Christmas miracle, or simply an attempt to limit the collateral damage that comes with a culture war, but the 10-day feud between A&E and Duck Dynasty star Phil Robertson is over. In a statement issued Friday evening by parent company A+E Networks, the cable channel said its has welcomed Robertson back into the fold, with an eye toward resuming production on the hit reality show sometime in spring 2014. The network benched Robertson on Dec. 18 after he made inflammatory remarks about gays in an interview with GQ writer Drew Magary. “After discussions with the Robertson family, as well as consulting with numerous advocacy groups, A&E has decided to resume filming Duck Dynasty later this spring with the entire Robertson family,” the network said, by way of announcing the detente. Over the past several days, fans of Robertson and Duck Dynasty have called for a boycott on everything from A&E to part-owner Walt Disney Co. to the network’s sponsors. Because the controversy raged around the subjects about which Americans are particularly passionate—religion, sexuality and politics—what may have otherwise been a scrap between a reality star and a basic-cable network quickly found itself splashed all over the op-ed pages and across social media. Among the political figures who

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Investors Flock to Twitter, Like Facebook, as Year Draws to a Close

December 24, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

Sure, Facebook has a huge valuation, and Twitter trades at like a billion times earnings, but that hasn’t stopped shares of both companies from surging. Part of it is the realization that, to the degree that social media actually is a big thing, it really is all about those two companies. And while Facebook and Twitter are tech names, social media has emerged as a key place for all manner of companies, from automakers and airlines to Coke and Pepsi. In an interview on CNBC, I likened it to the early days of Google’s stock, as investors realized that search advertising was here to stay:

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‘Fast and Furious 7′ Gets New Release Date

December 23, 2013  |  Variety  |  No Comments

Vin Diesel posted a photo of himself with the late Paul Walker on his Facebook fan page Sunday, announcing that “Fast and Furious 7″ would be released April 10, 2015. It had originally been set for July 11, 2014, but production was postponed after Walker’s death in a car crash Nov. 30. Diesel’s Facebook post... Read more

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‘Duck Dynasty’: Cracker Barrel Reverses Decision to Pull Products

December 22, 2013  |  Variety  |  No Comments

Tennesse-based retailer Cracker Barrel did a quick about-face on Sunday and restored “Duck Dynasty”-related products to its shelves, barely two days after pulling some items out of fear of offending customers. Execs with the Cracker Barrel Old Country Store chain undoubtedly responded to the overwhelming number of critical comments on its Facebook page after it... Read more

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In Wake of Card Data Breach, Target’s Redcard Website Has Been Down All Day

December 20, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

When Target this morning acknowledged a security breach of data from up to 40 million credit and debit cards used in its stores over a two-week period beginning around Thanksgiving, it told its shoppers to monitor their accounts for fishy transactions. But if the card you’ve used in a Target store recently is one of Target’s very own debit or credit cards, dubbed Redcards, you’re out of luck for now. The Redcard website has essentially been down all day. I tried to log in for the first time around 11 am ET, but the site wouldn’t load. More than nine hours later, at the time of this writing, the site is still down. The phone line has been down all day as well.

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Top Products in Two Decades of Tech Reviews

December 18, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

This is my last column for The Wall Street Journal, after 22 years of reviewing consumer technology products here. So I thought I’d talk about the dozen personal-technology products I reviewed that were most influential over the past two decades. Obviously, narrowing so many products in the most dynamic of modern industries down to 12 is a subjective exercise and others will disagree. Though most were hits, a couple weren’t blockbusters, financially, and one was an outright flop. Instead, I used as my criteria two main things. First, the products had to improve ease of use and add value for average consumers. That was the guiding principle I laid down in the first sentence of my first column, in 1991: “Personal computers are just too hard to use, and it’s not your fault.” Second, I chose these 12 because each changed the course of digital history by influencing the products and services that followed, or by changing the way people lived and worked. In some cases, the impact of these mass-market products is still unfolding. All of these products had predecessors, but they managed to take their categories to a new level. Some readers will complain that Apple is overrepresented. My answer: Apple introduced more influential, breakthrough products for average consumers than any other company over the years of this column.

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Facebook to Sell Video Ads

December 17, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

Facebook Inc. will begin selling video advertisements later this week, according to people familiar with the matter. The ads, which will play automatically in users’ news feeds may help Facebook capture a share of the $66.4 billion advertisers are expected to spend on U.S. television this year. Read the rest of this post on the original site »

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Obama to Meet With Tech Giants Over Surveillance, Obamacare

December 16, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

President Barack Obama, facing growing pressure from Silicon Valley, will meet Tuesday with executives from Google Inc., Facebook Inc. and other technology and telecommunications giants to discuss their concerns about America’s surveillance operations. According to the White House, Mr. Obama will also meet with the executives to talk about progress with the troubled online federal marketplace,, and ways the government and technology industry can partner to boost economic growth. Read the rest of this post on the original site »

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Benchmark’s Mitch Lasky on App Discovery, Distribution, and the Power of Chat Networks

December 16, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

Benchmark Capital partner Mitch Lasky is a games guy. He’s been in the business for decades — long before he went into venture capital — and when it comes to selling games, he has seen what works and what doesn’t. So it seems strange that Lasky is so knowledgeable on apps like Line, WeChat and KakaoTalk — some of the biggest messaging applications in countries outside the U.S. But it’s not so odd, considering that mobile games companies are increasingly moving toward these chat apps to help people find and download their games. I sat down with Lasky last week to chat about the gaming industry, and social games in particular, and what he had to say about chat networks is something every gaming company should take note of. Oh, and while he wouldn’t speak much about it, pay attention to the part in here about Snapchat, the buzzy messaging app he happens to advise and sit on the board of. AllThingsD: So talk to me about something I know a little bit about, but I hear is going to be big: Games distribution through chat apps. WeChat, Line and KakaoTalk are all offering mobile games for sale or download inside their main chatting apps. Why is this a big thing, and why are American companies interested in it? Mitch Lasky : It’s amazing –if you look at the Korean mobile app stores, 10 out of their Top 10 mobile games are being distributed through KakaoTalk. It’s totally working. It’s an unbelievably great distribution channel. So, why is that better than, say, Apple’s App Store? I want to know how it works so well. Well, if I told you, then I’d have to kill you. No, seriously though. I think you need to decouple the concept of distribution and discovery. Distribution has become completely commoditized.

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With Private Messaging, Instagram and Twitter Continue Their Arms Race

December 12, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

So Instagram introduced a version of private messaging on Thursday morning, allowing users to send photos to only one or a few of their followers at a time. And it’s a fine decision. Communication between Instagram users has been limited mainly to proxy networks to date. This knits the service together more cohesively. But more than that, it heightens the continuing battle with another popular social network: Twitter. And Twitter should be worried. Consider the similarities: Both Twitter and Instagram are based on blasting out wide distribution of content to a public follower network. Both now allow users to send media privately on a one-to-one basis. And Twitter is looking much more like Instagram lately, shifting toward full in-line photos inside users’ Twitter streams (though users can still choose solely to communicate via text). Both are trying to be, in a nutshell, the premier public media-sharing service on the Internet. “Instagram is here today because we were public from the start,” Instagram founder Kevin Systrom said in an interview. “And I think if we were a private network or if we had a symmetrical following model, we wouldn’t nearly be as big as we are today.” And make no mistake: Twitter may have 232 million monthly active users, but Instagram is big . The photo-sharing service has garnered more than 150 million monthly active users in half the time Twitter has existed. And more than 50 percent of Instagram’s users return to the service on a daily basis . That’s got to be unsettling for Twitter. The curveball in all of this, however, has been the rise of private messaging over the past few years. While Twitter and Instagram rose to prominence based on the premise of being public, both companies realize that the general public has room for forms of both public and private online expression, rather than one over another. And if not given the choice to share and communicate privately within a network, users will go elsewhere to find it

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