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Legere's Sturm und Drang Act Works for T-Mobile
June 20, 2014
T-Mobile CEO John Legere was his usual controversial self when he took the stage at the company's Un-Carrier 5.0 event on Wednesday, striding on after being announced like a wrestling champ and lacing the air with profanities. AT&T and Verizon were "greedy bastards" that were "raping" customers, he fumed. "Maps and charts and promises -- and happy families running through the goddamned store."
Facebook Plunges Into Online Ad Mainstream
June 12, 2014
Facebook on Thursday announced it will soon move to interest-based advertising, almost three years after archrival Google, and well after other major players such as Yahoo and Amazon. It also will introduce "ad preferences," a tool accessible from every ad on Facebook that will explain why users were served an ad, and let them remove interests that form the basis on which that ad is served.
Coupang's on Fire in Korea's Hot M-Commerce Climate
June 09, 2014
Sequoia Capital recently led a US$100 million round of funding for South Korean retailer Coupang, suggesting that the rapidly growing Korean e-commerce market is the hot new scene for investors looking to capitalize on a country full of mobile shoppers. Founded and run by the Korean-born, Harvard-educated Bon Kim, the site has grown to become Korea's leading online retailer.
Twitter Poised for Growth Spurt in Asia
May 28, 2014
Twitter is positioned for some nice growth in the coming months and years, according to a report released Tuesday by eMarketer. However, that growth largely will be occurring in emerging countries. What makes that trajectory problematic in the view of some investors is this: It was Twitter's U.S. user base that accounted for close to three-quarters of the company's total ad revenue in 2013.
HP's Whitman Pulls Out the Chain Saw
May 23, 2014
In the wake of a weak second-quarter earnings report, HP has announced it will eliminate 11,000 to 16,000 jobs. The news was a blow; it was only two years ago that HP announced it would undergo a massive restructuring to move away from its PC roots. As part of that restructuring it planned to eliminate 34,000 jobs from its payroll, which then came as a shock.
AT&T Gambles on DirecTV
May 20, 2014
AT&T has agreed to acquire DirecTV in order to expand its consumer offerings across additional platforms and better compete in the ever-evolving telecom industry. The merger of the U.S.' second-largest wireless provider and second-largest pay-TV company would be worth about $48.5 billion. With the inclusion of DirecTV's net debt, the total transaction value would rise to $67.1 billion.
Anonymous Philippines Harasses China
May 20, 2014
Anonymous Philippines, the Philippines branch of the hacktivist collective Anonymous, defaced more than 200 Chinese websites over a territorial dispute between the two countries. The group announced the move on its Facebook page, offering a detailed list of all websites it had infiltrated. The hacking spree stems from the dustup over Scarborough Shoal, also known as "Huangyan Island."
On Pins and Needles Over Pinterest
May 19, 2014
Pinterest last week announced that it had raised $200 million in a new round of fundraising from existing investors SV Angel, Bessemer Venture Partners, Fidelity and Andreessen Horowitz. The latest funding puts its valuation at $5 billion, which is quite a tidy sum for a company that has little to offer in terms of revenue. What Pinterest does have is a hot brand and legions of users.
Nintendo's Plan B
May 12, 2014
Aiming in part to counteract losses sustained on its Wii U gaming device, Nintendo reportedly is setting its sights on emerging markets and planning a brand-new console and games with those markets in mind. Nintendo CEO Satoru Iwata last week cited higher entertainment budgets among many emerging nations' middle-class consumers as part of his company's rationale for looking farther afield.
UK ISPs Agree to Antipiracy Deal
May 09, 2014
As part of a deal with entertainment industry bodies, large UK Internet service providers will send letters to customers suspected of partaking in illegal downloads. The deal was hashed out by the BPI, which represents the British music industry, and the Motion Picture Association, which represents film. The final deal is lacking some key provisions for which the BPI and MPA had lobbied.
Alibaba's Treasure May Not Open Doors for Yahoo
May 07, 2014
The market is waiting with bated breath to see the exact size of Alibaba's IPO, but investors in Yahoo, which owns about 23 percent of Alibaba's stock, don't seem impressed. Yahoo's shares closed Wednesday at $34.07, down 6.6 percent. Yahoo's stake is worth about $26 billion based on the fair value of about $109 billion Alibaba assigned to its shares in March.
Alibaba Files for Much-Anticipated IPO
May 07, 2014
Chinese e-commerce behemoth Alibaba filed an initial public offering prospectus Tuesday, inching closer to what could be the biggest technology IPO in history. Alibaba Group handles 80 percent of all online commerce in China; it processed some $250 billion worth of transactions for 231 million users in 2013. The company's market value has been estimated as high as $200 billion.
British Supermarket Chain to Launch Its Own Smartphone
May 06, 2014
Tesco, a British-born multinational grocery store chain, plans to launch its own smartphone later this year. The device will reportedly run on Android software and have specs comparable to the Samsung Galaxy S5. Of course, the Galaxy doesn't come equipped with preinstalled Tesco services; the new phone will. Tesco has been electronically progressive, at least as far as supermarkets are concerned.
EMC World 2014: Building a Company to Last
May 05, 2014
EMC World -- the company's annual customer, user and partner conference -- kicks off this week in Las Vegas. So it seems like a good time to compare and contrast EMC's current position in the marketplace to its competitors' positions -- and even to its own history. In fact, those points were clarified in its recent Q1 2014 earnings call.
Microsoft's Makeover: Nadella Confirmed, Ballmer Vindicated
April 28, 2014
Last week, Microsoft delivered its quarterly report, and it was a big deal. It was CEO Satya Nadella's first real quarter and the Nokia merger was completed. This is just the beginning of the Microsoft makeover, but two things indicate that in the end, Ballmer finally did what was right for Microsoft in prepping the company for Nadella -- and that Nadella was the right choice to lead the firm.
Apple's Story: Passion, Patience and Pressure
April 25, 2014
True, market-changing, life-changing innovation comes from three key elements: passion, patience and pressure. Apple is the poster child for this view of innovation. Especially now. Especially when Apple is simply selling millions of profitable iPhones and MacBooks and iPads, quarter after quarter -- after quarter -- with few truly "new" products to show off.
Google Rolls Out Time-Traveling Maps
April 24, 2014
Google has launched a new feature on Street View that enables users to browse through images dating back as far as 2007, as well as images from different seasons and at night. Street View users have long pined for the ability to look at shots from the past, according to Google Maps Street View Director of Engineering Luc Vincent. How neighborhoods used to look. That sort of thing.
Is Square Mobile Payments in Trouble?
April 24, 2014
The story of Square mobile-payments may surprise you. Imagine swiping customer credit cards on your iPhone, iPad or Android. We have all heard the magical stories about a brilliant idea sketched on a napkin that turned into the next big success in business. While these things do happen, more often the bubble bursts. It's just a matter of when. Is that what is starting to happen with Square?
Founder of Russian Social Media Says He Got the Boot
April 23, 2014
Pavel Durov, the founder of Russia's most popular social network site, claims he has been ousted by allies of President Vladimir Putin -- who went ahead and took over the site while they were at it. Durov, who ran the mega-popular VKontakte, had reportedly run afoul of the Russian government for refusing to heed requests to censor posts on the site.
Alibaba IPO Could Spark E-Commerce Investment Surge
April 17, 2014
Whether Alibaba launches its IPO on April 21 or in the following days, it clearly will be a major event for Wall Street. By any measure, it will be a blockbuster. The company will raise up to $15 billion in the offering, which would place its value at $200 billion. These are not unrealistic numbers. The company reportedly posts more revenue and net income than Amazon and eBay combined.
Samsung Strikes Deal With Fellow Apple Patent Foe
April 16, 2014
Samsung, longtime patent foe of Apple, will partner with Swiss Federal Railways, another -- unlikely -- Apple patent foe. While the deal itself may not be groundbreaking -- Samsung will supply the state-owned rail company with 30,000 mobile devices -- it is interesting given both parties' litigious background with Apple. Samsung's court battles with Apple have been documented ad nauseum.
Amazon to Investors: The Sky's the Limit
April 11, 2014
Amazon has released its annual letter to shareholders, revealing a smattering of tidbits about what's happening in the company now and what's in store for the future. The running theme throughout the letter is innovation. The entire company innovates with the customer in mind, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos wrote, touching on its ethos of failing early while inventing and iterating to perfect a project.
Icahn, eBay Kiss and Make Up - for Now
April 11, 2014
eBay and corporate raider Carl Icahn on Thursday ended their months-long acrimonious battle with metaphorical hugs and kisses. eBay's board accepted an Icahn nominee -- CVS Caremark Chairman David Dorman -- as one of its 10 independent directors, and the disputants sang each other's praises. "Extremely pleased about agreement," Icahn tweeted. "Believe it's a win-win for all shareholders."
Investors See Gold Mine in Quora
April 10, 2014
Why is question-and-answer website Quora so popular with investors? "Because of the high quality of the discussions on the site," answered Paul Levinson, professor of communications and media studies at Fordham. To get a true expert take on the matter one would have to consult Tiger Global Management, which led the Series C venture capital round that brought in $80 million.

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