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Business, Financial & Legal Posts - Page 259

Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg made his offer to purchase Instagram, had deal wrapped up in 48 hours

When Facebook had announced they purchased Instagram for $1 billion, I was shocked, but not so shocked all at the same time. I had realised how popular Instagram was, and would get, but $1 billion from a company as powerful, as influential as Facebook? Just strange. Unless you wanted a ready-made, photo-sharing application and its creators, IP and everything else, so that your competition, Google and Twitter, couldn't scoop the opportunity before you could.

 

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It's being reported that Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg had called Instagram co-creator Kevin Systrom just after Instagram had secured $50 million in venture capitalist funding last Thursday, which pegged its value at $500 million. Zuckerberg called Systrom making his offer known, and by the end of the weekend Facebook acquired Instagram for double their pegged value.

 

How did Facebook make the deal so quickly? Well, Zuckerberg has majority voting power, where his Class B shares equate to over 57-percent. This makes his decisions kinda final, and his influence over them quite powerful. Most of his suggested plans would go through, unless he had a change of heart or a deliberate abstention from the voting process itself.

Tumblr is against display ads, CEO says it's 'complete last resort'

It's pretty hard to find a site on the internet these days without some sort of advertising. The larger the site, the more it costs to run and the more income the site needs to have. Tumblr receives and incredible 4.5 billion impressions each week which makes it one of the internet's biggest destinations.

 

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Incredibly, Tumblr has zero ads on it and they plan to keep it that way. Hosting servers for 4.5 billion impressions a week isn't cheap, so the company is trying to find a way to make money and become self-sufficient. Right now they are simply running on investment dollars, something that can't go on forever.

 

CEO David Carp has said in an interview that the site does not want ads. He says that Tumblr is "selling our desks to avoid that, it's a complete last resort." That's some dedication to keeping the site ad free, but can it really work? Karp and Tumblr are hiring a professional revenue executive to help monetize the site.

 

They have started selling highlighted posts for $1, which is basically a form of advertising, but not in the traditional sense. I really hope Tumblr can come up with an ad-free model that can then be copied by other sites across the web. I'm sick of being the 1 millionth visitor to every site I visit.

US Government objects to Megaupload hiring top law firm

In an interesting turn of events, the US Government has filed papers objecting to Megaupload's legal firm choice. Last week, it became known that Megaupload had retained the services of Andrew Schapiro. Schapiro is the same lawyer who led YouTube to a summary judgment in its copyright trial against Viacom.

 

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According to TorrentFreak: "In a new court filing the US government complains that Schapiro's past record in copyright cases, and that of Quinn Emanuel as a whole, present a series of conflicts of interest." Mainly, the government is concerned about a possible conflict with YouTube. Their legal battles against Viacom are back on, and they are also listed as a victim and possible witness against Megaupload.

 

The government says that Schapiro can't have an interest in both cases. Additionally, Schaprio or the law firm he works for has represented many of the companies that could possibly be called as witnesses against Megaupload. These companies include Google, Disney, Fox, Time Warner, Warner Bros., HBO, and various software companies.

 

"It is unclear how Quinn Emanuel intends to zealously represent defendants Megaupload Limited and Kim Dotcom while also protecting confidential attorney-client information gained in the course of representing other clients [...] particularly where those clients' interests are directly opposed to those of the defendants," the government writes.

Continue reading 'US Government objects to Megaupload hiring top law firm' (full post)

Turkish pianist under investigation for 'offending' tweets about religion

You gotta love social networking. It seems to manage to get everyone into trouble at some point or another. This time it has landed a Turkish pianist under investigation for possibly making statements that are offensive to Islam and, additionally, statements that are offensive to Judaism and Christianity.

 

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Since the Tweets have since been deleted, here is what Zaman reports:

 

[quote]Say sent controversial tweets questioning whether heaven in Islamic belief is like a brothel or pub because the Qu'ran says there are rivers of drinks and houris [very beautiful women] in heaven for those who commit good deeds while they are on earth.

 

Say also tweeted about a muezzin who recited the evening call for prayer in 22 seconds, questioning whether he was in a rush to reunite with his lover or go to the rakı table.[/quote]

 

The prosecutor of Turkey is investigating Say for breaking Penal Code Article 216. That portion of the penal code carries a 6-month to 3-year penalty if convicted. The Turkish pianist studied at the Robert Schumann Institute in Düsseldorf, and has over 67 compositions attributed to him.

Apple's new iPad is already representing 10-percent of all iPads

We reviewed (in both text, and video) the new iPad, and loved it. But how much does the rest of the world love Apple's latest tablet creation? A lot, it seems. A new study by analytics analyst firm Chitika, has suggested that the third-generation iPads in Internet traffic has doubled since the initial four-day launch window.

 

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The new iPad now makes up around 10-percent of all iPads surfing the web only three weeks after it splashed down. Online tracking metrics aren't a direct method of measuring sales, but it does help. Apple announced four days after the new iPad launched that they had sold 3 million units worldwide, and Chitika have noted that this figure correlated into about 5-percent presence of all iPad traffic, correlating with Apple's own total figure of around 55 million iPads sold up until that point.

 

If this growth continues, we could be looking at 12 million units sold by the time Apple's fiscal Q2 comes around, and 15 million new iPads sold overall by the end of June. The iPad makes up around 60-percent of all tablets shipped, with online usage rates indicated that in most areas the iPad is responsible for up to 90-percent of tablet web traffic. Some very impressive digits for the Cupertino-based company.

Maryland first state to ban employers from requesting social media passwords

I would like to take my hat off and bow towards Maryland for this new law that they just passed. Usually I'm against new laws, especially for those that should be common sense. However, this one should be praised and passed in every state in the Union. Asking for social media passwords is a gross violation of privacy.

 

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The bill passed the Maryland Senate with unanimous support and only 10 representatives opposed it in the House. The ACLU has joined in the cause after reports surfaced that the state's Department of Corrections had demanded the password of long-time staffer Robert Collins. Other states have followed Maryland's lead and introduced similar bills.

 

The states are Illinois, California, Minnesota, Michigan, Massachusetts. New Jersey is likely to jump on board soon, too. It's a good day, finally, to be a US citizen and have the government actually do something to help its citizens.

Best Buy CEO resigns: Struggling retailer begins searching for a savior

Best Buy has been heading down hill for a while now, and now their CEO has jumped ship. Besides, who better to know how the company is doing and when to get out than the CEO? This announcement by Best Buy comes on the heels of the announcement of the big losses suffered over the past few months and the plans to close 50 stores across the US.

 

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Best Buy's press release states that there were "no disagreements between between Mr. Dunn and the company on any matter relating to operations, financial controls, policies, or procedures." Curiously enough, however, it was still a "mutual" decision that the CEO and company part ways. Director G Mike Mikan has been named interim CEO.

 

"I have enjoyed every one of my 28 years with this company, and I leave it today in position for a strong future. I am proud of my fellow employees and I wish them the best," said Dunn.

 

"We thank Brian Dunn for his many years of service to the company and wish him well in his next endeavors," said Schulze. "As we move forward, we are very pleased to have a strong leader with Mike Mikan's credentials as interim CEO."

 

"The Best Buy team and I will be extremely focused on successfully managing this period of transition. I want to assure our employees, customers and other key stakeholders that we will work together to achieve our company's growth and profitability goals," said Mikan.

Continue reading 'Best Buy CEO resigns: Struggling retailer begins searching for a savior' (full post)

Microsoft building $112 million data center in Wyoming, as the state looks to boost such projects

The economy can not still be as bad as every seems to think it is. Apple's building a new data center and even spending the extra cash to power it with an alternative fuel. Now, Microsoft has joined into the party. Microsoft is building a new data center in Wyoming at a cost north of $100 million.

 

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Wyoming is hoping that this new project will bring other new data centers to the state. Microsoft has been quite busy with its construction projects as of late. Just recently, Microsoft has turned on two new data centers for its cloud service Azure. It's not clear if this new data center is for Azure or not.

 

Microsoft announced the construction this way:

 

To keep pace with growing demand, we are announcing two new datacenter options for Windows Azure. Effective immediately, compute and storage resources are now available in "West US" and "East US", with SQL Azure coming online in the coming months. These new options add to our worldwide presence and significantly expand our US footprint.

 

It's been floating around that Microsoft is trying to find customers to fill its capacity, but it could be that Microsoft has found enough demand to warrant the continued roll out of. For right now, it's clear that Microsoft is laying out some serious capacity and betting on cloud computing continuing to grow. And I think that's a pretty good bet.

Apple could be the world's first $1 trillion company

Apple are definitely on their way toward quite an amazing milestone: becoming the world's first $1 trillion company, according to a Wall Street analyst. Brian White from Topeka Capital Markets recently predicted that Apple stock would push past the $1,000 per share barrier in the next twelve months, which would tip the company very close to the $1 trillion mark.

 

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Apple stock has been quite popular over the last few years, with no signs of it stopping. Share prices topped Google's for the first time last week, a milestone that the late Steve Jobs was rumored to be working toward. How could Apple hit $1,000 in share value? Well, it's not that hard at all, really.

 

Apple's new iPhone could really boost their value, a new iPad that smashes the previous third-gen iPad, iOS 6.0, new MacBooks, iMacs, they're all coming this year alone. On top of this, Apple is opening up in the Chinese market, which is until now, nearly untapped for Apple. It's a huge market, and sure to boost their share prices considerably as iDevices start flooding into the hands of China-based customers.

 

Next year should see the release of an iTV, with television being a gigantic market in itself, if Apple could do something... magical... or revolutionary... in television, this would surely catapult them past $1,000 per share, and even inching over the $1 trillion value milestone.

RIM employee that was stabbed at BBM party dies of wounds

We reported on this as it happened, where a RIM employee was stabbed at a party for BlackBerry Messenger, has died from his wounds. Philip Sherriff, one of RIM's UK employees, died on Sunday. His attacker is believed to be Ashley Charles and has already been charged with attempted murder.

 

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What motivated Charles to stab Sherriff is not known, and the court hasn't made this clear, either. RIM has said in a statement through Twitter, where they gave condolences:

 

Our thoughts are with his family and those close to him and we ask for the respect of their privacy at this difficult time.

 

Our thoughts go out to Sherriff's friends, family and colleagues. Such an avoidable, yet unescapable event where a life was taken when it didn't need to be. Let's hope they find closure, and justice, soon.

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