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Black Friday has come and gone, so how did Apple fare? They were the fifth most-trafficked retailer on Black Friday, but were the only individual product brand to reach the top ranks among the major big-box retailers.
Apple were fifth only to some pretty large companies, consisting of Target, Best Buy, Wal-Mart and Amazon. This is according to a comScore report that analyzed online shopping trends the day after Thanksgiving. Andrew Lipsman, an analyst at comScore said:
Apple has not historically been in the top five - in fact, this is the first time I can remember.
Rovio, the team behind the phenomenally successful Angry Birds, allegedly rejected a $2.25 billion acquisition offer from Zynga over the summer. The news comes from a New York Times piece of how Zynga's tough corporate culture may gush talent as soon as unhappy employees with stock make some money on the IPO.
Zynga also reportedly lost out on acquiring PopCap Games also, which it tried to wave a sweet billion dollars under the noses of the company. In the end, Electronic Arts took PopCap under their wing for just $750 million with performance bonuses.
For Zynga to offer PopCap games more money, and still lose out, it says a lot about their employee perception problem. I do like what Joystiq had to say with "At least Zynga execs can dry their tears with thousand dollar bills." Sums it up nicely.
Facebook will reportedly file its long-anticipated IPO between April and June of next year, according to The Wall Street Journal. The initial public offering will value Facebook at more than $100 billion, according to people "familiar with the matter".
Facebook is raising $10 billion in its IPO - which would be one of the largest ever, in a deal that might give Facebook a $100 billion valuation, something that is double when compared to a company such as HP.
Larry Yu, a spokesman for Facebook has said "We're not going to participate in speculation about an IPO". More on the IPO talk is available at the source.
Well, this certainly is something to be careful of! Thailand has warned Facebook users that they could face some serious jail time for charges of lese-majeste, or insults to the kind, queen, heir or regent.
Thailand's Information and Communication Technology Minster, Anudith Nakornthap, says that even though Facebook clicks of 'like' or 'share' are only done to show support for messages, they could actually violate laws that carry sentences of between 3 and 15 years for each charge.
Israel-based CDN startup Cotendo is about to be sold to Akamai to the tune of $300 million. There has been no comment from either Cotendo or Akamai, with Akamai giving the usual response of "our policy is not to respond to rumors".
Cotendo has 90 employees and lists Google, Facebook, Microsoft and AOL amongst its customers. In addition to a number of VC funds, Cotendo has Citrix and Juniper as shareholders and strategic partners. Cotendo's revenues for 2011 are expected to reach between $20 and $30 million.
One year ago, MIT and Akamai filed a patent infringement lawsuit against Cotendo, shortly after AT&T announced it will use Cotendo's technology.
er 1000 workers based in Shenzhen, China have gone on strike against their employer Jingmo Electronics Corporation (JEC), which supplies goods for companies such as Apple and IBM.
According to China Labor Watch (CLW), a New York-based watchdog for labor rights in China, and an advocate of ethical consumerism, "the motivation behind the strike was the factory's decision to make workers work nightly overtime."
CLW adds that the workers had been asked to work from 6pm to midnight and sometimes even up to 2am on top of the usual four to four and half day shifts from 7am to 11:30 or 1pm to 5pm. CLW adds "commonly worked anywhere from 100 to 200 hours of overtime a month," but the factory actually refused to let them put the hours in at the weekend because under Chinese labor law JEC would have had to double their wages.
Thanksgiving is a great time for not just consumers, but retailers. IBM reported that online Thanksgiving 2011 sales were up over 39-percent from last Thanksgiving, with mobile shopping on the rise. eBay and PayPal are seeing similar things, with PayPal Mobile announcing a 511-percent increase in global mobile payment volume when compared with the 2010 Thanksgiving.
On Thanksgiving in the U.S., consumers shopping through mobile via PayPal most frequently between 6pm and 7pm PST. Compared to the rest of the world where consumers shopped on mobile most frequently between 1pm and 2pm PST. There was more than a 350-percent increase in the number of global customers shopping through PayPal mobile on Thanksgiving compared to last year. These shoppers were mostly located in New York, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami and Chicago.
Microsoft have some pretty decent Black Friday sales, with the Microsoft Store retail site putting up a page teasing their lineup of upcoming Black Friday sales, which start at 12am Pacific time Friday. A few highlights are a Samsung RC512 laptop sporting Windows 7: $499, normally $799!
Xbox Ultimate Gaming Bundle has $200 off, Kinect Sensor Bundle (with Fruit Ninja, Gunslinger and Kinect Adventures) is just $99, down from $149 and also included in the Black Friday sales is a free Windows Phone with a two-year service contract.
Europe has ruled that ISPs can't be forced to block pirate sites, NZBs and torrent users cry pirated tears of joy.nzb
This is some good news for those who are based in Europe, your ISP cannot be forced to monitor or block you from using the Web. A European court has ruled that record labels and film studios can't use the courts to instruct your broadband ISP to track or try to block you.
The European Court of Justice ruled:
EU law precludes the imposition of an injunction by a national court which requires an Internet service provider to install a filtering system with a view to preventing the illegal downloading of files.
ISPs have been the magnet of blame shifting from record labels, film studios and other owners of copyrighted music, movies or media, where they've tried to steer governments into making ISPs responsible for piracy. They've tried to argue that ISPs should record what you're doing online, and if they notice you downloading illegally accessed copyrighted material, courts should order the ISP to boot you off the Internet.
China's largest e-commerce firm, Alibaba.com, posted an 11.9-percent rise in quarterly net profit, which is their slowest growth in nearly two years, which has led to Alibaba.com raising conerts due to a weak trade outlook coming from debt worries in Europe and the US.
Alibaba.com's third-quarter results missed analysts forecasts and were attributed to a weak macroeconomic climate that led to a slower pace of customer additions. Dick Wei, an analyst with JPMorgan says:
They are focusing on the quality of suppliers and also improving the overall quality of products that they are offering, such as some of the newer services to help buyers to check the quality of products before they are shipped. If you look at customer growth, there are no new initiatives and growth is not that top priority at this point," Wei said. "Revenue will pick up again later in 2012 or 2013.