Google Might Change Google.com and Make Using the Internet Way Better

 Kyle Wagner

As a fashionable internet denizen, you do not use a homepage, probably. You open a new browser window or tab, and you’re met with your Chrome apps, or Safari favorites, or whatever the hell Firefox is doing now. And if you dohave one, it’s probably a legacy media hub like MSN, AOL or Yahoo, or a search page like Google or Bing. But what if the web found a way for a landing page to be useful again?

According to GoogleSystem, Google has live code that suggests it’s working on bringing its Google Now feature to the web. Not just the web, but the Google search page—basically the most frequented and iconic web page on the planet. And that would be awesome.

Google Now is maybe the most powerful convergence Google has ever conjured up. It’s the proto-synthesis of the decision-making future Mountain View promised us in exchange forgobbling up reams of personal, often sensitive data about our lives. Leaning on its access to your calendar, email, search history, and GPS locations, Google Now combines your interests, upcoming calendar events, daily commutes complete with delays and detours, scheduled flights, and basic information like the weather, all automatically, without you having to fuss and customize the way it’s presented. Pop it open on your phone in the evening, and it might display the weather, the Knicks score, and what time the next train back to your apartment leaves. The first time you make a train you’d have otherwise missed or find a card with directions to a restaurant you just searched for waiting for you, you’ll understand. It’s hugely convenient, and there’s nothing exactly like it on the web.

Read the rest of this article……… at Gizmodo.com

Unknown BlackBerry 10 devices hits the FCC with LTE support in tow, likely the Z10

If there’s one thing that we can rely on with impending North American phone releases, it is that the FCC will leak a thing or two about the device’s internal specifications. In this case, the regulatory body passed what looks to be the BlackBerry Z10, also known as the L-Series, with flying colours. The product’s model number is RFF91LW and the tested OS version is 10.0.9.299.

Read the rest of this post at ……….. Unknown BlackBerry 10 devices hits the FCC with LTE support in tow, likely the Z10 | MobileSyrup.com.

VC Roger McNamee slams Android’s ‘profitless prosperity’ |CNET News

“The threat to Apple is that they forget their power and success comes from selling hardware. If Android gets too much unit volume, it’s a mistake,” McNamee says.

Dan Farber

 December 12, 2012 5:13 PM PST

Roger McNamee (Credit: Bloomberg TV)

When it comes to Apple’s iOS versus Google’sAndroid, there aren’t many fence sitters. Roger McNamee, an investor who’s been analyzing the output of Silicon Valley for 30 years, thinks Android is the “equivalent of having a motor scooter at the Indianapolis 500.”

McNamee, who began his career by turning out big returns at T. Rowe Price Science and Technology Fund, and then started Silver Lake Partners, a private equity firm, and venture capital firm Elevation Partners, is troubled by what Google has done to encourage Android’s “profitless prosperity.”

“I watch what they have done with Android, and I’m flabbergasted because their market share in units is so high, but look at the profit share,” McNamee told Bloomberg TV. “Apple’s profit share is like 75 or 80 percent because Android has been managed essentially to make it a profitless prosperity. Right now, if Google is not careful, Android will be Samsung or Samsung will be Android.” Customers buy Android devices because they are cheaper, not because there is any brand loyalty to the platform, he concluded.

Read the rest of this article at…VC Roger McNamee slams Android’s ‘profitless prosperity’ | Internet & Media – CNET News.

Tale of two realities: Government not held to standard it demands of business

Do as I do, not as I say.

For years, we’ve heard chatter in the business community that there’s no rhyme or reason around which businesses receive government support and which don’t.

Despite the rumblings, many didn’t want to — or couldn’t — believe that government would be so arbitrary, inconsistent and elusive with tax dollars, and billions’ worth.

Thanks to the auditor general’s report, we now know those rumblings were bang on, at least with regards to the Industrial Expansion Fund. This is utterly inexcusable, and the response to shut the fund down was really the only option.

In doing so, we have an opportunity to go beyond our inherently paternalistic approach to economic development and move in a more grassroots direction. Such an approach would be grounded in business’s own desire that the province focus its energies on creating an environment where all can succeed (read: more competitive tax and regulatory regimes), rather than picking and choosing the ones they want to succeed.

Aside from the fund, the report — and all aspects of it — unearthed a separate but equally concerning theme and trend: government’s inability or unwillingness to put rules in place and/or follow them. I’m finding this piece of the report most difficult to digest due to the rigour with which it creates new rules for businesses to follow and sets up penalties that are lodged if they don’t.

In reading the report, I was imagining the reaction of a small-business owner doing the same. And here’s where I think they’d land: There are two different, yet unspoken realities — one for businesses and the other for government.

The business reality is one in which there’s a good chance they’ll get punished in some way for missing one of the hundreds of things government requires them to do. Don’t have an occupational health and safety policy posted in your business? You could get a slap on the wrist — or worse. Filed your taxes a month too late? Interest will be charged — maybe even a penalty.

Tale of two realities: Government not held to standard it demands of business – Business – TheChronicleHerald.ca.

Microsoft Acquires Skype for $8.5 Billion

After rumors that first Facebook and then Microsoft were in talks to acquire Skype, the latter announced that it has acquired the VoIP giant for $8.5 billion in cash.

Skype will be integrated into Microsoft devices and systems such as Xbox and Kinect, Xbox Live, the Windows Phone, Lync and Outlook, Microsoft said in a statement. The company has pledged to continue supporting and developing Skype clients on non-Microsoft platforms as well.

The deal, which was spearheaded by Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer with assistance from Charles Songhurst, the company’s head of corporate strategy, was completed Monday evening, AllThingsD reported earlier.

The acquisition is an expensive one for Microsoft. Not only is it the largest price Microsoft has paid for a company in decades, Skype is not yet profitable. Despite revenues totaling $860 million last year and operating profits of $264 million, the company lost $6.9 million overall, according to documents filed with the SEC. And the company carries $686 million in debt.

Read the full Article>>>>>>    Microsoft Acquires Skype for $8.5 Billion.

Microsoft Nears $7 Billion-Plus Deal for Skype

Read This Article on the Wall Street Journal

By ANUPREETA DAS And NICK WINGFIELD

Microsoft Corp. is close to a deal to buy Internet phone company Skype Technologies SA for more than $7 billion, and a deal could be announced as early as Tuesday, people familiar with the matter said.

Negotiations were wrapping up Monday evening, and a deal could still fall apart, the people cautioned. Representatives for Microsoft and Skype declined to comment.

A deal represents Microsoft’s most aggressive move yet to play in the increasingly-converged worlds of communication, information and entertainment. Skype connects more than 663 million users around the world via Internet-based telephony and video, making it a key technology platform for a new generation of Web-savvy consumers. During 2010, those users made 207 billion minutes of voice and voice video calls over Skype.

Buying Skype would give Microsoft a recognized brand name on the Internet at a time when it is struggling to get more traction in the consumer market. The company has invested heavily in marketing and improving the technology of its Bing search engine. While it has made some market share gains over the past year, Google Inc. still dominates the search market with more than 65% of U.S. searches going through its site.

At a value over $7 billion, the Skype deal would rank at or near the top of the biggest acquisitions in the 36-year history of Microsoft, a company that traditionally has shied away from large deals. In 2007, Microsoft paid approximately $6 billion to acquire online advertising firm aQuantive Inc. Many current and former Microsoft executives believe Microsoft significantly overpaid for that deal. But they are also relieved that Microsoft gave up on an unsolicited $48 billion offer for Yahoo Inc. nearly three years ago. Yahoo is valued at half that sum today.

Microsoft Chief Executive Steve Ballmer, though, sees the Internet as an essential battleground for Microsoft, a company that still makes the vast bulk of its profits from Windows and Office software systems. Investors have become increasingly concerned about Microsoft’s ability to squeeze continued growth out of those businesses, as rival technologies from Apple, Google and others put more pressure on profits.

The Microsoft division behind the company’s hugely lucrative Office suite of applications also makes a product, known as Lync, which ties together email, instant messaging and voice communications into a single application. Skype could strengthen that offering.

The deal shows how far Skype has come since it was launched in 2003 by Niklas Zennstrom and Janus Friis, two men who had created a file-sharing technology called Kazaa that became widely associated with music piracy. While Skype was initially popular with techies, it increasingly worked its way into the mainstream by offering free or cheap phone calls which were especially appealing to international callers.

When EBay purchased the company in 2005 for $2.6 billion in cash and stock, Skype was regarded as something of an experiment, in which EBay’s buyers and sellers would use the service to communicate about potential transactions.

Read more: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703730804576313932659388852.html#ixzz1LudAc8xT

HOW TO: Get Your Employees On Board With Your Social Media Policy

Maria Ogneva is the Head of Community at Yammer, where she is in charge of social media, community programs, internal education and engagement. You can follow her on Twitter, her blog, and via Yammer’s Twitter account and company blog.

As more businesses become social and move past the initial excitement of adoption, they need to tackle the nitty gritty of executing a social media strategy. It will involve cultural alignment, training, and building a solid process so that the necessary parts of the organization can participate. A truly social organization is active both internally and externally. This is where things get complicated.

When we think of major corporate PR blunders, we think of those committed by careless employees and interns tweeting from branded accounts. The solution is obvious: Don’t put anyone on the branded account whom you don’t trust with the brand voice. But what about employees’ communication from their own accounts?

The solution here is a bit more nuanced, because there are two contradictory impulses at play: READ THE REST AT: HOW TO: Get Your Employees On Board With Your Social Media Policy.

[SCAM ALERT] The BLOODIEST Fight EVER – BANNED FROM TV!

Here we see the end game of a typical Facebook Survey Scam. Each time someone completes a survey, the scam creator gets a commission. The scam creator will possibly have your personal information to do you harm. (depending on the information you submitted in the survey) If you downloaded any games or other files then your computer could be infecting with a virus, trojan or other malware. Never download files from scams like this!

How to Deal with the Scam:

If you did make the mistake of pasting the code into your browser, you are now spamming your friends with the scammers message. You should clean-up your newsfeed and profile to remove references to the scam. (click the “x” in the top right hand corner of the post). It also appears that this scam creates a fake event on your wall. You need to delete this event as well.

Read the full Article >>>>> [SCAM ALERT] The BLOODIEST Fight EVER – BANNED FROM TV!.

14 Best Practices for Long-Term Social Media Success

Brian Solis is principal of Altimeter Group, a leading research-based advisory firm. Brian is also the author of the all-new Engage!, an award-winning guide for businesses to build and measure success in the social web. Follow him on Twitter.

As a consumer, you are blasted with the same request over and over: “Follow Us on Twitter, Like Us on Facebook.” Why should I? What’s in it for me? These are questions of which a significant number of businesses cannot genuinely answer.

Today, a notable number of businesses are approaching branded social channels from a “ready, fire, aim” approach. This method conjures a facade of achievement when in fact, any progress, if at all recognized, is short term and shoddy at best. Many focus on numbers without first analyzing who they’re trying to reach and, more importantly, how engagement satisfies the needs of their customers. Without a mature content and engagement strategy, a great unfollow and unlike movement is inevitable.


A Focused Perspective


The key to zooming in on purpose and usefulness within social channels starts with the realization that there is no one audience. Nor is there a sustainable market for branded messages, marketing campaigns, or “Tweet/Like to Win” contests. Indeed, every channel created to represent the brand must carry a purpose, mission and corresponding value. One of the most common questions I’m asked by businesses of all shapes and sizes is, “What is the right number of accounts we should have in each social network?” Or, “How many profiles is too many or too few?”

Read the rest of this article >>>>>>> 14 Best Practices for Long-Term Social Media Success.