Google sets Zagat free

May 30, 2012

This morning, Google took the wraps off  how it plans to use Zagat, the popular restaurant guide known for its burgundy pocket books. The Zagat restaurant  listings are now incorporated in Google + and its local service and, more to the point, are now free. People can access more than 35,000 summarized user reviews from Zagat for more than 90 cities across the globe using either Google +, its search function or through maps.

Google touts its ad metrics as Facebook confronts hurdles

May 29, 2012

Google just put out a study touting metrics as a way to sell more advertising.

But the most interesting part of the study is the timing. It comes on the heels of the Facebook advertising fiasco, when just days before its hotly anticipated IPO, General Motors said it would stop advertising on the social network, raising the question of the value of a Facebook ad.

Kleiner’s Ellen Pao, the elephant in the room

May 25, 2012

Kleiner Perkins partner Ellen Pao has unleashed one of Silicon Valley’s juiciest lawsuits in recent memory, alleging discrimination, harassment, and even an out-of-the-box solution to her woes proposed by a colleague: marriage to her harasser.

Facebook, the most cynical tech giant ever

By Kevin Kelleher
May 25, 2012

For all its vaunted idealism, Silicon Valley can be just as cynical as any other area of commerce. The tech companies set up to profit from spam and search-engine trickery are too numerous to count. But Facebook’s short history makes one thing clear: There has never been a tech company that built so much fortune from the exploitation of ordinary people while giving so little in return.

Less TV? Go ahead. Make my day.

May 23, 2012

The other day Glenn Britt, the chief executive of Time Warner Cable, got on the wrong side of history. He stuck with the television networks. On Monday he spoke out against Dish Network’s “Auto Hop,” which allows viewers to avoid the lifeblood of the TV ecosystem: ads. As Brian Stelter of the New York Times reported (emphasis added):

Comcast turns the landline into mobile phone

May 23, 2012

Comcast, the largest U.S cable operator, is pushing ahead with its drive to transform the way Americans live with a range of new communications and video services launched at this year’s Cable Show  in Boston.

ESPN’s John Skipper doesn’t see any benefits in new TV models – yet.

May 23, 2012

ESPN chief John Skipper is happy to talk to any of the so-called new over-the-top Web video players surfing around the fringes of the cable TV business. But he doesn’t see any major deals happening soon — if ever.

Facebook’s passive-aggressive friendship

May 16, 2012

We are witnessing a fascinating changing-of-the-guard moment in tech. The old Internet, represented this week by once-mighty Yahoo, is fumbling with another leadership crisis it must solve before it can even think about restoring some semblance of relevance. The new Internet, Facebook, is ruled by a young man in a hoodie who is on the verge of creating a massive public company that, as was the nascent Yahoo back in the early ’90s, will be an Internet darling longer on potential than track record, but running hard on an open field.

Instagram’s Facebook filter

May 11, 2012

The startup had millions of users, but, from the beginning, just one customer.

The predominant way of interpreting Facebook’s billion-dollar purchase of Instagram, in light of the social-networking giant’s forthcoming IPO, is that Mark Zuckerberg had to pick up the photo-sharing app to boost his company’s mobile engagement. That would allow him to guard the mobile flank against incursions from Google, Twitter, and whatever other social-media tools might next arise.

Wireless industry at annual convention bemoans lack of consumer trust

May 9, 2012

The wireless industry is one of the least trusted businesses among U.S. consumers ,and network operators need to improve their reputations as they look to provide sensitive services like mobile payments or health monitoring, according to the chief executive of the No. 3 U.S. mobile provider Sprint Nextel.