Wal-Mart buys mobile app developer Small Society

January 4, 2012

Wal-Mart Stores – or rather @WalmartLabs, the Silicon Valley-based e-commerce unit of the largest retailer – unveiled its latest acquisition on Wednesday. 

Tech wrap: PayPal darling takes Yahoo reigns

January 4, 2012

Yahoo named PayPal President Scott Thompson CEO as the company plows ahead with a strategic review in which discussions have included the possibility of being sold, taken private or broken up. Thompson, a former Visa payments software platform designer, joins the company five months after the firing of previous CEO Carol Bartz.

Despite tough economy, Wikimedia raises $20 million in donations

January 4, 2012

Wikimedia Foundation is marking the new year with a hefty deposit into its coffers.

New mobster series coming to Netflix next month

January 3, 2012

Bruce Springsteen guitarist and “Sopranos” actor Steven Van Zandt will star in an original series available exclusively to Netflix subscribers starting next month. “Lilyhammer” features Van Zandt again playing a mobster, this time one who enters the witness protection program in Norway after ratting on his boss.

Tech wrap: RIM co-CEOs seen losing chairman role

January 3, 2012

RIM is close to a decision on stripping its co-chief executives of their other shared role as chairman of the board, The National Post newspaper said, a change that could meet a key demand from angry and disillusioned investors. The Post’s sources said Barbara Stymiest, currently an independent member of RIM’s board, is leading the race to replace Mike Lazaridis and Jim Balsillie in the chairmanship. RIM shares jumped more than 7 percent on the news. But some analysts doubted Stymiest, if named to the chairmanship, would actually assume the transformational role that activist shareholders are calling for.

How long can Murdoch keep it up on Twitter?

January 3, 2012

You can say what you like about Rupert Murdoch, and most people have, but he doesn’t do things halfway. His decision to join Twitter on New Year’s eve has set the Twitterati and blogosphere alight not just because the 80-year old media baron joined but because unlike every other CEO or executive who’s joined Twitter, he’s actually expressed some real opinions — some of which are controversial given who he is. When Reuters asked CEOs at its Global Media Summit last fall most felt tweeting wasn’t for them.

Cruise, ‘MI4′ lead box office at end of weak year

January 2, 2012

Tom Cruise’s fourth “Mission: Impossible” movie held on to the top of box office charts over New Year’s weekend as Hollywood said goodbye to a sluggish year at domestic movie theaters.

Next mission for ‘M:I 4′ is New Year’s box-office crown

December 30, 2011

With no new movies coming to theaters nationwide, the New Year’s weekend box-office battle will be waged among the big crop of films released around Christmas.

Tech wrap: Verizon backtracks on $2 fee

December 30, 2011

Verizon Wireless has reversed its decision to charge a $2 fee for one-time telephone and online bill payments after a storm of criticism from consumers and the U.S. communications regulator.

Five 2011 tech earthquakes

December 30, 2011

By John C Abell
The opinions expressed are his own.

Pick a year: It’s easy to look back and convince yourself That Was The Year That Was in tech, partly because the pace of change is so rapid and partly because we so readily embrace and then quickly depend on things that are completely different. Consider this: When the class of 2012 was applying to college, there was no iPhone. Until those students were just about at the end of their  junior years, there was no iPad. Both of these nascent devices now define the mobile Internet, which is where all the action is.