Coupon, couponer, couponest: Facebook meets Brandcaster Social

November 17, 2011

Just when you thought every twist on online coupons was out there, Coupons.com is using Facebook to try to get even more discounts into consumer paws.

Amazon’s first tablet hit by (un)friendly fire

November 17, 2011

Amazon.com Inc’s first tablet computer, the $199 Kindle Fire, shipped on Nov 14 and many consumers have been testing the new device and sharing their initial thoughts on the review section of the company’s web site.

HP’s answer to the MacBook Air

November 16, 2011

HP’s answer to Apple’s MacBook Air is in, and it’s called the Folio13. 

 The company is one of the latest PC firms to launch an “Ultrabook” — a name chipmaker Intel gave to the new super-thin laptops that use its processors — but this time, it’s targeting the business user.

As Nike sticks by a tarnished Penn St., others flee

November 16, 2011

The last 10 days have obviously tarnished the Penn State brand, and left advertisers, sponsors, and others closely associated with the university and its football program with some tough questions. Boiled down, it amounts to this: How far should you go to distance yourself from the crisis?

Tech wrap: Google to launch music service

November 16, 2011

Social media and mobile communications will be the two big targets for Google Inc when it unveils a new music store for users late Wednesday, according to people familiar with its plans. However, the giant web search company’s new music partners have already labeled the service “unexciting.” Music executives had been hoping for a more groundbreaking, fully functional cloud-based service; but after licensing talks broke down earlier this year, Google scaled back their ambitions.

IBM knows a thing or two about shoes. Retailers, take note.

November 16, 2011

By Nicola Leske
In the fickle world of fashion, the skill to predict what will be en vogue next is invaluable to retailers around the world.
While some will argue that it takes style and expertise to predict what customers will want to wear even before they know it, IBM begs to differ.
It comes down to science, specifically IBM’s analytics software.
Take shoes for example, in particular the height of heels.
“We used IBM software to identify those who are the influencers online by searching the web for blogs about shoes,” said John Buscemi.
“We found tens of thousands and narrowed it down to those who were linked to a lot and who in turn linked to a lot of other people…if you had a map they would sit at the center of the social network,” Buscemi said.
According to that analysis, heels are coming down.
“Key trend-watching bloggers between 2008 and 2009 wrote consistently about heels from five to eight inches, but by mid 2011 they were writing about the return of the kitten heel and the perfect flat from Jimmy Choo and Louboutin,” said Trevor Davis, a consumer expert with IBM’s Global Business Services.
IBM said the data could be used by shoe manufacturers and retailers looking for insight into the kind of shoes to manufacture and sell in the coming season — and could potentially put fashion consultants out of business.
By the way, high heels have traditionally been linked to a falling economy — think high heel pumps during the Great Depression and stilettos following the dot-com bust a decade ago.
But this time the decline of the heel may not be a sign of an economic upturn but a grudging acceptance of a long road ahead best to be taken on more modest shoes.
“Usually, in an economic downturn, heels go up and stay up – as consumers turn to more flamboyant fashions as a means of fantasy and escape,” Davis said.
“This time, something different is happening — perhaps a mood of long-term austerity is evolving among consumers sparking a desire to reduce ostentation in everyday settings.”

Penguin wades into self-publishing

November 16, 2011

Penguin Group launched a set of tools for writers who want to self-publish their books in print and digital form, making it the first of the six largest publishing houses in the United States to roll out such an offering.

Sean Parker: Silicon Valley conditions resemble prewar Europe

November 15, 2011

Most Silicon Valley luminaries refrain from rants about Silicon Valley. But Sean Parker, who co-founded music service Napster, served as president of Facebook, and invests in music-service Spotify, isn’t a typical Valley luminary– which perhaps is why he felt compelled to paint a bleak, fractious picture of the place to conference goers at Techonomy on Tuesday.

Tech wrap: Microsoft shareholders grumble

November 15, 2011

Microsoft Corp shareholders left the software giant’s annual meeting grumbling that they did not get to ask more questions in their once-a-year opportunity to quiz Chairman Bill Gates and CEO Steve Ballmer. One thing the chief executive did tell shareholders was that there is no benefit in breaking the company up. In response to a question about how the company can jolt its stock price out of a 10-year rut, Gates played up the company’s strong balance sheet and said the market would respond to innovation.

So you want to be a space entrepreneur…

November 15, 2011

What’s cooler than being an Internet entrepreneur? Making a living as a space entrepreneur.