MediaFile

Another day, another social network: Bill Gross chimes in

How many social networks does the world need?

Bill Gross, the man credited with pioneering the search advertising business, believes there’s room for one more.

On Monday, Gross’ Ubermedia unveiled Chime.in, a social media “platform organized around interests.”

The idea is to make it easier for people to cull the sea of social media content and home in on specific topics of interest, whether it’s photography, Indian cuisine or neighborhood-specific news.

Anyone can create a group around any topic, and Chime says its algorithms can recommend groups to join and people to follow based on personal interests.  Users can also endorse other people’s Chime posts by clicking on them, helping the more popular items gain prominence on the service.

In addition to what it contends is improved relevance of information on the site, Chime also says it has novel ways for users to profit from their social activities. Starting next year, any person who creates a topic group on Chime will be able to offer online advertising to go along with it, the company says.

What is Google’s mobile revenue? Depends how you do the math.

Google wowed Wall Street with the revelation that its mobile business is generating revenue at a run rate of over $2.5 billion.

Not bad for a business that’s still in its infancy, and which was operating at a $1 billion run rate at this time last year.

Of course, a run rate is not the same as revenue that’s been booked – it’s simply a way of extrapolating what a full year’s worth of revenue will be, assuming the current rate of revenue holds steady.

Tech wrap: Google profit expectations eat dust

Google’s third-quarter results trounced Wall Street expectations as good cost controls helped boost the Internet search leader’s profit by about 26 percent. The world’s No. 1 Internet search engine said its net income in the three months ended September 30 totaled $2.73 billion, up from $2.17 billion in the year-ago period.

Analysts applauded Google’s results. “Christmas came early for Google shareholders. It’s all about the core business. You drive that extra revenue and expense becomes secondary. It was a great beat on the bottom line. It’s not necessarily because they are controlling expenses. It’s because they are driving more revenue”, said Colin Gillis of BGC Partners.

RIM’s co-CEOs apologized to millions of BlackBerry customers for a four-day outage that tarnished it’s image and set back the drive to catch up with Apple and other smartphone rivals. The service disruption could cost RIM millions of dollars in compensation to customers who lost service.  The company did not say for certain whether it would compensate customers. Public relations specialists said its response to the crisis has been slow and poorly communicated.

Bye bye BlackBerry?

As Research In Motion deals with the fallout from service disruptions that have affected millions of BlackBerry users around the world this week, a survey by Aite Group shows that out of 402 financial advisers polled, 45 percent say they would choose an Apple iPhone or iPad, while 14 percent would pick a BlackBerry.

Which mobile platform is best able to meet your business needs?

    I want to switch to an iPhone or iPad from a BlackBerry I already made the change to an iPhone or iPad from a BlackBerry I don't plan on abandoning BlackBerry Forget Apple and RIM, I'm siding with Android

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Tech wrap: Autonomy a done deal

Hewlett-Packard completed its $12 billion buy of British software firm Autonomy on Monday, the centerpiece of a botched strategy shift that cost ex-chief executive Leo Apotheker his job last month.

HP said its 25.50 pounds-per-share cash offer — representing a 79 percent premium that many HP shareholders found excessive — had been accepted by investors representing 87.34 percent of the company’s shares, well ahead of the 75 percent threshold needed.

The rushed announcements and concerns about the lofty price offered for Autonomy sent HP’s stock, and Apotheker’s credibility, plunging. But according to analysts, it would have been nearly impossible under British takeover rules for HP to extract itself from the Autonomy deal.

Tech wrap: Oracle and HP keep sparring

Oracle and Autonomy escalated their war of words on Thursday, sparring publicly over whether the British software firm had ever been shopped to the U.S. technology giant.

Autonomy, which Hewlett-Packard this year agreed to buy for $12 billion, is at the center of a debate on Wall Street over the tenure of fired HP CEO Leo Apotheker and the future direction of the company he once ran. The spat comes at an inopportune time for HP, fighting to salvage its reputation with investors.

Entrepreneur, venture capitalist and HP board member, Marc Andreessen, referred to Oracle as an “oldline” software company and took a jab at outspoken CEO Larry Ellison: “Larry is one of my idols,” Andreessen said. “I wouldn’t quite say my role model.”

Amazon lights a fire, Apple ices the cake

That was the week that was.

I can imagine saying that in years to come about the eight days that began on Wednesday with Amazon’s paradigm-busting entry into the tablet business, its deeper walk into the cheaper e-ink e-reader woods with less expensive Kindles, bookended next Wednesday by Apple’s latest iPhone(s) reveal.

Both unveilings have lots to do with “everywhere” consumption, and both have aspects of evolution. But a counter-revolution began this week, and we’ll be talking about for years to come.

Dare I say it: Amazon’s $199 “Fire” tablet may not make us forget Apple’s tablet, but it could very well be the first credible answer to the question: “Why wouldn’t I buy an iPad?”

The Yahoo chronicles. Needs: new CEO. Has: new Flickr app

Yahoo opened the doors to the bunker on Wednesday, inviting reporters to its San Francisco outpost even as the company faces a barrage of questions about its future.

The event was to unveil a couple of new product announcements from Yahoo’s Flickr division, the 50-person photo-sharing product group based in San Francisco’s financial district.

The Flickr folks unveiled the official Flickr app for Android smartphones, with features such as built-in photo filters to spiff up pictures and various social networking capabilities. The other new product is called “photo session,” a real-time collaboration tool that allows groups of friends to flip through and play with online photo albums together in their Web browsers.

Obama talks jobs in Sil Valley; ex-Googler begs to be taxed more

It may be one of those “only in Silicon Valley moments.”

President Barack Obama made a return visit to the country’s high-tech cradle on Monday for a town hall event hosted by LinkedIn Chief Executive Jeff Weiner.

The theme of the one-hour-long question-and-answer session was Obama’s job’s plan, with the professional social networking service’s popularity as a tool for modern-day job searches providing the perfect backdrop.

Indeed, several of the questions from the audience were from folks who said they were unemployed – and Obama sought to offer reassurance by walking through the standard doctrine and talking points from his jobs plan.

Tech wrap: HP shake-up?

A change could be underway at the top at Hewlett-Packard. The company’s board convened on Wednesday to discuss the possibility of ousting CEO Leo Apotheker after less than a year on the job and may appoint former eBay chief Meg Whitman to fill in as interim CEO, a source familiar with the matter told Reuters. HP’s board of directors has come under increasing pressure in recent months after a raft of controversial decisions has left investors uncertain of the company’s leadership.

Newly minted Apple CEO Tim Cook will try his hand as star presenter at an October 4 company event widely expected to include the launch of the latest version of the tech behemoth’s iPhone handset, according to a report on AllThingD. Sources told the website that the plan is to make the iPhone 5 available to consumers within weeks of the event. Apple has yet to officially announce or even acknowledge that the new device exists at all. For those tired of yet another story about a rumored release date, there was something akin to a confirmation on Wednesday from an unlikely source: former U.S. Vice President Al Gore. Gore, an Apple board member, apparently told a tech conference that the next-generation phone will indeed be available next month. Oops?!

Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt traveled to Washington on Wednesday to face critics who say his company has become a dominant and potentially anti-competitive force on the Internet. Schmidt told a Senate antitrust hearing that his company has not “cooked” its search results to favor its own products and listings, despite accusations to the contrary from senators and other Web companies.  “Google is in a position to determine who will succeed and who will fail on the Internet,” said Republican Senator Mike Lee, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee’s antitrust panel. Google has been broadly accused of using its clout in the search market to stomp rivals as it moves into related businesses, like travel search.