MediaFile

Tech wrap: Facebook friends Google exec

The Facebook logo is displayed on a computer screen in Brussels April 21, 2010. REUTERS/Thierry RogeFacebook signaled an increased interest in deals, poaching a member of Google’s corporate development team to lead its fledgling merger and acquisition efforts and underscoring the rivalry between the social networking company and the search engine giant.

AOL hired Twitter co-founder Biz Stone as a strategic adviser for social impact. Its newest addition, The Huffington Post, also announced several hires. AOL announced last week that it was firing 20 percent of its global workforce and editor in chief for AOL’s Engadget Joshua Topolsky quit over the weekend. Still unclear was the fate of AOL freelancers.

Sales of Apple’s iPad 2 eclipsed that of its predecessor on its debut weekend, with around 1 million units being gobbled up. One analyst sees the iPad 2′s early success as a warning sign of a global tablet bubble, where supply could outpace demand for tablets by about 36 percent. While a glut might not make tablet makers happy, consumers aren’t likely to complain about the price drops that could result.

Did your iPhone wake you up on time this morning? Daylight saving time went into effect on Sunday in the U.S., but at least one person was late for work on Monday after his iPhone, having updated to DST on Sunday, reverted back to standard time on Monday, writes Engadget’s Sean Hollister.

GigaOM’s Ryan Kim thinks the deal between Angry Birds developer Rivo and Amazon.com to offer the sequel to the hugely popular game exclusively at the online retailer’s Android app store shows Amazon.com is serious about supporting the smartphone platform and highlights the importance of third-party app stores.

Penny Arcade Expo East: Nothing small here

256256696Believe it or not, there were crowds gathered on Friday doing something else besides waiting for an iPad 2.  About 60,000 people swarmed Boston for Penny Arcade East, a major  convention for video game fans on the East Coast.

PAX doesn’t garner as much media attention as industry shows like E3 in Los Angeles each summer, where major games companies announce new products. While there aren’t as many reporters or  or executives in attendance, PAX EAST is still a big event for gamers- the hoards of people who help make the $60.4 million video game industry bigger than Hollywood.

It’s for people like Andrew Hydrusko, a 23-year-old student who drove from Delaware with four friends so he could dress as his favorite Mega Man character, Protoman, at the show. He donned a poncho, bullets and a painted motorcycle helmet reminiscent of a power ranger,  as he waited to play Guild Wars 2, an upcoming MMO game from NCsoft.

Tech wrap: Apple’s iPad 2 launches

People look at their phones and computers as they wait for the iPad 2 to go on sale at the Apple store in Boulder, Colorado March 11, 2011. REUTERS/Rick Wilking

Hundreds of people across the U.S. lined up to get their hands on Apple’s iPad 2, the update to last year’s wildly popular tablet computer. If you’re wondering how much the iPad 2 could cost you, Michael Hickins of The Walls Street Journal adds up the tab and discovers you could easily spend $300 on top of the $499 price tag for the cheapest model. Tablet sales are expected to surge to more than 50 million units this year, with Apple capturing more than 70 percent of the market.

If you do buy an iPad and you happen to be a politician, you might not want to use how much you paid for it as an example of why inflation isn’t a problem when you head into a working-class neighborhood.

Neil Young, the CEO of mobile-gaming success story Ngmoco, tells VentureBeat’s Dean Takahashi about his quest to create a multibillion-dollar mobile entertainment company. And how he’s relying on two technologies, Mobage and NG Core, combined into a worldwide mobile social network, to make it happen.

Fired AOL India employee talks

AOL cut more than 900 jobs around the world today — 20 percent of its staff — and  India took a pretty tough cut from the axe: 400 jobs, according to several sources, and 300 contractors, according to another source. The nice thing for Reuters is that we have a big  bureau in Bangalore, not too far from AOL, and plenty of our people know other people there and were able to get important details about the job cuts.

I coordinated some of the coverage from here since I’m hanging out in the bureau, and was happy when I heard that my colleague Nivedita Bhattacharjee got time to talk with one of the employees who was laid off today. Here is some of what he told her. We agreed to his request for anonymity because he wants to get work again and does not want to disqualify himself from jobs because he spoke to the press.

The entire team had a meeting, and they briefed us about how issues will be handled… we work in AOL. It’s something that we are always prepared (for). We were expecting an announcement soon.

Product catalogs get an iPad makeover with Cooliris’ new Decks app

Fresh off a recent $9.6 million funding round, Cooliris is launching a new app that aims to re-invent the old-fashioned product catalog for the iPad generation.Decks

The new Decks app, available on Thursday in the iPad apps store, lets consumers create personalized catalogs of their favorite brands and products in a format that the company says is optimized for a tablet PCs’s touchscreen.

Each catalog, which the company likens to individual cards of a deck, automatically updates to showcase new deals and promotions, and can be flipped through in a slide-show-like experience – think Flipboard for shopping.

Staving off the search war apocalypse

search_apocalypse

Think the search engine wars are over? They’ve only just begun.

The fight isn’t over who’s the most popular anymore. Google has that sown up for now with a nearly 90 percent share, according to what StatCounter published last week. Microsoft’s Bing Yahoo account for an anemic 8 percent worldwide.

The battle isn’t for the hearts and minds of the public; It is for the heart and soul of the internet — a battle to put “content farms” in their place and suffocate sites which, due to creative SEO, somehow manage to appear higher in search results than the original sites whose content they are re-blogging or flat-out stealing.

The sanctity of search is critical because search is the entry point for the internet, the gateway to everything you haven’t bookmarked or that hasn’t been recommended to you. And since it is the 800-pound gorilla, if Google’s results are compromised, everyone loses.

Live coverage of the iPad 2 launch

iPad2 invite

Live coverage of the expected announcement of Apple’s iPad 2. The event will begin Wednesday March 2 at 10 a.m. Pacific/ 1 p.m. Eastern.

Will Steve Jobs show up? Will Tim Cook pull off a major Apple launch alone? Is the rumored iPad 3 the one to wait for? How have investors traded on the news of big Apple launches?

Until Apple launched the iPad last January, the market for tablet computers was little more than the junkyard heap of laptops with touchscreens found on eBay.  On Wednesday, Apple aims to secure its dominance in a market it (re)created with the expected launch of the iPad 2. Join our correspondents Gabriel Madway and Alexei Oreskovic at San Francisco’s Yerba Buena Center and others around Reuters for a live discussion of the biggest tech event this week.

David Eun Exits AOL after Huff Po purchase

david-eunAnother high-level AOL executive is heading for the exit door after the company shifted its content strategy again with the $315 million acquisitionof the Huffington Post. David Eun (pictured left), the ex-Googler recruited by AOL Chief Executive Tim Armstrong to be president of AOL media and studios, is leaving. Eun is a causality of the Huff Po purchase that put the charismatic high profile  founder Arianna Huffington in charge of AOL’s content.

In a memo to AOL employees posted on AOL’s technology blog TechCrunch, Eun described how he and Armstrong tried to find a place for Eun at AOL after the acquisition.

“I came to AOL last year to be the leader of the media organization. With the historic acquisition of The Huffington Post, my role and responsibilities as President, AOL Media are changing. Tim and I have discussed at length how I might continue within the new organizational structure, but ultimately there isn’t a role that matches what I am seeking to do.”

Apple sightings…at your local cineplex

Searching for Apple’s secret sauce? Perhaps you need look no further than Hollywood for the key to their runaway success over the past decade.

According to the advertising mavens at brandchannel.com, the consumer electronics titan’s products — Macs, iPods, iPhones — cameo-ed in almost a third (10) of the 33 movies that topped the U.S. box-office charts in 2010, ranking first among all product placements last year. Nike, Chevrolet and Ford tied in second place.

Underscoring the broad-based appeal of the company’s gadgets, its devices manifested themselves in movies as diverse as family flicks from “Little Fockers” to “Tangled”, and in gritty art-house fare from “The Town” to “The Social Network”.

from Environment Forum:

Green apps that can save you money

Media members try out the new "iPad" during the launch of Apple's new tablet computing device in San Francisco, California, January 27, 2010. REUTERS/Kimberly White

As the market for applications running on mobile devices like Apple’s iPad and iPhone grows, so do ways to save you money and cut your carbon emissions.

Among them is Avego, a ride-sharing app for the iPhone that lets you offer vacant seats in your car to others and search for free seats if you’re car-less, all in real time. You receive updates on how far away your ride is, so you don’t have to wait around. And it even calculates how much gas-money each passenger should pay. Users create a publicly viewable Avego profile and their reputation can be rated by other members. Paul Smith of Triple Pundit calls the service “brilliant” and an example of “what can be done to reduce traffic, right now, at no additional cost and disruption to our current transportation infrastructure”.

3rdWhaleMobile’s FindGreen app gives GPS-equipped Android smartphones, BlackBerry, and iPhone owners a guide to local retailers and services listed in GenGreen’s Green Business Directory. TechCrunch's Matylda Czarnecka thought the iPhone version was one of the "top ten apps to make you more green". But some users in Google's Android Marketplace complain of few or no listings in their area.