Monthly Archives: October 2007

Richard Waters

Google_mobile It took Google’s shares 52 weeks to move from $400 to $500. It took another 46 weeks to get from $500 to $600.

The next hundred bucks? A shade over three weeks, by the look of things. The stock was less than a dime away from $700 at one point on Tuesday. Read more

Richard Waters

Citizendium Larry Sanger is still predicting big things for Citizendium, the expert-moderated alternative to the "open" encyclopedia Wikipedia that he launched a year ago (we wrote about the launch here, and the implications of the Citizendium v Wikipedia battle here.)

Given the scale of his ambition, the results so far are decidedly modest: 3,300 articles, growing at the rate of 14 a day, compared to more than 2m on the English-language version of Wikipedia. Still, Sanger, who was in at the beginning of Wikipedia, is unabashed, as his update today demonstrates: Read more

Richard Waters

Another day, another 3 per cent on Baidu’s share price. The Chinese search engine is now deemed to be worth more than $12bn, which is double what the stock market thought it was worth as recently as August. Not to be left behind, portals like Sohu and Sina are on a run of their own, with gains respectively of 160 and 130 per cent this year.

For Baidu, if you’re keeping score, that puts the company on a multiple of more than 30 times next year’s revenues, and 94 times 2008 earnings. Read more

Richard Waters

The pain from the long dotcom hangover is finally starting to recede into the past, at least when it comes to venture capital returns. About time, too. But it is still far too soon to tell whether historic long-term profits from VC investment will hold up.

The story is told in the chart below. The thick broken line at the bottom shows five-year venture capital returns in the US. As write-offs from the dotcom disaster have receded and profitable exits are being found for the the companies that survived, this line has finally crept back into positive territory (the latest figures were put out today by the NVCA.) Read more

Hulu, a joint online video venture by NBC and News Corp that has been billed as an alternative to YouTube and other video sharing sites, launched today in private beta. Before the site crashed on us, we managed to get a glimpse at Hulu’s design and some of its features.

Hulu lets users browse an array of studio-approved content, including popular television shows such as The Office, The Simpsons and The Family Guy, copies of which are proving harder and harder to find with any kind of reliability on YouTube. Hulu’s media player includes the usual "share" and "embed" options found on most video sites. It also boasts an impressive video editor that allows users to select only the parts of a video they wish to display in an embedded clip. Read more

Richard Waters

It’s official. Google is now generating more in revenues than its three largest competitors combined (don’t even ask about its share of the profits.) To put it another way: just the $1.5bn in extra revenue it added compared to a year before was almost as much as the total produced by Yahoo!

The numbers for the latest quarter make sorry reading, particularly when you consider that a lot of Microsoft’s reported growth online came from its acquisition of aQuantive: Read more

Richard Waters

It’s official. Google is now generating more in revenues than its three largest competitors combined (don’t even ask about its share of the profits.) To put it another way: just the $1.5bn in extra revenue it added compared to a year before was almost as much as the total produced by Yahoo!

The numbers for the latest quarter make sorry reading, particularly when you consider that a lot of Microsoft’s reported growth online came from its acquisition of aQuantive: Read more

Chris Nuttall

Prism The line between applications running on a desktop and in a web browser just got fuzzier

Or maybe it just got bent a little, like a ray of light. Read more

Chris Nuttall

Dirk_meyer_with_quad_core_chips_2 A year after Advanced Micro Devices’ acquisition of ATI, the Canadian graphics chipmaker, the merits of the takeover are still unclear to AMD shareholders.

  The company has suffered four consecutive quarters of losses, its shares are down 39 per cent on their closing price on October 25 2006, the day the ATI acquisition was finalised. Gross margins are down 10 percentage points, key personnel have left the company and AMD has seen Intel move ahead of it in technological advances. Read more

Chris Nuttall

Muni_wireless Municipal Wi-Fi networks have been suffering from bad reception of the political and economic kind lately.

San Francisco illustrated the two sides of the problem as elected officials said they did not like the terms being offered by Earthlink to set up a network in the city and the internet service provider decided to walk away from the project as its business model led to unsustainable losses in other cities. Read more

Chris Nuttall

Acoustic_research_awd210 For all its convenience, wireless in the home always seems to have trade-offs – mysterious signal losses, degradation in quality and less-than-easy set-up.

This can apply to both Wi-Fi internet connections and other applications, such as wireless speakers and headphones. Read more

Chris Nuttall

Googlecube There’s a lot of thinking outside the box going on in Silicon Valley on breaking out of its cubicle culture.

Intel, the epitome of corporate cubism, is reviewing its regimented floorplans and introducing more common spaces and a dash of colour. Read more

Chris Nuttall

Silverlight Just when you thought the Web might be escaping the bounds of the browser with desktop widgets and other ex-browser applications, things start moving in the opposite direction.

At the Web 2.0 Summit in San Francisco today, Mike Volpi, chief executive of Joost, spoke about how the peer-to-peer video service was putting a lot of work into a version of Joost that would work inside a browser.  Read more

Richard Waters

Steve_ballmer_4 For outsiders, coming to address the Silicon Valley crowd at an interent conference is a bit like running the gauntlet. The Valley is deep in one of its self-regarding frenzies of internet creativity, and woe betide anyone who doesn’t "get it."

Rupert Murdoch and Steve Ballmer have each managed to carry it off at this week’s Web 2.0 Summit – up to a point. The Valley has been calling for Murdoch’s MySpace to emulate Facebook and open up so that other developers create their own applications for the social network, and last night Murdoch was on hand as MySpace’s Chris DeWolfe announced just that. (We first reported DeWolfe’s decision to go this way back in June.) Read more

Richard Waters

Mike_moritz The 3,000 or so people who packed into the ballroom of the Palace Hotel in San Francisco this afternoon to hear Mark Zuckerberg at the start of the Web 2.0 Summit (see note below) were treated to a vintage performance from the Facebook founder. And I chose that word carefully: he may be just 23, but Zuckerberg has already mastered the art, vital for the CEO of any company that has whipped up such a firestorm of interest, of saying precisely nothing.

The nothings about which Zuckerberg’s silence spoke volumes included whether he is going to sell an investment stake to Microsoft and whether he is going to build an advertising system to rival Google’s AdWords/ AdSense. The one telling moment came at the end, when Zuck was asked whether it wasn’t time for Facebook to hire a little "adult supervision" in the shape of a more experienced CEO. The young internet tycoon visibly bristled. It was as though someone had asked the young Bill Gates (and fellow Harvard drop-out) the same question in the early days of Microsoft. Clearly, unless things start to go badly wrong, Zuckerberg is going to see this through to the end.  Read more

Richard Waters

Jerry_yang When he took over from Terry Semel, Jerry Yang promised a top-to-bottom review of Yahoo’s operations, with "no sacred cows."

So what has this produced? Not a lot, to judge from Yang’s blog post on the matter today. Despite the talk of more focus, breadth still counts: Yahoo’s main mission is still to be the "starting point for the most consumers" on the internet. Read more

Richard Waters

Web_20_2 With Silicon Valley’s most important internet conference of the year about to start, expect the love-in with Facebook to reach a new level of intensity. Since May, when it opened its APIs to let other developers build their services on top of its social network, the murmur of approval for Facebook in the Valley has grown steadily to a deafening din. In the latest confirmation of his new standing, founder Mark Zuckerberg will get the prime slot when the Web 2.0 Summit starts in San Francisco on Wednesday afternoon. Read more

Chris Nuttall

Drevil Where’s the love gone? Facebook seems to be adding more enemies than friends these days.

First, the blogmeister Dave Winer writes a post called Why Facebook Sucks, criticising it as an address book that he can’t export to other formats. Read more

Wallstreet.com has failed to fetch the vast sum its owners were hoping for in a .com name auction, leaving porn.com, which sold for $9.5m earlier this year, as the most expensive domain name ever.

Bloomberg reports that wallstreet.com’s owners halted the auction after bidders were only willing to pay $3m for the privilege of owning the domain. Further confirmation, if it was ever needed, of what really drives the internet.

Chris Nuttall

Shawnfanning Shawn Fanning’s follow-up to Napster seems to be in trouble.

Snocap, a company he co-founded in 2002, has cut its workforce from 57 to 26 and put itself up for sale. Read more