Monthly Archives: July 2009

Chris Nuttall

Spansion, the chipmaker hit by overcapacity and falling prices for Flash memory, could emerge from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the fourth quarter.

The debt-ridden Silicon Valley company filed for protection from its creditors on March 1, but its latest quarterly results show restructuring left it with cash balances of $220m at the end of June, up from $95m in March. It reported $376m in quarterly sales. Read more

Chris Nuttall

THQ and chief executive Brian Farrell (pictured) made a fighting comeback in the June quarter, with their mixed-martial arts game selling nearly 3m copies and returning the video game publisher to profit.

THQ reported sales up 77 per cent on the previous year at $243.5m and profits of 9 cents a share compared to losses of 41 cents. Read more

Chris Nuttall

Verizon is turning to machines as a source of new subscriber growth, in a joint venture with wireless chipmaker Qualcomm.

The great thing about machines is they won’t churn, said Steve Pazol, head of the new company at a press-conference launch today. He cited the example of a John Deere tractor sitting in a field having no interest in switching to a cheaper family plan with another carrier. Read more

David Gelles

Some bloggers are under increased scrutiny for failing to disclose relationships they have with companies they promote in posts.

The FTC is considering new guidelines that would hold bloggers and companies liable for untruthful statements made on blogs or social media sites, and organisations such as Word of Mouth Marketing Association and the Social Media Business Council are developing codes of ethics that encourage transparency for independent and corporate bloggers alike.

Now a group of “mommy bloggers” is banding together to promote a group called Blog With Integrity. The self-organised, self-policing group aims to instill a new measure of credibility in the blogosphere by encouraging bloggers to come out and proclaim their incorruptibility. Read more

Chris Nuttall

It is clear from the moment visitors step into the lobby of AOL’s New York headquarters that this soon-to-be-spun-off internet division of Time Warner remains a work in progress, writes Kenneth Li.

Tim Armstrong, AOL’s chief executive since March, would prefer that visitors based their initial impressions by starting with his office. A giant black-and-white poster of CNN founder Ted Turner in Apple’s “Think Different” advertising campaign hangs on a wall in a room surrounded by pictures of his three children. Read more

Chris Nuttall

The evolution of video on the web has been far from smooth.

Many start-ups have disappeared, concepts have failed and even YouTube has proved to be a costly acquisition for Google.

But that has not stopped the industry from figuring out ways to make money and survive. Read more

David Gelles

As part of his turnaround strategy for Ebay, chief executive John Donahoe has been working to revive the main Ebay shopping site. This has meant improving search results, moving to more fixed-price sales, and making the buying experience more reliable. As we reported in Monday’s paper, the strategy finally seems to be working.

Now Mr Donahoe is aiming to bring even more formality to the once freewheeling marketplace. Starting in October those sellers with the highest customer service rating will receive a Top-Rated Seller badge. The badge is more than just ornamentation. Read more

Joseph Menn

Apple is aiming to ship its oft-rumoured tablet-style touch-screen computer this fall, we reported over the weekend, combining a big screen with the functionality of an iPod Touch.

The company has been striving to perfect the device for years, while attempt by PC makers to peddle Microsoft-powered tablets have fizzled. Read more

Chris Nuttall

Augmented reality is a many-rendered thing, a buzz phrase augmented itself by an expanding definition. Some technology applications don’t really seem to fit the description as they jump on the bandwagon.

Take Mattel’s announcement of “augmented-reality technology” being included in its toys at this week’s Comic-Con show in San DiegoRead more

David Gelles

Live by the sword, die by the sword. Facebook prides itself for being a deeply interconnected network where links, content and ideas can go viral. That’s part of its appeal, and its pitch to advertisers.

But Facebook has found itself the victim of its own success. A user revolt is underway, as a huge number of users are updating their status to warn of a rumoured invasion of privacy by the site.

The message being endlessly reposted reads, “Facebook has agreed to allow third-party advertisers to use your photos without your permission”, and includes instructions on how to change this setting, along with instructions to “Repost to let your friends know!”

The message is indeed true. Read more