Monthly Archives: April 2012

Tim Bradshaw

Fourteen months ago, to some fanfare, Google launched One Pass – its way to help publishers charge for digital content on the web, mobile and tablets.

Coming just a day after Apple announced plans for a 30 per cent tax on all app subscriptions, Google’s gambit caused quite a stir. With a more generous 10 per cent split and promises to share more subscriber data with publishers, at a time when many were spitting feathers about Apple’s diktat, One Pass was seen as a bold challenge and a tempting proposition from a company many publishers still felt was a parasite.

Yet last week, on a sunny Friday afternoon, Google quietly snuffed One Pass, whose homepage now returns only a 404 error. Read more


Today’s hottest internet services all involve pictures. Draw Something attracted 15m users in its first six weeks before the game was bought for $200m by Zynga, Pinterest has rapidly become the third-most popular US social network and Facebook is paying $1bn for Instagram. This week, snapshots of three picture-taking services.

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Chris Nuttall

What kind of West Coast innovation show worth its salt would miss the opportunity to unveil a new electric-powered skateboard?

Certainly not Demo Spring 2012 in Silicon Valley. No less than three new commuter skateboards were launched for street surfer dudes on Thursday, along with products from 80 other companies over two days, during six-minute presentations. Some top picks after the jump. Read more

Maija Palmer

As UK companies scramble to comply with new laws requiring them to disclose and get permission for all the cookies they use, a new study has found that more than two thirds of all the bits of tracker code on websites are from third parties. Which means they are essentially for delivering targeted advertising or analysing behaviour across the website.

It helps explain why compliance with the new cookie laws has been so slow and difficult for many companies. It is very likely they don’t want to broadcast to the world just how many different organisations are grabbing data about their customers.  Read more

Berlin tech start-up Madvertise has bought Turkish mobile advertising rival Mobilike in what the German company sees as an important step to becoming the European market leader, writes Gerrit Wiesmann in Berlin.

The four-year-old German company, which allows advertisers to pinpoint and address potential customers via their mobile phones, is one of the more mature start-ups on the Berlin scene.

To fund European growth, Madvertise secured $10m in series B venture-capital funding late last year, and counts Silicon Valley-based Blumberg Capital as a shareholder. Read more

Path closed a $30m round of Series B funding on Monday, giving the mobile social network a $250m valuation.

The current round was led by Redpoint Ventures, with several other investors participating, including Sir Richard Branson, head of the Virgin empire, who said he is betting as much on Path’s chief executive, Dave Morin, as his product. Read more

Richard Waters

How does the company that says it wants to be “deserving of great love” justify tapping into home WiFi networks and grabbing snippets of personal information by the truckload?

Simple: listening in to unsecured WiFi networks, according to Google’s lawyers, is perfectly legal. And regrettable as that may sound, US regulators have accepted the defence – though they still feel Google “deliberately impeded” their investigation and “willfully and repeatedly violated” orders to produce information. Read more

Fresh off its release on Android, Instagram, the photo sharing app, was snatched up by Facebook for a reported $1bn in cash and stock on Monday. The blogosphere was buzzing with part shock, part disgust. But above all, the deal was seen as an indicator of how concerned Mark Zuckerberg is about Facebook’s weakness in moving into the mobile world. Read more

Sony smart watch

It will take a lot to knock the iPhone off its perch as the best-selling smartphone. So, competitors are circling around its success and uniform design with different features, screen sizes and the odd gimmick. This week, a look at new pairings and partnerships that offer consumers more flexibility.

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Richard Waters

Facebook won’t be the only new internet stock that will soon be turning heads on Wall Street. Google has just come up with a new twist of its own: a new “C” class of non-voting shares that will trade in their own right.

One intriguing question this raises: what kind ofdiscount should investors put on the new, non-voting flavour of GOOG? Read more