Will.i.am, the futuristic frontman of The Black Eyed Peas, established his Silicon Valley bona fides long ago.
The “technology obsessed” rapper made a viral video for Barack Obama in 2008, sent his music back from Mars via the Curiosity rover, and is Intel’s “director of creative innovation.” He drives an all-electric Tesla, is partnering with Steve Jobs’ widow, Laurene Powell Jobs, and markets a $300 high-tech iPhone case.
But in a song on his poorly-reviewed new album #willpower, will.i.am takes his infatuation with startup culture to another level.
Called “Geekin’”, the track begins with a thudding chorus in which he repeats: “Get my geek on, get my, get my geek on.” Read more
When the National Football League yesterday struck a trio of eye-popping deals with big TV networks, the focus was rightly on just how valuable live sports have become to broadcasters today.
But buried in the press releases heralding the agreements (which will bring the NFL $24bn over nine years) was some rather revolutionary news: the TV networks also secured the digital rights to the most popular sport on television. Read more
Hearst, publisher of magazines including Cosmopolitan and Esquire, took at shot at rival publishers Condé Nast and Time Inc on Monday, as it unveiled its new centre for developing and showcasing digital editions of its titles. Read more
Apple is returning to its favourite venue for product launches on March 2, hosting an event at San Francisco’s Yerba Buena Center for the Arts where it is expected to unveil the iPad 2, according to people familiar with the plans.
The company has reserved the main stage at the multifunction venue for next Wednesday, marking a return to the site where it last year launched the original iPad and the iPhone 4. Read more
When Facebook Deals launched on Wednesday, an impressive raft of launch partners were already signed up. The Palms in Las Vegas was giving away a third night free, Chipotle was giving away a second entree on the house, and Gap said it would be giving away 10,000 pairs of jeans on a date to be determined.
When I arrived at work this morning, it was clear that the Gap promotion was happening today. More than a dozen people were lined up outside the Gap across the street from our office.
After dropping my bag, I grabbed a notepad and my iPhone, and darted over to see if I could be one of the lucky ones to claim the Deal. Read more
Square, the much-hyped mobile credit card processing system created by Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey has a big problem: it doesn’t work with the iPhone4.
In a blog post buried deep in the support section of Square’s website, the company acknowledges that the Square card reader interferes with the already problematic iPhone4 antenna.
“This renders our card readers inactive for your iPhone4,” the company wrote on October 9. “We are working on redesigning our card readers and will be contacting our iPhone4 users as soon as they are ready for shipment.”
Update: Square has clearly been scrambling for a fix for awhile now. The day after this post was published, they emailed to say that, “As of today, we have shipped new card readers to to active users who are accessing Square via an iPhone 4.” Read more
Though Google still makes the lion’s share of its revenues through search advertising, that may begin to change as Android, YouTube and display advertising mature, writes the FT’s Lex column.
Google is not the font of all knowledge, rather the rummage bag in which it resides. However, it has made bold predictions this week as it tries to grab the advertising industry’s attention. By 2015, the Googlers think mobile phones will be the most popular screen for web browsing, and the display advertising market will grow to $50bn. Read more
Groupon is already the leader of the pack when it comes to local deals .
By offering deep discounts to restaurants, shops and services in more than 80 markets, the two-year-old company is minting cash (it has been profitable for more than a year). Its success has inspired a raft of imitators, and helped the company draw in a $135m investment from Digital Sky Technologies earlier this year.
When businesses are featured on Groupon, they are slammed with an influx of new customers. It’s a happy problem to have, especially in tough economic times. But demand has overwhelmed Groupon of late, with as many as 700 local businesses a day wanting to offer Groupons. Now, chief executive Andrew Mason thinks he has found the solution — personalised deals. Read more
Amazon has just updated the Kindle, giving the world’s most popular e-reader a much-needed facelift just in time for the back-to-school and holiday shopping seasons.
The new device is sleeker, stronger and faster than the previous Kindle. Its body is 21 per cent smaller and 15 per cent lighter at 8.7 ounces. It has double the battery life at one month, plus double the storage capacity — enough for 3,500 books.
At $139 for a wifi only version and $189 for 3G, the new Kindle puts e-readers firmly within reach of mainstream consumers. For those looking for a cheap way in to digital reading, the Kindle is a compelling package. Read more
How do you say “Farmville” in Japanese?
Zynga, maker of the popular social game, wants to find out.
To do so, the San Francisco company is entering into a joint venture with Softbank to develop and distribute games in Japan. As part of the deal, Softbank is investing $150m in Zynga, and will help launch the new business unit, Zynga Japan, in Tokyo.
Details of the partnership are scarce, but it will be interesting to see how Zynga’s games go over in Japan, a difficult market for foreign companies to crack. The deal also brings social gaming, which originated in Asian markets, full circle. Read more