If you predicted the bubble and bust in the Bitcoin market would kill off the nascent virtual currency, well, the very best you could say is that you’re early, writes Stephen Foley.
In fact, dating site OkCupid is going to start accepting payment in Bitcoin from tomorrow, the biggest brand name so far to join the Bitcoin economy. Since the site is part of Barry Diller’s IAC media empire, this gives the currency a toehold in a major corporation. Read more
Apple has bought WifiSlam, an indoor mobile location service, as the Silicon Valley giant continues to compete with Google in mapping capabilities.
The deal closed recently for $20m, according to a report by the Wall Street Journal, citing an unnamed source.
WifiSlam’s technology uses ambient wireless signals that are already present in buildings to pinpoint the location of smartphones, as opposed to the space-based satellite signals relied upon for larger-scale GPS mapping and navigation systems. Read more
Publishers may take a cue from the software industry as they regroup from a decisive loss in the US Supreme Court over copyright rules.
After failing to persuade the justices to protect their foreign-made titles from resale in the US in the Kirtsaeng v Wiley case, publishers must instead rethink their international business practices.
While traditional publishers of books, music, and film have generally viewed the computer industry as a foe in various policy battles, it could find a saviour in borrowing its concept of software licensing agreements and applying them to physical goods. Read more
As Silicon Valley has boomed, there has been a flurry of public scrutiny of Apple, Google, Microsoft and Facebook. But one company has stayed strangely out of the spotlight: Amazon.
In a new Financial Times ebook, on sale globally today, Barney Jopson and other FT writers lift the lid on a company which has grown from online book business into overlord of a corporate eco-system over which it wields extraordinary power. Read more
Jonathan Kaplan, founder of the Flip video camera business and now a chain of toasted-cheese-sandwich restaurants, is putting his foot on the accelerator with his expansion plans this weekend – driving away the first of an intended fleet of more than 100 food trucks to supplement his store openings.
The move will bring The Melt, backed by top Silicon Valley VC firms Sequoia Capital and Benchmark Capital, closer to its goal of opening 500 outlets nationwide over five years. Read more
One of the more innovative approaches in the plethora of efforts to persuade more people to pay for more content online is “social micropayment” firm Flattr.
Acting something like an online tip jar, Flattr reverses the usual payment process by giving people a way to pay for content after they’ve consumed it, rather than before they know what they are getting. Read more
Investment continues to pour into the soaring Russian internet market, which recently overtook Germany as Europe’s largest by users.
The latest mega-deal sees Avito.ru, a Russian online classified site along the lines of Craigslist, raising $75m from local private equity firm Baring Vostok and global venture capitalists Accel Partners, alongside existing investors Kinnevik and Northzone. Read more
BNP Paribas has launched an iPad app in the hope that hedge fund managers will want to check out their stock holdings on the move, writes Dan McCrum.
“You can get off an airplane and in one minute see everything that’s happening in your portfolio,” says Sam Hocking, head of prime brokerage sales for the French Bank. Read more
Apple has finally named a successor to Ron Johnson as head of its retail store operation, choosing John Browett, chief executive of the British electronics retailer Dixons.
Mr Browett (pictured left) will join in April as senior vice president of Retail, reporting to Apple CEO Tim Cook. Mr Johnson was named last June as the new chief executive of JC Penney, the US department store chain. Read more
Tech news from around the web:
Black Friday – the day after Thanksgiving – saw $816m spent online sales, according to research and monitoring group Comscore, making it the heaviest online spending day so far in 2011 and representing a 26% increase against Black Friday 2010. Thanksgiving Day, achieved a 18% increase to $479m, Comscore reports. Read more