Time Warner

The company that brought you AOL-Time Warner has become more careful about old media-new media investments. So it was little surprise that CNN, Time Warner’s cable news division, greeted a Reuters report that it was about to buy Mashable warily.

“We do not engage in speculation about our business and we aren’t commenting on those reports,” was the canned response. 

David Gelles

Social television startup GetGlue — which lets users “check-in” to TV shows — has raised another round of funding from existing investors, including Time Warner, and a new lead investor, RHO Ventures. 

Tech news from around the web:

Google has announced that it is to use its own data to detect malware viruses targeting its users, Techcrunch reports. From today, the online search giant will use Google Search results pages to warn users if their computers are infected with a specific form of malware.

Chinese search engine Baidu has launched an internet browser designed to compete with Internet Explorer and Chrome, The Wall Street Journal says. The program’s home page will display links to software applications and popular websites, such as the Weibo microblog service. 

Tech news from around the web:

Adobe has acquired electronic signature company EchoSign  for an undisclosed price, VentureBeat reports. EchoSign’s  web-based electronic signature technology will be integrated into Adobe’s document exchange services platform. If this kind of technology takes off, VentureBeat says, it could mean the end of the fax machine and the paper contract. 

Tim Bradshaw

Is social media the death of news reporting or its saviour?

If you ask screenwriters David Simon (The Wire) and Aaron Sorkin (The West Wing and Facebook movie The Social Network), Twitter and other social networks are sacrificing depth for speed – but Piers Morgan, the newspaper editor turned talk-show host, reckons a single tweet added half a million viewers to an onscreen interview with Charlie Sheen. 

Tech news from around the web:

  • Amazon is considering introducing a service that would let consumers pay for goods using their mobile phones and near-field-communication technology, according to Bloomberg. News that the company’s Amazon Payments unit is said to be examining the service follows reports over the past few weeks that Apple, Google and Microsoft are all also planning to offer the mobile payment system.

 

How big is the overlap between the tech geeks salivating over their iPad deliveries and the sports geeks who can tell you Kobe Bryant’s scoring average from the three-point line eight seasons ago?¹ NBA Digital is about to find out.

The joint venture between Time Warner’s Turner Broadcasting division and the National Basketball Association has put out an iPad app using real-time data feeds to provide live scores, team and player details and reams of constantly-updated statistics, writes media editor Andrew Edgecliffe-Johnson

  • The economic slump hasn’t ended yet. That was the word from the executives of Microsoft and Dell, as they countered the recent optimistic views expressed by other big tech companies. Steve Ballmer, Microsoft’s chief executive, said: “To think that things would be back in a year seems naive to me.” Brian Gladden, Dell’s chief financial officer, said: “Based on what we see in the marketplace, we’re not comfortable talking about seeing a bottom at this point.”
  • Microsoft and Google took direct aim at each other’s core businesses as they showed off ambitious new services that represent some of their biggest internet development efforts. Microsoft unveiled its new search engine, Bing, to generally positive reviews. Google, meanwhile, stole the thunder by showing-off Wave, a new communication platform that incorporates elements of email, chat and document sharing.

 

  • A Yahoo / Microsoft deal could still be struck if it involved “a boatload of money.” That was the word from Carol Bartz, Yahoo’s chief executive, who said her company is no longer in serious talks with Microsoft over a deal to combine their search efforts. But she acknowledged that negotiations between the two companies were continuing “a little bit”.
  • Time Warner is close to a decision to spin off all of its AOL internet business, according to three people in contact with the company. Although a decision has not yet been finalised, executives prefer spinning off the whole division rather than a part. Over the past year, Time Warner has considered spinning off either its advertising-driven “audience business” or its legacy dial-up internet business, they say.

 

  • Time Warner moved closer to spinning off AOL, while at the same time reporting a 14 per cent decline in quarterly net profit due to a drop in online and print advertising. Disposing of AOL would untangle what many consider one of the worst mergers in US corporate history, one that has lost shareholders more than $100bn.
  • Google lost its fourth high-profile executive since March, with the departure of display ad chief David Rosenblatt, the former chief executive of DoubleClick, which Google acquired last year. Mr Rosenblatt reportedly doesn’t have another job lined up yet, but is aiming to leave Silicon Valley and move to New York.