Google, AOL, Facebook, Twitter to share data, combat threat
AOL, Google, Facebook, and Twitter have joined an alliance that was born to counter malicious ads, including malware gateways, ads for scams, and sale links to counterfeit goods. Nonprofit StopBadware, the 6-year-old promoters of the alliance, hosts a clearing house which lists identified websites containing the "bad ware" links.
WD TV Live and TV Live Hub get new features and services across the world
WD on Tuesday has updated its TV Live and TV Live Hub media players with new, country-specific and worldwide services and features. Existing owners of either product will get access to the features thanks to a downloadable software update. The new services include Red Bull TV, ABC iview, Acetrax, Maxdome, the BILD TV-App, and the AOL On Network.
Facebook IPO to be delayed due to SEC process
Facebook's Initial Public Offering (IPO), believed to be scheduled for May, could be delayed, insiders have revealed to CNBC. This is reportedly due to a number of acquisitions and other distractions, which could lead to a delay of selling shares from the originally-believed week of May 14. Initial trading is now expected to come sometime in early to mid-June.
AOL raises cash through patent deals
AOL made an important deal to raise cash Monday by selling patents to Microsoft. Under the deal, AOL would sell 800 patents to the Windows developer and license out 300 more. The terms would give it an immediate payment of $1.06 billion in cash, and Microsoft would give AOL a perpetual license back.
Several dozen employees cut from AIM team
AOL has quickly denied speculation that it was planning to cease its AOL Instant Messenger service. The company recently acknowledged that it would cut the AIM division staff by approximately 40 employees in the near future, igniting rumors that the layoffs were a sign that the company was stepping away from the service.
Proposed web privacy bill has seven stipulations
President Obama and his administration this week released a white paper (PDF) outlining proposed new online privacy rules. A big part of the regulations includes Do Not Track technology for behavior-based web advertising. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) will oversee and enforce these rules.
David Eun to serve as executive VP
Samsung has announced that it has hired a former AOL and Google executive, David Eun, to lead the company's media groups. Eun is credited with overseeing media strategy at Google, forming the search giant's global content partnerships unit, before heading to AOL to help the company expand its reach with new content.
AIM on desktop and mobile gets new look
AOL on Wednesday launched a redesigned AIM for both desktops and mobile devices to compete with modern alternatives like Facebook Messenger or Google+. The service now syncs message histories and makes sure users can follow what was missed, even if they were signed out. As a nod to privacy, users can turn syncing off if they don't want a conversation to stay on the server.
Winamp 1.2 brings Mac syncing in beta, more
AOL has just released Winamp for Android 1.2 (free, Android Market), which brings with it Mac support, albeit in beta. It allows syncing with Macs with WinAmp for Mac Sync Beta, letting users import their iTunes libraries]. There is also wireless syncing between desktop and phone.
AOL CEO pitches $1.5B in cost reductions
AOL's CEO Tim Armstrong has been meeting with top Yahoo shareholders in an effort to convince them that a merger between the two companies is in the best interest of shareholders, tipsters claimed Wednesday. The Reuters source said Armstrong believed that if his company were to be sold to Yahoo, up to $1.5 billion in costs could be saved by the combined company. It came despite Yahoo's focus on putting itself up for sale.
AOL and Yahoo may unite in post-Bartz era
AOL and Yahoo are considering merging in the wake of Carol Bartz' ouster from Yahoo's CEO spot, according to leaks. AOL chief Tim Armstrong purportedly believes uniting the two would strengthen them and was in talks with Yahoo advisors. He may have wanted a deal as early as last year, Bloomberg's Emily Chang said, but was shot down as long as Bartz was in the lead.
Kootol sends notice to Apple on messaging patent
Unknown software house Kootol on Friday sent notice to many companies claiming that they allegedly violate a messaging patent. It targets a wide swath of the industry that includes Apple, Amazon, Facebook, Foursquare, Microsoft, Nokia, RIM, Twitter, and others all allegedly violate a patent for "Method and System for Communication, Advertising, Searching, Sharing and Dynamically Providing a Journal Feed." Unusually, Kootol doesn't actually have the patent and is instead acting on a Notice of Allowance that lets it act on the patent but still requires that it pay for the patent later.
AIM and Google Talk now working directly
AIM users have reported that an expected direct federation between AIM chats and Google Talk is now working properly. Any message from an AIM user can go through by messaging someone at their Gmail address, and Google Talk users can do the same by messaging someone's screen name with "@aol.com" attached. Messages not only skip any lag in the network hop but include typing notifications, and status updates show for contacts on both sides.
WP7 Mango to get multi-network IM and Office 365
Microsoft's upcoming Mango update for Windows Phone 7 had even more features unveiled Sunday through the latest episode of the Windows Phone Dev podcast. The release is now due to have built-in instant messaging not just for Windows Live Messenger but AIM and Facebook as well. Microsoft's system would be smart and weave into the people hub, automatically detecting whichever is the best network and create group messages.
AV by AIM now official, revamped as Web 2.0
The new AIM video chatting service, AV by AIM, recently leaked is now official. The service and interface has been given a much more contemporary look and Web 2.0 functionality. It also has a unique way of operating by launching within a userís browser, and not requiring a user to sign in. It also does not even require friends to be on the same service and is interoperable with Google and Facebook.
AOL AV leaks in beta for video chat
AOL was spotted last night running a beta test of a new, very simple video chat system. AV by AIM is designed to work entirely without a login and lets users join in solely by sharing a link, not a contact list. It works with as many as four participants at once and has a text chat component that flows over the video feed.
Lion does Yahoo audio and video chat
Another finding late Saturday has shown Apple expanding iChat AV to Yahoo Messenger. Marck Unkow has found that users can now sign into Yahoo for both audio and video conversations, much as they could with AIM in the past. The client's only non-AIM support in the past had been for Jabber, which led to support for Google Talk, but only for text.
AOL Editions magazine app coming for iPad
AOL has taken its first concerted step into iPad apps with the tease of AOL Editions. The title takes a cue from Flipboard but, as teased in a video (below), may be more reactive. Instead of the user creating custom feeds, it would work based on interests and collate the content into a very stylized, magazine-like format with a clearer theme, such as music.
Interval resubmits dismissed lawsuit
Interval Licensing took a second shot at its dismissed lawsuit with an updated filing. The Paul Allen-owned company's new complaint still accuses Apple, Facebook, Google, Netflix and others of infringing on e-commerce patents but now includes specific, claimed examples of how the companies allegedly copied Interval's technology. In Apple's case, Interval cited the iTunes Store's album purchasing view (pictured) as a primary example.
Comcast-NBC merger may force non-exclusive
The FCC's leaked Comcast-NBC merger terms may host Hulu its main advantage, an early analysis brought out. Hulu's requirements for semi-exclusivity with free content, where studios can only either offer it on Hulu or on their own sites, might be challenged by an FCC mandate to syndicate video to competitors. NBC might have to not only allow syndication to outside providers but might have to do so outside of Hulu, possibly depriving any chance for Hulu to do so itself.
Court says Interval patent lawsuit too broad
Judge Marsha Pechman on Friday dismissed Interval Licensing's patent lawsuit against major online providers. The official tossed the complaint for being too "spartan," as it didn't identify what devices or services actually infringed the patents with "any specificity." The case, filed in a Western District of Washington court, accused Apple, AOL, eBay, Facebook, Google's YouTube, Netflix, Office Depot, Staples and Yahoo of copying technology Interval owned patents for Internet commerce.
Winamp for Android official with wireless sync
AOL today launched Winamp for Android with a pair of new features and commentary on why it has no iOS plans. The final release now adds Wi-Fi syncing and will update an Android phone's library from a Windows instance of Winamp. Listeners can also now tune into Shoutcast MP3 radio streams without needing a separate app.
Google and Apple file to dismiss Interval lawsuit
A union of companies led by Google, as well as Apple on its own, have filed motions to dismiss a sweeping patent lawsuit launched against them by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen's Interval Licensing. The alliance, which includes AOL, eBay, Facebook, Netflix, Office Depot, Office Max and Yahoo, called the lawsuit "scattershot" in its motion this week since it not only targeted many varied companies but couldn't identify the specific services that were allegedly infringing on its browsing and notification system patents. Without enough details, it wasn't possible for Google to even mount a defense, the Seattle court motion read.
Yahoo looks to Goldman against takeover bids?
Yahoo will work with Goldman Sachs to help it defend a takeover bid, unnamed sources said in a Bloomberg Thursday report. While no bids have yet been made, AOL has been rumored to be putting together an offer. Private equity firms, bankers and some Yahoo investors have also been trying to takeover Yahoo with the help of AOL of News Corp, the sources said.
AOL exploring chances of buying Yahoo
AOL is in the very early stages of exploring a buyout of Yahoo, a leak this evening indicated. Private equity groups such as Blackstone Group and Silver Lake Partners have considered buying the search engine out but have reportedly talked to AOL about joining on a deal. Prospects mentioned to the WSJ would have China's Alibaba buy back Yahoo's 40 percent stake in its efforts to simplify a merger or even letting the normally much larger Yahoo buy AOL.
Interval says Apple, Google, Netflix tread patents
Interval Licensing today hoped to profit off the back of technology and retail companies today as it sued several top firms. for alleged patent infringement. It claimed that AOL, Apple, eBay, Facebook, Google, Netflix, Office Depot, OfficeMax, Staples, Yahoo and YouTube specifically for purportedly infringing on four patents for "fundamental" web technology used for online commerce and search. The patents touch on a form of browsing as well as means of generating attention through design or through a notification system.
InNova claims Apple and others copy spam filter
Little-known patent holder InNova hoped to seize on the success of others today as it filed a lawsuit claiming that a large range of companies violate a patent on e-mail spam filtering. It accused high-profile technology firms such as Apple, Google and RIM as well as 3Com, AOL, Dell, Ericsson, HP, Symantec and Yahoo of copying technology allegedly invented by InNova founder Robert Uomini 15 years ago. Companies as diverse as Capital One Auto Finance and Frito-Lay were also implicated in the suit.
MS Kin could finally add IM support soon
Microsoft could significantly expand the functionality of Kin phones with future updates, well-known firmware hacker Conflipper has discovered. References in the code point to AIM, Windows Live and Yahoo instant messaging and imply that one or more chat clients should reach the feature phones. Further parts allude to a USB mode likely to be used for mass storage.
DST buys ICQ from AOL for $187.5 million
The largest Internet company in the Eastern European markets, Digital Sky Technologies has purchased instant messaging program ICQ from AOL, the two companies announced on Wednesday. ICQ is the leading IM service in Russia and other international markets, and Digital Sky purchased it for $187.5 million.
Beats Amazon in web brands
Apple was one of the top 10 US brands on the Internet in November, says ratings firm Nielsen. The company was precisely 10th in terms of parent company rankings, with just under 62.1 million people visiting at least one website owned by Apple, or launching an Apple-owned application. People spent an average of an hour and 18 minutes looking at Apple content.
Morgan Stanley sees Apple leading mobile
The iPhone and iPod touch are pushing the entire industry towards the mobile Internet, Morgan Stanley analyst Mary Meeker said at the Web 2.0 summit yesterday. With about 57 million of Apple's devices shipped since June 2007, their growth has not only been much more aggressive than landline Internet access in general but the entire home electronics industry. Three times as many iPhone-based devices exist as did AOL and Netscape users two years into their respective histories; Apple is also already outselling the Nintendo Wii despite its products coming half a year later.
Steve Jobs on CEO survey
Apple CEO Steve Jobs has placed near the top in a list of most-liked bosses, according to the user review site Glassdoor. In compiling its first annual CEO rankings, the site lists Jobs in second place with a 90 percent approval rating; to qualify for the list a company must have at least 50 reviews, and Apple presently has over 290. Number one in the rankings -- at 93 percent -- is Art Levinson of the biotechnology firm Genentech, who also sits on Apple's board of directors.
AIM 1.0 for Mac launched
AOL has released AIM for Mac 1.0, adding features from the PC version of its instant messaging service, as well as new abilities. AIM 1.0 also forms a part of the just-released AOL Desktop for Mac 1.5 update, which features improved parental controls. Available as a stand-alone application, AIM now includes expressions and one-click e-mail support, plus the previously PC-only file transfers, friendly names and tabbed IM conversations. Users can select buddy sounds, wallpapers and animated buddy icons, and finally take advantage of Apple's VoiceOver feature.
AOL Yahoo Merger Rumor
AOL and Yahoo have revived and even accelerated merger talks and may be ready to strike a deal by the end of October, say alleged sources of TechCrunch. The claimed proposal would have Yahoo pick up all of AOL's content business as well as a $2 billion cash infusion in exchange for a one-third Time Warner stake in the resulting company.
AIM for Mac public beta
AOL has released the first public beta of a new AIM for Mac client, the first major update since February of 2004. In the new software, users have access to AIM Expressions, allowing them to customize their AIM sounds, wallpaper, emoticon set and Buddy Icon. AOL is also looking to implement some of the more popular features from other versions of AIM, such as file transfers, tabbed conversations, AIM Groups, and AIM Blast.
WinAmp 5 54 Adds Stores
AOL today revealed a significant update to WinAmp that gives the software its first access to online music stores. The 5.54 upgrade puts in a commerce foundation that allows buying songs directly from the jukebox; it also permits buying ringtones, tickets, and physical CDs. The company hasn't named any stores that will integrate with the service but is likely to focus on stores selling MP3s and other unprotected music.
News Corp Nixes Yahoo Talk
Fox's parent company News Corp. is unlikely to link up with Yahoo and offer an alternative to a Microsoft takeover, says News Corp. chief Rupert Murdoch. Speaking at the Sun Valley conference, the executive claims that the likelihood of any deal is now slim despite early talks after Microsoft had first announced its plans to buy out Yahoo. The latter search engine company has been eager to find a partner for a deal that would bolster its value and either deter Microsoft from making a purportedly undervalued bid.
Yahoo CEO to resign?
Yahoo's top executive, CEO Jerry Yang, could resign to avoid a forced departure ahead of a decisive shareholders meeting on August 1st, according to new rumors. Yang and one of Yahoo's most influential shareholders, Gordy Crawford, butted heads at a recent meeting, sources say, with the latter and his top analysts questioning Yang's arguments and demanding an update on Yahoo's near-term strategy. Crawford has expressed interest in Carl Icahn's proxy takeover for Yahoo, which would likely lead to Microsoft taking over the company.
Yahoo AOL Rush Talks
Yahoo and Time Warner have spent the weekend in talks meant to accelerate a possible merger between the search engine giant and Time Warner's AOL division, says Britain's Times newspaper. Pointing only to insider sources, the publication claims Yahoo was in talks over the Independence Day weekend to speed up exploring the revived AOL deal as well as other options. Yahoo is allegedly eager to have some form of alternative deal to a Microsoft buyout of its search business in time for a crucial August 1st Yahoo shareholder's meeting.
Yahoo AOL Deal Resurfaces
Yahoo is still entertaining the prospect of a full deal with AOL even in the wake of ending talks with Microsoft, alleged sources tell the Wall Street Journal. Those claimed to be aware of negotiations say AOL's parent company Time Warner is still interested in handing AOL to Yahoo in exchange for a minority stake in the search engine company. The talks aren't said to be as in-depth as when Yahoo still faced the threat of a hostile Microsoft takeover.
MS Joint Yahoo Bid Rumor
Microsoft is actively exploring bringing other companies into a deal that would dismantle Yahoo as it's known today, says the Wall Street Journal. The newspaper cites anonymous sources aware of discussions who say Microsoft is still interested in buying just Yahoo's search business but has asked both News Corp. and Time Warner about merging what would be left of Yahoo into one of their respective properties, such as MySpace or AOL. A meeting between Microsoft and Yahoo was scheduled for Monday but canceled because Microsoft has so far been unsuccessful in lining up a partner, according to the report.
Pure Digital Flip Mino
Pure Digital on Wednesday is launching its anticipated Flip Mino, its newest entry into its unusually popular simple camcorders. The Mino shrinks the design of the original Flip camera by 40 percent to where it's smaller than a typical cellphone while adding features that aren't present on the originals: the updated software bundled with the Mino lets it upload directly to MySpace as well as providing existing hooks for AOL and YouTube. Pure keeps the concept simple by preserving the 2X digital zoom lens that limits the camera but concentrates on the shot itself.
Microsoft has devised a strategy that would largely eliminate the need to use phone numbers for calling on cellphones, ZDNet says. Echoes would link a user's Windows Live Messenger contacts to a phone number through a cellular provider and would let cellphone users choose one of their IM contacts as the recipient; as information would be automatically linked between the two, users could place calls without ever knowing someone else's phone number, Microsoft claims. The information would be sent automatically to a phone's contact list without needing a dedicated instant messaging client.
AOL Desktop for Mac
AOL on Tuesday unveiled AOL Desktop for Mac, a brand new portal software for the company's internet services, representing the first such major release in five years. The client offers email, messaging, and web browsing services, as well as access to the company's various content channels. AOL includes easy transition tools, which allow users to quickly import AOL favourites and mail from the former Mac OS X client. AOL Desktop for Mac is available from the company's website.
Microsoft Nixes Yahoo Bid
Microsoft on Saturday evening triggered surprise by withdrawing its bid for Yahoo. Company chief Steve Ballmer has validated earlier public comments expressing doubt over the viability of concluding a deal and has revealed that Microsoft offered to raise its bid up to $33 per share in an attempt to win over the Yahoo board of directors, which has insisted so far that the initial $31 per share bid undervalues the search engine giant's worth. The Microsoft executive also states that Yahoo has insisted on a higher-still bid and that his firm doesn't consider an extended proxy effort to install a sympathetic board to be effective.
MS Move on Yahoo Soon
Microsoft will take action on Yahoo's ultimatum rejection soon, company chief Steve Ballmer has said at a presentation for his firm's employees attended by Silicon Alley Insider. He acknowledges that Microsoft has missed its deadline for altering its strategy but adds that a maneuver will come in "very short order." This could include both a hostile attempt and the previously mentioned willingness to walk away if pursuing Yahoo proves fruitless.
AOL intros Open Voice APIs
On Tuesday, AOL introduced Open Voice Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) that could bring mainstream VoIP a step closer to cell phone use. The APIs would endow third-party developers and VoIP device makers with open standards that would in turn allow them to integrate AOL Instant Messenger's Call Out service into softphones, SIP-enabled hardware and even Wi-Fi enabled cell phones. This would allow cell phone users to make low-cost voice calls via AIM's Call Out service, which would relay them via the Internet instead of the traditional phone network.
Yahoo Google Expansion
Yahoo is likely to expand its Google AdSense project after initially positive results, say sources speaking to the Wall Street Journal. Both of the involved firms say that early results for the new search ad approach are positive and may result in more outsourcing in the future. Anti-monopoly regulations are a concern given the relative statuses of Google and Yahoo in the web market but might be avoided by limiting the partnerships to certain areas or search types, according to the paper's contacts.
Yahoo and AOL finalizing
Yahoo and AOL are reportedly examining the potential combination of their respective internet operations, which would involve a 20-percent stake of the former company. According to Forbes Techland, the deal would fold AOL into Yahoo, who would then repurchase several billions of its shares at a mid $30 figure. Time Warner will make a large cash investment into Yahoo for this deal to occur.
Microsoft 3 Wk Yahoo
Microsoft on Saturday applied pressure to Yahoo by submitting a letter directly to the search engine firm's board of directors, setting a deadline for the company to accept Microsoft's $31 per share takeover offer. Citing deteriorating economic conditions, the Redmond, Washington-based Microsoft refused to increase its bid and gave Yahoo a total of three weeks to accept the $44.6 billion bid as originally made in late January before it would be "compelled" to bypass the board and bring a lower-priced offer directly to Yahoo's shareholders. This will include launching a proxy battle by stepping up pressure to elect a more takeover-friendly board of directors at Yahoo, Microsoft said.