About.com has finally found a buyer in InterActiveCorp. IAC is owned by Barry Diller and a deal has recently been agreed upon between his company and the NY Times, which owned About. The deal will be closed within the next few weeks.
The NY Times is expected to hand over About.com to InterActCorp for a cash amount of $300 million. This is $90 million less than what the Times paid for the website when it acquired it in 2005.
It is expected that there will be an official announcement made about the acquisition shortly.
Aside from IAC, other companies made bids. Demand Media, which has been struggling in its own right since last year and Answers.com were interested in purchasing About.com. The Diller owned company should find About to be a perfect fit into its fold as the reference content site has approximately 100 million unique visitors per month. IAC already owns content website The Writers Network and subsites related to it.
The About Group is kept going strong as it relies on freelance writers who produce expert knowledge on various topics, from technology gadgets to home improvement to finance and many more. In the last few years, it has had trouble in drawing traffic and relies greatly on advertising. InterActiveCorp has improved other similar websites such as Ask.com that are frequently searched online to up to 46 percent in recent days. About should see no difference as it is believed the acquisition will make it more profitable.
As the About Group has seen a decline in traffic since being purchased by the NY Times, it seems that a partnership with InterActiveCorp can only improve its chances in online searches. It seems to be a good fit with the other properties owned by the Diller company, which may be able to pool its collective resources to reduce certain costs on the website. At the same time, About can prove to be a useful tool for advertising that will nicely fit into the network of sites already owned by InterActiveCorp.
The success of the purchase will be determined over time. The About Group also boasts ConsumerSearch.com and CalorieCount.com.
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IBM Makes Another Acquisition in Social Media Management Space
Technology giant IBM has once again shown its commitment to providing solutions that are in sync with today's business computing environment. The multinational company recently announced from its New York headquarters that it is in the midst of an acquisition deal with Kenexa, a software developer that specializes in cloud computing solutions for recruiting and employee placement.
The acquisition highlights the importance of social media management and analytics in today's business world. Data analysis is the driving force behind many enterprises these days, and this is something that IBM is very serious about fostering and developing. Online social networking and cloud computing are the current aspects of the Web 2.0 evolution, and just about every business industry is currently interested in the social business paradigm.
Kenexa is a public company that trades on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol KNXA. Since 1987, the company has concentrated on providing solutions to the human resources and employee management industry. Some of the company's software solutions include the analysis of team dynamics and employee behavior.
Managing Social Media at a Business Level
Companies like Salesforce embraced cloud computing from the start by providing solutions like the Software as a Service (SaaS) platform. Other companies like Oracle and SAP followed suit. These companies are now turning their attention to online social networks and their implementation in the workplace.
Both Oracle and Salesforce have shown their desire to combine the power of their cloud-based business solutions with social media. Oracle, for example, acquired a developer of social media publishing applications earlier this year. Salesforce would respond a month later with the $655 million acquisition of Buddy Media, a social enterprise software developer.
Kenexa has been dedicated to providing enterprise social media solutions for a few years, particularly with regard to the recruiting and interview process. Social media management is a burgeoning aspect of modern business, and it is something that even small companies can benefit from. For example, a job interview that takes place in a private business social network via web conference can be shared across social circles for recruiting and evaluation purposes.
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The technology world is currently all abuzz over the recent judgment of the patent trial Apple brought against Samsung. The South Korean manufacturer was found guilty in copyright and trademark infringement of products made by the Cupertino, California tech giant that resulted in a settlement of $1.05 billion. The jury in the trial came to the conclusion that much of the innovative technology created by Apple was stolen by the South Korean company.
According to reports, Google, which is the Android partner of Samsung, had warned the company not to copy the American company and use its patents. Although Apple originally sought $2.5 billion, the victory is still quite harmful to the competing company.
Part of the lawsuit saw the Cupertino tech manufacturer demanding that the Seoul company remove the majority of its smartphones and tablets from the United States market. Attorney Harold McElhinny claimed that the South Korean manufacturer faced a “crisis of design” after the launch of the original iPhone in June 2007, and that its executives illegally cashed in on the success of the device.
The Galaxy line of smartphones made by Samsung have been the biggest rivals of the Cupertino company’s products. The Galaxy S and Galaxy S II in addition to the Galaxy Tab 10 were deemed to be directly modeled after the iPhone and iPad in a very blatant manner. The South Korean manufacturer countered by claiming its competitor didn’t invent the design of a rectangle with rounded edges.
The settlement amount in the judgment has forced the Korean company to think fast on its feet. As eight smartphones are slated to be banned across the United States market, a spokesperson has stated to the Wall Street Journal on Tuesday, August 28, 2012that the company plans to modify devices so that they can continue to sell them.
The Seoul tech giant had also filed a suit against the American manufacturer, but the jury determined that there was no trademark or copyright infringement there. Although the Cupertino, California company did not win every claim it made, it still walked out a big
winner. It remains to be seen how this will affect the tech world and competition in the market.Add a comment Add a comment
Brain Hacking - Another Unintended Consequence of Technology?
Game developers came up with headsets to use with playing video games on computers for "hand-free gaming" - really cool, right? I mean, talk about sci-fi becoming reality! I remember "Firefox" a 1982 movie with Clint Eastwood, where he played a pilot who stole a super-secret Soviet plane that fired weapons using mind control by the pilot - in other words, all he had to do was to think a command, and the plane responded, firing the aforementioned weapon. Way out there, right? Well not so fast, Bippy - remember the pearl of wisdom from Napoleon Hill - "What the mind of Man can conceive, and believe, it can achieve" (probably not meant in this scenario, but it seems to fit). Leave it up to Video Game developers to come up with something to require even less physical activity, and we have "hands-free gaming" just think your commands using a headset which "reads" your thoughts, and BAM! you're annihilating your competitor with your MIND!
OK on the serious note, researchers from Oxford, Berkeley and Geneva produced "On the Feasibility of Side-Channel Attacks with Brain-Computer Interfaces" - (seriously, that is the title!), which found that subjects could reveal personal information, including PIN numbers, addresses, known people, all through spikes in brain activity when the subject recognized something familiar from a test group of data. Admittedly, this is still kind of sketchy, with about a 40% accuracy rate, but as the devices (headsets) improve their sensitivity and quality, higher results are expected.
According to the researchers, their motivation was to determine whether participants would inadvertently reveal private information while wearing one of these devices for another purpose, say, playing video games. During the testing, participants wore brain-wave reading devices and were shown a list of people, possible PIN numbers, and the likely location fo their home. Spikes in brain activity P300 (which activates when familiar information was recognized) occurred and the researchers were then able to guess the correct information contained within the lists shown to the participants. Preliminary results showed that the correct first PIN number was identified 20% of the time, their home's regional location 30%, their month of birth 60%, and their bank's ATM branch location 30%.
As the devices (headsets) and technology are improved, this raises the flood of applications and possibilities - consider this one - Law Enforcement Officers can use this technology in interrogation (same with the military) for various reasons, like identifying accomplices, collaborators, etc. as well as potential ambush sites - you get the idea. But, what if Facebook was now able to tell if you REALLY know that person to whom you are sending a "friend request" can you imagine that?
However, let's not forget the 800 pound gorilla in the room - the abject invasion of privacy of our MINDS! Will we inadvertently reveal our innermost secrets and private information, potentially harmful, by wearing one of these devices to play a video game?
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And they laughed about the idea of "tin foil hats" - maybe those folks were the ones really onto something way before its time - just sayin'!
Tell Me Again Why Capitalism is So Evil? Just Ask Apple, Why Doncha!
As reported today, Apple's Market cap of $623 BILLION makes it the largest US publicly traded corporation, surpassing the previous highest tally - $618.9 Billion, Microsoft, way back in 1999. OK, ok you purists, adjusted for inflation, Microsoft would be $850 - but remember that date I mentioned -1999? You might recall that was at at the height of the tech bubble!
Since 1999, Apple has gone on such a wild ride it would make your head spin! In 1999, Apple's market cap stood at about $9 billion, up from a paltry $2.3 billion just two years earlier, in 1997. To put Apple's run in perspective, what about some other billion$ companies from 1999 - how have they fared? Let's start with a few fairly well-known companies in that category - Cisco, AOL, Oracle, Sun Microsystems, Dell Computers, Nokia, Yahoo.
The rankings of these companies in 1999:
#1 - Microsoft - $618.9 billion market cap
#2 - Exxon - $267.02 billion
#3 - Cisco Systems - $350 billion
#9 - Nokia - approximately $200 billion
#12 - AOL - also around $200 billion
Sun and Oracle were both similar, Oracle around $137 billion, Sun a little less at $116 billion.
Yahoo was high on the totem pole at that point, #39, market cap about $100 billion.
Dell rolled in at # 30, market cap was $122 billion.
So much for thie historical base point - what about today, and why should Apple be the subject of an article like this? Did I mention Apple is now the highest valued publicly traded American corporation today? I thought so. While this is remarkable, whre do those others I mentioned above fall now?
Cisco's market cap is near $100 billion; Nokia's - $8 billion and falling; AOL - today is $3 billion, but in the interim they bought Time Warner for $162 billion, and this acquisition turned around and spun off AOL!
Oracle bought Sun for 7.4 billion; Yahoo today has a market cap of roughly $18 billion; Dell has lost $100 billion, current cap is $22 billion.
What has Apple done in the same time? Only increased their market cap $614 BILLION, that's what!
As I mentioned at the outset, none of these accomplismments are possible in anything other than a capitalist system. The OWS types can scream all they want about "fairness" and "social justice" and "equality", but excuse me, where would all those employees of these "evil corporations" be without the innovation, the at-risk initial captial investments, the vision to create an enterprise, and yes, the profits which fueled the expansion and the increases of numbers of employees, the benefits paid, the taxes paid, the infrastructure, the construction workers required to erect the facilities where these companies produced their products, the suppliers who provide the supporting casts of thousands of materials used to manufacture the end products - funny, but I don't see any socialist/communist/statist systems capable of such production - correct me if I'm wrong!
Wake up, America! The Occupy movement is intent upon bringing DOWN our system which has produced results such as these, and offer NOTHING with which to replace it except empty rhetoric and vague generalities couched in unproven and unrealistic pipe dreams created from smoke and mirrors. I'll take the reality scenario anytime! $623 billion worth of reality scenario!Add a comment Add a comment