Business/Finance

Motorola prepares to hail new Google overlords

Meet the new boss, Motorola employees: Google reportedly plans to name Dennis Woodside, a veteran Google sales executive overseeing the merger, as the new CEO, replacing current Motorola CEO Sanjay Jha.

How to cut 70 percent of your IT budget in one year

Precise’s Zohar Gilad explains how his company shaved more than $2 million from its annual IT budget by migrating its IT infrastructure and applications to the cloud.

Data killed the HiPPO star

As the former CEO of OpenTable, Jeff Jordan can attest that most CEOs believe they intuitively know which product developments will make the biggest impact. In this article, Jordan makes a compelling case for letting data — and not the CEO — drive product development.

Apple said to cut iAd pricing once again

Apple has once again cut prices on its iAd system for rich in-app advertising on iOS applications, as ad buyers continue to balk at the up-front cost of participating in Apple’s vision of how mobile advertising should work.

Netvibes acquired by Dassault Systèmes for $26M

Netvibes, the San Francisco–based startup that allows people and brands to create personalized RSS feed dashboards, announced on Wednesday evening it has been acquired by French enterprise software firm Systèmes. Financial terms of the deal are not being disclosed.

Analyst: China could bring 57M iPhone bump by 2013

Apple’s iPhone was a hot seller in the company’s first fiscal quarter of 2012, but that’s nothing compared to what one analyst predicts we could see in just a couple of years’ time. Morgan Stanley thinks Apple’s efforts in China could pay big dividends by 2013.

The continued decline of DSL

From 1990s through 2011, DSL, a broadband technology, had a strong run at large phone companies in America. Now it is falling behind cable broadband and fiber. The latest data from Verizon, AT&T and Time Warner Cable points to its declining fortunes.

Apple shareholders are going long [Infographic]

Apple reported impressive financial results on Tuesday, setting new records in its quarterly revenue and profit. Now, data from online portfolio manager SigFig indicates that the old Wall Street adage of “buy on the rumor, sell on the news” did not hold true in this case.

Apple pulls just ahead of Google in U.S. smartphones

Apple blew away observers and analysts on Tuesday with record earnings that included 37 million iPhone sold, which helps explain why research firm Kantar Worldpanel ComTech said Wednesday that Apple’s U.S. smartphone market share now exceeds that of Android devices.

Gadget warranty provider SquareTrade lands $238M from Bain Capital

SquareTrade, a San Francisco-based company that provides warranties for gadgets like the iPhone, landed a $238 million investment from Bain Capital. The new investment is being made jointly by Bain’s private equity and venture capital affiliates. Further financial details about the deal have not been disclosed.

Formspring doubles down on mobile to fight unique user dip

Social Q&A site Formspring has experienced a dip in monthly unique visitors, as the two-year-old startup transitions out of the role of hot newcomer. The company is looking to aggressive mobile web and app development and an updated design to get the growth back on track.

LuxeYard puts a social spin on high-end flash sales

LuxeYard, a site selling high-end home decor products, is launching Tuesday. Yes, it’s technically another flash sales site. But what’s interesting about LuxeYard is that it’s doing things a bit differently from the established players in the space such as One Kings Lane and Gilt Groupe.

VC funding to web startups hits decade-long high in 2011

If you thought 2011 seemed like a big year for web startup funding, you were absolutely right. According to the latest MoneyTree report from PricewaterhouseCoopers and the National Venture Capital Association, 2011 saw the highest level of VC investment in Internet companies over the past decade.

Is iTunes the key to Apple’s paid app advantage?

Apple’s iOS mobile platform tends to sell more paid software than its rivals, and its biggest advantage might be a head start that Google, Microsoft or any other mobile competitor can’t do much to eliminate: iTunes. It’s also an advantage Apple likely isn’t done profiting by.

The next big thing for data centers: DC power

Although we live in an AC-dominated world, DC seems poised for a comeback, particularly in data centers. Facebook adopted a DC architecture in its Prineville, Ore., data center. SAP spent $128,000 retrofitting a datacenter at its offices in Palo Alto, Calif., to rely on DC power.

Hulu in ’11: $420MM revenue, 1.5M paying subscribers

Hulu made $420 million in 2011, and is expected to pay $500 million to rights holders this year alone. The service now has 1.5 million paying subscribers, and Hulu CEO Jason Kilar projects that Plus will account for more than half of Hulu’s revenue this year.

CES: T-Mobile intros 42 Mbps Samsung Galaxy S Blaze 4G

At CES, T-Mobile launched the Samsung Galaxy S Blaze 4G which can take full advantage of the operators HSPA+ 42 Mbps speeds. I sat down with T-Mobile CTO, Neville Ray, to discuss the operators 4G network of today as well as it’s plans for the future.

Affine Systems gets another $5M for semantic video ad software

Affine Systems, which makes software to scan and sort the content in online video, has raised nearly $5 million in a new funding round, according to a regulatory filing. Affine’s software gives advertisers the tools to analyze online video in a way that’s similar to television.

A Target expansion would broaden Apple’s halo effect

Apple could add considerably to its retail reach, if a new report out Friday is accurate. According to the report, Apple will bring store-within-a-store retail outlets to Target locations sometime soon, helping it reach markets in the U.S. that Apple’s own stores don’t cover.

With Picochip, Mindspeed buys big into a small market

Networking silicon vendor Mindspeed aims to become a big player in wireless infrastructure in a very small way. It is purchasing femtocell system-on-a-chip (SoC) maker Picochip for $51.8 million, creating what Mindspeed hopes will be a powerhouse in the so-far disappointing miniature base station market.

Oil giant BP backs CoolPlanet BioFuels

Oil giant BP has invested in biofuel startup CoolPlanet BioFuels, according to an announcement on Thursday. CoolPlanet BioFuels is the biofuel startup you have never heard of but that has unusually famous investors like GE, Google, NRG Energy and ConocoPhillips.

Chipmakers said to be bidding on Apple iTV contracts

Hot on the heels of a report about Apple’s iTV plans on Tuesday, there are fresh stories about its potential components and supplier partners out on Wednesday morning. DigiTimes cites new supply-chain sources saying that Apple is entertaining chipmaker bids for the iTV’s processor contracts.

A look back at mobile predictions for 2011

As 2011 comes to a close, I’m thinking ahead to what mobile technology trends I expect to see in 2012. While I formulate those thoughts for a post later this week, now is a good time to see how I did with my 2011 predictions.

Apple iOS holiday activations reach lofty heights

Apple’s iOS devices were popular gifts during the holiday weekend, as you might expect. According to a new study, there were 12.5 times more devices accessing games and apps using one major analytics platform than during previous weekends, in fact. Android fared almost as well, too.

Infographic: Holidays are hot for in-app mobile ads

We already knew that mobile advertisements perform better on larger screened devices and now there’s evidence of when the best time of the year is for a these ad spots in apps. If you guessed the year-end holiday season, you’d be right according to this infographic.

Trefis crafts search for info-starved investors

Does the world really need another search engine? Trefis says yes at least for do-it-yourself and even professional investors. For them, Trefis is launching a new search option that will return only pertinent, rich data about the companies they follow.

India’s Reliance backs nuclear startup TerraPower

Nuclear startup TerraPower, which is backed by Bill Gates, now has a massive Indian conglomerate on its side: Reliance Industries. According to Business Week, Reliance Industries, which owns oil, telecom and retail businesses, has invested a minority stake in TerraPower through one of its energy units.

Sprint leans heavily on Carrier IQ, while AT&T limits use

Though most U.S. operators use Carrier IQ’s handset monitoring software in some form, they’re not all using it to the same degrees. Sprint turns out to be Carrier IQ’s biggest fan, installing its software on half of all devices while AT&T uses it much more sparingly.

RIM paints a rosy fiscal picture, but challenges loom

Research in Motion announced its fiscal third quarter results on Thursday (PDF), showing quarterly growth in revenues and handset sales, but continued dismal tablet numbers. Even worse: the company is predicting lower handset sales next quarter, which make up nearly 80 percent of all revenues.

Daily Sprout

GM Viability Plan Includes Smart-like Car: General Motors’ long-term viability plan, put together as part of its bailout plea to Congress, includes introducing a small four-passenger vehicle with better fuel economy than the Smart ForTwo.