Category: News


Tim Cook CEO Apple

How to measure a person’s power? In a world in which we have inexpensive tools to reach billions, it may seem that the globe truly is flat, and we’re all on an even playing field. But a few exemplary individuals manage to influence the way others live — either through their public personas, politics, or wealth — and affect cultural and social attitudes.

1. Tim Cook
CEO, Apple, 51

2. Ellen Degeneres
Spokesperson/Talk-Show Host/Producer, 54

3. Peter Thiel
Venture Capitalist/Hedge Fund Manager, 44

4. Ryan Murphy
Writer/Director/Producer, 46

5. Rachel Maddow
TV Host/Political Commentator, 39

6. Anderson Cooper
Journalist/News Anchor/Talk-Show Host, 44

7. Rich Ross
Former Chairman, The Walt Disney Studios, 49

8. Barry Diller
Chairman, IAC, 70

9. Shepard Smith
News Anchor, 48

10. Andy Cohen
TV Personality/Impresario, 44

11. Neil Patrick Harris
Actor, 38

12. Tammy Baldwin
U.S. Representative, Wisconsin, 50

David Cicilline
U.S. Representative, Rhode Island, 50

Jared Polis
U.S. Representative, Colorado, 36

13. Scott Rudin
Film and Theater Producer, 53

14. Marc Jacobs
Fashion Designer, 49

15. Harvey Levin
TV Producer/TMZ Founder, 61

16. Matt Drudge
Blogger, 45

17. Chris Hughes
Publisher and Editor-in-Chief, The New Republic, 28

18. Anthony Romero
Executive Director, ACLU, 46

19. David Geffen
Media Mogul, 69

20. Chad Griffin
Incoming President, HRC, 38

21. Barney Frank
U.S. Representative, Masschusetts, 72

22. Jann Wenner
Publishing Magnate, 66

23. Tim Gill
Software Pioneer/Philanthropist, 58

24. Christine Quinn
New York City Council Speaker, 45

25. Suze Orman
Financial adviser/Talk-show host, 60

26. Tom Ford
Fashion Designer/Film Director, 50

27. Ken Melhman
Businessman, 45

28. Andrew Sullivan
Journalist/Blogger, 48

29. Annise Parker
Mayor of Houston

30. Bryan Lourd & Kevin Huvane
Managing Partners, CAA, 52 & 53

31. Martha Nelson
Editorial Director, Time Inc., 59

32. Chuck Wolfe
CEO, The Victory Fund, 50

33. Mary Kay Henry
International President, SEIU, 53

34. Joe Solmonese
Political Consultant, 47

35. Jeremy Bernard
White House Social Secretary, 50

36. Nick Denton
CEO, Gawker Media, 45

37. Alan Ball
Screenwriter/Producer/Director, 54

38. Richard Berke
Assistant Managing Editor, The New York Times, 53

39. Perez Hilton
Blogger/TV personality, 34

40. Jess Cagle
Managing Editor, Entertainment Weekly, 46

Ariel Foxman
Managing Editor, InStyle, 38

Adam Moss
Editor-in-chief, New York, 54

41. Jenna Lyons
President and Executive Creative Director, J. Crew, 44

42. Adam Rose
CoPresident, Rose Associates, Inc., 52

43. Greg Berlanti
TV Producer/Writer, 39

44. Bryan Singer
Director/Producer, 46

45. Megan Smith
Google Executive

46. Simon Halls & Stephen Huvane
Founders, Slate PR, 48, 51

47. Jane Lynch
Actress

48. Dan Savage
Editor/Activist/TV Personality, 47

49. Robert Hanson
CEO, American Eagle Outfitters, 49

50. Evan Wolfson
Founder and President, Freedom to Marry, 55

51. Andre Banks
Cofounder, Executive Director, AllOut.org

52. Bryce Bennett
Montana State Representative

53. Widney Brown
Senior Director, Amnesty International

54. Chai Feldblum
Equal Employment Opportunity Commissioner

55. Bruce Harris
New Jersey Supreme Court Nominee

56. Victoria Kolakowski
California Superior Court Judge

57. Steven Kolb
Executive director, CFDA

58. Don Lemon
CNN News Anchor

59. Mark Leno
California State Senator

60. Jonathan Murray
Cofounder/Chairman, Bunim/Murray Productions

61. Beth Robinson
Vermont State Supreme Court Justice

62. Hilary Rosen
CNN Contributor, Democratic Strategist

63. Brad Sears
Executive Director, The Williams Institute

64. Andy Thayer
Cofounder, Gay Liberation Network

65. Michael Weinstein
President, AIDS Healthcare Foundation

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With the deluge of online dating sites out there it’s hard to know which — if any — is best equipped to help you find the right person. Some bank on users liking the same quirky date suggestions, while others rely on religion or a shared love of Apple products. And then there are those supposedly based on scientific algorithms, like eHarmony, which probably sounded pretty solid until a recent study suggested they’re not that scientific after all.

Benjamin Karney, a professor of social psychology at UCLA who helped conduct the study, which was published in February, has now told L.A. Weekly that online daters are getting flat-out duped, with “scientific” methods that are “basically adorable.”

“If you’re gonna make scientific claims, act like a scientist. Or don’t make scientific claims,” Karney said.

Karney argues that sites like eHarmony are all well and good at increasing the dating pool for single people, but that they’re misleading their customers by making claims that science is hard at work in finding them the right partner.

He told L.A. Weekly that eHarmony’s system is flawed because it relies on conclusions from married couples and a fundamental premise that similar people will be happy together in the long-term. But married couples often project similarities onto one another and adopt similar interests over time, so those are the results of a relationship rather than what inspires them in the first place.

According to a press release announcing the results of the study, online dating algorithms are also bunk because they try to determine long-term romantic compatibility between people before they even meet. But how a couple interacts and responds to stress together can’t be determined with the data they’re using– and those are the factors that really determine whether a relationship will succeed.

As if there weren’t already enough perils to online dating, like last week, when it was revealed that a guy was using an Excel spreadsheet to manage all of the women he was meeting on Match.com, and to evaluate their looks on a scale of 1 to 10.

 

The Internet Society in Geneva, Switzerland has announced its inaugural list of “Pioneers, Innovators and Global Connectors.”

While the roll call includes brilliant people who made vital contributions to the Internet that remain largely unknown to a public that takes daily advantage of their work (like the guy who put the “@” in e-mail addresses) some critics are raising questions about who was included — and excluded — from the list.

Criticism has ranged from whimsical to well-deserved.

An alternative Gizmodo list, posted in response to that of the ISHOF, pegs Napster co-founder Shawn Fanning and Christopher Poole (“moot”) of “lawless web bulletin board” and meme incubator 4chan as deserving inductees, while some Twitter users wondered why Google co-founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page were snubbed. AWired tweet announcing their coverage of the awards bemoaned the exclusion of Internet memes Dancing Baby and “Hampster.”

“The inductees were selected from those people who were nominated,” a spokesperson from the Internet Society told The Huffington Post in an e-mail.

The spokesperson would not indicate who is responsible for nominating individuals for consideration. The criteria for nomination outlined on the ISHOF website sayscandidates are judged by impact, influence, innovation and reach, and prescribes “no requirement for the period of time the nominee has worked in or contributed to the industry.”

Al Gore, long the butt of jokes stemming from a 1999 CNN interview in which he stated that he “took.. initiative in creating the Internet” while in Congress, is an inductee for “sponsoring legislation that funded the expansion of and greater public access to the Internet,” according to the Internet Society Hall of Fame website.

Craigslist founder Craig Newmark is an inductee for “[changing] the way people used classifieds [and] transforming it into a largely Internet-based industry,” according to the site.

Gore was inducted as a “Global Connector,” and Newmark is an “Innovator.”

 

Apple said Tuesday that soaring sales of its iPhone, especially in Asia, nearly doubled its profit in the company’s fiscal second quarter.

Apple said it sold 35.1 million iPhones in the quarter, an 88 percent increase from the period a year ago. It sold 11.8 million iPads, more than double the number it sold in the quarter last year.

For the quarter that ended March 31, the company reported net income of $11.62 billion, or $12.30 a share, compared with $5.99 billion, or $6.40 a share, in the period a year earlier.

Apple’s revenue was $39.19 billion, up from $24.67 billion a year ago.

Apple previously told Wall Street to expect earnings of $8.50 a share and revenue of $32.5 billion for the quarter. But as they do nearly every quarter, analysts viewed Apple’s official figures as low-ball estimates and came up with their own more bullish forecasts. On average, analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters expected Apple to report earnings of $10.06 a share and revenue of $36.81 billion for the quarter.

Investors in Apple had grown increasingly skittish about Apple’s performance in the weeks before the earnings report, sending its shares down from a high of $644 to $560.28 at the close of regular trading on Tuesday. Among their chief concerns were research data showing weak sales of the Macintosh computer and worries about whether iPhone sales could keep up their momentum.

But immediately after the results from Apple came out, its shares shot up nearly 7.5 percent in extended trading. Even after the jitters of the last several weeks, Apple’s shares are up 37 percent for the year and the company remains the world’s most highly valued company.

One fear had been a repeat of a pattern from last year, when Apple said it lost some sales of the iPhone because of a steady escalation of rumors about the release of a new model. Those rumors were accurate, as Apple showed when it announced the iPhone 4S in early October.

There is wide speculation that Apple will again introduce a new iPhone in the fall and that consumers might simply wait for its release so they can get the latest gadget. The iPhone has become an engine of Apple’s growth over the last two years , accounting for almost 40 percent of the company’s revenue during the quarter.

Apple, which has its headquarters in Cupertino, Calif., benefited strongly from international sales during the quarter, which accounted for 64 percent of total company revenue. Apple executives have repeatedly identified overseas markets as one of the company’s most promising growth opportunities. The iPhone 4S went on sale in China on Jan. 13, near the beginning of the last quarter.

Of all its overseas market, the company said revenue from the Asia-Pacific region grew the most, more than doubling to $10.15 billion. Sales in the region now account for more than a quarter of total Apple revenue, compared with 19 percent a year ago.

 

WASHINGTON (AP) – For computer users, a few mouse clicks could mean the difference between staying online and losing Internet connections this summer.

Unknown to most of them, their problem began when international hackers ran an online advertising scam to take control of infected computers around the world. In a highly unusual response, the FBI set up a safety net months ago using government computers to prevent Internet disruptions for those infected users. But that system is to be shut down.

The FBI is encouraging users to visit a website run by its security partner,http://www.dcwg.org , that will inform them whether they’re infected and explain how to fix the problem. After July 9, infected users won’t be able to connect to the Internet.

Most victims don’t even know their computers have been infected, although the malicious software probably has slowed their web surfing and disabled their antivirus software, making their machines more vulnerable to other problems.

Last November, the FBI and other authorities were preparing to take down a hacker ring that had been running an Internet ad scam on a massive network of infected computers.

“We started to realize that we might have a little bit of a problem on our hands because … if we just pulled the plug on their criminal infrastructure and threw everybody in jail, the victims of this were going to be without Internet service,” said Tom Grasso, an FBI supervisory special agent. “The average user would open up Internet Explorer and get ‘page not found’ and think the Internet is broken.”

On the night of the arrests, the agency brought in Paul Vixie, chairman and founder of Internet Systems Consortium, to install two Internet servers to take the place of the truckload of impounded rogue servers that infected computers were using. Federal officials planned to keep their servers online until March, giving everyone opportunity to clean their computers. But it wasn’t enough time. A federal judge in New York extended the deadline until July.

Now, said Grasso, “the full court press is on to get people to address this problem.” And it’s up to computer users to check their PCs.

This is what happened:

Hackers infected a network of probably more than 570,000 computers worldwide. They took advantage of vulnerabilities in the Microsoft Windows operating system to install malicious software on the victim computers. This turned off antivirus updates and changed the way the computers reconcile website addresses behind the scenes on the Internet’s domain name system.

The DNS system is a network of servers that translates a web address – such as http://www.ap.org – into the numerical addresses that computers use. Victim computers were reprogrammed to use rogue DNS servers owned by the attackers. This allowed the attackers to redirect computers to fraudulent versions of any website.

The hackers earned profits from advertisements that appeared on websites that victims were tricked into visiting. The scam netted the hackers at least $14 million, according to the FBI. It also made thousands of computers reliant on the rogue servers for their Internet browsing.

When the FBI and others arrested six Estonians last November, the agency replaced the rogue servers with Vixie’s clean ones. Installing and running the two substitute servers for eight months is costing the federal government about $87,000.

The number of victims is hard to pinpoint, but the FBI believes that on the day of the arrests, at least 568,000 unique Internet addresses were using the rogue servers. Five months later, FBI estimates that the number is down to at least 360,000. The U.S. has the most, about 85,000, federal authorities said. Other countries with more than 20,000 each include Italy, India, England and Germany. Smaller numbers are online in Spain, France, Canada, China and Mexico.

Vixie said most of the victims are probably individual home users, rather than corporations that have technology staffs who routinely check the computers.

FBI officials said they organized an unusual system to avoid any appearance of government intrusion into the Internet or private computers. And while this is the first time the FBI used it, it won’t be the last.

“This is the future of what we will be doing,” said Eric Strom, a unit chief in the FBI’s Cyber Division. “Until there is a change in legal system, both inside and outside the United States, to get up to speed with the cyber problem, we will have to go down these paths, trail-blazing if you will, on these types of investigations.”

Now, he said, every time the agency gets near the end of a cyber case, “we get to the point where we say, how are we going to do this, how are we going to clean the system” without creating a bigger mess than before.

___

Online:

To check and clean computers: http://www.dcwg.org

Android users got Instagram and like Oliver Twist, they also want Tweegram which is only available on the Apple App Store for now.

Good news is Android now has its own version called Textgram which also allows you to Create beautiful graffitis and share them with your friends on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and More. Not sure if it is run by Tweegram but it does the same job.

Its really Android World versus Apple World right now.

Download Here

NEW YORK — Google Inc. reported a 61 percent increase in its net income for the first three months of the year and announced plans to split its stock 2-for-1 to preserve its leadership’s control over the company in the long term.

The online search leader said Thursday that it wants to issue a new class of stock to shareholders, but the new shares won’t have any voting power. Under the plan, all current stockholders would get one share of the new Class C stock for each share they now own. This effectively splits Google’s stock price in half.

Google said the split is something investors have been asking for. In addition, employees given Google stock in the future will get the non-voting stock, allowing voting power to remain with existing shareholders. The same will hold true for stock-based acquisitions that Google makes.

In a letter, CEO Larry Page and fellow co-founder Sergey Brin that without change, senior leaders would eventually lose their voting power. That, they said, would undermine “our aspirations for Google over the very long term.”

Since it went public in 2004, Google’s founders have emphasized a need to insulate management from short-term pressures.

The new stock plan came as Google said that it earned $2.89 billion, or $8.75 per share, in the first quarter. That’s up from $1.8 billion, or $5.51 per share, a year earlier. Excluding one-time items, Google earned $10.08 per share, higher than the $9.66 that analysts polled by FactSet had expected.

Total revenue was $10.65 billion, up 24 percent from $8.58 billion.

After subtracting ad commissions, Google’s revenue totaled $8.14 billion in the latest quarter. Analysts were expecting revenue of $8.09 billion on this basis.

Google’s revenue was helped by a 39 percent increase in “paid clicks,” but the prices of its search-driven text ads continued to decline. The so-called “cost-per-click” for these ads declined 12 percent from the same time a year earlier.

Google’s report for the October-December quarter had been a disappointment, with earnings and revenue below analysts’ expectations. A drop in search ad prices also spooked investors, who sent the stock down 8 percent after the company issued its report in January. Thursday’s stronger results seemed to reassure investors that the prior report was something of an exception.

In a conference call with analysts, Page called the first quarter “very strong,” but acknowledged there’s more work to do.

“Google is a large company now so we’ll achieve more and do it faster if we approach life with the passion and the soul of a startup,” he said. “This (will) involve a lot of cleanup.”

Expenses rose 16 percent to $7.3 billion, and Google’s employee base grew 2 percent to 33,077 full-time workers.

Google did not say when the stock split will occur. It first needs shareholder approval in June, though that’s expected because Google’s senior leaders have most of the voting power.

When the split happens, the value of existing shares will be split into two, so half remains with the existing Class A shares and the remainder will be with the new Class C shares. Investors will have twice the number of shares than before, but the total value and voting power won’t change.

“It’s important to bear in mind that this proposal will only have an effect on governance over the very long term,” Page and Brin wrote in a letter to investors. “It’s just that since we know what we want to do, there’s no reason to delay the decision.”

Mountain View, Calif.-based Google’s stock climbed $3.09, or about 0.5 percent, to $654.10 in after-hours trading. The stock had closed up $15.05, or 2.4 percent, to $651.01.

Samsung Electronics Co., Apple’s biggest competitor in the market for iPad-sized tablet computers, is updating its line to include a feature that lets a tablet act as a universal remote control for an entertainment center.

The storage space on the new Galaxy Tab 2 will also be expandable with small memory cards.

The tablets will come in two sizes. The 7-inch version will cost $250 and goes on sale April 22. The 10-inch version will cost $400 and goes on sale May 13.

Apple Inc.’s competitors are experimenting with different tablet sizes and features as they try to come up with a way to challenge the iPad’s commanding lead in sales. Toshiba Corp. this week revealed a tablet with a 13-inch screen, essentially putting a laptop-sized screen in a tablet. The iPad has a screen that measures 9.7 inches diagonally.

IPads accounted for nearly 60 percent of the tablet computers sold last year, according to research firm IDC.

Apple’s closest competitor in the overall tablet market is Amazon.com Inc., but its Kindle Fire is half the size of the iPad and less than half the price, putting it in a somewhat different category. Of the manufacturers that make tablets in the same size range as the iPad, Samsung has the largest share.

The iPad doesn’t have expandable memory or the infrared diode that will let the Samsung’s models control a TV set or cable box. Instead, the chief new feature of Apple’s new iPad, released last month, is an ultra-high-resolution screen.

The updated Samsung models won’t have higher-resolution screens, even though analysts believe Samsung is one of the sources for the new iPad screen.

HBO announced on April 12 that it would be sharing the pilots for two of its newest original comedy series, “Girls” (starring Lena Dunham) and “Veep” (starring Julia Louis-Dreyfus), to all audiences — including non-subscribers — for free.

One day after the exclusive April 15 and April 22 HBO network premieres of “Girls” and “Veep,” respectively, these first episodes will be available for viewing on HBO.com, YouTube, DailyMotion, TV.com, and various Free On Demand platforms. In addition, viewers will be able to download the episode of “Veep” for free on iTunes.

Unfortunately, this offer will only last from April 16 through May 14 for “Girls” and from April 23 through May 21 for “Veep.” And, if you end up liking the shows after watching the first episodes, it looks like you’ll have to subscribe to HBO to continue viewing them.

While this move is sure to bring HBO some new subscribers (if the shows end up being good, that is), it’s likely YouTube will benefit in a similar way, as this offer is simply another incentive to users to view more than just funny videos of animals playing with tech gadgets, for instance.

Last month, Disney began offering free full-length episodes of some of its most popular shows on its YouTube channel, and YouTube even acquired its own live comedy show, “My Damn Channel Live.” More recently, YouTube scored a deal with Paramount, which will soon allow it to offer online rentals of close to 500 feature-length Paramount films.

Instagram

Facebook is buying Instagram, according to this post today from Mark Zuckerberg. The purchase price of $1 billion will be paid in cash and Facebook shares. From the blog post:

This is an important milestone for Facebook because it’s the first time we’ve ever acquired a product and company with so many users. We don’t plan on doing many more of these, if any at all. But providing the best photo sharing experience is one reason why so many people love Facebook and we knew it would be worth bringing these two companies together.

Instagram rocketed to 30 million iOS users in 18 months and was named iPhone app of the year in 2011. It is one of the best apps for taking and sharing photos from the iPhone. Its square images and assorted image filters let anyone make retro, techno and pretty pictures out of mundane shots of their kids, pets, food. Instagram’s Android version, released last week, got millions of downloads immediately. But $1 billion, if true, is still a crazy number. Instagram doesn’t make any money. Nor did it say it was focusing on revenue. It is still chasing big users. Kevin Systrom, Instagram’s CEO, wrote this to calm down his users in response to the deal. An excerpt:

It’s important to be clear that Instagram is not going away. We’ll be working with Facebook to evolve Instagram and build the network. We’ll continue to add new features to the product and find new ways to create a better mobile photos experience.

It’s not clear what the Facebook deal means for the Series B funding round that may have closed last week, led by Sequoia Capital, Thrive, Benchmark and Greylock at a reported $500 million valuation. But the fact that Facebook would pay 2x what the company was supposedly worth within a week’s time suggests this is a defensive move. Facebook has the money (almost $4 billion in cash on hand as of December 2011), and certainly isn’t desperate for more users, most if not all of whom are already on Facebook (which greatly influences the price-per-new-active-user Facebook is paying. See crude math below.)

Fred Wilson has said that Facebook is really about photos and this only underscores that. The mobile-social photo sector is still amorphously led but if anyone is harmed by this deal it is Yahoo. Facebook is really going after its Flickr property here, to put the nail further in Yahoo’s coffin. (To its discredit, Yahoo hasn’t done anything with Flickr lately). Zuckerberg is playing chess, making a defining move in how it stands in the photo space. It’s like what Google did with YouTube.

One problem this will solve for Instagram’s 30-something million users is that sharing an Instagram photo on Facebook from your phone pretty much sucks right now. Here comes the much needed integration: bigger photos, more detailed info about the filters, etc. Right now all you get when you post an Instagram photo on Facebook from your phone is a small link and a thumbnail image. A better integration will stimulate more sharing through Instagram.

But a $1 billion for 30 million users that pay nothing for the service? Sounds crazy but consider this: Instagram is getting bought for $33 per user. Facebook is supposedly trading with a market cap of close to $100 billion and has 850 million users, giving it a value of $117 per user. So it looks like a decent bit of funny-money arbitrage, using well-endowed Facebook shares to acquire users and solidify hold of a strategic asset at a lower valuation. We don’t yet know how much of the deal is in cash vs. stock, so this calculation could be less favorable sounding but it still makes sense with Facebook currency.

Here’s a video Forbes editor Michael Noer did with Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom for 30 Under 30 special.