Is MySpace dumping Tom?

Duncan Geere Web 2.0 Leave a Comment

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Tech industry website TechCrunch reckons that the founders of MySpace might soon be scanning the jobs pages, as owner News Corp’s CEO of Digital Media, Jonathan Miller, is looking to replace the CEO, CTO and President of the service.

It’s claimed that a decision has already been made to terminate co-founder Chris DeWolfe, the current CEO of the service. Apparently the senior executive team will soon follow, which includes Tom Anderson (President and default friend for any new signups on the site) and Aber Whitcomb (CTO).

What this means for the site is still unclear, though it’s been struggling to compete with upstarts Facebook and Twitter and only really holds ground in the music sphere. Apparently a new CEO has already been recruited and is in the final stages of contract negotiations. Whether he or she will be able to reverse MySpace’s terminal decline remains to be seen.

(via TechCrunch)

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Spotify confirms mobile ambitions, and outlines roadmap

Duncan Geere Digital Music Leave a Comment

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PaidContent UK has a great interview with Daniel Ek, the CEO of the so-good-it-makes-us-weep music streaming service Spotify. It’s very wide-ranging, but the most interesting bits cover Spotify’s plans for the future.

Ek discusses whether Spotify is viable as ad-funded alone – saying: “We launched probably at the worst possible time in 70 years for advertising.” He points out, though, that the service has A-list brands involved and average listening times per user are “over an hour per user per day”.

The other option is funding the service by pushing the site’s premium offering. Although Ek acknowledges that the vast majority of users aren’t paying, he says: “Rest assured, we haven’t really started doing the kind of features that we think will really drive adoption of becoming a paid user.”

What might those features be? Ek discusses user-created radio stations, exclusive interviews and cross-platform interoperability. On that last note, he’s talking about mobile service – the area where Spotify could finally drop the axe on the iPod.

But, like Apple, he wants to do it right: “The success of Spotify is based on its simplicity – we won’t do another mobile thing where it works (only) so-so – we’re going to do it where it’s simple, easy and just works.” He also promises plenty of upgrades for the desktop client in the meantime.

There’s more discussion of Spotify’s plans for launching in the States and Ek’s take on the Pirate Bay court case in the interview – go check it out. Then come back here and let us know in the comments what features would make you pay for a Premium subscription.

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Google CEO calls Twitter a "Poor Man's Email System"

Duncan Geere Twitter, Web 2.0 1 Comment

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When Google CEO Eric Schmidt was asked what he thought of Twitter, at a technology conference hosted by Morgan Stanley yesterday, he came out with the following gem: “Speaking as a computer scientist, I view all of these as sort of poor man’s email systems”.

Ouch. Now that’s the sound of a man hurting. Hurting because his company didn’t see the microblogging revolution coming? Hurting because they did, and backed the wrong horse – buying up Jaiku rather than Twitter? Maybe he’s just hurting because people are hacking Google to display Twitter results.

He went on:

“In other words, they have aspects of an email system, but they don’t have a full offering. To me, the question about companies like Twitter is: Do they fundamentally evolve as sort of a note phenomenon, or do they fundamentally evolve to have storage, revocation, identity, and all the other aspects that traditional email systems have? Or do email systems themselves broaden what they do to take on some of that characteristic?”

“I think the innovation is great. In Google’s case, we have a very successful instant messaging product, and that’s what most people end up using. Twitter’s success is wonderful, and I think it shows you that there are many, many new ways to reach and communicate, especially if you are willing to do so publicly.”

He also gave a quick mention of Google’s new Twitter account, but got a little confused by the character limit, claiming @google is somewhere to “go ahead and listen to our ruminations as to where we are and what we’re doing in 160 characters or less”. Actually Eric, it’s 140.

(via Business Insider)

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Steve Jobs steps down… for a bit

Duncan Geere Computers, Health 1 Comment

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Whether or not you think that Apple’s celebrity CEO Steve Jobs’ health should be a matter of public concern, the company’s stock price seems to be intrinsically linked to his heart rate. That’s why Apple stock took a dive of about 10% in 14 minutes last night, following the disclosure that Jobs will be stepping down as CEO for medical reasons until June. Tim Cook will be taking on Apple’s day-to-day running in the meantime.

I’m on the fence about this one. On the one hand, it’s ridiculous to think that Apple’s fortunes are the sole result of one man, and his absence will tumble the company into ruin. On the other hand, though, Jobs rules the company with an iron fist, and his absence will leave a big hole in the company’s management. It’s going to be an interesting six months, that’s for sure.

Apple Media Advisory (via Silicon Alley Insider)

Related posts: Ten gadgets to keep Steve Jobs alive and well for another 30 years | Steve Jobs to give Macworld a miss in 2009 – and forever after too

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Yahoo CEO Jerry Yang steps down

Duncan Geere Internet, Websites Leave a Comment

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Following intense pressure from shareholders, the board, and every technology blogger in the world, Yahoo CEO Jerry Yang has decided to step down from his post at the top of the ailing internet giant. It’s a shame, as the moves that he’s been pushing over the last couple of years show a lot of a promise in terms of getting the company back on its feet.

Unfortunately, however, once Google withdrew its advertising deal in fear of regulatory hell, Yahoo! was left high and dry, pleading with Microsoft to buy it at a price way below the price point that Microsoft were offering and Yahoo! rejected earlier in the year. Most people pinned the blame for that failure to secure financial security for the company on Yang.

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3 blasts other mobile networks: "The industry has completely and utterly lost touch"

Duncan Geere Mobile phones 5 Comments

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At a regulatory round table event this morning, 3 CEO, Kevin Russell, fumed at other UK mobile carriers, accusing them of “scaring consumers senseless” over roaming charges, and calling the current UK regulatory environment “farcical”, “a fundamental failure” and absurd”.

3, which has less than 10% of the market in the UK, has struggled over recent years to compete with the big boys – O2, Vodafone, Orange and T-Mobile. Kevin Russell, however, who joined the company in January last year, is tasked with changing the status quo. To say that he’s upset about the currently regulatory climate would be an understatement…

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Daily Tech Hotlinks for 19-June-2007: Wi-Fi, Broadband, Yahoo, EA, Vodafone

Katherine Hannaford Daily Tech Hotlinks

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– A Venezuelan tech-god puts the rest of us to shame by setting a new record for the longest Wi-Fi link, of 237 miles.
– John Howard, the embarassing Aussie Prime Minister has announced a US$1.68 billion initiative to bring broadband to 99% of the population by 2009. Now, to get at least 80% of the population to buy computers and actually start using electricity…
– Yahoo’s Terry Semel…

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