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05 Mar 2012 11:04


Biz, Tech: The bloodshed begins: Yahoo will reportedly lay off thousands

  • 14,100 current Yahoo employees source
  • » Word is that a major restructuring is happening: New CEO Scott Thompson (no relation) reportedly plans to cut back heavily at the company, which analysts see as a key example of tech company excess, in an attempt to focus on the things the company does well. While the company has had some recent success (their Open Graph collaboration with Facebook has been a boon, for example), the company has not undeservedly built a reputation of acquiring other companies (for example, Delicious) and letting them languish under the corporate structure. It used to be mentioned in the same breath as Google, but now it’s more likely to be mentioned in the same breath as AOL. Would cuts bring Yahoo back to life?

01 Mar 2012 15:38


Biz: Zynga launches new website, insists they’re still down with Facebook

  • new move Online gaming company Zynga unveiled a new website today, independent of the Facebook template their games usually run off of. The site still requires you to log in with your Facebook info to play, however, and Zynga says they view the new site as “complimentary” to the social media platform.
  • the concern Any indication, however initially mild, that Zynga is moving towards their own platform could be a source of worry for Facebook. As we said at the time, one of the weaknesses they admitted to the SEC when filing for their IPO was that Zynga accounted for a whopping 12% of their total revenue last year. source

21 Feb 2012 14:49


Biz: Dow Jones Industrial Average reaches symbolic milestone

  • 13,000 points, the highest mark since 2008 source
  • » On May 20th, to be precise: The most successful private sectors early in 2012 have been finance and information technology, up nearly 13% when trading began today. The 13,000 figure is considered something of a benchmark for the Dow’s health, and while analysts are right to warn that the significance may be predominantly symbolic, the nature of investor confidence is such that a positive psychological message can itself be a big boon. The Dow crossed this threshold at a time when most attention was focused on Greece, which secured a second bailout from the Euro Zone as their fiscal crisis continued.

20 Feb 2012 11:07


Biz, U.S.: Mardi Gras worth a heckuva lot more than beads to New Orleans

  • $140 million one estimate as to how much economic impact Mardi Gras has on the New Orleans area each year
  • $500 million another estimate; “There’s no way to know for sure because we don’t sell tickets,” a historian says source
  • » A massive party with a massive impact: “There are a lot of municipalities all over the world that want to copy what we do here in New Orleans because it drives tourism,” claims Barry Kern, whose float-building studio is busy year-round getting designs ready for the event and other similar events elsewhere. And with good reason, too. While the party itself is free, the 100,000 people riding the floats each year can spend as much as $2,000 to $3,000 on costumes, throws and fees. Then when you throw in the thousands of others who spend money on parties, king cakes and other revelry, and the financial impact adds up fast each year.

18 Feb 2012 13:08


Biz, Tech: Mike D gets respect, opportunity to vote on AT&T’s net neutrality policy

  • They didn’t say anything about cash or jewelry, but the SEC did side with three AT&T investors — including the Beastie Boys’ Michael “Mike D” Diamond — who believed that shareholders should have a vote in the company’s net neutrality policy, because it has become part of the national debate. AT&T argued that the vote would “directly interfere with its network management practices”, but ultimately the SEC ruled that wireless providers must now allow for shareholder votes on net neutrality proposals. Should such proposals pass, providers would be required to “operate a neutral network with neutral routing along the company’s wireless infrastructure.” source

16 Feb 2012 18:39


Biz: Still think Detroit’s going bankrupt? Check out GM’s killer numbers

  • $4.7 billion General Motors’ posted earnings for the 2010 fiscal year
  • $7.6 billion General Motors’ posted earnings for the 2011 fiscal year source
  • » What a record to break! One year removed from bankruptcy, American automaker General Motors posted record-setting earnings for the 2011 fiscal year. In recent weeks/months many investors worried that GM’s overseas operations would drag down the company’s year-end totals. GM lost a total of $747 million in European markets, with $562 million of the losses occurring in the fourth quarter alone. In South America, where the company reported $818 million in earnings for 2010, GM reported a net loss of $122 million. However, not only did the company defy global expectations, GM managed to break its former $6.7 billion earnings record, set in 1996.

09 Feb 2012 11:12


Biz: Federal government, states agree to settle with mortgage industry

  • $26 billion “historic” settlement with the mortgage industry
  • $17B of that settlement is expected to help out more than 1 million homeowners — breaking that dow, that’s an average of $17,000 each
  • 50 states could sign on as part of the settlement, making it the largest multistate settlement since the big tobacco deal in 1998
  • $2,000 the amount some homeowners who already lost their homes to foreclosure could get as part of the long-planned settlement source
  • » But is all this enough? While some will say the settlement doesn’t go far enough in addressing the concerns homeowners have dealt with in the years since the housing bubble burst, officials suggest it could provide $40 billion in mortgage relief by reducing loan principals, which would make the dollars go further. Problem is, it’s estimated that homeowners collectively owe $700 billion more on their homes than they’re actually worth. So while the dollar number sounds high, it may only be a drop in the bucket comparatively.

07 Feb 2012 08:20


Biz: Empire buys Luna: Carpet companies with memorable jingles merge

  • Even if you have wood flooring, you know this song for carpet maker Empire Today — ESPECIALLY if you live in Chicago. “588-2300 EMPIRE today.” You may also be aware of their competitor, Luna, which has a jingle of its own involving its phone number. Now, Empire has acquired Luna, ensuring that a mega corporation with multiple jingles at its disposal will be able to shake some money out of you in exchange for carpet. The brands will continue to advertise separately. Might as well — they have two distinct phone numbers! source

03 Feb 2012 17:04


Biz: Mark Zuckerberg won’t enjoy his tax bill after Facebook goes public

  • $1.5 billion in taxes for the Zuck after Facebook’s IPO source
  • » Why? Zuck plans to sell some of his shares: Back in 2005, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg received a set of new stock options for his company. With said company looking to  go public, Zuckerberg will exercise those shares before the IPO, effectively buying them at the price they were worth back then, and sell them after the IPO, effectively setting himself up for a windfall of nearly $5 billion … and one of the largest tax bills in history. It’s not like he’s gonna be broke, though — in fact, he’ll still be worth $24 billion by the end of it, much of that invested in his company. So hard for him, gotta tell you guys.

03 Feb 2012 08:43


Biz: Jobs report: Economy knocks down unemployment expectations big time

  • 243,000 number of jobs added in January, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ monthly report
  • 8.3% the current unemployment rate, which is like, way lower than it’s been in a long time source
  • » Beating expectations handily: Many experts were expecting an increase in jobs, but not one this high. This is not to say we don’t have a long way to go, just that this is a very good number, especially for the time of year, when the assumption is that seasonal jobs are ending. Even better: The economy added 200,000 more jobs last year than first thought. Sounds to us like things are starting to look up. Read the full report here.