Facebook's First Shareholder Meeting Sees Mostly Stock
) held its first shareholders meeting since before its notorious
IPO, when the social network company became the first American
company ever to debut on the stock market with a value of over $100
billion. We all know what happened next: The company's stock price
declined 37% since its debut at $38. Investors used their time at
yesterday's shareholder meeting to let Mark Zuckerberg know that
they were not happy about that decline, and Zuckerberg acknowledged
it as a "theme" of the meeting.
Concerned shareholders also asked Zuckeberg about the threat of
) and rival photo-sharing sites, and of course, user privacy, after
last week's revelation of the NSA's PRISM program, which involves
major tech companies providing the government with user data. That
being said, the largest concern was still share price.
To address its floundering stock price, Facebook made a large push
toward producing effective mobile ads last year. Now, mobile ads
account for a total of 30% of the company's entire revenue. Even
so, revenue growth remains well below the level of two years ago,
before the company went public. That probably has less to do with a
botched IPO than heightened competition.
As for those competitors, Zuckerberg told the agitated
shareholders, "None of the trends that we see right now seem like
they should get in the way of our success in any meaningful way."
Moreover, he added that the number of comments and likes posted by
Facebook users "has gone up per person about 50%," signifying a
growth in engagement. What matters to the shareholders, however, is
if that growth in engagement can translate into a higher share
We Knew Cloud Computing Saved Energy, but Thanks to a New
Model, We Can Now Figure Out How Much
A new report by Berkeley Lab and funded by Google finds that
businesses can save significant energy by moving their software
into cloud computing. This finding is nothing new, as research into
cloud computing has shown for several years that it promotes energy
efficiency. The most exciting thing about Berkeley's work, however,
is a new, publicly available model that allows anyone to examine
and measure the energy required and carbon emissions of various
scenarios for cloud computing. IT specialists at companies across
the world can input data about their company, including data center
type, types of servers, and geographic location, and see how much
energy could be saved by putting business software like email and
spreadsheets into the cloud, instead of hosting their own servers.
Most often, the gains in efficiency that companies experience when
moving to cloud-based computing and storage come from not having to
run any servers because cloud data centers -- hosted by companies
Akamai Technologies, Inc.
(CRM) -- do it for them (and their servers are generally of higher
quality and are more efficient).
The model is called the
and Emissions Research Model
Xbox Executive's Advice for Those With No Internet
Connection: Stick With 360
The Xbox One, the new video game console from
(MSFT), is set to launch in November, and a lot has been said about
a divisive feature that requires the system to be connected to the
Internet at all times. In an interview with Spike TV yesterday at
E3, the video game industry's major trade show, Xbox Executive Don
Mattrick called the $499 console a "future-proof choice," claiming
that a system devised to be used only online allows for more
connections between games and users, between gamers and their
friends, and between games and related online content.
When asked how gamers without Internet access will be able to play
the new Xbox One, Mattrick answered, "Fortunately we have a product
for people who aren't able to get some form of connectivity. It's
called Xbox 360." The interviewer was somewhat shocked by the
brazen answer and asked if Microsoft's plan for offline users was
for them to use the older console, to which Mattrick replied,
"Well, if you have zero access to the Internet, that  is an
On top of the much debated constant connectivity issue, Xbox One
will also put limitations on used games. Every game will need to be
installed to the system's hard drive, and when the game had already
been installed to another system, there will be a fee required to
play the game (that fee has not yet been specified).
On the other hand,
(SNE) new PlayStation 4 will include neither forced connectivity
nor a limited on used games, and neither does
Nintendo Co, Ltd.'s
(OTCMKTS:NTDOY) current Wii U console -- that is, these systems
don't include these features
For all the uproar over Microsoft's approach to its new system, the
company may be blazing the way for next generation video games
business models, for better or for worse.
Occupy PlayStation Meets the Xbox One Percent
Audible Ends Service That Paid Authors $1 for Every
Launched in April 2012, Audible.com's "Audible Author Services"
program paid an author $1 for every audio book sold on either
audible.com, audible.co.uk, or
(AAPL). The program was backed by a $20 million fund. Now, the
Amazon-owned audio book company has announced that the program will
end as of June 30.
In an email to authors, Jason Ojalvo, the Vice President of Author
Services at Audible, wrote, "You will receive your final quarterly
$1 honoraria report and check for April 1 - June 30, 2013 in late
August. From the outset, the $1 honoraria was only slated to be a
one-year program to make you more aware of your audiobooks and
their place in your growing book portfolio, alongside print books
The letter goes on to urge authors to continue to market their
audiobooks through Audible, Amazon, and iTunes, and to make sure
all their books have been converted to audiobook, offering as a
primary resource acs.com, an Amazon platform where authors,
studios, and actors can all meet to make a book into an audiobook.
It is likely that ending this program will reintroduce some variety
and competition into the audiobook market.
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