Alibaba Sets World IPO Record After its First Day of Trading

While Apple had a big weekend selling more than 10 million new iPhones, it wasn’t the only tech giant breaking records. Chinese e-commerce company Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. closed its first day of trading on Friday at $93.89 per share, a 38 percent increase from its IPO price, and the biggest first-day jump for an IPO of at least $10 billion. The IPO became the largest ever at $25 billion, after underwriters exercised a greenshoe option to increase the deal size by 15 percent based on strong demand. Continue reading Alibaba Sets World IPO Record After its First Day of Trading

Facebook’s TODO Project Aims to Steer Open Source Software

Facebook has launched the TODO project (“Talk Openly, Develop Openly”) to help streamline the process of executing open source software projects, a major concern in a new era of cloud and mobile computing. Since Monday’s announcement, more than 30 companies have joined the initiative including Google, GitHub, Dropbox and Twitter. The TODO project plans to streamline the process of releasing and updating software, as well as develop a common set of tools for these programs. Continue reading Facebook’s TODO Project Aims to Steer Open Source Software

Sprint Introduces $12 Wireless Plan for Use of Specific Apps

Sprint is in the process of introducing Virgin Mobile Custom, a cheaper wireless plan that allows users to access only specific websites. For $12, subscribers can choose between sole access to either Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Pinterest. For $22, users can have unlimited use of all four. For an extra $5, subscribers can have access to a music app with unlimited streaming. The program is expected to help customers that have less money afford wireless Internet access.

Continue reading Sprint Introduces $12 Wireless Plan for Use of Specific Apps

Google’s Skybox Purchase is About More Than Satellite Images

By 2016, Skybox Imaging will use six satellites to capture daily images of the Earth. By 2018, the company plans to launch 24 satellites, imaging the entire planet with exceptional resolution. Google’s acquisition of Skybox for $500 million will allow the Internet company to use these satellites to provide faster online access to high-quality images. The deal, in the long run, is also expected to improve Internet access and assist with disaster relief. It could also collect new levels of information on people and companies. Continue reading Google’s Skybox Purchase is About More Than Satellite Images

Study: Younger Consumers Interested in Branchless Banking

A new study from Accenture found that as our finances move to new digital platforms, younger generations place more trust in Internet and retail brands than they do with traditional banks. The study found that individuals between the ages of 18 and 34 would consider doing their banking entirely online while also getting their financial services from non-traditional providers. Topping the list, 46 percent of respondents in this age group said they would be likely to bank with PayPal. Continue reading Study: Younger Consumers Interested in Branchless Banking

Major Retailers Continue to Downsize Due To Poor Earnings

Major retailers continue to downsize as a result of poor earnings, which could lead to the elimination of thousands of store locations. Most experts agree that much of the problems experienced by retailers can be attributed to Amazon’s success, with annual sales approaching $100 billion. Best Buy, Office Depot, RadioShack, Sears and Staples are among the major companies that have already announced the planned closing of multiple locations.  Continue reading Major Retailers Continue to Downsize Due To Poor Earnings

Redbox Refocuses as Sales and Streaming Service Stagnate

Redbox, the nation’s largest DVD renter, is uninstalling more than 500 kiosks, renegotiating contracts with studios for more favorable content rights, and optimizing its streaming service, Redbox Instant. These changes come as the company faces several challenges: revenue rose only three percent last year after double-digit increases in past years, good locations for kiosks are dwindling, and Redbox Instant only accounts for less than 1 percent of video-on-demand rentals. Continue reading Redbox Refocuses as Sales and Streaming Service Stagnate

Publicis Groupe and Facebook Announce New Ad Partnership

Facebook and Publicis Groupe, the advertising holding company with clients such as Procter & Gamble, Verizon and Coca-Cola, have struck an advertising deal reportedly worth “hundreds of millions of dollars.” The partnership will give Publicis increased access to Facebook’s user data, ad inventory, and opportunities to advertise on Instagram and to utilize video ads. The deal is the largest to-date between an agency holding company and a tech company. Continue reading Publicis Groupe and Facebook Announce New Ad Partnership

VUDU Allows UltraViolet Users to Share Movies with Friends

Walmart announced that its VUDU media delivery service will introduce a new feature that allows customers to share content from their UltraViolet collections. The “Share My Movies” feature will enable users to share movies and TV shows with up to five friends or family members by simply entering their email addresses (they also need to be VUDU customers). The company hopes that the ability to share libraries will encourage more consumers to sign up for the service. Continue reading VUDU Allows UltraViolet Users to Share Movies with Friends

Walmart Beefing Up its E-Commerce Efforts to Catch Amazon

Walmart has surpassed online retail giant Amazon in sales growth for the first time in a decade. Global online sales for Walmart rose by 30 percent in 2013 to $10 billion, while Amazon experienced 20 percent sales growth. However, Amazon’s $67.8 billion in online sales are more than six times Walmart’s sales, and Amazon sold more last year than its next 10 largest competitors. To better compete with Amazon, Walmart is investing significantly in e-commerce. Continue reading Walmart Beefing Up its E-Commerce Efforts to Catch Amazon

Retail Giant Walmart to Offer Store Credit for Used Video Games

Starting next week, the country’s largest retailer Walmart will allow customers to trade in used video games for store credit to spend on other products in more than 3,100 Walmart stores nationwide. The plan is an expansion of Walmart’s program that provides customers with credit for used tablets and smartphones that can be used toward new devices. The plan also represents a potential threat to game retailer GameStop, the biggest seller of used games in the U.S. Continue reading Retail Giant Walmart to Offer Store Credit for Used Video Games

The Amazon Effect: RadioShack and Staples to Close Stores

RadioShack’s shares fell by 24 percent after holiday sales came in dramatically under expectations. The company has now announced that it will shutter 1,100 stores, leaving 4,000 brick-and-mortar locations in the U.S. Meanwhile, Staples announced that it would close 225 stores by next year, as the office supply superstore continues to move its business online, which already accounts for half of its total sales. Can physical retail stores survive in an Amazon-dominated world? Continue reading The Amazon Effect: RadioShack and Staples to Close Stores

Google Tests Same-Day Delivery Service in Southern California

Google is expanding the test of its Google Shopping Express same-day delivery service by including company employees in the Santa Monica area. The test, which joins other similar programs such as eBay Now, Walmart to Go, and AmazonFresh, is an expansion of the pilot program it launched in the Bay Area last spring. Claiming it has received “great feedback” from shoppers and retailers in the San Francisco, Google has plans to eventually extend the service to the public. Continue reading Google Tests Same-Day Delivery Service in Southern California

New Domain Names: Get Ready for the Dot-Everything Boom

Around 1,000 new domain names are about to be added to the Internet, and as a result, on February 4th, anyone will be able to scoop up new Web addresses using these domains. The common standard domain names are the .com, .org and .net suffixes. But the number of generic top-level domain names (or gTLDs) will soon expand to include names like .coffee, .soy, .dot and .lol, among many others. This major shift could resemble the online real estate market of the dot-com boom era. Continue reading New Domain Names: Get Ready for the Dot-Everything Boom

Wearables Waiting For a Killer App to Take Them Mainstream

Considering a mere five percent of U.S. consumers wear activity trackers, will wearables ever cross-over to the mainstream? Even the experts in this field have trouble agreeing. Steven Pierce, of IBM’s global business development, said we’ll have ten devices on our bodies very soon. “Wearables will be the key source of information in five years,” he said, listing implantables and injectables as future wearables. But Sonny Vu, founder of Misfit Wearables, disagreed. “Five years isn’t that far away,” he said. “I don’t think science will advance that fast.” Continue reading Wearables Waiting For a Killer App to Take Them Mainstream

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