Newswatch: Founders Want Skype Back From Ebay; Daily Facebook Makes You Dumber
Monday 8am Silicon Valley news report:
Selling Skype would solve a number of problems for eBay, including generating cash for its United States operations. EBay had $3.19 billion in cash at the end of last year, but $2.8 billion of that money is overseas and would be subject to repatriation taxes if the company were to invest it in its ailing United States e-commerce marketplace, according to analysts.
...researchers at Ohio State University have delved deep into the habit that is Facebook and concluded that those who express their membership regularly do worse in school tests. In fact, they say, the majority of those who Facebook daily do worse by as much as one whole grade.
In some ways the environment is right for these start-ups. In the last several years, neighborhood blogs have sprouted across the country, providing the sites with free, ready-made content they can link to. And new tools, like advanced search techniques and cellphones with GPS capability, help the sites figure out which articles to show to which readers in which neighborhoods.
After years of building large, graphics-intensive blockbusters that come out every few years, developers are starting to make shorter, less expensive games that are released in more frequent installments. They're also making iPhone versions of major franchises that tie into the version for the console or computer.
Brooklyn resident Michael "Mikeyy" Mooney, 17, told CNET News in an interview that he created the worm "out of boredom."
More than 700 people signed up for the group encouraging Wall - a local standout and the nation's No. 1 basketball recruit - to pick the Wolfpack by national signing day next week.
But the NCAA says such sites, and dozens more like them wooing Wall and other top recruits, violate its rules. More than just cheerleading boards, the NCAA says the sites are an attempt to influence the college choice of a recruit.
Just over half the companies founded in Silicon Valley from the mid-1990s to the mid-2000s had founders born abroad, according to Vivek Wadhwa, an immigration scholar working at Duke and Harvard.
The discussions are in early stages and may not lead to any agreement, the person said. They have centered on ways for the companies to pool their advertising efforts, including a possible partnership under which Microsoft would sell search ads for Yahoo, and Yahoo, in turn, would sell display ads on Microsoft properties, this person said.
EBay has won conditional approval from South Korea's antitrust watchdog on the Gmarket deal. When combined, Gmarket and Internet Auction would have 87 percent of the country's online customer-to-customer market.
Apple expects to have Jobs back in the office sometime in June, but that's a tentative date that must be cleared by his doctors. In January, Jobs temporarily stepped aside to deal with a hormone imbalance that made him noticeably slimmer and weaker, other executives and journalists said at the time. Shortly after, he said the condition was worse than previously thought, and would leave the company for six months.
The overall search market grew 16.7 percent to 9.5 billion searches from March 2008 to March 2009. Google's share of that grew 27.6 percent to 6.1 billion, Nielsen said Friday.
The companies that make up the semiconductor industry — the designers and manufacturers of the micro devices that powered the computing revolution, along with the makers of the specialized machinery used to transform silicon into integrated circuits — have provided the backbone of the Silicon Valley economy for decades, which makes their decline especially unsettling.
Congress tripled the tax credit for energy-efficiency home improvements when it passed the latest stimulus plan. The tax credit now covers up to 30 percent of the cost of products installed this year and next.
Fowler also spoke of some of the differences between Sun offerings on AMD and Intel platforms. He began by saying that a recent Intel Nehalem server chip announcement covers only two-socket (a socket accommodates one processor) servers and that Intel's product is an "entry level" product. "It's a solid product but it really applies to the volume entry-level systems in the world today," he said.
The withdrawal comes 14 months after Current, the parent of Current TV, filed for a $100 million IPO that would have funded the company's expansion and opened the door to a potential windfall for Gore and his partner, CEO Joel Hyatt.
The Mercury News' annual survey of Silicon Valley's top 150 companies, published in the Sunday Business section, found that most have been battered by the downturn and that sales and profits plunged precipitously in the fourth quarter last year. But among those hardest hit were those with the most extensive foreign operations.