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Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg to Meet With Obama Today

President Obama is scheduled to meet with the titans of Silicon Valley today, including Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, Google's Eric Schmidt and, perhaps most surprisingly, Apple CEO Steve Jobs. Obama, who has been trying to build a healthier relationship with the business community, will reportedly meet with technological leaders at a private residence in San Francisco. "The president and...

Facebook Reluctant to Discuss Its Role in Middle East Protests

Just about everyone not named Malcolm Gladwell can agree that Facebook played a pretty integral role in recent protests across the Middle East. The company, however, doesn't seem very interested in talking about it. According to the New York Times, Facebook's silence has more to do with business than sheer modesty. Although many have praised the social network as a critical mechanism of...

Amazon Continues to Rake in the Cash, Selling More E-Books than Paperbacks

Amazon's empire is continuing to grow, with the company reporting an increase in profits of eight-percent in the fourth quarter of 2010. That growth was a little slower than expected, but the really big news from Amazon's quarterly financial report is the fact that sales of Kindle e-books have surpassed that of paperbacks. It was only in July sales of e-books passed that of hardcovers -- making it...

Living Social/Amazon Deal Draws 1.3 Million Users (and $13 Million) in One Day

Groupon competitor Living Social made a splash yesterday when it offered a $20 Amazon gift card for $10 as its daily deal. According to Media Bistro, the site lured in over 1.3 million purchasers, bringing the site to an absolute crawl as they snatched up the deal. According to Business Insider, then, the venture made over $13 million in gross revenue for the day....

The NBC-Comcast 'Media Goliath' Merger Stirs Debate

On Tuesday, the FCC and the Department of Justice finally approved a major merger between Comcast and NBC, after more than a year of debate and what federal regulators called the most acute scrutiny a media merger had ever faced. The deal gives Comcast control over NBC Universal's TV and movie subsidiaries, in exchange for about $13.75 billion in cash and assets. Comcast will own 51-percent of...

Shocker: Consumers Prefer DVD Rental Kiosks to Their Local Video Stores

It's no secret, or surprise, that subscription-based DVD rental services like Netflix are eating up the market share of retail outlets like Blockbuster. In the third quarter of 2010, subscription plans accounted for 41-percent of DVD rentals, while in-store transactions only accounted for 27-percent. What is slightly shocking is that, according to NPD, rental kiosks (like Redbox) outperformed...

PC Sales Lower Than Expected in 2010

According to market research firms Gartner, Inc. and IDC, 2010 was not a great year for PC sales. Well, perhaps that's an oversimplification. PC sales in the fourth quarter of 2010 rose, but not nearly as much as the research firms had expected. Shipments of PCs have risen steadily over the years, as prices have come down and access to computers has become all but required for everything from...

Web Service Called 'Hipster' Has Hipsters Scratching Beards in Confusion

As the notion of the "hipster" has pretty well crossed the threshold into banality, TechCrunch has a pressing question to ask: is this new Web service 'Hipster' cool or not?! While nobody's entirely certain of what Hipster does yet (as the company is just trying to collect e-mail addresses from interested early adopters), folks are certain that, if the name 'Hipster' is meant ironically, it's...

50 Cent Boosts Penny Stock 290-Percent Using Twitter

Curtis Jackson, better known as 50 Cent, made himself a cool $8.7 million on Monday, thanks to his widely followed Twitter account. The rapper started plugging H&H Imports, of whose dirt-cheap stock Jackson owned 30 million shares. At the opening of Monday's trading day, H&H was valued at $0.10 a share, and, by the time the closing bell rang, the price had climbed to $0.39, or an increase...

$500 Million Deal Could Ensure Facebook Financial Transparency (And Public Options)

Due to Facebook's astronomical ascent over the last several years, demands for the site to open its fiercely protected financial records have intensified. According to CNET, those calls may soon be heeded. Goldman Sachs, which just dropped $500 million in the Facebook coffers, has apparently been privately offering sweet Facebook stock deals to its "deep-pocketed clients." If more than 500...

China Declares Skype Illegal

After having already banned Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, the Chinese government has now decided to outlaw Skype, as well. The move, announced in the People's Daily, means that all Internet phone services will now be considered illegal within the country, except for those offered by two state-operated telecom companies -- China Unicom and China Telecom. In 2007, Skype launched a joint venture...

All Those Free Trial CDs Cost AOL Around $300 Million

In the mid-'90s, we remember being befuddled whenever we'd open the Sunday paper to find a CD emblazoned with the AOL logo. Were these people made of money? Were they really giving away compact discs?! As it turns out, yeah, pretty much. According to various former executives, AOL spent something in the neighborhood of $300 million to ship all of those discs....

Consumers Skipping on 3-D and Web-Connected TVs

During this holiday season, electronics manufacturers and retailers were counting on new tech like 3-D and Internet connectivity to help push TV sales, but it looks as though consumers have little interest in the latest gimmicks. According to Reuters, Best Buy chief exec Brian Dunn told analysts on Tuesday that 3-D TV sales were not living up to industry expectations. He blamed consumer confusion...

Microsoft Kinect Outpacing iPad in Sales (and Injuries)

The Xbox 360's Kinect motion-control system provoked comical moments of ungainly, destructive gaming immediately upon its release. Thankfully (for those with a predilection for schadenfreude), that oafish hilarity has continued at an almost exponential rate. Well, Microsoft just revealed a significant reason for the abundance of Kinect casualties, and it relates to the Kinect's market success. ...

Report: Google Pays Engineer $3.5 Million to Turn Down Facebook Offer

We hate to put stock in all those dystopic conspiracy theories, but it sure seems like a privatized war is erupting on our nation's West Coast. The feud between Google and Facebook has been intensifying of late, and it seems that Google is now fearing that its troops may desert Mountain View for Palo Alto. The Big G has reportedly offered one senior engineer a cool $3.5 million to stay aboard...