Archive for day September 23rd, 2011

Clearwire courting AT&T and Verizon in bid to raise cash for 4G LTE network

Clearwire is in discussions to sell sell some of its wireless network capacity to Verizon Wireless and AT&T, Bloomberg reported recently. “All those discussions are under way,” Clearwire CEO Erik Prusch told Bloomberg. “I’m confident we’ll bring in new wholesale partners. Our message to the industry is that we’ve got the capacity to handle their needs.” However, it is more likely Clearwire is approaching the carriers in an effort to raise cash for its 4G LTE network plans. On August 3rd, Clearwire announced its intentions to build out a nationwide 4G LTE network but said those plans were “subject to additional funding.” Clearwire needs $600 billion to build its 4G LTE network. “We want to be the Switzerland of mobile broadband,” Prusch said, noting that his company is talking to, and willing to work with, anyone who needs network capacity.” In mid-August reports surfaced that Sprint was in talks to buy Clearwire outright in order to build its own LTE network. We expect we could hear more on Sprint and its Clearwire plans during a “Strategy Update” event on October 7th in New York City, where BGR will be reporting live.
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Todd Haselton

September 23rd

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Why on Earth Would You Make Your Car Smell Like Toast? [Wtfridays]

Yes, there exists an air freshener that smells like toast. There's another that smells like macaroni and cheese. And yet another like buttered popcorn. Is there any possible reason, novelty notwithstanding, why anyone would actually want these? [Archie McPhee via Laughing Squid] More »


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Adrian Covert

September 23rd

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Use Bike-Mounted iPhone Speaker to Fill the Bike Lane With Daft Punk [IPhone]

Riding you bike while listening to tunes is a great feeling. The sun on your face, music filling your ear holes. The Fruit Shop iPhone Horn Bike mount helps fill those holes without covering your ears and ignoring potentially dangerous sounds on the road. More »


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Roberto Baldwin

September 23rd

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HTC Vigor Packs Beats Audio, LTE, But No DROID Branding?

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Here’s a noodle-scratcher to ponder over the weekend: the HTC Vigor was supposedly going to hit Verizon as the Droid Incredible HD, but files leaked from the forthcoming device hint that the phone may not carry the Droid distinction after all.

Someone who was lucky enough to have a Vigor in their possession managed to rip the device’s boot sequence, wallpapers, and sound files, and shared their findings with AndroidPolice.

When the Vigor is fired up, it runs through the HTC, Beats, and Verizon LTE logos in quick succession, but something is strangely absent. The animation lacks the traditional giant red eye that has graced all of Verizon’s Droid series phones. Considering that the eye has been a strong part of Verizon’s Droid branding efforts, it doesn’t make sense to ditch it so unceremoniously. On top of that, the phone’s notification sounds were also released, and to my dismay there was no “DRROOOOOOID” sound to be found.

It’s possible that the eye is to be added to the boot sequence later, and the sounds weren’t properly dumped, but it looks at this stage that the Bionic will rule the Droid roost for the time being.

Though the boot sequence manages to raise a question or two, the wallpapers that come with the phone manage to answer one. The wallpapers are all 1440×1280 in size, meaning that it’s quite possible the Vigor’s display will run at the reported 1280×720, making it one of the first 720p Android phones.

Unless something gets changed between now and the phone’s release, these files cast quite a bit of doubt on last week’s leaked Verizon document. I’m still holding out hope that it’s real though, if only because I do so love the idea of an October launch.



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Chris Velazco

September 23rd

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Groupon Loses Second COO This Year — And Restates Revenue

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Groupon has lost its second COO in six months.

Back in March of this year, Rob Solomon, who joined the company in March 2010, announced that he would be leaving the company. A month later, Groupon hired former Google VP Margo Georgiadis to replace him.

And today, just five months after she joined the executive team, Groupon is announcing that Georgiadis is leaving the company to re-join Google as President, Americas. Given that Groupon is currently in the process of going public, this doesn’t seem to bode well for the company. In the blog post announcing the news, Groupon CEO Andrew Mason vaguely attributes the departure to the fact that Groupon added 8 members to its executive team since the beginning of the year, and says that it’s rare for any company to “bat 1000%”.

In addition to announcing Georgiadis’s departure, Groupon has also filed an amended S-1, which includes revised revenue numbers based on a change in accounting. In its previous filing, Groupon reported that it had $1.5B in revenue for the six months ended in June — it now reports $688M for the same time period. The key difference: before now, Groupon has included the full value of a purchased Groupon as part of its revenue figures, and now it’s only considering the portion of the Groupon that they actually keep (a significant percentage of each Groupon goes back to the merchant).

Finally, the revised S-1 also discusses Andrew Mason’s internal memo that leaked last month.

Here’s the Groupon blog post announcing Georgiadis’s departure:

As a fast-growing company, we’ve done a lot of hiring this year, including on our senior executive team. Since the beginning of this year, we’ve made a total of 8 additions – that’s 57% of the total executive team. It would have been great if I could say that we batted 1,000%, but that’s rarely the case; after five months at Groupon, Margo Georgiadis, our COO, has decided to return to Google (her former employer) in a new role as President, Americas.

We’ve built a fantastic team that has proven itself highly capable, so this change won’t have an impact on operations. In fact, we are using it as an opportunity to reorganize in a way that reflects our evolving strategic priorities. Sales, Channels, International, and Marketing will now report directly to me.

Here’s a note from Margo: “Groupon is a great company and I feel privileged to have worked there even for a short time. It was a hard decision to leave as the company is on a terrific path. I have complete confidence in the team’s ability to realize its mission.” We wish her well.


Company: Groupon
Website: groupon.com
Launch Date: November 11, 2008
Funding: $1.14B

Groupon features a daily deal on the best stuff to do, see, eat, and buy in more than 565 cities around the world. By promising businesses a minimum number of customers, Groupon can offer deals that aren’t available elsewhere. Groupon brings buyers and sellers together in a fun and collaborative way that offers the consumer an unbeatable deal, and businesses a large number of new customers. To date, it has saved consumers more than $300 million and claims it...

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Jason Kincaid

September 23rd

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AT&T to push Windows Phone 7.5 Mango update on September 27th

AT&T will begin to push the official Windows Phone 7.5 Mango update to its existing Windows Phone devices next week. The HTC Surround, LG Quantum and Samsung Focus will receive the update beginning Tuesday, September 27th, while the HTC HD7S will be updated to Windows Phone 7.5 some time before the end of October according to an internal AT&T memo obtained by BGR. To update your device, you will simply need to plug your Windows Phone into your computer and launch Microsoft’s Zune software. Windows Phone 7.5 will offer users more than 500 new features.

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Todd Haselton

September 23rd

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Our Favorites This Week: VLC, National Football Post, R-Type and More [Android Apps]

In this week's best Android app roundup, you have a very early build of VLC, the best video player around, National Football Post, a great way to keep track of the NFL season, some nostalgic games and more. More »


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Casey Chan

September 23rd

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Our Favorites This Week: KCRW Music Mine, WSJ Live and More [IPad Apps]

This week's best iPad apps brings KCRW Music Mine, which puts the best radio station in the world (disagree? fight me) on your iPad, WSJ Live, which is like WSJ in live and on demand video form, and more. More »


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Casey Chan

September 23rd

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Facebook Timeline Review: This Is the Greatest Thing Facebook’s Ever Done [Facebook]

In The Social Network, Movie Mark Zuckerberg describes his project as the entire college social scene, put online. In a sense, he completely pulled it off. Now Real Zuck's lept beyond beer pong: your entire existence, Facebook-ified. It's terrifyingly amazing. More »


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Sam Biddle

September 23rd

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Our Favorites This Week: Instagram 2.0, Parkbud and More [IPhone Apps]

In this week's best iPhone apps roundup, we feature the latest version of Instagram, Parkbud, a delicious way to never lose track of your cars, Virus Barrier, a brain dead way to protect yourself from viruses and more. More »


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Casey Chan

September 23rd

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