Mac App Store
The Mac App Store officially launched yesterday, giving you access to a bunch of Mac OS X applications for your Apple desktop or laptop. The Mac App Store makes it easy to find and install applications, but the implications of this new software distribution method are still unknown. Lifehacker tells us both why the Mac App Store sucks, and also why you might like it. Gizmodo reports that the Mac App Store has already been hacked. The crack hasn’t been released yet, but it will allow you to pirate any apps in the store. Someone has already figured out how to crack the Angry Birds application with a little cut and paste magic.
Skype Buys Qik
The most popular video and VoIP calling service in the world buys the real-time streaming video and recording service that comes pre-installed on most of the hottest new Android, iOS, Symbian, BlackBerry OS, and Windows Mobile smartphones. It seems like a match made in heaven. According to The Big Blog, Skype and Qik have entered into a “definitive deal” and Qik’s 200 employees will now move under Skype’s umbrella. Skype says “Qik will help to accelerate our leadership in video by adding recording, sharing and storing capabilities to our product portfolio.” They also say the acquisition will allow them to “take advantage of the engineering expertise that is behind Qik’s Smart Streaming technology, which optimizes video transmission over wireless networks.”
LinkedIn To Go Public in 2011
Reuters reports that LinkedIn, the somewhat popular social network for business, plans to go public in 2011. Sources say that Bank of America and JPMorgan are among those who may be involved with the move by LinkedIn. LinkedIn has not confirmed this, but a spokesman said “An IPO is just one of many tactics that we could consider.” Other sources say that companies like LinkedIn and Zynga need to their IPO’s done ASAP because Facebook could render them all irrelevant:
“Some of these companies want to go public because they want to beat Facebook and others out,” said one of the sources. “If Facebook went public before Linkedin, do you think anyone would pay that much attention to Linkedin? You might want to surpass the beast.”
Facebook, with more than 500 million users worldwide, was just valued at $50 billion in a deal with Goldman Sachs. This means it’s technically worth more than eBay, Yahoo, and Time Warner. It’s possible they could be forced into IPO for exceeding the 499 investors limit and the SEC could be investigating this. That puts the pressure on other companies in this space to get the lead out. Trying to go public after a Facebook IPO would be like @ChrisBrown opening up for @razb2k.
Zynga to Acquire Flock
Flock was the first social browser and has been around since 2005. Five years later, it still hasn’t captured a significant number of users, but the company is still well-respected for their engineering talent. Both Google and Twitter were also bidding. What does this mean for Zynga and Flock? Why would Flock want a browser? It will be interesting to see how this acquisition plays out. Zynga could be interested more in the talent behind Flock than the browser itself. On the flip side, they could be looking to control the browser in order to better integrate their games and keep players engaged.
Our team will help Zynga in achieving their goal of building the most fun, social games available to anyone, anytime – on any platform.
Quora Hottest New Social Q&A Site
While their actual number of users is debatable, there is no question that Quora is hot stuff. The site focuses on allowing anyone to ask everyone anything, the difference from other sites is that you may actually get an answer from someone who knows what they’re talking about.
What Cheever doesn’t say, but quickly becomes evident while clicking around Quora, is that serious heavy-hitters are answering questions there. Facebook co-founder Dustin Moskovitz offers his opinion of the movie The Social Network. Google Images product manager Nate Smith explains how color image search works. Foursquare’s head of business development talks about what it’s like to work for founder Dennis Crowley. Twitter’s Pierre Legrain explains the cost-per-follow principle for Promoted Accounts. And AOL co-founder Steve Case answers how much it cost to mail everyone those CDs back in the 1990s. – Fast Company
Relying on a requirement for real names, the site allows anyone to pretty much edit everything. A rating system allows the community to control the spam and unhelpful answers. I witnessed someone post a DO ANYBODY NO question as a joke that was almost immediately removed. Quora won’t discuss how they plan to make money or how they will keep the site from turning into another Yahoo Answers, but the service is definitely enjoying some time in the spotlight. The question of whether they will receive applause or be dragged off the stage by a tap dancing Sandman has yet to be answered.
Square Valued at $200 Million
Surely you’ve heard of Square and already signed up for your free card reader, right? To review, Square allows you to accept credit card payments on your mobile phone using a tiny card reader that plugs into your phone’s headset jack. This allows you to take payments for anything wherever you might be, a feature that could mean big money for your business, no matter what the size. It definitely means big money for Square, who are rumored to have just closed a large round of funding which values them at about $200 million. They are processing millions of dollars a week and closing in on a million a day. How much of that is yours?