Today in Tech: MySpace layoffs, Facebook worth $50 billion?

January 3, 2011: 6:00 AM ET

A curated selection of the holiday weekend's most newsworthy tech stories from all over the Web.

  • The Vizion Phone. Photo: Vizio via Wall Street JournalCheap flat-panel maker Vizio intends to make a splash today by unveiling two notable products that marks a company first: the Via Phone with a 4-inch screen, front-facing camera for video calls, and a 5 megapixel rear cam, as well as the Via Tablet, sporting a 8-inch high-res screen, WiFi (of course), three speakers, and a front-facing cam. Both will run Android and launch this summer. (Wall Street Journal)
  • MySpace could reportedly lay off as many as 50%, or 550, of its staff as both a cost-cutting measure and part of a way to restructure the struggling social networking site-turned-entertainment hub. (AllThingsD)
  • Meanwhile on the Facebook front, the booming social networking champ raised $500 million from Goldman Sachs and a Russian investor that puts its valuation somewhere in the ballpark of a whopping $50 billion, which would be more than eBay, Yahoo, and Time Warner are worth. Facebook also reportedly chose its new office digs:  the former Sun Microsystems-Oracle campus in Menlo Park, California, which ought to provide more room than the 150,000 square-foot space the company moved into just two years ago. (New York Times and TechCrunch)
  • Square, the startup from Twitter creator Jack Dorsey that turns your smartphone into a credit cart machine, is close to wrapping its latest round of funding, which likely includes investors like Sequoia Capital, Khosla Ventures, and a strategic investor like Visa, Mastercard or American Express. The cash infusion could push the company's valuation to around $200 million. (TechCrunch)
  • According to Citibank's US Internet Stock 2011 Playbook, Apple will generate as much as $2 billion in app sales this year, which is apparently roughly the same amount as the company's estimate for the whole online video ad market this year. (TechCrunch)
  • Google continues to work behind the scenes on its e-newsstand venture, which according to sources, remains pretty vague in terms of concrete details. But the same sources also mention Google could take a lesser fee than Apple's demands with its 30% take from iTunes app sales. It's also allegedly proposed giving publishers access to some user data, which would be a potent tool for targeted behavioral marketing. (Wall Street Journal)
  • Will 2011 be the year of the $100 Android phone? If Vodaphone's "845" model, priced at  £70 ($108), is a sign of things to come, then that's a definite yes! (Fortune)
  • In light of supposedly leaked Verizon promotional materials, Samsung will likely drop the price on its Galaxy Tab tablet by as much as $100, with an additional $60 in credits for movie rentals, very very soon. (Fortune)

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About This Author
JP Mangalindan
JP Mangalindan
Writer, Fortune

JP Mangalindan is a San Francisco-based writer at Fortune, covering Silicon Valley. Since joining in 2010, he has written on a wide array of topics, from the turnaround of eBay to the evolution of net neutrality. A graduate of Fordham University, Mangalindan has also written for GQ, Popular Science, and Entertainment Weekly.

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