Today in Tech: Did Skype fire execs to avoid pricey payouts?

June 20, 2011: 6:30 AM ET

Fortune's curated selection of the weekend's most newsworthy tech stories from all over the Web. Sign up to get the newsletter delivered to you everyday.

"If you invent frequently and are willing to fail, then you never get to that point where you really need to bet the whole company." - Jeff Bezos, Amazon CEO (GeekWire)

* Bloomberg reports that Skype fired several high-ranking executives -- including vice presidents David Gurle, Christopher Dean, Russ Shaw, and Don Albert -- suggesting the Internet calling company may have done so to avoid even pricier employee payouts once the Microsoft acquisition deal goes through. (Bloomberg)

Y Combinator's Paul Graham took to Bloomberg TV to discuss how his startup incubator recently received the most applications ever -- 2000-plus -- and why Dropbox is worth more than the apartment-swapping startup, Airbnb, which made deadlines of its own in recent weeks for reportedly raising $100-million-plus at a $1 billion valuation. (Bloomberg TV via Silicon Alley Insider and TechCrunch)

* Colleague Dan Primack suggests pundits pouncing on Pandora's oscillating share value (see: "Pandora's Pox" or "Pandora IPO debacle") chill out. "Reaching conclusions based on just three days of trading is sophomoric," he writes. (Fortune)

* A former Research in Motion (RIM) employee weighs in on why the BlackBerry smartphone maker has it rough right now. (The company slashed its full-year profit expectations by 30% and also expects to layoff some of its staff.) "They honestly think they understand consumer product, business, mentality, marketing -- but they really don't," the source said. (Silicon Alley Insider and CNNMoney)

* Enigmatic (and unregulated) peer-to-peer online currency Bitcoin may be enjoying success -- heck, it's even accepted at a restaurant now -- but don't expect that to the case for much longer. (Fortune)

* Following in the footsteps of recent offerings like CityVille, Zynga's newest social game, Empires & Allies, has seen some pretty impressive growth: more than 30 million users in the 17 days since its launch. (VentureBeat)

* Alphonso Labs, the makers of Pulse, raised $9 million during its most recent round of funding. The popular cross-platform news reader now claims 4 million users across platforms.

* A source tells The Telegraph that MySpace could sell for $100 million or more by June 30. Current parties supposedly circling the social network-turned-entertainment hub include an investor group led by Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick and Criterion Capital Partners.

* An enjoyably snarky chart to help photo lovers figure out which photo-sharing app to use. (Hint: It won't be Color no matter how you slice it.) (TechCrunch)

* Cult of Mac's Mike Elgan on why Apple should use its billions to crush (and own) Hollywood. (Cult of Mac)

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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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