Today in Tech: Marissa Mayer unveils a new Yahoo.comFebruary 20, 2013: 12:10 PM ET
Also: the iPhone 5 trumps Samsung's Galaxy S3; 4 features the PlayStation 4 must have.
Marissa Mayer puts her stamp on Yahoo.com [THE NEW YORK TIMES]
Gone are the low-quality ads. She has added an infinite, Twitter-like news feed and a stream of content recommended by users' Facebook friends. Instead of trying to jam every Yahoo feature onto the site, the new design gives special prominence to Yahoo's most popular Web properties: Yahoo's e-mail and news service, Yahoo Finance, Yahoo Sports, its movie listing site and OMG, its popular entertainment site.
Apple's iPhone 5 and iPhone 4S together accounted for 1 in 5 of all smartphones shipped worldwide in Q4 2012. This was an impressive performance, given the iPhone portfolio's premium pricing. We estimate Samsung's Galaxy S3 was the world's third best-selling smartphone model and it shipped 15.4 million units globally, capturing 7 percent share in the fourth quarter of 2012. Samsung's Galaxy S3 has long proven wildly popular with consumers and operators across North America, Europe and Asia. However, global demand for the Galaxy S3 appears to have peaked and Samsung will surely be keen to introduce its rumored Galaxy S4 upgrade in the coming weeks to fight back against Apple's popular iPhone range.
The PlayStation 4 has to be a gigantic hit—not just for Sony but traditional gaming as a whole. Here are four must-have features for the new device to have a shot:
Offer streaming. Let's face it: the future of content delivery is digital. Luckily, Sony may be taking that to heart. A recent Wall Street Journal report indicates Sony's $380 million acquisition of the cloud-based gaming service Gaikai will pay off with a feature that will allow PlayStation 4 owners to play PlayStation 3 games by streaming them over the Internet. (New games are expected to come on traditional optic discs.) It sounds like a step in the right direction, but I'd suggest an even more aggressive push: make new games playable this way, too, so players have the option to pay by the hour or day.
Tom Pinckney, head of the eBay NYC office and one of the co-founders of personalization startup Hunch, explains that the new homepage is not just about search, but also discovery and serendipity. "We are introducing a different type of shopping and inventing a new way to shop with product discovery," he explains. "We have a huge map of date around discovery and serendipity and are trying to find ways to take this data and tap into collective intelligence."
Another component of the new technology is real-time updates on product listings and changes. eBay will serve customers new items in their feed every time they visit the home page – and update them continually during their eBay sessions.
LivingSocial posted a $650 million net loss in 2012, much of it due to a mass write-down of overseas assets, and laid off about 400 employees in late November. Considering the crush of negative news in recent months, the psychological boost from this investment might actually be more important than the financial one. LivingSocial's existing backers - who have presumably had a long, careful peek under the hood — are doubling down on their investment despite widespread pessimism surrounding the daily deal model.
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