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Archive for October, 2012

Yahoo reports rise in sales under new boss

October 31, 2012 By: Dr Search Principal Consultant at the Search Clinic Category: Customer Service, Ecommerce, Email, Search Clinic, Search Engine Marketing, Technology Companies, Yahoo

Yahoo has reported a 2% rise in sales for the first three months under the leadership of its new chief executive Marissa Mayer.Yahoo reports rise in sales under new bossThe internet group’s revenues for the third quarter of 2012 totalled $1.09 billion (£680 million), compared with $1.07 billion for the same period of last year.

Yahoo’s net profit however soared to $3.2 billion, from $298 million a year earlier.

However, much of the profit was achieved from sale of its stake in the Chinese e-commerce business Alibaba.

When the $2.8 billion earned from the sale of its shares in Alibaba is excluded, Yahoo says it achieved an income of $177 million.

That is a small step in the right direction for the company’s new chief executive, Marissa Meyer, who is attempting to revive the company’s fortunes.

She earned a reputation for decisive action during 13 years at Google and she has spent her first months as Yahoo’s chief executive quietly moving the internet pioneer back to its roots in technology.

The company has long been divided over whether it should focus on media content or on tools and technologies.

Despite its decline in recent years, Yahoo still has a promising business.

About 700 million web surfers visit its website every month, ranking it among the top traffic websites in the global industry.

However the amount of activity people engage in on its sites is steadily, declining and its smartphone offerings are deemed lacklustre.

Yahoo ended the quarter with 12,000 employees, down more than 12% from 13,700 a year earlier.

EBay pays £1.2m in UK tax on sales of £800 million

October 29, 2012 By: Dr Search Principal Consultant at the Search Clinic Category: Amazon, eBay, Ecommerce, Facebook, internet, Online Marketing, Search Clinic, Technology Companies, Uncategorized

eBay has paid just £1.2 million in tax in the UK an investigation has found.EBay pays £1.2m in UK tax on sales of £800 millionThe Sunday Times newspaper said that its tax bill in 2010 comes despite eBay’s UK subsidiaries generating sales of £800 million.

The auction site – which also owns the PayPal payments system – responded that it “complies fully with all applicable tax laws”.

The report comes after coffee giant Starbucks was also accused of paying just £8.6 million in corporation tax in the UK over 14 years.

According to the Sunday Times, eBay had sales of £789 million during 2010 in the UK at its four British subsidiaries.

Using its worldwide profit margin of 23%, it would have made a profit in the UK of £181 million, leading to corporation tax owed of £51 million. Instead, it paid just £1.2m, the report said.

Accounts for one of its units, eBay (UK) Ltd, show that for 2010 – the last year available – it owed tax of £766,000 on profits of £4.4 million.

Other large online international companies have also been accused of avoiding tax in the UK.

Facebook UK paid £238,000 in tax last year, according to its accounts. Its sales were £20.4 million.

Most of the company’s income is believed to be legally going through its European base in Dublin, where corporation tax is lower than in the UK.

And a report in the Guardian in April said that online retailer Amazon had generated sales of more than £7.6 billion in the UK over the past three years but had not paid any corporation tax on the profits from those sales.

Nokia shares rise despite reporting losses results

October 26, 2012 By: Dr Search Principal Consultant at the Search Clinic Category: Apple, Google, mobile phones, Nokia, Search Clinic, smart phones, Technology Companies, Uncategorized

Nokia shares have risen sharply in Helsinki despite reporting another set of company quarterly losses.Nokia shares rise despite reporting losses resultsThe mobile phone company reported a net loss of 969 million euros (£787 million) for the three months to the end of September, compared with a 68 million euro loss in the same quarter last year.

But the shares rose 9% as the results were still better than the money markets had being expected.

The Finnish company’s sales were down 19% from the same period last year.

Nokia was the world’s leading mobile phone maker for more than a decade, but has struggled in the face of competition from Apple and Samsung.

Its third quarter results were boosted by record profits from its telecoms equipment company, Nokia Siemens Networks.

Nokia is releasing new Lumia 820 and 920 phones next month, which will use Microsoft’s latest Windows 8 software.

The forthcoming quarter is going to be tough for its smartphone business due to the release of the new Windows Phone 8 operating system.

It will take a couple of quarters to ramp up Windows Phone 8 volumes due to the competitive landscape- with Apple’s new iPhone and Google’s new Motorola also being launched.

The introduction of Windows smartphones has been the big change under chief executive Stephen Elop, who phased out the Symbian operating system shortly after he took control of the company in 2010.

Microsoft profits fall 22% waiting for Windows 8 launch

October 24, 2012 By: Dr Search Principal Consultant at the Search Clinic Category: Computers, Customer Service, Microsoft, smart phones, Tablets, Technology Companies, Uncategorized

Microsoft has reported a 22% fall in quarterly profits after waiting for the release of its Windows 8 operating system and its latest version of Office.Microsoft profits fall 22% waiting for Windows 8 launchNet profit for the three months to September fell to £2.79 billion ($4.47 billion), from £3.58 billion a year earlier and consequently they missed shareholder expectations.

Total revenues fell 8% to £10 billion.

PC sales fell as consumers either put off new purchases in a tight economy or opted for tablet devices instead.

Microsoft deferred a total of £850 million of revenue, which it will regain in the following quarter.

This included £489 million in licence fees for PCs pre-loaded with Windows 8, because it cannot recognise the revenue until the units go on sale on 26 October.

It also deferred £240 million for PCs that shipped with Windows 7 but are eligible for a £9.50 upgrade to Windows 8, and £118 million for PCs that shipped with the new version of Office or are eligible for an upgrade.

Microsoft shares fell 3% in extended trading.

eBay thirdquarter sales and profits increase

October 22, 2012 By: Dr Search Principal Consultant at the Search Clinic Category: Apps, Customer Service, eBay, Ecommerce, internet, Mobile Marketing, mobile phones, Pay Per Click, Pay Per Click Advertising, smart phones, Tablets, Technology Companies, Uncategorized

The auction site eBay has reported a rise in third quarter sales and profits- as more consumers used the website.eBay thirdquarter sales and profits increaseNet profit for the three months to the end of September rose 14% from a year earlier, to £445 million ($718 million), eBay said.  Net revenues rose 15% to £2.125 billion.

The company has also been looking to take advantage of the increasing number of people who use mobile smartphones to shop and pay for things.

“We had a great third quarter across our company, with Marketplaces and PayPal accelerating customer growth,” chief executive John Donahoe said in a statement.

“Mobile continues to be a game changer for us, and we continue to be a clear leader in mobile commerce and payments.”

The group forecast sales of between £2.46 billion and £2.5 billion in the fourth quarter.

Whilst the results were impressive, EBay shares fell nearly 1% in extended trading in New York after its results came out as analyists had been hoping for even better results.

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Yahoo hires ex Googler on $58m pay package

October 19, 2012 By: Dr Search Principal Consultant at the Search Clinic Category: Customer Service, Email, Pay Per Click, Pay Per Click Advertising, Pay Per Click Marketing, Search Clinic, Search Engine Marketing, Search Engine Results, search engines, Technology Companies, Uncategorized, Yahoo

Yahoo has appointed a Google executive as its next chief operating officer- paying him a hefty pay package worth about $58 million  (£36million) over four years.Yahoo hires ex Googler on $58m pay packageHenrique de Castro had worked for Yahoo’s new chief executive, Marissa Mayer, at Google. He will oversee sales and operations Yahoo said.

Mr de Castro will get a basic annual salary of $600,000 as well as $36 million in stock options.

Yahoo has been trying to rebuild itself after falling behind its rivals.

Yahoo was one of the pioneers in internet search and email and continues to remain one of the biggest names in the industry.

It has however been losing ground as it has not been able to keep up with Google in the search engine results business.

“This is a pivotal point in Yahoo’s history, and I believe strongly in the opportunity ahead,” Mr de Castro said.

Yahoo’s share of US online advertising revenues fell to 9.5% last year, down from 15.7% in 2009.

Mr de Castro will be eligible for an annual bonus of up to 90% of his $600,000 salary, according to Yahoo’s filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission.

He will also receive a cash bonus of $1 million within one week of joining Yahoo and will be given restricted stock units and performance-based stock options totalling $36 million over four years.

That compares to Ms Mayer, whose remuneration package could top a whopping $70 milion. Ms Mayer’s basic salary is $1 million a year, but shares and share options, along with other potential rewards, could make it far more lucrative.

She was appointed in July and is the firm’s third chief executive in the space of a year.

Live YouTube new record for skydiver

October 17, 2012 By: Dr Search Principal Consultant at the Search Clinic Category: Computers, internet, Search Clinic, Smart TV, Social Media, Tablets, Technology Companies, Uncategorized, Video Marketing, YouTube

YouTube set a new record for live streaming as the skydiver Felix Baumgartner smashed a number of records with his “edge of space” freefall.Live YouTube new record for skydiverMore than eight million people worldwidse watched on their devices the skydiver break the speed of sound live on Google’s YouTube site.

It is the largest number of concurrent live streams in the website’s history Google claimed.

Mr Baumgartner broke the record for the highest freefall.

He jumped from a capsule taken to 128,100ft (24 miles) above New Mexico in the USA by a giant helium balloon.

It took nine minutes for him to reach the ground.

The adventurer plummeted at an estimated 833.9mph, hitting Mach 1.24 in the process.

The capsule from which the skydiver fell was equipped with cameras to provide a live internet feed to millions of people around the world.

The Red Bull Stratos scientists said the stunt had provided invaluable data for the development of high performance, high altitude parachute systems, and that the lessons learned would inform the development of new ideas for emergency evacuation from vehicles, such as spacecraft passing through the stratosphere.

“Part of this programme was to show high altitude egress, passing through Mach and a successful re-entry back to subsonic speed, because our belief scientifically is that’s going to benefit future private space programmes or high-altitude pilots, and Felix proved that today,” said Art Thompson, the team principal.

Amazon claims Kindle Fire HD and Paperwhite sales are profitless

October 15, 2012 By: Dr Search Principal Consultant at the Search Clinic Category: Amazon, Apple, Customer Service, EReaders, Google, Tablets, Technology Companies, Uncategorized

Amazon has claimed that it will not make a profit from sales of its latest Kindle tablet and e-reader devices.Amazon claims Kindle Fire HD and Paperwhite sales are profitlessThis is in strong contrast to the strategy of the best selling tablet maker Apple.

The comments as Amazon launches its new Paperwhite e-reader and an associated book lending scheme in the UK, Germany and France.

The latest e-ink powered device features a built in light that will help the firm compete against Barnes & Noble’s Nook Glowlight and Kobo’s Glo, which offer a similar feature.

Amazon is seeking to distinguish its line-up by offering a subscription package that includes access to the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library.

The service offers users the ability to borrow up to one book a month from a selection of titles including well known authors – such as JK Rowling – and writers who have published their works through Amazon’s own publishing system.

The UK service will include more than 200,000 ebooks at launch.

While other e-readers lack a matching facility, if they support the ePub format their owners can still borrow ebooks from their local library if it supports the OverDrive system.

Deliveries of Amazon’s Kindle Paperwhite will begin in Europe on 25 October, coinciding with the release of its 7 inch Kindle Fire HD tablets.

Android tablet makers also rely on hardware sales. While Google provides their system software for free, the search company keeps a cut of app and digital media sales made via its Google Play marketplace.

Amazon is also attempting to use its hardware to stimulate sales of other physical products sold via its store.

Access to its Lending Library facility will be tied to a £49 annual subscription to its Amazon Prime service.  The offer includes rapid delivery, at no additional cost, of products from its warehouses.

Although this adds to the firm’s shipping costs, evidence from the US suggests that subscribers end up spending more on its site and are less likely to compare prices with rival retailers.

Social media UK laws to be reviewed

October 12, 2012 By: Dr Search Principal Consultant at the Search Clinic Category: Cyber Security, Facebook, LinkedIn, Search Clinic, smart phones, Social Media, Social Networking, Technology Companies, Twitter, Uncategorized

Social media laws in the UK are to be reviewed in the wake of recent prosecutions.Social media UK laws to be reviewedNew guidelines for policing social media are to be discussed to avoid a “chilling effect” on free speech, the most senior prosecutor in England and Wales has said.

Director of public prosecutions Keir Starmer QC said that the right to be offensive “has to be protected”- but that there had to be a balance.

His comments came in the wake of two prosecutions for offensive postings.

Matthew Wood was jailed on Monday for posting comments about missing girl April Jones. He was jailed for 12 weeks after he made several “abhorrent” postings about missing five-year-old April Jones on Facebook. Members of the public had reported his comments to the police who arrested the man for his own safety after 50 people went to his home.

The teenager’s 12-week prison sentence was followed by the prosecution of Azhar Ahmed, 20, who was given 240 hours community service after writing an offensive post about dead British soldier which posted that “all soldiers should die and go to hell” on Facebook. He said he did not think that the message was offensive.

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) will invite lawyers and academics, as well as representatives from social media companies such as Facebook and Twitter, to be part of the discussions.

The new measures are expected to be announced before Christmas.

A freedom of information request revealed that there were 2,347 investigations after complaints regarding posts on social media in 2010. This number rose to 2,490 in 2011 – about 50 different cases across the UK each week.

Mr Starmer said prosecutors were finding it difficult to work within the existing law.

“The emerging thinking is that it might be sensible to divide and separate cases where there’s a campaign of harassment, or cases where there’s a credible and general threat, and prosecute in those sorts of cases and put in another category communications which are, as it were, merely offensive or grossly offensive.”

Mr Starmer said the new guidelines would enable relevant authorities to use remedies other than criminal prosecution to address instances of offensive activity.

“The threshold for prosecution has to be high,” he added. “We live in a democracy, and if free speech is to be protected there has to be a high threshold. People have the right to be offensive, they have the right to be insulting, and that has to be protected.”

4G mobile network roll out to start this month

October 10, 2012 By: Dr Search Principal Consultant at the Search Clinic Category: Customer Service, Mobile Marketing, mobile phones, smart phones, Technology Companies, Telecommunications Companies, Uncategorized

EE has announce that it will start to roll out it’s 4G mobile network at the end of this month.4G mobile network roll out to start this monthIt had planned to start the network several weeks ago but had held off announcing a date while peace talks between rival operators were brokered.

Rivals were annoyed that the company would gain an unfair advantage by launching ahead of them.

O2 and Vodafone have now agreed that they would not pursue legal action to block EE’s roll-out.

In return they have been promised that officials will accelerate the auction of the spectrum so they can offer their own high speed data services.

Their 4G networks are due to launch in the spring of next year.

EE’s network will cover initially 16 cities this year.

The firm’s target is be able to offer the facility to 98% of the UK’s population by 2014.