Top 10 stories on VatorNews in 2011

Kristin Karaoglu · December 31, 2011 · Short URL:

From Apple's Steve Jobs, Verizon's unlimited data plan, mini iPhone, to Groupon's rollercoaster ride

From Apple's Steve Jobs to Verizon to Google+, here are the most-widely-viewed stories of 2011. 


Google wins with Gmail Motion prank

So far there have been a lot of noteworthy April Fools' jokes, but the prize for the most elaborate and best executed goes to Google for Gmail Motion. 

In an introductory video, Gmail product manager Paul McDonald outlines Gmail Motion, an imaginary application that takes the concept behind Google Instant to the next level: now you can write emails using gestures. The keyboard and mouse? Outdated technology. The application promises to replace type altogether and turn email writing into a simple series of waves and gesticulations. Read more

Another unlimited data plan bites the dust

Verizon is bidding adieu to its unlimited data plan—a tragedy, but an inevitability. Verizon confirmed the news with Fierce Wireless on Monday and shared the new outrageous pricing system it’s instituting in place of the unlimited data plan. And Verizon added oh-so-casually that the new system takes effect July 7.

So what kind of pricing plans can faithful Verizon customers expect? While the unlimited data plan was previously available for $30, customers can now expect to pay $30 for 2 GB of data, $50 for 5 GB of data, or $80 for 10 GB of data. By comparison, AT&T charges $15 for 200 MB per month and $25 for 2 GB (cheaper prices for crappier phone service. You get what you pay for). Read more

Google +1 button already squashing Twitter plugin

Almost two weeks out in the wild, how well is Google’s little social network doing? So well, one might say, that Twitter should be a little worried.

The Google +1 button is beating out both the Twitter Share and Twitter Instant Follow buttons combined, in terms of adoption by sites on the Web, according to a new report from BrightEdge Research.

Though Google+ as a social network only launched last week, the Google +1 button has been available to third-party websites since early June. Even so, the search giant took a lot of flack for arriving so late to the social plugin party, which Facebook and Twitter had started at least a year ago. Read more

Thank you, Steve Jobs

Over the weekend, I had bookshelves placed in one of the rooms in my house. As I put the books on the shelves, I realized my collection had not grown in a year. A year ago, I began collecting digital books on the Apple iPad.

There have been countless articles about Steve Jobs, during the last week since his resignation as chief executive officer at Apple. Doubtless, he's an extraordinary person whose work has compelled many to share their thoughts. Few CEOs would drive me to write a thank you for their contribution to our world, and in particular mine. But you see, Steve Jobs has affected "my" world down to the core of the technology I touch daily (the iPad, iPhone, MacBook, etc.) and the work I do (working with entrepreneurs).

Even though Steve Jobs will remain at Apple as chairman, I wanted to write a tribute to him for his time at the helm.  Read more

Apple losing tablet market share, but still on top

Good and bad news for Apple today: it’s expected to continue to dominate the tablet market through 2014, according to estimates released today by Gartner, but its market share will continue to erode over the next few years.

Gartner puts Apple’s current market share at 73.4%, down from 83% last year.  As more tablets scramble into the market, Apple is likely to lose more market share, but Gartner’s forecast is that Apple will remain strong with at least a 50% share of the tablet market through 2014. Beyond Apple and Android, Gartner doesn’t expect any other tablet OS to gain more than a 5% market share.

Speaking of Android… Last month, ABI Research released a report claiming that Android has eaten into 20% of Apple’s market share.  Gartner sees the numbers very differently, putting Android’s overall market share at only 17.3%, up slightly from its 14.3% market share last year. Read more

Groupon's rollercoaster ride leading up to its IPO

One of the year’s most highly-anticipated IPOs has become one of the more questionable. And, it's not because of the sluggish economy.

Late this week, Groupon submitted a restatement to its initial filing to go public that said it would change what it counts as revenue from gross to net—effectively cutting reported revenue in half. Coupled with this came the announcement of the resignation of chief operating officer Margo Georgiadis after just five months on the job.

This double dose of bad news will likely increase speculation over Groupon’s business model and finances, which have been under scrutiny since the daily deal leader filed to go public. Read more

Mini iPhone to expand Apple market 6x

Apple rumors are inescapable and never-ending, but they've really heated up in recent weeks with reports of a new mini iPhone (similar in size and appearance to the iPod Nano) bubbling around the Web. The smaller, less capable, but undoubtedly WAY cuter iPhone is said to be about half the size of the regular iPhone and will be significantly more affordable. Currently, Apple sells iPhones to carriers for $625 each, which carriers make back over time by selling individual units for $199 each plus a two-year contract. 

The new mini iPhone will be sold alongside Apple's existing line of iPhones and will surely help secure a stronger grip on the market as competition from Android heats up. A report, released Tuesday morning by Toni Sacconaghi of Bernstein Research, predicts that a lower priced iPhone will expand Apple's addressable market six-fold while more than doubling revenue. Read more  

Digitally clueless: bands that hand out CDs

A silly thing happened to me at SXSW: a musician (or their best friend) handed me a CD.

I was standing in the backyard patio of a grungy, all-ages bar called Emo’s, where you have to bat away like fruit flies the kids begging you to buy them beer, and performing on stage was some hip hop group from Chicago. Their name escapes me but they sure as hell insured that I wouldn’t forget their city of origin.

Anyway, as their set started winding down, a couple guys armed with backpacks--presumably full of promotional material for the group on stage--started weaving through the crowd and handing a free CD to anyone that happened to pay attention. I was one of the lucky few. Immediately, I felt bad for taking the CD because I knew, as much as I thought the group was pretty good, I didn’t want to be stuck carrying a 5-inch “compact” disc with me for the rest of the night.Read more

Kim Kardashian to wed at house of Frank Caufield

You can run, you can hide, but there’s no escaping the Kim Kardashian wedding.  You’ve been avoiding eye-contact with her on the covers of tabloids at the grocery store, you may have even stopped following her on Twitter to avoid all the wedding talk (though you didn’t tell her that because you didn’t want to hurt her feelings).  But now Kim K. has permeated the tech blogosphere to show that no matter where you go, she will find you. 

So let’s get down to brass tacks: WHERE IN THE HELL IS KIM KARDASHIAN GETTING MARRIED?!?! Read more

This feels like a focal point.

Based on Facebook’s massive announcements from f8, new features coming to everyone’s favorite social network are about to change the way we interact with media online. While the updates are sure to have users freaking out for a few weeks, that’s nothing new.  The real question is this: what will the social media landscape look like when the dust settles?
 As evidenced by its big-time partnerships with names like Netflix and Spotify and everything in between, Facebook is quickly transforming from just “a place for friends” (the old Myspace tagline) to “a place for everything.” Read more
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Kristin Karaoglu

Woman of many skills: Database System Engineer; SplashX event producer; Author of Startup Teams

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