'We're public now, so could you please click on an ad or two'
Plus: 'Disaster for Apple!'
Quotw This was the week when Facebook stocks took an early drubbing in the market before recovering somewhat to a more stable, albeit reduced, price.
The social network wasn't able to find its feet in time to stop a slew of lawsuits from disgruntled investors who jointly and severally blame Facebook, Zuckerberg, the IPO underwriting banks, the NASDAQ stock exchange and the early angel investors for the rubbish debut.
The NASDAQ is in the firing line for technical glitches on the first day of trading that saw orders to buy and sell – as well as cancellations on those orders – delayed. This left investors unsure of how much stock they had and at what price they'd bought or sold it at.
The exchange held its hands up immediately, with its chief exec saying he was "humbly embarrassed" by the snafu.
This was not our finest hour.
Chief Robert Greifeld added that the error had been so bad, the NASDAQ would be revamping its whole IPO process.
The New York-based stock exchange is pretty much resigned to paying up, having set aside some funds to deal with rightfully aggrieved investors. However, others in the suits are claiming innocence.
Morgan Stanley, one of the underwriters accused of changing its mind about its earnings forecast for Facebook, has denied any wrongdoing. The underwriter had altered its forecast in response to the social network's admission that it hadn't yet figured out how to make money from mobile customers and that its revenue growth wasn't keeping up with its subscribers.
The bank said that Facebook's risks were clearly laid out in its revised publically available prospectus and that is what made it change its forecasts:
In response to the information about business trends, a significant number of research analysts in the syndicate who were participating in investor education reduced their earnings views to reflect their estimate of the impact of the new information. These revised views were taken into account in the pricing of the IPO.
As is fairly standard operating procedure for a tech company under fire, Facebook itself has stayed mainly silent on its dreary coming out party, with chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg ducking questions about it after a speech to Harvard University.
She did, however, find the time to shamelessly, and somewhat pitifully, try to get some revenue for the company, adding this to the end of her talk:
We're public now, so could you please click on an ad or two while you're there.
The regulator has been trying to make sense of Google's answers to various questions it had on the policy and has not been satisfied yet:
The CNIL considers it impossible to know Google's processings of personal data, as well as the links between collected data, purposes and recipients, and that the obligation of information of the data subjects is not respected. The CNIL also notes that Google has not provided a maximum retention period for the data.
Over at Microsoft, there are probably a few staffers suffering from whiplash after the about-turn the bigwigs did on the Aero interface first introduced with Windows Vista.
Despite having once championed the design, which is still being used with Windows 7, Redmond has had a change of heart. It is apparently now of the view that Aero is lame.
Jensen Harris, director of program management for the Windows user experience team said in a blog post:
This style of simulating faux-realistic materials (such as glass or aluminum) on the screen looks dated and cheesy now, but at the time, it was very much en vogue.
Security specialist Eugene Kaspersky is still talking up the dangers of Apple's attitude to viruses. He previously said that Apple's popularity was making it a target and that security-wise it was where Microsoft was 10 years ago.
This week Kaspersky said he was peeved that Cupertino wouldn't let security firms develop solutions for its iOS and that this would spell its doom:
We as a security company are not able to develop true endpoint security for iOS. That will mean disaster for Apple.
It is much more difficult to infect iOS but it is possible and when it happens it will be the worst-case scenario because there will be no protection. The Apple SDK won’t let us do it.
And things took a turn for the frankly bizarre at SAP in the US, when one of its execs was nabbed by the cops for stealing LEGO. No, you didn't read that incorrectly.
Despite having a job at SAP's Palo Alto Labs Integration and Certification Center, the accused exec has been charged with four counts of burglary for seven boxes of LEGO worth around $1,000, pilfered through a surprisingly elaborate scheme.
The man allegedly swapped the shop's bar codes on the boxes with his own homemade versions that gave him a better price. He would then sell them at the right price on eBay.
Although he was only busted on four counts of theft, the exec may have made off with many more boxes of LEGO, NBC reported:
[Supervising deputy District Attorney Cindy] Hendrickson said they found "hundreds and hundreds" of LEGO boxes in his home. They also discovered that since last April, he had allegedly sold 2,100 LEGO items totaling about $30,000 on eBay using the handle "tomsbrickyard". Inside Langenbach's car, Hendrickson said, were 32 pre-made barcode stickers. ®
"it was very much en vogue."
I'd rather have an UI that was very much en usability.
Re: "could you please click on an ad or two'"
They don't show me ads at all - AdBlock Plus and a few custom filters FTW.
To Facebook, I say this: "My data, personal or otherwise, is mine to give, not yours to take ... bitch"
"could you please click on an ad or two"
Y'know, I feel I should be appalled and outraged by that crass remark, but instead, I can't stop grinning from ear to ear.
It reminds me of around 1994 or so, when the Web was first being polluted by advertising; even then, there was already a large number of users who were annoyed with the flashing, wiggling, tacky banners assaulting their eyeballs as they tried to seek entertainment, information or news. I distinctly recall news.admin.net-abuse.email and many of the other news.admin.net-abuse.* forums being invaded by pissed-off spammers and other Web hucksters pissing and moaning about how they wouldn't have to do what they were doing "if you people would just click on an ad every once in a while".
Also, as I recall, back then the original Web advertising revenue model was rather flawed -- straight-up pay-per-click, iirc -- and legions of pissed-off Web users were deliberately sabotaging advertisers' business model by repeatedly clicking on ads, driving up the advertisers' costs until many of them had been driven out of business. The marketing and advertising type, predictably, responded to this by whining about how those mean old users had broken their business model.
This kind of whining from Failbook's COO also kind of reminds me of one time about eight or ten years ago, when this marketing/advertising honcho from ABC TV went on the Today Show one morning, looked the whole country in the eye and told us in a flustering, indignant tone that viewers who skipped the commercials were thieves. As with Ms. Sandberg's tacky plea, I damn' near pissed my pants laughing.