Booting Up: When the Lights Go Out, Twitter Goes Nuts

There are lots of other things you could do instead.

Things could be going better for flash sale sites: “It’s a classic case of investors and entrepreneurs not really understanding how an industry operates.” [The Verge]

How are we supposed to know if Netflix’s expensive original TV show, “House of Cards,” is a hit or a miss? Good question. [Vulture]

Twitter was mentioned in 50 percent of Super Bowl commercials. That’s a lot of free advertising. [Marketing Land]

Speaking of: Did Oreo have some poor designer on call last night? Because when the lights went out halfway through the game, the company’s Twitter team was ready with an appropriate ad. [BuzzFeed]

Generally speaking, Twitter users went bonkers during the blackout. That’s when tweets for the event peaked, at 231,500 per minute, most of them terrible jokes about Bane. [CNET]

Former CNET staffer Greg Sandoval, who left out of concern over interference from corporate overlord CBS, has landed at the Verge, the site that broke the news of Mr. Sandoval’s departure. [New York]

Blog Lords

CNET Journalist Resigns Over Concerns About ‘Editorial Independence’ After CBS Meddling [UPDATE]


This morning, The Verge published a damning report on an apparent conflict of interest in CNET’s “Best of CES” awards.

The post claimed that CNET’s editorial staff, which votes on the award, crowned Dish Network’s Hopper set-top box device the winner. But before the staff could reveal its decision, CBS–CNET’s parent company–interceded because of litigation filed by CBS and other networks over the Hopper’s ability to skip past commercials. Read More


Booting Up: Get Ready to be Publicly Embarrassed By Your Netflix Habits

Miss you. (Photo:

Obama just signed into law a bill that makes it legal for Netflix to share what you watch on your Facebook page (provided you give them the okay, of course). [Gizmodo]

Yikes: CNET was forced to withdraw a “Best of CES” award by its parent company, CBS, which is currently embroiled in a lawsuit with Dish, the company that makes the product in question. [Buzzfeed]

Hey, Groupon stock is trading at double its all-time low! Before anyone breaks out the champagne, that’s around $5.20. [TNW]

GM is hiring a thousand high-tech workers–software developers, database experts, etc.–for a new “innovation center” in a suburb of Atlanta. [Wall Street Journal]

“We’re fucked. These guys don’t want to take over our land—they want to come over and take our water and go back. They like where they are.” [AllThingsD]

streaming music

Spotify’s Business Model Called ‘Unsustainable’

Spotify playlist (screengrab)

In 2010 Swedish music streaming service Spotify was on the rise, with a 151 percent jump in revenue. According to PrivCo, a company that tracks financial data, the bottom almost fell out for Spotify in 2011 and the service’s current model is “unsustainable.”

CNET obtained confirmation from Spotify that numbers reported by PrivCo were correct–but not news. Spotify’s losses since jumping into the U.S. market were first reported in August by the Wall Street Journal.

Regardless of who reported what first, PrivCo’s assessment might sting at Spotify HQ: Read More

Play Your Video Games

Mass Exodus of Nerds From Basements as Xbox Live Goes Down

(Photo: Meme Generator)

Xbox Live is down. This is not a drill! We repeat: Xbox Live is down.

Gamers everywhere are chucking Xbox controllers at walls, begrudgingly rising from their butt-shaped couch holes and maybe even getting some sunlight for once because I mean would it really kill you, honey?

CNET has confirmed with Microsoft that “Xbox Live users are unable to access the online-gaming service.”

Microsoft’s Xbox Live status page states, “We are aware of the problem and are working to resolve the issue. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause and thank you for your patience.”

It better be up by the time we get home from work, because it’s Friday and we have some robots to shoot.


Caroline McCarthy Out of the Tech Blogging Game; Heading to Googleplex


CNET’s New York-based social media reporter Caroline McCarthy is out of the tech blogging game and on to presumably better-remunerated things at Google.

“I want to thank you for your support, insight, inspiration, and amusement over the course of my five years as a journalist with CBS/CNET.  My last day at the company is May 6. Following ten days that will be divided up between a remote cabin somewhere in Northern California and the annual overnight Ragnar Relay from Woodstock to Westchester, I’m starting a new chapter at Google,” she wrote in an email to friends this morning. Read More