Author: Patricio Robles

Patricio Robles

I am a tech reporter and have been writing about technology, digital marketing and startups at Econsultancy since January 2009.

What does rising netbook popularity mean for web designers?

Netbooks are on the rise. The bare-bones laptops, which typically cost under $500 and are designed for web surfing and email, are increasingly the focus of major PC makers looking for growth.

And for good reason.

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Microsoft-Yahoo rumors surface (again)

The on-and-off again rumors of a Microsoft-Yahoo deal are back in the news.

TechCrunch's Michael Arrington, citing unnamed sources, reported on Wednesday that a group of "well known Silicon Valley executives and top investment bankers" was working to arrange an acquisition of Yahoo that would value the company at $20bn.


Were reports of the entertainment industry's death greatly exaggerated?

There has been a lot of talk about the decline of the traditional entertainment industry the past several years.

As a growing and maturing Internet has become a much more powerful medium for the distribution of media, traditional entertainment enterprises, from television networks to record labels, have increasingly faced new challenges that many argued threaten their survival.


Are paid links dead as an SEO strategy?

Instant results are always the most appealing. When it comes to SEO, climbing up the SERPs can take a lot of time, effort and money.

A popular technique amongst some marketers for acquiring the inbound links that search engines like Google love has been to pay for them.


Report: US retailers upped paid search spend before holidays

Facing perhaps the toughest retail environment in decades, multi-channel retailers in the United States turned to paid search in the run up to the holiday shopping season in an effort to boost sales.

SearchIgnite, a search management provider, today reported that US multi-channel retailers increased their spending on paid search by 12% in Q4 2008 as compared to Q4 2007.


Cisco launches new hosted social network platform

Two years ago, Cisco raised some eyebrows by purchasing two social networking companies - Five Across and

The acquisitions were curious because Cisco is best known as a manufacturer of networking and telecommunications equipment.


Veoh wins one for user-generated content

In denying a motion for summary judgment requested by Universal Music Group (UMG) against online video service Veoh, a Los Angeles court became the latest court to interpret the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) in favor of a web service that offers user-generated video content.

At issue is whether or not Veoh was eligible for the Safe Harbor provisions of the DMCA. Veoh, like YouTube, transcodes videos its users upload into the Flash Video Format (FLV). Universal Music Group argued that this made Veoh ineligible for DMCA protection because this transcoding essentially made Veoh an active party to the copyright infringement alleged.


Online video continues to grow but video ads to lose luster?

comScore reported yesterday that Americans watched 34% more online videos this past November than they did a year ago in November 2007. This amounts to a whopping 12.7bn videos watched in a single month.

Google properties, which include YouTube, remained the top online video destinations, drawing nearly 98m unique viewers and accounting for just over 40% of videos watched.


Report: Apple inks deals for DRM-free music, variable pricing on iTunes

Apple has reached a deal with the three largest music labels - Sony BMG, Universal and Warner Music - to offer their music DRM-free on iTunes, according to reports.

As part of the deal, Apple will give the labels something that they have wanted for some time - flexibility on pricing.

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The New York Times sells its front page - in print

Facing dire financial circumstances that have it selling assets to survive, The New York Times is doing something it had previously refused to do throughout its 157 year history; placing ads on its front page.

The January 5, 2009 issue of one of the world's most storied dailies contains a modest ad, two-and-a-half inches high, at the bottom of its front page that promotes CBS.

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Celebrity Twitter accounts hacked

On the heels of a phishing scheme that lured unsuspecting Twitter users to a website that was designed to steal their passwords, the Twitter accounts of well-known individuals, including United States President-Elect Barack Obama, have been compromised.

TechCrunch's Michael Arrington and others noticed unusual tweets on the official accounts of the United States President-Elect, CNN's Rick Sanchez, FOX News' Bill O'Reilly and Britney Spears. Companies such as Facebook and The Huffington Post have seen their official Twitter accounts compromised as well.


Steve Jobs: "Rumors of my death have been greatly exaggerated. Really."

When Steve Jobs announced that he would not be speaking at this year's MacWorld, the blogosphere was rife with rumors that Apple's superstar CEO was battling serious health issues.

Jobs is a survivor of pancreatic cancer and therefore concerns over his health are a constant issue. In recent times, Jobs has appeared noticeably thin, prompting some to speculate that all was not well. His decision not to speak at the next MacWorld, which will be the company's last appearance at the show, only fueled further speculation and caused a drop in Apple's share price.