BuzzFeed - What Went Wrong? What's Next?
BuzzFeed's just-announced layoffs contain an important lesson about doing business on the internet, where there’s infinite competition, Stratechery writes. Meanwhile, the next version of BuzzFeed is being whittled into focus, Digiday reports. In a memo to employees Tuesday evening, CEO Jonah Peretti revealed the company will reorganize to further reduce costs and to invest in what’s working.
Apple Struggles as iPhone Sales Plunge
Sales of Apple's flagship iPhones plummeted 15 percent in its most recent quarter, a sharp deterioration that the company said Tuesday will continue to be a problem in the coming months, Business Insider reports. Apple posted its first companywide decline in revenues and profits in over a decade.
An Introductory Pitch in 66 Seconds
If someone gave you only a minute to describe your new product or service, how would you do it? Dwaiter recently produced a brief video—without using a single spoken word—that captures the essential features of Flauntly, its landing page builder designed for speed and easy of use.
Volvo Hopes to Score with Super Bowl 'Anti-Commercial'
Deploying a counter-programming strategy, Volvo plans to give mobile users a chance to win a subscription for a S60 sedan during the Super Bowl, Mobile Marketer reports. The carmaker, which isn't an official sponsor of the game, right before kickoff will activate a mobile website that challenges smartphone and tablet owners to keep their eyes on a video of a car for as long as possible.
Just Like Pro Cycling — Minus Turns and Crashes
Flush with a recent $125 million round of venture capital cash, Zwift is looking to expand into the burgeoning world of esports, the Los Angeles Times reports. The California company offers cyclists a way to reduce the tedium of training indoors—users stare at a screen, sharing an animated course with online friends in daily events ranging from friendly group rides to full-gas competitions.
Has The Ringer Created the Model for Podcast Success?
The Wall Street Journal this week published a story that offers insight into the podcast business at The Ringer, the digital media operation Bill Simmons founded three years ago. NiemanLab says The Ringer’s podcast ad sales topped $15 million in 2018 and its podcast network brings in around 35 million downloads across 28 shows.
Converting WiFi to Electricity
Researchers have built a small, flexible device that harvests WiFi, Bluetooth and cellular signals, and turns them into DC electricity, Scientific American reports. The device is flexible and, using typical home WiFi signals, it produces about 40 microwatts—enough to light up a simple LED display.
Facebook Pays Users to Give Away Their Privacy
Desperate for data on its competitors, Facebook has been secretly paying users ages 13 to 35 to install a “Facebook Research” VPN that lets the company tap all of a user’s phone and web activity, TechCrunch reports. It is similar to Facebook’s Onavo Protect app that Apple banned in June and that was removed in August. Facebook confirmed to TechCrunch it was running the Research program to gather data on usage habits.
How to Turn Off FaceTime
A bug in Apple’s FaceTime service allows anyone to call another user via FaceTime on their iPhone or Mac—and then use the phone’s microphone to hear what’s going on, even if they don’t pick up the call. Until Apple is able to fix the bug, your remedy is this: Just turn FaceTime off. The Verge details how to do it.
Goodbye, Dining Hall
Students at George Mason University now can order food from on-demand robots on wheels, the Washington Post reports. The fleet of 25 delivery robots from Starship Technologies can haul up to 20 pounds and make deliveries in 15 minutes or less.