- The weak economy and plummeting advertising revenue has prompted AOL to cut 700 jobs. The news comes shortly after Google wrote down its 2005 investment of $1bn in AOL. Once valued at $20 billion, Google’s new valuation puts AOL at $5.5bn. Kara Swisher, who broke the story, has chief executive Randy Falco’s memo to AOL staffers.
- In Davos, Vladimir Putin gave Michael Dell a public smack-down. After Dell asked “how can we help” expand IT in Russia, Putin replied: “We don’t need help. We are not invalids. We don’t have limited mental capacity.”
- TechCrunch founder Michael Arrington developed his outsized influence (and a lucrative business) by aggressively blogging about start-ups in Silicon Valley. At times a magnet for criticism, on Tuesday he became a magnet for something less savory. After someone spat in his face at the DLD Conference in Munich, Arrington announced in a post that he would be taking a leave of absence. “I can’t say my job is much fun any more,” he wrote.
- Contrary to yesterday’s Round-up, those rabbit ears may not be working for much longer, after all. A day after the US Senate approved a four month delay of the transition to digital television, the House blocked the bill. While this might be an inconvenience for viewers unprepared for the switch, it was good news for Qualcomm, which reported weak earnings today. As Qualcomm chief operating officer Len Lauer said last week, “We are very much opposed to the delay of the DTV transition. The delay will cost us tens of millions of dollars in extra expense and lost revenue.”
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