AOL Has a Boo-Boo on Its Bebo

“You would have to be stupid. You would have to trip to not succeed at this at some point.”

Those words may come back to haunt the former Bebo chief Joanna Shields, now that rumors are circulating that the social network is about to be dropped like a hot potato.

Back when AOL bought Bebo for $850 million, I was already speculating that the social network had slipped from its valuation high of $1.5 billion. Now it appears that the social network has lost users–down from 22 million a month to 14.6 million–and with it, it’s value to AOL.

What’s interesting is the predicament facing AOL. Due to some complex tax laws, it may actually make better financial sense for AOL to just shut Bebo down.

Yahoo CEO Asks, “Facebook, what’s their revenue?”–Er, About $1 Billion Carol

Yahoo celebrated its 15 year anniversary yesterday and Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz decided that it would be the perfect time to take a swipe Facebook.

When asked why Yahoo wasn’t as hot as Facebook, she replied: "Facebook? What’s their revenue?"

Oh no she didn’t!

Well, as if on cue, Inside Facebook comes up with some compelling calculations that suggest Facebook will hit $1.1 billion 2010.

First, their calculations for 2009–keep in mind these are simply guestimates.

Then, estimating revenues for ads, partnerships, virtual goods, and such, they come up with their 2010 prediction:

A wide variety of sources we spoke to expect Facebook to pass $1 billion in revenue this year, possibly reaching $1.1 billion. This is significant growth, but likely still the start of the hockey stick.

Is Microsoft Waging a Proxy War on Google for Antitrust?

Well, if the shoe isn’t on the other foot. Once upon a time, Microsoft seemed to be the biggest threat to free trade in the computer world, facing suits across the world. And now it’s Google’s turn—and coincidentally, Microsoft certainly looks like the man behind the curtain. In fact, two thirds of voters at the Wall Street Journal think it’s Microsoft’s machinations throwing the gauntlet down at Google:

How is Microsoft doing this? Certainly not directly (pot, kettle). No—it would have to be through backroom puppetry, which Microsoft of course denies. The evidence does appear highly coincidental. The WSJ outlines one instance where Google filed a two-sentence suit against a small site owing them $335,000 for AdSense—and got a 24-page antitrust countersuit, with Microsoft’s chief outside antitrust council listed as one of the litigants.

School Kids Brought Google to Its Knees

Computer security experts and the National Security Agency have been hard at work, trying to figure out where in China recent attacks on Google originated.

It turns out that Google did not suffer at the hands of the Chinese government, but, wait for it, school kids.

Tracing the attacks further back, to an elite Chinese university and a vocational school, is a breakthrough in a difficult task. Evidence acquired by a United States military contractor that faced the same attacks as Google has even led investigators to suspect a link to a specific computer science class, taught by a Ukrainian professor at the vocational school.

Did you get that? A computer science class is responsible for attacking one of the most sophisticated technology companies in the world. School kids!

Can Kindle Resist Apple’s Attempt to Douse It?

Since its unveiling last month, the iPad has been labeled a Kindle killer. The parallels are obvious—the largest (and newest) Kindle has the same size screen, both have Internet connectivity, and both can be used to read books. But that just about sums up the Kindle’s selling points, and the iPad’s features list continues on out the door. So could a full-color touchscreen tablet computer and a B&W eReader really be considered the competitors the media continue to make them out to be?

Heck yes, if Amazon has anything to say about it. Last week, Amazon acquired touchscreen maker TouchCo. The small startup had developed a new way to add touch screen technology. (Kindle direct competitor the Sony eReader already has a touchscreen version, which outsells its cheaper alternative.)

Twitter Breaks Tweet Count? Or Another Attack?

I just noticed that my number of tweets just skyrocketed, according to Twitter.

Apparently, I tweeted 34,000 tweets overnight!

Here’s Google’s cache from last night:

And here’s what’s showing right now:

I’m not the only one to see this. My wife’s just jumped around 10,000 too.

Anyone else seeing this?

UPDATE: While this is annoying–I don’t want to appear as though I’m a tweeting windbag–it’s a known, low-priority bug, according to Twitter.

Google Partners with the NSA? The Same Agency That Tapped Our Phones Illegally?

If you’re a government conspiracy theorist, you probably shouldn’t read this post. You won’t sleep for weeks.

The National Security Agency is rumored to be working with Google in light of the cyber attacks that reportedly came from China.

Think about that for a second. Big Brother just partnered with big brother, to try and fight off communist China.

Doesn’t that make you just feel so warm and fuzzy? ;-)

No one is publicly admitted that the NSA and Google are collaborating, but the source of the story isn’t some blogger looking for publicity, it’s The Washington Post–so there must be some smoke surrounding this alleged fire.

“The critical question is: At what level will the American public be comfortable with Google sharing information with NSA?” said Ellen McCarthy, president of the Intelligence and National Security Alliance.