The 404 1,441: Where we ride the green wave (podcast)

Leaked from today's 404 episode:

- An Estonian photographer discovered an abandoned movie theater in the Sinai desert.

- This photographer just made $15k in one day on Instagram.

- Audi's new tech can turn every traffic light green.

- Banter tries to reinvent the chat room.… Read more

AOL's Armstrong reverses cuts to 401(k), apologizes for comment

In response to complaints by AOL employees, CEO Tim Armstrong reversed a recent policy change to reduce the number of times the company makes matching contributions to 401(k) plans.

The company will again make contributions with each pay period instead of once a year, Armstrong wrote in an e-mail to employees Saturday. He also apologized for comments he made during an employee conference call Thursday "when I mentioned specific healthcare examples in trying to explain our decision making process around our employee benefit programs."

During the meeting, Armstrong rationalized the 401(k) reductions as necessary to offset … Read more

AOL revenue up as profit stays inline with prior year

AOL had a strong 2013 on the revenue front, and although things looked dire on profits, some extra context helps to put the data into perspective.

During its 2013 fiscal year, AOL generated $2.3 billion in revenue, up 6 percent compared to the $2.2 billion it generated in 2012. And although the company was able to post a $92.4 million profit during the period, that was down 91 percent compared to the $1 billion it made in the prior year.

Comparing the two years, however, might be like comparing apples and oranges. In 2012, AOL had a $… Read more

Which smartphone users are the biggest data hogs?

Why texting while walking should be illegal:

In this episode of Update:

- iPhone 5S users are total data hogs.

- AOL lands with Gravity.

- A new strategy for Nintendo?

- TiVo lays off most of its hardware team.

- Texting while walking makes you a big dummy.

CNET Update delivers the tech news you need in under three minutes. Watch Bridget Carey every afternoon for a breakdown of the big stories, hot devices, new apps, and what's ahead. Subscribe to the podcast via the links below.


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AOL lands Gravity in $83M acquisition

AOL has felt the pull of content-personalization company Gravity.

AOL announced the deal on Thursday, saying it'll pay $83 million for Gravity. AOL says that the acquisition will make it easier for its network of sites to present relevant content to users, and could improve the company's analytics, targeting, and advertising offerings.

Gravity is perhaps best known for its Interest Graph -- a visual representation of what topics are trending across the Internet. Gravity then analyzes a user's actions on the Web and delivers real-time content and advertising based on their interests. According to AOL, Gravity has … Read more

AOL dumps hyper-local news site Patch

AOL announced Wednesday that it's giving up most of its control over

Hale Global, an investment holding company, will take over Patch's more than 900 news sites within the next three months. Patch, a network of community-oriented sites publishing local news, serves more than 16 million people, according to a press release.

"We are committed to bringing users, local businesses, writers and advertisers together into a Patch experience full of innovation and growth," Charles Hale, CEO of Hale Global, said in the release. "Along with AOL, we are committed to taking the necessary … Read more

Winamp survives to play for new owner

Reports of Winamp's death were greatly exggerated.

Once scheduled to kick the bucket last month, the software has found new life with new parent Radionomy, an online radio station aggregator. On Tuesday, Radionomy announced that it purchased both Winamp and streaming music site Shoutcast from former owner AOL. Terms of the deal were not revealed, though a Belgian news site says that AOL bought a partial stake in Radionomy as part of a recent round of funding.

Will Winamp change under its new management? Yes, but for the better, according to Radionomy. The program will add access to more … Read more

Winamp could start the new year with a new owner

Winamp may continue to play another day but in the house of a new owner.

Current parent AOL has cut a deal to sell the software to Radionomy, TechCrunch reported Wednesday. Located in Belgium, Radionomy provides access to around 6,000 online radio stations. The deal should be completed by Friday, if not sooner, a "reliable source" told TechCrunch.

The tipoff that Radionomy would be the new owner was spotted by a person on the Winamp forums and a blogger, both of whom discovered that the domain name servers for had been changed to point to … Read more

Winamp may live to play another day

Don't play taps for Winamp just yet. The program may yet get another lease on life.

Last month, Winamp maker Nullsoft announced that parent AOL was going to pull the plug on the software come Friday, December 20, after which point it would no longer be available for download. But blog site TechCrunch, which is also owned by AOL, said that a suitor may swoop in to save the program.

Citing information from "a source with knowledge of the discussions," TechCrunch said on Thursday that AOL has been chatting with a potential buyer about purchasing Winamp and … Read more

Is Patch dead or not? Leaked memo from exec says no

The Web world was abuzz on Monday with reports that AOL's foray into local news with Patch was in the process of being shuttered. But now it appears that might not be the case.

The New York Times' David Carr on Sunday reported that AOL is "winding down" its Patch network of local news sites after repeated attempts by the company's chief executive, Tim Armstrong, to boost the ailing company. The claim came despite a comment made by Armstrong saying that Patch was "moving toward" profitability, indicating that the end might not be in … Read more