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September 4, 2009 Posted by | Architecture, Art, Articles, Cars, Concept, Design, Eco, Events, Film, Furniture, Gadgets, Girls, Mobile, Music, News, Products, Science, Shoes, Software, Sports, StartUps, Technology, Video, Watches | | Leave a comment

RIP DJ AM aka ADAM GOLDSTEIN

NEW YORK – DJ AM, a Philadelphia native and sought-after disc jockey who became a celebrity in his own right with a glamorous lifestyle, was found dead yesterday at his apartment, which had drug paraphernalia in it, a law enforcement official said. There was no evidence of foul play.

DJ AM, whose real name was Adam Goldstein, 36, was famous for past relationships with the reality TV star Nicole Richie and the actress-singer Mandy Moore.

He died nearly a year after surviving a South Carolina plane crash that killed four people.

In what may have been his last interview, Mr. Goldstein answered questions from Phrequency.com, Philly.com’s music spin-off Web site. The interview was posted Wednesday.

“I am incredibly excited to be involved in the evolution with Dusk at Caesars,” Mr. Goldstein said, referring to the new nightclub at Caesars Atlantic City, where his last appearance was Tuesday.

Mr. Goldstein grew up in Rittenhouse Square and told Phrequency.com that he visited Philadelphia often.

Dusk released a statement last night: “We are devastated by the loss of Adam Goldstein, our dear friend and valued member of the Dusk family. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his loved ones. He was a true talent who will be greatly missed.”

Celebrities and fans instantly shared their reactions on Twitter, where “RIP DJ AM” was the No. 1 topic yesterday. His Twitter page is http://twitter.com/DJ_AM

August 29, 2009 Posted by | Music, News | 1 Comment

LinkedIn Reaches 45 Million Users

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LinkedIn celebrated their 45 millionth user sign up on Aug 12, 2009, according to LinkedIn’s Marketing Project Manager Florina Xhabija’s Twitter message.

According to comScore, LinkedIn had 16 million worldwide monthly unique visitors and 331 million page views in June 2009, up from 7.7 million and 114 million a year ago, respectively.

The company was valued at around $1 billion in its last (2008) round of financing, and says they’ve been profitable for 2+ years.

LinkedIn has gone through numerous changes at the CEO role with founder Reid Hoffmanchanging the guard once again in June of this year after yet another change in December of 2008.

The company is a strong 2010 IPO candidate. Hoffman told us earlier this year “we can go public any time we want to.”

by Daniel Brusilovsky

August 13, 2009 Posted by | Articles, News | Leave a comment

YouTube Places New Emphasis On Search With Homepage Tweaks

by Jason Kincaid

As the most popular video portal in the world, it comes as little surprise that YouTube is also effectively the second most popular search engine, coming after only Google in overall search queries. With that in mind, it’s a bit surprising that the site hasn’t done a better job at featuring this ridiculously popular functionality — instead of placing the search box at the far left or right side of the screen, as most sites do, YouTube has instead tucked it a bit off center, embedded in its somewhat cluttered masthead. In light of this, YouTube has decided to totally revamp the design of the top of its homepage, and will be rolling out a new version today.

The new version has eliminated most of the clutter and color of the old design, in favor of something that’s unquestionably more Googleish. Before now, navigation buttons like “Home” and “Videos” were likely the first thing people looked at — now, there’s no question that the default action on the site is going to be search. The layout also does a better job categorizing the main features of the site: the left side is now dedicated to finding videos, the right is dedicated to uploading and managing the clips you’ve seen.

It may not sound like a huge deal, but just as very small tweaks on Google can have a major effect, a minor change to YouTube’s design may well change the way people use the site. I won’t be surprised if YouTube sees a marked boost in search queries as a result of the new masthead.

New Masthead

Old Masthead

VIA: TECHCRUNCH

August 13, 2009 Posted by | Articles, News | 1 Comment

Telsa Motors Finally Turns A Profit

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Tesla Motors says it earned a profit last month, the first time the Silicon Valley automaker has run in the black since its founding in 2002.

The company earned $1 million on $20 million in revenue in July after shipping a record 109 Roadsters. It attributed the profit largely to improved margins on the electric two-seater and a “surge” in orders for the car, which has a base price of $109,000.

“We achieved bottom-line profitability thanks to a tremendous amount of hard work by the Tesla team to improve quality, while simultaneously reducing costs on the Roadster,” company CEO Elon Musk said in a statement. “This also shows there is a strong demand for the car… Moreover, customers know that in buying the Roadster they are helping fund development of our mass-market electric cars.”

It’s a significant development and big news for Tesla, but don’t expect it to become a trend.

Tesla Model S. Photo: Jim Merithew / Wired.com

Most of that money rolled in after Tesla delivered cars customers had already placed deposits on. Although the company has, according to spokeswoman Rachel Konrad, seen a “surge” in orders for the Roadster and the higher-performance Roadster Sport (price: $127,500), it isn’t likely to keep rolling cars out so quickly. Konrad says Tesla is “definitely on pace” to meet its goal of 1,000 to 1,200 cars a year but didn’t say when that might happen. Tesla has so far delivered about 609 Roadsters since production started in March, 2008.

Konrad also notes that Tesla is dumping a lot of money into expanding its retail operation. Tesla already has showrooms in Menlo Park, Los Angeles, New York, Seattle and London. New stores will open in Chicago, Miami, Munich and Monaco by the end of September and in Washington, D.C. and Toronto by the end of the year.

More importantly, Tesla is investing heavily in the Model S sedan, which the company plans to begin selling in 2011.

“We are ramping up expenditures on Model S as we get closer to production, so it would not be surprising if we were not in the black in the future,” Konrad said. “This is the normal development cycle of engineering-focused companies, after all.”

The Department of Energy will loan Tesla $465 million to help develop the Model S drivetrain and retool a factory to build the car. The federal money cannot be used for things like marketing, so any money spent selling the car will come from Tesla’s coffers.

So… getting back to Tesla’s first-ever profit.

Konrad told us the revenue and net income data reflect generally accepted accounting principles — meaning they’re real numbers — and everything was “audited by our Big Three accounting firm.” She wouldn’t tell us which one because, as a private company, Tesla doesn’t have to. The $20 million in revenue does not include the deposits more than 1,500 customers have made on the Model S, nor does it include new deposits placed on Roadsters. It also doesn’t include Daimler’s $50 million investment in Tesla or any money from Uncle Sam.

“The revenue is primarily the result of new car deliveries and not some atypical one-time event,” Konrad said.

Some of the revenue did come from Tesla’s sale of battery packs and other technology to Daimler’s budding Smart EV program, but Konrad wouldn’t provide a specific figure.

Konrad said “relentless tweaking of the supply chain” helped Tesla improve the Roadster’s margins. Two years ago, the Roadster’s bill of materials — the cost of every part needed to build a car — stood at $145,000. The company has since brought that down to about $80,000, she said.

The company isn’t disclosing specifics on those cost reductions but Konrad said Tesla has cut the cost of non-powertrain components by 20 percent and decreased the cost of the powertrain by 30 percent in the past nine months alone.

The company also improved margins a bit earlier this year when it effectively raised the price of the Roadster by charging thousands of dollars for items once offered as standard equipment. At the time, Tesla said the move was needed “to guarantee the viability of the company.”

By Chuck Squatriglia

VIA: WIRED / TELSA MOTORS

August 8, 2009 Posted by | Cars, Eco, News | Leave a comment

Twitter Reaches 44.5 Million People Worldwide In June

Well, Twitter didn’t win a Nobel Peace Prize for its role in getting the word out about the Iran election protests earlier this summer, but it did gain about 7 million new visitors in the month of June. Twitter’s website attracted a total of 44.5 million unique visitors worldwide in June, 2009, according to comScore.

Twitter’s worldwide audience grew a healthy 19 percent from May, 2009 (and an even healthier 1,460 percent from June, 2008, when its worldwide audience was just 2.9 million).

With 20 million of its visitors coming from the U.S., Twitter’s audience is now 55 percent international. ComScore now counts it as the No. 52 largest site in the world (bigger than ESPN, just shy of the BBC and Craigslist).

These estimates only count traffic to Twitter.com. Since more than half of Twitter users don’t even go to the Website, and instead use Twitter apps to consume and publish Tweets, Twitter’s total audience is even larger. But comScore provides a consistent measure of its growth.

by Erick Schonfeld

VIA: TECHCRUNCH

August 5, 2009 Posted by | News | Leave a comment

Hugh Hefner sells house for $18 million

Hugh Hefner's Holmby Hills home for sale

Hefner and his wife, Kimberley Conrad Hefner, sold their personal residence next to the Playboy Mansion in L.A.’s Holmby Hills. They wanted $28 million for it when they listed it in early March, but it sold for $18 million.

The two have lived in adjacent mansions since they separated in 1999. The 7,300-square-foot English Manor-style house that Kimberley lived in was built in 1929. With five bedrooms and seven bathrooms it sits on 2.3 acres that back up to the Los Angeles Country Club.

Amenities include his-and-her powder rooms, a media room with a film projector and built-in screen that drops from the ceiling, hand-painted walls, a hand-carved staircase, a three-car garage and, of course, a pool.

There’s also a door in the wall separating the home from the Playboy Mansion. The house was designed for the sister of the first owner of the Playboy Mansion.

Don’t know who bought the house or whether the key to that door in the wall was included.

VIA: LA Times

August 3, 2009 Posted by | News | Leave a comment