Facebook co-founder renounces US citizenship

Just days before Facebook’s IPO, Facebook’s co-founder Eduardo Saverin (the angry guy who smashes his laptop in The Social Network) renounced his US citizenship and has claimed Singapore as his home country.

Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin renouces US citizenship

While I’m sure there’s plenty to love about the city-state of Singapore, it’s most likely Saverin’s citizenship decision is motivated by economics. Though he owns a “small” 4 percent stake in Facebook, his stake is worth $3.8 billion. By taking up residence in Singapore, Saverin can shield his fortune from paying any capital-gains tax. In comparison, his co-founder Mark Zuckerberg could be facing $2 billion in taxes when Facebook goes public.

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In case we need more validation on the increasing use of social networking  on mobile devices, a new report from Mobile Metrix 2.0 reveals that Facebook users spend more time on their accounts via mobile devices than on their computers.

 

Reflecting about my own Facebook use, there’s no doubt that I spend more time accessing the site from my Blackberry than on my laptop. If I have a few minutes to kill during the day, you can usually find me on my Blackberry checking my Facebook, Twitter and email.

However, I was surprised with the amount of time the average mobile user spends on Facebook. According to the report, Facebook mobile users spend about seven hours a month accessing the site from their phone or tablet. After an initial panic set in wondering what productive things I could have been doing during those seven hours instead of looking at vacation pictures from a friend- of- a-friend from college, I realized those seven hours a month break down to about 14 minutes of mobile Facebook use a day (which made me feel much better).

Aside from showing how much time users are spending on Facebook from their mobile devices, the report is telling in where social networking sites need to invest. The Facebook application for most smartphones is pretty stripped down in comparison to the website. It also brings in little revenue from its free mobile application. There are no ads and few sponsored posts, so far.

With this new report from Mobile Metrix 2.0 combined with Facebook’s IPO, Zuckerberg and Company should focus their efforts to keep Facebook’s momentum going.

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Brewers host “Social Media Night” at Miller Park

I had the opportunity to attend last night’s Brewers game, dubbed as “Social Media Night,” at Miller Park to learn how social media and technology has changed the sports landscape in Wisconsin.

Chris Narveson spoke to fans at “Social Media Night” at Miller Park last night

Before the game, participants in “Social Media Night” were invited to a panel discussion with representatives from Wisconsin’s major sports teams including: the Milwaukee Brewers, Milwaukee Bucks, Green Bay Packers and Milwaukee Admirals. Right off the bat (get it?), I was impressed that the event was able to draw in public relations people from different sports and teams even though it was hosted by the Brewers.

During the 45-minute program, panelists covered topics ranging from fan engagement through social media tools to promotions and how the teams handle the social media use of their players. We even got a surprise from Brewers pitcher Chris Narveson who spoke about how Twitter has changed the way he interacts with fans and receives baseball updates. 

After the program, participants were invited to head over to the ATI Club at the ground level of the stadium to watch the game with the panelists and continue our discussion on social media in sports.

 I’d say the event was a big hit for participants who attended. It gave sports and tech fans a real opportunity to interact with Wisconsin sports insiders. I hope to see the Brewers and other sports teams within the state continue these events as social media becomes more ingrained in how we watch sports.

Below are the Twitter handles of last night’s panelists if you want to learn more about they use social media in Wisconsin sports:

  • @joe_block: Joe Block handles the play-by-play updates for the Brewers Radio Network
  • @gwcummings: Garrison Cummings is head of social media strategy for the Green Bay Packers
  • @JonAdmirials: Jon Greenberg is the president of the Milwaukee Admirals Hockey Club
  • @nmonre: Nick Monroe is a senior sales representative with the Milwaukee Bucks.

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Apple may release $799 MacBook Air later this year

While I’m a fan of most Apple products including the iPod, the iPad and MacBook line, it’s no secret these products tend to be more expensive than similar products available. That trend may begin to change if the rumors of a $799 MacBook Air later this year is true.

A $799 MacBook Air might be coming your way

With a slew of ‘ultra-books’, or super slim laptops, expected to be the next ‘it’ gadget, the price cut could be another way of luring consumers to the Apple Brand. If the rumors are true, the more affordable MacBook Air could be on the shelves in time for back-to-school shopping. Coincidence? Hardly.

Tablet enthusiasts may remember several months ago Apple rolled back prices on its older iPad models with the release of the new iPad and the success of competing tablets. Therefore, part of Apple’s price cut motivation could be to get ahead of ultra-book and Windows 8 competition this fall.

If the $799 MacBook Air rumor comes true, you might find me ditching my PC laptop and heading to the closest Apple store. What about you?

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Tech Review: HTC One X

AT&T and HTC launched their latest smartphone, the HTC One X, last weekend to eager customers who wanted to see if it would live up to its buzz as the newest Android device and a real competitor against the iPhone. After spending some time with the HTC One X, I wouldn’t hesitate to pick up this device if you’re an Android enthusiast.

While its large 4.7-inch screen initially made me question my feelings for the smartphone, I found its unibody polycarbonate design, similar to that of the Nokia Lumia 900, made it sleek and quite easy to handle without it feeling like a drag to carry around. If you’re concerned with bulkiness as I found with the One X’s cousins, the Titan and Titan II, don’t worry. The One X weighs in at just 4.6 ounces and is easy to carry around. However, because of the unibody design, there is no way to change the battery. If there are battery or battery charge issues down the road, there’s little the user can do.

The large LED screen of the One X makes it easy to read messages, browse the web and watch videos. If screen quality is important to you, the One X may be for you. As someone who encounters many smartphones, it had been awhile since a device’s screen really caught my attention. The resolution and sharpness of the One X is worth checking out.

The HTC One X runs the latest Android software, Ice Cream Sandwich. With some devices still coming out with the old Android Software, it’s good to see HTC avoid the hassle of developing an update and releasing the phone with newest software from the get-go. I found it easy to run multiple applications, stream video and browse the web with the combination of Ice Cream Sandwich and the dual core processor.

Photo enthusiasts should seriously consider the One X. While the 8-megapixel camera is common in the smartphone market, the application allows users to shutter photos, which helps users find the best photo in a series. Mobile users partial to the trendy nostalgia look – thanks Instagram – will be happy to know the One X comes with a slew of similar features.

The HTC One X has been available for pre-order through AT&T the past few weeks and is expected in retail outlets in the next few weeks for $200 with a two-year contract. With a bunch of smartphones and other Android devices available for less, there’s a question whether or not this device is worth it. If you’re looking for the probably the best all-around Android device, I’d say $200 is worth it.

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Samsung announces Galaxy S III

The new king of cell phone manufacturers, Samsung, recently announced its newest device. Keeping with recent tradition, the next device will be the Samsung Galaxy S III.

Unveiled in London yesterday, the Galaxy S III looks like a big deal, literally. With a screen measuring at 4.8-inches, the Galaxy S III might just be a dream come true for those who love mega-screen smartphones.

ImageOther worthy features include an application similar to the iPhone’s Siri called ‘S-Voice,’ Android’s Ice Cream Sandwich software and a camera with an array of features.

The Galaxy S III is expected to launch in the US in June. If you were thinking of picking up the Galaxy S II soon, I’d wait to see what the Galaxy S III has to offer before making a final decision. 

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RIM unveils Blackberry 10 features

During its self proclaimed BlackBerry World celebration yesterday, RIM unveiled several features for its long awaited BlackBerry 10 generation. To sum up the features in one word: Yawn.

Keyboard, camera and flow were the focal points of RIM’s CEO Thorsten Heins presentation. While all important features, the improvements appear anything but earth shattering. Unfortunately for RIM, ground breaking is exactly what it needs if it wants to regain market share in the US.

While the Blackberry has finally ditched its physical keyboard for a touch screen with predictive text, consumers have seen this feature in nearly every smartphone on the market. RIM’s new camera developments allow users to snap pictures  millisecond by millisecond for the perfect frame. It sounds amazing, but will is it enough for users to ditch their Android or iOS mobiles?

The last major feature has to do with the BlackBerry 10’s ‘flow’ to run multiple applications, stream video and browse the web. Sounds great. But there are plenty of mobiles on the market now that managed ‘flow’ just fine.

It would be fair to say that I may be judging RIM’s new features too harshly. As a Blackberry user, I am disappointed.

The new BlackBerry 10 generation may just blow me away, if the devices are ever released. Rumors are going around that RIM will launch the new generation toward the end of the year. By that time, who knows what kind of device developments Androids, Windows and Apple will have made with its new devices. While I’m holding out hope for RIM, I’m pragmatic about the success of BlackBerry 10.

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