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Instagram Has ‘Jumped the Shark,’ Says Top Apple

The $1 billion photo-sharing app Instagram — once named “app of the year” by Apple — has now “jumped the shark,” according to Apple’s marketing chief Phil Schiller. And not only is Schiller trashing the service (in a brief message to Apple enthusiast Clayton Braasch), he has also deleted his Instagram account (@schiller) entirely (much like some thousands of other users.) What got Schiller so upset? Not the billion-dollar acquisition by Facebook, apparently.
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Better Way to Motivate Your Team

A little friendly rivalry can boost employee performance. But if you don't handle contests carefully, they can backfire. Whether on a sales team or anywhere else in an organization, reward programs and contests are supposed to motivate each member of a team to perform at the top of his or her game.But I’ve seen situations—even in large, sophisticated companies—where the program becomes a hotbed of resentment and frustration.If you want your award program to promote achievement and team morale while taking you closer to your corporate goals, follow these five rules.1. Announce the Program Well in AdvanceIt’s amazing how many companies wait until mid-year to announce an award program that, by then, has been going on for months, unbeknownst to the team
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Google Street View Wi-Fi data swoop deemed legal

Google has been told by the courts that collecting of Wi-Fi data with its Google Street View Cars was not illegal practise but it still has to pay a fine for doing it.It's been some two years since it came to light that Google was collecting Wi-Fi data while snapping the world's streets for its Street View service.The US' Federal Communications Commission has decided that Google's 'accidental' trawling of this data was not actually illegal but the fact the company delayed an investigation into the affairs means that it will have to pay a $25,000 fine, which equates to around £15,000. Considering that Google has hundreds of billions of pounds in its coffers, we're guessing the company found this in its pocket change.Future techGoogle Glasses seen in the wildGood faithA spokesperson said of the FCC's verdict: "We worked in good faith to answer the FCC's questions throughout the inquiry, and we're pleased that they have concluded that we complied with the law."The FCC noted that Google "deliberately impeded and delayed" the investigation, explaining: "Although a world leader in digital search capability, Google took the position that searching its employees' e-mail 'would be a time-consuming and burdensome task'."Related StoriesiTunes 11 to properly embrace iCloud and iOS 6?Spotify Play button revealed - legal music coming to whole of webGoogle unveils a 'more beautiful' Google+New domain name deadline extended by ICANN following software hitchFacebook and Apple 'will stifle innovation' online, says Google
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Facebook and Apple ‘will stifle innovation’ online, says Google

The restrictive rules put in place by companies like Facebook and Apple are threatening web freedom, according to Sergey Brin, one of Google's co-founders. Speaking to The Guardian, Brin spoke of his fears for the internet as governments try to control it, militant anti-piracy measures threaten creativity and the growing trend for 'walled gardens' like those patrolled by Facebook and Apple. "Very powerful forces… have lined up against the open internet on all sides and around the world," he said in an interview. "I am more worried than I have been in the past
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Yahoo axes 14% of workforce

Yahoo has confirmed that it is changing into a 'bold, new Yahoo' with news that it is to cut 2,000 jobs from the company.Yahoo has been wobbling for some time now, so this restructuring will come as no surprise, but the number of people being let go shows how serious the company is in turning its fortunes around.It is thought that the 14 per cent cut in staff is likely to affect many areas of the business, including marketing and development.Speaking about the changes, Yahoo CEO Scott Thompson said: "Today's actions are an important next step toward a bold, new Yahoo – smaller, nimbler, more profitable and better equipped to innovate as fast as our customers and our industry require."Our goal is to get back to our core purpose – putting our users and advertisers first – and we are moving aggressively to achieve that goal.''
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Capitalize on a Lack of Focus

Lack of focus can be a core competency. Here are six principles to encourage innovative thinking, lots of experimentation, and an entrepreneurial spirit.Like many of you, we are trying to build a fast-growing company, which requires us to respond quickly to new market opportunities and changing customer demands. Conventional wisdom tells us that a focused organization is a nimble organization. As a team, however, we’re fairly unfocused–and yet we’ve built an Inc.
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Spotify boosted by new wave of apps

Spotify's desire to move from a simple streaming service to a full-on 'OS of music' has been bolstered by the latest wave of apps for the company's desktop client.Twelve new applications have been unleashed, joining add-ons like Moodagent, Rolling Stone, Pitchfork TuneWiki and Songkick, which have been a huge success since arriving in November 2011.Among the new breed are entries from record labels like Warner (with The Warner Sound), DefJam, Domino, Matador and indie company PIAS, all bringing an enriched experience to their vast libraries.There's also an app called TweetVine, which collates playlists based on the #NowPlaying hashtags posted on Twitter, but not necessarily from those you follow.Lots of social curation Digster is another interesting addition. It trawls your listening history and Facebook likes to create new playlists, while Filtr curates track lists based around what your Facebook friends are listening to.Hot or Not is a game, of sorts, which allows you to judge which tracks are indeed Hot or Not while Classify is a portal for all of your classical music needs.The Complete Collection brings album booklets while The Legacy Of... brings historical insight into a host of your favourite musicians.As with the first wave of apps, they're all free to download and are available from within the App Finder section of the desktop client.There's still no sign of an app store launch for the Spotify Premium mobile apps which serve the company's three million paying customers
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Zynga buys Draw Something creator OMGPOP

Social gaming overlord Zynga has officially snapped up rival studio OMGPOP, the creator of the Pictionary-style Draw Something app.Confirming reports earlier this week, the studios have reached an agreement, thought to be in the region of $200m (£120m).Draw Something has proved to be somewhat of a phenomenon over the last month, rising to the top of the iOS, Android and Facebook charts soon after its launch.The game requires its 30 million plus users to draw pictures based on word clues, while attempting to guess those doodled by opponents. It can also be played across platforms.Engendering social interactionsNoting the game's dramatic rise to the top of the social gaming arena, Zynga (which enjoyed similar success with Scrabble clone Words With Friends) has moved fast to acquire the title."The OMGPOP team has created a game that's fun, expressive and engenders real social interaction," said Zynga CEO Mark Pincus in a news release.
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