July 27, 2011

Video Tutorial How To Setup A Hosted Wordpress Blog | Maria Eves

There are many blogging platforms like blogger.com and wordpress.com that are free to setup a blog. Your gonna find that you do not have control of these platforms as they can shut you down at their own discretion.

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A Self hosted wordpress blog gives you way more features to use then a free wordpress.com platform would or even blogger.com. You will have access to plugins for the site that are key to many areas required to setup your post.

This particular video will show you how to go about setting up the plan that is required before moving on into the next step of setting up the hosted blog configuration which is the next step.

WATCH THE VIDEO TUTORIAL – How To Setup A Hosted WordPress Blog.

This is a manual guide to follow to complete the process.

Your account is not automatically set up when you purchase a hosting plan. You need to log in and complete the set-up process in the Hosting Control Center.

To Set up Your Hosting Account
1. Log in to your Godaddy Account Manager. The Account Manager is where you manage account administrative functions and
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1. In other words click on ACCOUNT. Then scroll down till you see your products section.

The Hosting Control Center is where you configure hosting-account functionality.

2. From the Products section, click Web Hosting and continue to follow this guide CLICK HERE.

I look forward to your feedback on this post. Your probably wandering why I have 2 posts on same topic. Different Keywords is my reason for ranking WordPress Blog on google. Do go ahead and tweet and share I’m sure your friends would appreciate this guideline. I do appreciate.

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Video Tutorial How To Setup A Hosted Wordpress Blog | Maria Eves

Amazon outpaces earnings expectations

SAN FRANCISCO - Amazon.com Inc.'s second-quarter profit fell as the leading online retailer continued to spend on expanding its business.

At the same time, higher merchandise sales lifted revenue 51 percent. Both results, issued late Tuesday, easily beat analyst expectations, as did Amazon's third-quarter sales outlook. Amazon shares rose 6 percent in after-hours trading.

For the quarter that ended June 30, revenue rose to $9.91 billion from $6.57 billion last year. The company's electronics and general-merchandise revenue rose 69 percent, to $5.89 billion, while sales of books, CDs, DVDs and other media rose 27 percent, to $3.66 billion.

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos said in a statement that "low prices, expanding selection and innovation" drove the company's second-quarter growth.

That growth means Amazon must keep investing in operation expansions and upgrades. So far this year, in order to support the proliferation of its online-retail business, it has announced it is building 15 new centers, including one in Phoenix, to fill orders. Overall, operating expenses rose 54 percent, to $9.71 billion.

For the quarter that ended June 30, Seattle-based Amazon said it earned $191 million, or 41 cents per share, compared with $207 million, or 45 cents per share, in the year-earlier quarter. For the current quarter, Amazon forecast revenue of $10.3 billion to $11.1 billion, the top of which is well above the $10.4 billion that analysts expect.

Bezos said the $139 Kindle 3G with Special Offers - a version of the Kindle released during the quarter that is subsidized with ads - is now its top-selling Kindle device.

Associated Press Jul. 27, 2011 12:00 AM

Amazon outpaces earnings expectations

July 24, 2011

Skype: The inside story of the boffo $8.5 billion deal - Fortune Tech

FORTUNE -- In September 2009, Silver Lake Partners and venture firm Andreessen-Horowitz bought Skype from eBay, where it had become the Kurt Cobain of technology companies (wildly popular, deeply troubled). The value of that deal: $2.75 billion.

In May 2011 the new owners announced that they were selling the company to Microsoft for $8.5 billion.

Voilà! Six billion bucks in less than two years.

For many, the Skype deal is seen -- along with exuberance for the LinkedIn IPO and sky-high private valuations of companies such as Facebook -- as a sign of a fast-inflating technology bubble: What else could explain such a lofty price tag for a company that lost $7 million in 2010 and $418 million the year before? What could have changed in just two years to make Skype nearly three times as valuable?

A lot, according to the executives behind the transaction, who spoke with Fortune exclusively about the strategic and tactical moves they made to transform the company from a quirky Internet phone service into a sophisticated and growing voice and video communications app. Indeed, Skype had long-standing plans to go public, and its backers felt sure it would have thrived on its own. "We have occasional fantasies of calling up [Microsoft] and torpedoing the deal," quips Marc Andreessen, founder of Andreessen-Horowitz. "I'm thrilled with the deal but would be equally thrilled if it fell apart."

The key to fixing Skype, which eBay (EBAY) struggled to integrate into its auction site, was to win over the company's mercurial founders, Niklas Zennström and Janus Friis, who actually owned the rights to the software underlying the service -- without that intellectual property, it would be impossible to unleash Skype's potential. The problem: The two had been pushed aside after the eBay acquisition and had no intention of throwing a bone to the next guys who wanted to buy their invention. In fact, the moment Silver Lake floated a buyout offer, Zennström, a Swede, and Friis, a Dane, sued all the parties involved.

Egon Durban, the Silver Lake partner who was leading the transaction, realized he needed help with the founders. Enter Andreessen, himself a founder (Netscape, Opsware), an eBay and Facebook board member, and a guru to a new generation of tech entrepreneurs. To Andreessen, Skype was a potential gem -- one of the few great network-effect tech companies ever created.

Andreessen agreed to invest $50 million of his venture firm's money in the deal on the bold assumption that he and Durban ultimately would win the founders' trust. He assumed correctly: Zennström and Friis accepted a 14% stake in the new ownership structure in exchange for giving all the IP back to Skype. With Skype's software rights secured, the investors went into turnaround mode. Durban, who says he spent about half his time over two years on Skype matters, focused on bringing in new management. He and Andreessen quietly changed out 29 of Skype's 30 top managers. (In contrast, the recent firing of eight executives before the closing of the Microsoft (MSFT) deal -- they'll lose their chance at million-dollar payouts -- caused quite a stir.) Thanks to its status as a venture-backed company with options to grant, Skype was able to double its engineering ranks and open a Skype facility in Silicon Valley.

The new team furiously started spitting out added features and new versions of Skype every four to six weeks, and dove into significant new businesses, including smartphone apps, deals to embed Skype in consumer products like TVs and game consoles, and partnerships with Facebook and Verizon Wireless (VZ). "The Facebook partnership was critical," Durban says. "And the partnerships with carriers -- they had thought of us as an enemy. Getting Verizon signed up signaled that one of the world's largest carriers was not at war with us but was supportive."

Communications service Skype is skyrocketing, but is it worth the premium -- 10 times last year's revenue -- that Microsoft paid?

In fact, Skype was suddenly surfing tectonic shifts in communications. The wave of iPhones and iPads and Androids in 2009 and 2010 pushed wireless carriers to the realization that their most profitable business would be providing data services, not voice calls, and they came to see apps such as Skype as assets that would help drive sales of smartphones and pricey data plans.

By the fall of 2010, just a year after the buyout, Skype was surging: Users had climbed to 600 million from about 400 million a year earlier -- and it saw rising usage of its video calling services. But it needed a CEO who could take the company public. (Josh Silverman, who was the CEO of Skype when it was a unit of eBay, had stayed on.) Durban contacted Tony Bates, a senior executive at Cisco (CSCO). They talked for nearly three hours -- on Skype, naturally.

The clincher was Bates's meeting with Andreessen. "I'd always been a big admirer but had never met him," Bates says. "Going into the Andreessen-Horowitz office was an experience. They have this wonderful library in the lobby, and I looked for a couple of books that were special to me. One was Neuromancer, by William Gibson. I couldn't find it, so that became a good opening to the conversation."

Bates, a Brit with a deep technical background and big-company chops, was perhaps one of the few executives -- "a needle in a haystack," Durban calls him -- who could wrangle strong-willed engineers spread across half the globe. He joined in October 2010, and Skype postponed its IPO, which gave Bates time to get the company into better shape.

Little did the executives know the delay would work in their favor: By early 2011, Skype was developing new ways to make money, including selling advertisers airtime during Skype video calls. Executives started talking up the video business -- and a forthcoming IPO. Peter Klein, Microsoft's chief financial officer, had been hearing the chatter and reached out to Durban in April. Microsoft, which had been looking for ways to bolster its fledgling efforts in mobile-phone software, saw Skype as a potential partner for voice and video calls; it also saw the software as an interesting way to enhance its broadband-connected Xbox gaming platform.

Durban, who jokingly likens the deal to marrying off one of his daughters, and Andreessen are uncharacteristically mum when it comes to the juicy details of the negotiations, and Microsoft declined to make Klein available for the story, but clearly Microsoft was bidding not against another buyer but against the valuation Skype expected to secure from its public offering. For Durban, Andreessen, and Bates, $8.5 billion in cash was an offer too good to refuse. So far U.S. antitrust officials have signed off on the deal, and European Union approval is pending.

So did Microsoft overpay for Skype, contributing to a new tech bubble? Spokesman Frank Shaw likens the deal to Microsoft's $240 million investment for a 1.6% stake in Facebook in 2007 -- now worth roughly $1.3 billion based on reports that put Facebook's value at about $80 billion. "History doesn't always repeat," he says, "but there are similarities in terms of what people are saying about the Skype deal."

Certainly Microsoft will be buying a fast-growing, well-positioned global asset with an unbeatable brand. But that's what eBay thought when it bought Skype in 2005 for $2.6 billion. The devil is in how that asset is managed, and whether it can integrate with existing products and services. eBay blew it on both counts. If Microsoft does the same, we could wind up writing this story again with different names -- or maybe some of the same ones -- a few years from now.

by Kevin Maney Fortune Magazine Jul 12, 2011

Skype: The inside story of the boffo $8.5 billion deal - Fortune Tech

Don't call it the next tech bubble - yet - Big Tech - Fortune Tech

FORTUNE -- Michael Dreyfus, 49, is a leading real estate broker in the heart of Silicon Valley. During the winter he sensed the housing market was coming back, though he hadn't a clue what he'd be in for. In February prospective sellers came to him with a listing for a perfectly respectable property in Palo Alto: four bedrooms, three bathrooms, 7,500-square-foot lot, needs work. He recommended that the sellers ask $1.9 million. When the house went on the market in April, they had bumped the price to $2.3 million. Seven offers came in above that price; $2.7 million won the frantic bidding. Several buyers attempted to make offers even as the broker was supervising repairs to a kitchen flooded by a burst pipe. What's a little leak when the price tomorrow may hit $3 million? "We live in an alternative universe here," Dreyfus acknowledges.

Welcome to the Bizarro World of Silicon Valley Summer 2011, where financial fervor is fueling yet another real estate boom. Billions of dollars in fresh venture capital is being invested, and tech IPOs are hitting the stock market weekly. The rest of the country may be in the economic doldrums, but here the winds are fair and the sails of the newly rich captains are full. Entrepreneurs are pulling out fresh business plans; more angel investors are getting into the pre-IPO action; exuberance fills the Northern California air. Is the surge the beginning of a new, lasting wave of good times to wash over El Dorado, or is it the harbinger of the latest speculative cycle?

Consumer sites like LinkedIn (LNKD) and Pandora (P) have gone public recently, with multibillion-dollar valuations -- and without the profits to justify it (at least using traditional metrics). LinkedIn has been trading at 750 times its estimated 2012 earnings -- as the rest of the market trades at barely 12 times forward earnings.

Just last week, Zynga filed for a $1 billion IPO. The fever is contagious: Groupon, based in Chicago, is sure to have an IPO shortly, and Washington, D.C.--based LivingSocial, the No. 2 local-commerce website after Groupon, may file soon too. And everybody expects an IPO from Facebook by early 2012. Its valuation, based on trading in private secondary markets, has surpassed an astonishing $80 billion, which puts the seven-year-old company in the same financial league as established public operations like Amazon (AMZN) and Cisco (CSCO).

Microsoft's acquisition of Skype has similarly furrowed brows. Chinese Internet companies, listed on American stock exchanges, are another marker of enthusiasm possibly gone awry. For example, Youku.com (YOKU), hyped as the YouTube of China, went public in December at $12.80 and approached $70 in April. In June it had sunk to near $25. You could argue the stock had returned to normalcy -- or instead that a little bubble had popped, and when it did, it popped big. Color.com has become its own cautionary tale. It announced in the spring that it had raised $41 million for a "miraculous" free app for smartphones that would allow users to share snapshots. Yet when the app launched, it was a bust.

The swell in IPOs isn't limited to splashy social-networking companies. IronPlanet, based across the bay from Silicon Valley in Pleasanton, is as unsexy as it gets. It conducts online auctions worldwide for heavy equipment, like a Caterpillar (CAT) backhoe loader or a John Deere (DE) crawler tractor -- and plans to go public this summer. Overall, more than 50 tech IPOs are expected by year-end -- coincidentally, or ominously, the most since 2000. Proceeds from IPOs this quarter -- nearly $12 billion so far -- are already more than double last year's total. Venture investment for 2010 was $23 billion -- nowhere near the $99 billion of 2000 but far above the $10.5 billion of 1996.

From the tech boom's epicenter in and around Palo Alto to the neighborhoods up the peninsula in San Francisco, the newest paper Siliconillionaires are everywhere. "It's too hot," says one VC whose firm has invested in a dozen IPOs over the past year. He's telling me this on a recent Tuesday night during one of Silicon Valley's elite poker games -- in which he's proving he's quite adroit at placing bets.

"The valuations are very high and discount too much risk. Too much late-stage money is flowing in -- and much of it from other dotcoms, which have lots of their own investment money coming in, so it's circular." The exuberance reminds him of a time not so long ago -- barely a decade -- when the dotcoms and the stock market and the Valley came crashing down. On March 31, 2000, the Nasdaq (COMP) peaked at 5132. At 2800 or so, it's still barely half that now. Nonetheless, warns the VC, "the analogies to the last bubble are unavoidable." (For such analogies, see charts below.)

Boom and bust: The way of the Valley

The Valley is the land of fear-- and greed and fantasy and optimism. All four live here. Fear settles for that bungalow in the humble part of Palo Alto -- modest as it is, it's yours for under a million bucks. Greed enjoys the finer things in horsey Woodside, in a megalo-mansion so big it ought to have its own gift shop. Fantasy drives a Ferrari (or if you're Oracle (ORCL) CEO Larry Ellison, the $1.6 million, 1,001-horsepower, 253-mph Bugatti Veyron he uses to commute). Mere optimism drives a Subaru. The calculus among fear, greed, fantasy, and optimism -- for which there's no Google algorithm -- pretty much determines whether Silicon Valley is in a state of boom or bust or somewhere in between. Along Sand Hill Road, the mother lode of American venture capital, you can see both late-night fluorescent lights as well as SPACE AVAILABLE signs.

Only three years ago the place was altogether miserable. The recession of 2008 paralyzed venture capital and strangled growth. The investment community's despair was symbolized in October that year in a 56-slide PowerPoint that Sequoia Capital presented to its portfolio companies. Sequoia is one of the Valley's most successful VC firms. Its gloom-and-doom presentation of graphs began with the photo of a gravestone marked R.I.P. GOOD TIMES. It was all downhill from there, as images of a hog carcass and a skull and crossbones titled DEATH SPIRAL followed. "Get real or go home," Sequoia counseled.

Boom and bust has been the way of Silicon Valley -- as it's been for all California since the Gold Rush. Genentech in the 1970s launched the biotech industry. Intel (INTC) and Apple (AAPL) gave birth to personal computers. Netscape created the modern web revolution. Companies thrived, then hit the inevitable hard times. Some recovered, and some vanished -- like Netscape, whose IPO in 1995 was a $2.3 billion sensation, only to be obliterated by Microsoft (MSFT) in the "browser wars." Companies like Pets.com -- going from IPO to liquidation in 269 days in 2000 -- became a laughingstock; it didn't help that its spokes-pet was a sock puppet.

Netscape's highest public valuation obviously pales in comparison to Facebook's current evaluation -- or even Twitter's private valuation at about $8 billion based on secondary-market action. The argument for big valuation -- and against Netscape's way back when -- is that the current generation of dotcoms have better business plans and rely on more than mere "eyeballs" to measure potential profitability. The stock of Netflix (NFLX) seems to go straight up -- 50% this year -- but nobody would question its billions in revenue or that it's the Bigfoot of online movie rentals.

Who's correct? For any 10 people you ask, you'll get 11 answers. Reasonable folks can disagree about the prospects for boom or bust. But their reckoning is about psychology more than economics. No bubble announces itself. The sun dazzles right now -- but does it beckon brilliance or portend darkness? A sure sign of budding bubbliness is the rush to find alternative metaphors. Read the blogs, attend the tech conferences, sit at a Starbucks (SBUX) for an hour in Sunnyvale some afternoon -- you'll hear most of them. There's a wave -- ride its crest, but don't get inundated! There's froth and ferment. There's a rush and a gush. Our favorite, from a well-known investor: "The cuckoos have come out of the clock!"

The consensus is that there remains sufficient fear in the marketplace -- be it on Sand Hill Road or Wall Street -- to prevent exuberance from becoming totally irrational. For there to be a bubble, the wisdom goes, greed must overcome fear. And for the moment fear still rules, which means the memory of 2000 lives. Metaphorically, we may be in only 1995 or 1996. After all, LinkedIn is not Pets.com -- whatever its "true" valuation should be, it has a real business that it expects will turn a profit next year. And consider the sorry trajectory of MySpace, which used to be Rupert Murdoch's social-networking baby that was going to compete with Facebook. He bought it for $580 million in 2005. He just got rid of it for $35 million. Economic history surely repeats itself, so there's nothing new -- the key question is how quickly it will repeat.

"I think it's a wanna-bubble," says longtime Valley observer Paul Saffo. "Investors are desperate for something -- anything -- with a prospect of returns, and there is a lot of hot money looking for a home." Investor Marc Andreessen -- the former boy wonder of Netscape who in 1996 posed on the cover of Time on a throne -- delivered a controversial speech in May pooh-poohing the idea of a bubble. "A key characteristic of a bubble is that no one thinks it's a bubble," he argued. "If everybody's upset, it's a good sign." It's a reasonable point, except prognostications of a high-tech bubble were surely out there in 1999, just as some talk of a housing-market tumble preceded a housing-market tumble in 2008. As Randy Komisar, a partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, says, "The only foolproof indication of a bubble is when you hear it pop."

Even so, Andreessen is correct to note that whatever enthusiasm exists for companies like professional-networking site LinkedIn -- golly, yes, his firm happens to have money in it -- has not extended to most old-line tech companies. That's partly because the market darlings of the moment -- social and mobile media -- are consumer-oriented. Price/earnings ratios remain relatively low for business-to-business tech companies like Cisco, Hewlett-Packard (HPQ), and Microsoft. Apple's stock, high as it is, trades in line with the market, and even Google (GOOG), the IPO phenomenon of 2004, is a third off its all-time high. By contrast, in the late 1990s -- metaphor alert -- the rising market tide lifted all tech boats. Optimists say the tide is still flooding. "I think it's more a beacon," says Marc Benioff, CEO of cloud-computing juggernaut Salesforce (CRM), which happens to be an enterprise tech company on the ascent. "We're ready for the next wave."

A bidding war for top talent

Travel round the valley, and you can see what worries the poker-playing VC. It isn't just about high valuations and too much investor money chasing too few sound deals. Nor is it only about a rush to take questionable companies public. There are also cultural data points that are unmistakable: fast cars, homes priced for Marie Antoinette, and numbered bottles of balsamic vinegar from Italia.

Barely presentable engineers just out of schools like Stanford and MIT are commanding higher beginning salaries than lawyers. (Yes, some might call that progress.) On Highway 101, the main drag of the Valley, billboards compete to attract engineers. Groupon now has a giant help-wanted ad; those few in the Valley who value irony would appreciate that it's almost across the road from the old Ampex sign, which remains despite the disappearance from the area of the once-great audio-and-visual pioneer.

Bidding wars for the next extraordinary engineer -- someone who's content to be an employee with some options, rather than immediately getting into the startup game -- have resulted in salaries as high as $250,000. That's almost double what top talent got in the late 1990s. At Facebook prized engineers have left, using secondary markets like SecondMarket and SharesPost to liquidate their stock options in the still-private company and then go off to startups.

What IPOs used to do almost exclusively now sometimes happens in that burgeoning and largely unregulated marketplace. (Other early Facebook employees have partially cashed out as well, as have some investors who want to minimize their financial risk should valuations implode.)

Though LinkedIn's parking lot in Mountain View features more Priuses than Porsches, it's the lone Lamborghini that gets the most gawks. It's owned by a designer who went to L.A. to fetch his new car -- so he could have it in time to show off at Facebook headquarters for President Obama's April visit.

The gawks might reflect disdain more than envy -- flamboyance isn't what it used to be in the Valley -- but if the Google lot across the street is any indication, some LinkedIn employees will be driving in style as soon as their options vest. Of the roughly 1,300 pre-IPO employees at LinkedIn, the vast majority became paper millionaires the day of the offering. Leaving aside the executives, the shares of the rank and file were worth as much as $190 million. (Co-founder Reid Hoffman became a multibillionaire that day.) The Tesla (TSLA) showroom in San Jose buzzes with young techies. One of them, at LinkedIn, showed the Valley's idea of restraint: He waited to buy his $100,000 electric roadster until the social-networking site went public in May.

Boom begets boomlet

Maybe they'll buy themselves nice places to live. Real estate has always been a bellwether of expectations. Brokers say they can take the economic temperature of the Valley based on the housing market alone: Do properties get multiple offers? Do sellers dither? Are buyers mostly engineers who ask more about the wiring than the neighbors? Dreyfus, the Palo Alto broker, says housing is "really hot" in premium areas of the Valley -- the best since boom days in the late "wacky" 1990s (though not yet at the prices of those days gone by).

What especially surprises Dreyfus, he says, is that so many buyers are from elsewhere -- particularly New York and London -- filling the management ranks at expanding social-network companies like Facebook. Buyers at the top end of the market -- above $5 million -- often pay all cash. Because newly flush employees at companies like LinkedIn cannot sell any of their shares for at least 180 days after the IPO, those employees have yet to hit the Sunday open houses. The marketplace may therefore get hotter still, fueling perceptions of froth.

Just as in Hollywood, where homes of the stars are noted on tourist maps, in Silicon Valley everybody keeps track of the techelebrities settling down. No purchase was pawed over more than that of the 27-year-old Zuckerberg, the co-founder of Facebook who's worth north of $14 billion. Once upon a time young masters of the digital realm shared a rented apartment with a roomie and pizza boxes. According to real estate filings, Zuckerberg this spring spent $7 million on a 5,600-square-foot, five-bedroom, 51⁄2-bath home with a pool and spa. When news of the sale broke in May, a TV newscopter provided aerial shots. Zuckerberg wisely didn't voice any complaints about privacy.

Built in 1903, the clapboard-sided house is in the Crescent Park section of Palo Alto -- not quite the registered historic district of Professorville within walking distance of downtown but closer to Facebook's planned new headquarters in Menlo Park. The $7 million price tag doesn't buy much. Zuckerberg's parcel is barely half an acre, and for that kind of money he could have gotten an estate plus a barn in nearby Woodside, to house the pigs, chickens, and goats he now kills for dinner. In the past six months the median price of a home in Palo Alto has risen 24% to $1.2 million, according to DataQuick. Dreyfus says his own statistics in May showed only a 27-day supply of homes for sale -- assuming one home sold per day. A year earlier, supply was three times that.

In the San Francisco real estate market, which isn't typically linked to the Silicon Valley economy, brokers have likewise sensed a boomlet. "San Francisco is an island, with limited inventory," says Grace Shohet, a broker with Hill & Co. "Even eight to 10 people with an extra million dollars in their pocket can move the market." She says that $1 million could buy you a two- or three-bedroom condo in a pretty good neighborhood like Noe Valley. When she sought to rent out her own home last month, two groups of engineers -- rather than families -- made the best offers. On the same block, a "nest" of 13 Google summer interns is renting a mini-mansion they found on Craigslist; they each pay from $850 to $1,150, depending on proximity to the refrigerator.

No matter where they live, everybody has to eat. And there's no better place to do your grocery shopping than Draeger's. At the Menlo Park branch, just over the tracks from Palo Alto, there's the usual assortment of $1,750 Château Petrus and $15-an-ounce duck foie gras -- and even the Acetaia Terra del Tuono balsamic vinegar that's been "aged for a long period of time" and goes for about $40 a teaspoon. Overheard in the sweets aisle, from a twentysomething in a T-shirt and flip-flops: "My company's so successful now I can buy any candy I want!"

Echoes of a headier time

Lou Montulli knows bubbles. He was a founding engineer of Netscape, who had to borrow money to fly in for his job interview with Netscape bankroller Jim Clark. At 24, after the IPO, Montulli became a multimillionaire. Though never achieving Andreessen's fame, he was the inventor of "cookies" in browsers -- and also was an early web folk hero because he stocked the Amazing Fish Cam, now the oldest cam online. The 600-gallon aquarium it watches is next to Montulli's cubicle in his latest startup, Zetta.net, a data backup and storage company.

Now 40, Montulli doesn't yet see many signs of a bubble, but he hears echoes of the times of Netscape. "There's still conservatism in the Valley," he says. "There's a lot of money chasing a very small number of companies -- those that actually show traction and are achieving real revenue and massive numbers of users. Those are the companies now getting bid up." The question, he says, is whether those valuations -- born in part of scarcity -- eventually will affect all those lesser companies around which fear still prevails over greed. He senses less fear of late.

At that weekly poker game, often at Montulli's house, he does okay. He wins some of the time, he loses some of the time. But the big winner at our game a few weeks ago, naturally, was the venture capitalist, who took home $1,300. "When the sun shines," says the VC, "you harvest your crop." Spoken like someone who well understands the nature of Silicon Valley.

by David Kaplan Fortune Magazine July 11, 2011

Don't call it the next tech bubble - yet - Big Tech - Fortune Tech

100 million Android fans can't be wrong - Fortune Tech

The inside story of how Google conquered the smartphone world.

FORTUNE -- When Google (GOOG) acquired a tiny wireless startup called Android in 2005, few at the search giant had particularly high hopes for the deal -- if they even knew about it. At that point Google had purchased just a handful of companies, mostly software makers it had quietly folded into its operations. (Big, high-profile deals like YouTube and DoubleClick came later.) Besides, not many people knew exactly what Android did: The upstart was in stealth mode, and co-founder Andy Rubin, best known for creating the Sidekick mobile device, said little about its product or mission. Executive chairman Eric Schmidt would later joke that he scarcely noticed when Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin bought the company.

Today, of course, Android is impossible to ignore. It is the mobile operating system -- the brains of a cellphone -- that powers more than 100 million gadgets. (That number will be out of date by the time you read this: Every day another 400,000 Android devices are activated.) Apple's (AAPL) iPhone gets credit for showing consumers just how cool and powerful a mobile device could be, but Google democratized smartphones by making Android available free to any handset maker that wanted to use the platform. At last count, Android software was on more than 300 different phones and tablets around the world. The only smartphones that use the iPhone operating system? iPhones. "If you just plot the graph looking at how quickly we grew," says Rubin, now senior vice president of mobile at Google, "it's almost vertical."

Android's Growth

There's a lot of (justifiable) chest beating over Android at Google these days -- a corporate development VP has called the Android acquisition Google's "best deal ever" -- but in hindsight the overwhelming success of Android is kind of a miracle. Big tech companies screw up many if not most of their acquisitions, letting them wither from corporate neglect or driving out founders and other talent with their inflexible cultures and protocols. (Skype buyer Microsoft (MSFT), are you listening?) Even Google can be guilty of this too (dMarc, Dodgeball), but its management of Android is a textbook example of a deal gone terribly right: Rubin and his team thrived in Google's engineering-driven culture, which encouraged innovation by letting Android release less-than-perfect versions that it would continually upgrade. Google also embraced Rubin's vision of giving the operating system away -- a gambit, enabled by Google's broader ad-based business model, that stoked adoption of the platform.

But Android ultimately triumphed thanks in large part to its corporate benefactors: Google co-founders Page and Brin saw the broader potential of Android almost from the outset. For the young entrepreneurs Android was more than just another software acquisition. It was the centerpiece of their grand vision to transform the telecommunications industry and make it more open and accessible -- in short, more like the Internet.

Google on the go

Brin and Page weren't being purely altruistic in their push for a more open, wireless web. They and other executives at the company saw the data: Back in 2005 there were about 2 billion mobile handsets (today that number is closer to 5 billion), compared with fewer than 1 billion PCs, according to research firm Gartner. You didn't have to have the IQ of a Google engineer to figure out that mobile was the next frontier. Google, which makes a business of capturing eyeballs and delivering relevant advertisements, would have to move alongside consumers as they migrated to phones from desktops. But how?

Until the arrival of the iPhone in 2007, cellphones were in the dark ages. Flip phones like Motorola's (MMI) RAZR were all the rage, and consumers could access only limited snippets of information, usually by navigating a complex set of menus, or decks, provided by the phone companies and their handpicked partners. But Brin and Page weren't satisfied to be a supplier to the telcos. They wanted to find a way to wrest control from the network operators so that consumers could use their phones to pluck information from the Internet, just as they did on their desktops.

Andy Rubin

Android co-founder Andy Rubin

Andy Rubin shared this vision. Rubin, 48, spent part of his career at Apple, where engineers measured success by a product's mass adoption. Danger, the Sidekick-maker he'd co-founded in 1999, had sold millions of devices. (Microsoft bought Danger in 2008.) For his next act Rubin wanted to reach hundreds of millions of users. Rubin, who had met Page (a Sidekick user) during a talk Rubin had given at Stanford, asked if they could meet to discuss his latest venture. When Rubin explained that his new startup Android would build an open operating system that anyone could use, and that he intended to give it away, Page was smitten. "The vision was almost ridiculously ambitious, which Larry and Sergey love," says Alan Eustace, Google's senior vice president of knowledge. Brin and Page personally green-lighted the acquisition for an estimated $50 million.

Though Rubin had a track record of success and support from the top, he nonetheless had to prove himself at Google. "When you don't ship anything, you're nobody," he says. "We would have all these meetings, which were strategy meetings, and [Schmidt] would look at me after I'd made some speech across the table, and he'd say, 'Andy, you have zero market share. You haven't launched yet.' " In fact, it took Rubin and his team almost three years of incubation at Google to get Android into the market. David Lawee, vice president of corporate development at Google, once admitted that he had his concerns: "I saw this guy in my building for two years, walking his dog, and I was like, 'I hope this guy does something.' "

Building 44, home of the Android team, is a hive of activity. (Visitors to the Googleplex may know it better as the building with all the statues of desserts out front; the team names different versions of Android after treats -- Cupcake, Éclair, Donut, etc.) Rubin says that he's been offered space in bigger and fancier buildings, but he wants to maintain a startup mentality, and in fact, Android engineers still work long hours continually updating the software. To lure people to the office on the weekends the staff instituted Bacon Sundays.

The Android lab remains off-limits to anyone besides key engineers and a handful of executives. When I visited Rubin, I was steered past ominous red signs declaring no visitors beyond this point into a nondescript conference room. I had seen him interviewed onstage the night before, and Rubin seemed much more comfortable here in front of an audience of one. Zarko Draganic, who worked with Rubin at Apple and at General Magic, an Apple spinoff, in the mid-1990s, says it amazes him how often Rubin is in the public eye -- keynote speeches and interviews -- considering how introverted he is.

Rubin has a reputation at Google for being self-assured, but he tells me he never thought Android's meteoric rise at Google was a slam-dunk. At one point, he says, he fretted he wouldn't get the resources and support he needed. Instead, his team grew from eight employees in 2005 to 79 engineers by the time Google released the first version of Android in 2008.

Taking off

Android could not have landed at a better time for the wireless industry. The iPhone was a hit, but no other handset maker could license Apple's operating system. Ditto RIM's (RIMM) BlackBerry platform. The other options, Nokia's (NOK) Symbian and Microsoft's version of Windows for phones, just weren't up to snuff. Android had the capabilities and flexibility handset makers wanted, and the price -- free -- was right. (From the start Google had made the decision to give away Android and the software development kit to app makers, on the theory that it could more than recoup its investment by boosting ad sales tied to mobile search.)

Motorola Mobility CEO Sanjay Jha emerged as one of Android's biggest cheerleaders, ditching all other smartphone platforms at Motorola in favor of Rubin's software. (For more on Motorola, see "Leadership Q&A.") HTC launched the first Android phone, and Samsung, LG (LG), and others followed suit. Carriers that didn't have the iPhone (at the time this included Verizon (VZ)) were delighted as well. Suddenly they too had a chance to offer slick multimedia phones with a growing library of apps, but they also had the ability to customize devices -- loading them with their own apps, for example -- in ways that Apple would never allow. Though T-Mobile marketing chief Cole Brodman admits he wouldn't turn down the chance to offer iPhones on his network, he says, "We wouldn't be able to do much other than distribute it." It's little wonder that at the end of the first quarter, Android had a 35% share of new smartphone shipments, research firm Canalys says, having surpassed Nokia's Symbian as the most-shipped smartphone platform.

Android vs. other smartphones

Stacking Up: How Android compares to other companies' smartphone operating systems.

But are handset makers striking a deal with the devil by teaming up with Google? As phones simply turn into vessels for housing apps and accessing the web, it becomes harder to differentiate among these various black boxes with touchscreens. Consider what happened to PC makers like Dell (DELL), which all ran Microsoft's software and ended up competing on price because their hardware wasn't sufficiently unique. With Android, handset makers run the risk of being "Delled," says consultant Ted Shelton, referring to how Dell epitomizes the low-margin PC business. Handset makers insist they still add value, layering their own user interfaces on top of the software -- HTC Sense or Motorola's Motoblur -- so that each brand has its own flavor.

Android has worked out spectacularly well for Google, even though the open-source platform doesn't produce any direct revenue. "This is not philanthropy," former Google executive Jonathan Rosenberg said in a 2010 earnings call. "When the web is better, more people use it more often, and that means they search more often."

Rosenberg's comments would seem to reinforce a common knock on Google, that it is a one-trick pony, focused entirely on search. But, oh, what a pony it is! Search remains a very healthy business, and with Android, Google has successfully helped move the game to mobile: During its fourth quarter 2010 earnings call, Google reported that mobile search grew four times on devices with full web browsers in 2010, and search volume from Android devices was up 10 times year over year. The increase has obviously been driven by the sheer jump in users carrying Android phones, but Google has also said that Android users search twice as often as people with other smartphones. That's by design. Android device makers often build a search button into the hardware, and most users can find a search widget on the home screen. But Rubin says Android phones in general are more integrated with people's lives. "That pervasiveness pays off on people doing more searches, but people do more of everything," he adds.

Although Google doesn't break out Android specifically, Rubin says Android is profitable and cash-flow positive, and it's all through ads. Piper Jaffray estimates that Android pulled in $133 million in revenue in 2010, and that number could swell to $1.3 billion in 2012 as marketers pay more to reach consumers on devices that are with them at all times -- and can deliver ads based on the user's location. On top of that Google could add a revenue-producing mobile-payment service, such as its Google Wallet app, or a media hub such as iTunes. Schmidt has suggested that Android could at some point be a $10-billion-a-year business. Not a bad chunk of money for a company that analysts estimate will pull in almost $28 billion in revenue this year.

Branching out, staying hip

For some consumers the Android brand has surpassed Google in coolness. Google is corporate (though new CEO Larry Page aims to make the company more like a startup); Android's image is edgy and youthful. The iPhone remains the BMW of the market, with about 14% of the global smartphone base at the end of 2010, according to Canalys. But clearly not everyone wants or can afford a luxury set of wheels. Eustace notes that China has 440 million Internet users, and 300 million of those are on mobile. This untapped low-end smartphone segment is key for the company, especially in emerging markets where mobile devices may be the only channel to Internet access. By using Android, Rubin says, handset makers can save about 20% on the cost of a phone's building materials.

Google's competitors have taken notice. Oracle (ORCL) is suing Google, claiming Android infringes patents held by its Sun unit. HP in 2010 acquired device maker Palm and is planning to use its webOS in its new tablet. Nokia earlier this year contemplated replacing its Symbian platform with Android in most smartphones, but instead teamed up with Microsoft, whose revamped Windows Phone 7 is a big improvement over previous versions. And another rival has stealthily crept up: Google's own Chrome operating system. (Google also has a web browser named Chrome, but they are separate products. No one ever said Google was great at marketing.) The Chrome operating platform is Google's answer to Windows, a homegrown computer management system that many believed would reside on PCs and laptops. Lately, though, many analysts say the lines are blurring, and that Chrome could pop up on tablets and other next-generation mobile devices.

Depending on how you look at it, the Android-Chrome standoff is either an example of what makes Google great (lots of experimentation, and may the best product win) or unfocused (why not just invest in making one great platform?). As he tries to bring Google, which now has more than 26,000 employees and a sprawling array of projects, back to its entrepreneurial roots, Page may have to refine the company's culture and figure out, for example, if he wants to keep his engineers working on multiple projects or if there's a benefit to streamlining. The stuff he shouldn't jettison? The passion and creativity that helped bring Android to market.

by Beth Kowitt Fortune Magazine June 16, 2011

100 million Android fans can't be wrong - Fortune Tech

July 23, 2011

Microsoft posts $250K reward for Rustock botnet herders - Computerworld

Computerworld - Microsoft upped the ante on Monday in its months-long battle against the Rustock botnet by posting a $250,000 reward for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of the hackers who controlled the malware.

It was the first time Microsoft used its malware bounty program since February 2009, when it offered the same amount for the people responsible for the fast-spreading Conficker worm.

Microsoft announced the reward early Monday in a blog written by Richard Boscovich, a senior attorney with the company's digital crimes unit. Microsoft also posted a reward document (PDF) that included an email address for tipsters.

"We decided to augment our civil discovery efforts to identify those responsible for controlling the notorious Rustock botnet by issuing a monetary reward in the amount of $250,000 for new information that results in the identification, arrest and criminal conviction of such individual(s)," Boscovich wrote.

Microsoft kicked off a takedown of Rustock in March, when its lawyers, including Boscovich, and U.S. marshals seized the botnet's U.S.-based command-and-control servers.

Since then, the number of Windows PCs infected with the malware has dropped worldwide from 1.6 million to just over 700,000 as of mid-June, Boscovich reported earlier this month.

Although Microsoft published legal notifications in Russian newspapers last month -- a legal formality designed to give potential defendants an opportunity to respond to charges -- it has not identified the "John Does" named in a U.S. federal lawsuit.

In an interview two weeks ago, Boscovich said that Microsoft believes the Rustock operators reside in either St. Petersburg or Moscow.

But Microsoft's hacker bounty program has had mixed results.

Although Microsoft launched the reward program in November 2003 with a $5 million fund, and has offered $250,000 bounties five times in the past, it has paid out only once, in 2005.

In that instance, two people split a reward for identifying a German teenager as the maker of Sasser.

Sven Jaschan, who was arrested in 2004, confessed to crafting the wormduring his trial the following year. Jaschan was eventually sentenced to 21 months of probation.

Before Monday, Microsoft had also posted rewards for the makers of the Blaster, Sobig, MyDoom and Conficker worms. Those rewards have gone unclaimed, however.

Two weeks ago, Boscovich refused to guarantee that Microsoft would be able to name those responsible for Rustock, but he said he liked the company's chances. "I believe there's a strong likelihood [that we'll identify someone], but it's not a guarantee," he said.

While Boscovich didn't promise that the new reward would lead authorities to the Rustock botnet herders, he said Microsoft wouldn't give up.

"We will continue to follow this case wherever it leads us and remain committed to working with our partners around the world to help people regain control of their Rustock-infected computers," Boscovich said.

by Gregg Keizer Computerworld Jul 19, 2011

Microsoft posts $250K reward for Rustock botnet herders - Computerworld

Twice the height of the Empire State - EnviroMission plans massive solar tower for Arizona

EnviroMission's solar tower: coming to Arizona in 2015

EnviroMission's solar tower: coming to Arizona in 2015

An ambitious solar energy project on a massive scale is about to get underway in the Arizona desert. EnviroMission is undergoing land acquisition and site-specific engineering to build its first full-scale solar tower - and when we say full-scale, we mean it! The mammoth 800-plus meter (2625 ft) tall tower will instantly become one of the world's tallest buildings. Its 200-megawatt power generation capacity will reliably feed the grid with enough power for 150,000 US homes, and once it's built, it can be expected to more or less sit there producing clean, renewable power with virtually no maintenance until it's more than 80 years old. In the video after the jump, EnviroMission CEO Roger Davey explains the solar tower technology, the Arizona project and why he couldn't get it built at home in Australia.

How Solar Towers Work

Enviromission's solar tower is a simple idea taken to gigantic proportions. The sun beats down on a large covered greenhouse area at the bottom, warming the air underneath it. Hot air wants to rise, so there's a central point for it to rush towards and escape; the tower in the middle. And there's a bunch of turbines at the base of the tower that generate electricity from that natural updraft.

It's hard to envisage that sort of system working effectively until you tweak the temperature variables and scale the whole thing up. Put this tower in a hot desert area, where the daytime surface temperature sits at around 40 degrees Celsius (104 F), and add in the greenhouse effect and you've got a temperature under your collector somewhere around 80-90 degrees (176-194 F). Scale your collector greenhouse out to a several hundred-meter radius around the tower, and you're generating a substantial volume of hot air.

Then, raise that tower up so that it's hundreds of meters in the air - because for every hundred metres you go up from the surface, the ambient temperature drops by about 1 degree. The greater the temperature differential, the harder the tower sucks up that hot air at the bottom - and the more energy you can generate through the turbines.

    The advantages of this kind of power source are clear:
  • Because it works on temperature differential, not absolute temperature, it works in any weather;
  • Because the heat of the day warms the ground up so much, it continues working at night;
  • Because you want large tracts of hot, dry land for best results, you can build it on more or less useless land in the desert;
  • It requires virtually no maintenance - apart from a bit of turbine servicing now and then, the tower "just works" once it's going, and lasts as long as its structure stays standing;
  • It uses no 'feed stock' - no coal, no uranium, nothing but air and sunlight;
  • It emits absolutely no pollution - the only emission is warm air at the top of the tower. In fact, because you're creating a greenhouse underneath, it actually turns out to be remarkably good for growing vegetation under there.

The Arizona Project

While this is not the first solar tower that has been built (a small-scale test rig in Spain proved the technology more than a decade ago) EnviroMission has chosen to build its first full-scale power plant in the deserts of Arizona, USA.

The Arizona tower will be a staggering 800 metres or so tall - just 30 meters shorter than the colossal Burj Khalifa in Dubai, the world's tallest man-made structure. To put that in context - it will stand more than double the height of the Empire State building in New York City, and it'll be as much as 130 meters in diameter at the top. Truly a gigantic structure.

Currently undergoing site-specific engineering and land acquisition, EnviroMission estimates the tower will cost around US$750 million to build. It will generate a peak of 200 megawatts, and run at an efficiency of around 60% - vastly more efficient and reliable than other renewable energy sources.

The output has already been pre-sold - the Southern California Public Power Authority recently signed a 30-year power purchase agreement with EnviroMission that will effectively allow the tower to provide enough energy for an estimated 150,000 US homes. Financial modelling projects that the tower will pay off its purchase price in just 11 years - and the engineering team are shooting for a structure that will stand for 80 years or more.

Considering that a large city like Los Angeles requires total power in the region of 7,200 megawatts, you'd have to build a few dozen solar towers up to the same size as the Arizona project if you wanted to completely replace the existing, primarily coal-based energy supply for that city's 3.7 million-odd residents. So it's not an instant solution - but then, its short projected payback period and virtually zero operating costs make it a very sound economic proposition that competes favorably against other renewable sources.

Under the terms of the pre-purchase agreement, the Arizona tower is due to begin delivering power at the start of 2015. Watch this space!

by Loz Blain Gizmag Jul 21, 2011

Twice the height of the Empire State - EnviroMission plans massive solar tower for Arizona

Phoenix will sell solar-generated electricity to APS

In the next 18 months, Phoenix plans to generate 12 megawatts of solar energy, or enough to power about 2,400 homes.

The City Council recently approved an agreement with Arizona Public Service Co. to streamline the process of selling solar power generated on city properties to the utility.

The growth in solar projects is fueled, in part, by federal stimulus funds, city leaders' support of alternative energy and nearly a dozen qualified companies that can design, build, own or maintain solar systems installed on city buildings, parking garages, parks, landfills and other sites.

Phoenix has a long history of using alternative-energy sources, said Carolyn Bristo, sustainability officer and acting public works director. The city adopted a policy goal of having 15 percent of Phoenix's energy coming from renewable resources by 2025 but now generates less than 1 megawatt of energy from solar.

Bristo said a city committee identified facilities and locations where solar makes sense.

"We're breaking new ground," Bristo said. "We're being innovative and creative. The bottom line is we're saving money and energy for the taxpayer and user. And we're generating jobs."

At a recent town hall meeting, Councilman Tom Simplot touted the Energize Phoenix Corridor, where homes and businesses in an area along the light-rail route qualify for energy-efficient upgrades.

A $25 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy's Better Buildings program and the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act is funding much of the work.

The $1.3 million SolarWing canopy project, under construction on the north side of Burton Barr Central Library, is one example of the city "leading by example," Simplot said.

The canopies and photovoltaic panels will offer night lighting and day shade for 84 parking stalls.

Bristo said the city could never generate enough "rooftop power" to cover its energy requirements, but each project supplements what the city uses.

by Sadie Jo Smokey The Arizona Republic Jul. 22, 2011 02:09 PM

Phoenix will sell solar-generated electricity to APS

China inspects electronics stores after fake Apple shops report | Reuters

Customers and employees are seen inside a fake Apple Store in Kunming, Yunnan province July 22, 2011. Reuters/Aly Song

(Reuters) - Chinese industrial and commercial authorities in Kunming have started to inspect all of the southwestern city's electronics shops after an American blogger wrote about fake Apple stores, the official Xinhua news agency said on Saturday.

The inspections were carried out after three self-named "Apple Stores" were exposed via the Internet, but are not authorized by Apple Inc., it said.

The inspections will look into business licenses, authorized permits on brand use, and the purchase channel of each store, said a worker with the city's industrial and commercial department.

The result of the inspections will be announced to the public soon, the worker said.

The three alleged fake Apple Stores were discovered by a traveling blogger named "BirdAbroad," who posted photos and challenged the stores' legitimate status and rights to use Apple's logo which sparked a media and online frenzy.

Apple has four genuine Apple Stores in Beijing and Shanghai and none in Kunming in Yunnan province. The company has 13 authorized resellers in Kunming.

by Jacqueline Wong Reuters Jul 23, 2011

China inspects electronics stores after fake Apple shops report | Reuters

July 21, 2011

Sesame Street Google

Google Partners with SolarCity to Create $280 Million Fund for Residential Solar Projects, Nation’s Largest to Date

A house in Phoenix outfitted with the solar panels that SolarCity leases to its customers.
Courtesy of SolarCity A house in Phoenix outfitted with the solar panels that SolarCity leases to its customers.

Collaboration will enable thousands of new solar installations and create a new clean energy investment model for American companies

SAN MATEO and MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., June 14, 2011—SolarCity® and Google (NASDAQ: GOOG), today announced the creation of a new $280 million fund to finance residential solar projects. The Google-backed fund is the first collaboration between the Internet giant and the nation’s leading solar power and energy efficiency service provider, and represents Google’s largest investment to date in the clean energy sector. The fund is SolarCity’s largest project financing fund and the largest residential solar fund created in the U.S. SolarCity has now created 15 project funds with seven different partners to finance $1.28 billion in solar projects.

“Google is setting an example that other leading American companies can follow,” said Lyndon Rive, CEO of SolarCity. “The largest 200 corporations in the U.S. have more than $1 trillion in cash on their balance sheets. Investments in solar energy generate returns for corporate investors, offer cost savings for homeowners, create new, local jobs for jobseekers, and protect the environment from polluting power sources. If more companies follow Google’s lead, we can dramatically reduce our nation’s dependence on polluting power.”

The SolarCity/Google fund will extend solar lease (SolarLease®) and power purchase agreement (SolarPPA™) options to customers who desire to have solar panels installed on their homes, but do not wish to make the larger upfront investment to purchase the systems. SolarCity serves Arizona, California, Colorado, the District of Columbia, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Texas, and has more than 15,000 solar projects completed or underway. More than 12,000 of those customers have chosen SolarCity’s financing options, while 3,000 have purchased their systems.

“Google has made a series of investments in renewable energy because they make business sense and help deploy a range of solutions that can help move us toward a clean energy future,” said Rick Needham, Director of Green Business Operations at Google. “Now, through this partnership with SolarCity, we’re excited to be making our first investment in distributed residential solar, making it easier and more affordable for consumers across the country, including our own employees, to use renewable energy at their own homes.”

Google has now invested more than $680 million in a wide range of clean energy technologies. This marks Google’s first investment in residential solar.

“As American consumers better understand the consequences of their energy choices, demand for affordable clean power is increasing,” said Benjamin Cook, vice president of project finance at SolarCity. “This collaboration with Google will enable us to provide solar power to thousands of homeowners at or below the cost they currently pay for electricity.”

Additional perspective on the SolarCity partnership is available on the Google Blog, athttp://googlegreenblog.blogspot.com/. More information about the residential financing options enabled by the partnership is available at www.solarcity.com/google-fund.

About Google

Google's innovative search technologies connect millions of people around the world with information every day. Founded in 1998 by Stanford Ph.D. students Larry Page and Sergey Brin, Google today is a top web property in all major global markets. Google's targeted advertising program provides businesses of all sizes with measurable results, while enhancing the overall web experience for users. Google is headquartered in Silicon Valley with offices throughout the Americas, Europe and Asia. For more information, visit www.google.com.

About SolarCity

SolarCity®—a national leader in solar power design, financing, installation, monitoring and energy efficiency services—was founded with the mission to help millions of homeowners and businesses adopt clean power, protect themselves from rising gas and electricity costs and protect their environment from polluting power sources. The company’s SolarLease® and Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) options can make it possible for homeowners and businesses to switch to clean, solar power for less money than they currently pay for electricity. SolarCity’s 23 operations centers serve Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas and Washington, D.C. Additional information about the company is available on the Web at www.solarcity.com.

Media Contact:
Jonathan Bass

Google Partners with SolarCity to Create $280 Million Fund for Residential Solar Projects, Nation’s Largest to Date


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