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The future of Facebook

Kara Tsuboi talks to CNET News Executive Editor Paul Sloan about what products, acquisitions, and challenges the world's largest social-media company will face next year.


Tech flops of 2012

The low points of 2012 that the tech giants would rather you forget.

<p>Spotify unveiled a new browser-based <a href="">streaming service in New York today</a> while also announcing the <a href="">Metallica back-catalog</a> was immediately available to stream.</P>

<p>Spotify head Daniel Ek announced the new features, which will appear over the next month or so, AND include Follow, Audio Previews, and The Collection.</P>

<p>The Audio Preview feature will let you hear new music without erasing the playlist you've made, while Follow allows you to add friends or artists and listen to their playlists. Of interest to album lovers will be the ability to view your collection as albums with cover art rather than as a lengthy list.</P>

<P>Ek said a full cross-platform upgrade will be coming early in 2013.</P>

Spotify launch new features with Metallica's help (pictures)

Spotify unveiled a new look for its service in New York today with the help of an unlikely pairing: Lars Ulrich from Metallica and Napster's Sean Parker.


Metallica joins Spotify, buries the hatchet with Sean Parker

Metallica's Lars Ulrich tried to sue Napster and Parker more than a decade ago at the onset of file sharing. Today the former adversaries joined in praising Spotify.


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Spotify tops 1 million paid U.S. subscribers in one year

CEO Daniel Ek says that the streaming music service has accumulated 5 million paid users worldwide and hit a benchmark that took rival subscription services a decade to reach.

<p>Welcome to CNET's 2012 Tech Turkeys, from a hyped startup that’s gone nowhere fast to a national intellectual property system that's crushing American innovation. We start you with the guys who brought us Napster so many years ago:

<p><b>10. Sean Parker's AirTime</b></p>

<p>We promised ourselves we wouldn't start this with a "You know what’s cool?" joke about Sean Parker's dismally disappointing AirTime. But we admit to that being painfully difficult. AirTime, in case you forgot, and let's face it, most people already have, was Parker and Shawn Fanning's PG-rated answer to Chatroulette, the chat service.</p>

<p>AirTime opened in June with a <a href="" >celebrity-infused, but buggy, press conference</a> demonstration, with big names such as Jim Carrey and Alicia Keys. It was a classic, how-these-things-work-these-days moment for tech: lots of sizzle but not a whole lot of steak. (Insert your own metaphor: more smoke than fire, more bark than bite, all hat and no cattle, etc.).</p>

<p>And then very few people used AirTime. Parker said at the D conference in October that his site had just 10,000 active users. Fanning no longer has a day-to-day role in the company, and Parker is terribly busy serving on six different boards. Still, he assured his audience that Airtime will be "transforming communications."</p>

<p>We're looking forward to that.</p>

CNET’s Tech Turkeys of 2012 (pictures)

As CNET gives thanks this year, we look back at some of the stories we'd rather forget -- the Tech Turkeys of 2012, a memorable list of gobblers, gaffes, and fibs.

The worm turns: Airtime might be watching Zuckerberg.

Sean Parker's Airtime weathers early turbulence

Speaking with AllThingsD, Parker discusses some of the hurdles his video chat site has faced since its launch, including executive departures and weak user numbers.

This week <a href="" >Forbes released its list of 400 of the richest Americans</a>, a who's who of American business masterminds, with an average 
net worth of $4.2 billion. Founders and co-creators of tech companies didn't factor extremely heavily into the list of major players, but they did account for some of the more youthful members.
The top techie -- and overall No. 1 -- on the Forbes list of the 400 richest people in America is Bill Gates, with a net worth of $66 billion.

Techies on the Forbes list of 400 richest Americans (pictures)

Executives and founders from Microsoft, Dell, Facebook, and Twitter make the list of the top 400 richest Americans.


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LinkedIn's leaky network security

Business network gets a pair of black eyes, while Flame continues to burn. Also: welcome to IPv6.

Screenshot of Airtime.

Airtime curtails privacy for the sake of safety

For fear of becoming another Chatroulette -- a short-lived video service that showed the world to a generation of flashers -- Airtime tightens its safety policy by taking random secret photos.

Sean Parker and Shawn Fanning

How Airtime could end up filling Facebook's coffers

The much-hyped Airtime launched today, with Sean Parker and Shawn Fanning running the show. It's a risky bet -- but if it pays off, it could return big dividends to Facebook.


The 404 1,067: Where tweets look better from behind (podcast)

The CNET Minority Report crew chats about a Chatroulette pivot, Microsoft's SmartGlass controller at E3, and breaking down desirability by e-mail domains on today's 404 show.

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