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Microsoft taps ‘Pawn Stars’ guys to bash Chromebooks in new ‘Scroogled’ ad

After offering up a bunch of novelty gift items promoting its “Scroogled” campaign, Microsoft has fired another salvo. This time, they’ve enlisted the help of Rick Harrison and Richard Harrison, two of the stars of the History Channel’s hit show “Pawn Stars,” to bash Google’s Chromebooks. The ad follows a woman who wants to pawn… Read More

Jim Heckman. Photo via Crunchbase

Sports network Scout.com finds a home in Seattle … again

Ten days after getting word that entrepreneur Jim Heckman was back at the helm of online sports network Scout.com, more details are emerging about the venture. Today, NAMG — an entity established by MTV founder Bob Pittman and others — officially announced that it has acquired Scout.com from Fox Networks Group, inserting Heckman as CEO. As… Read More

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Microsoft employee #1 has a new gig

Marc McDonald not only saw the birth of the software industry, he played a key role in it. The software developer was Microsoft’s first salaried employee, working alongside Bill Gates and Paul Allen to develop the file system for MS-DOS. McDonald left Microsoft in 1984 because it got “too big,” but rejoined the Redmond company… Read More

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Former Cheezburger and Garden.com exec launches firm to gobble up emerging digital media properties

Seattle Internet executive Cliff Sharples is currently on an around-the-world adventure with his wife and five kids — writing about the adventures they experience as they bump between places like Greece, Spain and Tanzania. But he’s not letting a little travel get in the way of his next venture. Sharples, a former HomeAway and Kinetx… Read More

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Mystery: Microsoft’s Surface Excel billboard doesn’t add up

One of the competitive differentiators for Microsoft’s Surface vs. the iPad is the availability of the core Microsoft Office apps, as highlighted by Microsoft in its recent criticism of the “watered down productivity apps” available on other tablets. Which is why Apple fans are having a field day with this Microsoft Surface 2 billboard in… Read More

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Comr.se raises $780K to help brands sell products within social streams

Shopping cart technology isn’t exactly the newest innovation around. But one young Seattle startup seems to have struck the right chord in terms of bridging the gap between social media, advertising and e-commerce. Comr.se — pronounced “commerce” — just raised $780,000 of a seed round that remains undisclosed. The company, a recent graduate of the B2B incubator… Read More

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iSpot.tv raises $5M, looks to provide better advertising insights by analyzing 35,000 TV commercials

Sean Muller didn’t have to raise cash for his fast-growing Seattle area startup iSpot.tv. After all, the 15-person company — which measures thousands of TV commercials and provides competitive intelligence to advertising agencies and cable networks — has been signing up big-name customers like ESPN, Jos. A Bank and GroupM at a rapid clip in… Read More

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Digital ad vet Clark Kokich named chief strategy officer at Marchex

Marchex is making a big bet on mobile performance advertising, and it has hired an experienced leader to help lead the charge. The Seattle company today announced that Clark Kokich, an online advertising veteran who most recently served as chairman of Razorfish, has joined as chief strategy officer. At Razorifish, the digital agency and largest operating unit… Read More

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Following in Zillow’s footsteps, Homes.com unveils national ad campaign

Zillow is spending tens of millions of dollars this year on a national ad campaign, part of a plan by the Seattle online real estate company to “create a massive, enduring brand.” Now, one of Zillow’s rivals is following in its footsteps. Homes.com today announced its first-ever national advertising campaign, dubbed “Inspiring Home Moments.” The 30-second spot will air… Read More

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Facebook earnings beat expectations as Q2 revenue reaches $1.8B

Facebook’s second quarter earnings report showed the social networking company’s revenue up 53% from the same period last year, exceeding Wall Street’s expectations. The company reported unaudited revenue of 1.8 billion dollars, almost 12 percent above analyst expectations. Excluding certain items, the company’s Q2 profit was $488 million, with adjusted earnings per share of 19… Read More

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Facebook earnings preview: Cautious optimism from analysts

It has now been more than a year since Facebook’s lackluster IPO, and Wall Street analysts seem cautiously optimistic about the company’s future. Analysts are expecting revenues of nearly $1.62 billion, which translates to 14 cents per share, when the company announces earnings this afternoon. That’s up 37 percent from Q2 of last year, when… Read More

Mike McSherry (Photo via Karen Ducey)

A Siri for advertising: These mobile ads talk back to you

Publishers are struggling to make money on mobile, a challenging scenario given that more folks are now consuming news and information on tablets and smartphones. But a new ad unit from Nuance, a leading speech recognition company, could change the way you interact with ads on your device. Appropriately dubbed Nuance Voice Ads, the new… Read More

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Startup Spotlight: Enliken helps consumers control personal data and market it to advertisers

Advertisers are getting to know more about each and every one of us, especially as behavioral targeting technologies allow big brands to more directly target messages to individuals with specific interests and Internet browsing patterns. But what if the consumer had more control of that data? And what if you could earn value from marketing… Read More