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The Almighty Buck

Submission + - Microsoft Invents Price-Gouging Least Influential

theodp writes: In the world envisioned by Microsoft's just-published patent application for Social Marketing, monopolists will maximize revenue by charging prices inversely related to the perceived influence an individual has on others. Microsoft gives an example of a pricing model that charges different people $0, $5, $10, $20, or even $25 for the identical item based on the influence they wield — better start accepting those Facebook friend requests! A presentation describing the revenue optimization scheme earned one of the three inventors applause (MS-Research video), and the so-called 'influence and exploit' strategies were also featured at WWW 2008 (pdf). By the way, the invention jibes nicely with Bill Gates' pending patents for identifying influencers. Welcome to the brave new world of analytics, kids!
Sun Microsystems

Submission + - Sun closes MySQL deal, plans more open source buys (

An anonymous reader writes: Sun Microsystems said Tuesday that it has completed its acquisition of open-source database company MySQL for about US$1 billion — and now is turning its attention to other acquisitions. "Those companies that have built good high-integrity communities, broad distribution, and some measure of commercial success are those we're going to be interested in," Sun CEO, Jonathan Schwartz said, and there are many that fit that bill. "We believe we're a natural home to a lot of them, and we're going to be putting our balance sheet to work to make that the case."

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