AP Lowers Newspaper Fees On Hopes Of More Web Deals

The Associated Press is dropping its fees for newspaper members once again as it looks to strike more online content deals, AP reported. Next year, newspaper and broadcaster members will see their fees drop a collective $45 million. (In April, the AP said it was going to reduce fees by $35 million this year.) The moves come a year after a small group of members gave their two-year cancellation notice, citing the changes in fee structure. (That controversial member pricing plan divided services into core and premium; some members’ costs would have been reduced but others would have increased.) With newspaper revenues showing no signs of hitting bottom, AP is now trying to ease the financial burden on those members. At the same time, the news service realizes that it must find other sources of revenue and cut costs. Tom Curley, the wire service’s CEO, in an interview
Continue reading "AP Lowers Newspaper Fees On Hopes Of More Web Deals"

Solar Millennium Inks Massive Solar Thermal Deals

If anyone doubts the ability of renewable portfolio standards to spur the adoption of clean energy projects, they should look to California. The state is requiring that electric utilities need to get 20 percent of their power from solar, wind and other renewables by 2010, prompting utilities to scramble to cut new deals. In the most recent whopper of an agreement, solar thermal developer Solar Millennium said today that it plans to build, own and operate two 242-MW power plants, with an option for a third, for investor-owned utility Southern California Edison. With the backlog of federal permitting for solar projects, however, its ambitious timeline may be slowed. The solar developer wants to begin construction on the $1 billion plants — on federal land near Ridgecrest, Desert Center, and Blythe, California — by 2010 and start generating power by 2014. Ray Dracker, senior VP of project development for Solar Millennium’s U.S. subsidiary, said the company is still about a year away from finalizing financing arrangements, and the projects will need approval from the Bureau of Land Management and the California Public Utilities Commission. Besides traditional project financiers, Dracker said the company would consider pursuing Department of Energy loan guarantees.
Continue reading "Solar Millennium Inks Massive Solar Thermal Deals"

Get the Lowdown on Cloud Computing at Structure 09

Many of the web apps that we cover here on WebWorkerDaily wouldn’t have made it off the ground without the scalability and flexibility offered by cloud computing. It’s one of the main reasons that we’ve seen an explosion in the number and variety of web apps over the last couple of years, and it’s radically changing the way that we work on the web. The cloud offers many benefits, but as the technology is still very much in its infancy, it’s hard to sort the signal from the noise and identify the real opportunities. If you’re looking to get ahead of the pack and exploit cloud computing in your next project, or simply want to check out the opportunities that it brings to the table, you should check out Structure 09, our annual cloud computing conference, returning to the Mission Bay Conference Center in San Francisco on June 25, 2009. The day will be keynoted by two pioneers in the world of “infrastructure on demand,” Marc Benioff and Paul Sagan. Sagan, CEO of Akamai, will share his vision about how Akamai continues to innovate in an industry it helped birth a decade ago. Benioff, CEO of Salesforce.com, will share his insights that drove Salesforce.com to become the first SaaS (Software as a Service) company to pass the billion-dollar revenue mark. Continue reading "Get the Lowdown on Cloud Computing at Structure 09"

Digital Marketer Sapient To Buy Nitro Group

Acquisitions of ad networks have ground to a halt in the past year. But Sapient still wants to do some shopping. The digital-marketing firm said it intends to buy Nitro Group. Terms of the acquisition weren’t disclosed, but the WSJ cites a source close to the companies as valuing the deal at $50 million. The combo will extend Sapient’s presence across four continents, by connecting with the offices belonging to New York-based Nitro, which was founded in Shanghai. Although it runs an ad net, Nitro is considered a full-service agency. The deal is a twist on the usual arrangement, where a traditional ad firm buys a digital one. The recession will likely force a combination of all kinds of ad agencies, as the business continues to struggle amid a severe pullback in client spending across the board. Release