Apple: Now that Apple is attacking the market from all angles with its trio of iP's -- the iPod, iPhone, and iPad -- the final piece of the puzzle is its iAd mobile advertising platform, which could drive gross profit margins up nearly 38% this year. Apple's iAd is also projected to eventually represent 8% of AAPL stock value -- that's double the stock value projection for the iPad, which will represent only 4%. Additionally, it was reported today that the iPad App Store is reportedly selling $372,000 in apps each day.
Google: In a blog post today, David Drummond, Google's Chief Legal Officer, explains that government censorship of the Web is "growing rapidly," from the filtering and blocking of sites to legislation "forcing companies to self-censor content." According to Drummond, Google often receives requests from government agencies to remove its content, and while these are often legitimate requests (e.g. child pornography removal), he posits that the system needs more transparency. To solve the problem, Google launched its Government Requests tool, which provides users with information regarding government requests for data removal and censorship. In a explicit shot at China, Google placed a big red question mark above the country (seen above) with an explanation reading, "Chinese officials consider censorship demands as state secrets, so we cannot disclose that information at this time."
Facebook: Mark Zuckerberg might run the most successful and popular social network in the world, but according to a new biopic on the Facebook founder, Zuckerberg's own social skills may need a little work. The movie, written by Aaron Sorkin and starring Jesse Eisenberg, will show how Zuckerberg started the network only after being dumped. "He created basically the biggest social network ever," said Rooney Mara, one of the stars of the flick. "And yet he has no friends and no one [to love]." Silly Rooney Mara: Don't you know that when your net worth is measured in the billions, you can just buy friends and love?
Disney: The U.S. has always had an odd relationship with soccer (best summarized by the clip below), never really sharing the same enthusiasm for the sport as the rest of the world. For example, American TV networks often skip out on complete coverage of the World Cup, such as the 2002 tournament, when ABC and ESPN didn't even live-broadcast almost 10% of the matches (due to the time difference). This year's Cup in South Africa is different, with Disney sending a huge crew of 200 to the region, and hiring 100 more locals, to broadcast the event. "We've sort of pulled out all the stops to make sure people pay attention this year," says John Skipper, ESPN's executive VP of content. "We're convinced when they pay attention, they're going to fall in love with this."