Groupon's COO Going Back To Google After Just Five Months. In a post on the deal company's blog, CEO Andrew Mason is announcing that COO Margo Georgiadis is leaving the company and returning to Google. Georgiadis was brought on to help scale the company, which has grown explosively over the past few years. The departure of the company's operations chief cannot bode well for Groupon's plans to go public, which were already postponed earlier this month. — EBB
Groupon Updates S-1. Meanwhile, the company filed an updated version of its S-1, which it first submitted in June and previously revised in August. According to All Things D, the major change is that revenue numbers now exclude the amount that Groupon pays to merchants, which will likely prove to be a further black eye to the deals company in the eyes of investors and analysts, many of whom have already expressed concern over the amount of red ink on Groupon's balance sheets. — EBB
— Updated 5:35 p.m. EST
Blockbuster Capitalizes On Netflix. At Dish Network's "A Stream Come True" event today, Blockbuster president Michael Kelly announced that in the past 30 days, Blockbuster has signed up roughly 500,000 new subscribers, due to what he called changes in the industry. Undoubtedly, Kelly was referring to the rocky last few months that Netflix has had, with price hikes and the Qwikster rebranding.
Huge Satellite Falling. A disused Earth observation satellite called UARS is deorbiting today, after spreading a small amount of space junk in orbit as it breaks up. The 6-ton object is unpredictably falling into the atmosphere, and hundreds of pounds of it may make it to ground. To see how large it is, check out the video of it tumbling through orbit taken by an amateur astronomer the other day, and check news on the official Twitter feed. —KE
—Updated 8.00 a.m EST
Apotheker Replaced By Whitman At HP. Late yesterday, HP's board took a controversial decision and ousted its CEO Leo Apotheker after just 11 months in the role. Meg Whitman will take over, a leader Apotheker described as a "technology visionary" in his final memo to his employees. The move comes as HP is accused of being in disarray over its incomplete decision to ditch its PC sales business, and after it shuttered the entire webOS project. —KE
Google Gives Product Search A Makeover. Google has radically overhauled its product search pages, adding in what is, for Google, an unusually stylistic look and the ability to search by new parameters like color, silhouette, and genre—there's also the ability to find items of clothing that are "visually similar." The move is to bring some of its design from Boutiques.com into mainstream Google, and the plan is to shutter Boutiques in mid-October. —KE
Oracle Clarifies Google Payment: $1.16BN. In one of the highest-profile IP suits ever, Google had been complaining that Oracle was seeking $2.2 billion in damages for Java abuses, which was too high in Google's opinion—but it's now been made clear that Oracle's payoff is only in the range of $1.16 billion. The total emerged after the two CEOs were forced into head-to-head discussions by a recent court ruling. —KE
—Updated 5:10 a.m. EST.
Spotify To Drop Invites, Adopts 6-Month Trial. Social music sharing service Spotify, which launched in the U.S. in July, will no longer be invite-only. Anyone on Facebook can listen to its tracks for free for the first 6 months. After that, music discovered on Facebook (on the free app) will count toward the monthly listening allowance. On Thursday at f8, CEO Daniel Ek took the stage for a few moments during the keynote to introduce the company's new partnership with Facebook as one of the first new music apps to roll out in its new avatar. —NS
China's Shanghai Apple Store Opens Doors. China's fifth and largest Apple Store celebrated its launch today, with 300 employees and about 500 enthusiastic onlookers. The five-floor store can take in 40,000 customers, report the folks from MIC Gadget, who were part of the crowd that attended the launch. Products have yet to go on sale at the store, but many didn't go home empty-handed—like the folks at MIC Gadget, they walked away with free T-shirts that said "Hello, Nanjing East Road," in Chinese. —NS
—Updated 4:30 a.m. EST
Yesterday's Fast Feed: Breaking Details From Facebook's F8: News, Movies, Music Apps, Profile Pages Get Pretty, Permanent With "Timeline," Reports... and more.