A teen hacker and two other people managed to hack CIA Director John Brennan’s personal email, revealing sensitive information from his email account. The group used various social-engineering techniques to pull information from tech support departments from Verizon and AOL that ultimately led to accessing the personal account of their target. More →
The biggest tech news of the week was a doozie, with Verizon announcing its plan to acquire AOL for $4.4 billion. Naturally, the acquisition led to a whole lot of chatter regarding what Verizon’s long-term plans with AOL truly are. After all, though AOL owns a number of extremely popular web properties (i.e Engadget, Huffington Post), the company still derives a good portion of its revenue via dial-up subscribers, of which there are currently 2.1 million.
Still, many believe that the deal was largely a play to acquire AOL’s ad platform. More →
“BZZZT… EEE-YOO, EEE-YOO! YOU’VE GOT MAIL!” Those are the sounds that many Internet early adopters haven’t had to listen to for well over a decade now. However, there are still 2.1 million lost souls trapped in AOL dial-up hell and they’re about to become Verizon subscribers. Verizon on Tuesday announced that it plans to buy AOL for $4.4 billion at $50 per share, which represents a 17% premium over its stock price at the close of Monday’s trading. More →
While more and more carriers and Internet service providers are looking at ways of increasing data speeds, some people are still stuck on dial-up service, or at least they’re paying for it even though they might not really need it. AOL has no less than 2.34 million dial-up subscribers left, Re/code reports, who pay just over $20 per month for dial-up Internet access, even though many of them may already get their Internet fix from somewhere else. More →
Have you ever wondered who recorded AOL’s extremely popular “You’ve got mail” line, which you may have heard countless times so far alongside other familiar phrases spoken by your computer including “Welcome,” “File’s done” or “Goodbye?” CNBC has the answer, as the actor who was hired to record the clip more than twenty years ago retired this past March after a career of 47 years in television. More →
If there’s one company that knows what it’s like to lose a once-dominant position in the market and be seen as a relic of tech history, it’s AOL. That said, AOL has managed to find a way to tough it out and survive through bad times over the years, which is surely something that BlackBerry can take inspiration from. With this in mind, we thought it was interesting that AOL CEO Tim Armstrong this week told CNBC that he still loves using his BlackBerry for work and he makes the best case we’ve heard for why businesspeople should stick with BlackBerry phones, even if they use phones from Apple and Samsung as well. More →
Millions of Americans are still trapped in AOL dialup hell… but they might not be for much longer. Jackdaw Research chief Jan Dawson has put together a handy chart showing AOL’s operating income before depreciation and amortization (OIBDA) by segment and he concludes that, based on AOL’s current dialup subscriber churn rate, the company “has another 5 years before dialup business dies and it has to find a new source of profit.” More →
While many of us think of dial-up Internet service as a long-buried relic of years past, for many Americans it’s still a sad, slow reality. The Pew Research Center reports that around 3% of American Internet users are still using dial-up services as their means for going online, a percentage that hasn’t change since 2011. Given that the decline in dial-up subscribers has slowed dramatically over the past two years, it seems that the remaining 3% who still use dial-up have no options to subscribe to DSL or cable and are more or less stuck with the service if they want to go online. This may explain why AOL has actually been jacking up prices for dial-up users recently since its customers seemingly have nowhere else to go.
If there’s one thing that’s worse than being trapped in AOL dial-up hell, it’s paying even more money to stay there. Dan Frommer at SplatF notes that AOL’s average monthly revenue per dial-up subscriber is now $20.03, which is a 12% year-over-year increase from 2012. One reason why the company might be increasing its prices for users even as its dial-up subscriber numbers dwindle to 2.6 million because the users it has left simply have no alternative other than sticking with its slow, tedious service. AOL’s dial-up subscription business is still the company’s top money-maker so it’s not surprising that it is willing to squeeze ever-more cash out of the comparatively few customers it has left.
Amazing but true: AOL’s dial up business still makes over $150 million in quarterly operating income
We were surprised last summer when we learned that there were still 3 million lost souls who were trapped in AOL dial-up hell, since we figured that dial-up Internet service had gone the way of POGs and Beanie Babies as ’90s trends that had been mercifully relegated to the dustbin of history. But as Business Insider’s Henry Blodget points out, AOL’s (AOL) dial-up subscription service is still the company’s major money maker and produced an operating income before depreciation and amortization of $158.7 million in the fourth quarter of 2012. Blodget notes that even though AOL’s dial-up business is still shrinking, it’s still producing “about $500 million a year… that AOL can use and is using to invest in other cool businesses (content and an ad network).” So take comfort, AOL dial-up subscribers: Your willingness to wait 45 minutes to watch a three-minute YouTube video is powering AOL’s other businesses to new and exciting heights.
Thankfully, most Internet users haven’t been forced to hear the words “Wel-come! You’ve got mail!” when they log onto the Web for at least a decade now. But Dan Fromer at SplatF has combed through AOL’s (AOL) second-quarter earnings report and found that AOL still provides dial-up service to roughly 3 million subscribers. Granted, that number is a big drop from AOL’s halcyon days when it counted more than 25 million subscribers and was sending around soon-to-be-coasterized AOL installation CDs with reckless abandon. But even so, who exactly is still stuck on AOL dial up these days, and can we organize a satellite service rescue charity to help these poor suckers out? More →
Microsoft and Facebook on Monday announced a $550 million patent agreement in which the social networking giant will purchase a portion of the patent portfolio Microsoft recently acquired recently from Aol. Facebook will take ownership of approximately 650 former Aol patents, and it will license the remaining patents owned by the software giant. Microsoft will retain ownership of approximately 275 Aol patents and will license the additional 650 Aol patents to be transferred to Facebook. “Today’s agreement with Facebook enables us to recoup over half of our costs while achieving our goals from the AOL auction,” said Brad Smith, executive vice president and general counsel of Microsoft. “As we said earlier this month, we had submitted the winning AOL bid in order to obtain a durable license to the full AOL portfolio and ownership of certain patents that complement our existing portfolio.” Ted Ullyot, Facebook’s general counsel, said, “this is another significant step in our ongoing process of building an intellectual property portfolio to protect Facebook’s interests over the long term.” The joint press release follows below. More →