Weekly Digital News Roundup: Jan 29 – Feb 2

Apple to Open Giant Data Center in Arizona

  • According to the New York Times, on Monday, the State of Arizona announced that Apple would invest $2 billion in the creation of a data center at a facility in Mesa after its original plans to produce sapphire, a material tougher than glass, there were abandoned.
  • While Apple may have abandoned sapphire production at the Arizona facility, the company has not given up on the facility itself, which measures 1.3 million square feet. Apple on Monday said that the multibillion-dollar investment in the data center was one of its most significant investments ever, creating 600 engineering and construction jobs. The center will be partly used as a central command center for monitoring Apple’s other data centers around the world, the company said.
  • “We’re proud to continue investing in the U.S. with a new data center in Arizona, which will serve as a command center for our global networks,” said Kristin Huguet, an Apple spokeswoman. She said the facility would be powered entirely by renewable energy, much of which will come from a solar farm.

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Weekly Digital News Roundup: Jan 22 – Jan 26

SkyMall might be going to the big mall in the sky

  • According to Mashable, the company behind SkyMall is declaring bankruptcy and seeking to sell the iconic in-flight catalogue. Xhibit Corp., which owned SkyMall as well as a series of other subsidiaries, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, according to documents released on Friday. The company suspended its retail catalogue operations on Jan. 16 and laid off 47 employees, according to the filing. The company owes creditors about $12 million.
  • The Phoenix-based company had sold an assortment of wares through the its magazine-style catalogue that could be found in the seatback of almost every airline flight in the U.S. SkyMall was founded in 1989, and its magazine is available to about 650 million air travelers per year. SkyMall will go up for sale, as long as a bankruptcy court approves the company’s request.
  • If another company buys SkyMall, it could continue the existing business. However, Xhibit noted in its filing that there is a chance that the catalogue will cease to exist. The company listed a variety of factors that have begun to hurt its business including e-commerce companies Amazon and eBay. SkyMall also pointed to people using smartphones and tablets on flights, in-flight Internet access, and price competition.

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Weekly Digital News Roundup: Jan 1 – Jan 5

Bing Ads, Too, Says Goodbye to Phone Numbers In PPC Ad Copy

  • According to Search Engine Land, Bing Ads advertisers will soon no longer be able to put a phone number in the headline, body copy, URL or extensions like Sitelinks. As with AdWords, they’ll need to use location or call extensions for phone numbers. To start, the change only affects advertisers in the US, UK, Hong Kong and Taiwan, though we should expect this change to roll out to other markets in “the near future”, Bing Ads warns in the announcement.
  • This change goes into effect on new campaigns starting in February 2015. Any legacy ads with phone numbers will be allowed to run until June 2015. A caveat: if you make any edits at all — fix a typo, change a URL — to those legacy ads starting in February, they will most likely be disapproved.
  • If you want to keep those old phone number ads running until June, don’t touch them. Your best bet? Be prepared to start using call extensions and location extensions ahead of the February change.

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