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CNET
CNET
(stylized as cnet) is an American media website that publishes reviews, news, articles, blogs, podcasts and videos on technology and consumer electronics globally. Founded in 1994 by Halsey Minor and Shelby Bonnie, it was the flagship brand of CNET
CNET
Networks and became a brand of CBS Interactive
CBS Interactive
through CNET
CNET
Networks' acquisition in 2008.[3][4][5][6] CNET
CNET
originally produced content for radio and television in addition to its website and now uses new media distribution methods through its Internet television
Internet television
network, CNET Video, and its podcast and blog networks. In addition, CNET
CNET
currently has region-specific and language-specific editions. These include the United Kingdom, Australia, China, Japan, French, German, Korean and Spanish. According to third-party web analytics providers, Alexa and SimilarWeb, CNET
CNET
is the highest-read technology news source on the Web, with over 200 million readers per month, being among the 200 most visited websites globally, as of 2015.[7][8][9]

Contents

1 History

1.1 Origins 1.2 Acquisitions and expansions

2 Malware infection in downloads 3 Dispute with Snap Technologies 4 Hopper controversy 5 Sections

5.1 Reviews 5.2 News 5.3 Video 5.4 How To

6 See also 7 References 8 External links

History[edit] See also: CBS Interactive Origins[edit]

Logo of CNET
CNET
Networks prior to acquisition by CBS Interactive

In 1994, with the help from Fox Network co-founder[10] Kevin Wendle and former Disney creative associate Dan Baker,[11] CNET
CNET
produced four pilot television programs about computers, technology, and the Internet. CNET TV
CNET TV
was composed of CNET
CNET
Central, The Web, and The New Edge.[12][13] CNET
CNET
Central was created first and aired in syndication in the United States
United States
on the USA Network. Later, it began airing on USA's sister network Sci-Fi Channel along with The Web and The New Edge.[12] These were later followed by TV.com
TV.com
in 1996. Current American Idol
American Idol
host Ryan Seacrest
Ryan Seacrest
first came to national prominence at CNET, as the host of The New Edge and doing various voice-over work for CNET. In addition, CNET
CNET
produced another television technology news program called News.com that aired on CNBC
CNBC
beginning in 1999.[11] From 2001 to 2003, CNET
CNET
operated CNET
CNET
Radio on the Clear Channel-owned KNEW (910) in the San Francisco Bay Area, WBPS (890) in Boston
Boston
and on XM Satellite Radio. CNET
CNET
Radio offered technology-themed programming. After failing to attract a sufficient audience, CNET
CNET
Radio ceased operating in January 2003 due to financial losses.[14] Acquisitions and expansions[edit] As CNET
CNET
Networks, the site made various acquisitions to expand its reach across various web platforms, regions, and markets. In July 1999, CNET
CNET
acquired the Swiss-based company GDT.[15] GDT was later renamed to CNET
CNET
Channel.[16] In 1998, CNET
CNET
granted the right to Asiacontent to set up CNET
CNET
Asia and the operation was brought back in December 2000.[17][18] In January 2000, the same time CNET
CNET
became CNET
CNET
Networks,[19] they acquired comparison shopping site mySimon for $736 million.[20][21] In October 2000, CNET
CNET
Networks acquired ZDNet for approximately $1.6 billion.[22][23][24] In January 2001, Ziff Davis
Ziff Davis
Media, Inc. reached an agreement with CNET
CNET
Networks, Inc. to regain the URLs lost in the 2000 sale of Ziff Davis, Inc. to SoftBank
SoftBank
Corp. a publicly traded Japanese media and technology company.[25] In April 2001, CNET acquired TechRepublic Inc., which provides content for IT professionals from Gartner, Inc., for $23 million in cash and stock.[26][27] On July 14, 2004, CNET
CNET
announced that it would acquire Webshots, the leading photography website for $70 million ($60 million in cash, $10 million in deferred consideration),[28] completing the acquisition that same month.[29][30] In October 2007, they sold Webshots
Webshots
to American Greetings
American Greetings
for $45 million.[31] In December 2006, James Kim, an editor at CNET, died in the Oregon wilderness. CNET
CNET
hosted a memorial show and podcasts dedicated to him. On March 1, 2007, CNET
CNET
announced the public launch of BNET, a website targeted towards business managers. BNET had been running under beta status since 2005.[32] On May 15, 2008 it was announced that CBS Corporation
CBS Corporation
would buy CNET Networks for US$1.8 billion.[4][5][33][34] On June 30, 2008, the acquisition was completed.[35] Former CNET
CNET
properties are now part of CBS Interactive. CBS Interactive
CBS Interactive
now owns many domain names originally created by CNET
CNET
Networks, including download.com, downloads.com, upload.com, news.com, search.com, TV.com, mp3.com, chat.com, computers.com, shopper.com, radio.com, com.com, and cnet.com. On September 19, 2013 CBS Interactive
CBS Interactive
launched a Spanish language sister site under the name CNET
CNET
en Español.[36] It focuses on topics of relevance primarily to Spanish-speaking technology enthusiasts. The site offered a "new perspective" on technology and is under the leadership of managing editor Gabriel Sama.[37] In March 2014, CNET
CNET
refreshed its site by merging with CNET
CNET
UK and vowing to merge all editions of the agency into a unified agency. This merge brought many changes, foremost of which would be a new user interface and the renaming of CNET TV
CNET TV
as CNET
CNET
Video. Malware infection in downloads[edit]

Major anti-virus programs indicate that CNET
CNET
downloads are infected with AdInstaller malware

With a catalog of more than 400,000 titles, the Downloads section of the website allows users to download popular software. CNET download.com provides Windows, Macintosh
Macintosh
and mobile software for download. CNET
CNET
maintains that this software is free of spyware, but independent sources have confirmed that this is not the case. Download.com not only hosts software with malware, but their own download wrapper contains adware and bloatware.[38][39][40][41][42][43]

Dispute with Snap Technologies[edit] In 1998, CNET
CNET
was sued by Snap Technologies, operators of the education service CollegeEdge, for trademark infringement relating to CNET's ownership of the domain name Snap.com, due to Snap Technologies already owning a trademark on its name.[44] In 2005, Google representatives refused to be interviewed by all CNET reporters for a year after CNET
CNET
published Google's CEO Eric Schmidt's salary, named the neighborhood where he lives, some of his hobbies and political donations.[45] All the information had been gleaned from Google searches.[46][47] On October 10, 2006, Shelby Bonnie resigned as chairman and CEO, in addition to two other executives, as a result of a stock options backdating scandal that occurred between 1996 and 2003.[48] This would also cause the firm to restate its financial earnings over 1996 through 2003 for over $105 million in resulting expenses.[49] The Securities and Exchange Commission later dropped an investigation into the practice. Neil Ashe was named as the new CEO.[50][51][52] In 2011, CNET
CNET
and CBS Interactive
CBS Interactive
were sued by a coalition of artists (led by FilmOn founder Alki David) for copyright infringement by promoting the download of LimeWire, a popular peer to peer downloading software.[53][54] Although the original suit was voluntarily dropped by Alki David, he vowed to sue at a later date to bring "expanded"[55] action against CBS Interactive. In November 2011, another lawsuit against CBS Interactive
CBS Interactive
was introduced, claiming that CNET
CNET
and CBS Interactive knowingly distributed LimeWire, the file sharing software.[56] Hopper controversy[edit] In January 2013, CNET
CNET
named Dish Network's "Hopper with Sling" digital video recorder as a nominee for the CES "Best in Show" award (which is decided by CNET
CNET
on behalf of its organizers), and named it the winner in a vote by the site's staff. However, CBS abruptly disqualified the Hopper, and vetoed the results because the company was in active litigation with Dish Network. CNET
CNET
also announced that it could no longer review any product or service provided by companies that CBS are in litigation with (which also includes Aereo). The new vote subsequently gave the Best in Show award to the Razer Edge tablet instead.[57][58][59] Dish Network's CEO Joe Clayton said that the company was "saddened that CNET’s staff is being denied its editorial independence because of CBS’ heavy-handed tactics."[57] On January 14, 2013, editor-in-chief Lindsey Turrentine addressed the situation, stating that CNET's staff were in an "impossible" situation due to the conflict of interest posed by the situation, and promised that she would do everything within her power to prevent a similar incident from occurring again. The conflict also prompted one CNET
CNET
senior writer, Greg Sandoval, to resign.[58] The decision also drew the ire of staff from the Consumer Electronics Association, the organizers of CES; CEO Gary Shapiro
Gary Shapiro
criticized the decision in a USA Today
USA Today
op-ed column and a statement by the CEA, stating that "making television easier to watch is not against the law. It is simply pro-innovation and pro-consumer." Shapiro felt that the decision also hurt the confidence of CNET's readers and staff, "destroying its reputation for editorial integrity in an attempt to eliminate a new market competitor." As a result of the controversy and fearing damage to the show's brand, the CEA announced on January 31, 2013 that CNET
CNET
will no longer decide the CES Best in Show award winner due to the interference of CBS (the position has been offered to other technology publications), and the "Best in Show" award was jointly awarded to both the Hopper with Sling and Razer Edge.[59] Sections[edit] Reviews[edit]

The reviews section of the site is the largest part of the site, and generates over 4,300 product and software reviews per year. The Reviews section also features Editors’ Choice Awards, which recognize products that are particularly innovative and of the highest quality.

News[edit]

CNET
CNET
News
News
(formerly known as News.com), launched in 1996, is a news website dedicated to technology, and was one of the first news sources to help define technology reporting in the age of the internet. CNET News
News
has won several prestigious awards, including the National Magazine award.[60] Content is created by both CNET
CNET
and external media agencies as news articles and blogs, including Webware (Web 2.0 topics) and Crave (gadgets).

Video[edit] Main article: CNET
CNET
Video

CNET Video is CNET's Internet video channel offering a selection of on-demand video content including video reviews, first looks and special features. CNET Video plays various videos, including CNET video reviews. CNET
CNET
editors such as Brian Cooley, Jeff Bakalar, Bridget Carey and Brian Tong host shows like Car Tech, The 404 Show, Quick Tips, CNET
CNET
Top 5, Update, The Apple Byte, video prizefights, and others, as well as special reports and reviews. On April 12, 2007, CNET Video aired its first episode of CNET
CNET
LIVE, hosted by Brian Cooley and Tom Merritt. The first episode featured Justin Kan
Justin Kan
of justin.tv.[61][62] CNET Video was formerly known as CNET
CNET
TV.

How To[edit]

Officially launched August 2011, How To is the learning area of CNET providing tutorials, guides and tips for technology users.

See also[edit]

CBS Corporation CBS Interactive ZDNet TechRepublic

References[edit]

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completes acquisition of CNET
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acquires TechRepublic for $23 million". San Francisco Business Times. April 9, 2001. Retrieved January 19, 2008.  ^ " CNET
CNET
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CNET
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CNET
Acquires Photo Service Webshots
Webshots
For $70 Million". Archived from the original on December 6, 2008.  ^ " CNET
CNET
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CNET
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CNET
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Live: April 12, 2007 video". 

External links[edit]

Official website

v t e

CBS Interactive

Brands

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247Sports.com MaxPreps.com Scout.com

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Download.com

FindArticles GameFAQs GameSpot

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Last.fm Metacritic mySimon TVGuide.com

TV.com

UrbanBaby ZDNet

TechRepublic

Channels

CBSN CBS Sports HQ CNET
CNET
Video

Staff, current

Dan Ackerman Bridget Carey Brian Cooley Jeff Gerstmann Jim Lanzone Daniel Terdiman

Staff, former

Matthew Barzun Veronica Belmont Esther Dyson Ina Fried Richard Hart James Kim Declan McCullagh Tom Merritt Halsey Minor Natali Morris Rafe Needleman Andrew Nusca Ryan Seacrest Molly Wood

Contributors, current

Violet Blue Christopher Dawson David Gewirtz Jason Perlow

Contributors, former

.