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Tech News: Developers Release Console Game Controllers for iPhone; Disney Adds Twitter's Jack Dorsey to Its Board


Plus, AOL claims that HuffPost Will Turn Profitable in 2014.

Game Controllers for iPhone

After Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) announced this summer that it would implement standards for iOS devices to interface with physical game controllers, two such devices designed for use with the iPhone have debuted, the Logitech (NASDAQ:LOGI) Powershell and the Moga Ace Power. (Both devices are reviewed here.)

Such controllers give iPhone gamers, a growing consumer base, more freedom and console-level control. Mobile gaming is already leeching players away from Microsoft's (NASDAQ:MSFT) Xbox, Sony's (NYSE:SNE) PlayStation, and Nintendo's (OTCMKTS:NTDOY) Wii, and controllers like these may help that trend to continue.

Both devices have their limitations: Logitech's Powershell only works with the iPhone 5 and 5S and doesn't have enough buttons for games while the Moga Ace Power is said to feel cheaply designed, and they both suffer from an Apple gaming ecosystem that is not yet fully developed. In the end, though, these are the first devices to bring console-level control to Apple products, and iOS gaming fans are at least taking notice and waiting for the next generation of gaming tech.

Jack Dorsey Joins Board of Disney

Jack Dorsey, the 36-year-old co-founder of Twitter (NYSE:TWTR) and the current CEO of the payments start-up Square, will become Disney's (NYSE:DIS) newest and youngest board member. Said Disney CEO and Chairman Bob Iger, "Jack Dorsey is a talented entrepreneur who has helped create groundbreaking new businesses in the social media and commerce spaces. The perspective he brings to Disney and its Board is extremely valuable."

Meanwhile, Iger's 2013 income was cut by 15% from $40 million to $34.3 million in fiscal 2013, even though the board has said that Iger's work and company results were valuable. As the board stated, the decision was made "because the company's strong results did not outperform against the committee's established performances ranges in fiscal 2013 by the same extraordinary amount as in fiscal 2012." A case of good but not as good.

AOL CEO Says Huffington Post May Turn a Profit Next Year

Since AOL (NYSE:AOL) acquired Arianna Huffington's left-leaning online news website in February 2011, it has not turned a profit, but thanks to an increased international expansion, as well as more video offerings, that may change. "We are continuing investments in video and international. Huffington Post has very strong prospects to have a global profitable business as we go through 2014," said AOL CEO Tim Armstrong.

According to data from comScore, Huffington Post's audience expanded by 25 million before the deal to hit 84 million in October 2013, thanks in large part to tens of millions of dollars in investment from AOL. But despite continued growth, HuffPost still will not turn a profit for AOL in 2013. AOL does not break down financial results for independent sites, but Citigroup Research analyst Mark May forecasts that HuffPost will lose about $6 million this year on $100 million in revenue.

According to AOL executives, HuffPost has lost money up to this point because of AOL's deliberate decision to divert advertising revenue back into the website. Otherwise, the site would be profitable. In 2014, it is betting on international sales to take the website into profitability, having bank-rolled expansion in France, Japan, and northwest Africa. Additionally, the company has plans for further expansion in India and Brazil in 2014.

AOL is also investing heavily in HuffPost Live, the website's live video content arm, which has been described as the first true cable channel on the web. Not surprisingly, a lot of that investment is international: HuffPost closed its LA studio in order to cover more international events, such as next month's annual meeting of the World Economics Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

Follow me on Twitter: @JoshWolonick and @Minyanville
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