Advertising bolstered AOL at the end of 2011, lifting the company's profits beyond Wall Street's expectations, the fourth-quarter profit report revealed. But thanks to a dial-up business that bleeds money, AOL's profits still fell from a year before, Reuters reported: "Earnings fell to $22.8 million, or 23 cents a share, from continuing operations from $66.2 million, or 60 cents a share, a year earlier."

On a positive note, acquiring Huffington Post and TechCrunch in 2011 helped the company beef up its ad revenue, Bloomberg reports. And it's a good thing AOL's moving to a more ad-based income model, because the people who've been paying the company for email they don't need, as the New Yorker reported a year ago, will eventually wise up and walk away, taking their money with them.