Monday, July 31, 2006

MySpace Guardian provides a false sense of security

CNET "There are plenty of options for parents who want to keep their kids safe on MySpace, not the least of which are good old-fashioned self-education (do you know how to translate 'm4d sk1llz?'**) and proactive involvement in learning what kids are up to online. But for those who remain daunted by the idea of online social networking, there's the MySpace Guardian, a free downloadable toolbar that's designed to help parents track activity on their children's profiles.
Unfortunately, there's nothing about the MySpace Guardian that offers genuinely new ways to make site use safer. It does give easier access, via a drop-down menu, to particular areas of MySpace (profile view, comments, inbox) that some less tech-savvy parents might have trouble locating otherwise. (A plus, yes, but nothing that couldn't be done through simple bookmarking.) There's also a search-the-web menu and, somewhat randomly, a Skype menu."

Silicon Valley execs to Blair: Take risks, try blogging

CNET "A risk-taking culture and close ties with universities are big reasons for the success of the U.S. computer industry, some of Silicon Valley's brightest stars told U.K. Prime Minister Tony Blair on Sunday.
Blair, on a mission to find out the secrets of the U.S. high-tech sector's success and apply the lessons in Britain, traveled to the heart of California's Silicon Valley to trade ideas with some of the sharpest minds in the business. "

Friday, July 28, 2006

Yahoo! FareChase Tools

coolest travel item.. cheap air fares..

Yahoo! FareChase Tools: "Yahoo! FareChase Tools
Yahoo! FareChase is a travel search engine that helps travelers scour the web for the best flights and hotels that meet their budget and travel schedule. It searches dozens of travel websites and displays all the prices and availability in one place. When consumers find the travel plans that fit them best, Yahoo! FareChase links them directly to the travel providers' websites to complete their purchases. "

Teens Online: Not a Freak Zone

Wired News: "When I look at, I see a revved-up, high-octane, super-turbo-powered version of the internet, early 1990s. Or maybe AOL is a better comparison, a subcommunity built on top of the regular internet and a little to the side.
MySpace has all the modern goodies like video and click-to-add-friends networking and interactive event calendars, along with user profiles that remind me of what we used to call 'free web pages.'
But it doesn't have anything the internet didn't already have. I'm talking, of course, about people. Of all kinds.
One thing that makes something popular among young people is that it baffles older people. Like cars, rock 'n' roll and mobile phones, MySpace offers new freedoms to teenagers that have many parents scrambling to keep up."

Google click fraud settlement given go-ahead

CNET "An Arkansas judge has given final approval to a $90 million settlement Google reached to settle a click fraud lawsuit, rejecting arguments by opposing attorneys that the amount was not adequate compensation for advertisers that had been charged for fraudulent clicks on online ads.
In an order signed Wednesday but released on Thursday, Miller County Circuit Court Judge Joe Griffin said he found that the settlement was 'fair, reasonable and adequate,' and overruled the objections.
'The court finds that approval of the stipulation and the proposed settlement embodied therein will result in substantial savings in time and resources to the court and the litigants, and will further the interests of justice,' he wrote. " hires former Wonkette blogger

CNET "Former political blogger Ana Marie Cox, better known as Wonkette, will rejoin the so-called mainstream media as the new Washington editor for Time magazine's Web site later this month.
Cox, 33, will coordinate's political coverage and write features and essays for print and Web versions of the magazine owned by the world's largest media conglomerate, Time Warner.
Her appointment is effective July 31, Time said Thursday. Cox, who also wrote the satirical Washington, D.C.-based novel 'Dog Days,' joined Time in March as a contributing writer. "

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Will the cool kids go gaga for Bebo?

CNET "Social-networking site Bebo announced in early July that its 25 million members would have unlimited uploading and sharing of music files to its Bebo Bands site. In the last two weeks, more than 25,000 bands and tens of thousands of groupies decided to call Bebo Bands their home, according to Bebo.
Bebo seeks to distinguish its music networking features by becoming a democratic music site that allow members to play DJ, promoter, and groupie.
'The big differential from sites like MySpace is in the way we introduce the concept of playlists and will introduce the Bebo DJ,' Bebo founder Michael Birch said.
MySpace, the leading social networking Web site, is the obvious competitor from which Bebo would hope to take market share."

Google rides the radio waves

CNET "Google-powered ads, which have become a mainstay on Web sites, are now being played on at least one radio station in Detroit. And like so many other Motor City radio products, it won't be long before they go global. Google Chief Executive Eric Schmidt said in a conference call with analysts last week that the search giant plans to make its radio-ad business generally available within three months.
'We are in the process of introducing AdSense for radio, which is essentially the integration of the dMarc console and management tools into our advertising system. There are a number of very interesting deals being negotiated,' Schmidt said. It's a typically ambitious effort for Google, which got into the radio business in January with its $102 million acquisition of dMarc Broadcasting, a company that had an automated radio advertising system."

AOL set to become a freebie

CNET "Time Warner, whose shares touched a two-year low in mid-July, is set to introduce on Aug. 2 its fourth plan in five years to save online unit AOL.
AOL is widely expected to announce that it will give its e-mail and Web services away for free, hoping to win back customers who have switched to other free services from rivals like Google and Yahoo.
The new strategy, which will be discussed at a Time Warner board meeting in New York on Thursday, aims to boost online advertising sales. But analysts say it is a risky move as its subscription business currently accounts for 80 percent of AOL's revenue. "

Microsoft tags IE 7 'high priority' update

CNET "Microsoft plans to automatically push Internet Explorer 7 to Windows XP users when the browser update is ready later this year.
IE 7 will be delivered in the fourth quarter as a 'high priority' update via Automatic Updates in Windows XP, Gary Schare, Microsoft's director of IE product management, said in an interview Tuesday. Automatic Updates is a Windows feature typically used for security updates, but Microsoft has also used it to push its antipiracy tool WGA Notifications. "

- anyone else remember AOL "waiting for Art to download"?

Wednesday, July 26, 2006 - Rick Perry : "Governor Rick perry sat down with DallasBlog's Scott Bennett. His answers are unedited responses. "

- it's basically a click on the question to hear his unedited answers... nice job Dallas Blog.

Google-Watchers Watch Current

Wired News: "A small developer of broadband-over-power-line technology topped a venture capital funding report for the second quarter, sending tea leaves swirling yet again for Google-watchers.
Rochester, New York-based Current Communications raked in $130 million during the April-to-June period, according to a report from Ernst & Young and VentureOne released Monday.
The new capital came from General Electric; TXU, a Dallas-based energy company; Sensus Metering Systems, a provider of metering systems for utilities; and EarthLink, which has partnered with Google to build a Wi-Fi network for the search giant's hometown of Mountain View, California, and is working on the same for San Francisco."

Google to offer advertisers click fraud stats

CNET "Responding to concerns about click fraud in the online-ad industry, Google will be revealing to advertisers the number of invalid clicks on their ads.
With changes the company is set to make to its AdWords system late Tuesday, advertisers will be able to see the number of invalid clicks Google found, as well as what percentage that represents of total clicks registered, said Shuman Ghosemajumder, business product manager for trust and safety at Google.
Click fraud occurs when Web site publishers click on ads on their site to boost their revenue or when companies click on rivals' ads to eat away at their advertising budgets. Invalid clicks, for which Google does not charge advertisers, include inadvertent double clicks on an ad, according to Ghosemajumder. "

Attack code puts Windows PCs at risk

CNET "The first exploit code takes advantage of a 'critical' flaw in the Windows Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol, or DHCP, client, according to a customer alert sent out by the French Security Incident Response Team on Monday. Microsoft released a fix on July 11 for the problem, Symantec said in its own advisory for subscribers.
An attacker could gain full control over an unpatched Windows computer using the exploit, Symantec said. "

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Yahoo, Symantec debut Net security service

CNET "Yahoo and Symantec unveiled a joint consumer Internet security service Monday that will help the two companies compete against major rivals such as Google and Microsoft.
The two companies said they would offer Symantec's Norton Internet Security product directly to Yahoo customers in an expected deal that expands an ongoing partnership and seeks to take advantage of growing consumer demand for more Internet protection.
The deal also gives Symantec access to the hundreds of millions of customers who use Yahoo services and helps the software maker fend off Microsoft, which is making a big push into the potentially lucrative consumer security market. "

Hackers Fight Authority in NYC

Wired News: "NEW YORK -- On the 18th floor of the Hotel Pennsylvania, an anonymous crowd gathered. Their ages ranged from 13 to 80; they wore everything from T-shirts or formal suits to pastel sundresses or Goth black mesh. But you could tell they were together by their matching conference tags that displayed numbers instead of names.
The numbers gave participants, many of whom go by pseudonyms, a shield of anonymity. But they also reminded everyone that we live in a techno-bureaucracy where everyone is reduced to a statistic.
For the estimated 2,000 people who attended the sixth Hackers on Plant Earth, or HOPE, conference this past weekend, the semiannual event was a lesson in questioning assumptions about technology, politics and social norms. It was run by members of the antiauthoritarian hacker group 2600."

Database guru to run Yahoo social search research

CNET "Yahoo said on Monday it named a top academic database expert to head its research team studying links between computer and human-aided Web search.
Yahoo hired Raghu Ramakrishnan, 45, as vice president and Yahoo research fellow in charge of defining the strategy behind Yahoo's 'social search' system, based on his expertise in databases, data-mining and privacy-preserving technologies.
Social search--a broad effort to enhance computerized Web- search tools with insights gained from mining the collective knowledge of its users--is the linchpin of Yahoo's strategy to compete with rival Google, which has focused heavily on advances in computerized search. "

Google helps mobile users out

CNET "Google said it is prepared to announce on Tuesday new features to its services for mobile devices. Google Maps for Mobile, a downloadable Java application, will allow users to get live traffic information on the map and will take that information into account when providing estimated travel time, said product manager Gummi Hafsteinsson.
In addition, users will be able to save favorite locations into the application, such as a home or work address, and frequently used driving directions, he said. Google also changed its Personalized Home page for mobile devices so that users can customize the content for their smaller screens, rather than having the same personalized home page that they have on their computer, Hafsteinsson said."

- i tried this on my phone it sucked.. but that's pretty much because of the phone.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Google makes nice with Wall Street

CNET "When Google announced strong earnings last week, executives reached out to analysts in a way that, while not exactly revealing the inner workings of the company, at least showed a thawing of the search giant's often icy relationship with Wall Street.
After the traditional conference call with analysts on Thursday to discuss Google's second-quarter results, which beat Wall Street estimates, co-founder Sergey Brin participated in some of the one-on-one calls with analysts, something he'd never done before, a Google representative said. "

Israeli, Lebanese bloggers connect amid violence

CNET "Across the front line between Lebanon and Israel, bloggers hiding in bomb shelters and watching from rooftops are trading terrifying experiences, bitter barbs and words of sympathy.
The postings on Web logs, online journals, are a rare forum for communication between two countries that had no open border even before the latest war, no flight connections and working phone lines only in the direction from Israel to Lebanon. "

Verizon buys search company

CNET "Verizon Directories, a subsidiary of Verizon Communications, said on Friday that it has acquired the assets of Inceptor, a search engine technology company.
Verizon said the deal would bolster its Internet yellow-pages business, Verizon said in December that it would sell or spin off its directories unit as it focuses on its wireless, high-speed data and corporate customers. "

Google stock trades sideways despite standout results

CNET "Google put up another quarter of eye-popping growth in revenues, profits and market share gains, but the stock traded sideways on Friday as the results contained few surprises to drive shares higher.
The Web search leader said Thursday that second-quarter net profit more than doubled, aided by a lower tax rate and a shift toward in-house advertising rather than through partners, as revenue grew 77 percent, in line with Wall Street forecasts.
In the absence of new reasons to pound the table on behalf of the stock, bullish Google analysts mostly rehearsed their arguments for why Google stock could still hit $450, $500 and even $600 over the next 12-months. "

Friday, July 21, 2006

Street Sees Google as Undisputed Search Leader

Advertising Age : "NEW YORK ( -- For the seventh time in eight quarters, Google beat the expectations of Wall Street, reporting today that it more than doubled second-quarter profit in comparison to last year. Google's strong earnings look all the more impressive in contrast to those of its main search competitors, Yahoo and Microsoft."

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Google beats street in second quarter

CNET "Google posted on Thursday second-quarter earnings that beat analyst expectations, as revenue from advertising continued to rise on market share increases.
Net earnings for the quarter were $772 million, or $2.49 per share, excluding one-time items like stock-based compensation. Revenue was $1.68 billion, excluding traffic acquisition costs, which are commissions paid to content partners.
Analysts had expected Google to earn $2.22 per share on revenue of $1.65 billion, according to a survey by Thomson Financial.
Including items, the Mountain View, Calif.-based company earned $721 million, or $2.33 a share, for the quarter ended June 30. That's up more than double from $342.8 million, or $1.19 cents, a year earlier on the same basis. "

Blog for Netscape, Earn Big Bucks

Wired News: "Dollar signs went off in the blogosphere Wednesday as blog pioneer and recent Netscape recruit Jason Calacanis offered up to $1,000 a month to woo volunteer posters away from popular reader-generated link sites like Digg and Reddit.
A post on Calacanis' personal blog is offering potential contributors -- which he'll call 'Netscape Navigators' after they jump ship -- the $1,000 monthly stipend for a minimum of 150 posts on the recently redesigned Netscape site. The posts would be similar in content to the highly popular submissions on Digg, which are generally sparse on original content but offer links to original stories elsewhere on the web.
Calacanis believes that crowdsourcing, where a large pool of users contribute content to a community with little or no monetary compensation, is an outmoded idea."

Battery-Fueled Car Will Smoke You

Wired News: "Martin Eberhard holds the brake down with his left foot and presses on the accelerator with his right. The motor revs, the car strains against the brake. I hear ... almost nothing. Just a quiet whine like the sound of a jet preparing for takeoff 5 miles away. We're belted into a shimmering black sports car on a quiet, tree-lined street in San Carlos, California, 23 miles south of San Francisco. It has taken Eberhard three years to get this prototype ready for mass production, but with the backing of PayPal cofounder Elon Musk, Google's Larry Page and Sergey Brin, and ex-eBay chief Jeff Skoll, he has created Silicon Valley's first real auto company."

Google site to aid the blind

CNET "Google was set to unveil a Web search site on Thursday designed to help blind people find results that will work best with their text-to-speech software.
The new Google Accessible Search site, which will be available at early on Thursday, prioritizes the list of search results based on how simple the Web page layouts are, said T.V. Raman, research scientist in charge of the service.
For example, a user searching for 'weather' will find pages with a lot of other content on them. "

Yahoo Real Estate strikes deal with Zillow

CNET "Real-estate service is still in beta mode, but it has already scored a deal to provide free home value data for users of Yahoo's real-estate site.
Visitors to Yahoo Real Estate can now use Zillow's software to look up and compare real-estate values, Yahoo announced Wednesday. Along with an approximation of a home's value, the Zillow software provides indicators showing value fluctuations over the past week, as well as graphs that chart changes over the past year.
Not everyone can find their home value through Zillow or its partnership with Yahoo Real Estate, however. While data on more than 65 million homes is available, some states--such as Indiana, Texas and Louisiana--are left out entirely due to nondisclosure laws, and some counties and individual homes are not yet in the database."

Storytelling, not journalism, spurs most blogs

CNET "Many people see Web journals, or blogs, as alternatives to the mainstream media, but most Americans who run them do so as a hobby rather than a vocation, according to a report released on Wednesday.
About 77 percent of blog authors, or bloggers, said they post to express themselves creatively rather to get noticed or paid, according to the report, released by the Pew Internet & American Life Project.
The report also found that 37 percent of bloggers cited their life and experiences as their primary topics, while politics and government came in second at 11 percent. "

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Microsoft vows to play fair

CNET "WASHINGTON--Microsoft pledged on Wednesday that all of its future operating systems, including Windows Vista, will abide by self-imposed rules aimed at bolstering choice and competition.
The voluntary principles will come into play after major parts of a U.S. government decree related to the landmark U.S. antitrust case against the software maker expire next year, Brad Smith, general counsel at Microsoft, said. They focus on the freedoms that users, manufacturers, and developers can expect in Windows Vista and its successors. "

- am I the only one that finds this amusing?

Yahoo misses the mark | 07/19/2006: "Yahoo found no forgiveness in the stock market Tuesday, as the world's largest Internet portal reported quarterly sales had increased less than Wall Street expected and warned that long-awaited improvements to its advertising system would be delayed.
Yahoo's shares sank more than 13 percent in after-hours trading after the Sunnyvale company's report that sales rose 26 percent for the quarter ended June 30. Analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial had been expecting sales growth of 30 percent, though the company's $164 million in net income met expectations."

Judge: Google News lawsuit can proceed

CNET "WASHINGTON--A federal judge has postponed a key ruling in a lawsuit against Google brought by Agence France-Presse that alleges Google's popular news search feature violates copyright laws.
U.S. District Judge Gladys Kessler said Tuesday that she was not prepared to rule on Google's request to dismiss the case, and instead granted both sides more time to try to reconstruct Google News pages from randomly chosen dates in 2003 and 2004.
The copyright case has drawn international attention because the legal ground rules for including headlines and summaries of news articles remain unclear. Many bloggers, for instance, routinely republish multiple paragraphs of articles without the permission of the copyright owner. "

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Yahoo second-quarter earnings meet expectations

CNET "Yahoo posted second-quarter net income that met analyst expectations but was lower than a year earlier on higher stock compensation expenses.
Net income, including stock compensation expenses, was $164 million, or 11 cents a share, recorded under a new fair-value method. That compares with a year-ago figure of $755 million, or 51 cents a share--or $152 million, or 10 cents a share, under the fair value method. Stock compensation during the quarter was $73 million, up from $7 million in the year earlier quarter. "

Worm lurks behind MySpace profiles

CNET "A worm is targeting MySpace users, compromising their 'About me' pages and infecting visitors to them, Symantec has warned.
When a logged-in MySpace user goes to another member's 'About me' page affected by the ACTS.Spaceflash worm, they are quietly redirected to a URL that holds a malicious Macromedia Flash file, the security company said in an advisory on Spaceflash Tuesday. That file, in turn, will replace the visitor's own 'About me' page with one that is compromised. "

FeedBurner buys BlogBeat, expanding blog analysis

CNET ", which syndicates Web postings for 200,000 publishers, said it has acquired blog analytics company for undisclosed terms.
FeedBurner manages managing headline syndication services and operates a growing Web site advertising network. The deal will allow the company to provide publishers with tools to better understand what headline feeds blog site visitors are reading.
Chicago-based FeedBurner, founded three years ago, said it has acquired the assets of BlogBeat, based in Raleigh-Durham, N.C. BlogBeat founder Jeff Turner has joined FeedBurner as its lead engineer for Web analytics. "

Yahoo looks to users for video ads

CNET "Yahoo is urging consumers to come up with videos touting its Web site's new redesign.
On Monday, the company launched a site promoting videos shot by film students, and asked the general public to join in with their own video submissions. The short videos are meant to highlight the redesign of Yahoo's home page and to illustrate the theme 'Yahoo has changed.'
Yahoo and its ad agency asked film students from the Parsons School of Design, the San Francisco Art Institute, Yale University, and the London Film Academy to submit the videos. The ad agency provided the students with a choice of film scripts based on the theme. The student videos are being shown on the Yahoo Network,, E Online,, and
Yahoo hopes to soon air user-created videos online as well as part of the campaign, said Meagan Busath, a Yahoo spokeswoman. 'We are really excited to involve our users in the launch of the Yahoo home page,' she said. The company thinks that a lot of creative and funny videos are going to come out of this campaign, she added."

BetOnSports faces U.S. charges

CNET "Shares in online gaming company BetOnSports were suspended on Tuesday after its chief executive was detained in the United States and the FBI ordered four telephone companies to cut off its operations.
BetOnSports said it had been unable to contact Chief Executive David Carruthers, who is being held in Fort Worth, Texas, but had seen a U.S. indictment 'alleging various criminal acts against multiple defendants.'"

MySpace Faces Age-Old Web Problem

Wired News: "At and many other popular online hangouts, a 30-something woman can celebrate her Sweet 16 over and over with just a click of the mouse. A 12-year-old can quickly mature to meet the sites' minimum age requirements, generally 14, while an adult looking to chat with teens can virtually shed several years.
With heightened concerns over sexual predators lurking at so-called social-networking sites, state attorneys general have called for such communities, particularly MySpace, to improve age and identity checks. If only it were so easy, experts say.
'We're all just grasping for solutions,' said Anne Collier, co-author of the forthcoming MySpace Unraveled: What It Is and How to Use It Safely. 'We haven't fully researched it and thought about all the implications.'"

Monday, July 17, 2006

Technologists square off on Net neutrality

CNET "WASHINGTON--Two Internet pioneers dueled on Monday over whether proposed Net neutrality regulations supported by companies like Google and are the best way to prevent 'abusive' behavior by broadband providers.
A debate here hosted by the Center for American Progress, a nonpartisan research institute that brags of challenging 'conservative thinking,' pitted Google Chief Internet Evangelist Vint Cerf, who co-developed the Internet's backbone protocols and has emerged as a leading proponent of congressional antidiscrimination mandates for network operators, against Dave Farber, a Carnegie Mellon University computer scientist widely considered to be a 'grandfather' of the Internet.
The pair of technologists appeared to agree on at least one thing: Network operators, in general, shouldn't be allowed to interfere with Net users' activities. Where they disagreed was on the role that Congress and federal regulators should play in the ongoing debate over so-called Net neutrality, the idea that network operators must generally give equal treatment to all content that travels over their pipes. "

Technologists square off on Net neutrality

CNET "WASHINGTON--Two Internet pioneers dueled on Monday over whether proposed Net neutrality regulations supported by companies like Google and are the best way to prevent 'abusive' behavior by broadband providers.
A debate here hosted by the Center for American Progress, a nonpartisan research institute that brags of challenging 'conservative thinking,' pitted Google Chief Internet Evangelist Vint Cerf, who co-developed the Internet's backbone protocols and has emerged as a leading proponent of congressional antidiscrimination mandates for network operators, against Dave Farber, a Carnegie Mellon University computer scientist widely considered to be a 'grandfather' of the Internet.
The pair of technologists appeared to agree on at least one thing: Network operators, in general, shouldn't be allowed to interfere with Net users' activities. Where they disagreed was on the role that Congress and federal regulators should play in the ongoing debate over so-called Net neutrality, the idea that network operators must generally give equal treatment to all content that travels over their pipes. "

Bogus Clicks on Online Advertising Links Continue to Rise, Report Says

Bogus Clicks on Online Advertising Links Continue to Rise, Report Says: "Swindlers have stepped up their effort to fleece millions of dollars from online advertisers that use lucrative marketing networks run by Google Inc. and Yahoo Inc., according to a quarterly report to be released today.

The sales referrals generated by clicks on the advertising links popularized by the two Internet powerhouses are a sham 14.1% of the time, based on information collected from 1,300 online marketers. "

Yahoo Finance gets a face-lift

CNET "Yahoo Finance was set to get a face-lift on Monday with new interactive stock charts, improved message boards and business-related video clips from content partners.
In addition, Yahoo is offering Internet publishers the ability to easily add a stock chart, quotes and news headlines to their Web site.
The new Yahoo Finance beta site features a full-screen application that lets people add events--such as whether a company has had stock splits or dividends--with one click, see competitor charts, click and drag to customize a chart's time range, and type in specific dates.
Yahoo Finance message boards also will provide more information on postings, as well as the ability to rate messages and sort and filter messages based on ratings. Discussions appear as threaded conversations under topics as opposed to being listed chronologically. "

YouTube serves up 100 million videos a day

CNET "YouTube, the leader in Internet video search, said Sunday viewers are now watching more than 100 million videos per day on its site, marking the surge in demand for its 'snack-size' video fare.
Since springing from out of nowhere late last year, YouTube has come to hold the leading position in online video with 29 percent of the U.S. multimedia entertainment market, according to the latest weekly data from Web measurement site Hitwise.
YouTube videos account for 60 percent of all videos watched online, the company said. Videos are delivered free on YouTube and the company is still working on developing advertising and other means of generating revenue to support the business. "

Friday, July 14, 2006

Microsoft looks to foil Web spammers

CNET "Researchers at Microsoft have developed a tool to scrub search engines of major Web sites that pollute search results and ultimately help clean the Web of spam.
Called Strider Search Defender, the tool is designed to dig out Web pages that are a front for spam Web sites, according to a paper published by Microsoft researchers on Thursday. These Web pages typically reside on blogging sites and other services that provide free Web space, the researchers said.
Spammers soil the Web with countless links to their spam fronts in order to gain a higher ranking in search engines. 'By cleaning up Web search, hopefully we can discourage spammers from cluttering the Web with spam,' Yi-Min Wang, principal researcher at Microsoft, said in an interview. "

New PowerPoint hole used in cyberattacks

CNET "Deja vu? Only a day after Microsoft's monthly patch day, a new security hole in Microsoft Office is being exploited in cyberattacks.
These attacks take advantage of a previously unknown vulnerability in PowerPoint for which no patch is available, security experts at Symantec said in an alert issued Wednesday. The flaw might affect Microsoft Office in general, according to the alert.
Microsoft is investigating the issue, it said in an e-mailed statement Thursday. The company is aware of attacks that exploit the flaw, but those are 'extremely limited, targeted attacks,' it said. For an attack to be successful, users must open a malicious PowerPoint file provided to them, for example via e-mail, Microsoft noted. "

Judge dismisses suit over Google ranking

- good stupid people.. they should use good SEO instead of complaining, however there ranking will either increase because of all the coverage and traffic or Google will be smart and say "you sued us, buh bye..." - paisley

KinderStart, a directory and search engine for information related to children, sued Google in March after it fell to a "zero" ranking in the Google index. The lawsuit claimed that by lowering KinderStart's site in its PageRank system, Google had engaged in "pervasive monopolistic practices" that led to the denial of the site's free speech rights, prevention and destruction of competition, and predatory pricing, among nine counts total.

As a result of the drop in ranking, traffic and monthly page views to KinderStart's Web site fell 70 percent or more and the company's revenue from advertisements through Google's AdSense syndication program fell by more than 80 percent, according to the lawsuit.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Wired News: MySpace Kills Internet Tube Song

Wired News: "After hearing Sen. Ted Stevens' now infamous description of the internet as a 'series of tubes,' Andrew Raff sang the senator's words over a folksy ditty and anonymously posted it to, where about 2,500 people listened to the tune, thanks to a link from one of the net's top blogs.
On Tuesday, MySpace canceled the TedStevensFanClub account, telling Raff that the social-networking site, now owned by media mogul Rupert Murdoch's News Corp., had received a 'credible complaint of your violation of the MySpace Terms of Services.'
The e-mail referenced a number of prohibited activities, including trademark and copyright violations. MySpace also reserves the right to remove any profile for any reason."

Google's Click-Fraud Crackdown

Wired News: "Google's $6 billion-a-year advertising business is at risk because it can't be sure that anyone is looking at its ads. The problem is called click fraud, and it comes in two basic flavors.
With network click fraud, you host Google AdSense advertisements on your own website. Google pays you every time someone clicks on its ad on your site. It's fraud if you sit at the computer and repeatedly click on the ad or -- better yet -- write a computer program that repeatedly clicks on the ad. That kind of fraud is easy for Google to spot, so the clever network click fraudsters simulate different IP addresses, or install Trojan horses on other people's computers to generate the fake clicks."

Google Has No

Wired News: "The owners of the domain have been fielding hundreds of customer service e-mails and phone calls regarding Google's AdSense program since the advertising service launched in March 2003.
Unfortunately for the domain registrants, they have no connection with Google, except for the fact that they happen to share the name."

Google's anti-social downside

CNET ", and others have turned heads for their skyrocketing traffic and massive appeal among young people, who flock to the sites by the millions to bond via photos, videos, blogs, e-mail and instant messaging. Meanwhile, top portals MSN and Yahoo, threatened by the prospect of losing favored-site ranking to MySpace, have begun to organize their applications around social networking, as well."

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

House Bans Most Online Gambling

Wired News: "If online poker is your passion or if you fancy internet roulette, you might want to consider taking up a new hobby.
Congress has taken a significant step toward banning most online gambling.
The House voted 317-93 Tuesday for legislation that would prohibit credit cards and other payment forms from being used to settle internet wagers. It would clarify and update current law to spell out that most gambling is illegal online.
It also would allow law enforcement officials to work with internet providers to block access to gambling web sites. The bill would exempt state-run lotteries and horse racing."

A chat with Michael Dell: Alienware and XPS to stay separate

TG Daily: "While custom PC builder Alienware may benefit from the much-increased purchasing power of its new corporate parent, Dell Computer, the development tracks of the two companies will remain separate. The reason, as Dell Computer Chairman Michael Dell revealed to TG Daily during a roundtable session with journalists on Sunday afternoon, is because his company's top-of-the-line XPS performance systems and Alienware's product line are targeted toward separate customer bases - still segments of the same gaming and enthusiast market, but still measurably different.
'I think what we've seen is that [the gaming and enthusiast segment] is a pretty big market,' Mr. Dell told reporters, 'and XPS has done quite well, [and] the Alienware brand has done quite well. We think their appeals are slightly different. The development teams are continuing on with the strategies that they've had, which are really very different. Each one has its own customer base.'
According to Dell's own internal research, which Mr. Dell cited, the Dell and Alienware brands combined share 60% of the high-end gaming and enthusiast computer market in the US. Mr. Dell admitted there were few independent statistical measures of this market, but that he relies on internal figures."

Conde Nast to buy Wired News

CNET "Conde Nast, which bought Wired magazine eight years ago, is paying $25 million to acquire troubled online site Wired News from Lycos, the companies said late Tuesday.
Conde Nast, whose roster of publications includes The New Yorker, Vogue and Architectural Digest, will retain the 15 to 20 Wired News staffers, according to Daum Communications of Korea, which bought Lycos two years ago. The Wired News staff is located in the same building as the print magazine in downtown San Francisco.
Lycos will retain Hotbot, Hotwired and Webmonkey, the other Wired Digital properties. "

Hacker Spawns a French Watergate

Wired News: "PARIS -- A hack of a Luxembourg bank's records is emerging as a key detail of the so-called Clearstream affair here, a national scandal that's pulled top-level politicians, powerful corporate executives and now a white-hat hacking group into its orbit.
Like a spy novel or a French version of All the President's Men, the scandal has captivated the press, and produced a steady stream of leaks about political vendettas, secret meetings between high-level government officials and anonymous letters penned by a mysterious 'Le Corbeau' (the Raven). The apparent electronic espionage now adds a high-tech angle to what many are calling 'the French Watergate.'"

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

MySpace grabs top spot among U.S. sites

CNET "Online teen hangout ranked as the No. 1 Web site in the United States last week, displacing Yahoo's top-rated e-mail gateway and Google's search site, Internet-tracking firm Hitwise said Tuesday.
News Corp.'s MySpace accounted for 4.46 percent of all U.S. Internet visits for the week ended July 8, pushing it past Yahoo Mail for the first time and outpacing the home pages of Yahoo, Google and Microsoft's MSN Hotmail. "

Google Expands AdWords

RED HERRING: "Google plans to open a facility in Ann Arbor, Michigan, that will be a sales and operations center for the company’s AdWords online advertising program and create 1,000 jobs over the next five years in the economically sluggish region.

“Whether you are a business building engines or a search engine, Michigan is the place you want to be,” Michigan Governor Jennifer M. Granholm said in a statement. “We are creating jobs that will allow our young people to stay in Michigan and raise families of their own.”

Google spokesperson Courtney Hohne said a team of workers and at least temporary offices will be up and running by the fall. The Ann Arbor facility will be an extension of the online search king’s AdWords headquarter operations in Mountain View, California.

Through the AdWords program, advertisers pay Google every time a consumer clicks on their online ads, which run alongside search results"

Crazy-Long Hacker Sentence Upheld

Wired News: "A federal appeals court upheld a nine-year prison term Monday for a hacker who tried and failed to steal customer credit-card numbers from the Lowe's chain of home improvement stores.
Brian Salcedo, now 23, has been in custody since 2003, when an FBI stakeout caught him and a partner breaking into several Lowe's networks over an unsecured Wi-Fi connection at a suburban Detroit store.
Under Monday's ruling, Salcedo will not be eligible for release until May 2011."

MySpace. Should It Be Your Space?

Technique - Marketing for Technology Companies: "If you haven’t heard about MySpace, you probably haven’t seen the news lately. Some reports would have us believe that the social networking site is a haven for child molesters and pornography. In truth, it’s just like a lot of websites – there are good and bad aspects to it. There’s certainly no denying its popularity, and that has a lot of companies asking if MySpace will benefit them.
Large companies like Nike, Coca Cola and Procter and Gamble seem to think it’s worth the risk to have MySpace pages, and so far, it has been. Your company put up a website on the Internet, right? Building your own MySpace page is like that – except that MySpace reaches 71 million reported users.
MySpace has very quickly become one of the top trafficked websites on the Internet. It’s the second largest destination on the web, by page views (second only to Yahoo). Yes, more people view pages on MySpace than on Google. In terms of the most popular websites in the world, it ranks fifth, Yahoo is first, MSN second and Google is third, with Asian search engine Baidu taking the fourth slot (according to Nielsen//Net Ratings). MySpace adds more than 200,000 users daily. It is the largest growing web entity on the Internet. In addition, because of the bad publicity and the fickle nature of teens (the largest demographic on the site) MySpace advertising rates are cheap. Very cheap."

Monday, July 10, 2006

Site-Lookup Service Foils Fraud

Wired News: "Few netizens think about the internet's domain name system: the architecture that invisibly translates a browser's request for, say, into the numeric IP address where the site is hosted.
But a new startup is hoping to make DNS into a household word and usher in an age where smarter DNS service is offered competitively, like e-mail service or spam filtering today.
The OpenDNS system, which will open its servers to the public Monday, wants to be a more user-friendly name resolution service than those provided by ISPs, with technology to keep fraudulent sites out of its listings, correct some typos and help browsers look up web pages faster."

Friday, July 07, 2006

MySpace for Cancer Patients

Bodyhack: "Michael Horwin, founder of Cancer Monthly, has just launched a new web site called MyCancerPlace, which he's calling the first cancer-focused community website. It’s modeled on MySpace, but, Horwin said in an email, focused on helping cancer patients share and find treatment information.

'Cancer organizations have been stuck using bulletin board functionality for years and MyCancerPlace represents the first leap out of that paradigm and into a richer cyber-environment,' he said. 'It may also represent the first time that MySpace-type technology has been created for people in their 50’s, 60’s, 70’s and beyond – the ages where cancer strikes most.'

The site launched June 30 and so far has about 50 members. They can connect and network with other cancer patients throughout around the world, share information and experiences, discuss doctors and hospitals, listen to teleconferences, find out about cancer events, create personal web pages with text and pictures that can be updated and changed easily. 'With a disease like cancer, where information and communication is absolutely essential to have the best outcome, this technology is incredibly robust,' Horwin said.

He knows all too well how important information is when it comes to making cancer treatment decisions. He and his wife went through an ordeal no one would wish on their worst enemy when their two-year-old son Alexander was diagnosed with fatal brain cancer in 1998. "

Study: Click fraud could threaten pay-per-click model

CNET "Online advertisers estimate that about 14.6 percent of the clicks on ads for which they're billed are fraudulent, costing them about $800 million last year, according to a study released Wednesday.
The study, called 'Click Fraud Reaches $1.3 billion, Dictates End of 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' Era' and released by research and advisory firm Outsell, claims that 'Google, Yahoo and MSN...are stonewalling on click fraud, to their own and others' detriment.'
Search engines have refused to release figures on the amount of fraud in search advertising, most of which comes from Web sites boosting their revenue by clicking on ads on their own sites."

Google joins Xerox as a verb

CNET "Though you may have been 'googling' people for years, the verb you were using was technically slang, until recently.
In fact, many regularly used tech words are just now getting the official stamp of approval from English-language dictionaries.
On Thursday, Merriam-Webster announced its latest update, and the new science and technology words added to the venerable dictionary include agritourism, biodiesel, mouse potato, ringtone and spyware."

Spim, splog on the rise

CNET "Spammers are increasingly turning to mobile text-messaging, Web-based instant messaging, blogs and social-networking communities such as, according to mail services company MessageLabs.
The company, which sells a Web-filtering and instant messaging service, said in a report Thursday that spammers are increasingly targeting new means of communication to 'bypass e-mail-based antispam measures and more effectively target recipients based on their age, location and other characteristics.'
Social-networking sites offer spammers a 'new level of convergence and capability to profile people,' said Mark Sunner, chief technical officer at MessageLabs. "

Another security hole found in Excel

CNET "A hole in Microsoft Excel has been identified that could allow attackers to take control of a computer, a security group said Thursday--the third vulnerability affecting the popular spreadsheet program to surface in less than a month.
The flaw is due to a memory corruption error that occurs when handling or repairing a document containing overly long styles, the French Security Incident Response Team said in an advisory.
The flaw, which affects Excel 2000, 2002 and 2003 and Office 2000, XP and 2003, 'could be exploited by attackers to execute arbitrary commands by convincing a user to open and repair a specially crafted Excel file,' the advisory said. "

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Merrill Lynch bullish on Google growth

CNET "Merrill Lynch on Wednesday said it has raised its second-quarter revenue and earnings-per-share estimates for Google, while maintaining net revenue and earnings-per-share estimates for Yahoo.
The brokerage maintained its 'buy' rating on Google and its 'neutral' rating on Yahoo.
Merrill Lynch raised its estimates for Google based on strong search query trends and currency benefits. The brokerage also expects second-quarter advertising revenue growth for Google to continue to be significantly higher than its peers, including Yahoo and Microsoft. "

Merrill Lynch bullish on Google growth

CNET "Merrill Lynch on Wednesday said it has raised its second-quarter revenue and earnings-per-share estimates for Google, while maintaining net revenue and earnings-per-share estimates for Yahoo.
The brokerage maintained its 'buy' rating on Google and its 'neutral' rating on Yahoo.
Merrill Lynch raised its estimates for Google based on strong search query trends and currency benefits. The brokerage also expects second-quarter advertising revenue growth for Google to continue to be significantly higher than its peers, including Yahoo and Microsoft.
In a research note, Merrill Lynch said it expects Google to continue to remain competitive for distribution partners and potentially gain search share over the next couple quarters, helped by toolbar deals with Dell and Adobe Systems. "

Google says bill could spark antitrust fight

CNET "Google warned on Tuesday it will not hesitate to file antitrust complaints in the United States if high-speed Internet providers abuse the market power they could receive from U.S. legislators.
The U.S. Senate Commerce Committee last week approved sweeping communications reform legislation that would make it easier for telephone companies like AT&T to offer subscription television to consumers.
But it narrowly rejected attempts by some lawmakers to strengthen safeguards on Internet service, which had pitted high-speed Internet, or broadband, providers such as AT&T against Internet content companies like Google.
The battle centered on whether broadband providers can charge more to carry unaffiliated content or to guarantee service quality, an issue called Net neutrality. "

Suit over poor Google ranking may go forward

CNET "A federal judge in California hinted that a parenting Web site that's suing Google over a poor ranking in the search giant's massive index would be able to proceed with its lawsuit.
During a hearing here Friday, U.S. District Judge Jeremy Fogel said he's considering issuing an order that would allow to amend its lawsuit against Google to add more specifics. The parent-focused directory and search engine site claims Google violated antitrust and other laws by handing KinderStart low rankings.
KinderStart alleges that its parenting search engine site suffered an approximate 70 percent drop in monthly traffic in March last year after Google buried its visibility in search results. KinderStart, which claims to have originally been in the first 10 results when Web users scoured the Internet for KinderStart, also saw an 80 percent drop in AdSense revenue. "