Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Proposal requires sex offenders to list e-mail, IM

"Thousands of Web sites with message boards or chat rooms would be encouraged to check their lists of registered users against a federal list of sex offenders, according to forthcoming legislation in the U.S. Congress.
The proposal says that such Web sites may--but are not required to--send a formal statement to the U.S. Department of Justice to request a list of sex offenders' e-mail addresses and screen names used for instant messaging. "

Proposal requires sex offenders to list e-mail, IM CNET News.com:

eBay Nixes Sales Of 'Virtual' Goods

ONLINE MARKETPLACE EBAY HAS BEGUN delisting all auctions of "virtual property," such as currency or avatars used by players in online role-playing games like "World of Warcraft," "Everquest," and "Neopets."
eBay spokesman Hani Durzy said the move stemmed from growing legal concerns surrounding the sale of virtual property. "Because of those legal complexities, we felt the most prudent thing to do at this point was to ban them from sale for the site," he said.
Although Durzy declined to comment on which legal issues eBay was concerned with specifically, one possible problem stems from the uncertain ownership of virtual goods. The terms of service of nearly every massively multiplayer online game state that the items and currency that the players amass belong to the game publisher and not the actual player. eBay's terms of service require that sellers own the property they list for auction.
The taxability of online assets also remains unresolved. In October, the congressional Joint Economic Committee launched a probe investigating how virtual property and income should be taxed.
But, while eBay is banning the sale of virtual items used in massively multiplayer online games, the auction site will continue to allow users to buy and sell items used in virtual world Second Life. "Our current mode of thinking is there's a legitimate question as to whether Second Life should be lumped in with these massively multiplayer online games," Durzy said. Second Life, which has a virtual economy and a virtual currency that can be exchanged for real dollars, is more of a "virtual world with a virtual economy" than a game, he said.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Google to run video ads from BMG, Warner

CNET News.com: "Google will expand testing of its much-anticipated video advertising system by working with two major music labels to embed video ads on Web sites that make money running them.
Google said Monday that it would distribute advertising alongside videos from Sony BMG Music Entertainment and Warner Music Group over its AdSense online ad system to Web site publishers. The video ads are running in a four-week test now under way. "

Monday, January 22, 2007

Google In Talks To Buy In-Game Ad Company - 01/22/2007

"GOOGLE IS IN DISCUSSIONS TO purchase in-game advertising company Adscape Media, according to a report in Saturday's online edition of The Wall Street Journal.
Adscape's technology allows marketers to deliver ads into video games by, for example, placing ads inside virtual billboards within a game world. Adscape Chairman Bernard Stolar told the Journal that he has held talks with a number of companies, but that no deal has yet been signed.
Google rival Microsoft last year purchased in-game ad network Massive Inc. Shortly after the deal closed, Microsoft said it planned to integrate the Massive network into Microsoft's Xbox Live online gaming system and MSN Games.
In recent months, Google has made significant inroads in selling ads beyond paid search links. The company late last year began selling print ads for dozens of major newspaper publishers, including Gannett, the Tribune Company, The New York Times Company, the Washington Post Company, and Hearst. Google recently announced it intended to extend that program.
Google, which last year acquired dMarc Broadcasting--a provider of automated ad delivery platforms for radio stations--also is testing radio ad sales. "
MediaPost Publications - Report: Google In Talks To Buy In-Game Ad Company - 01/22/2007

MySpace Launches Celebrity Interview Site

MYSPACE LAST WEEK LAUNCHED A community page featuring videos of actors, athletes, artists and other celebrities interviewing one another.
At launch, the new MySpace Video page, "Artists on Artists," featured 11 interviews, including conversations between musicians Marilyn Manson and Danny Elfman, rock-comedy duo Tenacious D and Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl, and Denver Nuggets star Carmelo Anthony and comedian Katt Williams. The videos were previously hosted on MySpace Video, but never collected on a single page. The interviews are also hosted on each artists' personal profile page.
The community is being sponsored by New Line Cinema, to promote their upcoming film "The Number 23," starring Jim Carrey. New Line has branding on the site in the form of a roadblock ad, and a link to the movie's official home page.
MySpace has previously used the Artist-on-Artist interview series for promotions. For instance, in May 2006, in one of the series' first interviews, former vice president Al Gore
promoted his film "An Inconvenient Truth" on MySpace with an interview from rapper Mos Def.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

AOL phisher faces up to 101 years in prison

Tech News on ZDNet: "A California man faces up to 101 years in federal prison after a jury found him guilty of sending out e-mail scams as well as related crimes.
Jeffrey Brett Goodin, 45, of Azusa, was convicted Friday on multiple counts by a jury in the U.S. District Court for Central District of California in Los Angeles, the U.S. Attorney's Office said in a statement. "

Thursday, January 11, 2007

British agency tells schools to avoid Vista

CNET News.com: "The British government's schools computer agency has warned that deploying Vista carries too much risk and that its benefits are unclear.
The British Educational Communications and Technology Agency said Wednesday that it 'strongly recommends' schools do not deploy Microsoft's latest operating system within the next 12 months. "

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Rich 3D imagery added to Google Earth

Rich 3D imagery added to Google Earth | CNET News.com: "Users of Google's latest edition of its mapping application are now able to build and share rich 3D content. "

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Samsung, Google partner for mobile

"The mobile versions of Google Search, Google Maps and Gmail will come bundled on some Samsung phones, both companies announced Monday at the Consumer Electronic Show, under way this week in Las Vegas. The software will be bundled on phones starting in 'early 2007,' with Samsung already including Google software on its new ultra-slim HSDPA-ready phone, the Ultra Edition 13.8 (Z720).
The news follows Yahoo's announcement that its new version of Yahoo Go, its mobile software, would come be preloaded on more than 70 phones from manufacturers such as Motorola, Nokia, Samsung and Research In Motion. Samsung also signed an agreement in December 2006 to bundle Opera Mobile Web browsers on some of its advanced cell phones."
Samsung, Google partner for mobile CNET News.com

A shifting landscape for e-mail security

"Cisco Systems' purchase of e-mail security specialist IronPort Systems is another sign that big-name vendors are taking over the spam fight, analysts say.
Upon completion of the $830 million cash and stock deal, networking giant Cisco will join Symantec and Microsoft as a leader in the e-mail security arena. Those other companies entered the market via acquisitions and product development of their own. "
A shifting landscape for e-mail security CNET News.com

Monday, January 08, 2007

Google developing search engine for uber-telescope

"Google has signed on to develop a search engine for what will be one of the most powerful telescopes in the world.
The Large Synoptic Survey Telescope Project, slated for completion by 2013, is a 3-billion pixel camera/telescope currently being built atop the Cerro Pachon mountain peak in Chile."
Google developing search engine for uber-telescope CNET News.com

Pay with Pesos @ Pizza Patron in Dallas

"Starting Monday, patrons of the Dallas-based Pizza Patrón chain, which caters heavily to Latinos, will be able to purchase American pizzas with Mexican pesos.
Restaurant experts and economists said they knew of no other food chain with locations so far from the Mexican border offering such a service.
'We're trying to reach out to our core customer,' Antonio Swad, president of Pizza Patrón Inc., said Friday. "
Dallas Morning News News for Dallas, Texas Latest News

YouTube Defends Attempts To Remove Brazilian Supermodel Sex Video

"YouTube on Friday defended its attempts to remove the sex video of a Brazilian supermodel who convinced a court in her country to order the site shut down until it removes the controversial clip.
YouTube said in an email that it had removed the video of model Daniela Cicarelli and boyfriend Tato Malzoni, but that it had been uploaded again by users of the site. The video shows the ex-wife of soccer star Ronaldo and Malzoni apparently having sex in shallow water on the beach.
'The video in question was removed from YouTube because it violated our terms of use,' YouTube spokesperson Jaime Schopflin said. 'It was recently uploaded again and we became aware of it through media reports and users flagging the content, and we removed these copies immediately.' "

YouTube Defends Attempts To Remove Brazilian Supermodel Sex Video - Technology News by TechWeb

Internet toll lanes appear less likely

"WASHINGTON — Edward E. Whitacre Jr., then chief executive of SBC Communications Inc., ignited an impassioned online debate about creating toll lanes on the Internet in late 2005, when he called Google Inc. and Yahoo Inc. 'nuts' for expecting free use of his company's network to deliver their content.

A little more than a year later, Whitacre may have taken a big step toward dousing that debate.

As head of the muscular new AT&T Inc. — SBC took the name when it acquired the venerable long-distance giant — Whitacre surprisingly agreed last week that his company would not sell premium delivery of Web content for the next two years. His decision could spur Congress to extend the prohibition to all Internet providers."

Internet toll lanes appear less likely - Los Angeles Times

Infrared Cameras - L-3 Communications Infrared Products - Thermal-Eye TSC - Thermal Eye Infrared Thermal Imaging Cameras

"The Thermal-Eye Thermal Security Camera (TSC) is a plug-and-play infrared security camera that uses heat signatures to detect intruders and potential security breach activities. This thermal imaging camera provides night vision with no lighting or infrared illumination and allows for cost-efficient, thermal monitoring of perimeter or water areas, even in inclement weather."

Infrared Cameras - L-3 Communications Infrared Products - Thermal-Eye TSC - Thermal Eye Infrared Thermal Imaging Cameras

"The Thermal-Eye Thermal Security Camera (TSC) is a plug-and-play infrared security camera that uses heat signatures to detect intruders and potential security breach activities. This thermal imaging camera provides night vision with no lighting or infrared illumination and allows for cost-efficient, thermal monitoring of perimeter or water areas, even in inclement weather."

Yahoo optimizes Messenger for Vista

"Yahoo is building a new version of its Messenger communications service specifically for the Windows Vista operating system.
Yahoo Messenger for Vista will be previewed Monday at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas and will be launched in public beta during the second quarter. It offers the ability to resize the contacts window and to start a chat without opening a chat window, easy access to a color wheel to change the background color, and the ability to make photos full-screen size when sharing them. Users can also combine multiple chat sessions into one window with multiple tabs and can drag and drop a contact onto the desktop for separate viewing. "
Yahoo optimizes Messenger for Vista CNET News.com

Saturday, January 06, 2007

The legal rights to your 'Second Life' avatar

"A Second Life land developer has convinced YouTube to pull down an off-color video of her virtual self being harassed during an interview, raising novel questions about the legal rights of virtual world participants. "
The legal rights to your 'Second Life' avatar CNET News.com

The legal rights to your 'Second Life' avatar

"A Second Life land developer has convinced YouTube to pull down an off-color video of her virtual self being harassed during an interview, raising novel questions about the legal rights of virtual world participants. "
The legal rights to your 'Second Life' avatar CNET News.com

Microsoft pulls four planned patches

"Microsoft has pulled four bulletins from its announced list of Patch Tuesday fixes, but did not specify why it was backpedaling on the security releases. "
Microsoft pulls four planned patches CNET News.com

CES: Like Woodstock for marketing execs

"The Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas is more than a nearly week-long peek into the future of home electronics. It's also a panicky mob of people from all over the world trying to figure out who will be the winners and losers in a multibillion-dollar global business. "
CES: Like Woodstock for marketing execs CNET News.com

Friday, January 05, 2007

Three SEO Myths Debunked

"1. Natural search is dead. There is nothing that could be farther from the truth. Natural search engine optimization is still thriving. It is more difficult today than it was five or six years ago, but the core of search results are still free. Natural Search Engine Optimization being dead is a popular myth because of the standardization of methodology that is now used. Each of the major search engines has released guidelines for Webmasters that detail the dos and don’ts of Web site optimization. Since more of the online world is aware of successful optimization techniques, they do not work as well. In other words, there is more competition from knowledgeable optimizers armed with the same toolsets. "
Search Insider » Blog Archive » Three SEO Myths Debunked

Google advertisers cutting spending as keyword costs rise

"SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch) -- A growing number of online advertisers are bidding a partial goodbye to Google Inc.
Frustrated by the soaring price of Internet-search advertising and diminishing returns from the ads they buy, mid-sized advertisers say they plan to reduce how much business they do with Google this year -- in some cases, significantly.
Last year, for example, eBags.com co-founder Peter Cobb spent between $5 million and $8 million to peddle suitcases, handbags and other carrying cases online. Google (GOOG ) got 75% of that amount.
But this year it will get 'significantly less,' Cobb said. 'The Google percentage has got to go down,' he said.
In many cases, the cost of an eBags.com ad placed on either Google's own Web site or one of its affiliates now equals 45% of the price of the product it promotes. That's crimping the company's own profit margins and forcing it to look elsewhere to market its bags.
'We're testing print ads right now,' said Cobb, whose company will spend up to $8 million on ads in 2007. "
Google advertisers cutting spending as keyword costs rise - MarketWatch:

GPS navigator to include Yahoo search

"A GPS start-up plans to include Yahoo's local-search data in its navigation device for cars.
Other GPS (Global Positioning System) navigators also have built-in business directories, but Dash Navigation will be the first to integrate Yahoo Local Search into its device.
Owners of Dash Express navigators will be able to use the Internet-connected devices to search for local events, businesses, services and products via Yahoo Local Search, as well as reviews and ratings from other Yahoo users. Dash Navigation, a venture-backed company based in Mountain View, Calif., announced the deal Wednesday."
GPS navigator to include Yahoo search CNET News.com

Co-founders quit Microsoft game studio Rare

"Two of the three co-founders of Rare have left the Microsoft-owned game developer, the software giant confirmed this week.
Brothers Chris and Tim Stamper have both left the British game studio, which was acquired by Microsoft for $375 million in 2002.
The Redmond, Wash.-based software maker confirmed the departure in a statement, but did not give a specific reason why the two are leaving. "
Co-founders quit Microsoft game studio Rare CNET News.com

Sex video leads Brazil court to shut YouTube

"A Brazilian court has ordered popular video-sharing site YouTube to be shut down until it removes a celebrity sex video from its site, a judicial clerk said Thursday.
Daniela Cicarelli, a model and ex-wife of soccer great Ronaldo, sued YouTube after a video of her apparently having sex in shallow water on a beach with her boyfriend was posted to the site.
For days it was the most-viewed video in Brazil. "
Sex video leads Brazil court to shut YouTube CNET News.com

Windows, Office to get 'critical' fixes

"As part of its monthly patch cycle, Microsoft plans to release on Tuesday eight security bulletins to plug holes in its software products.
The most serious problems are in the Windows operating system and Office productivity suite, Microsoft said in a heads-up on its Web site Thursday. Each of those two product families will get three security bulletins, some of which will be tagged as 'critical,' Microsoft's highest risk rating.
In addition, Microsoft in its advance notification separates out two more security bulletins, one for Windows and Visual Studio and one for Windows and Office. These will be rated 'important,' a notch lower on the the company's risk ranking. "
Windows, Office to get 'critical' fixes CNET News.com

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Google Named a Top Stock

Bloomberg.com: Technology: "Google Inc., operator of the most- used Internet search engine, was named a top stock pick for 2007 by Piper Jaffray & Co. analyst Safa Rashtchy, who cited the company's success at luring more users by adding new products.
An in-house survey of Internet users shows that Google's dozens of non-search products, from maps to book indexes and blogging tools, create ``a virtuous cycle of brand affinity'' that increases use of the site and its core search engine, Rashtchy wrote in a note to investors today.
As a result, more advertisers buy space on Google to pitch products and services to rising numbers of users, the Menlo Park, California-based analyst said. Rashtchy estimates $10.7 billion in 2007 sales, up 47 percent from his 2006 estimate. Google's third-quarter profit almost doubled on sales that jumped 70 percent from a year earlier. "

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Are Reckless Blogs Eroding Our Concept of Credibility?

Are Reckless Blogs Eroding Our Concept of Credibility?

By Nathan Johnson

Bloggers are sued all the time, but it was only a matter of time before it happened to a high-profile blogger. I’m talking about Perez Hilton, a popular blogger who features celebrity gossip and photographs on his site. In this case, Hilton is being sued for allegedly not obtaining photo rights for some of the photos he displays on his blog. Since he’s selling ad space on his site, if the allegations are true, Hilton would, in effect, be profiting from using photos for which he hasn’t paid the owners of those photos. That’s illegal.
Guilty or not, Hilton’s situation highlights a growing concern with the blogosphere – who’s making sure bloggers are following the rules and providing credible information obtained through honest means?

A traditional news outlet is required to have photo clearance as well as documentation that all of the facts in a story are verifiable. Those items serve as a defense in cases where those news outlets are accused of libel or some other misrepresentation of the facts.
Some bloggers seem to exist outside the law – which makes those blogs attractive to many readers who like their news “unfiltered.” Not having to check the facts or get the right photo clearance makes it possible to post a story within minutes of it actually happening. Traditional news outlets can’t compete with that.

If you took a poll, you’d probably find that people in general still tip the credibility scale slightly in favor of traditional news outlets, but in a society that seems to value its news outlets more for the entertainment they provide than for the amount of truth they share, many people don’t care about credibility the way they used to, and that’s a shame.

In our lust to be the first kid on the block that knows that Nick and Jessica are getting a divorce or Kevin and Britney are getting a divorce or Kid Rock and Pamela Anderson are getting a divorce, we’re not as concerned with the credibility of the source or whether they did or didn’t pay for the rights to their photo evidence. We don’t care if all of the details are right – the blogger will just update the story throughout the day, changing those “facts” that were reported incorrectly the first time and hiding behind a veil of the report as a “rumor.”

As someone in the business world, you might be wondering why you should care. For businesses to conduct successful public relations programs aimed at building or maintaining credibility, the news outlets they target must be credible. While many blogs serve as credible outlets that should be targeted by PR efforts, those that take liberties with information or thumb their noses at journalistic integrity could be jeopardizing the credibility of all blogs and traditional new outlets.

Though we’d like to believe the reckless “journalism” practiced by some blogs is limited to celebrity gossip, it extends into the business realm. There are a number of blogs – some good, some bad – offering commentaries on businesses and their products. When irresponsible blogs print opinion as truth, or when they twist the facts about a product or service, that could hurt your business. Unfortunately, as it stands now, because blogs are so popular and so mysterious to many companies, those companies operate in a kind of fearful awe of blogs and bloggers, allowing them to get away with things they’d request a newspaper to run a correction about.
In addition, I’ve even seen some traditional news outlets quote blogs or even notes left in the “comments” section of blogs. It’s frightening that a traditional news outlet would cite an unverifiable source such as a blog guest’s comments, but it’s happening, and the only way it’s going to stop is if companies begin to stand up to the blogs (and even traditional news outlets), call them on their inaccuracies and require them to play by the rules.

If blogs are going to pass themselves off as official news sites, then they must be held to the same legal and ethical standards as traditional news outlets. That shouldn’t begin with lawsuits like the one Perez Hilton faces. It should begin with you and me. As readers, we have to hold our news sites – be they blogs or otherwise – to a higher standard. If they refuse to play by the rules of providing credible news obtained honestly, then we should stop patronizing them. It’s simple supply and demand. If we, the people, stop demanding rumors and gossip as our news, and if we stop demanding our news to serve as little more than entertainment, then real news will be more credible.

Our concept of credibility does seem to be eroding, but it’s not too late. If we demand real credibility and honesty from our news outlets, we just might be able to reverse the process.

Highlights from the Trump Blog, 2006

Highlights from the Trump Blog, 2006: "Highlights from the Trump Blog, 2006"

Check out what Mr. Trump blogged about last year.

Blogger fighting Splogs!!! HooRay!

"Your blog requires word verification
Blogger's spam-prevention robots have detected that your blog has characteristics of a spam blog. (What's a spam blog?) Since you're an actual person reading this, your blog is probably not a spam blog. Automated spam detection is inherently fuzzy, and we sincerely apologize for this false positive.
Before we can turn off mandatory word verification on your posts we'll need to have a human review your blog and verify that it is not a spam blog. Please fill out the form below to get a review.
Find out more about how Blogger is fighting spam blogs."

digg - Who dugg or blogged: PPC can get you banned? PPC = PageRank 0

digg - Who dugg or blogged: PPC can get you banned? PPC = PageRank 0

Multiple flaws found in Adobe Reader

CNET News.com: "A feature called Open Parameters within older versions of the Adobe Reader browser plug-in can be corrupted with malicious content, two researchers say.
In a conference paper titled 'Subverting Ajax', security researchers Stafano Di Paola and Giorgio Fedon identified multiple cross-site scripting (XSS) vulnerabilities. One flaw in particular, the open parameters vulnerability, is quite easy to execute on vulnerable versions of Adobe Reader, they said. "

Google plugs Gmail data leak flaw

CNET News.com: "Google has fixed a security hole in several of its services that exposed the address books of Gmail users, the company said Tuesday.
An attacker could create a malicious Web site that would copy all the entries in a Gmail user's address book, a potential treasure trove for spammers, according to a description of the problem on the 'Googling Google' blog. The only condition is that the user would have to be logged in to Gmail or another Google service.
The issue came to light after Google watcher Haochi Chen probed a feature in Google Video over the weekend. The feature, called 'Pick People to Email,' lets users select contacts from their Gmail address book to send them a video. However, the feature also opened up the address book to others, Chen discovered. "

Lycos back online after outage

CNET News.com: "Lycos was knocked offline Tuesday and the search engine is blaming the company's Internet service provider for the outage.
Lycos' customers were without access to e-mail and other services after construction workers accidentally damaged the systems of Savvis, a publicly traded ISP, on Monday night, according to Kathy O'Reilly, a spokeswoman for Lycos. The Web portal was back online early Tuesday afternoon.
A Savvis representative confirmed that the company had suffered an outage, but declined to give specifics as to the cause or how many other companies were affected. "