In August, AOL decided to stop charging broadband users for e-mail addresses, software and other long-time premium services, in hopes of stemming the tide of defectors. As of today, it looks like the effort was successful....
Sony has agreed to pay $1.5 million to settle spyware charges in California and Texas stemming from surreptitiously packaging anti-piracy software with its music CDs. Once loaded onto consumers' computers, the software sent information back to Sony and prevented some consumers from copying music and loading tracks on their iPods.
E-mail played a less important role in the mid-term elections than in last year's presidential race, with just 12% of American adults receiving political messages in their inbox this year, compared with 15% in 2004.
The strong online retail showing this holiday season should spell good news for Google, according to a new report from Merrill Lynch. The brokerage house reported this week that Google search queries appear to be increasing between 30% and 50%, surpassing page view growth on Yahoo and other major Web companies.
Unilever's Dove is asking consumers to create a 30-second spot for a new Dove Cream Oil Body Wash. The company promises that the ad that "best captures the essence of the new products and the brand's philosophy" will air during the Oscars.
Sony has finally come clean about creating a fake blog to promote its PSP. The site, alliwantforxmasisapsp, went live at the end of last month. But the blog was so obviously phony that readers immediately voiced suspicions.
Have the burgeoning ranks of consumer-critics now posting their complaints online inured large companies to public bashing? Not a chance, at least judging by some marketing executives' comments at a recent Yahoo forum.
The NYTimes.com today unveiled a new Web 2.0-ish feature designed to encourage users to spread the paper's stories. Alongside links to e-mail, print or save articles, the Times has added links enabling readers to post articles to social media sites including Digg and Facebook.