• Broadband Revolution Ushers in "Next Big Thing"
    MTV Networks' COO Michael Wolf, speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, tells us that "the next big thing" is already here, and it's not (directly) just about consuming media whenever and wherever users want. While next generation portable devices are certainly cool, the bigger idea, he said, is video and multimedia. Before, spending time on the Internet had more to do with communication; people would check e-mail, chat, or search for specific information. Even the early Internet business models revolved around text ads placed next to search results. The broadband revolution is now allowing more consumers to ...
  • MSN Ad Revenues Up Before Full adCenter Deployment
    MSN's ad revenues grew 12 percent year-over-year in the fourth quarter as parent Microsoft continues to invest heavily in Internet advertising. Display advertising saw the biggest percent gain, growing 20 percent year-over-year, while search and other ad revenues also saw gains. Total revenues at MSN were $593 million, down 2 percent, due to investments the company is making in its new total advertising platform, adCenter. The new system has been deployed in France and Singapore and is being tested in the U.S. This year the company will be hiring a range of worldwide customer service and research and development talent ...
  • Google Admits To Flawed Video Launch
    Following a series of lukewarm to mediocre reviews of its much-hyped new video store, Google has admitted to botching the product's launch. "We made a big mistake," said Marissa Mayer, Google's vice president of search products. Among other things, Mayer said big-name shows like "CSI" and "Survivor" that were for sale at launch were not promoted well. Consumers instead had to search for these shows using an engine that's far inferior to Google's Web search, according to various reports. In fact, the video service so far has "fallen far short" of Apple's iTunes, the digital media delivery ringleader, said one ...
  • Things that Will (And Won't) Make News This Year
    On his analyst Web log, Jupitermedias' David Card makes several interesting predictions for 2006. He expects TiVo and Netflix to be bought up next year, and possibly Apple Computer. TiVo, which is introducing a feature that allows users to search a database of TV ad spots, needs to hone in on what exactly it plans to do with the concept, he says. This could also be the year (or not) for Rupert Murdoch and News Corp., as we'll find out if the first major media conglomerate to aggressively move into new media makes any money off it. For publishers, deconstructing ...
  • Nearly A Third Of Parents Play Video Games With Kids
    Once thought to be a pastime for geeky teenagers, video games have now become family entertainment. According to video game industry group the Entertainment Software Association, 35 percent, or about one in three parents, say they play games, and 80 percent of that segment say they play these games with their kids. The survey found that the average "gamer parent" spends 19 hours a month playing video games--and about half that time playing alongside their children. Two thirds of these parents say video games have brought them closer to their families. As one parent notes, "Kids are going to play ...
  • Google To Fight Subpoena In Court
    Google's rejection of a government subpoena to hand over a week's worth of non-personally identifiable search data to help it defend an anti-pornography law aimed at protecting children has landed the search giant yet another court date. On Feb. 27, the U.S. Justice Department will seek to convince U.S. District Judge James Ware to force Google into handing over the data in a San Jose, Calif. federal court. Google is the only recipient of the federal subpoena--which was sent to Google, Yahoo!, Microsoft and America Online--that has opted to fight the summons in court. Said U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales: ...
  • VoIP "Ideal" Platform For Hacker Exploitation
    Internet calling applications like Skype could provide "an ideal disguise" for hacker attacks, says new research from Cambridge University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Thus far, no attacks have been recognized, but researchers warn that it's "only a matter of time before the technique becomes mainstream." The most obvious danger is that Voice over Internet Protocol programs could provide excellent cover for hackers to infiltrate computers and turn them into so-called "zombies," bombarding Web sites with repeated page requests or e-mails. When several computers request the same information repeatedly from the same servers, it brings the network to a ...
  • Government Committees Scrutinize Web Firms Aiding Chinese Censorship
    U.S. lawmakers next month will probe American technology companies--including Google, Microsoft Yahoo! and Cisco--that aid the Chinese government in censoring content. Representatives from these companies have been summoned to a Congressional Human Rights Caucus hearing on Wednesday and a House of Representatives Subcommittee on Global Human Rights Feb. 16 to discuss the matter. The hearings follow the Google announcement on Tuesday that it would block taboo terms like Tiananmen Square Massacre, Falun Gong, and Tibet from its search terms and not offer chat, e-mail and blog publishing services that could be used for political protest. Human Rights Subcommittee Chairman Chris ...
  • Google and China: What Happened to "Don't Be Evil?"
    Marketwatch's Bambi Francisco takes a look at Google's decision to cooperate with the Chinese government in censoring its results and adding a Chinese domain name. Francisco calls the move--which will definitely grow Google's search penetration in China--"ironic," given Google's mantra "don't be evil" and its mission to "organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful." Lest we forget, less than two years ago Google Inc.'s co-founders were bandying about anti-corporate culture maxims pledging that they would "resist the temptation to make small sacrifices to increase shareholder value." Well, it would seem this move is all about sacrificing ...
  • Washington's Attorney General Fights Spyware
    In one of the first anti-spyware lawsuits in the country, Washington's State Attorney General Rob McKenna is suing a New York company as well as individuals in New York, New Hampshire, Oregon and India on charges that they induced consumers to download software that weakened their computers' security. White Plains, NY-based Secure Computer LLC, which reportedly made more than $100,000 in the last year and a half selling "software cleaner" software, is the lead defendant in the lawsuit. The company is being sued because it used allegedly misleading e-mails and pop-ups to advertise its product. State and federal officials are ...
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