• Broadband Penetration More Than Doubles Among Rural Households
    Broadband penetration has increased considerably from 2003, according to a Pew Internet and American Life Project survey, having more than doubled in rural households. Rural households reported a 24 percent rate of broadband penetration last fall, compared with 9 percent in 2003. Urban households, by comparison, reported a 39 percent rate of high-speed penetration, versus 22 percent in 2003. In part, lower rural penetration is due to limited availability, but the survey also cites a higher proportion of older, less educated, and poorer consumers as reasons for lower levels of Internet use. However, rural Americans with broadband are almost as ...
  • Yahoo Search Places Restrictions On Trademark Bidding
    Yahoo Search Marketing has told advertisers they will no longer be allowed to bid on competitors' trademarked keywords, effective Monday. Search advertisers had been allowed to bid on trademarked terms provided the information on their site clearly differentiated the trademarked product from their own. Yahoo this week started telling advertisers who bid on trademarked keywords that this policy would change March 1. Search marketing guru Danny Sullivan postulates that Yahoo wants to lure more big name-brand advertisers--who tend to be more sensitive about their trademarks--to search. Yahoo's new rules allow resellers and other non-competitive advertisers to bid on trademarked keywords ...
  • MySpace Not As Hot As Advertised
    Jupiter Research analyst Nate Elliot says MySpace's actual usage numbers are grossly inflated. While a large number of people do spend a lot of time on the site, Elliot says "the huge numbers they throw out there--50 [million], 60 million registered users--those are a mirage." Not because the social networking site doesn't actually have that many registered users, rather, they only tell part of the story. "Only a fraction of [the registered users] use the site on any kind of regular basis, and then another fraction of them are responsible for the traffic," he says. In a recent survey (ostensibly ...
  • Report: Viacom to Partner With Web Portal
    Viacom is looking to supply a major Internet portal with its content, according to the Financial Times. During the company's fourth quarter earnings conference call, Chief Executive Tom Freston disclosed the negotiations, but did not mention the portals under consideration. The arrangement would see Viacom supply video and other content in exchange for a share of ad revenue. Viacom already supplies content to Yahoo, AOL and TV Guide's video search engines. Freston wants to increase digital revenues from $150 million last year to more than $500 million over the next three years. Viacom reported a 68 percent drop in profit ...
  • Canadian University Scraps Wi-Fi Plans Amid Cancer Fears
    A Canadian university has suspended plans to construct a Wi-Fi project out of fears that the electromagnetic fields (EMFs) cause cancer. Lakehead University President Fred Gilbert refuses to sign off on a campus-wide Wi-Fi installation after reading a California Public Utilities Commission study that cited the possibility of tumors and other diseases due to EMF exposure. Meanwhile, The Consumer and Clinical Radiation Protection at Health Canada is expected to release a study later this year saying that normal exposure levels carry "no identified risks." Gilbert says that's not good enough, as the side effects of exposure don't show up for ...
  • Profiling MP3 Users
    Just who uses MP3 players? You'd imagine they're young, well educated, reasonably affluent, heavy Internet and TV users, and you'd be mostly right, but a new study from BIGresearch delves a little deeper. Digital music device owners are actually remarkably average-American, according to the results. For example, Wal-Mart is their preferred retail destination, while Ford and Chevy are their carmakers of choice. Nearly 80 percent of those owning MP3 players are 44 or younger; they earn $67,854 per year on average, versus the American average of $50,000, and are slightly less likely to be married. They are more likely to ...
  • Rich Media Patent Affects 'Tens of Thousands'
    On Valentine's Day, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office issued a patent to a small California Web design firm that could have broad-reaching implications for rich media providers. Balthasar Online Inc., the patent holder, says it could license nearly any rich media application on nearly any device or network. The patent issued covers all rich media technologies--including Flash, Flex, Java, Ajax, and XAML--accessed from Internet-enabled devices from cell phones to computers to video game consoles. Says one analyst: "Anybody who does anything with rich applications will have to pay royalties to the company." Not only that, but the patent affects ...
  • Nielsen Measurement Brings Marketers to Video Games
    Now that Nielsen Interactive Entertainment is providing marketers with metrics measuring the impact of product placement on video games--albeit only on a case-by-case basis--marketers are lining up to buy, Business Week reports. Several big-name brands, such as McDonald's, Coca-Cola and Nike, have been putting their products in games for several years now, but last year Nielsen added measurement where there had been none before, which the ratings company expects will kick-start the $79 million industry to more than $1 billion by 2010. As we know, there is no ad industry where there's no objective measurement, so Nielsen's entry into ...
  • Google, EarthLink Join Forces In San Fran Wi-Fi Bid
    Google and EarthLink have joined forces in a bid to provide San Francisco with wireless Web access. They would offer basic access for free and charge $20 per month for high-speed. The two companies had been bidding against each other, but made the decision Tuesday night to work together. Under the partnership, EarthLink would cover most of the projected $15 million cost to build and maintain San Francisco's Wi-Fi network for 10 years, the company's president of municipal networks said. He added that the company would recover some of its expenses by charging $20 per month for high-speed access 20 ...
  • Comedy Central Announces Carriers Of First Mobile Series
    Viacom's Comedy Central is producing the first animated mobile video series, starring porn star Jenna Jameson and "The Daily Show" correspondent Ed Helms. The series, called "Samurai God Love," has eight, two-and-a-half minute episodes and will be available to the video service subscribers of three carriers: Verizon Wireless, Sprint Nextel and Amp'd. "Samurai God Love" is part of Comedy Central's broadband video clip service MotherLoad, which will produce several original shows for mobile phones. The market for video phones is quite small: just two percent of mobile users have video, according to the Yankee Group. Viacom CEO Tom Freston in ...
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