• EBay Ad Exchange Finds Network
    After months of fruitless searching, eBay's Online Media Exchange system, a Web-based, stock market-like exchange for buying ad time on television, finally found a TV network willing to participate in a test. OME's partners, which include eBay and the four A's, were on the verge of shutting the project down. Many TV networks objected that the exchange threatens the high price advertisers currently pay for TV ad time. But in the end, the Oxygen network, which skews heavily to women, cited an opportunity "to be exposed to more advertisers." And there's been little problem getting national brand advertisers onboard. ...
  • YouTube Shot In Arm For Apple TV
    A day after Fortune canned Apple TV as "a dud," it announced a landmark deal with Google to show YouTube videos on the interactive TV device. Business Week wrote that by joining forces, "the electronics maker and search giant just extended their lead" in bringing Internet entertainment from the PC to the TV. For Apple, the obvious upside is that Google content could help sell more Apple TVs. While no official numbers have been released recently, the response so far to Apple TV is understood to be tepid. Tim Bajarin, president of technology consultant Creative Strategies, says that YouTube ...
  • Google Gives Developers Gears, Gadgets
    Barely two weeks after Microsoft announced it would be taking open software to task for infringing on some 235 of its patents, Google, one the Web's largest users of open source products like Linux and the MySQL database, announced it would encourage free software developers by releasing a series of application programming interfaces (APIs) that allow developers to mash-up and enhance existing Google products and services. Among them is Google Gears, a browser plug-in that allows developers to create applications that function offline and across different browsers. Never mind the security implications, but the overall goal of Gears ...
  • Apple, EMI Begin DRM-Free Era
    Apple, Inc. has taken another bold step toward ridding the music industry of the much-maligned digital rights management software hated by millions of users worldwide. On Wednesday, the iTunes owner removed the security software from MP3s belonging to the record label EMI, which represents one of the big four recording companies. Combined, these account for some 70% of the world's music. ITunes users now have the option of buying DRM-free songs from EMI for 30 cents more. The move has the tech press speculating that this could be the first major crack in the DRM wall; it marks ...
  • MySpace Offers Viral Fund-Raising For '08 Pols
    News Corporation continues its push to turn MySpace into a political force. The social network earlier this week launched a program that tracks online donations made to presidential candidates through its network. The move gives MySpace, which already hosts pages belonging to several candidates, a more prominent role in the political process, by more closely involving a generation weaned on "the Daily Show." "We view this as we view all of our initiatives: It emanates from what our users are telling us they want," said Jeff Berman, MySpace's general manager of video and senior vice-president of public affairs. ...
  • Microsoft Turns Tables Into PCs
    Remember "Minority Report"? If you're in the ad business, you do. The Tom Cruise blockbuster had ad execs everywhere cooing over hand gesture technology and deliciously targeted, personalized advertising. It turns out that Bill Gates and Microsoft remember the flick, too. Today, the technology giant is taking the cover off an expensive tabletop technology that relies on touch and hand gestures just like in the 2002 film. It's called Surface Computing, and Gates thinks it just might be the biggest breakthrough in computing technology since the mouse. Let's for a second recall a supposed game-changer of Microsoft's past: ...
  • Apple TV Falls Flat
    Apple TV, barely 2-months-old, is already a dud, according to the biz mag. That's all right; investors will allow Steve Jobs and co. a few mistakes. Google doesn't hit home runs all the time, either. Nevertheless, Schlender points to Apple's--and Jobs'--considerable dud past, which includes the Apple III computer, the Lisa (thousands of which eventually filled a landfill in exchange for a tax credit) and "the gorgeous" Power Mac. Why bring up the past? Because like a batter in baseball, Jobs' hitting streak has been so hot recently--iMac computers, networking tools and just about every iteration of the iPod-=that ...
  • Microsoft Fighting A Losing Software Battle
    If indeed Microsoft's hand-based Surface computing technology reigns in billions of dollars for the technology giant, expect the company to drop its frivolous threat against free software. Microsoft wants open source software developers and the companies operating on products like Linux to figure out which of the alleged 235 patents they infringe on -- and then come to the negotiating table and work out a licensing deal. Critics accuse the software maker of scare tactics. Indeed, Microsoft was able to scare Novell, which sells companies a subscription package combining Linux, customer support and other free software programs, into a ...
  • CBS Acquires Social Music Site
    Continuing its digital push, CBS Corp. today announced the acquisition of the UK-based Last.fm for $280 million. Last.fm is a social music site that connects users with similar music tastes, helping them find new music, build their own collaborative radio stations and watch music video clips. It was founded in the UK five years ago, and now has more than 15 million active users. Last.fm founding member Martin Stiksel said an alliance with such a major media player would help the site put "every track ever recorded and every music video ever made onto Last.fm." As part of the ...
  • Could Ad Exchanges Reform The Display Market?
    Why are Google, Yahoo and Microsoft putting money and resources behind online ad exchanges? Yahoo recently purchased Right Media, while Google, pending approval, will acquire DoubleClick, which announced it would offer its own ad exchange shortly before the Google deal. Online ad exchanges aim to bring ad buyers and sellers together into an open marketplace where unsold publisher inventory is assigned a value based on advertisers' interest. Advertisers set the price they're willing to pay for the spot, then the exchange notifies the publisher, which will run the spot if the price meets publisher expectation. By bringing together a ...
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