• MTV's Comedy Central Move Rankles Cable Companies
    The trend of Webcasting, which in this case refers to the redistribution of TV shows on the Web, is not pleasing large cable operators. As Glenn Britt, CEO of Time Warner Cable, said recently, "Guess what? We do mind." That obvious response is the big reason that almost no cable TV shows appear on the Web (except on YouTube, of course). The reason is that cable and satellite systems pay large fees to networks for what they have seen as exclusive rights to their content. Particularly surprising is the fact that Comedy Central will soon start Webcasting three of its ...
  • FCC Unveils Free Broadband Plan
    The Federal Communications Commission is considering giving away broadband Internet for free, in exchange for the right to control it. The new plan would see the winner of an upcoming airwaves auction offer free wireless Internet service to most Americans within a few years, but the FCC would regulate the service. Details of what exactly that means still have to be worked out, but the FCC confirmed that pornography sites, for starters, would be blocked. Even so, the FCC's plan represents a major step forward in U.S. broadband policy, as the service would reach millions of Americans who currently ...
  • Google Tests Absolutely Everything
    At the company's I/O conference, Google's Marissa Mayer, VP of search products and user experience, explained that the search giant refines the quality of its search results using a method called split A/B testing to show different versions of its search results to measure how users respond. For example, Google customarily shows 10 results per page, but when the results increased to 30 per page, people searched 20% less. This is because it takes twice as long to display those results, and speed matters. "As Google gets faster, people search more, and as it gets slower, people search less," Mayer ...
  • For Fashion, Social Network Equals Market Research
    Times may be tough for fashion retailers, but a little applied science and technology could help tremendously. The fashion industry is "a nightmare of surplus inventory, which leads to markdowns and unhealthy profit-and-loss statements." What it needs is an inexhaustible, ever-ready focus group that could help retailers cut back on excess purchases. Something like a social network. Stockholm-based Stardoll could provide some answers. Stardoll is a social network that lets users create and accessorize their own virtual doll. The idea has proven to be so popular, that today Stardoll is the No. 1 site worldwide for pre-teen and teenage ...
  • Is YouTube A Google Goldmine?
    Nobody dominates its field quite like YouTube dominates online video. Even parent Google's 65% share of search looks highly competitive compared to YouTube: according to comScore, 38% of videos streamed on the Web come from the video sharing giant. No other player has more than a 4% share. As Forbes says, "Google owns the biggest television station on the planet," set to upload 600 years worth of video this year alone. Meanwhile, Google, frustrated with YouTube's lack of success on the revenue front, is now taking over the place, having replaced many of the video sharing site's original managers. ...
  • Google Provides Search For MySpace Email
  • Murdoch "Mystified" By Microhoo Failure
    PaidContent.org records plenty of sound bytes from Wall Street Journal owner Rupert Murdoch, speaking at his own show, the sixth annual D Conference, hosted by All Things Digital bloggers Kara Swisher and Walt Mossberg. During the interview, the News Corp. chairman touched on a variety of topics, starting with his decision to keep the WSJ.com/Barron's Online subscription model, which he said stemmed from realizing how much money it was generating. "People can pay a lot more than we are charging," he said. Regarding Microhoo, Murdoch said: "I am mystified. If Microsoft just left the deal on the table, the shareholders ...
  • Mobile: The Weekend Web
    There may be only one Internet, but a BusinessWeek report suggests that consumers use the Web differently from their cell phones and personal devices compared to their computers. As one Silicon Valley exec says, "I pretty much live on Google," from his office computer, but from his BlackBerry he spends a lot of time searching for items on Craigslist, and checking weather forecasts and airline schedules. BusinessWeek calls this the weekend Web, as people spend more time surfing wireless devices on weekends. Google confirms the trend: "At Google, we see the majority of our desktop traffic (in the U.S.) during ...
  • Yang: Microsoft Not Interested In Merger
    Yahoo CEO Jerry Yang on Wednesday admitted that Microsoft is no longer interested in a potential merger, but the two sides are still talking about a potential tie-up. "Microsoft is no longer interested in buying the company, and we are talking about other things," said Yang, speaking at The Wall Street Journal's D Conference in Calif. "We definitely have to understand what they're proposing...they clearly have an interest in Yahoo, and we need to understand more." Since mid-May, the companies have been discussing a possible tie-up involving Yahoo's search business, which was one of the driving forces behind Microsoft's interest ...
  • Google U.S. Paid Clicks Spike 20% In April
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