• Microsoft Wins Major Patent Case
    Ruling that Microsoft didn't infringe a patent held by software maker Uniloc, a district judge just struck down a $388 million award against the software giant. The judgment, signed Tuesday by Judge William Smith of the U.S. District Court for the District of Rhode Island, overturned an April jury verdict that hit Microsoft with the largest patent award on record. Uniloc USA, and its Singapore-based parent company, filed the lawsuit in Rhode Island in late 2003, alleging Microsoft used its patented technology for software activation. The technology in question included the use of a software activation key to ...
  • Exec: Say Goodbye To All-Access Broadband
    In the not-too-distant future, consumers can kiss their all-you-can-eat Internet service goodbye, says Verizon Chief Technology Officer Dick Lynch. Rather, he says wired broadband will likely be sold in packages based on the amount of data a person wants to consume -- much like wireless broadband is sold today. In comments made to press at the 2009 Fiber to the Home Conference Expo in Houston, Lynch said he wasn't announcing a shift in pricing for Verizon, but that: "We're going to have to consider pricing structures that allow us to sell packages of bytes, and at the end ...
  • Microsoft Gets Hit In The Brass
    Scoring points for corporate accountability, Microsoft's top brass are taking a direct hit to their compensation packages -- which include base salary, cash incentive payments, and stock awards. The software giant just completed the worst fiscal year in its history, with revenue down 3%. Who took the biggest beatings? CEO Steve Ballmer's total compensation dropped to just over $1.2 million from just over $1.3 million; Entertainment and Devices President Robbie Bach made $6.2 million, compared to $8.3 million the year before; CFO Chris Liddell got $3.5 million, compared to $4.8 million a year earlier.
  • Taking Apple Tablet Seriously
    Sure, it's fun to watch gadget geeks lose it over the likelihood of an Apple tablet, but the success of such a device has serious implications for every publisher, advertiser, and device maker. Apple is reportedly in talks with several media companies rooted in print, negotiating content for a "new device." Going where no Kindle or E-Ink device has so far gone, Apple's tablet ambitions include having publishers create "hybridized" content that draws from audio, video and interactive graphics in books, magazines and newspapers, where paper layouts would be static. With the help of iTunes, Apple could easily ...
  • Study: Americans Scorn Behavioral Targeting
    Sorry, Madison Ave. A new study -- purported to be the first independent, nationally representative telephone survey on behavioral advertising -- finds that about two-thirds of Americans aren't down with advertisers tracking their online activity, and the more consumers learn about what marketers can know about such activity, the more averse they are to the whole practice. Tailored ads in general did not appeal to 66% of respondents, while an additional 7% said such ads were not O.K. when they were tracked on the site, and another 18% said it was not O.K. when they were tracked via ...
  • Blimey! Online Spending Surpasses TV
    OMFG! Overnight, Internet ad spending has surpassed TV adverting! Ok, it's in the UK, but this still marks a major moment for the "World" Wide Web, and has clear implications for the U.S. market. "What this switch indicates is that a corner has been turned in consumer and advertising habits, and there's probably no turning back, given the relentless rise of the Web as an entertainment medium," writes Fast Company. "When the same corner is turned in the U.S. advertising business -- which equated to roughly $60 billion in the first six months ...
  • Disney Does Story Books 2.0
    The Walt Disney Company has launched a digital service designed to transform how children read its storybooks. Its Disney Publishing unit is selling the subscription-based Web site, DisneyDigitalBooks.com. But it ain't cheap. For $79.95 a year, families can access electronic replicas of hundreds of Disney books, from "Winnie the Pooh and Tigger Too" to "Hannah Montana: Crush-tastic!" Aimed at children ages 3 to 12, the site is organized by reading level, and offers a "look and listen" feature. By pursuing a subscription online model -- rather than downloads and sales for devices like the Kindle -- The Times ...
  • A Minute With Twitter's Top Investor
    Meet one of Twitter's biggest investors: Jeff Horing, co-founder of Insight Venture Partners, a private-equity firm that was the lead investor in last week's $100 million round of financing. He really likes taking startups public, but he's promising take it slow with Twitter. He believes Twitter's brand might be its most valuable asset. His biggest worry is alienating the micro-blogging community's users with intrusive advertising. Also of note, he says Google monetizes at $30 a user and Facebook is about $2 a user -- which, if true, is just extraordinary to consider.
  • CNN Debuts iPhone App
    Continuing to push the digital envelope, CNN.com has debuted its iPhone app, including written articles, live streaming video, localized traffic and weather, and the ability for users to upload cellphone photos or video to iReport, the network's platform for amateur reporting. Of note, this marks the first time CNN has created a direct uplink from a mobile device to its iReport platform. The app is available for $1.99 and initially hosting in-app advertising from Chevron and Lexus. CNN.com is the highest-trafficked news site, and was an early Twitter pioneer.
  • Google 'Hot' For Real-Time Search
    Seen as a direct challenge to real-time search-leader Twitter, Google is now positioning its "Hot Trends" information within its regular search results. Now, those searching on topics that are spiking in popularity -- or "hot" -- should see a new Hot Trends OneBox near the bottom of the search results page and just above the related search area. From the OneBox, people can then access more information about the topic using the Google Hot Trends service, which was launched in May 2007. RJ Pittman, director of product management for consumer search properties at Google, says the move is ...
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