To everyone who donated to Wikimedia and helped the non-profit organization reach its goal to raise $7.5 million, Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales has a message for you: "Thank you." After you're finished patting yourself on the back, go ahead and reach back into your pocket, because Wales isn't finished soliciting donations.
"As of December 31, 2009, we have reached our campaign goal of $7.5 million USD," Wales wrote on Wikimedia's donation page. "Thank you to all who have donated! Your continued donations will support Wikimedia's long-term operations and growth, cover contingencies, and allow us to fund new projects and activities"
"Today, I am asking you to make a donation to support Wikipedia," Wales continues.
As is often the case with those soliciting donations, Wales' appeal is difficult to avoid. If you've been to Wikipedia lately (and let's face it, the site shows up on just about every Google search), then you've undoubtedly noticed the banner on top of every entry that reads in big, bold letters "Please Read: A personal appeal from Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales."
The donations, says Wales, are necessary to keep the social encyclopedia free of charge and devoid of advertising, though this time around he doesn't mention how much he'd like to raise. Nor does he say if he'll go on to ask for handouts for Wiktionary, Wikiquote, Wikibooks, Wikisource, Wikispecies, and every other Wikimedia project.
Facebook continues to make inroads in the Japanese market and now has four times as many visitors as it did last year, but surprisingly, that still isn't enough to propel the social networking site into the top spot. and dethrone Mixi from its perch.
In November 2008, Facebook recorded around 355,000 unique hits in Japan. That number ballooned to 1.39 million visitors in November 2009, said NetRatings, who added that growth has been trending upwards all year long.
Even still, Facebook remains a distant second. The No. 1 social networking site in Japan claimed more than 9.2 million unique visitors per month, and what's more, users are spending more time on Mixi. According to NetRatings, Mixi users spent four-and-a-half hours on the social networking site, compared to just 36 minutes on Facebook.
New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo announced on Thursday that 13 more social sites, including those owned by Google, Yahoo, and AOL, have all agreed to purge sex offenders from their sites. The agreement comes just a week after Cuomo announced that Facebook and MySpace had removed over 3.500 New York sex offenders.
"It is no secret that sexual predators abuse social networking websites to find and manipulate victims and to insinuate themselves into their victims' lives," said Cuomo. "e-STOP allows social networking websites to identify these sex predators and help prevent them from harming again."
Cuomo was referring to New York's Electronic Securing and Targeting of Online Predators Act (e-STOP), of which 15 major social networking companies have now agreed to use. The law makes it mandatory for sex offenders to register their email accounts, screen names, and any other online identifiers with the state Division of Criminal Justice Services. That information is then passed along to social networking sites.
The future of online media is very much up in the air as news conglomerates look for new ways to generate revenue. But instead of going at it alone, several of the magazine industry's biggest players have been considering joining forces to create a new mega-company.
If it happens, the alliance would be huge and include Time Inc., Conde Nast, and Hearst, which together publishes more than 50 magazines, such as The New Yorker, Time, People, Sports illustrated, The Oprah Magazine, and many more.
The goal is to create a company that will prepare magazines for multiple digital platforms. Those close to the plans have described it as an iTunes for news and magazines.
"It's pretty complicated stuff," said a source. "Thre really, really hard part is that you've got so many different kinds of devices running on different operating systems. And how do you handle that? The consortium provides one point of contact for the consumer. When you come to the main store, you can get the content any way you want."
eBay says it has since fixed the software SNAFU that caused all the ruckus and promises this was a one-time deal, but that doesn't rectify the situation for sellers who were affected by the outage. To make things right, eBay said it plans on compensating vendors in several different ways.
"To minimize the impact, we'e working to ensure that sellers and buyers whose transactions were affected by the disruptions will be made as whole as possible," said president Lorrie Norrington. "This includes listing fee refunds and protection against negative or neutral buyer feedback as well as detailed seller ratings (DSRs) lower than five starts for impacted sellers, and coupons for buyers of items that were impacted by the disruption."
According to eBay, the surge of holiday shoppers caught the site off guard, which led to the crash.
Verizon this week unveiled its Teleheatlh Collaboration Services, which is designed to aid health care organizations in setting up online collaboration environments and let health care professionals collaborate remotely through the Internet with patients and colleagues.
"Health care providers increasingly are tapping the power of IT, and our telehealth solutions offer an effective way to meet a wide range of challenges, including the expansion of access to care, speeding diagnoses, and driving efficiency," Rajeev Kapoor, global managing director for Verizon Connected Healthcare, said in a statement.
Verizon isn't alone in pushing collaboration tools for health care professionals. Cisco in July announced it was joining forces with UnitedHealth Group to create the Connected Care program, which will combine audio and visual technologies with medical information that will benefit both doctor and patient.
According to analyst company Datamonitor, annual spending on telehealth hardware, software, and related services will balloon to $6.1 billion by 2012, eWeek.com reports.
YouTube's reign as the No. 1 online video site doesn't appear to be in jeopardy, but among the also-rans, Facebook now ranks as the third most popular portal for viewing video on the Internet, according to Nielsen's VideoCensus report.
YouTube leads the way with 6.6 billion streams and just shy of 106 million unique visitors in October, leaving the real battle to be fought for second place. As it stands, the No. 2 spot belongs to Hulu, which served up 632.6 million streams and recorded 13.4 million unique visitors. Facebook trailed not far behind with 217.7 million streams, but had more unique visitors than Hulu with 31.6 million hits.
Not to underestimate the significance, Nielsen noted that the amount of time Web users spend hanging out at social networking sites watching videos increased 98 percent year over year. And viewing of video streams in general jumped by 26 percent, Nielseon said.
Ever have one of those moments? You know the one: When it's so difficult to teach someone how to accomplish an everyday task in a particular application that you up and grab the keyboard and mouse yourself and just get 'er done, as it were. Isn't that frustrating? Doesn't your passionate rage for simplifying the art of attaching files to email terrify your coworkers, friends, and loved ones? Wouldn't you like a better way to show someone how to accomplish desktop tasks, one that doesn't actually require you to get up from your chair or, better yet, even pick up a phone?
In a move that's sure to sooth the savage beast that's been identified as a computer expert by his or her flock of advice-seeking peers, the Web app ScreenToaster is a perfectly packaged solution for showing people how to get stuff done on a PC. It does this by taking a live video (complete with audio, if you so choose) of whatever it is you're doing on your desktop, straight out of your Web browser--no additional software installation is necessary, save for a requisite click on the "accept" button for a piece of Java.
But surely the app can't be just that easy? There has to be another catch!
According to the report, a vast number of such fraudulent online pharmacies are based out of Russia, while the bulk of their victims are from the United States, Germany, Britain, Canada and France. A lot appears to be at stake as online charlatans are earning thousands of dollars each day by selling drugs like Tamiflu and Relenza online. "The criminals can be members of more than one affiliate network, and some have boasted of earning more than $100,000 per day," Sophos said in a statement.
If war movies, zombies hordes, or stormtroopers have taught us anything, it's that there's power to be had in numbers--well, maybe not the stormtroopers. Regardless, a number of Web apps take advantage of this philosophy to offer increased functionality, awesome services, or cheap deals for those who are part of a herd. Kickstarter, for example, allows groups of people to team up and pledge funding for a number of independent projects. If a project meets its funding goal, then everyone who pledge an amount has to pay. If not, nobody pays a dime.
But you don't want to pay money. No, you want to save money. Have no fear--there's a Web app that takes this altruistic function and spins it on its head. Instead of pledging to donate, you're pledging to buy at group-discount prices!