"Be careful of investing here," he told Reuters when prodded about the possibility of News Corp acquiring Twitter. He was speaking upon his arrival at the Sun Valley media and technology conference. “Hell no,” was his terse, emphatic reply when asked about his willingness to sell MySpace. He even took a dig at Facebook by likening it to a humdrum “directory.”
“We've come to appreciate that the beta tag just doesn't fit for large enterprises that aren't keen to run their business on software that sounds like it's still in the trial phase. So we've focused our efforts on reaching our high bar for taking products out of beta, and all the applications in the Apps suite have now met that mark,” Google said on its official blog.
The Japanese have peculiar tastes, be it in video games or gadgets. The whimsical idiosyncrasies of a group of Japanese technology enthusiasts with very peculiar tastes have manifest themselves in the form of the Akiduki Pulse box, a device that automatically tweets your heart rate to your buddies. The user needs to press a particular button for a few seconds to send his heart rate to his friends on Twitter. The device, which has been developed by a group named Koress Project, is open source. The group intends to commercialize the device at some point in the future. The Akiduki Pulse box may one day emerge as the world’s first fully automated web-based death announcement device.
The Chinese government takes the threat of unfettered Internet access seriously. China's "Great Firewall" blocked access to reports about the 20th anniversary of the 1989 Tianamen Square massacre last week. Although some users bypassed the blocks by using proxy servers, China's upped the ante: The Australianreports that China is requiring that all new PCs sold in China starting July 1st must include website blocking software developed in China.
The software's Chinese name is "Green Dam-Youth Escort". The word "green" in Chinese is used to describe web-surfing free from pornography and other illicit content.
The software was developed by Jinhui Computer System Engineering, with input from Beijing Dazheng Human Language Technology Academy. Both companies have ties to China's military and its security ministry. Jinhui says Green Dam operates similarly to software in other countries designed to let parents block access to web content inappropriate for children.
Foreign industry officials who have examined Green Dam say that personal information could be transmitted through the software and that it will be difficult for users to tell what exactly is being blocked.
Green Dam-Youth Escort can be preinstalled on systems sold in China, or be bundled with systems sold there. Although the developer states that the software contains a password-based parental bypass feature and can be uninstalled, one wonders if China will allow web access if the software is not active. Will the biggest PC vendors in the Chinese market (second only to the US market in sales last year) push back against this requirement, or will July 1st see the "Great Firewall" become even harder to crack? Join us after the jump for your chance to sound off.
Ready, aim, SPEND! That's the approach Microsoft is planning for Bing, its new search engine, Advertising Agereports. How much coin is Redmond prepared to spend to market Bing (previously code-named Kumo)? Somewhere is the $80-100 million range, Ad Age says, compared to Google's non-recruitment ad spending in 2008 of around $13 million. But, can spending 6-8 times as much as Google give Bing the jump it needs?
Microsoft's ad push (helmed by ad-agency powerhouse JWT) will not, unlike the recent anti-Apple campaign, mention Microsoft's search rivals - instead, the planned ads will ask consumers if search works as well as they'd like.
How about the product itself?
People who've seen the Microsoft product suggest it's useful and has some nifty filtering tools, even though it's not a markedly different-looking interface, at least for text search (some of the multimedia search results, however, do look quite different from how Google currently displays them).
When will Bing shove aside Live Search? The Register says "June," and also suggests keeping an eye on the D: All Things Digital conference this week for more details.
Google Labs has launched a new service called Google News Timeline that charts the manner in which a news story develops. Stories are laid out neatly in columns, where each column displays the top news stories for a particular day, week, month or decade depending on what the user opts for. Users can search for a particular news story within a specified timeframe and trace its course through history. A button, which bears the ambiguous title “Add More Queries”, lets you specify additional news sources to go with the default sources, Time Magazine and Wikipedia Events. It can become a handy research tool for online scribes.
Back in 1995, when HTML first took off with the general public, there were a number of offenders that made the Internet look aesthetically awful. Designers employed atrocious HTML elements, such as the <blink> and <marquee> tags, which only made a show of serious web coders. It’s doubtful that anyone at that time considered blinking and scrolling text fluid web design.
In the last few years, CSS has taken off with the rise of Web 2.0 and has certainly transformed web design into a much simpler endeavor—gone are the days of having to repeat the same mundane code or navigating a sea of jumbled up HTML in search of that one inconsistency. Things have gotten better since the Nineties and early-2000s, but some web designers are still foolishly living in the past. We’ve decided to update the criteria of HTML elements that are simply outdated and have been replaced by a batch of shinier, better CSS elements. If 1997 was the last time you’ve had a crash course in web design, than read on to learn a few new things about this versatile web world.
Sweden recently enforced a new anti-piracy policy that lets copyright holders quickly acquire the identity of major pirates and prosecute them directly through the courts, without any police intervention at all – and a many took notice.
According to Netnod, a Swedish web tracking firm, web traffic on the day the policy went into place dropped from 120GB/s to 80GB/s. But, the drop is likely temporary according to the VP of Sweden’s (I kid you not) Pirate Party, Christian Engstrom, who states, “Today, there is a very drastic reduction in internet traffic. But experience from other countries suggests that while file-sharing drops on the day a law is passed, it starts climbing again… One of the reasons is that it takes people a few weeks to figure out how to change their security settings so that can share files anonymously.”
Still, the law has been under fire due to its allowing major corporations to circumvent the police by means of direct lawsuits. Obtaining specific information is as easy as going to the uploader’s ISP, who will then get his IP and identity.
What do you think? Is it fair to let copyright holders protect their products at any cost, or is it the beginning of a long line of abuse from major corporations? Let us know after the jump.
Hulu is celebrating its first anniversary. And what an amazing inaugural year it was for Hulu: its market share rose steadily through the year making it one of the most riveting video sites on the internet. The video-on-demand site has stepped into its second year armed with new social networking features.
Now website users can share their favorite shows with each other using the new "Hulu Friends" feature. Users can import contacts from major social networks and email services. The site ensures that friends are kept up to speed with each other’s viewing activities. This move is expected to make Hulu more enticing for advertisers.
Spreading word using the social web can be as simple as lighting a skyrocket’s posterior for a social-web veteran. Charity Water, a nonprofit focused on providing clean drinking water to people in developing countries, has devised a brilliant fundraising campaign using Twitter.
Today, more than 200 cities worldwide are going to witness Twestivals, which are basically volunteer-organized fundraisers. As is obvious from the epithet itself, Twestivals have been conceived to tap the viral potential of Twitter. Every Twestival “will bring together Twitter communities for an evening of fun and to raise money and awareness for Charity: Water.” The concept is expected to catch on with other nonprofits as well.
Those of you who can’t attend the event can catch the action live or pre-recorded on the internet. Also, there are several other ways you can donate to help secure clean drinking water - a basic necessity of life - for few of the 1.1 billion humans who reckon it’s a luxury.