From smart displays capable of identifying its viewers to a recent push for more rich media ads, privacy seems to be taking a backseat to ad revenue. But while companies toy with ways to make more money through online ads, at least one person in Congress wants to make sure your rights aren't getting trampled in the process.
Rep. Edward Markey (D-Mass) has seen enough and believes online monitoring services working on behalf of the advertising community should make their intentions clear and be required to obtain approval before tracking your online activities. He's not talking about innocent cookies, but deep packet inspection (DPI) technologies.
"First, there is a distinction in the detail, type, and amount of data collected," Markey said. "As opposed to individual websites that know certain information about visitors to its websites and affiliates, deep packet inspection technologies can indicate every website a user visits and much more about a person's web use," he said.
Not everyone shares Markey's same concerns. Robert Dykes, CEO of NebuAd, claims his company doesn't run afoul of privacy rights and translates visitor's IP addresses it gathers into anonymous identifiers. Furthermore, Dykes claims an opt-in program would cause "major harm" to the current infrastructure of the internet, which thrives on advertising revenue.
Does Dkyes have a point, or is markey right on the money?
Yesterday, I discussed, in brief, gaming's trend toward the future -- generally at the expense of the past and even the present. Coincidentally, I think that trend ties in well with another point of discussion yesterday's Roundup shoved into the limelight: PC gaming's "death." A good many of you seemed to think I'd love nothing more than to drag the ol' PC out back, aim down the sights, and end its miserable existence.
You couldn't have been more wrong.
PC gaming is, in my mind, thriving. Oh sure, consoles may rake in more mullah, but PC gaming never stops blazing trails into the future. Do I think we should grind to a halt and take a look around every once in a while? Sure. But never should we stagnate, or else our industry really could slump into a lifeless heap. PC gaming, whether it be through MMOs, services like Steam, or even its colossal casual market, is console gaming's crystal ball. "That's what I want to be when I grow up!" I can almost hear Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo's petite blocks of plastic excitedly screech.
With that said, however, progress is a series of trials and errors. Today's Roundup casts its gaze upon a few recent missteps, from MMOs' lack of true emotion, to E3 2008, to, er, the iPhone. Oh, I didn't just go there; I rented a room, saw the sights, and brought back a refrigerator magnet. Read more for all of that -- and more.
Despite Microsoft's claims of having sold 180 million Windows Vista licenses since the OS's launch, there are plenty of XP owners who have to decided to skip this round and wait for Windows 7. Some of them aren't even willing to give Vista a first look, let alone a second one, and these are the one Microsoft is targeting with Mojave.
What exactly is Mojave? As far the XP faithful are concerned, it's the code name for a brand new OS Microsoft has been working on. And to them, it is brand new, but for the rest of us, it's simply Vista with a new name. That's right; Microsoft is trying to dupe Vista's skeptics into not only giving the OS a test run, but get them to admit they like it. And it's working. Microsoft last week rounded up several XP users who had negative impressions of Vista and showed them Mojave. According to Cnet, over 90 percent gave positive feedback on what they thought was a new OS, with Microsoft recording their reactions after being told Mojave is really Vista.
" We have a huge perception opportunity, said Windows unit business chief Bill Veghte. "We are going to try a bunch of stuff."
The idea got started just two weeks ago in an email from Microsoft's David Webster to several higher ups, including Veghte, and it didn't take long for the cameras to start rolling. Footage could start airing publicly as early as next week, but will it be enough to convince staunch XP users into upgrading?
As if the tech community needed any more proof that DRM schemes only serve to hurt paying customers, Yahoo has decided to remind everyone why the whole concept sucks in the first place. Come September 30, Yahoo will shut off support for Yahoo Music, locking customers who purchased their tracks through the service from being able to transfer their tunes to a new hard drive or PC.
Here we go again. Microsoft pulled the same stunt when it pulled the plug on its MSN Music service. Amid community outcries, the software giant eventually caved to pressure and reversed its decision, offering customers a reprieve "until at least the end of 2011."
Who knows if Yahoo will end up doing the same thing, but as it stands now, customers who want to keep playing their purchased music after the end of September are being prevented from transferring their songs to another machine or even performing a clean OS install on their existing PC. Or they can choose to transfer their music library to RealNetwork's Rhapsody music service. And while customers decide between losing their music or jumping through hoops, pirates will continue to snag the songs they want through Limewire, Piratebay, and everywhere else where pirated music runs rampant.
When was the last time you updated your bookmarks? We're betting it's been awhile, and if you've been truly neglectful, you'll probably find several broken links as you scroll through your favorites. Like your underwear, it doesn't hurt to change things up every now and again, if for nothing else than to keep things interesting. Your personal hygiene may not be at stake, but your pride as a power user is.
With that in mind, we've scoured the web to bring you seven unique bookmarks that run the gamut from useful to wacky, along with a couple of old favorites that never go stale. Change your skivvies if it's been a few days since you last did, then hit the jump to breathe new life into your daily online routine.
The gaming industry is, currently, on the forefront of media. There's nothing else like it -- nothing else endowed with its far-reaching potential. Gaming is the future, so I guess it makes sense that gamers' gazes are aimed unflinchingly forward, never braking for the past -- or even the present. Our news always involves what's "Coming this holiday season" and our real-life heroes, when not piecing together the latest triple-A titles, rack their brains over how tomorrow's games will work. Why can't we stop for a breather every once in a while?
But no, our breakneck pace continues today. We'll rest when we're dead or when we practice what we preach. Into the crystal ball I've gazed, and I've seen things, man -- things like Unreal Engine 4, PC gaming's death, and, ack, Cammie Dunaway! Consider this crystal ball retired!
Microsoft this week bids farewell to Kevin Johnson, the now former president of its platfroms and services division. During Johnson's tenure, many thought he would one day succeed CEO Steve Ballmer, and together the two of them played a major role in the company's pursuit of Yahoo.
This isn't the first defelction in recent times, as earlier this year Senior VP Steven Berkowitz announced plans to leave Microsoft by the end of the summer. And with Bill Gates having gone into semi-retirement, the face of Microsoft is beginning to look much different than it did just one year ago.
Find out why Johnson's announcement comes ill-timed for Microsoft after the jump. Touché?
In order to work in the gaming industry -- or any industry where ravenous journalists circle about, just waiting for a choice quote, really -- you probably need a fairly resilient sense of humor. After all, even if you possess an iron will and never blab a single well-guarded secret, out-of-context headlines are still perched atop websites, waiting to knock the wind out of your sails.
With that said, life isn't fair, and I have a living to make. Today's Roundup does, in fact, feature a couple of seemingly-ridiculous lines from a couple of your favorite industry luminaries. But you guys are great, so I'm sure we won't have any issues with context or mockery, right? Right?
Google has just made a new addition to its bouquet of internet properties. Its answer to Wikipedia, Knol, is now in open beta. Unlike Wikipedia where every author has no choice but to be self-effacing, Knol keeps the author in the foreground and well in control of his/her work. It will solely depend on an author whether he wants his Knols to be accompanied by ads – of which he will be a beneficiary – and if he wants to heed a call for modifications or edits to his article.
Knol also allows authors to collaborate on a certain article if they so desire. The media hasn’t really received Google’s announcement of Knol all that well as it fears that Google’s search engine results will be biased towards Knol.
Funnily and ironically enough, it seems to be more of Google’s own version of the quintessential information-centric website or online content hubs - that promise authors a share in adsense revenues - and less of a Wikipedia rival.
Google is currently exploring all possible methods of milking the Youtube cow despite having deemed revenues from the website to be immaterial during it Q1 filing.
It has now dawned upon Google that professionally made content is more lucrative to advertisers than amateur videos, and can help it recover the $1.65 billion Youtube acquisition costs. The search engine major’s enlightenment will greatly benefit Hollywood companies, who have been clamoring about the ease with which their interests are compromised on piracy hotbeds like Youtube.
Google knows that to monetize copyrighted movie and TV videos with advertisements it will have to legitimize their use first, which it plans to do with revenue sharing deals with major Hollywood studios. It recently struck a revenue sharing deal with Lionsgate and is in talks with other media companies, although very little is known at this stage.
Does it mean that Google will completely prevent users from uploading copyrighted content - something it has failed to do hitherto? Most probably that won’t be the case as it is currently working on a new technology that will help identify copyrighted content and allow its rightful owners to display ads next to it without the video being taken down.