Friday, October 12, 2007

Growth in Broadband Slows Dramatically

From Live Science - The number of Americans with broadband Internet access rose 40 percent between 2005 and 2006, but only 12 percent between 2006 and 2007—although certain segments of the population did much better than that.

The figures, gathered by the Pew Internet & American Life Project in Washington, DC, showed that 47 percent of American adults had high-speed Internet access at the start of 2007, up from 42 percent in 2006, and 30 percent in 2005. | Read full article

TV on the Web Embraced by Viewers and Advertisers

From Live Science - If you don’t watch TV shows on your computer, it's probably only a matter time before you do. And the networks would love for you to do so, since your eyeballs are worth as much as 40 percent more when they’re parked in front of a computer than in front of a TV.

Today, 18 percent of the nation's online population watches TV shows on their computers.

That's double the rate of last year, and the figure is expected to double next year, said James McQuivey, an analyst at Forrester Research in Cambridge, Mass. McQuivey notes that the online population is about two thirds of the total U.S. population. | Read full article

Google, Mozilla and the Open-Source Phone

From The New York Times - There is a lot we don’t know about Google’s cellphone effort, but this much seems clear from the many reports: Google isn’t making a phone, it is developing an open-source cellphone operating system. Google will, no doubt build some proprietary applications that run on it, find manufacturers and cut deals with carriers to deliver a shiny package to consumers.

Another interesting fact: Mike Schroepfer, the vice president for engineering of the Mozilla Foundation, announced that the group is working on a mobile version of its open-source Firefox browser. | Read full article

Electronic Arts to Add 2 Video Game Studios to Its Stable

From The New York Times - Seeking to fill gaps in its product lineup, the video game publisher Electronic Arts said Thursday that it would acquire two software studios from Elevation Partners in a deal worth $860 million, the largest in its history.

The studios, BioWare Corporation and Pandemic Studios, are known for their action, adventure and role-playing games. Elevation owns their parent, VG Holding.

Electronic Arts, the world’s No. 1 video game publisher, is known for blockbusters like the Sims and Madden NFL, but it has at times had less than 10 percent of the lucrative market for role-playing, action and adventure games. | Read full article

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Google Hints at Social Network Plan

From The New York Times - Just days ago, Steve Ballmer, Microsoft’s chief executive was warning that social networking may be a fad.

Eric E. Schmidt, Google’s chief executive, is far less dismissive.

“People don’t appreciate how many page views on the Internet are in social networks,” Mr. Schmidt told a group of reporters at the end of its Zeitgeist conference, a two-day gathering of an eclectic mix of Google partners, competitors, social activists and politicians.

Social networks, he said, account for an “enormous proportion” of Internet usage, he added. “It is very real. It’s a very real phenomenon.” | Read full article

ABC Reshapes the Evening News for the Web

From The New York Times - Huddled with a producer in an editing suite on a recent Friday afternoon, the ABC News correspondent Bill Blakemore enthusiastically helped put the finishing touches on a video account of his recent trip to Greenland to see the effects of global warming.

The segment did not look like a normal network news report: It showed Mr. Blakemore riding a sled across Greenland’s ice sheet and casually addressing the camera while wearing a black North Face parka and sunglasses. | Read full article

Pandora Will Rock Radio As We Know It

From Portfolio - Tim Westergren, chief strategy officer and founder of Pandora, stopped by Portfolio yesterday and talked to our staff about the future of his online radio company. He's working to eventually take Pandora public and describes its growth as linear, with half a million new users each month, capturing a total of .2% of radio listeners in the U.S. Pandora sets itself apart from other internet radio sites by allowing users to personalize their own radio stations through a 'music genome' that analyzes songs for rhythm, lyrics, genre, etc. and then feeds similar songs into the user's play list.

Though this is a great way to discover new artists and appreciate ones you never thought you would, as one Portfolio staffer pointed out, play lists can tend to sound homogeneous sometimes. But Westergren assures that there are ways of mixing up one's radio selection. "The secret sauce is that people interact a lot with Pandora."

Users can give a recommended tune a thumb up or a thumb down, and they can also learn how their play list was selected for them. To expand on the user interaction the company right now is considering ways to incorporate into the site elements of online social-networking. | Read full article

Here Are the Answers to Your Craigslist Questions

From The New York Times - Last week, you submitted lots and lots of questions for Craig Newmark and Jim Buckmaster, the founder and CEO, respectively, of Craigslist. They couldn’t answer every question but I think you’ll agree they’ve given us a lot of good answers, time, and ideas. I was particularly intrigued by Jim’s statement that investigative journalism has actually been damaged by newspapers’ past financial prosperity. While I don’t quite buy his argument, I see the logic behind it. Another topic for another day. Thanks to Craig, Jim, and all of you for participating. | Read full article

Blu-ray vs. HD DVD: War without end

From The New York Times - What if somebody started a format war and nobody came?

That was the question posed at the opening session of the DisplaySearch's 5th Annual HDTV Conference here. The much-hyped battle between opposing next-generation packaged media formats HD DVD and Blu-ray Disc still has no clear winner. Each of the panelists onhand to hash out the question of which side will prevail predictably had an agenda--to explain why his camp will win. | Read full article

Internet Company to Let Consumers Profit From Posted Videos

From The New York Times - Blinkx, an Internet video search company based in London, will allow consumers to make money from the videos they show on their own blogs, social network sites or home pages if they agree to embed advertising in the videos.

By combining two Internet trends — social networking and online video — with a moneymaking opportunity, Blinkx hopes to better compete with YouTube, the market-leading video-sharing service owned by Google, said the founder and chief executive of Blinkx, Suranga Chandratillake. | Read full article

IAB Issues Final Word On Rich Media Impressions

From Online Media Daily - THE INTERACTIVE ADVERTISING BUREAU ON Wednesday released final guidelines on the measurement of rich online media to better gauge the level at which ad impressions are counted in rich online application environments supported by AJAX and JSON technologies.

"It's critical that there's consistency in how impressions are counted on pages using AJAX," said Sheryl Draizen, senior vice president and general manager of the IAB. | Read full article

GPhone Buzz Hits Frenzy After Google's Jaiku Deal

From Online Media Daily - GOOGLE'S LATEST ACQUISITION PUTS IT deeper into SMS territory. The search giant announced that it acquired Helsinki-based Jaiku, a company that lets users keep track of their friends' activities via short SMS and Web messages.

Like Twitter, the service is accessible via mobile phone and posts the instant messages to a central Web site. Users can also choose to send messages to other Web sites, blogs and mobile phones, or connect with established instant messaging services like AOL's AIM and Yahoo Instant Messenger, among others. | Read full article

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