Blogs are not the only fruit
Is it only me that's becoming mind numbingly bored with all the daft posts about blogging over the last few months? Half of the chatter out there is just ridiculous, from bloggers thinking that they have special rights and can operate outside of normal law to frivolous posts that just squeal with nauseating excitement everytime somebody publishes a damn website - ack, dont get me started! Probably good fodder for another post eh? :-)
Well, i just read a truly enlightened post that i've threadlinked above by Lee at Headshift on well, pretty much the entire field of blogging, social interaction, wikis and folksonomy based collaborative publishing and social networking. I've never been to the site before and have never heard of headshift but if you have an interest in this kind of thing i think you'll find it refreshing and exciting - i did...
Revived Spyware Bill Could Crunch Cookies
Zachary Rodgers reports on the implications of the reintroduced anti-spyware bill for ad and behavioral tracking via cookies in the clickz story threadlinked above.
While SPY-ACT creates cookie exceptions for publishers wishing to identify return visitors, those exceptions don't apply to third parties or network advertisers. "In the current bill, cookies that behave like cookies are exempt," said Pencille. "If it's monitoring your behavior when you leave [the site that placed it], then it's not covered." The bill wouldn't permit publishers to share cookie information with partners, which would cripple their ability to target ads. Passage of the bill would make illegal such widespread marketing practices as behavioral targeting, cross-site frequency capping, and network traffic analysis. Publishers and site owners are also dependent on third party tracking tools to earn the higher CPMs they've enjoyed of late.
That would certainly knobble a few business models recently created...
If you're in your early/mid thirties like me, you'll remember the first "calculater watches" right? Well here's the upgraded version for the 2000's lol...
CES 2005 Watch maker Fossil has formally revived its previously ill-fated Palm OS-based PDA wristwatch project - a year after it appeared to kill off the product before it even shipped.
Fossil Wrist PDA - the next generationFeaturing a redesigned casing, the Wrist PDA launched this week nevertheless remains true to the previous version's spec. Once again, there's Palm OS 4.1 on board; a 160 x 160 touchscreen LCD; 8MB of memory, 7.7MB of which is available to the user, and double the amount in the previous version; infrared and USB connectivity; 4MB of Flash storage; a 66MHz Motorola Dragonball processor, double the clock speed of the original Wrist PDA; and a battery sufficiently capacious to offer 3-4 days' usage.
Opera releases browser beta for Linux
Horray! Now if only i could get my mic to work!
This new 8.0 version of Opera features voice technology that allows users to browse the Web and check their e-mail using spoken commands. By using the appropriate command, people can scroll around a Web page, read highlighted text out loud and follow links.
A spokesman for Opera said the technology allows people to interact with their browser in a more natural way.
"Our vision is to improve human and computer communications," the spokesman said. "You should be able to communicate with technology in the same way as we communicate with each other."
Download page is here, wonder what kind of dependencies it has for this voice stuff...
Added: The original post has now been removed, adding fuel to the fire of this being a hoax - thanks Aaron!
Here's an interesting one, it appears that rumours of an MS Tech TV channel are true and that it will roll out in May/June this year - this is according to an M$ source quoted on the threadlinked blog post above:
"management doesn't want to let the people know of the network yet due to the fact that they want to create a huge uproar when it's time for the launch." So I guess MS wanted to make a huge shock. Well they did already. I then asked the PR executive of a MSTECHTV launch date. He said "MSTECHTV will launch sometime in May or June. We think it would be huge for a May 28th launch." TechTV fans all know what May 28th is symbolic for.
I dont know what May 28th is symbolic for, anyone care to fill me in?
This could all be bollocks of course, the comments that follow in the threadlinked blog post are mixed in their beleif so it's best taken with a pinch of salt. Interesting nonetheless though eh?
Yahoo! Launches Developer Program in Next Phase of Its Digital Home Strategy, Announces Relationship With Microsoft
One way Microsoft can get around being seen as a monopoly is to partner up with another big company, put pump enough money into the deal they can still control them. I see this as HUGE.
* Best of Yahoo! -- Including My Yahoo!® and Yahoo!® Premium Video -- to Be Available for Consumers Through Microsoft Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005
* Developer Program to Offer Exclusive Yahoo! Content and Services to Speed Development of Standardized Home Networked Devices
Furthering the company's commitment to extending Yahoo! beyond the desktop and onto networked devices throughout the home, Yahoo! Inc. (Nasdaq:YHOO - News), a leading global Internet company, today announced next steps in the company's digital home strategy, including an agreement with Microsoft Corp. and the launch of the Yahoo! Digital Home Developer Program.
Search Looks at the Big Picture
Wired have a great story threadlinked above on advances in image retrieval software and techniques - rather than looking at text based tags and other traditional ways of determining an images content this article looks at how a small research group are working out how to look inside an image:
A group of European researchers is developing technology that could vastly improve image searching by identifying the components of an image. The group, which includes the Xerox Research Centre Europe and universities in France, England, Sweden, Austria and Switzerland, has developed software that can recognize everyday objects in digital images, according to Christopher Dance, a senior research scientist at Xerox.
The image-processing software looks for "key patches" in an image to determine the relative positions of different shapes, such as tires and a car body, or a beach and ocean waves, to categorize the image's contents, Dance said. The software has learned hundreds of objects since development began in 2002, and "can be used to categorize images and automatically create image tags," Dance said.
How Apple is going to screw webloggers!
Todd Cochrane at GeekNewsCentral is boycotting iTunes over the recent lawsuits filed against bloggers who have published juicy tips on forthcoming products.
Why would I do that, well how long will it be before someone passes me a juicy tip and I write about it and piss some company off. As has been mentioned around the blogsphere if this had been the New York Times or PC World they would not have touched them with a 10 foot pole.
One thing I can do immediately is this, I will no longer purchase any iTunes music or purchase any sort of Apple product as a consumer I can also make a statment with my pocket-book.
APPLE CEASE AND DESIST YOUR LAWSUITS AGAINST WEBLOGS!
As Todd rightly points out, if this were a large news site or traditional media, they wouldn't touch it would they? If Apple are going to behave like wankers, i wouldn't be surprised to see the blog community (and all that that implies downstream..) to treat them like wankers.
Im one of these people who likes to click on the text, drag what I want for selection purposes then ctrl v's into the text box. This is especially handy for quoting multiple posts or a salient part of whatever point it is that is being made.
At TW this isn't that easy to do. For some reason you have to fiddle about, or highlight the whole page, slap that into the box, and then remove the parts you dont want to comment on.
I'm assuming its a CSS thing, would anyone have a fix or suggestion?
ITunes user sues Apple over iPod
The BBC are reporting in the threadlink above that an iTunes user is suing Apple over unfair competition relating to iTunes and iPod - Seems Apple are getting a taste of their own medicine in light of recent "we clearly dont get it" lawsuits filed by the company:
A user of Apple's iTunes music service is suing the firm saying it is unfair he can only use an iPod to play songs.
He says Apple is breaking anti-competition laws in refusing to let other music players work with the site.
Neowin has the scoop on the new antispyware program from M$ being out in beta, now we need some tech-savvy affiliates to test it and see if it's eating affiliate cookies or not. If you do test it, please let us know about it here...
Late last year Threadwatch member 5StarAffilatePrograms rasied concerns that the new tool would eat affilate cookies..
The threadlink above contains an excellent primer on WiMAX technology, as the intro says, this is do or die year for the tech and if it takes off, getting up to speed will be essential for some:
2005 will probably be the year in which WiMax sinks or swims as the next big thing in telecom technology. For that reason, plenty of people are going to need a quick and easy way of getting up to speed on what WiMax is and why it's stirring up so much interest.
This report aims to provide that quick and easy guide, by answering questions that are most frequently asked about WiMax. In the report's initial form, answers to eight basic questions are given, one per page. But the idea is that readers can ask further questions on the message board attached to this article. Frequently posed questions will be answered by adding pages to this report.
thanks to John Yunker who points out that the guide misses important related tech like Flash-OFDM (Flarion) and UMTS TDD that are live today and gaining carrier support.
MSN Video Downloads
News comes in that MSN have launched a preview version of it's new video download service that was briefly mentioned in Gates' Q&A with Cnet.
Geekzone report that the following partner channels are available:
Home and Garden Television
Headliners Entertainment Group
Membership is $20 a year though you can get it on a trial basis and focus is on portable devices with mobile coming later in the year - i'll admit to a little confusion on that, but that's the way i heard it :)
Bill Gates is coming to your living room, whether you like it or not.
Big Billy G has done a nice Q&A over at the CNet story threadlinked above, here are some of the hightlights:
On Convergence and Advertising:
Well, there's a lot of that going on. For us, the key convergence product is the Media Center PC, which is the idea of that single remote control giving you the best TV experience, music and photos but also the full power of the PC, and we've got lots of partners who keep signing on to Media Center and doing neat things.
even for people watching the same show, you can insert just in a perfect way an ad targeted to that individual.
And the value of targeted advertising is really twofold. First, it means that the person is less likely to want to skip the ad, and second of all, it means the chance that they'll actually do something--buy something.
actually I think the biggest blogging statistic I know, which really blew me away, is that we've got close to a million people setting up blogs with the Spaces capability that's connected up to Messenger.
I've toyed with doing one myself, but I don't want to be one of those people who start and then don't finish it, and again I'm thinking maybe I could do one a month or one every six weeks--something like that. I'd kind of like to, but I've got to be sure I can keep going for at least a year to make it worth doing.
On the iPod
And in the same way that Macintosh helped get people exposed to the graphical user interface, the iPod is doing a great job getting people to think about digital music.
In the long run, there will be a lot of people making digital music players, and we think that there will be a very different market share with dozens and dozens of companies. And other than Apple, all those player makers are signing up to work inside the Windows PlaysForSure ecosystem.
A New Idea for Publishing
John Battelle is proposing a new advertising and publishing model that he says would eliminate the current imbalance between publisher, advertiser and reader at the techreview article threadlinked above.
Advertisers initially loved paid search for one simple reason: it worked, driving valuable leads to their sites. But the publishers’ concerns were well-founded. After all, paid search can undermine the value of a publisher-created community. It also fails to garner the benefits of a publisher’s influence and endorsement. Finally, advertisers care a lot about where their ads appear. A big question arises: can we create an advertising model that has all the benefits of paid search and at the same time values the relationship between publisher and audience?
It's a novel approach that would be an utter bastard to implement but on first thought, great for all three parties in the online publishing equation:
Because an Internet-based ad is already a little piece of software, it can be tagged with information about its target audience, how much the advertiser is willing to spend to reach that audience (and how much each click will cost), what kind of websites are acceptable or forbidden (such as porn sites), and any number of other attributes. Most important, each ad could communicate with a “home” application that tracks its progress and status.
Once these tagged ads are let loose, publishers could simply copy and paste them into their own websites. Through connections to their home sites, the ads would report which publishers have pasted them where, how many clicks they’ve received, and how much money is left in the advertiser’s bank account. The ad propagates until it runs out of money. If it is working, the advertiser simply fills up the tank with more money.
Why is this model better than the current one? Because publishers know their audiences best. There’s no incentive for publishers to place ads that don’t perform or that offend their readers.