Google threat to telcos - Newscorp brings digital ad services to India - WSJ invades NYTs turf - Facebook Twitter talks fail - Youtube live gets 700k

How Google is a threat to telcos
Google pressured the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to set aside the "C" Block (22MHz to 11MHz in the uplink and 11MHz in the downlink within the US 700MHz spectrum auctions) as an open-access spectrum. On November 5 2007, several technology and wireless companies jointly announced the formation of the OHA and the development of Android followed on November 12 2007, with a preliminary release of the Android SDK, as part of Google's $10 million developer challenge.

News Corp brings its digital ad services to India

Fox Interactive, the digital arm of News Corp, has rolled out its digital advertising services in India with the launch of its online ad network, called .FoxNetworks. Worldwide, .FoxNetworks offers its services to brands such as Sony, Nokia, Coca-Cola, LG, Dell, Sanyo, Ford, DHL, McDonald's, Motorola, Barclays, Singapore Tourism Board, P&G and Volkswagon.

Facebook Tried to Buy Twitter for $500M in Stock

The deal apparently collapsed over the price, and a desire by Twitter's management and investors to further build its business and revenues. "It's more about timing," one person familiar with Twitter's motivations told All Things D. "There is a strong feeling that there is still an opportunity -- even with the economic downturn -- to blow this thing out."

YouTube Live Event Attracts 700K Concurrent Viewers

The first live-streaming event offered by Google's YouTube over the weekend -- YouTube Live -- was watched by about 700,000 concurrent viewers at its peak, TechCrunch reported, citing Akamai data. The event featured a mix of both top-selling artists, like Akon and, and YouTube stars like Soulja Boy and Esmee Denters.

The Future of Social Networking : special report
A rising tide of companies are tapping Semantic Web technologies to unearth hard-to-find connections between disparate pieces of online data

Microsoft To Rebrand Search. Will It Be Kumo?

Microsoft is once again rebranding its search engine, TechCrunch says, citing a Microsoft source. The software giant plans to rename Windows Live Search sometime early next year, and "Kumo", a Japanese word meaning "cloud" or "spider" is apparently the frontrunner, according to the blog LiveSide. Microsoft recently purchased the domain name.

BBC local news sites rejected

The BBC has dropped plans to launch a network of local news websites, following opposition from Ofcom and newspapers publishers. The plans were rejected by the BBC Trust, the governing body of the BBC which acts on behalf of license fee payers to ensure the corporation fulfils its role as a public broadcaster.

WSJ Invades NYT's Ad Turf

Competition between The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal is heating up as the U.S economy sours. The Journal's expanded news coverage and new lifestyle magazine are starting to attract wealthy consumers and luxury advertisers from the NYT, such as Saks, a Times advertiser since 1924. Dolce & Gabbana SpA and LVMH Moet Hennessy have also started advertising in the Journal. Circulation at both papers is also shifting. The Journal's average individually paid circ rose 2.4% to 1.4 million as of September, compared to a year ago, per the ABC. The Times' slid 5.5% to 858,985 on that basis.



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Nokia MVNO in Japan - NYtimes' struggle - Microsofty to issue bonds?? - Ballmer to appear in court - Verizon employees peep into Obama's cell acct - F

Nokia Looking to Set Up its Own MVNO in Japan 
­Nokia is reportedly considering another move into the network operator's own territory by launching an MVNO of its own in Japan. The company has already been busy pushing its mobile content platform, Ovi - to the ire of some network operators. According to unnamed sources cited by Kyodo News, the company will rely on DoCoMo's network and will focus on the luxury end of the market by offering its Vertu branded phones. Nokia has had difficulties gaining market share in the Japanese market, where the operators retain very tight control over handset design and specifications - although both Softbank and DoCoMo do carry some Nokia phones in their range.

IBM has announced it will lead a US government-funded collaboration to make electronic circuits that mimic brains. Part of a field called "cognitive computing", the research will bring together neurobiologists, computer and materials scientists and psychologists. 

Page by page, section by section, the influence of the New York Times is fading away. Great people on an important mission, but their footprint is shrinking and the company is losing stock value and cash and power and the ability to have the impact that they might.
The entire mindset of (every) newspaper has been driven by the cost of paper, the finite nature of paper, the cost of delivery and the cycle of a daily paper. You run enough articles to fit as many ads as you can sell.These are artifacts of a different age, one that today's consumer doesn't care a whit about.

Microsoft has lost its bid to keep CEO Steve Ballmer from being deposed in the lawsuit over the company's "Windows Vista Capable" marketing program. U.S. District Judge Marsha Pechman ruled this afternoon that the plaintiffs had demonstrated that Ballmer has  enough "unique personal knowledge" of the situation to justify quizzing him as part of the discovery process.

Verizon Wireless admitted late Thursday that several of its employees broke company rules by accessing and viewing President-elect Barack Obama's personal cell phone account. The contents of Obama's voicemail messages were not breached by the employees, according to an Obama aide. "All employees who have accessed the account -- whether authorized or not -- have been put on immediate leave, with pay," said Lowell McAdam, the president and CEO of Verizon Wireless. 

Yahoo has sold its Kelkoo comparison shopping site for the European market to U.K. private equity firm Jamplant, TechCrunch reports. While financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, TechCrunch cited sources with knowledge of the deal as saying that Yahoo received less than $126 million for Kelkoo.  Yahoo acquired the company in April 2004 for $576 million.

Google has released a new feature to its search results. It's called SearchWiki and it lets searchers, while signed into their Google account, customize their own results.

A new beta version of Yahoo's Mobile Front Page (generally known as just has been found hiding just one character away from the beta announced to the public back in January. Whereas the public beta can be found at, RWW dug up the new version by instead navigating to Unfortunately, it seems they weren't supposed to see this just yet; within a half-hour of RWW reaching out to Yahoo! for comment, the page had become password protected - but not before they snagged a couple screenshots.

Microsoft is considering selling bonds for the first time in its history, Bloomberg reports, a curious move considering the software giant's $20 billion cash hoard. An SEC filing noted that the company is now free to issue debt at any time. What does Microsoft need to raise capital for? Silicon Alley Insider reminds us that the software giant sought to at least partially pay for a Yahoo acquisition by issuing debt. Of course, that deal fell apart, leaving no obvious reason as to why the company would continue with the registration process. Is Microsoft preparing another bid for Yahoo? Not if you've been listening to Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer recently. Maybe Microsoft wants to buy or Facebook, or maybe both? SAI thinks the company is most likely preparing a massive stock repurchasing program. At $17.53 per share, or 9 times trailing earnings, Microsoft thinks its stock is undervalued.

A 19-year-old Florida teen's suicide broadcast Wednesday on was a result of an overdose of opiates and benzodiazepine, the Broward County Medical Examiner & Trauma Services Division said Friday. About 185 people were viewing the feed on the San Francisco-based live-streaming service. The teen had announced his pending suicide on a chat forum, which linked to the broadcast. He left an online suicide note. Viewers were seen egging him on.

Google has come up with a newer version of Google SMS Search at the price of regular SMS. The product has been reincarnated, with a new number and several features. Users  can SMS query to 9-77-33-00000 and get automated answers on cricket scores, Indian Railways, stock quotes, local business search, movie showtimes, currency conversion, flight status, weather, horoscope, taxi service and  ATM.

Forbes is combining its print and web staffs and reorganizing its sales and marketing teams in a move that will better enable the magazine to "weather the current economic storm," says chairman-CEO Steve Forbes. The switch will mean a 43-job reduction, according to BtoB. Online brands, Investopedia and will be combined; will be scaled back and will cease to exist.


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Google shuts Lively - New GnR album on Myspace - Yahoo needs an Editor - PC mag shuts - Amazon Ad network - Themes hit Gmail

Google to Shutter "Lively" Virtual World Experiment 
Google has decided to shutter its Lively online virtual world at the end of the year, saying it wants "to ensure that we prioritize our resources and focus more on our core search, ads and apps business." Lively was launched as a Google Labs project in July because the company said it "wanted users to be able to interact with their friends and express themselves online in new ways."

Chinese Democracy, the first new Guns N' Roses album since 1991, debuts tonight at 9 PM PST exclusively on MySpace Music, where fans can listen to it for free. Well, actually it debuted on BitTorrent a while ago, but we're not talking about that. Also, the band has previously released two songs, Chinese Democracy and Better, to radio stations and music sites in the past couple of weeks. 

With no muddling broadcast news network to support, CNN's Jonathan Klein is free to spend the network's $1.1 billion in revenue on ...  whatever he wants! The network sponsored seven debates, signed up a roster of all-star political pundits and unleashed an array of new audio-visual technology, some from military defense contractors. "When you have the wind at your back in the form of a very profitable streak, you've got to try things, to embrace innovation, to not cringe," says Jonathan Klein, CNN president. This year the network has racked up double-digit profit growth for the fifth straight year, bringing in more than $1.1 billion in revenue. Sure, 2008 has been a boom year for all the major cable news networks. But CNN is unfettered, unlike, say, MSNBC, which is tied to the sinking fortunes of a broadcast news division. Klein can reinvest its bounty back into its news coverage and whatever else seems appealing.

The New York Times' Saul Hansell argues that Yahoo really needs an editor-in-chief in the mold of a Clay Felker (former editor of New York Magazine) or a Tina Fey (actor/writer/producer of "30 Rock"). "I mean the sort of imperial editor who has a vision of how to create an environment that lures in both readers and advertisers," Hansell said. Also read Should Yahoo return to Media 

Revenues for the organization behind the open-source Firefox browser were up 12 percent to $75 million, with search-related royalties from Google accounting for 88 percent of the total, or $66 million. (Another $2 million or so came from other search engines). Those revenues come from Mozilla's portion of the search advertising revenues generated by the default Google search box in the Firefox browser.

PC Magazine, Ziff Davis' flagship print publication, has announced that it will go 100% digital. The January 2008 issue will mark the end of PC Magazine's print edition after 27 years of continuous publication. Instead of the print version, PC Magazine will start publishing a digital version of the magazine, 'PC Magazine Digital Edition.' Current and new subscribers should see this digital edition appear in their inboxes by February 2009.

The online retailer has created a separate advertising company called Adzinia Media Group LLC, complete with a logo reminiscent of Amazon's own.In September trademark filings with the U.S. Patent Office, Adzinia lists a broad array of services, including placing ads on websites; promoting goods and services through search engine referral traffic analysis; designing and implementing network web sites; web design; and data mining.Amazon spokeswoman Patty Smith confirmed that Adzinia is a separate company that "sells online display and email advertising products to advertisers" and said it has been around for almost a year.

A tiny check-mark box on Verizon's text-messaging screen has taken on new sorts of meaning in the last month. For one thing, it's removal sparked a customer outcry. And for another, it has demonstrated a hole in Verizon's customer data system. In unusually candid comments at the recent Association of National Advertisers' conference, Verizon SVP of Marketing & Digital Media John Harrobin described how the wireless carrier accidentally discovered a major brand differentiator it had long overlooked.

Google is rolling out colors and themes for Gmail users this week, according to the company's blog on Wednesday. There are 30 themes to choose--including Tree, Beach, Mountains and Ninja. To customize the Gmail inbox, users go to the "themes" tab under "settings." Users will find a variety of colors and patterns that change based on their ZIP code. 

Yahoo's 5 big mistakes - Microsoft Morro - Web sales Tax, Comscore's Golden measure - Motrin spoof ad - Netbooks - Ecom grows at 1% - Google P&G

Yahoo!'s Five Biggest Mistakes 
The Web portal's employees open up (a little) about the company's problems.  
Aborted Projects, Missing the Google Express, Hiring Terry Semel, Failing to Click With DoubleClick, Not Bonding With Ballmer 

Attention, online shoppers! This may be the last holiday season you can dodge sales taxes by buying presents on the Web. (Admit it, you do this.) State legislators, retailers and lawyers say 2009 may be the year Internet taxes finally come to pass.

Comscore released the results of a series of studies conducted this year that suggest online ads are more similar to print ads than previously thought. Looking at data from 200 separate studies of consumer behavior, comScore found readers were 46% more likely to visit an advertiser's site within four weeks of seeing its ad online than they were if they did not view an ad. The percentage of site visits is higher the closer it is to the date of ad viewing.

Similarly, the data say it becomes 38% more likely that a Web surfer will search for an advertiser's name with a search engine like Google within four weeks of a seeing an online ad. "Display ads, even without the clicks, are able to drive visitation to an advertiser's Web site," says Fulgoni.

Main BBC channels go live on net BBC shows including EastEnders, Heroes and Never Mind The Buzzcocks will be available to watch live online from next week, the BBC has announced. BBC One and BBC Two will be streamed live - just as BBC Three, BBC Four, CBBC, CBeebies and BBC News are already broadcast on their channel websites. 

Motrin is getting its money's worth. In reaction to this past weekend's mommy blogger debacle which had babywearing moms rebelling against the company for its apparent belittling of the mommy/baby bonding practice, Motherhood Uncensored it out with a spoof of the notorious Motrin Babywearing ad. The spoof, in perfect homage to the original, advocates for women adopting yet another "fad," the boob job. And no matter what kind of type of boob job a woman gets or how big she gets them, Motrin will be there for her just like it was for al those women who engage in the "fad" known as babywearing.

Some consumers are opting for the inexpensive, small, Web-connected computers in place of laptops that can cost three times as much . Sumit Agnihotry, director of notebook product marketing for Acer America, places cannibalization at 8% to 10%. And since netbooks are generally less profitable than their bigger cousins, manufacturers will have to make up much of the sales difference through higher volume sales of netbooks. Users are expected to purchase 11 million netbooks this year, from 182,000 in 2007, according to market researcher IDC. 

Google had a large majority of search market share in October, accounting for 71.70% of all U.S. online searches conducted in the four weeks ending November 1, 2008, while Yahoo Search, MSN Search and received 17.74%, 5.40% and 3.53%, respectively, according to October data from Hitwise, MarketingCharts reports.

Marketers to Up Spending in Cable, Online, Mobile in Next 6 Months 
Over the next six months, not only will ad spending be down, but the feeling among advertisers and their agencies toward media such as broadcast TV, national newspapers and magazines is growing more pessimistic. The dreary outlook is courtesy of the new Advertiser Optimism Report by Advertiser Perceptions. But while the outlook is somewhat bleak for the aforementioned ad media, others like online, cable TV and mobile are likely to attract more of marketers' money.

Comscore October E-Commerce Numbers Paint Dire Picture for Holidays 
Online spending grew by just 1 percent in October compared to the same month a year ago, the lowest monthly growth rate since ComScore started tracking such numbers in 2001. The worst performance came from lower-income families; households making less than $50,000 a year exhibited negative growth over last year.

Google, P&G Swap Workers to Spur Innovation  
Closer ties are crucial to both sides. P&G, the biggest advertising spender in the world, is waking up to the reality that the next generation of laundry-detergent, toilet-paper and skin-cream buyers now spends more time online than watching TV. Google craves a bigger slice of P&G's $8.7 billion annual ad pie as its own revenue growth slows. "We're trying to open the eyes of our brand managers," says P&G's digital innovation manager, Stan Joosten. When actress Salma Hayek unveiled an ambitious promotion for P&G's Pampers brand last April, the Google team was stunned to learn that Pampers hadn't invited any "motherhood" bloggers to attend the press conference, Ellen Bryon reports. In response, P&G invited a dozen or so bloggers to visit P&G's baby division in Cincinnati in July.

Microsoft Working on Free Vaccine for Windows Viruses code-named Morro 
It's no secret that - as the most widely deployed operating system - Microsoft Windows has the ignoble distinction of being the primary target of virus and malware developers everywhere.Microsoft is proposing to solve that problem with a new antivirus package. The product, code-named Morro, is slated to hit the market late next year. It will offer protection for viruses, spyware, rootkits, and trojans. Even more important? It will offer that protection for free. Designed to protect XP, Vista, and Windows 7 operating systems, Morro will be based on functionality that already exists in other Microsoft virus solutions:

Ad Industry React: No Quick Fixes Expected For Post-Yang Yahoo 
"The zenith of Yahoo's relationship with advertisers was when Wenda was there. Both she and Dan had highly commercial mindsets and realized the value of the 'big reach meeting big brand' concept of Internet ad space.

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Obama to lose Blackberry - Time shutting Cottage living - Yahoo Telemundo breakup - Maradona blocks Google - Amazon debuts CDN - Natgeo launches Video game div - Life pics on Google -

Time Inc said Tuesday it would close Cottage Living magazine and its Web site, citing the worsening economy and the impact of the weak housing market. The Time Inc. unit of Time Warner Inc. said it would maintain aspects of the brand, which focused on luxury living with a lighter footprint, in another of its other home magazines. "While the brand was genuinely loved by readers and advertisers alike, the economy inhibited its ability to grow," said Sylvia Auton, a Time executive vice president who oversees the Lifestyle Group. The magazine was launched in September 2004 with a circulation of 500,000, and circulation grew to 1 million by January 2007, the company said. on Tuesday announced the launch of CloudFront, a new self-service, pay-as-you-go content delivery network (CDN) unit of its Amazon Web Services division. CloudFront can integrate with Amazon's S3 storage service, and will provide traditional CDN services -- which increase the speed at which content is delivered across the Internet -- with no up-front commitments or long-term contracts.

Hoping to extend its brand to a younger audience, Washington-based National Geographic on Tuesday announced the launch of a new division that will develop and publish video games based on the organization's core themes and media properties. The move is part of the organization's strategy of extending beyond print and television to a host of new platforms and devices.

Access to LIFE's Photo Archive -- over 10 million images in total -- will soon be available on a new hosted image service from Google, Time Inc. has announced. Ninety-seven percent of the photographs have never been seen by the public. The collection contains some of the most iconic images of the 20th century, including works from great photojournalists Alfred Eisenstaedt, Margaret Bourke-White, Gordon Parks, and W. Eugene Smith. These images can be found when conducting a search on or on Google Image Search. Users can also search through the LIFE Collection directly by visiting

Yahoo and Telemundo have agreed to shut down the two-year old co-branded site Yahoo Telemundo by the end of 2008, as each company will essentially launch their own Spanish-language portal next year. On Jan. 1 Telemundo will roll out the stand alone property, which will feature a mix of programming information, original content, and outlets for user commentary/participation. The NBC Universal-owned company had tapped Yahoo rival Microsoft to promote the new site via prominent placement on its MSN Latino portal—though unlike the previous deal, the new site will not be co-branded. Microsoft will also provide video and ad serving technology for the site.

Before he arrives at the White House, he will probably be forced to sign off. In addition to concerns about e-mail security, he faces the Presidential Records Act, which puts his correspondence in the official record and ultimately up for public review, and the threat of subpoenas. A decision has not been made on whether he could become the first e-mailing president, but aides said that seemed doubtful.

The soccer star is just one of 110 major public figures in Argentina to have secured a court order restraining the Argentine versions of Google and Yahoo from serving up search results on their names.


Jerry Yang to step down as Yahoo CEO - Iphone embarrassment for google - AOL shuts AOL video uploads - Forbes shuts Auto site - China opens up financial news coverage -

Yang -- who will return to his former role as Chief Yahoo, focusing on strategy and technology -- tried to carve an independent strategy for Yahoo and was blamed when Microsoft Corp walked away from an offer to buy Yahoo earlier this year. Yahoo Chairman Roy Bostock is leading the effort to find a replacement, said Yang, who will continue to serve as a director.

Google's carefully orchestrated launch of their new voice-recognition search application for the iPhone took a dive this weekend. The application didn't appear as promised, and Google took down the YouTube video demo'ing the product (although it's still on the Google Channel YouTube page and embedded below). This is an extraordinary event. Other search app providers have told me they've been kept waiting months for approval of their app, with no explanation from Apple. But Google and Apple are close, even sharing Google CEO Eric Schmidt as a board member. Something definitely went sideways, most likely involving Apple throwing a fit of some sort (Apple is just plain weird about press).

AOL is on a product-cutting spree. In addition to the shuttering of XDrive, AOL Pictures, MyMobile And Bluestring, the company will also be shutting down the AOL Video Uploads service starting this week. Users must move their videos prior to December 18, when the service closes for good and the videos will no longer be available. AOL is recommending that users transfer videos to Motionbox, a New York based video sharing and editing startup

"Financial information suppliers such as Thomson Reuters, Bloomberg and Dow Jones will in the future benefit from a new regulatory framework that will help to ensure a level playing-field for all operators in the Chinese market," the EU said in a statement. is being shuttered and its entire staff is being let go, a company rep said, confirming earlier reports on SAI and Gawker. The rep wouldn't say how many individuals worked on ForbesAutos. Separately, most of ForbesTraveler's staff is also being laid off. The site will limp along with three staffers. Forbes is also getting rid of its conference group. The Forbes rep said that the publisher will still host conferences, but all planning will be handled by its marketing department.

Advertisers Shouldn't 'Hijack' Conversations, but Applications Hold Promise. "I have a reaction to that as a consumer advocate and an advertiser," he said. "What in heaven's name made you think you could monetize the real estate in which somebody is breaking up with their girlfriend?"

Johnson & Johnson's legendary marketing machine just had a rare mess-up. A new ad for Motrin, sold by J&J's McNeil Consumer Healthcare unit, tried to appeal to moms with an attempt at a chatty copy about using Motrin to treat sore muscles that result from a baby carrier. But some members of the target audience were offended, and a flood of scathing items appeared on Twitter. (Click here to see the comments.) The website went down Sunday night and as of Monday morning still hasn't come back up.

Yahoo is a lot more valuable in the eyes of Madison Avenue than it is in the eyes of Wall Street, thanks to an important but oft-forgotten point in the debate over how old and stodgy the traditional portal model might be: Size still matters. "Advertisers are looking at where's the traffic, volume and value is today. And today is very positive for advertisers at Yahoo," said Chris Moloney, chief marketing officer at Scottrade, which in August was the top online-ad spender, according to TNS Media Intelligence. "Google is considered to be the 800-pound gorilla of the internet but it doesn't have content the way Yahoo does. It receives a massive volume of traffic."

The messages (PDF, 6 pages) were disclosed in the class-action lawsuit over Microsoft's "Windows Vista Capable" logo program. Previous e-mails showed Intel overjoyed at Microsoft's decision to lower the requirements for the "Vista Capable" designation. The decision boosted the value of an older Intel chipset by qualifying it for the logo. But the move stunned HP, which had made a big investment in new technology based on its belief that Microsoft would stick to the higher requirements.

Nearly half of UK companies surveyed plan to increase spending on PR over the next 12 months, according to a new survey. The survey of UK businesses, conducted by research company Shape the Future, has highlighted the most frequent areas of marketing spend predicted by businesses over the next 12 months. These were identified as websites (58.9 percent) and PR (42.5 percent).

Marketers taught to us amplify our wants, since needs aren't a particularly profitable niche for them. Isn't it interesting that we don't even have a word for these marketing-induced non-needs? No word for sold-hungry or sold-lonely
Thirsty? Well, Coke doesn't satisfy thirst nearly as well as water does. What Coke does do is satisfy our need for connection or sugar or brand fun or consumption or Americana or remembering summer days by the creek.
If you truly believe in what you sell, that's where you need to be, creating wants that become needs. And if you're a consumer (or a business that consumers) it might be time to look at what you've been sold as a need that's actually a want.

By now, most brands and businesses have bid on their search branded keywords and any words even remotely related to their product. But the next phase of keyword bidding has just begun. Try mentioning "camping" in your facebook status and you'll see ads for weeks about camping social networks and camping gear.

Online auction site eBay has banned the resale of tickets for the inauguration of Barack Obama as US president. Some 240,000 tickets for the ceremony are to be handed out to the public for free by members of Congress.

An exclusive photographic portfolio of 30 of the most influential people working in advertising, marketing and media today.

Murdoch, the Australian-born chairman and chief executive of News Corp., said in a speech broadcast Sunday titled "The Future of Newspapers: Moving Beyond Dead Trees" that the Internet offered opportunities as well as challenges and that newspapers would always be around in some form or other. He said people now were "hungrier for information that ever before" and that papers have an edge over bloggers and other newcomers because they are more trusted by readers. "Readers want what they've always wanted: a source they can trust," Murdoch said. "That has always been the role of great newspapers in the past. And that role will make newspapers great in the future." Listen to the speech at

An overwhelming majority (89%) of all kids age 6-11 in the US spend at least some time doing online activities and — though few basic social activities have changed much over the years — they have vastly different communication styles and preferences than older age groups, according to a study from Experian Consumer Research, MarketingCharts reports.

While some sectors in the economy are struggling, 24/7 Real Media brings some much needed good news. They are the fastest growing top ten ad network in the six months ending October 2008, according to the comScore Media Metrix report. 24/7 grew by 36% and now reaches 135 million unique users. That's 71% of U.S. internet users.

A British woman is divorcing her husband after discovering his online alter-ego was having an affair with a virtual woman in the fantasy world of Second Life, media reported on Friday. Amy Taylor, 28, said her three-year marriage to David Pollard, 40, came to an end when she twice walked in on him watching his online character, Dave Barmy, having sex with other virtual women.

PR Newswire, the New York-based provider of electronic press release distribution, targeting, measurement and broadcast services, announced on Monday that it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Xinhua Finance, a corporate announcement distribution service in China. The deal also includes Xinhua Finance's corporate announcement businesses in Hong Kong, Singapore and Taiwan.


Microsoft 0% financing - AMD new CEO - Design ideas from Online newspapers - Walmart good Q - Facebook phone - Web Neutrality bill - Obama's weekly Youtube update

Microsoft Offers 0% Financing On Business Software Purchases
Microsoft announced Thursday that it's offering 0% financing for 36 months to all new customers of its Dynamics enterprise resource management and customer-relationship management software that spend between $20,000 and $1 million on licenses. The offer is good until March 20 for businesses in Australia, Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Spain, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States, and covers all five of Microsoft's ERP platforms.

AMD Names New CEO

Ruiz will become executive chairman of the chipmaker and chairman of the board. The announcement came as AMD, which has struggled against its larger rival Intel, reported a second-quarter loss of $1.19 billion, or nearly double the loss reported during the same period a year ago. Revenue for the quarter, however, was slightly higher, rising to $1.35 billion from $1.31 billion a year ago. Shortly after reporting its seventh consecutive quarterly loss, Advanced Micro Devices (NYSE: AMD) on Thursday said it has replaced chief executive Hector Ruiz with president and chief operating officer Dirk Meyer.

Looking To Online Newspapers For Design Tips
It can be easy to fall into the trap of focusing so much on content management tools that you end up forgetting that they don't mean much of anything without good site design. Smashing Magazine this week published a great piece on newspaper Web sites that serves as a strong reminder of that very point. The article, titled Newspaper Website Design: Trends And Examples, goes into great detail dissecting many of the most popular content-driven sites, both online newspaper sites with companion print editions and online-only sites with heavy content volume (The Huffington Post, among others). The article also examines some of the key design elements, such as navigation, page layout, and placement of advertisements, that can make a site easy to read and navigate, or a chore to slog through.

Wal-Mart Turns In Solid Quarter, Predicts Happy Holidays
"We are very pleased with our results this quarter," Lee Scott, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. president and CEO, said in a conference call. "Despite economic difficulties around the world, we achieved solid sales and earnings growth, and we are optimistic about the upcoming holidays. At a time when our customer is feeling the pressure of a tough economy, Wal-Mart's price leadership is more important than ever." While it's no secret that consumers are looking for stores that can save them money, Wal-Mart Stores' latest results offer plenty of additional evidence. The Bentonville, Ark.-based retailer says sales for the third quarter jumped 7.5% to $97.6 billion, while income from continuing operations gained 6.6% to $3.03 billion. And its comparable-store sales gained 2.7% in the quarter, excluding gasoline sales, while its Sam's Club division gained 4.5%.

New 'Facebook Phone' Aims To Undercut Rivals On Price
In a bid to increase the amount of data its customers consume, Three UK launched its so-called "Facebook Phone" today, which Britain's smallest carrier and its handset partner INQ Mobile are calling the world's first social mobile phone. While the handset--the INQ1-- does give consumers one-click access to Facebook and live updates pushed direct to the front screen of the handset, the real story is the pricing of the phone. The phone is free on an 18-month contract tariff of £15 a month ($22), which includes unlimited free Facebook, Skype, Windows Live Messenger and up to 1 GB of web access, unlimited emails, unlimited texting, and unlimited calls to other Three customers, plus 75 minutes of talk time to other networks. For an additional £5 ($7) more a month, talk time to other networks bumps up to 200 minutes. For pre-paid users the phone costs £79.99 ($119), plus they will need to pay at least £5 ($7) a month on internet access.

Yahoo! debuts voice search for mobiles

Yahoo! has launched a new service that lets mobile users search the web using voice commands. Yahoo!'s 'oneSearch' service is designed to allow users to conduct searches more quickly than entering text. For example, a search query like 'Arsenal' returns a rich set of results highlighting the latest results and schedules, breaking news, team profiles, images, and Web links.

IAB intros code of practice for online vouchers

The Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB) and its affiliate marketing council (AMC) have established a code of best practice for the use of online Voucher Codes. To come into effect on 1 January 2009, the Code has been created in response to a growing need for stricter guidelines in the area, and following reports that some voucher code sites are not adhering to best practice and are putting brands' affiliate campaigns at risk.

Lawmaker plans bill on Web neutrality

A senior U.S. lawmaker plans to introduce a bill in January that would bar Internet providers like AT&T Inc from blocking Web content, setting up a renewed battle over so-called network neutrality. Sen. Byron Dorgan, a North Dakota Democrat, believes a law is essential to prevent telephone and cable companies from discriminating against Internet content, even though regulators have taken actions to enforce free Web principles, a top Dorgan aide said on Thursday.

Obama to Post Weekly Presidential Address on YouTube

In a presidential first, President-elect Barack Obama has announced plans to syndicate his weekly address to the country on Google's (NASD: GOOG) YouTube video site. "President-elect Obama will continue to record and make available the Democratic radio addresses on video when he is in the White House," according a Friday statement issued by Obama and Vice President-elect Joe Biden's transition project, Wired reported. "No President-elect or President has ever turned the radio address into a multi-media opportunity before."

European debut for '$100 laptop'

The One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) organisation is planning to sell the devices via online store Amazon's European outlets from 17 November. The machines will be sold under the Give One, Get One scheme that the OLPC organisation has already run in the US. Under that scheme, buyers get one machine for themselves and the other is donated to a school child in a developing nation.

Compete: Google Docs & Spreadsheets Keeps Growing, But User Engagment is Flat

while there has been a lot of talk about online office suites, the latest data from Compete indicates that Google Docs & Spreadsheets is still mostly attracting casual users who don't spend a lot of time with the service. Also, one of the most interesting data points in the Compete study is that only about 58% of unique visitors to Docs & Spreadsheets actually used one of the available apps after visiting the site. A large number of users never makes it past the marketing pages. Overall, traffic to Google Docs grew 158% in the past 12 months. In September 2008, Docs & Spreadsheets reached around 4.4 million users. This, according to Compete, represents 2.4% of the U.S. adult online population.


Lonely planet to share ad rev with Bloggers - Google's on demand indexing - Google Insights -Live photos - Playboy to launch mobile series - IE mobile - Vespa revamps site as scooter demand ups in US - IBM plans broadband over power lines,

Dov Charney, the controversial CEO of hip retailer American Apparel, held staff meetings while "completely naked" and "paraded in the workplace in his underwear," according to a sensational wrongful termination lawsuit filed last week by a former IT support worker at the company. Ex-staffer Roberto Hernandez also charged that Charney tried to enlist his cooperation in a scheme to defraud investors by manipulating American Apparel's inventory records.

IBM said Wednesday that it has struck a $9.6 million deal with International Broadband Electric Communications under which it will deploy high-speed Internet service that runs over powerlines in rural U.S. markets underserved by traditional broadband technology. IBM will use IBEC's broadband over powerline (BPL) equipment to roll out BPL service to customers of electrical cooperatives that provide electricity for much of rural America. "Americans in rural areas of the country trail their urban and suburban counterparts in broadband availability," IBEC CEO Scott Lee said in a statement. "This capability will play a crucial role in rural health, education, and economic development, while closing the digital divide that exists between well served and underserved America."

Piaggio Group's Vespa scooter brand will launch a new U.S. Web site on Friday that takes what had been a static site with little sound and motion to an animated one with several themes, and a richer look and feel. To some extent, Vespa sales have been inverse to the automotive industry's, especially mid-year when gas prices spiked. But September was the company's best ever in the U.S.

Internet Explorer Mobile 6
Internet Explorer Mobile 6 will be available soon on new Windows Mobile devices, and will provide an experience that more closely resembles desktop browsing. Some of the features include: improved fidelity for full desktop rendering; text wrapping to accommodate a mobile screen, Flash Lite support, touch and gesture support, and multiple zoom levels.

imagePlayboy is gearing up to launch its first made-for-mobile series called "Interns,". Swan Haus Media, the company that produced and directed the series, showed 4 minute clips to students at NYU and USC, and will now use their opinions to edit down them down to 90-second clips. The first series will have six episodes. The unscripted series was shot much like a reality TV project in Playboy's New York City offices, Central Park and elsewhere. Some of the episodes feature product placements that even integrate into the storyline at times. No word yet on where Playboy will be distributing the content, but a marketing blitz is set to launch early next week.

Microsoft today announced a new photo sharing product, Microsoft Live Photos, which integrates very nicely with Microsoft's Windows Live Photo Gallery desktop photo application, and is yet another product in the long list of Windows Live services that Microsoft introduced today. In many respects, Live Photos clearly competes directly with Yahoo's Flickr, though while it has a lot of Flickr's features, its focus is more on sharing pictures with a small group of friends or family than with the whole Internet.

Nielsen Co. and IMMI Friday shut down their recently launched out-of-home TV viewing measurement service. The service, which was launched with much fanfare earlier this year, was created to fill a long-standing void in the TV marketplace for accurate measurement of viewing that takes place outside of Nielsen's traditional in-home TV measurement panels. Despite demand from some high-profile networks, especially sports-oriented programmers like ESPN and Turner Sports, and a commitment from Publicis' Zenith Media unit to use the new service, Nielsen and IMMI said they were suspending the service due to economic concerns.

J.D. Power has been able to provide automakers with a lot of information that helped them during the launch and pre-launch periods, but it needed a tool that gave a more "real-time" quality to its Launch Assurance Program. "We needed to come up with a real-time synopsis of what was going on in the marketplace," said Sands. One way of taking that marketplace pulse is to see what people are searching for on the Internet. And since Google remains the king of Web searching, there is obvious value in knowing details about the activities of prospective auto buyers conducting Google searches. J.D. Power didn't need to spend a dime to attain the search trend insights it wanted. It merely began using Google's still-in-beta trend tool Insights for Search, said Sands.

Best known for its professional travel writing, BBC Worldwide's Lonely Planet plans to republish online reviews penned by amateur travel bloggers - and will pay the authors via a revenue sharing agreement. The scheme, codenamed BlogSherpa as a working title, will begin in February and was revealed by Lonely Planet's online innovation ecosystem manager Matthew Cashmore at the Swn interactive seminar in Cardiff on Thursday.

Microsoft's portal will change significantly this evening. No longer will it be a simple search engine with a few other services bolted on. It's now a social network, too, pulling in activity information and content from around the web. They're also launching Windows Live Photos and Windows Live People, and other services. Check it out at . Users are automatically connected with any friends they have on Windows Live Messenger, which is by far the most popular instant messaging service worldwide (Comscore: Microsoft Messenger has 268 million worldwide users, compared to 116 million for Yahoo and 6 million for Google Talk). But I wonder what they are doing with so many urls. You have,, It's all a bit confusing.

Google says "It covers around a dozen common areas that webmasters might consider optimizing. We felt that these areas (like improving title and description meta tags, URL structure, site navigation, content creation, anchor text, and more) would apply to webmasters of all experience levels and sites of all sizes and types. Throughout the guide, we also worked in many illustrations, pitfalls to avoid, and links to other resources that help expand our explanation of the topics. We plan on updating the guide at regular intervals with new optimization suggestions and to keep the technical advice current"

In a further bid to attract and maintain customers of its business search service, Google announced a free upgrade to its Site Search offering today that it said would help customers keep their search results fresher and more useful. Google Site Search, or GSS, is the hosted, or cloud-based version, of the Internet giant's search engine. Its latest addition, which goes live today, is an "Index Now" button that enables customers to get their search results re-indexed, so that searchers retrieve the freshest results.


How Google got its logo, Gmail gets video chat, Google Flu trends, howstuffworks on tv, Dell CMO fired, Yahoo Pop, Carpooling site fined,

On Tuesday, Google plans to launch a Web browser plug-in that will allow Gmail users to conduct video and voice chat sessions with other suitably equipped members of the Gmail tribe. The plug-in requires an Intel-based computer running Mac OS X or a computer running Windows XP or Vista, a Webcam, and/or a microphone. It works with browsers that support the current version of Gmail: Chrome, Firefox 2.0+, Internet Explorer 7.0, and Safari 3.0. There are no specific plans for a Linux-based plug-in at the moment.

Microsoft would share revenue with Verizon from ads shown in response to cellphone Web searches, with guaranteed payments to the carrier of approximately $550 million to $650 million over five years, or roughly twice what Google offered, these people said.

Google Flu Trends: A Glimpse into the Future of Google Health
When Google started looking more closely at anonymous aggregate searches for "flu symptoms" and the like, they discovered that - after cross-referencing that data against information from the Center for Disease Control - they had the ability to predict flu outbreaks by monitoring search patterns. And now, they've published their findings as Google Flu Trends.

Online money management service Wesabe and the UK newspaper giant The Telegraph have entered a partnership to offer co-branded tools on the Telegraph website. It's a daring move, we can't help but admire it. We can't help but wonder how users will feel about it too, though.

The AP Entertainment channel featured on the Virgin deck offers coverage of the music, film and TV industries along with celebrity news and gossip, while the "Can You Believe It?" site focuses on bizarre stories from around the world. The partnership includes an ad revenue-sharing agreement. The pair of new sites will also serve as gateways to AP's Mobile News Network, which drew more than 26 million page views in September.

We all know daily newspapers throughout the country are approaching extinction, due to increased operating costs and losses in circulation, ad money and staff. What we don't know is the TV angle of the story. Without newspapers, from where will local TV newscasts procure the news they report? Most local newscasts take much of their hard news from newspapers. The freshest news that local TV newscasts now provide are weather forecasts. In recent years, the hiring of aggressive reporters by local TV news departments has became optional, surpassed by the importance of looking good on camera. Thus, the decline of newspaper content is likely to mean a big decline in local TV news as well

Some of the crystal-ball gazing that took place tonight at the WTIA's annual predictions dinner. Matt McIlwain of Madrona Venture Group, Mark Anderson of Strategic News Service, Ben Elowitz of Wetpaint and Kelly Smith of Curious Office Partners shared their insights on where they think the tech industry is headed in 2009.

Discovery is taking its property to television, creating a new show based on the site. The new series, Howstuffworks, will follow the lengths people go through to extract ingredients from the earth, such as corn, salt, iron and water, and then the process of turning those raw materials into objects we see and use every day.

A commenter on the Tribble Agency blog wrote, "Casey's grand illusion of creating his own agency, while being a client, proved to be another of his hare brained schemes. His own ego put him in the same planet as Sorell. I'm sure it will all start to unravel as other WPP units have engaged directly with Dell to save the day."

They've launched Yahoo Pop, a new Spanish-language site that ranks the ten most popular searches by day, month and category and shows pictures associated with each search. The site is available for U.S. Hispanics, Mexico and Argentina.

The bus companies freaked and sued under an Ontario law that limits carpoolers to traveling only from home to work and back, riding with the same driver every day and paying only by the week, among other restrictions. This is despite the fact that the government has spent "billions" in carpooling lanes. Anyway, the court case was decided and PickupPal lost. They were fined CA$11,000 and forced to keep that despicable carpooling activity within the strict limits of the law:

Ruth Kedar, the graphic designer who developed the now-famous logo, shows the iterations that led to the instantly recognizable primary colors and Catull typeface that define the Google brand.

Google has added a new twist to its popular 3D map tool, Google Earth, offering millions of users the chance to visit a virtual ancient Rome. Google has reconstructed the sprawling city - inhabited by more than one million people as long ago as AD320. Users can zoom around the map to visit the Forum of Julius Caesar, stand in the centre of the Colosseum or swoop over the Basilica.