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 Live.com 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 home.live.com . 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 live.com, windowslive.com, home.live.com. 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.


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