Chain of fools: cuffed escapees' run in with pole

Chain of fools: cuffed escapees' run in with pole

Dilbert does branded entertainment

Profit Leaps 20% At 'Financial Times' Parent

Pearson Plc, the publisher of the Financial Times newspaper, said earnings excluding some items rose about 20 percent in 2008, exceeding analyst estimates, helped by demand for education offerings.

Poland’s supermarket chain Biedronka to launch an MVNO soon

Biedronka will sell SIM cards and prepaid cards under the tuBiedronka brand using infrastructure owned by PTC, operator of the Era GSM and Heyah mobile services. A low pricing strategy is expected to be the MVNO service's main selling point. The service will cost zł.7.99 to launch, with the cost per minute for a connection to most operators amounting to zł.0.33. The firm's tuBiedronka numbers will begin with 727 and the monthly cost of maintaining the number will be zł.0.6. 

The Facebook community connects in real-time during's Inauguration Day coverage. enhanced its live Inauguration Day coverage by integrating Facebook features into an altered feed of its broadcast, debuting an impactful new way to interact with big media content. The Facebook status part of the collaboration appears as a sidebar on the live page and lets members update their status and comment in real-time. The tool, which has been live since the beginning of the day, has currently logged over a million status updates according to company figures. Additionally, Facebook reports that there were an average of 4,000 status updates every minute during the actual broadcast of President Obama's inauguration and 8,500 updates the minute he began his speech.

President Obama Gives a Makeover

The official website of the president,, experienced a dramatic makeover at 12 P.M. ET today, just as Barack Obama was being sworn in and giving his inauguration speech. The redesign features some of the same interactive elements that were present on Obama's campaign website, including a place where people can sign up for email updates from the President and his administration, an "Agenda" section that lists the administration's positions on major issues, and a new White House blog.

Windows worm numbers 'skyrocket'

Infections of a worm that spreads through low security networks, memory sticks, and PCs without the latest security updates is "skyrocketing". The malicious program, known as Conficker, Downadup, or Kido was first discovered in October 2008. Anti-virus firm F-Secure estimates there are now 8.9m machines infected. 

Microsoft Rolls Out Live Search News Alerts Service

The service is analogous to Google News Alert; that lets users select only those news stories which are related to your search term. But unlike Google News Alert, Live Search's news delivery service empowers you to choose top headlines or subject-specific news headlines.

'NYT' Seek Rescue by Mexican Mogul

The embattled New York Times Co. is talking to Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim about making a sizable cash investment in the company. In September, Slim bought a 6.4% stake in the Times Co., owner of The New York Times and several other papers, for about $118 million. Now he is interested in gaining a larger share of the company. The 68-year-old telecommunications tycoon is discussing a large purchase of preferred shares. These shares would carry no voting rights, but pay a dividend. The move can be nixed by the Sulzberger family, including publisher Arthur Sulzberger. 

State of Innovation in India: 2009,, slideshare,...

Can CNN, the Go-to Site, Get You to Stay?

While traffic to the home page of is higher than ever, "my hunch is that people go to it more out of habit than they do out of love," he says. Love, in fact, is exactly what Mr. Estenson is pursuing. As newspaper revenue collapses and television revenue stagnates, every media company is rushing to reformat news for the digital generation. To that end, they are placing expensive bets in the hope of answering two pointed questions: How will news organizations continue to sustain themselves? And what will the digital newsroom of the future look like?

Nokia's music service set for Australia, Singapore

Nokia, the world's top mobile phone maker, plans to roll out its unlimited music service in Australia and Singapore later this quarter and is eyeing further expansion in Europe and the United States. Tero Ojanpera, the head of entertainment and communities at Nokia, told the MidemNet annual digital music gathering in Cannes, France, that the rollout would continue following a good experience in Britain. 

Pope launches Youtube channel

The Vatican will soon have its own channel on the video sharing site YouTube where the Catholic faithful or the curious will be able to see Pope Benedict or Church events, a Vatican source said on Saturday. The details of the accord are due to be presented on Friday at a news conference attended by Vatican officials as well as Henrique de Castro, managing director of media solutions for Google, which owns YouTube.

Al Jazeera launches mobile website

In addition to increasing its international presence, Al Jazeera has announced that it has launched a mobile news site.  Most recently, Al Jazeera released video coverage of the events taking place in the Gaza Strip for free because it is one of the only news organizations currently allowed in Gaza.

Apple’s Jobs Said to Be Considering Liver Transplant

Apple's Jobs Said to Be Considering Liver Transplant 
Apple Inc. Chief Executive Officer Steve Jobs is considering a liver transplant as a result of complications after treatment for pancreatic cancer in 2004, according to people who are monitoring his illness. Patients with Jobs's condition can survive for 20 years or more from the time of their original cancer diagnosis, and the surgery often gives good results, said Steven Brower, professor and chairman of surgery at Mercer University School of Medicine in Savannah, Georgia. Brower hasn't treated Jobs and doesn't know details of his condition.     

Three million hit by Windows worm

A worm that spreads through low security networks, memory sticks, and PCs without the latest security updates is posing a growing threat to users. The malicious program, known as Conficker, Downadup, or Kido was first discovered in October 2008. Although Microsoft released a patch, it has gone on to infect 3.5m machines. 

How iPhone is changing porn

Sex video makers and distributors are evolving with the technology times, catering to customers seeking satisfaction on smartphones, Blu-ray players, and Internet television. Digital Playground, which is credited with producing the first high-definition adult film five years ago, has a website devoted exclusively to Apple's hot iPhone and offers free trailer "podcasts" for iPods.

YouTube Invades The TV Through Sony PS3, Nintendo Wii

Boob Tube watchers can now enjoy watching YouTube right in your living room on your big-screen television. YouTube on Thursday introduced YouTube for Television, a section of the site with a new user interface designed for easier viewing on TV screens. YouTube announced that it has with Sony and Nintendo to place YouTube for Television ( -- a link only accessible via a game console through the PlayStation 3 and Wii, respectively.

MySpace Secretly Developing Webmail Service

Back in the days when the internet was in its infancy, every next person was excited to have an e-mail address, but today the scenario has completely changed as nearly every tech company is looking out for the holy grail of new services, software, SaaS options or enterprise 2.0 solutions. Lately, MySpace has joined the crowd and is developing a fully functional webmail product, according to knowledgeable sources. The news sparked rumors that shortly, all MySpace users will be proud to own their very own email address [username]

Windows 7 'Incredibly Stable,' Intel Expert Says

The trial version of the next Windows operating system has won a key endorsement from a software expert at chipmaker Intel (NSDQ: INTC), a company that, despite being one of Microsoft (NSDQ: MSFT)'s closest partners, was so leery of Vista that at one point it banned the widely maligned OS from its corporate workstations. 
Windows 7 and companion OS Windows Server 2008, at least when it comes to the beta versions, are a whole different ball game from Vista, said Intel software developer Doug Holland, in a company blog post his week.  

New Yahoo CEO Could Make $19 Million Plus?

Yahoo will pay Bartz an annual base salary of $1 million, as well as a $10 million equity-and-cash payment to make up for benefits that she will forfeit from her previous employer Autodesk Inc, according to its filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Who is Carol Bartz? Yahoo's New Sheriff

Two days after taking the job of CEO of AutoDesk, Carol Bartz was diagnosed with breast cancer. She missed one month for surgery and chemo, returned to work, and proceeded to whip an aimless, undisciplined company into shape. Two days after taking the job of CEO of Yahoo, Bartz reportedly threatened to "dropkick to f*****g Mars" anyone whose gossip about the company ended up on the blogs, according to Valleywag. 

Sony Ericsson posts $247M loss amid drop in sales

Sony Ericsson posted a $246 million loss for the fourth quarter, down from a profit of $495 million in the year-ago period, as sales dropped amid weakening consumer demand during the economic recession. The joint venture between Japan's Sony and Sweden's Ericsson had net sales in the quarter of $3.86 billion, down from $5 billion in  fourth quarter 2007, and said it expects a weaker handset market in 2009, especially in the first half of the year.

Intel Profit Plunges 90% On Miserable Demand (INTC)

Anemic global demand for PCs is taking its toll on chip-maker Intel (INTC): The company reported today net income of $234 million, down 90% from a year earlier. EPS was 4 cents a share, in line with estimates. Revenue was $8.2 billion, down 23 percent, also in line.

Italian newspapers form online ad alliance

Italy's two biggest newspaper firms have formed an online advertising consortium in a bid to counter flagging print ad revenues. Together RCS and l'Espresso give advertisers access to 40 percent of the online advertising audience in Italy, according to Audiweb Netview, they said in a joint statement on Tuesday. The 'Premium Publisher Network' will launch during the summer 2009. It will use a performance-based model thatcharges advertisers related to readership levels. 

Investors Could Sue Apple Over Jobs' Health

Investors are seeing red about the about-face they got regarding the CEO's health inside of a week. Analysts and investors complained that Apple was slow to disclose Jobs' true medical status and to form a succession plan after his 2004 cancer treatment because of his crucial role in vetting the company's forward-looking designs. " 

Apple's Jobs Could Be Facing Major Surgery

Bloomberg News that there's a good chance he's suffering from a side effect of the Whipple operation he underwent in 2004, in which parts of his pancreas, bile duct and small intestine were removed. The operation can cause a pancreatic leak, which means the pancreas must then be removed, and the patient has to be kept alive with insulin to regulate the blood sugar.

The Deal That Could Have Saved Nortel

How concerns over cyberspying stalled a deal with Chinese vendor Huawei.

Sony Ericsson employee steals prototype phones

Prototype versions of Sony Ericsson phones were found in the home of a Swedish employee of the company, and were believed to have been stolen, according to Swedish police. The phones, which are worth around $90,000, were stolen sometime during the night between this past Monday and Tuesday, according to the police. The police received information pointing to the employee yesterday.

Facebook Blows A Whopper Of An Opportunity

Burger King, through their insanely creative advertising agency Crispin Porter + Bogusky (see their recent Burger King perfume launch), launches a Facebook application that encourages users to remove Facebook friends. Sacrifice ten of them and you got a free Whopper. 233,906 friends were removed by 82,771 people in less than a week. Facebook is overjoyed, right? What a great example to show the Madison Avenue agencies on how a big brand can get real engagement from users. This is the future of advertising. Or it could have been, if Facebook hadn't shut it down, citing privacy issues.

How Warner Music Killed Facebook Music

Facebook's ongoing effort to launch a free streaming music service is stalled, according to multiple sources familiar with the situation. The company was close to a deal that would bring free streaming music from three of the four big labels (Universal, Sony, EMI) through the Total Music joint venture. But the deal stalled when the lone holdout, Warner Music, refused to participate.

Gmail Grew 43 Percent Last Year. AOL Mail And Hotmail Need To Start Worrying

According to the latest stats, the number of people visiting Gmail grew 43 percent last year to 29.6 million. In contrast, the much more massive Yahoo Mail grew 11 percent to 91.9 million uniques. AOL Mail finished in second place for the year with 46.6 million uniques (plus another 7.2 million visitors to AIM Mail), while Hotmail actually declined 5 percent to 43.5 million.

Google Cuts Jobs, Kills Products

Now the recession is really serious: Google announced job cuts to 100 Googlers for the first time ever on Wednesday, as well as the closing of a variety of products, including Google Catalog Search, Google Notebook, Dodgeball, the microblogging service Jaiku Google Mashup Editor, and an end to video uploads on Google Video.

Sue Decker's Yahoo legacy - WSJ

Her exit caps more than a year of stumbles, during which Ms. Decker -- a well-regarded finance whiz and strategist -- failed to execute her plans. Among other things, she planned multiple reorganizations and growth strategies to get Yahoo back on track, only to see few of the initiatives bear fruit. 

Yahoo drops European AdSense rival

Yahoo has pulled the plug on its Content Match ad system in Europe. The contextual ad system let publishers place Yahoo-selected ads on their sites, and share revenue with Yahoo for the resultant clickthroughs generated.

Internet Usage In China Still Booming

The government-related information center CNNIC (China Internet Network Information Center) claims the nation's online population has grown 41.9% in 2008 to an astounding 298 million users, reports the BBC.

Skype Legend Morten Lund Bankrupted By Newspaper

Morten Lund, an entrepreneur from Copenhagen, Denmark, might just be the real Rock-'n Roll entrepreneur. Yesterday he was declared personally bankrupt by the Copenhagen Maritime and Commercial Court after losing 10M Krona in an investment into a Danish newspaper, Nyhedsavisen, which went badly wrong.

The Internet's Godfather

Sun Microsystems used to like to boast that it "put the dot in dot-com." But it turns out that Sun's co-founder, Scott McNealy, is really at the root of it all. Both Carol Bartz, named on Tuesday as head of Yahoo! , and Eric Schmidt, chief executive of Google spent formative years working closely with McNealy at Sun. 

Yahoo's Sue Decker to resign

Yahoo Inc. confirmed late yesterday that Silicon Valley's Autodesk Inc Chairman Carol Bartz, who is best regarded as a no-nonsense female executive in business, took over the crumbling wheels of Yahoo! on Tuesday. President Sue Decker -- who had been considered by many to be in line for the top job -- will resign after a transitional period.

Yahoo's Right Media Accused Of Offering Deceptive Ads

Right Media online ad market offers ads designed to deceive, according to Harvard assistant professor and spyware researcher Benjamin Edelman. Right Media, acquired by Yahoo in 2007, is a marketplace for unsold ad space, remnant inventory that Edelman characterizes as less desirable. 

Nortel files for bankruptcy, shares plunge

Nortel Networks Corp, North America's biggest telephone equipment maker, filed for bankruptcy on Wednesday, hoping to save a once highflying business whose decade-long decline has accelerated with the global economic crisis.

Jobs shocker - Goes on medical leave for 6 months

A shock revelation that Apple chief and tech icon Steve Jobs will take a medical leave sends shivers through investors.  

Yahoo has named Silicon Valley veteran Carol Bartz as its new chief executive.

Carol Bartz, who is known as one of the most powerful female executives in business, has been described as a "safe pick" for the chief executive post at Yahoo. The 60-year-old former boss of design-software-maker Autodesk is also regarded as a "tough operator" who faces a host of challenges to turn the internet portal around. Also read why she is a safe pick 

Average Search CPC Data by Category for December 2008

U.S. Average Search CPC by Category, November and December, 2008
CategoryCPC December ($) CPC November ($)Change (%)
Automotive 0.500.484
Insurance11.8811.61 2
Mortgage1.472.23 -34
Retail0.51 0.494
Total finance 1.451.67-13
Travel 0.600.61-2
Source: Efficient   Frontier 2009

Flight searches down 42% on last year

Change in searches for flights to different geographical areas between 05/01/08 and 03/01/09:
    *      USA: -52.2%
    *      Eurozone:-44.8%
    *      Global average: -42.4%
    *      Rest of the world: -34.4%
    *      UK Domestic: -32.7%

Commission Junction launches affiliate marketing blog

ValueClick's Commission Junction has launched a blog for the affiliate marketing industry. The blog, at, marks the firm's entry into the social networking space, and will provide UK-based affiliates, agencies and advertisers with information and industry insight on a number of issues, along with event updates and team changes. 

Cybergeeks Trying to Save the 'NYT'

Even as the financial pages write The New York Times' obit, something hopeful, "a kind of evolution," has been going on at the paper. A variety of new features have popped up on the newspaper's Web site, such as video, audio and "drillable" graphics. It is a reinvention of the Times voice, shattering the omniscient God-tones in which the paper had always grounded its coverage. The online features tug the reader closer through comments and interactivity, rendering the relationship between reporter and audience more intimate, immediate and exposed.

Disney Focuses on Boys

Walt Disney Co. is making a push to crack a market that few media companies have been able to conquer -- boys aged 6-14. Next month, the company will launch a boy-focused entertainment brand called Disney XD, consisting of a new cable television channel, a comprehensive Web site with games, music, videos and social networking.

Yahoo to bring web to TVs

Yahoo has revealed the technology partners it is working with to bring its online web and video services to a new generation of high definition TVs, opening up a new avenue for advertisers in the process.Yahoo has struck deals with Samsung LG Electronics, Sony and Vizio, which will make high-definition TVs that support Yahoo's online service.

Is The Rising Popularity Of The iPod Touch Cutting Into iPhone Sales?

Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers partner Matt Murphy, who manages its $100 million iFund for App Store developers, told BusinessWeek that aside from the Touch becoming a "legitimate gaming platform," young people are using it for social networking and other applications. He added that for some people, "it's becoming a computer replacement."

Christmas Day: 3.8m Brits spent £102m online

Christmas Day itself is now a favourite online shopping day with consumers and retailers alike.  3.8 million people bought goods online on Christmas Day 2008 and spent a total of £102 million, which is 21% more than last year.  This works out as an average of £26.8 per shopper, compared with £19.09 per shopper last year. 

UK print ads more effective than online- survey

Brits pay more attention to ads in magazines and newspapers than any type of ads on the internet, according to a new survey by Deloitte.

Virgin wants to bed Playboy

Virgin Mobile could give its punters access to soft core porn if negotiations with Playboy prove successful.

NYPD wants to jam mobile mobile phones in case of a terrorist attack

This comes after revelations that gunmen in Mumbai, India received electronic transmissions during their killing spree in November. Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly raised the possibility at a recent Senate hearing, but also noted there were technological hurdles to shutting down cellular service in a narrow location, like a hotel or movie theater.

Diginews - Carol Bartz new yahoo ceo? - Itable! - Britney hiring Online Media manager - Do it yourself 3d movies at home - Windows 7 Beta


They've essentially taken the idea behind the Microsoft Surface and have done it better in every way. It's cheaper, it's gorgeous, and perhaps most notably, it's not a hulking monster.

At CES, two firms have been showing off ways for home users to make and share their own 3D films. One is a webcam with two lenses that mimics human sight and turns the images it captures into 3D footage. Another firm is producing software that it hopes will make it far easier for home users to show 3D movies on many different types of screen. 

If you've been struggling to download the Windows 7 Beta, here's a reprieve: Microsoft is removing the previous limit of 2.5 million downloads and saying that the initial beta release of the new operating system will instead be available for the next two weeks, even if that number is exceeded.

Want to manage Britney Spears' online persona? She's on YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, MySpace and other sites, and somebody (not her of course) has to do all the hard work of posting and responding to content. That's where you come in. If you went to Harvard, that is. Brandcasting Unlimited, Britney's online manager, posted the job listing below for "Britney Spears 2.0 Media Manager" yesterday on a Harvard-only private job board. Among the not-so-tough job requirements: you must be "addicted to social networks such as MySpace and Facebook."

The Wall Street Journal today is reporting that a new Yahoo! CEO could be named as early as next week. Lately, the buzz has surrounded Autodesk executive chairman Carol Bartz. Bartz previously was CEO of Autodesk from 1992 to 2006. She has also been an executive at Sun Microsystems. She serves on the board of Cisco with current Yahoo! CEO Jerry Yang and on the Intel board with current Yahoo! President Susan Decker.

KPN will offer mobile services as an MVNO (Mobile Virtual Network Operator) to French consumers by piggybacking on the network of local carrier Bouygues Telecom. The French offering will be a no frills, online only distribution model and will be branded as Simyo. Calls are priced at Eur0.19 per minute to all fixed and mobile networks 24 hours a day.

Diginews - MS, Verizon deal - Facebook 150mn users - NYT Front page rate $100k - Babycenter shuts online store - 12inch netbooks, Intel unhappy


Computing magazine Which? recovered 22,000 "deleted" files from eight computers purchased on eBay. Criminals source old computers from internet auction sites or in rubbish tips, to find users valuable details. Freely available software can be used to recover files that users think they have permanently deleted. The only solution, according to Which?, is complete destruction - and it recommends using a hammer. 

Beating out rival Google, Microsoft announced a five-year deal with Verizon Wireless to be the default search provider on the wireless carrier's phones as well as handling mobile advertising services. This gives Microsoft a stronger position to challenge Google's commanding share of the mobile search market and make inroads into mobile advertising.

Facebook is starting off the new year with a bang. Today, the social network announced that it has reached the 150 million user mark. Members speak in 35 different languages and represent 170 countries and territories. But how many of those users are active? Facebook says half of them use the social network every day. That's remarkable.

The new ads running below the fold on the front page of The New York Times sell for $75,000 on weekdays and $100,000 on Sundays, the New York Post reports. The New York Times began selling advertising below the fold on its front page, with the first ad - for CBS - appearing on Monday. Though the Times would not disclose what it charges for the space, the Post cites "several ad buyers who asked to remain unnamed."

Nokia is asking operators to filter or block certain malicious SMS messages that can be sent to Symbian-based phones and used to block the phone from receiving further SMS or MMS messages, according to reports. The vulnerability, which has been dubbed the "Curse of Silence," affects Symbian phones running on S60 versions 2.6, 2.8, 3.0 and 3.1, was first reported in late December at a conference sponsored by the Chaos Computer Club.

Johnson & Johnson's is closing its online store today in an effort, the company says, to concentrate solely on digital media, including by going after more retail marketers as clients. The move gets J&J, which does the vast majority of its consumer-products business through other retailers, out of the online-retail business. But it wasn't concern over channel conflict or profitability of the store that dictated the decision, said Tina Sharkey, global chairman of BabyCenter.

On Wednesday, Cisco will kick off the Consumer Electronics Show here by announcing Eos, a hosted software platform that allows media and entertainment companies to create, manage and grow online communities. Through Eos Cisco has compiled technology tools and slapped on an easy to use interface to make building and customizing Web sites easy.

Despite the fact that Intel powers most of these devices with their new Atom chip that handles some PC chores well and uses a lot less power (so batteries are smaller and last longer). Intel sees Netbooks as devices for people who can't afford normal laptops, or as second devices. But it's clear that a lot of people are buying them instead of normal dual core machines, despite their very serious limitations. Every Netbook sold is one less Dual Core that Intel can sell at a higher price and higher margin.

Diginews - Apple to end DRM on Ipod - Obama's twitter account hacked - Leo Burnett settles suit for $15.5mn - Slate inspired French site


Apple Inc has agreed to start selling digital songs from its iTunes store without copy protection software. At present, most music downloaded from Apple's iTunes store can only be played through an iTunes interface or iPod. 

Through an update to their terms and conditions, Yahoo gives itself permission to hijack your search marketing campaigns. Check out the new language:

Barack's account was one of 33 hacked, according to the Twitter blog.

Leo Burnett will pay $15.5 million to settle allegations that it overbilled the U.S. Army for work on its "Army of One" campaign, the Justice Department announced today. The suit was a result of whistle-blowing by two former Burnett employees. Among the allegations in the lawsuit, filed in 2004: Burnett was treating the work of its own internet unit as if it was performed by a third-party contractor, as well as inflating the costs of subcontractors it worked with, in order to increase its profits.

Jean-Marie Colombani, ex-director of French newspaper Le Monde, is launching a France-based online magazine modeled after Slate.comMicrosoft launched Slate — now a Washington Post property — in 1996. Best known for its irreverent political editorials, it parented a business news spin-off, The Big Money, in fall 2008.

Diginews - Jobs admits poor health - Front page ad debuts on NYT - China cracks down on vulgar sites - wiki raises $6mn - Phishing hits twitter - drop in Online holiday sales - USA Today on Kindle -


Apple's Jobs admits poor health 
Apple chief executive Steve Jobs is being treated for a "hormone imbalance" but is staying on as the firm's head. In a statement, Mr Jobs said he had been suffering from ill health for a number of months and had been losing weight throughout 2008. 

China, the world's biggest Internet market by users, today announced nationwide plans to initiate a major crackdown against popular websites, including singling out the dominant search engines Google and Baidu, which officials accused of spreading pornography and vulgarity

The Wikimedia Foundation has announced that it surpassed its $6 million fundraising goal to sustain the Wikipedia online encyclopedia. The organization said that it will use the $6.2 million raised so far -- with six months left in its fiscal 2008 fundraising campaign -- "to maintain and grow the Foundation's technical infrastructure, which includes managing global traffic for Wikipedia, the 4th most popular web property on the internet."

Google recently published a Browser Security Handbook and given that they are now in the browser space it is worth a read. It gives a good overview of how a browser works and then details security issues to be aware of, as well as some good advanced security issues. Perhaps if we were a little more aware of securing our browser we could avoid attracting those malware and other ghosts in the machine that reduce computer speed.

On Dec. 30, microblogging service Twitter hosted its first governmental press conference on behalf of Israel's Defense Forces — whose microblogging tag was @IsraelConsulate. Questions and answers were limited to 140 characters, the standard length of a Twitter message or "tweet." So even answers to the most complex questions — about which entire books have been written — had to be short and sweet, often colored with common text-messaging abbreviations.

E-commerce sales fell 3% this holiday season, marking the first drop since 2001, according to data released by comScore.The Web measurement firm attributed the falloff to five less shopping days in 2008 between Thanksgiving and Christmas and the impact of the recession on consumer spending. ComScore had predicted that sales from Nov. 1 to Dec. 23 would be flat to last year, at $26.3 billion. The total came in shy, at $25.5 billion. 

Gannett flagship USA Today is the latest paper to be sold through Amazon's Kindle. The top-selling U.S. paper is now available at the Kindle Store but Amazon told Kindle subscribers on Christmas morning that they'll be able to download the Dec. 26 edition for free. USA Today, which doesn't publish on holidays, only offers weekday editions so the first issue for sale will be Dec. 29.

Shaquille O Neal, Natalie Gulbis, 

Just a dozen years ago, newspapers on either side of Arlington, Texas, fought fiercely for every reader in the fast-growing city, spending millions of dollars to expand their staffs and cover the smallest meetings and sporting events. So it came as a surprise that The Dallas Morning News and the Fort Worth Star-Telegram started sharing photos and concert reviews in November.

Faced with a $400 million revolving credit agreement due in May and falling ad revenues, reports that the New York Times Company (NYSE: NYT) is getting serious about selling its 17.5 percent stake in New England Sports Ventures LLC. NYTCo is the second-largest shareholder in the holding company, which owns the Boston Red Sox, Fenway Park and 80 percent of New England Sports Network.

The New York Times (NYT) is already trying to mortgage its headquarters and unload assets like its stake in the Boston Red Sox So what's left to sell? The front page. Today's edition of the Times features the first display ad the paper has ever sold on its front page. Given that it's a historic move, the ad in question is a pretty dull piece of marketing: A modest little thing promoting programming at CBS. 

Diginews - Zune bug fixed - Facebook sues - Safari, Chrome, Firefox gain on IE

Many owners of 30GB Zune players found that the gadget froze up on the last day of 2008, thanks to a problem with software on the device. In other corners of the Web, the Great Zune Meltdown of 2008 continues to fuel technological satire. For example, the new Seattle-based site is holding a contest to create a new Zune slogan based on the incident. The prize for the winner: an iPod Nano. it was a clock glitch, related to the leap year, that caused the temporary worldwide meltdown of Microsoft's Zune 30 GB devices. But for anyone interested in even more detail than that, this post on ZuneBoards shows and explains what's purported to be the precise programming bug that caused the problem.

Ever since Google began scanning printed books four years ago, scholars and others with specialized interests have been able to tap a trove of information that had been locked away on the dusty shelves of libraries and in antiquarian bookstores.

The service lets users view activities on all of their social networks at once. It also marks up pages to include additional functionality in a way that Greasemonkey users are familiar with. Facebook clearly doesn't like it, even though users must explicitly sign up for the service and access it via the website. In the complaint Facebook alleges that violates its terms of use, copyright and trademarks. 

Internet Explorer continues to lose market share to other Web browsers, including Firefox and Safari. The Microsoft Web browser now has 68.15 percent share, down from 79.9 percent in January 2007 and well off the days when it controlled more than 90 percent of the market, according to a report from Market Share.  Firefox and Safari continued to climb at 21.3 percent and 7.9 percent, respectively.

Marcus Courtney, a one-time Microsoft contract worker, left his job as president of the Seattle-based WashTech technology labor union last year for a new position at the UNI Global Union in Switzerland.