How Apple can ‘fix’ Apple TV
It's no secret that Apple TV -- the company's would-be digital hub for your living room...
from google
december 2007
iTunes U takes Arizona State “straight to the head of the class”
As enrollment at Arizona State University topped the 65,000-student mark, Dr. Adrian Sannier, the school’s chief information technology, saw a golden opportunity in store. The iTunes Store, that is. Numerous universities were already taking advantage of iTunes U to deliver digital content to students, and Sannier realized that Arizona State could go “straight to the head of the class with iTunes U, the world’s greatest content delivery infrastructure. iTunes U,” he explains, “has allowed us to move into the rich-media space, completely seamlessly.”
from google
december 2007
How Steve Jobs Can Fix Apple TV
It's no secret that Apple TV -- the company's would-be digital hub for your living room -- isn't selling like hotcakes. Late Friday, Macworld published new Apple TV sales estimates from Forrester Research: the firm guesses Apple has sold 400,000 of the gadgets since it went on sale this spring and may sell another 400,000 during the holiday shopping season. But Apple will likely miss Forrester's projection of selling 1 million Apple TVs this year.
december 2007
NYTimes Surges, CNet Slumps
Ever since the NYTimes.com swept away the last remaining boulders of its subscription pay wall (aka Times Select) in mid-September, its traffic has been going through the roof. According to comScore, it gained 7.5 million readers worldwide from the end of August through the end of October (November numbers are not out yet). That is a 64 percent jump (to a total of 19.4 million). Similarly worldwide monthly pageviews surged 52 percent in that time period to 181 million. Other major news outlets like BusinessWeek.com (4.4 million readers in October), the WSJ.com (3.6 million, with a subscriber wall), and Wired.com (3.2 million) saw gains as well during the Fall, but nothing as dramatic as the NYTimes.com.

To put this in perspective, in the month of October alone, the New York Times added 4.9 million readers on the Web. That is more than double the total readership of CNets News.com of 2 million, which sadly seems to be one of the few media sites declining in visitors (from 2.5 million in August). News.coms pageviews have also been flat, at 6 million per month since August. For comparisons sake, comScore shows TechCrunch (including our sister site CrunchGear) at 8 million monthly pageviews worldwide in October (we surpassed News.com in September), and it shows us catching up in online readers with 1.7 million worldwide in October. Here are the actual worldwide figures from comScore for a variety of news sites:

And just for fun, here is a chart showing pageviews over the past year for Wired.com, News.com, Economist.com, TechCrunch (with CrunchGear), and ZDNet Blogs. TechCrunch is the green line.

Crunch Network: CrunchGear drool over the sexiest new gadgets and hardware.
december 2007
Nobel Laureate Says The Internet Makes Us Dumb, We Say: Meh
Newly awarded Nobel Prize winner Doris Lessing has used her acceptance speech to tell the world that the internet makes us dumb.

According to Lessing, who was too old and ill to make the speech herself and instead had someone else read it out, the inanities of the internet have seduced a generation, and we live in a fragmenting culture where people read nothing and know nothing of the world.

It gets better, apparently if you study computers you lack culture as well:

We are in a fragmenting culture, where our certainties of even a few decades ago are questioned and where it is common for young men and women, who have had years of education, to know nothing of the world, to have read nothing, knowing only some speciality or other, for instance, computers

Whilst Lessings words should be taken somewhat in context: the ditherings of an ignorant old woman, Keensian (as in Andrew Keen) anti-internet speeches grow as the cultural elite in society continue to have their previous (often born-in-to) positions eroded. The likes of Andrew Keen and Doris Lessing ignore the many benefits the internet has provided in expanding access to knowledge to many, many more people than who may otherwise have had no access before. Whilst it may be easy to mock the utterances of hundreds of millions of bloggers and social networking site users, the 21st century will be remembered as the time that communication was democratized, a time where the power of a few was replaced by the power of many. Let them eat their elitist intellectual cake, because the world is changing for the better, and there is nothing they can do to stop this.

For all those dumb people reading this who might never had read anything of substance before, may I suggest Wikipedia, its apparently a place where you can read interesting things, but it isnt on paper, so it might not count.

The Guardian has the full text of Lessings speech here, which I note aside from the internet comments is a great, and often inspiring read.

(image credit: Marknad)

Crunch Network: CrunchBoard because its time for you to find a new Job2.0
december 2007
It Was Another Great 'Minnedemo' on Thursday Night
On a brisk Minnesota evening in early December, what better to do than get together to drink beer and watch demos with 200+ of your closest tech friends and talk code, startups, business models, and all that good stuff?
december 2007
How will HD Radio fare in 2008?
Radiosophy, a three-year-old company that makes affordable HD radios, emailed me their newsletter and it was full of some interesting bits. For instance, there are 1,000 HD sub-channels broadcasting in U.S. markets. Next year, look for an emphasis on the HD sub-channel programming, including sports and special interest content. Will that be enough to lift the fortunes of HD radio in 2008? And if you are interested in HD radio, check out these web sites: Radio-Locator, which is like TV Guide for HD Radio, and V-Soft, which helps find signal strength in your zip code.
december 2007
Making Fun Of Facebook Is Fun: Add Fake Beacon Actions
A new Facebook application called Bonfire is my favorite. The idea is that you can beat third parties who are inserting information about what you did on their sites into your news feed, to the punch.
december 2007
Lightroom 1.3.1 is Released
In a post on the Lightroom Journal Tom Hogarty, Lightroom Product Manager has posted download URLs for the Mac and Win versions of Lightroom 1.3.1. In addition to resolving the issues relating to compressed NEF files, Lightroom 1.3.1 addresses the following issues: The Lightroom 1.3 Print Module could previously cause the application to crash on either OS X 10.5 or 10.5.1 during template usage.  On Mac OS X 10.5 or 10.5.1, the import process from a card reader or other device into Lightroom could fail to import all or a portion of the selected images.  A decrease in Develop slider responsiveness introduced in Lightroom 1.3 has been corrected. The Lightroom 1.3 Develop module could cause the application to crash if adjustments were made in quick succession. Compressed raw files from the Nikon D100 were read incorrectly in Lightroom 1.3. A possible artifact in raw file support for the Olympus E-3 has been corrected. The Lightroom FTP Plug-in provided as sample code with the Export SDK did not function properly if the password was not saved with the selected FTP preset. Editing or creating a new FTP preset immediately prior to using the FTP plug-in provided as sample code with the Export SDK would cause the FTP process to fail. Using the Export as Previous option did not work with the FTP plug-in provided as sample code with the Export SDK.  
from google
december 2007
Rails 2.0 is out
Yes, yes, I've been awfully quiet here lately. But let's blame that on the long crunch session for Rails 2.0 and call it cheers, ye? It's out, gawd dammit. Finally. After about a year in development and oh-so-many we're-almost-there's. Feels good, does it.

Now I just have to put the final hand on the new screencast for Rails. The current one is awfully stale.

So dig in and get it: Rails 2.0.
from google
december 2007
MarsEdit: Blogging Done Right
MarsEdit is one of those applications that you dont think you will ever really need, but after you use it, you cant live without it. MarsEdit is a desktop blogging application that uses the power of your Mac, to provide you with an amazing blogging experience.
december 2007
Thanks to OpenID and OAuth, the Open Social Web is Beginning to Emerge
Thanks to OpenID and OAuth, the Open Social Web is Beginning to Emerge. My blogs OpenID powered watchlist and your comments features got a write-up on Wired! Nice to know that someone has noticed them.
december 2007
What's New in OpenID 2.0?
OpenID 2.0 was finally release yesterday. I've put a piece up at
Between the Lines on what's new in OpenID
2.0. There's some important capabilities that will move this
forward in a big way.
from google
december 2007
Apple CEO Steve Jobs named MarketWatch Readers’ Choice CEO of the Year 2007
MarketWatch readers have given an overwhelming thumbs up to Steve Jobs..
from google
december 2007
This is not an official iPhone app but I have to admit, it rocks
Much love to Mike for the link. To all the ladies who are using this application, I say this: Namaste. I honor the place where my genius and your sacred yoni become one.
december 2007
Google Pre-Launches New iPhone Interface
We heard a rumor that Google was going to launch a new interface for users accessing the site via an iPhone in the next few days. But an anonymous tip let us know it actually launched without any warning or announcement this evening. If you visit Google.com from an iPhone, you now get a menu of services to choose from - home (search box), Gmail, Calendar, Reader and More (docs, sms, goog-411, news, photos, blogger and notebook). Its basically all of the core Google services, accessible from a single easy to use menu. The new application has what is now considered a signature look for the iPhone. The look and feel of many of the interface elements are similar to those created by Joe Hewitt, whose sample framework and code have been used in dozens of iPhone applications (see his Facebook product here). I dont know if Google used any of his freely offered code, but it certainly has the look of one of his applications. Accessing the site through other mobile devices continues to deliver the old Google Mobile interface. More pictures of the interface are below, created with a simulator. Real but poor quality images are here. Crunch Network: MobileCrunch Mobile Gadgets and Applications, Delivered Daily. Can't see the video? Click here
december 2007
AllBusiness.com Acquired By Dun & Bradstreet For $55 Million
Online business resource AllBusiness.com has been acquired by Dun & Bradstreet for approximately $55 million to enhance its internet presence. The site will operate as a wholly owned subsidiary of the veteran commercial info company with Kathy Yates remaining as CEO. Dun & Bradstreet (NYSE: DNB) expects the acquisition to generate about $10 million of incremental revenue in 2008, according to AP.

A $55 million price tag isn't shabby but this one is attached to a site once sold for $225 million. It was founded in 1999 with $20 million in VC funds and was sold to GE subsidiary NBC Internet Inc, in 2000 for a pre-bubble $225 million. In 2002, it was sold to a private entity that thought it could be rescued, and went back to start-up phase. AllBusiness.com raised $12.4 million in third-round funding in early 2006; the round was led by Sutter Hill Ventures and included strategic investor Reed Elsevier (NYSE: RUK) Ventures.

VantagePoint Venture Partners took part in that round and contributed a $10 million second round in 2004 although the company only used $5 million. At the time, VantagePoint managing director David Carlick said they thought AllBusiness.com "is poised to become the Yahoo (NSDQ: YHOO) for small business." That hasn't quite happened despite bringing in first Peter Horan as CEO and MarketWatch veteran Yates as COO , then CEO when Horan left for IAC, (NSDQ: IACI) although the site was able to boost traffic and move to a new level.

And the price doesn't come close to the $345 million in cash plus earnout RH Donnelley paid for Business.com, the info, directory and search site, just a few months ago. The $7.5 million Skye Dayton and Jake Winebaum paid in 1999 was then the largest ever for a singe domain name. The company raised $10 million in funding in 2004 and kept building value.

-- AllBusiness.com claims an "audience of more than 2 million business decision makers" and a library of "more than 2 million pieces of business information including articles, videos, blogs, forms and agreements."


Industry Moves: Peter Horan Leaving AllBusiness.com To Head IAC's Media And Advertising Group
AllBusiness.com Notches $12.4 Million In Series C Funding
Industry Moves: Former MarketWatch COO Yates Joins AllBusiness.com
Interview: Peter Horan, CEO, AllBusiness.com
Industry Moves: Peter Horan New CEO, AllBusiness.com
december 2007
Kindle: As the Airlines Try to Keep Up
You've all been on plane trips and know the drill:
"Please turn off and stow all portable electronic devices including Game Boys, cell phones and Blackberries."
Then the flight attendants walk the aisles yelling at crackberry addicts (like me) to shut the devices off. Well, Kindle fans (and presumably Sony Reader fans), rejoice. I've been on 6 Air Canada flights since I've gotten my Kindle and nary a peep from the flight attendants. They see text, see I'm reading, and, well, nobody is telling me to turn it off.
As I type this, I'm on a flight to LA. I mentioned this phenomenon to seat mate who had this observation:
"It looks all plastic and cheesy so they probably don't think it is an electronic device."
december 2007
Beliefnet Being Bought By News Corp; Cable Ties Possible; Not Buying LinkedIn
Beliefnet, the NYC-based multi-faith community site which has been around since 1999 and has gone through Chapter 11 bankruptcy, has finally been bought. The buyer is News Corp...yes, the company has found faith, well, multi-faith, according to FishBowlNYC and since then also confirmed to us by sources. Beliefnet was launched in December 1999 and has been profitable since October 2002, according to the company...it raised a $7 million round from Softbank Capital in 2005. Lots more updates after the jump..

Meanwhile, another hot rumor, that LinkedIn was in talks with News Corp. (NYSE: NWS) may not come to fruition. Reuters (NSDQ: RTRSY) said in a story that the talks were not happening, and are talking about future partnerships only.

Staci adds: News Corp.-Beliefnet is not as far-fetched as it seems when you consider News Corp.'s faith-based efforts including Fox Faith, the 20th Century Fox line of movies aimed at the religious set and operating under Fox Home Entertainment, publishing houses HarperOne and Zondervan. (According to Christianity Today, some producers have complained about the marketing and promotion efforts behind the films.) Also, there are cable possibilities here and even digital video distribution. Over at SAI, some eyebrow raising at the fact that this is being handled by Dan Fawcett, head of Fox Digital Media, rather than Pete Levinsohn at FIM. Yes, it's a website, but it doesn't fit at all with FIM while Fawcett's small group already makes deals that involve a number of entities across Fox. In fact, this marks the official start of an expanded role for Fawcett, whose background includes EVP-programming and business & legal affairs for DirecTV (NYSE: DTV) and EVP-business and legal affairs for Fox Cable Networks. His group will now be responsible not only for extending the Fox Entertainment's cable, TV and film brands online but for finding new opportunities including acquisitions like Beliefnet.

-- The deal does have a FIM tie-in: Beliefnet will be using FIM's targeted ad delivery platform.

Update: The announcement is out. The acquisition is by the Fox Entertainment Group --no amount disclosed although I can confirm it's a blend of cash and earnoutwith Beliefnet becoming part of Fox Digital Media. As we wrote last night, Beliefnet fits in with Fox's efforts in the fast-growing faith-based area: "The acquisition provides Beliefnet with vast resources to further build and enhance its already popular brand. It also offers an online platform for FEG to distribute content from its extensive media library and for News Corp. to expand its faith-based businesses, including HarperCollins' Zondervan and HarperOne brands, and 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment's faith-based programming initiative. Additionally, Beliefnet will provide unique, world-renowned spiritual programming to the company's various businesses."


BeliefNet Gets $7 Million
december 2007
Brilliant bubble 2.0 video
Or is it Bubble 3.0 now? I can't remember. Didn't the second bubble crash already? I've been so busy baking up some amazing new devices that I've kind of lost track. Much love to Mark for the tip.
december 2007
Adobe releases Flash Player 9 with H.264 video support
Adobe today announced the immediate availability of Adobe Flash Player 9...
from google
december 2007
I finally found a use for Twitter
Don't get me wrong -- I loved the *idea* of Twitter, I just didn't think a constant stream of messages such as12:02 "Reading New Scientist"12:11 "Still reading New Scientist"12:45 "In front of computer, reading the Internet"would be interesting. To me, or to anyone else.But (and there's always a 'but'), Twitter is perfect for a task that I've been having trouble managing: immediate new-word filing. If I'm at my desk, sure, I can append any new-to-me words I find in my reading to a file. And if I'm out and about, I can make a note on my Treo, or in my Moleskine. But they aren't all in the Same Place, and so consolidation has to happen. (Note: I am not so good -- actually, frakkin' terrible -- at consolidation, of any sort.)Twitter lets me post a WOTD (word-of-the-day) from anywhere, and then it is nicely stored ALL IN ONE PLACE. The limit of 140 characters per 'tweet' keeps me from rambling on and on. And it's semi-public (you can follow my messages if you like, I'm emckean on Twitter) which allows for the possibility of feedback. If you really want a reliable, highly structured WOTD -- my Twitter feed is not for you. (What you want is Double-Tongued Dictionary.) But if you just want to ride shotgun while I read, go ahead and add me to your "follow" list. If *you* want to do the same thing with the words you notice, go ahead and use the tag "wotd:" -- Twitter has a 'track' function, so if you prefix your messages with this tag, I'll be able to follow your new words easily. Fun, no? (BTW, Twitter is free.)I'll try to keep my Twitter feed just for the WOTDs -- although a few rollerskating or "seeing-cool-music" tweets might make it through. Just a warning.
december 2007
News Corp May Have Found God, But Not LinkedIn
News Corp has acquired New York based religious community site Beliefnet, according to a report at FishbowlNY.

Beliefnet was founded in 1999 and provides a service that offers commentary and community discussion on various religious beliefs. The company has a checkered history, having declared Chapter 11 bankruptcy in April 2002, then restructuring and emerging from bankruptcy in October the same year. According to earlier reports, around 70% of the sites traffic is related to Christian interests, with around 70% of users being females, and the most popular age group being 35 to 45. Beliefnet raised $7 million from Softbank Capital in 2005.

Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.

In related news, a source fimilar with the matter has told Reuters that News Corp is not in negotiations to buy LinkedIn, rumors of which first surfaced on TechCrunch UK in November. The source claimed that News Corp was in talks with LinkedIn, but the two companies had been discussing future partnerships, not a takeover. With the Dow Jones (Wall Street Journal) acquisition being finalized a partnership between News Corp and LinkedIn would make a lot of sense; the premium business sites from Dow Jones provide a high-wealth business focused demographic that would sit well with LinkedIns business networking product.

Update: sources at Fox Interactive are saying they know nothing about the deal; this isnt to say that its not happening but it is a little strange. The site may have been purchased by another part of News Corp.

Editors Update: More scrounging around has confirmed that the deal indeed is about to be officially announced.

Editors Update 2: The deal is official. Beliefnet was bought by the Fox Entertainment Group, News Corps cable arm, to distribute content from its faith-based programming initiative and from its religious/spiritual book imprints Zondervanand HarperOne. Dan Fawcett, president of Fox Digital Media, did the deal.
Crunch Network: CrunchBoard because its time for you to find a new Job2.0

Can't see the video? Click here
december 2007
Pleo unboxing, er, hatching -- photos and video
Filed under: Features, Robots

Hard to believe it's been almost two years since Ugobe's Pleo was first announced, but today one of our very own showed up at our doorstep, sweet as a newborn (new-hatched?) Camarasaurus. Pleo's certainly undergone a lot of physical changes since we saw it in the early days, now sporting a more adorable shape (as well as cameras and sensors studded all over its precious little head). A few first impressions and fresh details

Pleo's skin is rubbery-sticky (a little like the soles on a brand new pair of Cons). We can totally see this thing feeling like a dinosaur.
The motors on this thing are loud. Like, kind of distractingly loud. Yet somehow it remains ineffably adorable. You just want to take care of the little bugger.
You hatch it early on by flipping its power switch and petting it until it awakens from its deep, late-Jurassic-era slumber.
Jury's still out on the Tim Allen-esque grunting noises.
Ugobe PR let us know that the first version of Life OS (the software that powers Pleo) isn't really set up to "evolve" as it was supposed to, but there will be new versions of Live OS in 2008, which will enable behavioral optimizations and that "evolution" thing.
There will be an SDK! Take that, Aibo. Poor, poor Aibo, dead as a dino--never mind.
Despite having a massive, heavy NiMH battery pack, it's only 2200mAh;

We're still letting Pleo get situated and acquainted (read: charge) but we've got a hand-on gallery below, and video and plenty more Pleo details after the break. So, who's down for a quick refresher on chaos theory?Gallery: Pleo unboxing, er, hatching -- photos and video
Continue reading Pleo unboxing, er, hatching -- photos and video

december 2007
Apple close to movie distribution deal with Fox - report
NewsCorp's Twentieth Century Fox is close to striking a deal with Apple to offer digital copies of its major motion pictures through iTunes, according to one Wall Street analyst.

Pali Research analyst Richard Greenfield in a blog posting (activati...
from google
december 2007
Cha-ching hits 1.2.1
Filed under: Software, Software Update
In the Leopard onslaught, Cha-Ching 1.2 slipped under our radar - however today sees the release of yet another (minor) update: version 1.2.1. For those of you not familiar with Cha-Ching, it's an easy-to-use money-management tool whose import options (such as Quicken and Microsoft Money formats) and slick interface mean that you might not need something such as Quicken to balance your books.Of course, you're all clamouring for the details of what's new and exciting in this update. There's plenty of enhancements, not least of which are a number of Leopard fixes to ensure that Leopard-running folks can start budgeting (for MacWorld San Francisco?) in style with:

the ability to backup vaults locally (in addition to the existing .Mac backup option)
the ability to pay bills directly from the Master Vault
plenty of graphical enhancements for the new big-cat

Cha-Ching sells for $40, with version 1.2.1 a free update for existing registered users. Version 1.2.1 is available now from the Midnight Apps website or via the built-in software update.Read
december 2007
News CorpFox Close To Deal With Apple For iTunes Movies: Report
News Corp and its studio Twentieth Century Fox are close to a deal with Apple (NSDQ: AAPL) to begin offering new releases and catalog movie titles through iTunes beginning in early 2008, reports Pali analyst Richard Greenfield, in a blog post (reg. req.) He said the two sides are waiting till early 2008 prevents any impact to the all-important holiday DVD selling season. Disney (NYSE: DIS) is the only major studio with full catalog within iTunes for now, while Paramount, Lionsgate and MGM have partial catalog deals.

The post outlines some reasons for this possible change. The major one: Apple appears willing to modestly increase the wholesale price paid above the $14.00-$14.50 that Disney has been receiving. Others may follow suit if Fox comes into the fold. Also, studios want to sell premium priced DVDs that include a digital copy of a movie..if they add a premium to the digital copy which can play on an iPod, it may become attractive to consumers. One thing that remains unclear: whether the studios will allow iTunes to rent movies or create a subscription service? There has been rising speculation that an upcoming version of iTunes will enable that feature.

NYT's Bits blog: Another force may be Amazon.com, (NSDQ: AMZN) which is selling downloads from Fox and other studios. Remember that Amazon's entry into the MP3 business put pressure on Apple to lower the price of its unprotected downloads.
december 2007
Do Democrats prefer Apple Macs?
As MacDailyNews reported this weekend, Aliso Viejo, CA-based Net Applications announced November 2007...
from google
december 2007
Vint Cerf: "Twitter Is The Future!"
The Guardian asked Vint Cerf, one of the founding fathers of the Internet and current Chief Internet Evangelist at Google, to tell readers what the future holds. That's easy: Twitter!Twitter has emerged to create a seamless layer of social connectivity across SMS, IM, and the web...The potential for this simple form of hybrid communication technology is strong.Cerf believes Twitter to be one of the most exciting areas of development on the web. That's exciting to us. Read the article here: Tell me the future | Media | The Guardian.
from google
december 2007
BMW Using Internet Protocol Inside Cars
Cars are getting more computer systems, and those systems need to talk to each other. To manage this electronic chatter, BMW R&D is reportedly now using IP -- the same protocol used to move bits around on the Internet. Looking at it another way, each of these BMWs has its own private Internet inside. (props to Autoblog)
from google
december 2007
Bug Labs is so cool
How things have changed. A year ago, just about every device was closed and locked behind closed doors and proprietary information. Now were seeing Android, the Chumby, and now Bug Labs. Its exciting that people are waking up to the power of allowing people to hack - and to have a device as platform. Bug Labs in particular is getting me very excited. Fred Wilson has been blogging a bit about these guys (theyre a part of the Union Square Ventures portfolio) for a while, but this morning hes posted a video by Robert Scoble that got me begging for one of these: Im not even going to ramble about how this project is going to create a whole bunch of new hardware hackers (which is fantastic) and getting people to try out new ideas and prototypes for future devices - because thats all obvious if you watch Roberts video (or read his post). I just want our team here to get one of these and hack away at some ideas we have. Bug Labs guys - please dont pull a Chumby on me. I was on the initial list for the Chumby prototypes but because I moved back to Europe, I never got one. Not one of the first limited few (which they kept emailing me about), not one now that theyve launched. I cant order the damn thing. Be smart about this, please?
december 2007
Will OpenID Really Deliver?
This is a question I am hoping to get your input on. I would love to hear what you think about the technology and what you think it will take for it to be a broad success.

I have only followed OpenID peripherally, but yesterday I spoke with Larry Drebes of JanRain, a startup that's contributed a lot to the OpenID effort.

OpenID is a set of open source technologies that creates a universal login and an authentication system. It's an idea that companies have tried to populariaze--without success--over the years. Why? Mainly because when one company or a camp of companies tried to control the idea, it was doomed to fail. The open source nature of OpenID, though, sets this project apart.

Now on Monday, OpenID is getting a new kickstart. After around 18 months of work, the 2.0 spec is being locked down and launched. According to Drebes, the main differences in version 2.0 are that it has beefed up security and added Identifier recycling and directed identity. Identifier recycling is a big deal for large companies that have millions of users and so can run out of names. This allows them to reassign names if someone isn't using it. Directed Identity lets you use the same password but change your identity if you're commenting on a blog, for instance.

Part of what's important, says Drebes, is that with OpenID you can create a reputation that's associated with one ID. And you can authenticate that a person is who they really say they are, helping to do away with spam.

So this sounds all well and good. And if the new specs deliver, then the 150,000 people who are now using OpenID could explode, right? Well, that's where I would love to hear from you to help me understand more about this.

The marketing part I get. Apparently there already are 160 million enabled OpenID users. That's because a couple of huge providers, AOL and France Telecom, have enabled their subscribers' accounts. If more big service providers, search engines, and portals sign up and start marketing this (Marshall Kirkpatrick has one good suggestion on how), then suddenly you could see an explosion.
from google
november 2007
Attack of the interns: recommendations and drag-and-drop
One of the great things about Reader, and feed readers in general, is that they let you follow sites much more efficiently than you could just by visiting them directly. This means that once you get into the flow of it, you can subscribe and keep track of many more sites than before. The problem then becomes: what should you subscribe to? For example, there are millions of blogs, and while a few are well known, there are many more interesting (micro) niche blogs that would be great to subscribe to, if only you could find them.

To help with the discovery of interesting sites to subscribe to, we just released personalized recommendations in Reader. When you visit our discovery page, you'll see quite a few feeds that we think you may find interesting. "Interesting" here is determined by what other feeds you subscribe to, as well as your Web History data, all taken into account in an automated, anonymized fashion. (To learn more about how our recommendations work, see our help article about them). Hopefully you'll find your recommendations interesting and helpful in getting your information-triggered dopamine squirt.

Recommendations make it even easier to subscribe to lots of feeds, so then the question becomes: how do you organize those feeds better? As luck would have it, one of the other features we're announcing today is drag-and-drop support for your subscriptions and folders. You can now easily move feeds between folders, as well as reorder things up and down within the list.

On the right, you can see Mihai's subscription list as he uses drag-and-drop to reorganize his froworkers folder. (Though you may not want to let your friends know how you're ranking then, lest it become a competition.) Of course, we can't take too much credit for drag-and-drop subscription management -- desktop aggregators have had it for a while, as have online feed readers like Bloglines and NewsGator.

What these two features have in common is that (ex-)interns played a significant role in delivering both of them. Nitin Shantharam (UC Irvine) helped create the user interface for recommendations, while Olga Stroilova (MIT) had a hand in the algorithms that generate them. Meanwhile, drag-and-drop was the brainchild of Brad Hawkes (UMass Amherst), who was our intern the summer of 2006, and returned to join the Reader team full-time earlier this year. As RIE (Reader Intern Emeritus), Brad paved the way for the great student help that we've had this year. Also to be mentioned is Jason Hall (Kent State), who was behind many interface improvements that have been live for a few months already. All told, our interns (and ex-interns) have done great work this year!
from google
november 2007
New in Highrise: Inline editing of notes and emails
Here's a new feature that will make editing and deleting Highrise notes and emails a lot faster: Inline editing.
Now when you hover over a note or an email in expanded view you'll see an "edit and trashcan" link appear to the left of the note. Clicking "Edit" will allow you to edit the note or email inline. This saves two page reloads and a good 10 seconds of back and forth.
Here's what it looks like after you've clicked edit
You'll see that you didn't have to leave the page to edit the note. It's a big time saver.
Watch a movie for the full effect Watch this 20 second quicktime movie of inline editing to see how it all works together.
We hope you find this improvement as useful as we do. Thanks again for your continued support!
november 2007
What's Up With the Market? Watch This
Oh, this is too funny -- a British television skit on understanding financial markets. I've never felt that embedding funny YouTube videos was something I needed to do in this venue, but this one made me change my mind.

Unless your securities portfolio consists entirely of Apple stock, you have to be wondering what the hell is going on in the market today, and seriously questioning whether you have the cajones to stay in it. Well, watch this -- talk about comic relief! Man, does everyone need a little of this right now. (Tip of the hat to Paul Kedrosky of Infectious Greed for the heads-up to this one.)
november 2007
Sneak-a-peek inside Final Cut Express 4
Filed under: Multimedia, Software, Video
A lot has changed in the video production realm over the past year, and thankfully, Apple's recent Final Cut Express 4 addresses these new advancements in camcorder capture and post-production technology. It's been a full year and a half since Final Cut Express 3.5, and there's a number of notable updates and enhancements that make the latest version 4 worth a look. Thankfully, Jeff Carlson at Macworld gives us a nice look at some of the new additions in Final Cut Express 4, which was released less than two weeks ago. The software now includes AVCHD support, mixed video format timeline functionality, 50 new FxPlug plug-ins, the new ability to import iMovie '08 projects, and more. Give his advance look a read to learn more about this important inclusions. Sounds like this one will be worth the update. Expect a full review from the Macworld folks soon.Read
november 2007
Twitter and the Twits
We've all seen the stories about people calling in sick and posting party pictures on Facebook. My best friend over at York University tells me students come in with sad stories about mom dying last week while on their MySpace/Facebook page, we have current "tell your mom I loved the dinner last night" postings.
november 2007
AOL Gets Serious About Finance
AOL Money and Finance has been around almost as long as AOL itself - forever in Internet time. But theyve sat on the sidelines as Yahoo periodically updated their own property, and Google launched their own competing site.

Even though AOL has not kept its service as cutting edge as the competition, they still move a lot of traffic. Recent worldwide comscore stats put them third behind Yahoo Finance and MSN Money with 12.2 million unique monthly visits. Thats well ahead of CNN Money (6.7 m) and, surprisingly, Google Finance, which is dead last among the large finance sites (1.5 m).

Third place doesnt suit AOLs SVP Money and Finance Martin Moe very well, and his team is making a run for more users. This morning at 6 am EST they are launching an entirely redone AOL Finance - complete redesign and a lot of new features. Moe gave me a demo of the new site and explained some of the key features. Ive put the old site next to the new site for an example company (Walmart) - see the image here.

News Via Relegence

First of all, theyve tightly integrated financial news about companies from Relegence, a company AOL acquired last year. This is the first time Relegence has been integrated into an AOL property, Moe says.

The result is a deep browsing engine for news related to the company you are viewing. Blogs, analyst reports, press releases, etc. can be added or removed to filter results. And users can also choose to have news included that merely mentions the company v. articles that really focus on that particular business - see the slider in the image to the right.

Charts & Graphs

Historical stock data, which goes back as far as 25 years, is on display via Flash graphs. This is significantly better than the current Yahoo and Google are offering. The charts, which are large and easy to read, can be easily manipulated to see different time frames. Other companies and indexes can be added to the chart for comparison purposes, a feature I particularly liked. A basic chart is included on the overview page. Simply click Go To Interactive Chart to see the deeper functionality.

The chart below shows Apples stock price compared to Microsoft and Dell over the same period.

Another feature that I havent seen elsewhere is a simple return-on-investment table that shows investment returns for given periods. Or simply set the calendar to whatever dates you like. Again, this is a fairly simple feature but one that you cant currently find on Google or Yahoo (wow! Apple stock has sure done well the last three years).

This is a significant upgrade, and will raise the bar for Yahoo, Google and the other competitors. Congrats to the AOL Money & Finance team for releasing a great product.

Crunch Network: CrunchBoard because its time for you to find a new Job2.0

Can't see the video? Click here
november 2007
Towards more renewable energy
Posted by Larry Page, Co-Founder and President of ProductsClean and affordable energy is a growing need for our company, and were excited about the opportunity to help create competitive green alternatives. Our new initiative isnt just about Googles energy needs; we're seeking to accelerate the pace at which clean energy technologies are developing, so they can rival the economics of coal quickly. We've gained expertise in designing and building large-scale, energy-intensive facilities by building data centers that lead the industry in efficiency. We want to apply the same creativity and innovation to the challenge of generating inexpensive renewable electricity at scale.Promising technologies already exist that could be developed to deliver renewable energy cheaper than coal. We think the time is ripe to build rapidly on the tremendous work on renewable energy. For example, I believe that solar thermal technology provides a very plausible path to generating cheaper electricity. By combining talented technologists, great partners and large investments, we have an opportunity to quickly push this technology forward. Our goal is to build 1 gigawatt of renewable energy capacity that is cheaper than coal. We are optimistic that this can be done within years, not decades. If we succeed, it would likely provide a path to replacing a substantial portion of the worlds electricity needs with renewable energy sources.To lead this effort, we're looking for a world-class team. We need creative and motivated entrepreneurs and technologists with expertise in a broad range of areas, including materials science, physics, chemistry, mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, land acquisition and management, power transmission and substations, construction, and regulatory issues. Join us. And if you're interested, read about our previous work toward a clean energy future.
november 2007
You can't always judge an eBook by its cover: a review of the Amazon Kindle
Amazon wants to change how you shop for and read books with its new device, the Kindle. Does its 1980s design aesthetic hide the heart of a true revolution in books?
november 2007
News Corp Gets Serious On Online Advertising: Fox Interactive Ad Network To Power Other Sites
Fox Interactive Media (FIM), the online arm of News Corp has plans to become a full service online advertising agency that provides advertising to non-News Corp sites.
november 2007
Early iPhone SDK; T-Mobile iPhone unlock in iTunes; more
Apple may not be waiting to get developers started on writing programs for the iPhone. Also, the first official unlock method for the iPhone is active and only requires iTunes -- plus the right phone ID -- to work.

Apple handing out advance iPho...
from google
november 2007
View the Contents of a Zip File in Quick Look with Zip Quick Look
Mac OS X only: View the contents of zipped files in Leopard's Quick Look without unzipping the archive with freeware plug-in Zip Quick Look. Just download the plug-in, drag it to /Library/QuickLook/,...
november 2007
iSMARTtrain from OTAG Technologies Ltd
iSMARTtrain is our training solution for Macintosh and Windows computers.
november 2007
Video - Breaking News Videos from CNN.com
CNN's Gary Tuchman reports on a Texan who shot and killed two men allegedly burglarizing a neighbor's home.
november 2007
On Starting a Long-Term Company
A lecture given at the Y Combinator Startup School held at Harvard University, October 15, 2005
november 2007
Lightroom Journal: Use Worklist Keywords to Help Your Keywording in Lightroom
So you want to make sure you've identified all of the people you know in your Lightroom catalog, but ... you have several thousand photos in your catalog and you don't want to spend time reviewing photos you've already keyworded. How to avoid that?
november 2007
News Corp (NWS): Launching An Ad Network, Too - Silicon Alley Insider
FIM is building out it own ad network, designed to sell inventory across its MySpace, IGN and Photobucket properties.
november 2007
Code Freeze 2008
The theme for Code Freeze 2008 is "innovation." In one action packed day, we will discuss business innovations for 4 hours in the morning and technology innovations for 4 hours in the afternoon. Topics will range from how to rethink or change your busines
november 2007
YouTube - OpenID According to Dave
A short video explaining OpenID, brought to you by myVidoop.com
november 2007
EarthClassMail.com - Moving from LAMP to .NET 3.5
Scott chats with Matt Davis, architect at EarthClassMail.com, about their move from a LAMP stack (Linux/Apache/mysql/PHP) to .NET 3.5. What's working, what's not, and what kinds of issues are they running into as their architect their solution.
november 2007
How Dennis Kucinich Landed Smoking Hot Liz, In 8 Minutes
Elizabeth Kucinich dishes to MSNBC today about how it exactly happened that she got engaged to neo-Nader presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich the second time they met.
november 2007
Artist reaches new peak with Bloomington mural
Artist Erik Pearson likes to do big paintings. His best-known work, a piece seen by hundreds and perhaps thousands of people each day, required 13 gallons of primer and about 25 gallons of paint.
october 2007
Quick Look: Mac OS X Desktop Blog Authoring Clients
If you want the ability to create your blog posts off-line, later posting them quickly to a single or multiple blogs, a desktop blog authoring client may be the right fit for you. An off-line blog authoring client can also give you enhanced spell-checkin
october 2007
Service Oriented Architecture and Mainframe SOA
The role of the mainframe has dramatically changed with the advent of Web services and Service-Oriented Architectures (SOA). Organizations that rely on mainframe technology now have powerful new tools that simplify SOA and the development of Web services
october 2007
Hardening WordPress with htaccess
This article will discuss some security techniques to better harden and secure your WordPress blog; this is especially effective in a hosted environment.
october 2007
Automattic Acquires Gravatar Gravatar Blog
The best ideas are often the simplest. (At least in hindsight.) The idea of globally-recognized avatar, or Gravatar, struck me from the first time I heard it. Of course I should be able to have my avatar wherever I go! Of course email is a great way to ke
october 2007
Apple OS X Leopard: A beautiful upgrade
Finally, a PC Unix that everyone can love. OS X Leopard is a triumph of customer-focused engineering Apple's announcement of the impending delivery of OS X Leopard (release 10.5 of Mac and Xserve operating systems) marks the public debut of an engineering achievement that dwarfs iPhone, iPod, Windows, and Linux.
october 2007
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