Monthly Archives: August 2009


Web Hosting Related Articles You May Need

Facebook for iPhone 3.0: First Look video

loadUniversalPlayer({playerType: ‘small’,lumiereQueryType: ‘id’,lumiereQueryValue: ‘50076409’,useCurrentPageUrl: true,relatedVideo: false,preRollAd: true,hideLeftTab:true,wrapperFloat:’left’});

Last week when it first updated, we related our first impressions of Facebook for iPhone 3.0. Now that’s we’ve spent some more quality time with it over the weekend, we can confirm that the 3.0 update is huge. Sure, it takes up more room on your iPhone or iPod Touch, but that’s not what we meant.

The real growth spurt comes from the pile of new and improved features that Facebook has poured into the app. They range from the typical–support for landscape mode, capability to change your profile picture–to the powerful–such as creating photo albums and kicking off a text message or call from the Facebook interface.

That last point echoes a central thesis in a June 2009 Wired article (“The Great Wall of Facebook“): by storing intensely personal data about real people–their likes and dislikes, e-mail addresses, friends, activities, and even phone numbers–Facebook is creating a formidable “second Internet” to rival Google. Indeed, the SMS and phone call triggers on Facebook for iPhone 3.0 (and a similar feature on Facebook for BlackBerry that hooks into your address book) do influence, even facilitate, the way you contact friends in real life. Now you can rely on a Web-based network as a point of entry to your actual social life.

But that feature is just one of many. See the new Facebook for iPhone 3.0 in action in this First Look video. If you have used it, let us know how you like it.

Originally posted at The Download Blog

Continue reading

Posted in Syndicated | Comments Off on Facebook for iPhone 3.0: First Look video

Search: Google rules, Europeans do it more

Internet search continues to skyrocket around the world with Google’s dominance unchecked.

ComScore came out with worldwide search market share numbers Monday, which revealed that Internet searches increased by 41 percent to 113 billion in just the month of July. Slightly more than two-thirds of all those searches were done with Google, which also saw the number of searches done with through engine increase 58 percent compared with last year.

Yahoo is a distant second with 8.9 billion searches in July, while China’s Baidu ranked third with 8 billion searches. Both of those sites posted slow growth in July, while fourth-place Microsoft increased the number of searches performed on its site by 41 percent compared with last year, perhaps thanks to the renovation of its search business in Bing.

ComScore also released statistics by geographic region: the Europeans searched the most in July, but residents of Latin America were responsible for the most searches per person.

Worldwide search market share numbers released by ComScore on Monday.

(Credit: ComScore)

Originally posted at Relevant Results

Continue reading

Posted in Syndicated | Comments Off on Search: Google rules, Europeans do it more

Digiprotect Admits It Shares Files Just To Find People To Demand Settlement Money From

Last week we wrote about claims that copyright holders were purposely putting their own content online to see who downloaded it, and then suing them. In that post, we mentioned a post from last year, about one of the companies that’s been hired to track down file sharers, DigiProtect, and how its contract seems to suggest this is exactly what the company does. After that came out, there was some talk about how that contract clause really was only used to make sure the company had the right to investigate infringement. However, the company now appears to be quite forward in admitting that it puts files online specifically to catch downloaders:

“We get the legal rights from the companies to distribute these movies to stores, and with these rights we can sue illegal downloaders. Then we take legal action in every country possible, concentrating on the places where such action will be profitable.”

Of course, this seems questionable on a variety of levels. First, if it’s getting the distribution rights to the content, then the distribution is authorized, and not infringing. Second, DigiProtect makes it quite clear that its focus is on figuring out the most profitable way to do this — not the best way to cut down on infringement. The company apparently doesn’t pay anyone on a fixed salary, but everyone shares in a cut of whatever is “collected.” In other words, the program is not at all about stopping unauthorized file sharing, but figuring out the best way to profit from sending threat letters to people. The company even admits that the numbers it demands from people, and the numbers used in lawsuits have nothing to do with actual damages, but are entirely about what they think is mostly likely to get them paid. That sounds an awful lot like the what most people call extortion.

Permalink | Comments | Email This Story

Continue reading

Posted in Syndicated | Comments Off on Digiprotect Admits It Shares Files Just To Find People To Demand Settlement Money From

Lori Drew Case Officially Dropped

While this should come as no surprise — since the judge basically said two months ago that he was planning to dismiss the ruling against Lori Drew — it’s worth noting that official ruling dismissing the case has been handed down:

The reasoning of the opinion is that whatever unauthorized access means, it cannot mean mere violation of Terms of Service without more. Such a reading of the statute would render the statute unconstitutionally void for vagueness because it would give the government almost unlimited power to prosecute any Internet user and wouldn’t give citizens sufficient notice as to what of their Internet conduct was criminal.

Phew. Whatever you think of Drew’s behavior, it was absolutely wrong to try to twist a totally unrelated law to find something to charge her with.

Of course, now, in the wake of this debacle, Missouri passed a new law making online harassment a potential felony, and the first case under that law has been filed.

Permalink | Comments | Email This Story

Continue reading

Posted in Syndicated | Comments Off on Lori Drew Case Officially Dropped

If you’re an entrepreneur, it’s time to get social

Whether you’re creating the next Facebook or you have a patent on three-tiered umbrellas, you’re an entrepreneur. But finding funding for your idea, getting some advice, or even just talking to people in your same situation can be difficult. Social networks designed specifically for entrepreneurs aim to help you achieve your goals. Check them out.

Go social, entrepreneur

Cofoundr To sign up for Cofoundr, you’ll need to input a work or school e-mail address. That’s annoying, considering many people have ideas that they’ve yet to start, but it’s not a deal-breaker.

Once you do sign up for the site, you can immediately input all your personal information, including where you’re from, what the focus of your business is, and more. Based on those responses, Cofoundr will match you with other entrepreneurs in your area. If you want to share your idea to see if investors will give you some much-needed capital, Cofoundr’s Ideas page will help you out. But perhaps Cofoundr’s best feature is its member-search option, which allows you to find people based on their expertise. Whether you’re looking for a venture capitalist or strategy executive, the site will provide it. It’s a nice service.


Cofoundr will help you find venture capitalists.

(Credit: Screenshot by Don Reisinger/CNET)

Entrepreneur Connect’s Entrepreneur Connect is a fine way to connect with other business owners. But unlike many of the apps in this roundup, Entrepreneur’s service provides access to a wider array of companies.

When you first get to Entrepreneur Connect, you’ll find that you don’t need to waste your time registering. Instead, you can jump right in and start networking with other entrepreneurs. The site’s “Make Connections” feature is especially useful. You can input certain criteria you’re looking for in a connection and it will find people matching those items. The site also has some active groups for every industry represented in the social network. Entrepreneur Connect is a neat service. Try it out.


Entrepreneur Connect has some active groups.

(Credit: Screenshot by Don Reisinger/CNET)

PerfectBusiness PerfectBusiness aims at helping you achieve your goal of becoming a successful entrepreneur. It does that by connecting you with other people who have a similar passion.

I was impressed with PerfectBusiness’ listing of industries. Unlike some other services, you don’t need to only have a Web site idea to sign up. Instead, you can connect with people in industries ranging from business-to-business communication to tech start-ups. The site has the option of asking other users questions about operating a start-up or discussing issues you’re facing with experts that have done well as entrepreneurs. The site also provides instructional videos and advice articles to help you succeed. PerfectBusiness is a useful site.


Ask an expert some questions with PerfectBusiness.

(Credit: Screenshot by Don Reisinger/CNET)

StartupNation StartupNation is designed for the entrepreneur who wants to learn from other business owners who have built a successful operation from the ground up.

After you sign up for StartupNation, you’ll find a really helpful community of members who want to share their expertise. From topics on funding to strategy, the site’s members are there to help you out. StartupNation features a Google Maps integration to help you find other entrepreneurs in your area. The site’s most useful feature is the Knowledge Hub. There, you can find help on any topic that comes to your mind. It’s a must-see.


StartupNation's Knowledge Hub is a must-see.

(Credit: Screenshot by Don Reisinger/CNET)

TheFunded TheFunded offers both a free and paid model, which costs about $300 per year, allowing users to find information, like how much venture capital firms typically offer companies, in what industries they provide funds, and more. But to connect with those companies and other folks using the site, you’ll need to sign up for TheFunded.

But perhaps the way TheFunded requires you to sign up will surprise you. You’ll need to apply to join. Your application will be reviewed. As long as your professional information can be corroborated, the site will allow you to join. It’s a unique way to control membership, but it does a fine job–TheFunded has some of the most informative and active members of any site in this roundup. It’s an invaluable resource for entrepreneurs. Check it out.


TheFunded is a great place to check out.

(Credit: Screenshot by Don Reisinger/CNET)

My top 3

1. TheFunded: With so much useful information, TheFunded is worthy of your time.

2. Entrepreneur Connect: If you want to connect with the right people, Entrepreneur Connect is worth trying out.

3. StartupNation: StartupNation’s KnowledgeHub feature is good enough to give this site the third spot in this roundup.

Continue reading

Posted in Syndicated | Comments Off on If you’re an entrepreneur, it’s time to get social

Our Litigious Society: Woman Sues Daughter-in-Law Comedian Over Jokes

In-law jokes are a pretty standard staple of the standup comedy business. They can be pretty funny too… even if the concept is a bit dated. But, apparently, they’re not so funny to the in-laws of comedian Sunda Croonquist. ChurchHatesTucker alerts us to the news that Croonquist’s mother-in-law and sister-in-law are suing the comedian for cracking rather typical “in-law” jokes, which, apparently the in-laws didn’t find to be all that funny. They’re suing for defamation, even though you have to wonder if anyone actually takes such jokes seriously. I mean, it’s a comedian. Of course the jokes are either made up or exaggerated for comedic effect. Still, probably makes for a frosty family gathering.

Permalink | Comments | Email This Story

Continue reading

Posted in Syndicated | Comments Off on Our Litigious Society: Woman Sues Daughter-in-Law Comedian Over Jokes

Oy! Google Translate now speaks Yiddish

Google on Monday announced that it had added nine new languages to its Translate service.

Included in the update (which actually went live early last week) are Afrikaans, Belarusian, Icelandic, Irish, Macedonian, Malay, Swahili, Welsh, and Yiddish. This brings the total number of languages the service is able to translate to 51.

Like other Google Translate updates, these changes will eventually go out to other services where the machine translation is used, including Google Friend Connect, Google Talk, Gmail, and most recently Google Docs. However, the new languages have not shown up on any of those services just yet.

In late June, Google pushed out an alpha version of Persian translating to meet the needs of increased activity around the Iranian presidential elections. The company continues to note that Persian translations, along with some of these latest additions, will not be as precise as translations to and from some more widely used languages; it will take time to get the quality up to the same level as its Spanish, German, and French translations, which were the first to be offered.

Finally, Google adds a way for people to convert one language into Yiddish.

(Credit: CNET)

Originally posted at Web Crawler

Continue reading

Posted in Syndicated | Comments Off on Oy! Google Translate now speaks Yiddish

Peter Mandelson Defends His Sudden Conversion To Kicking People Off The Internet

You may recall a few weeks back that stories in the UK noted that (non-elected) UK Business Secretary Peter Mandelson had a sudden conversion to caring about copyright issues after dining with David Geffen while on vacation. And, despite months of careful study that went into the Digital Britain report, where it was declared that a policy of kicking people off the internet was not on the table, Mandelson suddenly demanded that his department change that plan. And… just like that, the “three strikes” rules are back on the table.

After being widely ridiculed for his suddenly interest in this issue, it looks like Mandelson has decided to defend himself with a guest column in the Times Online, where he runs through the arguments in favor of his position — all of which read like someone who’s been fed lines by some lobbyists — and then claims that he’s open to hearing other ideas and that he understands why people are upset. Of course, if that’s the case, why did he propose such a preposterous idea right after the Digital Britain report had rejected it? Either way, let’s go through some of his thinking:

First, taking something for nothing, without permission, and with no compensation for the person who created and owns it, is wrong. Simple as that.

Right. Well, other than fair use. Or, what if it’s for promotional purposes? And, how do you define “owns it” in that sentence? After all, if I bought a CD, don’t I own it? Or maybe not. Wait… this isn’t so “simple” after all, is it, Lord Mandleson? Perhaps that’s why so many people have spent so many years digging through the problems of copyright law, and recognize how problematic it is when you try to compare it to real property, such as by claiming someone “owns it” even after they’ve “sold it.” So, no, while it may look simple at first, it’s not that simple. And that’s rather important.

I was shocked to hear that as much as half of all internet traffic in the UK is for the carriage of unlawful content.

As you should be, because those numbers are bogus and supplied by the industry. But, why let that stop you.

If technical solutions can discourage piracy, then as a Government we are obliged to consider them.

So here’s a question: which is more important: discouraging “piracy,” or having a thriving and robust creative industry? Because that’s pretty important. I would assume that the latter is a lot more important, and a lot of what you seem to be saying suggests that if the industry stamped out unauthorized file sharing, people would magically go back to spending their money on that same industry. Yet, there’s no proof to support this at all. The industry has been all about the stick, and never seems to put out a carrot. Go ahead and get your three strikes plan, but don’t be surprised when the creative industries still fail, because they’ve pissed off so many people who choose not to do business with them.

Second, our creative businesses drive much of our economy.

Indeed. And to my last point, then, the goal should be on doing things to encourage “creative businesses” to update their business models, rather than relying on false models of artificial scarcity. You do realize that a UK-based music organization (PRS) recently released a report noting that the music industry in the UK is actually growing? Right? These are the sort of facts the Secretary of Business knows, right? And if the industry is growing, despite complaining about file sharing, isn’t it possible that the real issue is just focusing on business model improvement, rather than the hand of gov’t stepping in and slapping people around?

They provide not only tax revenues and jobs but also ensure that Britain punches above its weight on the global cultural stage. We are a creative people and we do these things well.

Indeed. Good to know they’re doing well by adapting new business models. Why interfere with that process?

These businesses will get no favours from government

Well… you mean other than a massive subsidy in the form of a gov’t granted monopoly that lasts longer than all of our lifetimes? That, at least, must count as a little favor, doesn’t it?

but we should create a regulatory environment where they can operate without having to deal with illegal competition.

“Illegal” competition is a funny thing. See, since you’re the gov’t and you get to define what is and what is not illegal, it leaves you open to a bit of regulatory capture (the sort that gets tongues wagging about fancy dinners with industry execs in far-away vacation retreats) whereby anything that a legacy industry doesn’t like and doesn’t want to deal with is suddenly called “illegal.”

And yet, despite this “illegal” competition, we see many creative ventures and creative artists learning to embrace this “illegal competition” in the form of file sharing to create much more effective business models. We see artists and new up-and-coming operations that encourage people to file share, and put in place other reasons to buy, such that file sharing isn’t “illegal competition” at all. It’s free promotion from your biggest fans.

Crucially, if these changes can give the creative businesses and their partners the space to develop new business models that support more new artists, acts and films, then surely we are duty bound to consider them.

I recognize that you are the Business Secretary, but in the history of business, it is not the government “giving room” to legacy industries that leads to them developing new business models. It is the force of true competition, that requires them to be innovative. Welcome to the world of “creative destruction.” Holding off the creative destruction does not encourage the new business models. The whole reason the industry is wining and dining you is because they want to hang onto whatever scraps of their dying business model for as long as they can.

Let me emphasise that nothing has been predetermined. And I understand why internet service providers (ISPs), consumer groups and digital rights activists are disappointed that we have decided to consider a range of tougher and faster measures. But let me try, if I can, to reassure them.

Then why were there so many reports that you suddenly (after showing no interest in the subject previously) returned from vacation hellbent on adding “three strikes” to the plan?

I made clear to the content industry that we would consider legislation that includes temporary account suspension only if it was seen as the sanction of last resort. It would only follow a well-established series of warnings and clear evidence that they were taking action to defend their own rights.

Ah, but you seem to have ignored the other part of the equation: users’ rights. The EU has declared that cutting people off from the internet is a civil rights violation. Doing so without true due process is a huge violation of their rights. Why would you support that? If the “clear evidence” is only that they were defending their rights, rather than that someone had violated the law, isn’t that a pretty massive due process problem?

I want to know more from digital rights groups and consumers about other steps that should be taken to protect people who may feel that they are at risk of being accused without good cause. This could perhaps be because of legitimate file sharing, or because of others hijacking their connection. Having a fair, fast and effective appeals process will obviously be essential.

Wait. Shouldn’t the bigger concern be why they have to go through such a process in the first place? Especially when the industry is growing and adapting new business models (see above) and have no need for the gov’t to put in place such draconian measures? Why are you already jumping to a situation where some people need to be “protected” rather than removing the threat of erroneous shut-offs entirely?

We are fast approaching the tenth anniversary of the trial in which, the site that enabled the first real boom in file sharing, was shut down after legal action by record labels. This legal action was hugely expensive, time-consuming and ultimately did little for consumers. Why? Because it failed to encourage rights holders to develop new business models and did nothing to seek to change consumer behaviour. A decade on, we have another opportunity, and for some in the content industries, perhaps the last.

Yes, the lawsuit strategy failed. But three strikes is a continuation of those same failed policies. The industry has had those ten years to develop and support innovative new business models — but the major players have failed, time and time again. They sued Napster. They sued Kazaa. They sued The Pirate Bay. They sued Grooveshark. They sued MP3tunes. They sued iMeem. They sued They sued Launchcast. They sued Hi5. They sued VideoEgg. They sued Seeqpod. They sued Favtape. The list goes on and on and on and on.

They’ve had these ten years to develop new business models. And they failed. Instead, the new business models have been developed outside of the legacy industry — and they’re working. Let them be. Don’t give this tool to the legacy players, who failed to innovate. Let them go out of business, and let a new, and much more creative “creative business” industry take over.

You’re being played for as a fool by a legacy industry that wants to squeeze every bit of money it can from a dying business model. Putting up three strikes isn’t giving them space to develop a new business model. It gives them time to squeeze more out of a corpse.

Ultimately the answer to combating digital piracy lies in the hands of those who own content and those who control access to the internet.

Ah, see there’s you’re problem. You keep going back and forth between “saving the creative industries” and “combating digital piracy” as if they were one and the same. They’re not. There are many successful creative businesses now embracing digital piracy to their advantage by being smart. You should talk to some of them. And, note the party you left out of the equation: the users. The folks who consume and interact and share and promote and buy. If you want to know what the answer is for a thriving creative industry, you should be talking to them — not the folks still trying to sell plastic discs.

Ask me what I think will finish off piracy as a real threat to our creators and creative businesses and the answer is obvious — it is the market.

Then why are you favoring one set of players and one business model? That’s not the market at work. It’s the opposite.

Mandelson’s entire argument seems to be built off of a very faulty premise: stop file sharing and the industry succeeds. That’s wrong on a variety of points. First, as much as you want to, you won’t stop file sharing. You’ll just drive people further underground, and that helps no one. Second, the creative industry is thriving today, even with file sharing, and many who are doing great are doing so by embracing it, and using it to their own advantage. Getting rid of file sharing is not the same thing as “succeeding” in the industry. Third, even if you did magically make file sharing disappear, that’s got nothing to do with actually giving people a reason to buy. Pissing people off by cutting them off the internet actually gives them fewer reasons to buy.

Permalink | Comments | Email This Story

Continue reading

Posted in Syndicated | Comments Off on Peter Mandelson Defends His Sudden Conversion To Kicking People Off The Internet

Opera 10 to emerge Tuesday

Opera Software will release version 10 of its browser Tuesday, a new version of software that has loyal fans but not as much adoption as several rivals.

The Norwegian company says Opera 10 has better performance, a Turbo mode for slow Internet connections, support for a variety of Web standards such as Web fonts, and improvements to the Opera Mail feature. The company issued two Opera 10 release candidates for the free software in the last week, and spokeswoman Falguni Bhuta announced Monday the final version will arrive September 1.

Opera has been available for years as an alternative to the dominant Microsoft Internet Explorer, the second-ranked Firefox, and Apple’s Safari. It was pushed into fifth place with the arrival of Google Chrome. The Opera browser often charts new territory, though. For example, its Speed Dial feature, which presents an array of Web site thumbnails when a person opens a new browser tab, was first introduced in 2007. A similar feature can now be found in Chrome and Safari, and Firefox may add something comparable.

The new Carakan JavaScript engine, which is used to run Web-based applications such as Google Docs, isn’t done yet, and the Unite feature is slated for a version 10 update.

Firefox, Safari, and Chrome also all are working furiously on better JavaScript performance too, in an effort to make the Web a better foundation for applications.

Originally posted at Deep Tech

Continue reading

Posted in Syndicated | Comments Off on Opera 10 to emerge Tuesday

Yet Another Study Shows That Patents Lead To Sub-Optimal Innovation

Over the years, we’ve pointed to tons of research, especially historical research, that shows that near total lack of evidence that patents have any causal relationship to increased innovation. Some of the research shows little effect in either direction, and some of the research actually suggests a serious disincentive to innovate in the face of patents. If you’re not all that familiar with innovation and patenting, this may come as a surprise. After all, the whole idea behind a patent is to create an incentive for someone to invent something that moves humankind forward (promoting the progress). The theory is that by providing some sort of gov’t granted exclusive monopoly, the inventors have more of a reason to go forward.

There are two key problems with this theory, that explain why the historical evidence can find no support of this happening in practice. The first is that people invent and innovate for all sorts of reasons — very rarely having to do with “because I can get a patent.” It may be “because this is something I need or something I want.” Or it could be because the innovator recognizes that with or without a patent, providing that product in the marketplace is likely to be lucrative (and being first in the marketplace is even more lucrative). Or, it may just be that the innovators are driven to make the world a better place. Whether it’s profit motive or altruism, there are many reasons that invention and innovation occur without the need for patents.

The second key problem is the very nature of innovation itself. As anyone who’s been involved with serious innovation over a period of time can tell you, innovation is an ongoing process, rather than a one-and-done sort of thing. You take an idea, and you work on it, and then you see what people think, and then you innovate, and you try something different and you get more feedback and you innovate some more, and so on. It never ends. You’re always continuing to innovate. As such, others are often doing similar innovations, and the ability to leapfrog each other in the marketplace is actually a fantastic driver of innovation. If someone else is doing something cool, it’s of little use to just copy them. You want to make something even better. And then they want to leapfrog you as well. That drives serious rapid innovation. A patent, on the other hand, greatly limits this whole process. Because it assumes that innovation is a one-and-done process. Someone comes up with something new, and that’s it. The market needs to live with it until the patent expires or someone comes up with something entirely different. That’s massively stifling on the normal process of innovation.

A few months back, two professors, Andrew W. Torrance and Bill Tomlinson, published a paper on a simulation game they ran to test out some of these hypotheses. A bunch of folks submitted this back when it first came out, but I wanted to spend some time looking over the details before writing about it. Basically, Torrance and Tomlinson create a nice simulation system that really does a good job simulating the various models for innovation with patents or in a more collaborative world. And, what they found in the simulation they ran supports what has actually happened in the real world, according to the research we’ve discussed in the past:

These results indicate that current patent systems (that is, systems combining patent and open source protection for inventions) may generate significantly lower rates of innovation (p<0.05), productivity (p<0.001), and social utility (p<0.002) than does a commons system. This suggests that current patent systems may significantly deter, rather than spur, technological innovation compared to a commons system.

Specifically, the results compared three separate models: one where everything gets patented, one where it’s a hybrid model with both patents and a common, and one that was pure commons. The results are pretty striking. In the pure commons (no patents) world, they ended up with more innovation, significantly greater productivity and massively more social utility.

Given how well this seems to match up with previous research on what’s actually happening, it seems like this model has at least something going for it. Still, it would be interesting to see what happens as they run more tests and continue to refine the sim. But it certainly raises ever more questions about the insistence among patent system supporters that the system must increase innovation. The evidence there is scant. The evidence on the other side? Quite imposing.

Permalink | Comments | Email This Story

Continue reading

Posted in Syndicated | Comments Off on Yet Another Study Shows That Patents Lead To Sub-Optimal Innovation