Quantcast
The Hurdles of “Do Not Track”

This week saw announcements from both  Mozilla and Google about browser mechanisms related to online behavioral targeting. Mozilla announced the ‘do not track’ mechanism and Google announced a "Keep My Opt-Outs" Chrome Extension.

Google: 2011 Will Be Biggest Hiring Year Ever
· 1

The other day, I wrote a post about how Google should consider increasing its employees’ 20% time to encourage innovation. Given that this time is dedicated to innovation and some of the company’s most successful products came from it, it seems like a good idea to me, but Google’s strategy appears to be a mixture of a large amount of acquisitions, imitating successful products, and hiring (not that innovation has been totally lacking at the company.

Yahoo Confirms Layoffs Ahead Of Q4 Earnings Report

In a few minutes, Yahoo will release an earnings report concerning the fourth quarter of 2010, but prior to that, the company’s admitted that yet another round of layoffs is taking place.  The number of affected individuals is probably in the neighborhood of 140.

Obviously, that’s not great news for those people, and it may not be a good sign for Yahoo, either.  Many companies are expanding, not contracting, as the economy recovers.

Google Buys SayNow, Adds to Google Voice Team
· 1

Google has acquired SayNow, a company whose slogan is "reinventing the phone call". Actually, SayNow has a hosted platform and series of applications for voice messaging, conversations, and group calls that can be integrated into Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, and Android and iPhone apps. 

SayNow announced the acquisition (without any financial details). From the announcement:

Amazon Launches Bulk Email-Sending Service
· 1

Amazon said today it is launching a bulk email-sending service for businesses and developers as part of its web services.

The new service called Amazon Simple Email Service (Amazon SES) integrates with other Amazon Web Services (AWS), to send email from other apps being hosted on services such as Amazon EC2.

 

Amazon-Email-Service

 

Use Your Existing Number with Google Voice

Google announced Number Porting for Google Voice today, which means you’ll be able to use Google Voice with your existing phone number. News came out last week that the company was testing this, but they have already moved beyond the testing stage and are offering it as an option. 

There are some caveats you should know, however. 

Facebook Buys Mobile Ad Company Rel8tion

Facebook has reportedly acquired Rel8tion, a mobile advertising company. While you’d be hard pressed to find much info about the company on its own site, it has been made clear that this is a talent acquisition, so look for interesting things in mobile ads to come to Facebook in the near term. 

The Wall Street Journal’s AllThingsD, which broke the story, shares the following statement from Facebook:

Facebook, MySpace, YouTube Named Top Blacklisted Sites Of 2010

Social media sites like Facebook, MySpace, and YouTube continue to polarize corporations and people in charge of networks, judging by a new report from OpenDNS.  The sites showed up on both "top blacklisted" and "top whitelisted" lists covering the entire year of 2010.

Will You Be Paying Restaurant Checks with iTunes This Year?

There has been no confirmation from Apple on this front, but word is that the next versions of the iPhone and iPad will include NFC (near field communication) technology, which means people will be able to use them to make payments out in the physical world (where the technology is supported – which will likely be a growing number of places). 

National Geographic To Distribute YouTube “Life In A Day” Film
· 1

An experimental film project in which over 80,000 YouTube users opted to participate will soon reach far beyond computer monitors and the occasional Internet-connected TV.  National Geographic has picked up the U.S. distribution rights to Life in a Day, ensuring a theatrical release.

Newspaper Websites Attracted More Than 100 Million Visitors In Q4
· 1

Newspaper websites saw large amounts of traffic in the fourth quarter of 2010, attracting an average monthly audience of 105.3 million unique visitors or 62 percent of all adult Internet users.

The analysis, by comScore for the Newspaper Association of America, also indicates that newspaper websites continue to attract key demographics, reaching 58 percent of 25-to-34-year-olds and 73 percent of individuals in households earning more than $100,000 a year on average through out the quarter.

The Social Network Receives 8 Academy Award Nominations

The Academy Awards nominations list has just been released, and everybody’s favorite Facebook movie is up for 8 awards. These include: Best Picture, Best Direction, Actor in a Leading Role, Adapted Screenplay, Cinematography, Film Editing, Sound Mixing, and Music (Original Score). 

Having heard about two decades worth of Trent Reznor’s musical offerings, I think the word "original" is a bit of a stretch these days, but the score did work for the film, if you ask me. 

Google Plans 1,000-Person Hiring Spree In Europe

Anyone concerned that Google’s growth will slow under Larry Page can probably at least put aside those fears with respect to the company’s headcount.  Outgoing CEO Eric Schmidt announced today that Google intends to hire 1,000 people in Europe alone.

AOL Partners With Valassis On Digital Coupons

Coupon marketing company Valassis said today it has formed a partnership with AOL to create “one of the largest paperless digital coupon footprints in the United States, including over 7,500 grocery retail stores.”

Google to Improve Social Search with fflick Acquisition?

Update: Apparently the acquisition is more about YouTube. Interesting. Google’s official announcement here.

Facebook Credits To Become Universal Currency On Site
· 3

A currency – whether real or virtual – is only as good as the extent to which it’s accepted.  So to increase the value of Facebook Credits (figuratively speaking), Facebook will soon make them a mandatory option in social games that use payments.

Users and developers shouldn’t react with too much dismay.  Other in-game currencies will be still be permitted, and Facebook intends to let developers keep 70 percent of the revenue from transactions that involve Facebook Credits.

Visualize Your LinkedIn Influence with InMaps

LinkedIn has launched a new LinkedIn Labs product called InMaps, which shows you what your network looks like in a visual way. 

Google Enables “Cloud Printing On The Go”
· 1

Let’s face it: smartphone adoption isn’t close to universal, and the average non-student probably doesn’t print documents on a regular basis.  But today, Google launched Google Cloud Print for mobile documents and Gmail for mobile, an interesting service that introduces new options concerning when and where people can print.

What Does The New Business Model For Journalism Need To Be?

Think about the best article you read last year. The hard hitting, excellently researched, insightfully written article that you just couldn’t put down. Now think about how much money you spent to read it. Was it in a magazine you subscribe to? Or perhaps a website that you accessed and read for free?

Qwiki Opens Up to the Public
· 2

Qwiki opened up to the public today in alpha form, after being in private alpha since launching in October. 

Qwiki was in the news last week, as it secured a new round of funding led by Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin, and now the world can see what all the fuss is about. 

Bing Makes Image Search More Interesting

Bing has introduced a new landing page style for its image search feature. Now when you go to Bing, and click on "images", you will be presented with a page that graphically displays the top 20  current image searches and images that accompany them. 

AOL Launches Highlights From Comedian’s Podcasts

AOL said today it is launching late night video programming featuring highlights from the podcasts of “The Adam Carolla Show,” “Kevin Pollack’s Chat Show,” and Kevin Smith’s SModcast Network.

“AOL Late Night” launches today at 10PM (ET) and will feature interviews with celebrities, actors, writers directors, comedians, and musicians.

 

Google Launches Keep My Opt-Outs Chrome Extension
· 2

Google has launched a new extension for its Chrome browser, called Keep My Opt-Outs. It is essentially a Do Not Track mechanism that lets users opt out from receiving personalized advertisements as they browse the web. 

Orkut Turns 7

Sometimes, Google pulls out all the figurative stops when making an announcement, calling news conferences, issuing press releases, and putting notices on Google.com.  Today, there’s a blog post and a site-specific doodle to celebrate the seventh birthday of Orkut.