Friday, June 30, 2006

Device Allows Blind to “Read”

The National Federation of the Blind has introduced the Kurzwell-National Federation of the Blind Reader, which combines a digital camera and a character-recognition software with text-to-speech conversation technology.

The user holds the device over printed material and the device takes a picture of the text and plays back the content in synthetic speech. It can also store the contents and transfer them to a computer. This device is available to consumers July 1st, but is a little pricy: $3,495.00.


Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Real Adding Ads to Casual Games

In another note about advertising in the gaming industry, it seems Real is seeing only 2% of people buy its trial games, so has decided to put ads in the game space to generate revenue from the other 98%. This on top of the fact that the company gets a large portion of its revenues from gaming:

For the past two years, the popularity of casual games has helped RealArcade grow at twice the rate of the rest of the company. In its most recent quarter, RealNetworks took in $18.6 million from games, or more than 20 percent of the company's total quarterly revenue. The revenue came not only from games downloaded at RealArcade, but also from games that RealNetworks has licensed to other casual game sites.

Starting this week, players who download the RealArcade games and play them for only an hour will have to view short commercials.

The company is also heavily investing in games as a future revenue generator; RealNetworks spent $36 million to acquire the casual game company GameHouse Inc. in 2004 and $15 million for a mobile-game company called Mr. GoodLiving Ltd. last year.

Remember when Real was known only for its audio solutions? Times change...

More info here.


Tuesday, June 27, 2006

The battle to enact network neutrality

"All you have to do is block it one time out of five, or make a service less
reliable or harder to use, and people will quit using it," he said. "In the
network world, the user never knows where the problem is."

This article really spells out how much control the phone companies and cable companies may have over the functionlity of the internet. The author alludes to the idea that a free and open internet may be a thing of the past. He says that major service providers are getting tired of websites getting filthy rich (Google) off of their (the cable and phone co's) investments and system infrastructure. Apparently the telco's and cable companies want to be able to block certain sites or at the very least disrupt their user-friendliness so that people no longer want to visit the site.
Neutrality agreements seem to be the only answer in sight. I think it's somewhat scary to think that the cable and phone companies could disrupt individual websites. It's almost monopolistic. I understand the point that the telcos are making, but in all fairness these companies have made a name for themselves as monopoly-makers and they fail to evoke sympathy from me. Eventually there will be competition for wireless providers on a large scale, until then, the telcos and cable companies should quit their crying and count their blessings.


Monday, June 26, 2006

New Ad Model Introduced

Hey Fellow Folk--

This article talks about a new online ad model being introduced by Jellyfish, an online shopper's comparision site. The innovation beauty of the web is that you don't neccesarily have to follow protocol. This site has created their own ad model called Value Per Action or VPA. The model is said to be similar to that of the Upromise program, where the value to the customer is stressed more than the cost to the retailer. Very Interesting, Consumers still pay full price, but they get half of the discount amount returned to them, and Jellyfish takes the other half. To attract users to the site, the company has developed a referral system which offers an additional 50 percent of the commission that’s paid to each purchaser to the person who referred that shopper to Jellyfish.


College Newspaper: MySpace’s Latest Ad Rivals

Advertising on MySpace and Facebook websites to reach the 17-24 year old market may have the adverse effect for certain advertisers.
With recent news reports of a 16 year old boarding a plane to the Middle East after being lured by a fellow MySpacer, advertisers are quickly questioning whether to take such advertising risks, potentially gaining product association with online predation. Advertisers are now looking into the possibilities of buying ad space in the online college news papers market. Online college newspapers are generating greater readership for its current, past and potential students. I think this is an excellent way to reach new consumers in a unique, positive approach, benefiting both advertisers and colleges alike.
“Nearly 70 percent of college students read the online version of their
student newspapers at least twice per month. Those online versions represent a
great avenue for recent graduates to keep tabs on their campus as

Certain advertisers are hoping to gain life-long brand loyal customers by marketing to kids as young as eight years old …

“The benefit of going directly to college media is the ability to better
filter who's being reached with a market, said Pradel" A lot of companies
starting to go younger, even looking at the eight- to 13-year-old market
as a
way of developing brand loyalty," Pradel said. "It probably doesn't
hurt to
expose younger consumers to a brand, but they are not in the same

Read more... gets funded

My friend Rafat over at - required reading for class - has just received some top-shelf funding for his blog. While a lot of bloggers are mentioned as getting funding, one of the most interesting bits in the article is the implication that blogs are the new magazines... [emphasis mine]

The financing, though small in comparison with most Web deals, is one of several in recent weeks that indicate optimism on the part of early-stage investors in the viability of blogs as an outlet for journalism, rather than the gossip and personal opinion that characterizes much of the medium.

Mr. Patricof says niche publications on the Web are a "great place to be," with lower investment requirements and easier spinoff opportunities than print media. "To start a magazine today would cost a minimum of $15 million to $25 million, and you have to spend through three or four years of losses," Mr. Patricof said. With blogs, "the economics are a lot better."

What do you think? Is this a fad or a new trend in publishing? Are entrepreneurs launching blogs and blog networks where in the past they woul dhave launched a magazine? (It's worth noting that almost all of the recently funded bloggers have been doing it for years... no 'overnight' successes here - just hard work and consistent quality, driving readership. OK, some had helpful brand platforms to launch from...)

More from the WSJ here.


You can't leave AOL...

An unbelievable experience that shows what happens when customer retention is taken too far...

On Tape: Rep Won't Let Customer Quit AOL

An incredible video from CNBC shows an AOL customer trying to cancel his account, but a phone rep won't let him do it. What customer Vincent Ferrari got when he tried to cancel his account was a lot of frustration.

Click here to go to the story and watch the video.


Saturday, June 24, 2006

Wonderful World of Wireless

Garry Betty, Chief Executive of Earthlink is determined to make the entire city of Anaheim California wireless. To implement this, Earthlink has attached little white boxes to 1,500 traffic lights, and at the end of June, Mayor Curt Pringle will cut a ceremonial wire to turn on the 1,500 boxes to create a city-wide, wi-fi network. On the other hand, this wi-fi city Betty is crating isn’t completely free, it will be offered to Anaheim residents for $22 a month, which is still cheaper than most companies internet packages.

Earthlink has already spent $5 million building this wireless network in Anaheim and is expecting about a 15-20% return, if 100,000 homes sign up.

As well as this wi-fi implementation, Betty is also working on getting a wireless cellular phone system put into the city to offer customers unlimited night and weekend calling for a mere $25.00 a month. To implement this idea, he needs to install many wireless towers in Anaheim.,71228-0.html?tw=wn_technology_2


Friday, June 23, 2006

Tech Tools: Using Blogs and Wikis

This article is interesting to me for several reasons: I am interested in the new social applications (Web 2.0) and two because I am an event planner. Blogs and Wikis are the two new buzzwords in the event planning industry. Nowadays, these social websites are gaining popularity in the professional settings.

What those stories probably failed to mention is that blogs are quickly moving from the Web playground into the business boardroom, offering event professionals innovative—and cost-effective—ways to connect with their internal teams, vendors, and constituents.

As an independent consultant, this form of communication is extremely effective. These ways of social networking allow the planner to receive valuable feedback and suggestions concerning events, conferences and meetings they produce.


Thursday, June 22, 2006

Google tests Cost per Action Ad system

In an attempt to protect its advertising partners from click fraud, Google is testing a new type of online ad that would only charge the advertiser when a user performs a certain action. This would assure advertisers that they are getting a return on their investment, while weeding out false clicks.

In an apparent attempt to weed out fraud and try an even more results oriented approach, Google has begun limited testing of a CPA system for use as an option in addition to its CPC system. Though the article speculates a drop in revenue, I would imagine a much higher price point for actions of meaning to an advertiser's business model. A lot of questions remain however - just as CPC ads called into question the value of CPM ads and ultimately can even provide a level setting function, so too would this do the same for CPC.


"Feed the Myspace Beast" - Photo Sites

Hitwise have released stats to show that Photobucket is by far the largest photo-sharing site in the world - it has 43.84% of the market, compared to Yahoo! Photos at 18.27% and Webshots at 8.34%. The fifth company on the list is also an image hosting site for MySpace: ImageShack has 6.04% of the market. Flickr comes in at a respectable 6th place with 5.95% - but that’s way out of proportion to the amount of coverage it garners in the blogosphere. I’ve been trying to argue this point for months, but now we have the stats to prove it: PhotoBucket is far more significant than Flickr. Why? Because their strategy is better (assuming that your aim is growth).

More from Mashable....

I agree with the very Web 2.0 concept: make an easy-to-use widget and latching on to a high growth site or sites, but the truth is it isn't clear whether or not this is a profitable strategy. The author alludes to this, but I would argue that while gaining market share is nice, profitability of the long term is what keeps it. Flickr is large enough and has enough critical mass that focusing on a better product and profitability may in fact be the better strategy. (Overall; as a traffic generator, his observation is clearly totally on point.)


Itunes Movie Talks Hints at Apple’s Living Room Plans

Apple Computer CEO Steve Jobs has been talking with executives at major motion picture studios such as Disney, 20th Century Fox, Warner Brothers, and Universal about eventually offering full-length movie downloads on its popular iTunes online store. Considering the current popularity of television show downloads, viewable on iPod handheld devices, adding movies to the line-up seems to be the next logical step. These discussions with movie studios have renewed rumors that Apple is preparing to offer a living room-oriented entertainment device this year, prior to the winter shopping season, to further diversify its product mix in the entertainment industry. Talks have been confidential; however, it is known that Jobs is recommending a fixed price of $9.99 for each movie download and that he wants to have a deal in place by Autumn. Disney is speculated to be the first company to introduce movies to the iTunes store because of Jobs’ affiliation with Disney through Pixar Animation Studios.

“Consumers have been willing to spend 99 US cents to buy Shakira’s “Hips
Don’t Lie”or $1.99 for an episode of “Desperate Housewives: from
iTunes. Now, Steve Jobs is betting they will also pay $9.99 to
download “The Godfather” to play on their iPods”


Wednesday, June 21, 2006

AdScheduling for AdWords on Google

I have been fascinated by AdWords ever since I learned more about it at the beginning of this semester. Such a pleasant little slice of the free market! Either case, it looks like Google is helping advertisers specify WHEN their chosen adwords will be displayed on Google.

You can check out the article here....Ad Scheduling on Google

I am trying to think of a reason why advertisers would want to schedule when their ads appear...It seems like if people are on Google looking for a specific thing, then that's when they want to be exposed to an ad related to that thing. But maybe not. Actually, come to think of it, that was a very nearsighted comment. Ha!

I guess this could help people try to find value spots where they can get their chosen adwords for less money than they would at higher traffic, higher cost times.

I really wish I had a company that was advertising using AdWords, so I could screw around with it and try to optimize bang-for-your-buck. Kind of a twisted idea of fun.


Internet Marketing and ROI

This is an interesting little article about how marketers are having trouble finding consistent ways to interpret data coming in from their online marketing efforts.

Marketers to Measurers: Agree!

There seems to be a clear cut need for some conformity in data analytics.
The head of one marketing firm expressed her frustration by stating:

I'm appalled that this industry that prides itself on measurability [can't provide more consistent data]?"

This is an excellent point. Web marketing is not only about finding a way to get ads in front of the eyes of the vast number of web surfers, but more importantly, it is supposed to be able to better analyze that surfer and his purchasing and site surfing information.

The trouble seems to lie in combining the expertise of techno-savvy number crunchers with the end goals of traditional marketing firms. Firms are willing to spend money on Internet marketing, but they want to find better ways to measure the return on their investment.

On a somewhat pessimistic note, the writer of this article doesn't seem to anticipate a solution coming about anytime soon.


Online Ad Exchanges Sprout Up


Hey this article is quite interesting, so much that I don't really understand the concept fully. I believe what has happened are that there are now virtual ad exchanges that an advertiser and buyer must go through in order to get ads relevant to their business or site.
"Several companies, including Right Media and AdECN, have begun to address this problem by creating auction-style exchanges to facilitate transactions between advertisers and media buyers." The problem being addressed is finding the most value for available ad inventory.The article gives facts that over 50 ad networks are using the exchange already.
Check it out, there are ome cool stats in here as well!!



Monday, June 19, 2006

Zen and the Art Of Classified Advertising

Craigslist could be pulling in over $500 million a year if they would just simply put a banner ad on each of their text-dominated pages. Why don't they? Jim Buckmaster (CFO, COO, and spiritual leader) of Craigslist explained that the user has never asked for ads, so they won't see any. What that has to do with making money for the company, I have failed to grasp. He went on to say that while other internet companies were going bankrupt, that craigslist stayed profitable, and has been in the black since '99. Impressive. But, he also mentioned how other mega-web-businesses (specifically Amazon) are continually over their lifetime in the net-negative.
I guess because Buckmaster is so very pure in heart that his company is blessed to continue to operate smoothly and meagerly. But, you know what? Though, Buckmaster and Craigslist claim to be operating in the best interests of their users, a large percentage of their profits come from brokers and slumlords advertising on their site. Pure in heart my ass. If they were so pure in heart they would get rid of the usurious bastards advertising 1-bedroom apartments in "east" Williamsburg for $2500 a month.

"Well, the revenue aspect is really an afterthought," Mr. Buckmaster insists,
with a Zen-like calm.


Sunday, June 18, 2006

Chinese World Cup blogger racks up 10 million hits

This article describes China's obsession with the World Cup. Look at the picture published together with this article. Amazing!

Beijing blogger and podcaster Dong Lu registered his 10 millionth hit on Friday morning, racing to the landmark on the back of China's obsession with the World Cup.

(...) Dong presents a podcast every other day featuring caricatures of leading players, parodies of the many soccer-themed adverts on Chinese television and the occasional song.

"At first I wasn't sure if anyone would be interested," he said. "But it took off after a month and the start of World Cup finals has brought an extra 100,000 hits a day."

In my opinion, this huge amount of hits is caused by the fact that Chinese government controls everything, and people are affraid of expressing their ideas and opinion openly and internet gives them opportunity to talk freely.


Thursday, June 15, 2006

Inrix- Web 2.0 for traffic

This startup takes the Web 2.0 concept and applies it to a real-world problem - traffic - with a twist... It collects its data from thousands of GPS and RFID enabled sources. This data is similar to point of sale data for retail... a byproduct that is insanely valuable if sold to those who can benefit.

Our Vision
Inrix addresses the need for real-time and predictive traffic information nationwide across a variety of platforms, devices and distribution channels. Our goal is to save time for individuals and businesses by providing them with critical, predictive traffic information. We accomplish this using powerful and intelligent Bayesian statistical analysis models integrated with real-time traffic information and a variety of other variables to tell people not only what traffic is like right now, but also what traffic conditions will be like in the future and how to best avoid the trouble spots.

Inrix is the exclusive beneficiary of years of research and millions of dollars of development by Microsoft Research into the statistical inference of traffic patterns, predictive analysis and mobile-base visualizations of real time systems. We distribute real-time, predictive and forecast traffic information to a broad range of service providers, device manufacturers, Web sites and mobile solution providers in a hosted, business-to-business service model. "

If these guys are successful, the will be exploiting geographic metadata, adding value through analysis. Terrific. (OK, if it works...)


Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Internet Companies Thirst for Power

Not the kind you think.... it seems the vast arrays of servers required for data centers housing most major commercial sites suck up an enormous amount of electricity. Since local power prices can very significantly, some of the big guys are building data centers in the Northwest where they can get cheap hydro power....

Hiding in Plain Sight, Google Seeks More Power

And odd as it may seem, the barren desert land surrounding the Columbia along the Oregon-Washington border — at the intersection of cheap electricity and readily accessible data networking — is the backdrop for a multibillion-dollar face-off among Google, Microsoft and Yahoo that will determine dominance in the online world in the years ahead.

It's interesting to see the real-world needs of virtual companies are still important...


Newspapers fight back against online classifieds

I would like to present an article concerning newspapers' online advertising. I have noticed that Ramona had published simmilar article "Papers' online ads outpace print". You can look upon this post as supplement of this topic.

It is interesting that recently, newspapers didn't want to accept that advertisers are increasing their spending on the Internet.

"Now they (newspapers) totally get it and
they'rescrambling to make sure they're not left out of the equation(...)."

This article shows that nowadays newspapers adapt their strategies to attract potential classified advertisers and keep newspapers' revenues higher than online competitors.


Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Looking for Parking? Try Online

"Several companies are experimenting with systems that let drivers go online or even use cell phones and handheld devices to reserve a space in a garage or locate nearby street parking."

This idea is genius!I lived LA for 4 years, and the amount of time I spent searching for parking was absurd. From work, to home, to my university - I probably spent about an hour a day just looking for parking. That's 5 hours a week, 20 hours a month, that's 240 hours per year! That's just plain crazy.

This article also explains that homeowners will be able to go online and rent out their unused parking spots to make a little extra cash.

This idea is still extremely new, they are in the process of rolling it out this summer. For example, cell phone users in the largest 30 cities of the world will be able to check for available parking spots in nearby garages. In Oakland, California many garages are equipped with sensors that Bay Area Rapid Transit installed to keep track of available parking spots.

In the next 3 years, this technology will be part of our mainstream daily activities, it will result in less traffic, less parking violations and happier people.


Celestial Jukebox Falls to Earth,71122-0.html?tw=wn_index_13

All music lovers who own portable devices are about to get an even bigger freedom, Celestial jukebox. Rather than being stuck with the music downloaded onto your mp3 player via computer, Celestial jukebox can give everyone the ability to access all content ever created, from anywhere, at any time. The celestial wi-fi jukebox is about impulse buying, and this long discussed concept is finally becoming a reality. Concrete ideas about how this company will launch are happening now. A few immediate thoughts were to incorporate a flat fee subscription rate like the company Rhapsody, which subscribers paid a monthly fee of $15.00 dollars.

"A Wi-Fi-enabled subscription service would lead to all sorts of impulse listening. While reading a music magazine in bed, you could queue up downloads of the artists mentioned without getting up. Or if a friend tells you about a band they think you'll like, you could listen to it on the way home (provided there's some Wi-Fi nearby, as is increasingly the case).
The celestial jukebox, which will famously follow you around reacting to your every musical whim, could be enabled by mere earthbound internet cables and Wi-Fi hot spots".


Monday, June 12, 2006

At Google, Innovation Is Not Just Fun, Games

An interesting look at the point of view held by Google as to what kind of company they are. This says it all:

Q: Is Google a media company or a technology company?

A: It's better to think of Google as a technology company. Google is run by three computer scientists, and Google is an innovator in technology in our space. We're in the advertising business — 99% of our revenue is advertising-related. But that doesn't make us a media company. We don't do our own content. We get you to someone else's content faster.


Hot Deals for Budding Internet Stars

Hot Deals for Budding Internet Stars

With all the hype around video sharing these days, there's a lot of money chasing the few on the net who seem to be good at what they do:

"We are actively looking to the Web for new talent and are in deal conversations with a lot of newbies - unknowns that we think can become geniuses at what they do," said Jim Moloshok, HBO's president of media ventures.

According to FX network president John Landgraf, a typical development deal for a scripted cable program can range from $40,000 to $100,000.

"Once a video goes viral, it's a calling card to get your foot in a network's door," said Landgraf, whose network forked over $400,000 to the creators of "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia" after viewing their $200 pilot.

Will it last? Well, like unsigned bands and other 'undiscovered' talent - the trick is always to sort through the chaff to get to the wheat...


EBay Says: Hooray for Bloggers!

eBay is going to start allowing external websites, mainly bloggers, to post eBay ads on their sites. Keywords in the blogs will determine what the content of the ad actually is. Also, it plans on advertising live on auctions, via embedded code, on the same sites. They plan on paying the affiliates as much as 60% of the take.
I think this is a wise move by eBay, especially because of the contextual advertising. People read the blogs that have the subject matter that interests them the most. More than likely, the keywords that pop-up in the blogs will contain ideas and products that the blog reader will probably care about and/or want to purchase.
My only question is…does Yahoo! want to let this happen?

"...enterprising bloggers will fill up only as much white space as they must
in order to keep the lights on. If eBay pays them more, and more
reliably...Well, anything is possible."


Internet Retailers Continue To Lead Multichannel Merchants In Satisfaction


This article basically focuses on what's going on in the customer service end of the whole internet business "business".
What drives customer satisfaction on the web? Primarily site performance as opposed to prices, interesting huh?
The leaders are Netflix and Amazon, while was one of the worst. Wanna learn more?

Check out


Saturday, June 10, 2006

Online communities can hurt job prospects...

This is a great summary of what smart recruiters have ben doing for a while and how it's impacting recent grads... With the explosion of online search tools that can quickly turn up information on a person, being Googled is expected. However, some employers are even checking Facebook and MySpace for info on potential candidates.

Two cautionary tales:

Online Remark Can Now Sink Job Candidate
When a small consulting company in Chicago was looking to hire a summer intern this month, the company's president went online to check on a promising candidate who had just graduated from the University of Illinois.

At Facebook, a popular social networking site, the executive found the candidate's Web page with this description of his interests: "smokin' blunts" (cigars hollowed out and stuffed with marijuana), shooting people and obsessive sex, all described in vivid slang.

And even worse, perhaps....

Curious about the candidate, Ms. Homayoun went to her page on Facebook. She found explicit photographs and commentary about the student's sexual escapades, drinking and pot smoking, including testimonials from friends. Among the pictures were shots of the young woman passed out after drinking.


Papers' online ads outpace print

According to the estimates made by the Newspaper Association of America, newspaper print and spending in the first three months of 2006 increased by only .3 %, while spending for online advertising rose by 35%. Newspapers are gradually moving more and more of their product on to the internet.

Working in the publication industry, I have been seeing this gradually happening at my job. More advertisers have been signing contracts to run online campaigns rather than print.

Retrieved from:


Net Neutrality

Net Neutrality may prove to be the first piece of regulation for the internet. The bill is designed to make it easier for telecom companies to offer tv programming over web connections. The legislation is to prevent a two tiered internet, and to prevent the loss of revenue for cable companies to lay out expnsive fiber optic cables.

"Unless the Senate steps in, this vote marks the beginning of the end of the Internet as an engine of new competition, entrepreneurship and innovation," said Consumers Union policy analyst Jeannine Kenney.


Viral video sharing is new headache for music biz

This article is about music vodeos that are distributed via Internet. The recording industry tries to block piracy concerning music, especially illegal music videos. YouTube is the most popular and rapidly expanding site that contains unlicensed music videos. The Recording Industry Association of America fighs against illegal music videos with such a sites as YouTube, MySpace, etc. "However, one source close to the situation says that the recording industry is lobbying YouTube and other viral video sites to implement content-filtering technologies to identify and block unauthorized distribution of copyrighted works."


Friday, June 09, 2006

Web 2.0 Goes Corporate

The author’s off-beat and cynical view of Web 2.0 raises the question what is the true meaning of the term “Web 2.0”. Web 2.0 is truly just a word that Silicon Valleyners use to describe anything trendy and new in the web world. The phenomenon of Web 2.0 has been used to describe the second generation of the web community. Increasingly, corporations and mainstream society are adopting this terminology to extend to new emerging applications and using the web for social networking. As a layman, I still do not have a clear understanding of Web 2.0 after reading countless articles about this subject. Just as the author hinted, many people still are unfamiliar with this terminology even though many tech savvy people feels as though it has peaked. This overused, vague term carries no true definitive meaning. While the definition of Web 2.0 is still to be determined, in general, the basic characteristics are:
§ It is easy to get data in and out of the system
§ Users can usually modify their ideas
§ Used through a web-based browser “network as platform”
§ Data returns should be dynamic
§ Users can add value to the application as they use it
§ Some social networking


House Rejects Net Neutrality Rule


This article has to do with teh debate going on in Congress right now about attempting to create a "Two-Tier" Internet, where some sites are treated differently than others. Companies like eBay and Google oppose the ruling; saying that they want to ensure that there is just one internet and that the government doesn't have control over it. Supporters of the two-tier system say that this is just a way for eBay and Google to avoid paying taxes. As of now, the idea of a completely neutral Internet has already been struck down, and the FCC has asserted its power to hear complaints in regard to Internet-related disputes. It will be inteersting to see how this plays out in the next few years.



IPTV Promises Meet Realty

Hello again,

This next post is in regards to IPTV. IPTV is Internet Protocol TV. It is slowly being rolled out in a few American markets. The service itself runs over fiber optics lines and is hoping to be the future of TV. In this article, AT&T has teamed up with Microsoft to develop and release their first version of IPTV. The hope down the line is that the Internet capabilities of IPTV will lead to a greater interactive experience with television.

This article mainly discusses AT&Ts release strategies for the service. As of now, their main goal is to simply stay competitive with local cable operators in terms of pricing and channel offerings. As time goes on, they will start introducing some of their fancier interactive services.



New Cell Phone Screens are Battery Friendly


So I found this interesting article about the future of battery power on handheld devices. As you know, technology is quickly converging in the handheld electronics market. The not-to-distant vision (in fact, it's pretty much already here) is that consumers can carry just one devices that does what they normally need several devices for (cell phone, PDA, iPod/Mp3 Player, etc.). The problem with doing this has been the lack of good battery life to support all those functions running on the same device.

The people in this article believe they have found a solution. They found that the backlight on a display takes up nearly 90% of the total battery power used by the display. And furthermore, that the display takes up 30% of the overall battery power.

One solution to the problem involves a complex set of mirrors in the phone that illuminates the ambient sun and room light. Another solution involves a process called "microwetting," where water and a oily dye are used to shift colors; some applications of this have been used in watches who's colors are designed to be changed with your outfit.

Nifty stuff! Sounds convenient if they can ever find a way to produce it in a large number of phones inexpensively.


Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Startup Hopes Local Merchants take a turn for Advertorial Films

Hey Good People-

i published this blog on Sat. but this evening I was goofing around and deleted the original so I am reblogging it.
(is that a word?)
Anyway this is a great article on new type of advertising supported by Interactive Online Advertising. Businesses are going towards the this new trend in advertising, which is a short "advertorial film" played at the beginning or tail end of website information. This should fair well with those that hate the streaming video in the middle of their content.

Startup Hopes Local Merchants Take a Turn for Advertorial Films
By Kate Kaye
June 2, 2006

Jeweler and sculptor Daniel Macchiarini isn't sold on search marketing, and he's pulled his ad dollars away from standard local ad venues like newspapers, radio and television. Instead, he's taking a chance on a two and a half-minute film produced in conjunction with local travel video producer and distributor TurnHere to promote his family's business, the Macchiarini Creative Design and Metalworks Gallery on Grant Avenue in San Francisco.

"I want to aim at a younger demographic and reach younger people," stressed Macchiarini, who said he used to place ads in the yellow pages, in his small local paper and occasionally in the San Francisco Chronicle. "It's clear to me that the future's not in the newspapers and not on the radio and not on the TV….It feels like less and less and less people are responding [to ads in those media]" he continued.

TurnHere's Web site officially launches Monday, but the company has been stockpiling original sponsored and non-sponsored short films highlighting neighborhood locations and activities around the globe for the past few months. In promoting its sponsored film service, the firm is setting its sights primarily on the New York, LA and San Francisco markets, hoping more proprietors will take what Macchiarini calls, "an intelligent risk" on the advertainment-style format.

Most video content providers are offering pre- and post-roll spots that run within video streams before and after content. Not so for TurnHere. TurnHere founder and CEO Bradley Inman told ClickZ News in April that focus groups conducted by his firm expressed distaste for in-stream video ads, and would rather watch narrative films dedicated to individual advertisers.

Although emotion-eliciting video advertising is often associated with brand objectives, Inman believes the TurnHere site and the film content the company produces work best for direct-response purposes. "The Web is a transactional based and conversion tool," noted Inman in a more recent talk with ClickZ News. "We need to play to that strength."

Despite its local focus, the inspires exploration; hence its first national advertiser, The travel advertiser has placed run-of-site interactive skyscrapers on the TurnHere site that allow users to search for vacation packages directly from the ad. Inman suspects that Expedia will see more success from an ad placed on his contextually-relevant site than, say, a social networking site.

Advertorial and editorial films on the site center on popular U.S. tourist spots like Philadelphia, Boston and Seattle, as well as those off the beaten path such as Reykjavik, Iceland. There's already a variety of sponsored shorts featuring small businesses including Brooklyn's Damascus Bakery, a haven for Lebanese delicacies; and Dr. Wilkinson's, a Napa Valley getaway known for its mud baths. The spa is sponsoring the Napa/Sonoma neighborhood area of the site, so its film is presented prominently on the section's homepage. Site visitors can plot area businesses using the Google Maps feature on the site.

Like the other professionally-shot sponsored TurnHere Web flicks, Macchiarini's film covers all aspects of his business, from how he develops his designs to the process of crafting one-of-a-kind wedding rings and other works of art. The short was directed by Marty Jackson and took about 6-8 hours to film, according to Macchiarini, who plans on placing it on his own Web site.

TurnHere offers short and long merchant films that run 45 seconds and 2-3 minutes, respectively, as well as custom films for corporate use. The firm charges base production and distribution fees in addition to a per-stream charge after clients reach a minimum stream count. Businesses are charged only if they commission a sponsored film that focuses solely on their company; when merchants happen to be featured in a non-sponsored short highlighting multiple neighborhood attractions, they aren't charged.

To help spread the word about its films, TurnHere has enabled a viral component to all its content. All films can be e-mailed, downloaded, or linked to. The company also allows affiliates to place a text-ad supported TurnHere player on their sites that automatically streams different mini-movies each day. Affiliates can license a premium player and split ad revenue they generate through the content with TurnHere.

Whether the firm's unique ad format will appeal to more local advertisers remains to be seen. Even TurnHere advertiser client Macchiarini isn't entirely convinced his new film will drive foot traffic to his shop. "The only thing I'm nervous about is it's a new launch," he explained. "How many people are actually going to see it is a question in my mind."



WEB Bolsters Offline Campaign

Hi Everyone-

This article has some great statistics included. Basically, it is an overview from an OPA report on internet advertising and its effect on offline advertising. Media consumption was recorded with a group of 350 people in Indianapolis and Muncie, Indiana and found that consumers use the web consecutively or simultaneously with other media, television, print and radio.
Also, findings show Internet ad spending continues to increase as other media lose ground. The first quarter saw a 38 percent increase in advertising dollars spent on the Web.

I'm convinced, now to just establish the best business model for our business, the key is definately the WEB

OPA Study: Web Bolsters Offline Campaigns
By Enid Burns
June 6, 2006

Research from the Online Publisher's Association finds the Internet offers advertisers reach by itself, but also works to extend reach for campaigns on other channels. The data are part of research from "A Day in the Life: An Ethnographic Study of Media Consumption" conducted by Ball State University's Center for Media Design.

The researchers recorded the media consumption of 350 people in Indianapolis and Muncie, Indiana, and found consumers use the Web consecutively or simultaneously with other media, including television, print and radio.

"It really demonstrates that there's incredible reach of the Web on its own, as well as [showing] the complementary nature of the Web and other media," OPA President Pam Horan told ClickZ News. "One-fifth of all Web use is either immediately before, during, or immediately following TV viewing."

Television's reach was increased 51 percent in the morning, 39 percent at mid-day, and 42 percent in the afternoon daypart, when combined with online usage. Print experienced a similar lift with its height occurring in the evening daypart.

One-quarter of consumer media time is spent on the Web with the medium eclipsing all other channels during work hours. Horan pointed out that online ad dollars have yet to catch up to consumer usage. "[The Web] attracts about eight percent of advertising dollars," she said. "While advertisers have been steadily moving to the Web in recent years, this research indicates the shift should be on a much faster pace."

Internet ad spending continues to increase as other media lose ground. The first quarter saw a 38 percent increase in advertising dollars spent on the Web.

"I think that what the Web has accomplished in 10 years versus the 60 year history of TV is quite significant," said Horan. "Hopefully you'll see more of an alignment to reflect the audience."

Respondents whose media consumption was dominated by the Web were determined to have higher buying power than the TV-dominant study subjects. Researchers came to this conclusion by taking study findings and matching them to neighborhood Census data to determine annual retail spending and annual entertainment and recreational spending. Web-dominant subjects were found to have $26,450 in average retail spending power versus $21,401 for TV-dominant respondents. Entertainment and recreation spending among Web users averaged $3,281 versus $2,626 for the TV-dominant cohort.

"Not only is the buying power there, but also the engagement of the consumer with the media," said Horan. "Hopefully this demonstrates the fact that this is a valuable audience for marketers."


Windows Live Mail Client Matches Ads to Your Content

According to this article, the majority of people online do one of two things: check their email and search the Web. Microsoft has found a solution to inundate its registered mail-users with advertisements via email called "Microsoft Live Mail". Microsoft will generate a computerized word search based on your emails content for possible advertisements to send to you along side the messages you receive in your personal inbox. Personally, I find this new service infringing on one's privacy; however, Microsoft believes this will make its users more aware of its needs in the event they had to plan a birthday, vacation or something special. These advertisements can apparently be helpful and guide one to be more production and proactive with its searches and purchases.

"According to Microsoft, much of what you need to get done online from planning your next vacation to remembering to buy flowers for your mom on her birthday is piling up in your inbox, just waiting for you to take action, usually by looking something up on the web"

"In an effort to head off any privacy concerns, Microsoft insists that the search terms, sponsored links and search results shown in its Active Search will be generated by computers not humans. What's more, Microsoft promises that none of the keywords it collects or advertising services will be traced back to the email they were drawn from and email content will not be shared with third parties without permission".


Microsoft is a 1000 pound gorilla with a limp

Apparently, about 60% of people think that Adobe should allow Office 2007 to save files in PDF format and the other 40% think otherwise. I am almost certain that anyone purchasing the new Office 2007 wouldn’t want to shell out a few more bucks for the ability to save in PDF format after already spending a sizeable amount on the Office software itself.

An interesting part of this article is the speculation about whether or not Symantec and Adobe (both former supporters of Microsoft) are secretly teaming up to fend off Microsoft and its attempt to invade their respective market territories. I think this is a wise move on both of their parts (even if they aren’t teaming up) since Microsoft is obviously adamant about spurring new growth. It is hurting in the gaming industry and needs to find new sources of income quickly.

"Seeing what is happening with Symantec, Adobe may feel that the time to act
against Microsoft is sooner rather than later. By taking away a much sought
after feature of Office 2007, it may hinder the new Microsoft product’s


Saturday, June 03, 2006

E-Commerce Fears?

This article discusses engaging in safe transactions online. It presented information about e-commerce. Recently in the news, thousands of customer records containing credit card numbers and other sentitive information were discovered to be exposed on popular e-commerce sites. The records could be viewed and downloaded by anyone using a standard browers.

This is a scary thought. It is wide knowledge that sophisicated hakers are preying on this new trend to purchase services and products online.
My opinion is as we all become more dependent upon electronic trade, we need to be able to protect our identity and protect ourselves from fraud. Unfortunately, most companies just focus on processing the payment leaving the liability up to the trader. The industry has made a huge fuss about chip and pin, but that is really only of use when the cardholder is present. For those businesses where trade is undertaken online, the chip and pin is bypassed and we rely on the card number, the expiry date and the three digit number on the back. These are all data items which can be obtained by anyone in possession of the card or who can have sight of the card.


The New World of E-Commerce Software License Pricing

New, open-ended and usage-based licenses tied to business processes or metrics are beginning to replace named-user models at the enterprise level. This option proves to be popular with smaller businesses depending on the organizational structure of te particular business. Issues that lend themselves to improvements for licensing for enterprises are rigid license policies, complex metrics, and jigh maintenance costs. Named-user models are the traditional form, and are comparable to "all you can drink," to an improved model of "pay as you go." As far as pricing, enterprises are considering price by instance.

"When it comes to licensing options and pricing, Sterling Commerce's objective and modus operandi is to offer customers flexibility that reflects the "value drivers" of its customers. As our customers' business models differ, we will also adapt [our pricing methodologies] to meet these needs," explains Chris Johnson, VP, Global Product Line.


CEO Schmidt Says No Need for Google Browser-Yet

Google CEO, Eric Schmidt announced that his company does not intend to develop its own browser as an alternative to Microsoft's Internet Explorer, but may in the future. He also dismisses rumors about a payment and shopping service, and instead says his company is working on shortening the time it takes to go from clicking on an advertisement to actually purchasing. Google is in fact trying to find ways to establish and expand their services offered without hurting or cannibalizing their current market share.

"Google has shown it can build tools to help users get to information faster
without a lot of clicking through searches," Greg Sterling, principal analyst at Sterling Market Intelligence, told the E-Commerce Times.


Friday, June 02, 2006

Microsoft Sweeps into Security

Microsoft is entering the online security market, currently dominated by Symantec and McAfee. Microsoft OneCare plans to use their trusted brand name to draw consumers. OneCare's selling point is a low-cost and easy to use product that provides consumers with antivirus, anti-spyware, and firewall protection. Given Microsofts dominance in desktop computers, the new software is anticipated to have a healthy number of consumers.
I believe its a smart move for Microsoft to get into the security game. It seems like a natural move for Microsoft because security is something that should automatically be available for Microsoft products. Who better to provide security for a Microsoft product than Microsoft itself.
"The consumer experience is going to be a lot easier...OneCare is like
a pit crew [taking care of your car] for your computer."'s+top+storieshe Internet


Making the IPod more sensitive

Nike is in the process of marketing a new product that links directly to the Apple iPod. This chip, which is placed in your sneakers, communicates directly with your iPod. The chip is a censor based, battery powered accelerometer that can estimate distance, time, pace and calories. This information is then uploaded to your iPod's host computer when the music player is synchronized. Also, Apple is going to offer a Nike Sport Music section on its iTunes music store. This device, which is called the Nike+iPod Sports Kit is going to be in retail stores in two months, and will be sold for $30.