Is Yahoo Working On A Cell Phone?
Earlier this week Michael Arrington at TechCrunch dropped a bombshell that has yet to be explained: Yahoo is supposedly working on a cell phone.
Engadget managing editor Ryan Block struck a nerve yesterday when he posted a scathing attack on keyword popovers, such as those supplied by "IntelliTXT / Vibrant Media and like ad services whose entire business depends on polluting your content, confusing your audience, and tricking them into clicking on ads that just won't go away."
Letting Crazy People Set Intellectual-Property Policy
Three stories in the news this week demonstrate that intellectual-property policy is set by crazy people. NBC is threatening to dump iTunes unless Apple violates the laws of nature. An organization of science fiction writers is sending willy-nilly takedown notices for property it doesn't control. And Viacom pirated a YouTube video, and then sent down a takedown notice against the video's real author.
Are You Linked In Or Facing The Book?
Lately, I've been getting two similar appeals in my business e-mail: from LinkedIn members wanting to add me as a connection, and from Facebook members adding me as a friend. So now I'm wondering: Which network should I actually take the time to cultivate?
Blocking The Ad Blockers: Formula For Success?
A Web site owner is protesting a Firefox plug-in, Adblock Plus, that blocks advertisements. He's doing it by blocking all Firefox users from his site, whether they're running Firefox or not. It's a gutsy move. As Microsoft with its Windows Genuine Advantage screw-up this weekend reminds us, nothing builds relationships with your customers quite like giving the impression you're calling them al
5 Keys To Social Networking Success
Investors are flocking to fund social networking startups. How can you identify a good investment? Here are five key characteristics, backed up with real-world examples.
A Clean New Internet?
Sometimes, when things aren't going your way, the best way to handle things is to simply walk away. At least, that's the philosophy being followed by the Japanese communications ministry, which apparently intends to build a new Internet.
Microsoft Endorses A Fix For Something It Insists Isn't A Problem
Vista's User Account Controls prompts are something almost everybody loves to hate. Microsoft has steadfastly maintained that they're a feature that improves the product. But this week, "Microsoft has taken the very unusual step of endorsing another company's product that fixes a problem in its own operating system." The "Through the Looking Glass" saga of Vista continues.
IBM Employees Might Strike...In Second Life
IBM, like other businesses, plunged into Second Life partly in search of a new profit stream. I bet it never considered employees would use Second Life to strike the company.
When Online Becomes Offline
It wasn't all that long ago that I was still declaring that online applications could never replace hard disk-based software. Just wouldn't happen. Yeah -- I was totally wrong.
Google Still Likely To Bid On Spectrum
Google CEO Eric Schmidt yesterday said his company is still likely to bid in the upcoming 700 MHz spectrum auction. OK, why does Google want to buy spectrum?
Got Bacn? More E-mail Buzzwords We'd Like To See
"Bacn" is a new buzzword for e-mail you want, but don't want to see right away. Examples: newsletters, Google Alerts, and notifications from social networking services. Bacn is a great buzzword, but it's only the beginning. We applied our sophisticated analytical tools and came up with additional needed jargon:
VoiceCon: Make Your RFP Future Proof
The world of VoIP, video, and instant messaging is traveling at such a speed that your request to evaluate competing products may be obsolete by the time you finish reading this sentence.
Blogging Convention Open Only To Traditional Press
Chalk this one up to the great moments in unintentional irony department. I just received an invitation to "the industry's first BlogWorld and New Media Expo." What's interesting is that the only people who can get in with a media pass are traditional press. Just what kind of blog and new media show is this?
Netflix Tries To Revive Customer Service
My mother likes to chat with customer service reps over the phone -- that is, when she can actually work her way past the menus to a sentient human being. I'm now thinking of giving her a Netflix subscription for her next birthday -- because Netflix has apparently decided that offering real customer service is a viable business option.
The 300-Page Massive iPhone Bill
If you haven't already seen it, check out this video of the massive, 300-page iPhone bill. Pittsburgh-area blogger Justine Ezarik received her first iPhone bill in a box. It seems AT&T listed all the items called "Data Transfer" individually on the bill. Even though most of these items weren't charged, it added up to a whopper of a bill delivered in a box. That's customer service. Ezarik isn't the only person to report issues with her iPho
Want The Dirt On Somebody? Two Sites Will Help.
There are a number of new sites popping up that focus on aggregating Web information about people. Want to find out what an old friend is doing these days? Curious about what's being said about you? Two services, Spock and pipl, are now making that easier. However, they approach the process very differently.
Video: Steve Jobs Demoes The Macintosh In 1984
This clunky-looking little Macintosh is a recognizable ancestor to the more sophisticated machines today. It's simple, versatile, and playful. I'm impressed by how Apple's central philosophy hasn't changed in 23 years. They build machines that work, and are fun to use.
What Does Your E-Mail Signature Say About You?
Do you ever really look at people's e-mail signatures? I don't usually, but I was looking for contact information for a colleague recently, which led me to scrutinize her sig. It was a museum of 20th century communications: The street-mail address and fax number was in there, but no instant-message ID or Skype account.
Facebook Joins The iPhone Crowd
Facebook released a version of its site for the iPhone today, attempting (like so many others) to capitalize on the success of Apple's sleek new mobile device.
Was Journalist A Jerk For Asking Apple About 'Intel Inside'?
You can tell it's August because people are finding the weirdest issues to get worked up about. For example, Apple fans are getting their knickers in a twist about whether a journalist was out of line in asking Steve Jobs about why Apple didn't participate in the "Intel Inside" marketing campaign.
The Line Between Laptops And PDAs Gets Fuzzier
Fujitsu is announcing two new devices today -- an ultramobile PC with a 5.6-inch display, and an ultralight tablet/laptop PC with a 12.1-inch WXGA screen. They are nifty devices that underscore the movement in not just one market, but two, because they come just days after IDC reported that the PDA market has dropped 42% since last year.
Get Skype On Your iPhone
Do you want Skype on your iPhone? Well, you're in luck. Shape Services has launched a version of Skype for the iPhone, no hacking required.
Why No 'Intel Inside' Stickers On Macs?
It seemed like a stupid question -- one which deservedly got a heaping helping of ridicule from Mac bloggers: Why doesn't Apple participate in the "Intel Inside" marketing program, earning the company big wads of cash just for putting a tiny little sticker on Macs?
A Nagging Problem Gets a Nagging Solution
A couple of months ago I asked a question in this blog about a problem I was having with file transfers to Vista - it was giving me an error message that said only, "You must have permission to perform this action." Nobody came up with the answer. Maybe nobody is having the same problem? I hope not, because it turned out to be pilot error. Dummy me. Here's what was happening.
Apple Kicks Microsoft Where It Hurts
Apple's announcement this week of new iMacs, software, and services strikes at the Windows platform's core strengths. The new generation of iMacs, priced starting at $1,199, compete on price/performance with midrange PCs. And Apple rounded out its iWork suite with the Numbers spreadsheet software and other capabilities, making it a head-to-head competitor with Microsoft Office.
Meat Space Still Matters In A Web 2.0 World
Web-based communication and collaboration tools are supposed to make physical proximity irrelevant by letting employees work together regardless of where they happen to be. But when it comes to building -- and investing in -- those tools, it turns out proximity is relevant as ever.
Palm's Foleo: The Closer It Gets, the Better It Looks?
Palm's announcement of the Foleo at the end of May quickly became a ridicule-fest. The name was an acronym for "Fat Obsolete Lacking Expensive Ordinary" according to one Engadget commenter. But Palm is showing it off this week at LinuxWorld in San Francisco, and the better you understand it, the harder it is to make fun of it.