* You are viewing the archive for December, 2006

RSS Going Mainstream 2007: New York Times & Washington Post Have Big Plans

For those unfamiliar, RSS is generally thought to stand for “Really Simple Syndication,” a name that’s almost as useless as the acronym in explaining what it is. In short, it’s a technology that allows users to read headlines/articles from news websites, blogs, and other sources all in one place.

It’s a huge time saver, making it so that you don’t have to browse the Internet to check out the latest content from your top 50 sites (or however many). RSS strips all that information from the original site and consolidates it into one area for you to quickly see content from all over the place.

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AT&T Killing the Cingular Name & Avoiding Net Neutrality

The FCC approved AT&T’s $85.8 billion takeover of BellSouth. Not surprisingly, the deal is the largest ever in U.S. telecommunications history. The newly formed company now has a market capitalization of over $220 billion which makes it more than double in size compared to its biggest competitor Verizon.

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Google Accused of Going Evil, Google Employee Responds by Sidestepping the Issue

Googlelogo_5 Blake Ross, cofounder of Firefox, spent part of his Christmas explaining his dissatisfaction with Google due to its latest move: displaying “tips” (allegedly not ads, you decide; see screenshot below) right above search results that point searchers to Google Calendar, Blogger and Picasa for any search phrase that includes calendar, blog, and photo sharing.

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Online Ad Wars: Who will win in 2007? Google, Yahoo, or Microsoft?

Here it is the day after Christmas and major publications plus the blogosphere are already making predictions as to the state of online advertising in 2007. The Wall Street Journal (subscription required) discusses Microsoft’s Adcenter and how it is way ahead of its time, the New York Times explains how online ad pricing is rising or falling depending on the specificity of ad placement, BusinessWeek points out why Yahoo’s ad-delivery technology falls short, and Techcrunch adds that the real advertising war is set to begin in 2007 when Google may be forced to cut back on its way-to-high revenue share.

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Apple Stock Near Record High: iPod Cellphone Rumors Trump Flawed iTunes Stats

A cellphone that doesn’t yet exist has never been so popular. For the past few months, rumors have been flying about Apple’s entrance intothe multi-billion dollar cellphone market with a feature-rich iPod cellphone. Apple has been called “hypersecretive” and has refused to comment on the speculation which, of course, feeds the speculation fire even more.

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Case Study: Google Services Too Good, Making IT Departments Shrink

So the latest Economist article (subscription required) discusses how Arizona State University made the switch to using Google Apps for Your Domain. As the article puts it, “with one flick of the proverbial switch 65,000 students had new e-mail accounts.” Now all emails are stored on Google servers rather than on university servers.

The head of IT for ASU, Adrian Sannier, mentioned that no one is being forced to switch, though many students are already used to Gmail. And since now they can use their “asu.edu” address with a Gmail interface, students have been voluntarily migrating to the new email at a rate of 300 per hour. Sannier explains that he pays less than $10,000 for support and that the in-house IT staff do absolutely nothing for email now.

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Amazon Soon Opening DRM-free MP3 Store

Looks like rumors are afloat that Amazon is planning on a late first quarter 2007 launch of a new music download store. In an already crowded music download market, Amazon hopes to differentiate itself in two major ways:

The company is apparently telling labels (politely, I’m sure) that it is only interested in selling DRM-free mp3s (meaning, once you download the song, it’s yours for whatever purpose you see fit, no more restrictions like you can burn only X amount of times or you can only have it reside on X computers, etc.). The second difference is that Amazon seems interested in offering variable pricing.

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Digg Adds New Features, Removes One, and Entices YouTubers

Our favorite social news site, Digg, today released a whole slew of new features while silently removing at least one. I say silently because no one seems to have picked up on it. For extensive coverage, check out the official Digg blog, TechCrunch, Read/WriteWeb, Download Squad, or NewTeeVee. Otherwise, read on for a quick summary and the missing feature:

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