May 4, 2006

Bebo muscles in on MySpace in UK

Posted in Technology at 9:27 am by antonello

Different regions gravitate towards different social networks.  Orkut is supreme in Brazil, Bebo makes a move in the UK.  What is recipe to reach critical mass in a region?  Friendster initially attracted many of my friends from abroad, but it never became a stop of them online the way it was for my New York circle.  Article from the Guardian:

Social networking website Bebo is threatening to overtake News Corporation's MySpace as the most popular online community destination in the UK, according to new internet usage research.

Bebo ranked third most popular among all UK internet searches for the month to April 29, compared with MySpace, which ranked just 24th, according to figures from Hitwise UK.

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May 1, 2006

Just MSFT bein’ MSFT

Posted in Technology at 11:57 am by antonello

Google is getting ready for a rumble about a search box in the new IE:

The new browser includes a search box in the upper-right corner that is typically set up to send users to Microsoft's MSN search service. Google contends that this puts Microsoft in a position to unfairly grab Web traffic and advertising dollars from its competitors.

That's just what MS does: it appropriates successful innovations.  Usually with a lot more stuff thrown on and a good dose of cross-promotion 

Not surprisingly, the new IE also got on board with tabs.  Well, better late than never.   

April 26, 2006

Yahoo Go

Posted in Technology at 5:06 pm by antonello

Good move by Yahoo. This allows Yahoo to use its partnerships, brand name and tech firepower to bring a viable alternative of DVR for free. THat's hot. I wonder who this will attract. Anyone proficient enough to consider integrating their tv and their computer would probably just got for the DVR or have their own solution. Present company excluded.

April 21, 2006

This so isn’t going to work

Posted in Politics, Technology at 4:08 pm by antonello

Web site operators posting sexually explicit information must place official government warning labels on their pages or risk being imprisoned for up to five years, the Bush administration proposed Thursday.

from cnet via boingboing.net 

Seriously?  This is going to enforceable, enforced and do anything to attack the problem it is supposed to address?  Brother, please. 

April 17, 2006

The Wealth of Networks: How Social Production Transforms Markets and Freedom

Posted in Politics, Technology at 11:05 am by antonello

Via Matthew Yglesias: this looks very interesting. Must get to it. It seems like it may be my sweet spot of interest. From the introduction:

The Emergence of the Networked Information Economy

First, advanced economies have shifted from an economy based on production of physical goods and services (e.g., automobiles and textiles, mining and construction) to an economy centered on the production of information goods and services (e.g., cinema and software, legal representation and financial planning).

Second, advanced economies have shifted from a communications environment relies on an expensive centralized communicator that broadcasts to a wide audience (e.g., radio, television) to an environment that relies on a multitude of cheap processors with high computing capacity that are interconnected with one another (i.e., the Internet).

These two shifts make it possible to lessen the market’s influence over political values. The second shift allows decentralized, non-market production. The first shift means that this new form of production will play a central, rather than periphery role, in advanced economies.

Read the rest of this entry »

April 13, 2006

BitTorrent to the rescue / Thought Experiment

Posted in Technology at 11:27 am by antonello

from lost remote

Imagine my surprise when I punched the "My DVR" button on the remote to watch the two most recent episodes of 24. Inexplicably, my Comcast Motorola set-top box unilaterally decided that neither episode was important. In a panic, I ran through my options. Not available on VOD. Or iTunes. Or online. I contemplate sending out an urgent email to my friends to see if anyone has TiVo'd it and can copy it off on a DVD. The best option, I decide, is to BitTorrent the episodes, but I don't want to wait. So I punch up Fox.com to find a detailed, minute-by-minute account of the last two episodes, in text. So, I'm caught up, although the phrase, "She watches helplessly as (he) falls to his death. Chloe’s eyes tear up," doesn't do it justice. Next time, it's BitTorrent. (And the networks wonder why we do it?)

Imagine if Comcast were to actually offer a variant of BitTorrent through its DVR.  Imagine if you were able to catch the last episode of Sopranos and you were able to retrieve it after it debuted, without using OnDemand, but by downloading it bit by bit, byte by byte, from other users who also happened to have recorded that episode on their DVR.  

April 12, 2006

wordpress most definitely keeps kicking butt

Posted in Technology at 12:10 pm by antonello

I needed to put together a blog for one of my ventures.  Easy installation + some quality plug-ins  had the site and up & running within a couple of hours.  Now that's some good eatin'

April 11, 2006

myspace & music

Posted in Technology at 1:50 pm by antonello

myspace is currently has 69 million users and I think at least count 3.4 trillion bands.  Sure, it's fun for Bobby B and the MacHanics to put some tunes, make some friends and solicit romantic rendenvous as only under 18s can, but what is the future for music distribution?  

Slate ponders some of this today. myspace is taking the initiative and starting a label, but whether online loyalty will translate into real record sales for unknown bands is still, well, unknown.  The ubiquity of myspace in the lives of dem youths is well-documented.  I wonder how much loyalty that age group has to buying music. 

April 10, 2006

More on Disney / ABC on-demand

Posted in Technology, Television at 1:51 pm by antonello

More on ABC’s episodes on demand service. More information about the venture is available on the Wall Street Journal. I don’t have a subscription, but this (via Jeff Jarvis) outlines some of what ABC is planning.

On April 30, ABC will unveil a revamped Web site that will include a “theater” where people with broadband connections can watch free episodes of “Desperate Housewives,” “Lost” and other hit shows on their computers. Episodes will be available the morning after they air and will be archived so people can eventually view a whole season. A Disney Channel version with five shows will start in June, and an ABC Family version is also planned. Disney’s Soapnet cable channel will start offering programs free on its Web site, Soapnetic, on April 17.

Episodes of the ABC shows — which can be paused, rewound and fast-forwarded — will contain commercial breaks that viewers can’t skip, making Disney hopeful it has figured out a way to turn the delivery of programs over the Web into a profit-generating business. Ten advertisers, including Ford Motor Co., Procter & Gamble, Universal Pictures and Unilever, already have signed up.

The initiative, to be announced today by Anne Sweeney, president of the Disney-ABC Television Group, marks a watershed: the first time a TV company is offering major prime-time shows free online without restriction.

This idea is less exciting to me that it was initially. Having episodes on demand is fantastic. Going to the ABC site to watch it is less fantastic. Advertisters certainly get what they want – broadband ads with a brand that they trust. Users don’t benefit as much. Naively I had assumed there would be some sort of download, an ownership of some sort imparted to the users. Not the case. Accessibility is still improved significantly by allowing on-demand viewing. The chat feature seems interesting, though I am not exactly sure who would prefer to watch the episode online in their browser at a latter date, rather than on TV or some viewing device. It’s moving somewhere but not as revolutionary as I thought. It’s not actually all that different than Comedy Central’s Motherload with additional user interaction. How many people use motherload in lieu of comedy central?

Will viewers of Lost watch online at abc.com instead of catching it on Wednesday nights? Will people wait for the Desperate Housewives DVD? I’ll check out the offering when it gets online, but for the moment, my hunch is that the latter options are still preferable

This will be very successful

Posted in Technology, Television at 10:45 am by antonello

Smart thinking:

Disney to Make TV Shows Available Free on Web 

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Walt Disney Co.'s ABC Television (DIS.N) will offer some of its most popular shows, such as ''Desperate Housewives'' and “Lost,'' for free on the Internet in a two-month trial, the company said on Monday.

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