Demand Media, which operates sites such as eHow and Livestrong, has been hit hard by Google's algorithm changes, the company revealed yesterday.
"In February and April, we experienced two major algorithm changes," Demand Media CEO Richard Rosenblatt said during his company's first-quarter earnings call yesterday. "For eHow, here is the impact: as compared to the levels before the first February change, we saw a net decline in search engine referrals of 20 percent."
Though most of its features mimic those of the iPod Nano, Creative's new Zen Style music player is trying to up the ante by including Bluetooth and a microSD card slot.
Available next month, the Zen Style M300 is Creative's latest attempt to carve out a bigger slice of the portable music player market.
The $79 device is a combination music, photo, and video player with a built-in FM radio and touch-control buttons to maneuver around the 1.45-inch screen. A built-in mic allows for voice recording.
The included Bluetooth 2.1 connectivity lets people listen to music through any compatible Bluetooth wireless headset as well as through Bluetooth wireless speakers. The microSD card slot can hold up to 32GB of music beyond the unit's internal storage space.… Read more
Google has updated its version of Google Earth for Android to take advantage of the large screen size and processing power of tablets.
In a blog post yesterday, product manager Peter Birch said the update added support for fully textured 3D buildings, as well as a new action bar making it easier to search the imagery and navigate layers of information. Google Earth started life as the company's virtual globe, but now incorporates street-level imagery and even extends out to space.
"Moving from a mobile phone to a tablet was like going from a regular movie theatre to … Read more
Few things warm the heart quite like a goofy publicity stunt. P.T. Barnum once had an elephant plow a field. German phone manufacturer Gigaset is right on Barnum's wavelength. Animals get attention. In this particular case, the animal is a chatty British Gold Macaw on Facebook.
OK, let's review. We have a parrot. We have Facebook. Put the two together in a live-chat format and you get people from around the world jawing with a bird over the Internet's most popular social-networking site.
I had the opportunity to briefly interview the bird (actually, it's a team of three birds taking different shifts). Certain keywords are likely to set him off. I was instructed that he likes peanuts, but that he was much more interested in the topics of chocolate and dogs.
In all this excitement, it might be easy to forget exactly why we're talking to a bird on Facebook in the first place. The parrot is supposed to pitch Gigaset's new L410 hands-free clip for cordless phones. He's a lousy pitchman. His obsession with chocolate completely overrides his ability to speak eloquently about the clip's tech specs.… Read more
The war of words between Microsoft and Google over the use of Google Apps in the enterprise continues.
Sharing his thoughts yesterday in a blog called "The Hidden Google Tax," Microsoft's director of online services, Tom Rizzo, took some swings at Google Apps, proclaiming that it's not a cost-effective solution for the enterprise.
More 3D TVs than ever are going to be flying toward consumers this year, according to analysts at IHS iSuppli.
With lower prices, and with TV makers pushing 3D harder than ever, shipments of 3D sets are likely to jump by 463 percent this year to hit 23.4 million units from just 4.2 million last year, IHS iSuppli said. Eyeing the years ahead, shipments will climb by 132 percent in 2012 to reach 54.2 million. By 2014, consumers will be facing more than 100 million 3D TVs, followed by 159.2 million in 2015.
Last month, an unknown San Francisco publishing start-up had just about the best debut imaginable. Byliner's first product became an instant best-seller and seriously called into question the reputation of an international sensation a decade in the making--all in less than 25,000 words that never touched a printing press.
The tiny operation released Jon Krakauer's "Three Cups of Deceit"--a scathing deconstruction of alleged fraud and mismanagement at the hands of world-famous do-gooder Greg Mortenson of "Three Cups of Tea" fame--as a free PDF in mid-April. The launch got a big boost from a story that aired last month on "60 Minutes" about Mortenson, based largely on Krakauer's research. (Disclosure: "60 Minutes" is broadcast by CBS, publisher of CNET.)
"Reaction has been extraordinary," Byliner.com founder John Tayman told CNET. "In the 72 hours it was available as (a) free download, more than 70,000 readers downloaded a copy. It then moved to the Amazon Kindle Singles store, and it went to No. 1 within six hours."
As of this writing, the 75-page narrative--a riveting account despite being based largely on a review of financial records and interviews with people with ties to Mortenson's nonprofit--remains in that top slot (even as Mortenson's supporters, including one of his former climbing partners quoted by Krakauer, have come to his defense).
Now, Byliner is looking for a repeat performance with its follow-up release in its "Byliner Originals" series--20,000 words from award-winning author William T. Vollmann titled "Into the Forbidden Zone: A Trip Through Hell and High Water in Post-Earthquake Japan." Byliner commissioned Vollmann, who has written about Japan in the past, and paid for his trip to the triple-disaster area to gather stories of survivors, the aftermath, and implications for the future.
"We want to take advantage of the swiftness that digital publishing allows to get these great reads in front of readers," said Tayman, himself a writer and editor who has worked at Business 2.0 and Outside magazine. "Our first two titles are excellent examples of that approach. These are stories that have complexity and currency, tackled by two of the most acclaimed writers in America."… Read more
Baidu, China's top search engine, is nearing the public launch of a legal music-streaming and download service.
Dubbed Ting, the service will allow people to find tracks they may want to hear and to stream them over the Web. Many of the songs will also be available for download at no charge, according to the Ting Web site (Google Translate version) and media reports. Listeners will be able to pause tracks and skip ones they don't like. The service will also include the ability for people to "find like-minded friends," according to the Ting site.
Electronic Arts sees the future of gaming in digital content and wants to lead that market going forward.
"Over the coming years, we will transform EA from a packaged goods company to a fully integrated digital entertainment company. We're transforming EA to a games-as-a-service model." EA CEO John Riccitiello said in an earnings call yesterday, according to a transcript posted on investment news site SeekingAlpha.
It will be an interesting shift for one of the world's biggest game developers. Currently, the company's operation relies heavily upon packaged goods selling at retail outlets like GameStop. However, … Read more