As part of a plan to discourage customers from pirating films and music, some of the country's largest bandwidth providers announced last week that they will take punitive action against customers repeatedly caught in the act.
So far, most of the attention has been on the potential impacts to Internet users, but now some are asking how the major Hollywood film studios and four top record companies were able to convince the Internet service providers to take part. For years, executives from AT&T and Verizon have argued that enforcing copyright was up to the content creators and … Read more
Amazon is trying a new tactic in its bid to fight states that force online retailers to collect sales tax.
On Friday, the online retail giant filed a petition for a referendum with the California attorney general's office, the Associated Press is reporting. The referendum would ask voters to overturn a new California law that forces online retailers to collect sales tax there.
Amazon is especially concerned with one of the law's stipulations, which requires online retailers to collect sales tax if affiliates operating in California push customers to an online retailer's site to buy products.
Foursquare has created a daily-deals program that relies upon services that consumers are already using.
The location-based social network that allows people to "check in" at different locations, has formed agreements with LivingSocial, AT&T, and fashion-focused Gilt Groupe, among others, to deliver the deals. According to the company, the daily deals are an expansion of its current Specials program, which allows merchants to advertise deals to the social platform's users.
Foursquare's new offering will help people find deals around their current location. The deals Foursquare offers will be tailored to the person based on … Read more
Google, trying to take a stand with its new social network, requires people to use real-world names on Google+. The real world, though, turns out to be more complex than a simple rule can accommodate.
Now two weeks old and growing like a weed, Google+ is facing issues that became common once the Internet made people's identity into information that can reach potentially anyone on the planet. With Google+ and the Google Profiles service on which it relies, the company is trying to build a service without pseudonyms, anonymous cowards, or impersonation.
"Google Profiles is a product that works best in the identified state. This way you can be certain you're connecting with the right person, and others will have confidence knowing that there is someone real behind the profile they're checking out," according to the Google help files for Google+. "For this reason, Google Profiles requires you to use the name that you commonly go by in daily life."
Most people are known by the name that appears on their driver's license or school registry and probably won't think twice about using that when joining a social network. There are plenty of advantages to that approach: anonymous forums are often degraded by trolling, attacks, and flame wars. Using real names brings some measure of accountability, since your reputation is on the line when you voice an opinion.
But there are acres of gray area, too. Political dissidents may want to avoid persecution. Those who've been harassed may want to avoid more of it. And plenty of people want both online interactions and privacy. … Read more
Google+ appears to be in the midst of a population explosion.
A statistical analysis by Paul Allen, founder of Ancestry.com and chief executive of Facebook app maker FamilyLink.com, concludes that the Google+ population reached 7.3 million on Sunday, July 10, and likely will reach 10 million today.
It's not just Google that's been thinking about easing the awkwardness of social interactions with your work, school, social, family, and other types of contacts online. A new start-up called Katango promises to automatically detect natural groupings of people on networks like Facebook.
Like Google Circles, the management interface for the new Google+ initiative, Katango is a tool for individual users to better understand and segment their own contacts, rather than a group-creation tool where everyone opts in to participating.
"We wondered why there wasn't any automatic in social, why with all this technology we were … Read more
Local social-app maker Foursquare has signed revenue-sharing distribution partnerships to target deals sites to its users' locations, the company will announce tomorrow and The Wall Street Journal is reporting tonight. We'd previously broken the news that Foursquare was in talks to strike such a deal with Groupon. That one is not finalized yet, but other partnerships with LivingSocial, Gilt Groupe, AT&T, Zozi, and BuyWithMe are.
These partnerships are a huge test for Foursquare, which has 10 million registered users but is working to move on from its early gamification tricks to "making the world easier to use.&… Read more
Longtime Googler Tom Stocky is Facebook's newest director of product, AllThingsD has learned.
Stocky posted about the move on his online profiles and Facebook confirmed he'd been hired.
Facebook and Google's hiring wars are vicious, but seem to always end well for the employees in question, with considerable signing or retention agreements.
Stocky, who has multiple degrees from MIT, had helped start Google's developer products team and had recently been Google director of product management for search, client, and infrastructure products based in Zurich. He joined Google in January 2005, according to his LinkedIn profile, and … Read more
Twitter announced today that it has reached the 1 million apps milestone. Quick, how many of them can you name?
Okay, so maybe a more serious question is, how many Twitter apps do you use? And this milestone raises other questions, like how many of these 1 million apps still exist? And perhaps most importantly, will the installed base of third-party apps help Twitter hold its own in the face of Google+?
Twitter's announcement follows a flurry of activity in the social media space, highlighted by the Google+ launch, the sale of Myspace, and Facebook's addition of Skype-powered … Read more
How well does Netflix really know you? How far has Amazon crept under your pores in order to determine with arrant certainty that you would enjoy a little more Danielle Steel and a little less Tony Blair?
A vast-brained MIT professor insists that these brands know you about as well as your subway train driver.
Devavrat Shah, the school's Jamieson Career Development Associate Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, furrows his brow at the relative pointlessness of asking humble, subjective souls to rate books, movies, and even cars on an absolute scale, such as a five-star rating system. … Read more