Straight after the State of the Union, there was the odd state of Tea Party spokeswoman Michelle Bachmann's eyes looking over our left shoulders as she spoke.
Last night, on "Saturday Night Live," we had Mark Zuckerberg staring so hard into the camera that he looked like an overcaffeinated nerd waiting desperately to secure a friend request--or at least a poke--from, well, Michelle Bachmann.
This was the latest attempt to shift Zuckerberg's image from that of a shifty privacy salesman to a lovable privacy salesman.
In a blog post last week, Matt Cutts, head of Google's Webspam team, wrote about the progress the team has made in reducing the amount of spam in search engine results. In that post, he hinted at some changes in the works to push spam levels lower, including one that affects sites that copy content from other sites, as well as those that have low levels of original content.
PCs were born smart; cell phones acquired smarts via a brain transplant. But TVs have remained comfortably dumb for decades despite playing a role in the multi-billion-dollar video game software market that has created some of the most sophisticated applications ever purchased by consumers.
For the past decade, TiVo has added a dizzying array of Internet-delivered content options from Yahoo, Rhapsody, Napster, Netflix, Pandora, and others, and popular game consoles such as the Xbox 360 have also offered ways to obtain movies on demand.
The end of 2010 saw an explosion of other gateway devices entering the market-- inexpensive streaming products such as Roku and Apple TV; PC bridges such as the Imation Wireless Link and Veebeam; and products that have integrated storage such as the Cirago TV Platinum and Western Digital WDTV Live Hub.
But the most intriguing of these products are those that are little more than showcases for operating systems that aspire to live on high-volume devices such as Blu-ray players and TVs. They include D-Link's Boxee Box (soon to be joined by a similar product from Iomega) and Logitech's Revue powered by Google TV.
The good news for these companies is that while relatively few TVs contain Internet connections today, the number is rising. According to NPD's Retail Tracking Service, 11.5 percent of flat-panel TVs sold in 2010 were capable of Internet connectivity. The number rises to almost 24 percent when one looks at TVs above 40 inches. … Read more
The images are fascinating to watch. Protesters--calling for the resignation of President Hosni Mubarak--are seen ignoring curfew, running through the streets, clashing with tear gas-wielding police, and setting buildings on fire.
While the region's popular satellite channel broadcasts live footage of the events, a nearly countrywide clampdown on the Internet means there are few trickles from people on the ground via blogs and Twitter.
Mohamed Nanabhay, the head of Al Jazeera English online, … Read more
It looks like any other ad you'd typically ignore on the Web!
This screenshot comes from Greg Sterling at Search Engine Land, who got Google to acknowledge that yes, it is indeed playing around with conventional-looking Web ads in its mail service, which typically only offers text ads: "We're always trying out new ad formats and placements in Gmail, and we recently started experimenting with image ads on messages with heavy image content."
Sterling's post sent many of us Web/ad nerds scurrying to our Gmail accounts to see if we could find evidence of … Read more
The FBI is on the hunt for the hackers responsible for a recent wave of cyberattacks launched in defense of WikiLeaks.
FBI agents yesterday executed more than 40 search warrants in the United States as part of their ongoing investigation. Pointing to the group Anonymous, which has taken responsibility for the attacks, the FBI said that the distributed denial of service (DDoS) assaults were facilitated by software the group makes available as free downloads.
Late last year, PayPal, Visa, MasterCard, and other companies were hit by DDoS attacks triggered by activists in support of WikiLeaks after the companies cut off … Read more
Just a few years ago, Pioneer was sitting atop the HDTV market with its line of Elite Kuro plasma televisions. But in 2009, Pioneer announced it would leave the television business to focus efforts elsewhere and abandoned the branding for TVs--until yesterday.
That's when Sharp announced that it has licensed the Pioneer Elite brand name for a line of high-end LCD televisions it plans to launch later this year in the U.S. and Canada. Pioneer, which has continued to use the Elite branding for other products, said the strategy will complement its Elite line of home-theater products, including … Read more
Barclaycard, Orange, and T-Mobile have set an early summer date to launch their near-field communications payment system, in which people can make purchases by waving a mobile phone near a payment station.
Near-field communications (NFC) systems require a lot of technology to be developed and deployed at the same time. Most obviously to a user, they require payment stations and mobile phones with processors that can communicate wirelessly. Less obviously, a back-end infrastructure is required to link the local payment with the necessary computers for processing it.
NFC chips are a rarity in mobile phones today, but they're an … Read more
Do Spotify executives believe Apple had anything to do with their company's inability to make the leap to the United States?
In an interview given last month but not published until Monday, Faisal Galaria, Spotify's chief of global business development, sure gave that impression. Galaria made it clear that he didn't know whether Apple tried to derail Spotify's U.S. launch, but he also took the time to show how Apple was in position to pressure the labels into declining to license music for Spotify U.S.A.
The decision to hand Google's CEO reins from Eric Schmidt to Larry Page was born not out of internal dissent or competitive fears over Facebook but rather out of the need to tighten up management.
That's the message Schmidt himself has been trying to get across. Though he's spent the past week defending and explaining the impetus behind the executive shuffle, he once again tried to set the record straight yesterday at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.
Schmidt worked to quash rumors spread by those claiming to have the inside scoop.