Use of mobile phones and the Internet continues to skyrocket despite a huge difference in broadband pricing worldwide, a new study from the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) has found.
According to the United Nations-run organization, a whopping 6.1 trillion text messages will be sent by the end of 2010. That figure, which has tripled in the past three years, means people around the globe are sending 200,000 text messages every second.
Mobile phones are now available to 90 percent of the world's population. And so far, customers are taking advantage. The ITU estimates that there will be … Read more
The quality and availability of broadband around the world have improved dramatically in recent years, according to an Oxford University study out today.
Sponsored by Cisco Systems, the third annual study from the Oxford's Said Business School examined broadband access across 72 countries and 239 cities. Due to investments around the world, the quality of broadband has improved by 50 percent in just the last three years, the study found, while 49 percent of the countries in the study now have broadband access, compared with 40 percent in 2008.
The average global download speed has shot up from 3.… Read more
A software program under development in Israel can supposedly detect depression in online communication, and not just through obvious indicators like "I'm sitting here alone in the dark mulling how much my sorry life sucks."
Instead, it purportedly can identify depressive meaning hidden in language that doesn't necessarily include glaring terms like "depression" or "suicide." Yair Neuman, an associate professor in the department of education at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev and leader of the interdisciplinary team that developed the software, suggests the program could be used to conduct initial screenings of text penned by people who may not even realize they have a problem, thereby raising self-awareness and hopefully leading to medical help.
The program spots words, phrases, and even metaphors, to detect possible signs of depression (anxiety, sadness, preoccupation with self and with death). For example, words like "black," combined with terms such as "sleep deprivation" or "loneliness," will be recognized by the software as "depressive" texts.
To understand similarities in the way people describe the blues, the researchers conducted searches using Microsoft's Bing and extensively analyzed the word pattern "depression is like..."
They then tested the program, called Pedesis, by scanning more than 350,000 English-language texts from 17,031 bloggers (with the permission of the writers), as well as 1,600 online queries addressed to mental health experts at sites like MentalHealth.net. Once the program identified texts as depressive, a panel of four clinical psychologists reviewed 200 examples from that category. The verdict of the computer program and the analysis of the human panel correlated 78 percent of the time, according to the researchers.
Despite the preliminary nature of the system, the idea is that it could eventually serve as an additional avenue for identifying individuals in need of treatment. It could, for example, be installed by Web sites focused on consumer mental health, with a pop-up tool indicating if user comments post indicate a depressive pattern. … Read more
When I write about imageboard Web site 4chan, I always worry that a reader unfamiliar with the site will check it out. Please don't. It's unbelievably offensive, unacceptable, and one of most creative things on the Internet. It's also one of the most influential sites when it comes to Web culture. Most of the memes we've been subjected to have come from there: Lolcats, Rickrolls, and my fave, Brushie.
It's OK if you don't know what those are; the point is that the Web underground becomes the mainstream, and 4chan, particularly the "random&… Read more
Google spent more than $250 million on a total of 10 acquisitions during the first quarter of the year, putting it on quite a pace for 2010.
Most of the individual companies that Google buys are pretty small, and sell for prices low enough that Google doesn't have to disclose how much it paid because the price isn't material to its business. However, Google revealed the total amount spent in the first quarter as $268 million in its quarterly filing with the SEC Wednesday.
Of those 10 companies purchased by Google over the last three months, specific details … Read more
MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif.--After a little over a year in the venture capital business, Google now has 10 start-ups under its wing and plans further growth in 2010.
A mobile payments company called Corduro became the latest start-up to accept funding from Google Ventures on Monday, as fund executives hosted a wide-ranging discussion on the state of Google Ventures at Google headquarters. Google wants to invest about $100 million this year in interesting emerging start-ups, said Bill Maris, managing partner of Google Ventures.
Updated 3:23 p.m. PDT with additional information following Yahoo's conference call.
Yahoo earnings soared during its first quarter on the back of an advertising revival, cost cuts, and the realization of its search deal with Microsoft.
Revenue in the first quarter was $1.6 billion, up just 1 percent from the first quarter of last year. Excluding traffic acquisition costs, net revenue was $1.13 billion, or roughly flat with analyst expectations of $1.17 billion. Revenue from display advertising on Yahoo's site grew 20 percent compared to the prior year.
Google continues to demonstrate that an online advertising recovery is well under way, at least when it comes to search advertising.
For its fiscal first quarter, which ended March 31, Google on Thursday reported revenue of $6.77 billion, up 23 percent from the same period last year. Financial analysts evaluate Google's revenue performance by excluding traffic-acquisition costs paid to Google's partners, which totaled $1.71 billion. That puts net revenue at $5.06 billion, slightly ahead of analyst estimates of $4.95 billion for the quarter.
Net income was $1.96 billion, up 38 percent from last … Read more
Google CEO Eric Schmidt got the memo on Google's cost-cutting efforts in 2009.
Schmidt's 2009 compensation fell 52 percent as Google spent less on his personal security expenses and the cost of ferrying his friends and family around on Google jets. Schmidt's total compensation for 2009 was $245,322, almost all of which was related to security and travel expenses, according to Google's proxy statement released Tuesday.
Schmidt, like co-founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page, receives just $1 a year in salary and does not receive stock options. However, he's entitled to the use of … Read more