Apple's iWeb, one part of the iLife consumer apps suite, has received an interesting update this morning. iWeb is Apple's consumer-level Web site creation tool, and it gives users a simple way to drag and drop various Web site elements as well as fill in the included templates. The latest version is getting integration with two of Google's services: AdSense and Google Maps. iWeb users can now sign up for AdSense right inside the application, and pick how they want it to show up on their site. From the looks of the screenshots, it's much easier … Read more
Part of what differentiates blogging from print media is the option to link to external Web sites to offer readers additional information--something you just can't do as easily in a newspaper or magazine. While the Internet is also known as the World Wide Web, in terms of blog links, things end up looking more like nested hierarchies. A new search engine called Walk2Web aims to let users explore these hierarchies as part of an interesting visual journey, that lets you see where each blog is linking.
To begin, just enter a URL. It can be an entire site URL, … Read more
Bob Tur, the chopper-piloting journalist who was first to file a copyright lawsuit against YouTube, will join a class action suit that is led by England's Premier Soccer League.
Tur, who has accused YouTube of encouraging users to pirate copyright material, is dropping his individual suit against the company.
"I carried the ball against YouTube for a year now," Tur said in a statement. "After careful analysis and consideration, I have concluded that the (Premier League) class action is the most effective way for independent copyright holders to secure the judicial remedies that I am seeking.&… Read more
I've been talking back and forth over email about "the Google/open source conundrum" with a few people that I deeply respect. This will all come out in an upcoming post (tentatively titled "GPL, the new BSD"), but in the course of talking with these people I'm starting to wonder:Maybe the problem isn't that Google and other web companies aren't subject to the GPL in the same way as an offline company is, but rather that we/I think about them as technology companies at all.
This is the crux of my concern with the Web 2.0 crowd: I think of these companies as technology vendors, just as I think of SAP, Oracle, etc. But this is flawed, isn't it? … Read more
Amid the growing group of instant-messaging solutions for the IM-less iPhone, Mundu (a Webware 100 winner) has just released a new contender that handles four of the most popular chatting protocols with a fantastic interface. If you're an iPhone user, just navigate your Safari browser to http://iphone.mundu.com, which takes you to a log-in screen with access to your AIM, Yahoo, MSN, .Mac, and Google Talk accounts. You can log into all of them simultaneously, although there's no master password system like you get with Meebo.
Each client gets its own buddy list, and any additional … Read more
A group of Japanese entertainment companies is criticizing Google for not doing enough to keep pirated material off YouTube.
The group also said that it wants Google to disclose more details about the technology it plans to use to protect copyright and said the search company was taking too long in unveiling the technology, according to The Associated Press.
"YouTube has to stop how it runs its site and get rid of the illegal clips. We want them to reset the service," composer Hideki Matsutake is quoted as saying at a press conference in Tokyo on Thursday.
"… Read more
We all know that online maps have their faults. One of them is that they tend to be optimistic.
Google and Yahoo maps offer real-time traffic data with color coding on the map of the congested areas. But we all knew that the driving time given on the map was not reliable because it wasn't factoring in the actual traffic conditions.
Well, Google has fixed that. Now, Google Maps offers a time estimate if driving in heavy traffic, such as rush hour.
For instance, if I plan to drive from the CNET offices in downtown San Francisco to Google'… Read more
The days of PayPal's dominance over casual payments online are changing rapidly. A little over a year ago, Google unveiled its Checkout service, which has become an increasingly popular way to purchase items from various online retailers using a single account. Today, Amazon.com is unveiling its own payment program that lets Amazon.com users purchase items or services using their Amazon.com account credentials and billing information.
Many bloggers put a "blogroll," a list of other blogs they like, on the sidebars of their pages. Blogrolls help the bloggers who create them feel like they're in a club with writers they like. Reciprocal blogrolling makes everyone feel all warm and fuzzy. But blogrolls aren't very functional, since static lists of links quickly become invisible to readers.
Lists of dynamic content are different. That's why Webware recently launched a news ticker (see the right-hand sidebar). It pulls related--even competitive--content from blogs we respect. We think it's useful, and we also think all site publishers, from retailers to highly focused bloggers, would do readers a service by offering something similar.
We use a Newsgator product, customized for CNET, to do this, but it's not the only solution. I also tried out two other services that anyone can plug into their sites: MineKey and RollSense. These services select content that's automatically custom-tailored to each site visitor. Google Reader and RSSMixer (review) are other options, without the fancy automatic story selection.
Both MineKey and RollSense let you feed in a list of blogs you like or respect, and then they create embeddable widgets that display items from those blogs that they think your readers will like. Based on what individuals click on, the list is further refined over time.
Of the two products, MineKey is simpler and easier to set up, and by default it makes more attractive widgets. If a user logs in, it will also give the person a history of what they've clicked on, which is useful. MineKey gives publishers detailed reports on what users are clicking on.
RollSense offers publishers more capabilities, including the option to turn off the personalization feature, which you may want to do if you your goal is just to keep readers up to date on the latest stories from your blogroll. You can then filter stories by keywords. RollSense also offers "packs," or pre-built blog collections, on specific topics. Like MineKey, it also creates reports, but they're not as useful.
How do they perform? Both need time to zero in on user preferences before they begin to deliver their best recommendations, but my quick testing shows that MineKey is better at automatically selecting content, although it doesn't seem to give enough weight to new items. But RollSense offers the control freak more influence over what is displayed. See for yourself. I've embedded both widgets in this blog (you may have to skip to the next page, depending on where you're seeing this), and fed them both three feeds: Webware, Crave, and News.com.
As I said, Google Reader and RSS Mixer are also options, although they don't have the automatic content selection of MineKey and RollSense. On Google, if you "share" posts from your feeds, you can display that list as a widget on any other site. Go to the "Your shared items" page to get the code. Google Reader doesn't automatically populate the widget; you have to manually select items to share them. But doing so is wicked fast, so if you want to maintain ultimate control over your news ticker, Google's the way to go. For just a river of items from feeds you select, see our writeup on RSSMixer.
The latest group to chime in on Google's proposed $3.1 billion acquisition of ad firm DoubleClick is the--get ready because this is a long one--Canadian Internet Policy & Public Interest Clinic at the University of Ottawa, to be referred to as the CIPPIC going forward.
The CIPPIC is asking Canadian regulators, the Competition Commissioner, to be exact, to review the Google-DoubleClick deal. Like others before it, the CIPPIC alleges that the merger would prevent or at least significantly lessen competition in the market for online targeted advertising because of Google's dominance in keyword search and DoubleClick's … Read more