Reddit is moving up a notch in the org chart. No longer will it be a part of Conde Nast, which publishes among other things, Wired, Vanity Fair, GQ, and Ars Technica. Instead, Reddit becomes an independent company under Advance Publications, which owns Conde Nast.
Welcome to the first entry in our new feature, CNET to the Rescue. In it, I'm going to look out for your rights as a consumer of technology, try to help you save money, keep advertisers honest, and in general do what I can to keep tech vendors from taking advantage of you. If you've got a consumer complaint, send it to me at email@example.com or join the CNET to the Rescue forum.
On March 3, Chris Christensen, author of the Amateur Traveler Web site, posted a worrisome entry on his blog: Did this video get me banned from YouTube... for life? He said three weeks ago all the video reports he'd posted to YouTube for embedding in his travel blog, plus his channel on YouTube itself, had been disabled. Three weeks after communicating with Google through what he thought were the proper channels, he finally received a terse response to his query that left him as confused as he was originally--and his 39 innocuous travel videos remained banned.
I've looked at Christensen's videos and see nothing untoward in them that would merit their removal from YouTube. On one video, he does discuss and show a topless beach, but even in that video there is no frontal nudity.
I've taken on this issue for CNET to the Rescue because it highlights things that need to change in the way Google polices the user-generated content that makes up YouTube. The good news is that after I talked with Google about this issue, the company said it would start the process of updating its appeals processes to prevent this confusion and hopefully to safeguard users like Christensen who rely on YouTube for their businesses. Also, I'm happy to report that YouTube finally put Christensen's videos back online. … Read more
YouTube has spent years trying to figure out how to monetize its mostly amateur-quality, user-created content.
Perhaps Google is looking to the wrong inventors.
Traditional "Madison Avenue" advertising has failed YouTube. I agree with the sentiment expressed recently on the Marcom Professional blog:
In my opinion, one of the reasons that videos spread is the homemade quality....People are advertised to thousands of times a day. We see countless … Read more
This morning Google Maps has a handy new feature for users who want to give the free mapping service a little more precision. Users who are signed into Google Maps with their Google account can now edit where a marker appears on any location, be it a business or residential listing. The feature stemmed from some of the options found in Google's My Maps, which lets users create their own maps using specialized markers and road directions.
To curb potential abuse, users aren't able to edit the location of a business that has already verified its location via Google's Local Business Center. There's also an official review system that has to double check your edit if it's more than 200 meters away from the original location. If you come across a marker that's been moved, you can view its original location and you think is inaccurate, you can click a link to send it back to its original spot.
While you have to be signed in to make changes, other users can only see the first two letters of your name. Likewise, if any changes have been made you can track them in a history, which shows the original marker location, along with its new one, on a mini map.
Eventually the company hopes that this will let users with potentially mismarked residential listings rectify any confusion that results as a part of difficult to find entries--typically the kind of thing you find in tightly packed urban areas, or buildings with multiple entrances. Google has also put together an explanatory video, which I've embedded after the break.… Read more