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Monday, December 31, 2007

Top 10 Most Popular Torrent Sites of 2007

Slashdot It! Torrentfreak had just published the top 10 most popular torrent sites of 2007, with my favorite Minivoa toping the charts Quote

2007 is almost over so it’s time to make a list of the Top 10 “public” BitTorrent sites getting the most traffic this year. Mininova is out in the lead followed by IsoHunt and The Pirate Bay. TorrentSpy, the most popular BitTorrent site last year, has dropped down to 6th place. The list is based on Alexa’s traffic rank, and this data was backed up by reports from quantified sites on quantcast and traffic reports from some of the site admins. Here is the list, as of December 29, public BitTorrent sites only. 1. Mininova Without a doubt the most visited BitTorrent site. In November, Mininova reached a milestone by entering the list of the 50 most visited websites on the Internet. Alexa rank: 46
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Panasonic to unveil thinnest Blu-ray Disc drive at CES

Slashdot It! Panasonic said that it has developed a Blu-ray disc drive for laptop computers and plans to unveil it at January's Consumer Electronics Show.

The Panasonic Blu-ray Disc drive The Panasonic Blu-ray Disc drive
The drive is 9.5mm high, which is a standard height for many slim-line laptop optical disc drives. Squeezed down to this height, the drive should be easier for laptop makers to fit into their standard machines.

Panasonic has already begun offering samples of the drives to laptop makers with the hope that the companies will use it in new PCs.

The drive supports 2X writing to single-layer BD-R (write-once) and BR-RE (rewritable) discs and 1X writing to dual-layer discs. Reading of both Blu-ray formats is at 2X. Additionally, the drive can read BD-ROM discs, read and write to DVD-RAM, DVD-/+R, DVD-/+RW, CD-R/RW discs and read both DVD-ROM and CD-ROM. Panasonic didn't disclose a price for the drive. Blu-ray is competing with the High-Definition DVD format to become the de facto replacement for DVD. In the video market, both offer a high-definition picture and audio quality well above that of DVD. But most consumers are staying away from both formats until a clear winner emerges. In the PC market, both formats remain relatively unused thanks to the high cost of drives and the plummeting cost of hard disk drive storage. Blu-ray has the advantage in terms of capacity. A single-layer BD-R disc can accommodate 25GB of data while a single-layer HD DVD-R disc can hold 15GB. But capacity isn't the only factor to consider. Blu-ray discs are more expensive than HD DVD discs. Panasonic is scheduled to hold a news conference in Las Vegas on Jan. 6 at the Consumer Electronics Show, where the drive is expected to be unveiled. Protect your computer with Windows Onecare Ad Space

PC World Year-End Stats

Slashdot It! As is my wont, I'm going to do another of my periodic updates on the usage of Firefox by PCWorld.com visitors, as shown in our Web analytics numbers. And since 2007 is practically over, I'll expand my report to look at some other notable numbers, too.

First, let's look at browsers...

2007 has seen the first full year of competition between Internet Explorer 7--Microsoft's first sorta-modern browser--and the upstart known as Firefox. IE7 has steadily grown in usage over the year, going from around 24 percent usage to 37 percent today. But despite some predictions that it would strike a mighty Microsoftian blow against Firefox, it hasn't. Firefox started the year with 25 percent usage and ended it with 36 percent; it's still growing, and as IE6 users have moved on, they've apparently been nearly as likely to jump to Firefox as they have to opt for Microsoft's latest browser.

Here's a chart of IE7 and Firefox's growth in usage on PCWorld.com, with IE in red and Firefox in green:

browsersin2007.jpg

OK, how about operating systems? On January 30th, Microsoft released Windows Vista to consumers, who have been adopting it in ever-growing numbers. But those numbers have been creeping along rather than rocketing: As of now, Vista (the red line in the chart) is used by 14 percent of visitors, while 71 percent use Windows XP (the green line):

vistaversusxp.jpg How much of an accomplishment is it for a new version of Windows to get to 14 percent usage in 11 months? The logical benchmark is to compare it to the first eleven months of Windows XP, back in 2001 and 2002. In that period, that operating system went from nothing to 36 percent usage on PCWorld.com--more than 250 percent of the usage that Vista has mustered so far. In fact, it only took eleven months for XP (the green line in this cart) to surpass Windows 98 (the red one) and become the most-used version of Windows among users of the site:

xpversus98.jpg

(So how come Vista's being adopted so much more slowly than XP was back in the day? It might relate in part to deficiencies in Vista. But I also bet it stems in part from the fact that XP with SP2 is...well, far from perfect, but all that many people need. Back in 2001, the Windows world was more fractured, and XP was a much more modern OS than either the aging Windows 98 or the botched job that was Windows ME.)

One last startling chart: Here's the a graph of the percentage of PCWorld.com visitors who use a Mac to access our site, covering the past five years:

macgrowth.jpg

It was as low as one percent at some points, and was around four percent when 2007 began. Now it's seven percent. That's still teensy compared to the 90 percent-plus who use various versions of Windows, but it's almost certainly the highest in the history of this site. (The inflection point on the chart above, incidentally, coincides with the release of the first Intel-based Macs. A lotta folks predicted that the CPU switch would spell trouble for Apple; you sure couldn't prove that by our site stats.)

That's the news as of now. If I don't provide an update within the next few months, nudge me and I'll check in again with new stats...

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Microsoft cannot keep up with the box 360 demand.

Slashdot It! As of Wednesday the 26th, my experience with Xbox LIVE could best be described as “inconsistent”. I am randomly and sporadically kicked off of the service, and by that, I mean any time I try to do something — anything. To make sure this wasn’t an isolated case of shitty broadband service on the part of my cable provider, or a local “malfunction”, I rang up some friends in various parts of the country to see if they were having similar issues — they were. Around noon today, my annoyance got the best of me, and I called up 1-800-4my-xbox. I was greeted, as always, by the never-helpful automated super-dork — Max. I’ve been down this road before, so I know to skip past his bullshit by spouting off “Agent” a hundred times until he finally gets the hint.

Anyhow, long story short, the agent tells me that the Xbox LIVE servers are having difficulty dealing with the massive influx of users that apparently got a 360 for Christmas. “Seriously?” I asked. “Yes, seriously” he responded.

In fact, it’s such a problem, that they have temporarily disabled the ability to create a new LIVE account. I went ahead and tried to create an account (out of curiosity) and I wasn’t able to.

I am unsure if this is the “official” Microsoft stance regarding the issue, but it does seem logical, and it did come straight from the mouth of a Microsoft employee — Tier 3 even! His Thetan levels must be off the chart.

xboxliveerror-copy.jpg

The agent estimated that the problems will be fixed by the end of the weekend, if not by the end of the night. So I guess I just want to say “thank you” to Microsoft for making such a killer system. If it weren’t so awesome, I might actually be able to sign into the Chromehounds servers and, you know, play some freaking games. Protect your computer with Windows Onecare Ad Space

Ads in online shows work better than ads on TV

Slashdot It! Good news for TV networks: online ads work. As TV shows continue their lengthy migration onto the web, new research finds that the people watching those shows actually pay more attention to both advertising and content when they watch online. A year's worth of research from Simmons, a media consultancy, shows that Internet video watchers are 47 percent more engaged by the advertising they watched than were traditional TV viewers, according to MediaPost. The same study found that viewers were 25 percent more engaged in the content on the shows as well. That's excellent news for networks like NBC, which has been making aggressive moves to put its shows online (though not through iTunes) in advertising-supported streaming and downloadable formats. The network appears more interested in mimicking the traditional free, ad-supported model of television than it does in pushing paid downloads, and the Simmons study may vindicate that decision (even if NBC's strategy confuses some viewers in the process). The study results will also provide fodder for both writers and producers in the ongoing Hollywood writers' strike, which has largely centered on the residuals formula for Internet-provided content. With online video proving so (potentially) lucrative, both sides may have extra incentive to dig in their heels so as not to leave too much cash on the table for the other side to snap up. And all of this is happening at a time when online ad money continues to flow from the great Madison Avenue Money Spigot. Back in November, the Internet Advertising Bureau reported that Internet ad revenue topped $5.2 billion in the third quarter of 2007, up a full 25 percent over a year before. Combine that with consumers who actually pay attention to ads, and you have an adman's paradise in the making. How long will it be until the serpent of consumer overstimulation does to the new medium what it has already done to television ads? Protect your computer with Windows Onecare Ad Space

Sunday, December 30, 2007

DS overtakes PS2 lifetime sales in Japan

Slashdot It! Over the past few months, we've all grown used to digesting statistics and factoids that sum up the DS's dominance in Japan. That's not to say we've grown tired of them, however, so here's another pretty sweet stat: over the holiday period, the DS whooshed effortlessly past the lifetime sales of Sony's PlayStation 2. That's according to Japanese sales tracker Media Create, which got its abacus out to calculate that the DS has now shifted 20,954,157 units, compared to 20,901,468 PS2s. What's even more impressive is how quickly Nintendo's handheld has pulled off the feat -- let's not forget that Sony's console has been on the Japanese market for an extra four and a half years. A hearty "Congrats!" to you, Nintendo. Protect your computer with Windows Onecare Ad Space

End of Support for Netscape web browsers

Slashdot It! AOL has a long history on the internet, being one of the first companies to really get people online. Throughout its lifetime, it has been involved with a number of high profile acquisitions, perhaps the largest of which was the 1999 acquisition of the Netscape Communications Corporation. Netscape was known to many as the thought leader in web browsing, and had developed a number of complementary pieces of software that allowed for a rich suite of internet tools. At the time of the acquisition, the Netscape team had begun working on converting their flagship product - the Netscape Communicator web suite - into open source software, under a new name: Mozilla. AOL played a significant role in the launch of the Netscape 6 browser, the first Mozilla-based, Netscape-branded browser that was released in 2000 and continued to solely fund the development and marketing efforts of Netscape-branded browsers. In 2003, an independent foundation was created to support the continued development of the open source web suite. AOL was a major source of support for the Mozilla Foundation and the company continued to develop versions of the Netscape browser based on the work of the foundation. While internal groups within AOL have invested a great deal of time and energy in attempting to revive Netscape Navigator, these efforts have not been successful in gaining market share from Microsoft's Internet Explorer. Recently, support for the Netscape browser has been limited to a handful of engineers tasked with creating a skinned version of Firefox with a few extensions. AOL's focus on transitioning to an ad-supported web business leaves little room for the size of investment needed to get the Netscape browser to a point many of its fans expect it to be. Given AOL's current business focus and the success the Mozilla Foundation has had in developing critically-acclaimed products, we feel it's the right time to end development of Netscape branded browsers, hand the reins fully to Mozilla and encourage Netscape users to adopt Firefox. Q: What will this mean? A: We'll continue to release security patches for the current version of the browser, Netscape Navigator until February 1, 2008. After February 1, there will be no more active product support for Navigator 9, or any previous Netscape Navigator browser. This includes Netscape v1-v4.x, Netscape v6, Netscape v7 Suite, Netscape Browser v8, and Netscape Navigator/Messenger 9. Q: I use Netscape now. Now that Netscape is stopping support, what do I do? A: The Netscape Team fully stands behind the fine work being done by the Mozilla Foundation. We recommend that you download Mozilla Firefox and give it a try. We know you'll enjoy it! Q: Will I still be able to use Netscape? A: You will still be able to download old versions of Netscape from the Netscape Archive (link coming). However, these products are no longer supported. Our recommendation for the nostalgic out there is to download Mozilla Firefox, and add on the Netscape theme and Netscape extensions which are available here: https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/user/56836 This way you'll have a current web browser that is very secure, and has the look and feel you have grown accustomed to with Netscape. Q: Will anyone be around to answer my questions? A: The following sites will continue to exist and offer information about Netscape after February 1, 2008: The UFAQ (http://www.ufaq.org/), the Netscape Archive, the Netscape Community Forum (http://community.netscape.com/n/pfx/forum.aspx?webtag=ws-nscpbrowser&redirCnt=1). Please bear in mind that no active product support will be available. Q: Does this mean that Netscape is dead? A: While we will no longer support the Netscape web browser as of February 1, 2008, Netscape.com (http://www.netscape.com) will still continue to serve as a general use Internet portal. Protect your computer with Windows Onecare Ad Space

iPhone Firmware 1.1.3 Video and Evidence Confirms Update Is Real, Breaks Unlock, Third-Party Apps

Slashdot It! It is very real, according to Natetrue and the evidence he has provided to us. Knowing that the mighty Natetrue has recorded it and the details he has shared with us, we are inclined to think that the new 1.1.3 leak is very real indeed. Like before, the update breaks the unlock and the third-party apps, patching previous vulnerabilities at the same time. The battle between Apple and the iPhone Dev Team continues. The video shows how to move icons around in the Springboard, wobbling to indicate they can be dragged and dropped around, which is kind of an Apple-meets-Nintendo touch: We had some doubts, but now we can tell you we are sure: the new firmware 1.1.3 is real. Or like Nate says: "if it is a hoax, they did a buttload of work." The fact is that it installs normally and it works perfectly, according to all the evidence that Natetrue has brought to our attention. We believe this evidence because it's technically sound and it has been provided by one of the most respected and veteran iPhone hackers and the author of iBrickr (which is a must for any Windows iPhone owner). Nate says that "it installs on the phone no-questions-asked and for that you need to have Apple's private key, which i can confirm that the iphone hacker community does not have—as much as we would love to have it." Indeed, Apple's private encrypted key, used to authenticate all accesses to the iPhone most-private guts, hasn't been uncovered yet by anyone in the world. In other words, no firmware upgrades can be installed without the knowledge of this key. Furthermore, the idea that someone would have access to this key and spend months to create a fully functional firmware update, with key new features and without any documentation whatsoever seems just absolutely silly. Effects on unlocks and Third-party applications According to Nate, the update breaks AnySim's unlocks. Logically, you can't unlock this update using AnySim and there's no alternative to iTunes for activation. If you want to activate, it will only work using iTunes and a standard AT&T account. As he points out: "that is the only way we have been able to activate so far." Nate tried to upgrade an AnySim 1.2u iPhone and it failed. Even while he was able to force it to boot, the phone refused to activate even with a normal AT&T SIM card. "I suspect it's due to the fact that the baseband could not be upgraded to the 1.1.3 'required' version", he pointed out. Nate didn't try other updates or solutions, like iPhone Sim Free or any of the hardware-based ones, like TurboSIM. In theory, these should work just fine, but jailbreak and activation would be absolutely impossible for the time being. We would have to wait until the update gets released in the open to try new alternative activation methods. Your favorite third-party apps will be gone too, with no possibility of return for now. The update fixes the bugs which allowed "the jailbreak method we were using for 1.1.2, locking us out again, as expected." Other effects Like previous firmware upgrades, whatever is in the user partition remains unchanged. Only the Apple-owned part is affected by 1.1.3. So for those of you who claim that this is a fake because it says "Nate" in the network instead of "AT&T," that's the reason. Nate changed the network name in 1.1.2 using Erica's Make It Mine program. The changed network name, like with 1.1.1 and any other previous firmware, is kept through firmware upgrades. New features and future releases The list of new features are confirmed too: all are correct, but he couldn't confirm if they are the only ones or not. Many of you would be wondering how this could have happened, knowing the extremely tight security around the iPhone firmware updates. We don't know, but apparently the leak has occurred because "someone wanted to help the unlock effort." The source of the leak is completely anonymous, even to Nate and the rest of the people who have had access to the upgrade. Why the update hasn't hit Torrent yet? According to Nate, the code could be watermarked to catch any leaks "so for now it's screenshots and videos." Also, distributing it won't make much sense at this point: according to Nate the iPhone 1.1.3 Firmware update could hit as soon as next week. Protect your computer with Windows Onecare Ad Space

What tops Youtube videos

Slashdot It! Videos by a self-styled Obama Girl, a fan's tearful defense of Britney Spears, and an attack by a herd of buffaloes on a pride of lions, were among the most popular clips on YouTube.com in 2007. But the videos were not just popular because of the millions of times they were seen on the YouTube Web site, which allows users to post their homemade videos. The rankings, released by YouTube on Thursday, took into account the most shared, most discussed, top rated, and general popularity of clips to determine which ones people were thinking and talking about most. Among the year's favorites were the Obama Girl video, created by Barely Political, featuring an attractive young singer professing her love for Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama. It has been viewed more than 4 million times and many more times on television after being featured on news and talk shows. While it was clear Barely Political was producing political satire in the name of entertainment, Internet surfers might initially have been less certain what Chris Crocker was trying to do in his "http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kHmvkRoEowc" clip (contains profanity) in September. The clip is a close-up of Crocker breaking down in tears as he berates the media and paparazzi for hounding pop singer Spears as she lurched from one tabloid scandal to another. YouTube said the melodramatic two-minute clip made Crocker an instant YouTube star, has been watched more than 14 million times and is the fourth most-commented-on video in YouTube's history. In terms of sheer viewer numbers it was an unlikely combination of amateur production values, patience and timing that made an eight-minute video titled "Battle at Kruger" so compelling it has been watched more than 21 million times on YouTube. The video captured the battle between a herd of water buffaloes, a pride of lions and a crocodile over a young calf. The clip, filmed by Jason Schlosberg on safari in South Africa's Kruger National Park, has been featured on ABC News and Time magazine. Schlosberg has a documentary coming on the National Geographic Channel next spring based around his original film. Other popular videos included performances by up and coming singers in their bedrooms, including Esmee Denters from the Netherlands, singing Justin Timberlake's "What Goes Around" or Tay Zonday singing an original composition "Chocolate Rain." A piano playing cat named Nora and otters holding hands also were among the favorites on YouTube, which is owned by search engine company Google. Protect your computer with Windows Onecare Ad Space

Apple coming out with UMPC?

Slashdot It!

I have been working on gathering more information about a new Apple portable device from several different sources during the past 6 months. I have pieced together the puzzle which portrays a picture of what can be perhaps best described as Apple’s rival product to the Intel Ultra Mobile PC ( UMPC ) initiative which has unsuccessfully tried to marry Microsoft’s Windows OS to a highly portable computing platform.
This new Apple device, which could be an Ultra Mobile Computer, has not been sighted out and about the Apple campus or even in the area normally designated for testing new Apple products, suggesting that it’s still in the software and hardware design period. Once it’s physically spotted outside Apple’s secretive labs, we may see an actual product release of 6-8 months, closely following other new Apple product introductions. One thing surprising was that he dugg this story and it did not get famous, however, when engadget dugg it once more, it became famous. Via EyeonApple Protect your computer with Windows Onecare Get Paid $7.50 for reviewing my post Ad Space

Saturday, December 29, 2007

IDC serves up top 10 storage predictions for 2008

Slashdot It! IT managers looking to boost storage efficiency next year will embrace online storage services, push de-duplication in the data center and adopt solid-state disk drives to help fuel hardware consolidation strategies and green initiatives, according to IDC's top 10 storage predictions for 2008. The top 10 storage industry predictions by the Framingham, Mass.-based market research company expected to arrive in 2008 include: * 1. Storage services models for data backup, archiving and replication will be more appealing to businesses. * 2. New role-based storage systems will demand tighter integration between the storage layer and content-generating applications. * 3. Vendors will build object-based storage systems to classify data and add policies closer to the point of creation. * 4. Falling prices of solid-state disk drives will push mainstream adoption. * 5. Virtual servers will become an ideal conduit for iSCSI. * 6. Value-added storage services will become nontethered from storage infrastructure. * 7. Full-disk encryption will be prevalent in the data center to satisfy compliance and safe harbor provision rules. * 8. Offerings designed for small and midsize businesses featuring integrated storage and server technology will flood the storage market. * 9. Green storage initiatives will cause companies to seek nondisruptive/partial hardware upgrades. * 10. De-duplication, thin provisioning and virtual tape libraries will be in demand because of power saving efforts in the data center. According to IDC, storage capacity is exploding at a rate of almost 60% per year. That type of accelerated growth is forcing IT executives to rethink what type of storage system is best suited for their data -- and to consider the costs in light of shrinking floor space and rising costs of power, said Dave Reinsel, an analyst at IDC. Reinsel said he foresees 2008 as the year there will be many "toes in the water" regarding companies evaluating the benefits of solid-state disk drive technology in a corporate setting. He said this is largely because of the increasing importance of end users leveraging services over the Web, which requires faster response times and transaction processing. These tasks are a better fit for high-performing and flash-based solid-state technology than physical hard disk drives. "There are very simple situations and application scenarios where solid-state disks will be worth the risk. It does promise some great potential benefit in terms of I/O," said Reinsel, who noted that high prices that have stunted solid-state adoption will drop in 2008. IDC predicts solid state will make a significant impact on reducing heat from spindle usage in server blade deployments and to boost functionality in mobile devices. In the new study, IDC storage analysts said this year's top 10 storage predictions for 2008 address three areas: new data storage models such as object-based storage; green storage technology, which helps companies reduce their carbon footprint and energy expenditure; and new forms of storage delivery such as online storage services. Online storage began its transformation in 2007 from a simplified backup option for consumers and small businesses to an offering that can enable larger businesses bolster disaster recovery operations, regulatory compliance needs and help curb storage infrastructure costs. Even Google Inc. is reportedly interested in building online storage technology to take advantage of the lucrative market. Protect your computer with Windows Onecare Ad Space

The best of 2007

Slashdot It! Amazon.com released its "Best of 2007" lists, which include the bestselling, most positively reviewed, most-wished-for and favorite gift products as determined by Amazon.com customers in 2007. Bestselling Products The following is a list of the bestselling products on Amazon.com in 2007 by total units sold: -- Books: "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows" by J.K. Rowling - Music: "Noel" by Josh Groban -- DVD: "Planet Earth: The Complete BBC Series" -- Electronics: Canon PowerShot A570IS 7.1MP digital camera -- Home & Garden: Pyrex storage sets -- Health & Personal Care: Omron HJ-112 digital premium pedometer -- Grocery: Senseo Douwe Egberts dark roast coffee pods -- Gourmet: Starbucks assortment gift basket by Wine Country Gift Baskets -- Computers: Nokia Internet tablet PC -- Software: Microsoft Office Home and Student 2007 -- Video Games: Nintendo Wii -- Apparel & Accessories: Kenneth Cole Reaction men's Eden wool peacoat -- Shoes and handbags (Amazon.com and Endless.com): Jessica Simpson women's Henri2 pump -- Sports & Outdoors: Perfect Pushup -- Home Improvement: Black & Decker 8-inch auto wrench -- Automotive: Actron AutoScanner diagnostic code scanner -- Jewelry: Sterling silver open double flower pendant -- Watches: LEGO kids' watch -- Beauty: Bare Escentuals Mineral Veil -- Baby: Munchkin Mozart Cube -- Toys: Jakks EyeClops Bionic Eye Most-Loved Products The following is a list of products that were reviewed most positively by Amazon.com customers in 2007: -- Books: "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows" by J.K. Rowling -- Music: "One Chance" by Paul Potts -- DVD: "Planet Earth: The Complete BBC Series" -- Electronics: Garmin nuvi 350 3.5-inch portable GPS navigator -- Home & Garden: KitchenAid Artisan Series 5-quart mixer -- Health & Personal Care: Farouk CHI 1-inch ceramic flat hairstyling iron -- Grocery: McCann's Steel Cut Oatmeal -- Gourmet: Tuscan whole milk, 1 gallon -- Computers: Apple MacBook Pro notebook PC -- Software: Apple Mac OS X version 10.5 Leopard -- Video Games: Nintendo Wii -- Apparel & Accessories: Chrome Metal Silver Mirrored Aviator Sunglasses -- Shoes and handbags (Amazon.com and Endless.com): FEED bag -- Sports & Outdoors: Perfect Pushup -- Home Improvement: Toro Ultra 12 amp electric blower/vacuum -- Automotive: Actron PocketScan diagnostic code reader -- Jewelry: Sterling silver open double flower pendant -- Watches: Invicta men's Pro Diver Collection automatic watch -- Beauty: Bare Escentuals Get Started Kit -- Baby: Fisher-Price Rainforest Jumperoo -- Toys: Blokus Strategy board game Most-Wished-For Products The following is a list of products that appeared most often on the Wish Lists of Amazon.com customers in 2007: -- Books: "I Am America (And So Can You)" by Stephen Colbert -- Music: "Noel" by Josh Groban -- DVD: "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix" (two-disc Special Edition) -- Electronics: Apple 4 GB iPod nano (3rd Generation) -- Home & Garden: Silpat nonstick silicone baking mat -- Health & Personal Care: Accutire programmable digital tire gauge -- Grocery: Numi's Bouquet bamboo gift set -- Gourmet: Starbucks assortment gift basket by Wine Country Gift Basket -- Computers: Asus Eee 4G-Galaxy 7-inch PC mobile Internet device -- Software: Adobe Photoshop Elements 6 -- Video Games: Nintendo Wii -- Apparel & Accessories: Red Moon women's long-sleeve cashmere jersey V-neck sweater -- Shoes and handbags (Amazon.com and Endless.com): FEED bag -- Sports & Outdoors: Suunto T6 Wristop personal trainer with heart rate monitor -- Home Improvement: Leatherman Skeletool CX multitool -- Automotive: Accutire MS-4350B programmable digital tire gauge -- Jewelry: Sterling silver open double flower pendant -- Watches: Bulova women's diamond chronograph watch -- Beauty: Bare Escentuals Get Started Eyes -- Baby: The First Years Sure To Comfort newborn to toddler tub -- Toys: Magnetix I-Coaster Most Popular Gift Products The following is a list of products most frequently purchased as gifts by Amazon.com customers in 2007: -- Books: "Eat, Pray, Love" by Elizabeth Gilbert -- Music: "Noel" by Josh Groban -- DVD: "Planet Earth: The Complete BBC Series" -- Electronics: Apple 4 GB iPod nano (3rd Generation) -- Home & Garden: George Foreman Next Grilleration removable-plate grill -- Health & Personal Care: Omron Pocket Pedometer -- Grocery: Numi's Bouquet bamboo gift set -- Gourmet: "Soup's On" gift basket by Wine Country Gift Baskets -- Computers: Apple MacBook notebook PC -- Software: Adobe Photoshop Elements 6 -- Video Games: Super Mario Galaxy -- Apparel & Accessories: V Fraas women's cashmere knit scarf and glove set -- Shoes and handbags (Amazon.com and Endless.com): Slippers International women's Fluff Scuff slipper -- Sports & Outdoors: Garrity Power Lite 3 LED crank light -- Home Improvement: Black & Decker 8-inch auto wrench -- Automotive: LifeHammer original emergency hammer -- Jewelry: 14k gold, round diamond stud earrings -- Watches: Movado Women's Amorosa watch -- Beauty: Burt's Bees Head to Toe Starter Kit -- Baby: Mozart Magic Cube -- Toys: IlluStory Make Your Own Story Kit Protect your computer with Windows Onecare Ad Space

Sony to quit making rear-projection TVs

Slashdot It! Sony said it would stop making rear-projection televisions, becoming the latest company to distance itself from a technology once seen as a promising rival of LCD and plasma displays in the flat-TV market. Sony said it would focus its resources on liquid crystal display (LCD) and organic light-emitting diode (OLED) technology to address the flat-TV market, which is growing rapidly as consumers trade in their boxy tube sets for sleeker flat screens. The consumer electronics firm plans to stop making rear-projection TVs at three plants in Japan and overseas in February, company spokesman Shinji Obana said. Seiko Epson said earlier this month that it had halted production and sales of its rear-projection TVs, while Hitachi withdrew from the North American rear-projection TV market earlier this year. Demand for rear-projection TVs, which were once dominant in the large-size flat-TV market, has been dwindling as electronics makers in recent years started offering larger and cheaper LCD and plasma models. In October, Sony cut its rear-projection TV sales target for the year to March by 43 percent to 400,000 units. Via Cnet Protect your computer with Windows Onecare Get Paid $7.50 for reviewing my post Ad Space

Fox to allow DVD copying on Apple's iTunes

Slashdot It! Also in Apple's movie rental deal yesterday with Fox: Apple will license its FairPlay copy-protection technology to the studio for DVD movie releases. This will allow DVD purchasers to easily -- and legally -- copy movies to their computers for playback on iPods and iPhones. The copy protection on DVDs was cracked long ago, but it's still not easy for the average consumer to copy a disc and transfer it to iTunes. Having one-click DVD copying, like iTunes has done for CDs for years, could well be the killer app for Apple's video products, including the Apple TV. (Update: According to Gizmodo, the files won't be ripped from the DVD; instead, Fox will include iTunes-formatted versions of the movie on the disc.) Up until now, the only way to legally get a movie on your Apple TV was to buy it from the iTunes store. If this trial is successful, we could see other movie studios sign on quickly. Odds are good that Disney, the media company in which Apple CEO Steve Jobs is the largest individual shareholder, will get the same deal when the movie-rental store launches in January. Protect your computer with Windows Onecare Get Paid $7.50 for reviewing my post Ad Space

Amazon adds Warner Music tunes to download service

Slashdot It! Online retailer Amazon.com has signed on Warner Music Group to its music download service, which aims to compete with Apple's industry-dominating iTunes online store. Warner Music songs are available on the Amazon MP3 service, which lets users purchase the tunes and download them to many digital music players, including Apple's iPod, the companies said on Thursday. They will also offer exclusive tracks and special album bundles. Amazon launched the service in September after reaching deals with music labels Universal Music Group, part of Vivendi, and EMI. It has priced many of its songs at 89 cents each, below the standard iTunes price of 99 cents. Unlike Apple's store, Amazon's shop sells all of its songs without protection, allowing them to be played on a variety of devices, including Apple's popular iPod digital entertainment players. Warner Music shares rose 7 cents to $6.04 in morning trade on the New York Stock Exchange. Amazon shares rose $1.38 to $94.23 on Nasdaq. From Cnet Protect your computer with Windows Onecare Get Paid $7.50 for reviewing my post Ad Space

Friday, December 28, 2007

Apple shares hit $200

Slashdot It! Shares of Apple hit an all-time high today, briefly trading over $200 per share on NASDAQ. At such levels, Apple sports a market value of nearly $170 billion, making the company nearly 3x the size of Dell, and closing in on one-half the size of Microsoft. Perhaps more significant than the staggering value is the rate at which Apple has reversed its fortunes. Shares are up more than 10x from where they were trading in mid-2003, when the iPod was just starting to get hot and the PC market was still dominated by the likes of Dell and HP. Since then, Apple has been able to leverage its hot brand to improve sales across the board, with sales of Macs rising 34 percent in the most recent quarter. For the year, Apple shares are amongst the top performing, up a whopping 143%. This compares to a 53% gain for Google, whose triple-digit share price is often a headline-grabbing subject. From Mashable Protect your computer with Windows Onecare Get Paid $7.50 for reviewing my post Ad Space

Benchmark Reviews EXPOSED!!!

Slashdot It! Hi everyone, I had exposed the fact where benchmark reviews's reviews might actually be affected by people giving them free products or money or any kind of compensation Quote

This web site accepts forms of cash advertising, sponsorship, paid insertions or other forms of compensation. The compensation received may influence the advertising content, topics or posts made in this web site.
From their contact Page And one more thing, this disclosure thing is required by the members of PPP. Is he a member of PPP? Maybe, or he might be in one of the paid blogging service. Protect your computer with Windows Onecare Get Paid $7.50 for reviewing my post Ad Space

Google is now the monopolist

Slashdot It! The New York Times Friday published several documents Microsoft used to make the case that a Google purchase of DoubleClick would give the search engine powerhouse several competitive advantages in the online advertising market. Microsoft was hoping the documents, which include a three-page diagram (PDF) of the so-called online ad "pipeline" Google would control should the $3.1 billion deal be consummated, would sway the Federal Trade Commission into believing that the purchase would make Google the consummate monopolist. Now that the FTC has blessed the merger (Merry Christmas, Google), Microsoft's documentation of Google's online ad position comes off as the data-driven equivalent of flipping the chess board up in frustration; Microsoft sees Google's checkmate coming, but the only thing it can do is make some noise and hope someone listens. Will the European Commission listen? I doubt it. Turnabout is fair play. How many Microsoft competitors felt the same helplessness watching the presiding market gorilla eat all of its bananas? Microsoft also articulated (Word doc) how the combination of Google's vast ad networks with DoubleClick's publishing tools will give the company overwhelming chunks of the market. In fact, I owe Microsoft thanks because I learned more about what Google's position in the market will look like once it tucks in DoubleClick from Microsoft than from what Google offered. But the best part of these documents is not the detail, it's the prognostications that could shed light on just how ingenious (and perhaps, insidious) Google's ad plans are with DoubleClick. Drawing on Google's history of providing software or services for free in exchange for the right to have and use data, Microsoft suggested that Google will offer DoubleClick's DFP (DART for Publishers) hosted ad-serving platform for free in exchange for the first shot at publishers' remaining inventory. The idea is that, like any tyrant, Google could sift through the good stuff and save the spoils for Microsoft, Yahoo and anyone else vying for pie. Microsoft covered all the bases. Not only did it provide a document explaining how Google could lock others out of the market, but it composed a list (Word doc) of six suggestions for lessening the impact of a Google and DoubleClick marriage. These include spinning off DFP businesses to an independent and viable purchaser; open access for competing ad networks; open access to AdSense/AdWords for competing tool vendors; elimination of restrictive API practices; prohibiting exclusive dealings; and setting up firewalls so that the Google commercial organization cannot access competitively sensitive data flowing through DoubleClick's ad-serving tools. My guess is that any of these "remedies" would be a deal-breaker for Google. Anyone who wants to really dive into the ramifications of the deal to see how it will affect the online ad market should check out these documents. Are they FUD? They most certainly are. But it's also some of the best organized and compellingly articulated FUD I've ever read. I would love to know exactly what the FTC thought about these documents and how well it weighed them prior to making its decision. If you believe the allegations in the Microsoft documents, the DoubleClick deal could cripple competitors. My guess is the FTC considered how the DoubleClick deal would hurt the consumer and not how it will hurt Microsoft, Yahoo, et al. Perhaps Microsoft should have spent more time explaining how a Google-DoubleClick union could harm consumers instead of toppling the online ad chessboard. Perhaps Microsoft didn't go there because it didn't have the evidence to support a case for the deal harming consumers, in which case the point is moot. Protect your computer with Windows Onecare Get Paid $7.50 for reviewing my post Ad Space

Info Overload Costs Economy

Slashdot It! Think twice before you copy someone on an e-mail or hit "reply all." Such practices have made today's workers less productive, a research firm concludes. After years of naming a product or person of the year, Basex Inc. decided to forecast "information overload" as problem of the year for 2008. "It's too much information. It's too many interruptions. It's too much lost time," Basex chief analyst Jonathan Spira declared. "It's always too much of a good thing." Information overload isn't exactly new, but Spira said the problem has grown as technology increases societal expectations for instantaneous response. And more information available, he said, also means more time wasted looking for the right information, whether in an old e-mail or through a search engine. Workers get disoriented every time they stop what they are doing to reply to an e-mail or answer a follow-up phone call because they didn't reply within minutes. Spira said workers can spend 10 to 20 times the length of the original interruption trying to get back on track. He estimates that such disruptions cost the U.S. economy $650 billion in 2006. Spira has a number of recommendations: Resist the urge to immediately follow up an e-mail with an instant message or phone call. Make sure the subject line clearly reflects the topic and urgency of an e-mail. And use "reply all" sparingly. Protect your computer with Windows Onecare Get Paid $7.50 for reviewing my post Ad Space