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Archive: February 2007

Steve Case 2.0

Steve Case stopped by The Post for lunch today and spent much of it talking about his new Revolution Health company and Web site. There's been a lot of buzz about this D.C. company and it's been confusing to understand exactly what Revolution Health is: A search engine/social networking Web...

By Sara Goo | February 28, 2007; 3:53 PM ET | Comments (0)

Digital 'Fair Use' Bill Introduced In Congress

Today, Reps. Rich Boucher (D-Va.) and John Dolittle (R-Calif.) introduced what they call the "Freedom and Innovation Revitalizing U.S. Entrepreneurship" (or FAIR USE) Act they say will make it easier for digital media consumers to use the content they buy. The lawmakers seek to amend the 1998 Digital Millennium Copyright...

By Frank Ahrens | February 27, 2007; 11:40 AM ET | Comments (25)

Univision: Media Gigante Put On Notice

Over the weekend, I wrote that the Federal Communications Commission is readying to slap Spanish-language media giant Univision with a record $24 million fine for trying to pass off telenovelas as kids' programming. Two things about this: a) Univision's growing reach and potential influence over Spanish-speaking media consumers is unmatched...

By Frank Ahrens | February 26, 2007; 12:10 PM ET | Comments (6)

A FON way to challenge Starbucks

A European tech company called FON thinks it's only fair that you should be able to use your home Internet connection in places other than, well, your home. The company sells a special WiFi router that has two "channels" - a private one for your personal home use and a...

By Sam Diaz | February 22, 2007; 11:08 AM ET | Comments (9)

From JetBlue To You -- YouTube, That Is

JetBlue founder and chief executive David Neeleman has taken his apology directly to consumers on this YouTube video called "Our promise to you." Jet Blue founder David Neeleman The 2 minute 51 second video is an informal mea culpa and a promise to never let the airline's troubles of the...

By Frank Ahrens | February 21, 2007; 11:50 AM ET | Comments (0)

Should Microsoft Be Scared?

A report from Nielsen//NetRatings this week found that Google Docs and Spreadsheets is leading the market in the online productivity tools space - which so far isn't saying much, given how these Web-based programs are still in their infancy. From October to December, the number of unique visitors remained mostly...

By Sam Diaz | February 21, 2007; 10:37 AM ET | Comments (9)

XM-Sirius Merger: Why?

I have subscribed to XM Satellite Radio since December 2001, three months after the service launched. I have written that I am a fan of the service, but have always been skeptical about its survival as a business. Comes now this proposed merger with rival Sirius Satellite Radio. I understand...

By Frank Ahrens | February 20, 2007; 12:34 PM ET | Comments (121)

The Web's Most Consumer-Friendly Sites

Which companies and industries have the best Web sites? According to a new study out today by the University of Michigan's American Consumer Satisfaction Index, the browsing public loves e-commerce sites like Amazon.com but is less pleased with the offerings from the travel industry, like Expedia, Travelocity and Orbitz. The...

By Sara Goo | February 20, 2007; 6:00 AM ET | Comments (0)

Now starring on YouTube: Google

Google has developed dozens of products that it famously does not promote. So it was a little surprising to see that Google came out with its first commercial, or rather, series of commercials, on YouTube earlier this week promoting Google's free email accounts called GMail. GMail has been around for...

By Sara Goo | February 16, 2007; 1:45 PM ET | Comments (0)

Protecting Kids On the Internet: Impossible?

I'm not a parent but yesterday's discussion on the MySpace vs. parents of the child assaulted by a MySpace predator case brought up some fascinating points from a parenting vs. technology standpoint. One person left this comment on the posting, which I found really got to the nub of the...

By Frank Ahrens | February 16, 2007; 1:37 PM ET | Comments (0)

Judge: MySpace Guiltless In Child Assault

Yesterday, a Texas judge tossed out a lawsuit against MySpace, the world's biggest social-networking site brought by the family of a 13-year-old girl assaulted by a man who found her through her MySpace page. The man, 19-year-old Pete Solis of Texas, lied about himself on his MySpace page to gain...

By Frank Ahrens | February 15, 2007; 11:37 AM ET | Comments (0)

Bronfman Preaches Gospel of Mobile Music

Today in Barcelona, Warner Music Group President Edgar Bronfman Jr. addressed a meeting of mobile operators, tech vendors and content companies about downloading music to your cell phone. Bronfman is an interesting cat. He comes from a long, wealthy line of Canadian liquor moguls. But he got the entertainment bug....

By Frank Ahrens | February 14, 2007; 12:38 PM ET | Comments (0)

Crackdown on Fake Blogs, Astroturf

In the world of p.r. and marketing, "astroturfing" is not a new term. It is the practice of creating a fake grassroots movement, or buzz. Companies will hire "influencers" in specific demographics to spread the word about a product or service, hoping to give it some street cred among consumers...

By Frank Ahrens | February 12, 2007; 10:54 AM ET | Comments (5)

Wal-Mart's Video Download Service

Wal-Mart launched a beta-version of its video-download service this week, entering a rapidly growing space. By one account, the system leaves a lot to be desired. But beta is beta; that's why it's called that. Kinks get worked out. The real story here is what the presence -- finally --...

By Frank Ahrens | February 9, 2007; 2:25 PM ET | Comments (0)

Microsoft offers (little) Xbox perks

Microsoft has just introduced a new scheme intended to keep Xbox 360 owners glued to their consoles -- keep playing long enough and the company will give you some little perks, in a promotion the company is launching with Old Spice. Announced here, the promotion takes advantage of the company's...

By Mike Musgrove | February 8, 2007; 11:14 AM ET | Comments (7)

CBS Goin' Mobile

CBS Corp. has created a new mobile division, splitting it off from its interactive division, and has placed German wunderkind Cyriac Roeding in charge. I met Roeding last summer in L.A., where CBS Interactive is based. I found him tall, young, blond and engaging. At only 33, he had already...

By Frank Ahrens | February 7, 2007; 4:42 PM ET | Comments (3)

What is the RIAA's take on DRM?

Shortly after Steve Jobs put out the call for record labels to eliminate the need for Digital Rights Management software, the Recording Industry Association of America sent us a statement, reacting to the essay. First, a quick recap: In Jobs essay, he also noted an alternative idea where Apple would...

By Sam Diaz | February 7, 2007; 11:27 AM ET | Comments (14)

MySpace vs. Creeps, Cont.

MySpace brass will be in Florida today to tailcoat on a bill the state's governor is introducing: the Cybercrimes Against Children Act, which would beef up the Sunshine State's efforts against online predators. MySpace, which is owned by Rupert Murdoch's NewsCorp, has been working at the state and organization level...

By Frank Ahrens | February 7, 2007; 11:09 AM ET | Comments (0)

Steve Jobs: Let's Get Rid of DRM

Apple Inc. chief executive Steve Jobs released a statement today calling for record companies to let online music stores sell digital music files online without anti-piracy controls. "This is clearly the best alternative for customers and Apple would embrace it in a heartbeat," Jobs wrote in a letter titled "Thoughts...

By Mike Musgrove | February 6, 2007; 4:03 PM ET | Comments (18)

Reviewing video, YouTube style

I was watching the latest video from one of my favorite YouTube producers, HappySlip and came across a clip from another guy claiming to be the "YT reviewer." [YT = YouTube for the uninitiated] He goes just by "James" under the screen name thecruelworld, and produces slick, Siskel &...

By Sara Goo | February 6, 2007; 6:00 AM ET | Comments (0)

RIP LifeDrive

Palm quietly pulled the plug on the LifeDrive last week, in case you missed it. It went away quietly, upstaged by its sturdy cousin, the Treo Smartphone. I remember seeing a demo of Lifedrive over at the PalmOne offices back in Silicon Valley. It had an impressive lineup of features...

By Sam Diaz | February 6, 2007; 2:09 AM ET | Comments (1)

Apple's Advisory - Part II

WOW. I think that last posting, the one about Apple's advisory against upgrading to Windows Vista, hit a nerve. Thanks so much for your input. I'm thrilled that so many of you are reading the blog. A couple of quick thoughts, if I may: I use both Windows and Mac...

By Sam Diaz | February 5, 2007; 6:34 PM ET | Comments (86)

Apple knows how to use the news

Some companies seem to be wise to the PR game. Consider the Apple "advisory" that went out late last week. The company is telling consumers that use its iTunes software that they should hold off on buying a new Windows Vista computer because the iTunes software might not be compatible...

By Sam Diaz | February 5, 2007; 8:48 AM ET | Comments (77)

$13 Super Bowl Ad Wins Contest, Airs In First Quarter

Only a few months ago, Wes Phillips was a 22-year-old audio-visual equipment installer in North Carolina who had a vague idea about starting an advertising agency. So he formed a partnership with his best buddy, Dale Backus, 21. A few minutes ago, they got their first real ad seen by...

By Frank Ahrens | February 4, 2007; 6:43 PM ET | Comments (10)

Super Bowl Ad Nauseum

Super Bowl ads: We can't get enough of 'em! Or so Adweek thinks. Adweek, one of the bigger trade papers that covers the advertising industry, has signed up a roster of advertising gurus to critique the ads as they appear during the game. Why? Because the circus-like production of the...

By Frank Ahrens | February 2, 2007; 11:01 AM ET | Comments (2)

Watching What You Watch, Listen To

Today, the two biggest and most important audience-counting companies--Arbitron and Nielsen--are launching a new project designed to track what you watch and listen to wherever you go. Nielsen records TV viewing and Arbitron (based in Columbia in Howard County) records radio use. For years, the system they used required viewers...

By Frank Ahrens | February 1, 2007; 11:30 AM ET | Comments (0)

 

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