June 9, 2008
TLS Report grades and reports on site security
Game Over. Hulu Wins. They Have The Daily Show. And Colbert.
Ok, I’ve been ridiculously hard on Hulu from the beginning. But that ends. Today.
Because Hulu is now streaming full episodes of The Daily Show With Jon Stewart and The Colbert Report, from Comedy Central. No more Tivo. No more dealing with BitTorrent. I can just log in and watch the show in 480p, and that makes me very, very happy.
I will never again refer to Hulu as Clown Co. Or mention that Hulu means “cease & desist” in Swahili. And I will stop making fun of them for stealing Google’s mission statement and planning to sell panty hose.
Hell, I’ll even let the occasional puff piece in Fortune go by without comment.
Hulu is also adding a few shows from PBS later this month, including NOVA, Carrier, Scientific American Frontiers, and Wired Science. Frankly, I couldn’t care less. I’ll be watching the Daily Show.
Crunch Network: CrunchGear drool over the sexiest new gadgets and hardware.
Are We Nearing the Beginning of Micro-Celebrity Endorsements?
Allen Stern tonight uses Kelly Ripa, the buxom blonde from the Regis and Kelly morning TV chat show, as a foil to talk about the latest incarnation of the Facebook Bac’n concept. He starts off musing on the fate of the traditional celebrity endorsement (emphasis added):
Over the past few weeks, Regis’ sidekick Kelly Ripa has appeared in a variety of television commercials for products including Tide laundry detergent and Electrolux appliances. What does Kelly Ripa know about a dishwasher or an oven? Do you believe her when she says it’s a better appliance? Would she endorse Whirlpool or GE if they paid her more? I’d suggest the answer is yes. This is just one example of celebrities endorsing products for big dollars when their endorsement really means nothing as to the quality, features or durability of the product.
The problem with dissecting that is celebrity endorsements aren’t typically solicited for products where quality, features, or durability of the product are a real issue. There are about 300 different types of laundry detergent at the average American superstore. They all (more or less) seem to get my clothes about the same amount of clean. I’m generally going to either make a decision based on brand recognition or pure economics.
Allen is likely right, though, in assuming that the last time Kelly did her own laundry or used an appliance was sometime before her first multi-million dollar TV contract, many many years ago. Hiring Kelly Ripa, or any other celebrity won’t affect the economics of the issue in a measurable way, but it will help with brand recognition - which is exactly what celebrity endorsements are about.
Will a Facebook Beacon like system help with brand recognition as well? Most certainly. The problem is that run of the mill folks generally have a problem being an unpaid shill. When your social graph is only about thirty or forty folks, though, your endorsement is essentially worth nothing, when compared to the endorsement of a “real celebrity.”
Thus, unless significant compensation is involved, I surmise that even the best thought out Beacon clone, like the one Allen describes is doomed to be relegated to the already existing forums for user reviews on most mainstream eCommerce sites (again, from Allen’s post):
Here’s what I’d like to see: a friend endorsement system and the creation of a new advertising category named, “social advertising”. Here are the basics on how the program would work. You enter the products you’d be willing to endorse to your friends into the system. Your friends do the same. When you are ready to purchase an item, you check the friend endorsement system and review your friend’s product endorsements in the category you are interested in purchasing within.
Last week, we talked about the role of influencers in social media, and the experiment that Ian Schafer was conducting to see what sort of price that sort of an endorsement would fetch. Interestingly enough, just Ian’s endorsement of a product on Twitter has already risen to over a grand (and he has a relatively modest social graph, number only in the mid hundreds).
To that end, I agree that celebrity endorsements as we know them may be undergoing a transformative change - down to a niche level. Folks that have a sizable social graph or a clearly defined audience of at least a few hundred appear to be perfect candidates for the micro-celebrity endorsement. Given what we know about the savvy nature of social media followers, I also tend to believe that this is somewhat immune to the gaming of the system Allen is concerned about.
The last time this topic was brought up, it garnered a very significant amount of discussion. Now that Ian’s experiment is yielding results, does this change your opinions on the topic, or does it take the concept of advertising on the web further down a path you’d rather not see it go?
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Canon EOS Rebel XS lands, shoves XT aside
Filed under: Digital Cameras
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Ingres alumini joins DMBS scrum
Ingres originator Jerry Held has become the latest database big gun to take aim at traditional database management systems (DBMS), saying they are unsuited to cloud computing.…
iPhone 2.0 Big in Bubbleland, But 2-3 Years Behind the Times in The Real World?
Tech blogs have been literally stampeding over the top of each other today to report on the latest version of the iPhone, announced at Apple's WWDC event in San Francisco. Our network blog last100 has an excellent overview of the news. Personally I'm a huge iPhone fan and so I was looking forward to this announcement as much as the next Macbook-toting geek. However a RWW commenter, Raph, injected a healthy dose of realism into the comments of our earlier post. It makes you wonder: is the iPhone really that revolutionary?! Let us know in the poll and comments below...
First, the highlights of today's iPhone 2.0 announcement, courtesy of last100:
- Yes, it supports 3G and faster data networks.
- Yes, it supports GPS.
- Yes, it has a few cosmetic changes and is thinner.
- Yes, it carries a (dramatically) lower price: $199 for the 8 GB iPhone, $299 for the 16 GB model.
- No, it's not immediately available, but you can get it in 22 countries starting July 11.
- Microsoft Exchange and full enterprise support is enabled out of the box.
- "Exchange for the rest of us" will be available through MobileMe and Me.com, the re-branding of .Mac.
- Third-party applications and the App Store will be available in early July.
- No, there does not appear to be an improved camera or video recording (including video chat) of any kind. There's no Flash support. Or external storage slots. And still no cut and paste!
To which I'd add, longer lasting battery! Very big feature IMHO.
And now for the contrary, non-geeks view, courtesy of our commenter Raph:
"Even though this blog has been particularily quiet around Apple's WWDC08 and the new iPhone announcement, I'd like to voice an opinion that is likely to make me look like I'm an old dinosaur that is just bitterly jealous over Apple's success.
Well in fact, I'm not. But I am still looking for words to describe how pathetic Bubbleland looks like from a higher perspective, buzzing crazily around Apple, their conference, and the new iPhone.
Just look at that : an army of bloggers "liveblogging" what ? An event primarily addressed to people who write programs working on products of a (still) relatively small company that until now addresses only the 10% of the richer people in the world with their fancy gadgets.
And writing about what ? A BIG event : the second release of a phone that until now lacked what 80% of the phones sold in Europe and Japan have had for the last 2-3 years - 3G connectivity. And guess what : it also does portable music playing and GPS. Woaaah ! Excellent ! Nobody else does that on the market, do they ?
Now, don't tell me guys that the iPhone was a revolutionnary phone : it wasn't, except maybe for its stylish look. And this release is anything but exceptionnal. It basically is a "survival release". Adjust the competition or die. And also adjust the competition's pricing or die.
People are talking about this as the latest genius move from Apple's Steve Jobs. It's not a genius move. It's the only strategy to avoid the short-term failure of the product. Except to Apple groupies (which are numerous in Bubbleland's crowd), this phone had been bought until now for its stylish look. And that wouldn't have gone much further than it was."
Raph, you are a brave man. So folks, what do you think?
What do you think of iPhone 2.0?
Photo credits: Engadget
NewTeeVee launches online video review site
NewTeeVee is already a go-to site for online video business and technology news, but now its launching another site that’s not so geeky: NewTeeVee Station, featuring reviews of online videos. This is a smart move to attract more mainstream readers and I wish I’d thought of it first. I mean, if you’re reading about “digital media,” would you rather read about an online video startup raising another round of funding, or reading about the funniest video on YouTube? Okay, maybe you’re not the average reader, but you get my point.
The NewTeeVee staff has been working on the site for a couple of months, creating a database of more than 100 shows and videos, and reviews. NewTeeVee founding editor Liz Gannes tells me the plan is to publish one story and four new videos per day, with the expectation that the videos and reviews will become an increasingly valuable resources for online video viewers, as online video continues to gain popularity. The reviews explain the background of the videos, things like the story of how the videos became viral, and background information about the best video creators.
While Gannes will stay on as the editor of the main NewTeeVee site, another Liz, former Variety and Daily Reel writer Liz Shannon Miller, will be the editor of the new site.
The database will become increasingly user-editable, Gannes says, who adds that ultimately, NewTeeVee Station is “a bet that online video is a legitimate entertainment medium.”
Sample review of a great recent YouTube hit, You Suck At Photoshop:
AOL Announces Revenue Sharing for Open AIM
Last month we called AOL's Open AIM developer platform an "often over-looked social networking platform," but with 80 million users and plans to integrate the AOL Instant Messenger platform into bebo, it might not be over-looked for long -- in fact, it now has 295,000 developers signed up. AOL has been pushing their chat platform hard this year, last month giving out $100,000 for the best AIM-powered applications, and today sweeting the pot further by announcing the availability AIM Money, a new revenue sharing program. The program was initially launched in March, and is now available to any Open AIM developer.
"Our goal is to facilitate the world's online, real-time conversations anytime and anywhere," said David Liu, Senior Vice President, AOL People Networks in a press release. "To that end, we're not only giving developers more opportunities and incentives to create meaningful instant messaging-based applications for our millions of users, but we're also bringing more requested features and innovation to the AIM platform to satisfy user needs."
Participating in AOL Money is free, and developers are required to include a display ad widget that runs alongside their web or software based AIM mashup. Payments are made monthly via PayPal. Ads are handled by AOL's "Platform A."
In addition to the wide release of AOL Money, the company is announcing a new version of the AIM software and a corresponding new release of the Open AIM API that takes advantage of the latest features of the client software. Perhaps the most compelling new feature for developers is the addition of "mini applications." Mini apps are widgets that run inside of the AIM client software and can be accessed by users from a bar at the base of their buddy list.
ISPs agree to block access to child porn sites, newsgroups
WWDC 2008 coverage roundup: the iPhone 3G has landed
Filed under: Cellphones
- iPhone 3G is finally official, starts at $199, available July 11th
- iPhone 3G hands-on
- The Lucky 22: countries receiving iPhone 3G on July 11th
- Steve Jobs keynote live from WWDC 2008
- iPhone push notification service for devs announced
- Apple's lucrative iPhone revenue sharing goes away, replaced with "traditional" model
- iPhone 3G purchase and activation will be in-store only
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