Lots of interesting tech news today, lets get to it.
Universal search: The best answer is still the best answer Google updated their search engine results, they are introducing content from Images, Maps, Books, Video, and News into the search results, and making one big pile of stuff, instead of keeping it separate like they used to.
Making The Switch From Twitter to Jaiku Tired of the downtime Twitter has had lately? In a post from Techcrunch, Duncan Riley talks about people making the switch and some of the tools already available and some they want. He’s not switching, btw, and neither am I, at least not until everyone else does. Mine has been quiet recently, but you can check it here, Jimmy Daniels Twitter microblog.
More Firefox Bloat? Say It Ain’t So, Mozilla Do you feel bloated? Er, I mean, does your Firefox feel bloated? You’re not alone…
New Stuff At My Yahoo Michael Arrington covers the new stuff from My Yahoo. No, not my Yahoo, your Yahoo, no, just read it…
BitTorrent in Focus: TV-series are Hot TorrentFreak says TV is hot online, with 50% of people on BitTorrent downloading TV shows, while TV shows only make up 10% of the available “content”. Interesting, sounds like good news for Joost.
Latest AACS revision defeated a week before release Remember when Kevin Rose lost control of digg? I said they should just give up on the [tag]DRM[/tag] because someone will always be around to crack it for them, well they already have. A new volume key used by high-def films scheduled for release next week has already been cracked. The previous AACS volume key was invalidated by AACS LA after it was exposed and broadly disseminated earlier this month. The latest beta release of SlySoft’s AnyDVD HD program can apparently be used to rip HD DVD discs that use AACS version 3. Although these won’t hit store shelves until the May 22, pirates have already successfully tested SlySoft’s program with early release previews of the Matrix trilogy.
Google to Yahoo and Microsoft: the $1.65 billion was worth it Can you say du huh?
Microsoft apologizes for Halo 3 problems, extends beta The press invites sent out before the Halo 3 beta became widely available were the calm before the storm apparently, as there was a problem with gamers who had the Crackdown invites grabbing the file yesterday. Frank was caught up in the foolishness and it seemed like the entire Internet was going to come down. I know how hard it is to plan something this big, but seriously, this is Microsoft. They should have been better prepared. Now we’re at the point of apologizing, after a very unhappy player-base spent a frustrating day yesterday pulling out their hair waiting for the beta to become available.
Some of the interesting technology stories around.
Security: Thumb sucking, slurping, snarfing, Excuse me? Sounds like a kid show, but security experts are using better names to make these hacks, data theft and more in the publics mind.
Phisher Says He Makes a Fortune Using Re-used Passwords What caught me was the phisher’s acknowledgment that he uses passwords stolen from social networking sites to break into e-mail accounts, where he then searches for financial account details. He says he can make $3-$4,000 a day selling this information. Interview is here.
Google buys a start-up once every few days, or around one a week “Google buys a start-up once every few days, or around one a week, Schmidt estimated” comes from a eWeeek article recapping a Google reporter briefing earlier this week. One of the things I have learned from being on the Fortune 100 side is that large amounts of cash in reserve typically don’t remain in reserve. Whether its stock buyback, capital expansion or acquisitions, the cash must go.
Yahoo To Finally Upgrade MyBlogLog Techcrunch talks about MyBloglog being upgraded, their past problems and are hoping it is looking up. “MyBlogLog, the ubiquitous blog widget that shows pictures of recent visitors to a site, was one of the “instant” success stories of 2006 – Yahoo acquired the company before most people even had a chance to hear about it. Like many blogs, we had the MyBlogLog widget on TechCrunch for months. We eventually removed it due to performance issues (it slowed down the site on a couple of occasions) and this incredible amount of spam that started to appear.”
Microsoft takes on the free world Microsoft claims that free software like Linux, which runs a big chunk of corporate America, violates 235 of its patents. It wants royalties from distributors and users. Users like you, maybe. Fortune’s Roger Parloff reports.
Joost Invitations: 2000+ Sent I?m happy to say Mashable has distributed thousands of Joost invitations over the past 2 weeks – I?m guessing in excess of 2000, although I haven?t done a manual count for obvious reasons. Praises be to those readers who reciprocated by inviting others, and curses upon those who didn?t. They still have a Joost invite thread here, but if you can’t get one, leave a comment here and I will send you one, I still have several hundred left.
Microsoft has revived talks with Yahoo about a possible acquisition, or a merger, although I would think Microsoft would just buy them, but what do I know.
Microsoft Eyes Search Giant In Proposed Takeover Stung by the loss of Internet advertising firm DoubleClick to Google last month, Microsoft has re-invigorated its pursuit of a deal with Yahoo!, asking the company to re-enter formal negotiations. While Microsoft and Yahoo have held informal deal talks over the years, sources say the latest approach signals an urgency on Microsoft’s part that has up until now been lacking, i.e. desperate to beat Google. Both companies declined comment.
Microsoft, Yahoo Reconsider Merger In what appear to be early-stage discussions, executives at Yahoo and Microsoft are taking a fresh look at a merger of the two giant companies or some kind of match-up that would pair their companies’ respective strengths, say those people who say they are familiar with the situation.
Microsoft pursues Yahoo! takeover The same report values Yahoo at $50 billion; and the world renowned bankers Goldman Sachs are giving Microsoft advice on the deal. If the deal comes through, the takeover would be one of the largest corporate takeovers in American corporate history, and likely the largest ever in the Technology sector. Yahoo’s stock was up almost 18% at the time of this posting.
MASSIVE: Microsoft May Acquire Yahoo for $50 Billion Microsoft has reacted to Google’s purchase of DoubleClick by stepping up it’s talks with Yahoo about a possible acquisition/merger. The estimated price tag for Yahoo? $50 billion. Good fit? Bad fit? Frankly, I think it would be an awesome pairing, and (if executed well), it could/should provide a powerful challenger to Google’s web dominance. Why wouldn?t Microsoft buy Yahoo?
One reason I can think would be the possible exodus of Yahoo employees. And some sites are reporting that the deal is for 50 billion, while the Wall Street Journal estimated the price, it didn’t say they were offered that much.
I think it could be a great deal too, not the money, just the pairing, combining of forces and knowledge, and all of that. It will be interesting if it happens.
Some newsworthy tech stories making the rounds.
Introducing Robots-Nocontent for Page Sections Yahoo introduces a tag for robots.txt, robots-nocontent tag will allow you to mark parts of your page as non indexable, such as your navigation menu, to give you more control over stuff that may not really be related to a certain page. Not supported by the other search engines, at least not yet.
Yahoo Supports New Robots-Nocontent Tag To Block Indexing Within A Page For over a decade, search engines have supported standards allowing you to prevent pages from being spidered or included within a search index. Today, Yahoo now supports a new twist — a way to flag that part of your page shouldn’t be included in an index. It’s called the robots-nocontent tag.
Yahoo Launches Browser Version of Messenger Michael Arrington says it is built on flash 9, at launch, tonight, it will only have basic functionality and VOIP may be added later.
Disney’s Vista Gadget Points To Future Of Marketing Widgets Disney is introducing a neat little Vista Gadget, “The Disney gadget is aimed at an emerging Chinese middle class that does not have the history with the Disney brand that Americans do, said Edward Kummer, a Disney executive in charge of online promotions of the company’s parks and resorts. The gadget is constantly being updated via RSS feeds with news about the theme park and also includes long-format video, itinerary planning tools and other interactive content. “This is effectively having a Disney application on the PC,” Bach said.
There are people who don’t use feed readers? Google adds the ability to Google Reader to allow you to share great content from your feeds with anyone.