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Friday, August 31, 2021

give me
Britney Spears is back on the horse. Her new comeback single, “Gimme More”, debuted on the website of NYC’s Z100 today.

And, while supplies last — or at least until the Z100.com crew figures out how to mask a URL — you can download the MP3 track by right-clicking here.

Really amazing that by this point, a major media channel would leave a track with such built-in popularity exposed to mass download. It’s not the most pristine recording — only 160kbps — but hey, it’s decent. And free.

As for the track itself? It’s alright. I rather like that “It’s Britney, bitch” opening. But it’s a bit overproduced for me, doubtless the influence of Timbaland protege Danja. It’s still Britney, but not as infectious as her past efforts. I’ll keep a lookout for the forthcoming dance remixes, hopefully on iTunes.

by Costa Tsiokos, Fri 08/31/2007 07:38:29 PM
Category: Celebrity, Internet, Pop Culture, Radio
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I already knew that getting sinners into the confession box was suddenly a challenge for the Church.

I wouldn’t have guessed that the Church would rather switch than fight, ala confession-dot-com websites:

Click over to IveScrewedUp.com, and a black-and-white, Goth-tattoo-style graphic bursts onto the screen. You’re invited to type in a description of your sins, along with your age and hometown. Click “send” and it’s done; you’ve confessed — to the webmaster of Flamingo Road Church, a Florida congregation affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention…

Several other confessional sites also hold out the promise of catharsis, with a vaguely religious gloss. The Universal Life Church, famed for do-it-yourself ordinations, offers an online “Absolution of Sins Application Form.” A gossipy secular site, DailyConfession.com, arranges sins by categories that mirror the Ten Commandments.

Catholics can try absolution-online.com, which invites you to fill a shopping cart with your sins (choices include calumny, vainglory, disregard for the environment and use of Ouija boards). The site then calculates an appropriate penance — say, 228 Hail Marys and 43 Our Fathers.

Not everyone thinks an answer via computer monitor completes the spiritual transaction:

When a priest grants absolution, “you know that you’re back in the community of God,” [Los Angeles' Father Sloan] said. On the Internet, he asks, “where’s that ‘Welcome home, son’?”

So it’s not enough to air out your dirty laundry — someone has to grant you the OK. More of a collaborative effort, I’ll grant you. But I often get something out of merely writing out an idea, observation, etc. — to me, that gives it a substance beyond merely residing in my brain. For me, it’s enough. I imagine it’s the same for digitally-acclimated sinners as well.

by Costa Tsiokos, Fri 08/31/2007 03:37:59 PM
Category: Internet, Society
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A browse through this blog’s Wi-Fi category reveals a preoccupation by yours truly of municipal efforts to erect wireless Internet networks.

I may not be thus preoccupied much longer: Earthlink, AT&T and other providers are balking at further build-outs even in underway projects, citing low usage and lack of city funding.

When EarthLink and MetroFi first bid for Wi-Fi contracts several years ago, they often agreed to foot the bill for network build-out, operations, maintenance, and upgrades. They also frequently agreed to pay cities to lease public facilities, such as light poles, to hold Wi-Fi transmitters. If that wasn’t enough, the companies also promised some cities a chunk of their subscription and advertising revenues, as well as free usage of the Wi-Fi networks by city workers. EarthLink’s troubled San Francisco contract, for example, contains many of these terms.

One major flaw in these arrangements has been that initial forecasts for Wi-Fi subscriptions used to justify the investment in these networks have proven to be overly optimistic by a wide margin. In many cases, 15% to 30% of an area’s population was expected to sign up for muni Wi-Fi. But only 1% to 2% have signed up so far figures Glenn Fleishman, editor of an industry blog called Wifinetnews.com.

While rising demand for advertising on municipal Wi-Fi networks is helping offset the shortfall in subscription revenue, there’s a catch-22 at play here: Higher user numbers might generate more ad revenue, but network operators might need to cut fees to attract more users.

Is it realistic to push through enough ad inventory during the average few minutes someone is accessing the network? To me, free public wi-fi hotspots are good for spot-checking the Web: Check your email, check your blog, look up movie times, get local maps/directions, etc. That’s it. It’s not for lounging for a couple of hours of Web surfing. Battery life alone is an obstacle to that. A typical online media model for advertising doesn’t make much sense.

I’d still love to see a more widespread use of free wi-fi, for always-on access (independent of cellphone networks and the like). Maybe there’s a workaround no one’s dreamed up yet.

by Costa Tsiokos, Fri 08/31/2007 02:29:37 PM
Category: Wi-Fi
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Thursday, August 30, 2021

David Pogue feels the need for supplementation to the texting/chatroom abbeviated lexicon:

* GI — Google it

* MOP — Mac or PC?

* FCAO — five conversations at once

* IIOYT — is it on YouTube?

* DYFH — did you Facebook him/her?

* BIOI — buy it on iTunes

* CMOS — call me on Skype

* GGNUDP — gotta go, no unlimited data plan

* WLF — with the lady friend

* JUOC — jacked up on caffeine

And so on. Frankly, I’m not terribly impressed by this attempt to refresh the world of LOL and BRB, because I’ve always been of the opinion that, eventually, those abbreviations will die out. They came about because people have been constricted to using keypads and keyboards as their digital communication inputs. As interfaces evolve, at some point it’ll be easier to use voice, video and other more natural means of expression. So textual shorthands won’t be necessary.

On a personal level, I never cottoned to all the typing shortcuts. It’s probably because, unlike the majority of onliners, I learned how to actually type — not hunt-and-peck, but real technique-based typing. I spent one of my last remaining high-school electives on a typing course, back just before the dawn of the commercial Web. I wasn’t anticipating rapid-fire finger-flying for chatroom action; I had writerly ambitions, and figured I ought to learn how to use the essential equipment. As a result, I don’t find it particularly difficult or slow to type out full words on a full keyboard. (As for phone keypads, well, I’ve mostly avoided that medium so far…)

by Costa Tsiokos, Thu 08/30/2007 10:43:55 PM
Category: Internet, Wordsmithing
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Wednesday, August 29, 2021

Upon initial consideration, the concept of biopiracy seems like a ludicrous overreach of state dominion over nature.

But not if you consider the practical possibilities:

Fears of biopiracy, loosely defined as any unauthorized acquisition or transport of genetic material or live flora and fauna, are deep and longstanding in Brazil. Nearly a century ago, for example, the Amazon rubber boom collapsed after Sir Henry Wickham, a British botanist and explorer, spirited rubber seeds out of Brazil and sent them to colonies in Ceylon and Malaya (now Sri Lanka and Malaysia), which quickly dominated the international market.

In the 1970s, the Squibb pharmaceutical company used venom from the Brazilian arrowhead viper to help develop captopril, used to treat hypertension and congestive heart failure, without payment of the royalties Brazilians think are due them. And more recently, Brazilian Indian tribes have complained that samples of their blood, taken under circumstances they say were unethical, were being used in genetic research around the world.

If countries can guard non-regenerative natural resources like oil, then why not other exploitable resources? As clumsy as the framework is now, I imagine techniques will be refined enough to make this a major national-security topic by mid-century.

by Costa Tsiokos, Wed 08/29/2007 08:39:43 AM
Category: Political, Science, True Crime
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Bad news if you live in California and still have been dialing up the phone company to hear a recorded woman’s voice intone the correct time: As of September, AT&T is discontinuing the now-antiquated service.

On the bright side, if you really need to know the time at any given moment… You could just look at your cellphone, before actually making a time-check call.

And if all you were really after was the assured sound of a woman’s voice, well, there are other options there as well.

by Costa Tsiokos, Wed 08/29/2007 08:28:19 AM
Category: Society, Tech
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Tuesday, August 28, 2021

Looks like FreeCar Media has revived its media buzz.

ARD Ventures, a venture capital firm, has studied the phenomenon of wrapped cars and estimates that motorists and pedestrians see a single vehicle’s advertising message as many as 70,000 times a day.

[Manhattan motorist Brian] Katz was matched with his advertisers by FreeCar Media, an advertising agency in Los Angeles that claims to have a database of more than a million car owners who say they are open to wrapping their cars in ads for a fee, said Drew Livingston, president of the company.

The sponsor also pays as much as $5,000 a car for the wrap job. Generally, a car can qualify if it has enough surface area for a sizable ad and is no more than five years old.

I was intrigued enough by the concept of having an advertiser basically cover your monthly car payment that I remember reading about it several years ago, when the business was just rolling out. I’m almost sure I posted something about it, but I can’t find a trace in the archives on this site or the old blog. I’m pretty sure I endorsed a deal that extracted money from what’s essentially a depreciating asset (i.e., a car you keep for more than 2-3 years).

Sadly, I don’t currently own a car, so I’m rooked once again on this. Although honestly, the dual prospect of participating in this offbeat advertising exercise — even with the odd brand-ambassador personal requirements — and having the vehicle pay for itself is actually tempting me to go tire-kicking. We’ll see.

by Costa Tsiokos, Tue 08/28/2007 11:45:53 PM
Category: Advert./Mktg.
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So just how old do you have to be before you finally stop accidentally biting your tongue while eating?

To answer my own rhetorical question, I suppose you have to reach an age where your teeth have fallen out. At which point the danger becomes gumming your tastebuds to death.

Seriously, I administered a wicked bite on the back of my tongue at lunch today, and it hurt like a bitch for the rest of the afternoon and evening. The pain has only now subsided. I suppose that sensation is good protection against another misfire — for a few months, anyway.

by Costa Tsiokos, Tue 08/28/2007 11:24:58 PM
Category: General
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Is it really arson if someone prematurely sets fire to The Man of Burning Man?

Now, organizers are trying to figure out how to proceed. “The Man is still standing,” a news release announced. “And an assessment is underway to determine the structural integrity of The Man.”

Never fear, the scheduled burn will take place, with a reconstructed burn-boy. But I’m amused by such loose references to “The Man”. Out of context, it evokes some kind of proclamation from the Black Panthers party.

Maybe there’s some underlying significance to this premature immolation. This is, after all, the festival’s 21st year — it could be the way to signify The Man turning legal.

by Costa Tsiokos, Tue 08/28/2007 10:57:11 PM
Category: Pop Culture, True Crime
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Monday, August 27, 2021

Maybe one day, I’ll no longer find humor in semi-drunken banter.

Not today, though:

Fellow Traveller: No light beer. I’m built like a shit brickhouse.
Me: I think you mean “brick shithouse” there, man.
FT: What’s the difference?
Me: (thoughtful pause) Um. Touché.

by Costa Tsiokos, Mon 08/27/2007 10:56:08 PM
Category: Comedy, Wordsmithing
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I have to give props to former Wall Street Journal foreign correspondent Pamela Druckerman for the title of her first book: “Lust in Translation”.

Regardless of the quality of her book’s content — an anecdotal overview of global attitudes toward infidelity — the play on the common phrase “lost in translation” brings a smile to my face. Don’t worry — it’s not a lewd one.

As always, I’m a pure sucker for pun-menship.

by Costa Tsiokos, Mon 08/27/2007 10:33:29 PM
Category: Publishing, Wordsmithing
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Sunday, August 26, 2021

easy being green
It was a lazy Sunday afternoon around here. Even though I didn’t spy anything I considered photo-worthy, I forced myself to pull out the loaner Nikon D80 camera I got from MWW Group and took the impromptu photo above. Embiggened version can be found on Flickr.

Not exactly pushing the D80’s high-octane capabilities to the hilt. I never claimed to be Diane Arbus.

Typically cluttered desktop for me. The bright green and yellow of this stuffed plush toy made for as good a pic opp as anything else around here.

As for the little toy turtle itself: His name is Dash, and apparently he’s part of an initiative by Starbucks to launch a series of children’s books. I’m guessing that idea is dead, because when I picked up Dash on a whim a couple of weeks ago, he was sitting on the bargain shelf with a discounted pricetag. He’ll wind up being gifted to some little kid soon enough.

by Costa Tsiokos, Sun 08/26/2007 08:15:03 PM
Category: Photography, Publishing
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Yes, it does seem like practically all of Greece is on fire.

I don’t have a direct stake in the destruction, despite plenty of relatives on that side of the pond. One of my aunts has a vacation home near a wildfire front, but she’s not there now, and in fact is hoping it does go up in flames so she can collect the insurance/governmental compensation.

It’s in that spirit of familial cynicism, flying in the face of the continuing loss of human life from this natural (aside from the arson) disaster, that I mention that all this brings to my mind the ancient “secret weapon” of Greek Fire. Nothing napalm-like is burning through the Peloponnesian countryside now, but you’d think so from all the difficulty it is in putting it out.

by Costa Tsiokos, Sun 08/26/2007 07:59:43 PM
Category: Political
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The argument against the primacy of the cost-per-click advertising model gets an academic boost: University of Kentucky professor Chan Yun Yoo says that website ads are just as effective by the visual impression they make:

Yoo says that the implications of his work are twofold: advertisers “need to reconsider the objectives of Web advertising” and use “impression-based metrics more than performance-based metrics when it comes to measuring the effectiveness of Web advertising.” Click-through rates, which represent the percentage of people who clicked on an ad after viewing it, might be useful to determine whether an ad elicited an immediate response. But ad impressions-that is, the number of times an ad is displayed-might be a better measure of the impact required to build a brand image.

In other words, old-fashioned ad-message exposure is probably more meaningful than the phantom metrics picked up through CPC. This is in line with my own thinking on the subject. Most pertinently:

Even if users don’t clickthru at the moment of ad impression — even if they never visit the delivered link — the ad message still registers mentally, just as a television or print ad would. Clicking through later, if it does occur, feeds into the idea of increased user control: I’ll take my browser where I want, when I want. Overall, it’s a situation where base impressions count for more than click-tracking…

Truthfully, clickthrus represent merely the fervent desire by advertisers, marketers and syndicates to see some solid linkage between Web exposure and sales. There undoubtedly is — I’m sure a percentage of those clicks brings in immediate revenue. But it’s never going to be the majority. Online tracking is going to have to get a lot more robust before this dream is realized.

And more recently, Google’s decision to abandon CPC for YouTube video adspots is a further indication that the industry’s leading clickthru advocate is switching gears.

by Costa Tsiokos, Sun 08/26/2007 04:01:24 PM
Category: Advert./Mktg., Business, Internet
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Whatever Oosah is going to be — by the looks of it, a Web 2-slash-3-point-oh online media sharing/distribution site — it’s off to a roaring start. Not only is it prominently featured on every video clip on Spyonvegas.com, but it’s apparently intimately linked to the Vegas club-scene site:

“We could be in New York or San Francisco, but Vegas is definitely a better brand for us to develop,” said Luis Kain, 28, whose software, Oosah, powers the website. “There’s more money here, and the level of growth can come faster. I don’t think there’s a ceiling here.”

Somebody’s cover might be blown…

by Costa Tsiokos, Sun 08/26/2007 01:57:18 PM
Category: Internet
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zapped
I guess I’ll have to retire the above logo. After much rumoring connected to the introduction of the new RBK Edge streamlined NHL uniforms, the Tampa Bay Lightning has re-jiggered its logo.

Perhaps because the new look isn’t particularly different from the previous one (which had been largely unchanged from the original 1992 expansion team look), fan reaction has been mostly disparaging.

Since I’m not longer residing in Tampa Bay, my opinion doesn’t count for much, I guess. But I’ve still got a soft spot for the Bolts, and some legacy knowledge, so a few thoughts:

- That “comic book” vibe some of the fans are feeling from the redrawn lightning bolt is probably reminiscent of the dearly-departed Zot!. I agree, it does come off as rather minor-league.

- I’m surprised the team kept the “Tampa Bay” wording as part of the logo, instead of the team name. When it comes to sports merchandising, the rule of thumb is to avoid making the city/geographic name part of the logo, because it’s limiting: Beyond the team’s home market, sales are going to be softer nationally/internationally. Sticking with the team name, which isn’t necessarily specific to any part of the country, makes it more of a neutral fashion statement. There are exceptions — New York and other big-city teams tend to have a cachet when it comes to moving ballcaps and jerseys. But Tampa Bay? Doesn’t have the same appeal. This is one more example of the general National Hockey League marketing ineptness, frankly.

- Way back when, probably ten years ago, some talk had been going around about a logo/uniform reboot. One idea that was floated around was to replace the lightning bolt logo altogether and anthropomorphize the team symbol. The choice came out of mythology: Thor, the Norse god of thunder. For intellectual property reason, it wouldn’t be the Marvel Comics rendition, but rather, the classical description. I thought it would have been neat. From a marketing perspective, the team could have exploited Thursday night games under this motif (Thursday, “Thor’s Day” — get it?), and maybe even branded power-play opportunities as “Hammer Time” (with accompanying MC Hammer oldies on the arena soundsystem).

by Costa Tsiokos, Sun 08/26/2007 12:59:37 PM
Category: Hockey
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Saturday, August 25, 2021

Straight outta Podcamp Pittsburgh, a new (dare to declare it 2.0) digital coinage is born: Bacn.

As in, it ain’t that pesky spam that, just by the crush of its volume, still manages to slip past filters and into inboxes. Rather, this is a higher-quality cut of the Internet swine. Succinctly put, it’s email that you want — but not right now. In other words, various requested newsletters, social network invitations, and the like. You still want to see bacn, but you don’t necessarily jump at it once it’s safely in. Maybe later, or maybe even next week.

I certainly have a good amount of such non-critical email. I’d say some of my bacn is borderline spam, in that I never bother to even open it, and may at some point either unsubscribe or, opting for an easier course, mark it as spam. I’m wondering if there’s an equivalent bacn for blog-comment spam, which is more of a hassle for me these days…

I consider this consistent pigmeat analogy to be a little curious. Is it a subtle hint to vegetarians, vegans, Jews, Muslims, and other pork-avoiders to eschew the Web altogether?

by Costa Tsiokos, Sat 08/25/2007 09:09:12 PM
Category: Internet, Wordsmithing
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Friday, August 24, 2021

playas and haters
When examining the business of media — which I’ve been known to do — an indispensable reference has been the “Who Owns What” guide. Diligently maintained for years by the folks at the Columbia Journalism Review, “Who Owns What” gives a quick snapshot of the bigger companies in the U.S. market and what familiar magazines, newspapers, TV outlets, etc. they hold (and continue to acquire during an age of increasing media consolidation).

But. Where are the online media bigshots? Curiously, the CJR list disregards most of the usual suspects in that space. So Amy L. Webb cooked up a reference chart detailing the Internet media clusters compiled by Google, IAC and the like.

I commend Webb for doing the research. I had forgotten about a lot of these deals, and seeing them grouped together grants valuable context. However, I have to fault her for releasing this research only as an easy-to-print image file (full-size version available via clicking the image above) — and thus, not at all search-engine optimizable. Text is what spreads the word via searchbots! And so, I’ve taken the liberty of typing up her list.

Webb includes a disclaimer that the rosters she’s put together are not necessarily comprehensive or fully accurate. I’m not going to fact-check her work, but in the course of transcribing it, I’ve corrected where I knew correction was needed, and indicated those instances with an *asterisk. I’m not claiming 100 percent accuracy here either, but for a quick reference, this will do.

Similarly, you could argue other companies deserve to be on this list: Viacom, Amazon, eBay, etc. It starts to get murky when you have to decide what is or isn’t a “media” company or application (Skype? Last.fm?). There’s room for interpretation. The connecting thread is that these are the action agents in shaping, to a large degree, how the emerging media landscape will look.

One nitpick I must point out: Webb presents AOL/America Online as an independent Web player. This is not at all the case: AOL is a wholly-owned unit of Time Warner, which itself is a long-established media behemoth. This isn’t the only instance of AOL being presented as an acquiring company; indeed, the tech press seems to persist in thinking that it’s calling its own shots, business-wise. I’m guessing this is a residual misconception from when AOL effected a merger with the previous incarnation of Time Warner in 1998, in effect purchasing the old-media company. While AOL and its management was in control of the combined AOL Time Warner entity at first, that all changed after the dot-com bubble burst. Over the course of a few years, the old guard TW management ousted the legacy AOL managers, and the result was basically a reestablishment of the old Time Warner corporate structure by 2005 (signified by the company dropping “AOL” from its name, going back to the traditional “Time Warner”). So, while I’ve left AOL on the chart, it should be clear that we’re really talking about Time Warner as the Internet mover-and-shaker, regardless of business-unit labels.

With that, the rundown:

WHO OWNS WHAT V2.0

IAC
HSN – Home Shopping Network (1997)
Ticketmaster – (1998)
CitySearch – Online city guides (1998)
Hotel Reservation Network – Became Hotels.com (1999)
uDate.com – Dating service (2002)
Expedia – Travel site (2003)
Lending Tree – Loans and banking site (2003)
Hotwire – Discount travel engine (2003)
RealEstate.com – Real estate search system (2003)
TripAdvisor – Discount travel site (2004)
HomeLoanCenter – Loans and banking (2005)
*Ask Jeeves – Search engine, substantially rebranded into Ask.com (2005)
Shoebuy.com – Shoe retailer (2006)
CollegeHumor.com – Humor and entertainment site
Evite – Online invitation management system
Gifts.com – Retail site
Match.com – Dating site

AOL (Time Warner)
GNN – Global News Navigator (1995)
Mirabilis – Created ICQ (1998)
Nullsoft – Made Winamp (1999)
*Netscape – Search engine, actually a software company that released the first viable Web browser, later morphed into Web services brand including ISP and news aggregator (1999)
Moviefone – Movie information/ticket ordering (1999)
Mapquest – Online mapping tool (2000)
Singingfish – Early audio/video search engine (2003)
Advertising.com – Online ad agency (2004)
MailBlocks – Web-based email service (2004)
Sdrive – Online file sharing/storage (2005)
*Weblogs – Blog-based news media network (2005)
Truveo – Video search company (2005)
Userplane – Social networking software provider (2006)
GameDaily – Online gaming site (2006)
ADTECH – Online adserving company (2006)

YAHOO!
Sold.com – Prototype online auction site (2001)
HotJobs – Jobs site (2002)
*Inktomi – Software for search engine infrastructure (2002)
Overture – Search marketing tools (2003)
Internet Assistant – Browser object for IE (2004)
Kelkoo – UK/Europe shopping site (2004)
MusicMatch – Digital mp3 jukebox/store (2004)
WUF Networks – Digital file transfer tool (2004)
Verdisoft – Software development company (2005)
Ludicorp Research – Flickr (2005)
Stadeon – Cross-platform gaming backend (2005)
Konfabulator – Early widget platform (2005)
Upcoming.org – Online calendar (2005)
Whereonearth – Embedded ads for maps (2005)
Del.icio.us – Online social bookmarking app (2005)
SearchFox – RSS reader (2006)
Meedio – Applications for PC, DVR and home (2006)
Kenet Works – Online communities (2006)
Bix.com – Online games (2006)
Wretch – Taiwanese social networking (2006)
MyBlogLog – Widget for blogs (2007)
Right Media – Online advertising exchange (2007)
Rivals.com – College sports news site (2007)

MICROSOFT (acquisitions post-2005 only)
aQuantive Inc. – Global digital advertising and marketing (2007)
ScreenTonic – Mobile advertising (2007)
Tellme Networks – Digital voice solutions (2007)
Softricity Inc. – Virtualization and streaming (2006)
Massive Inc. – In-game advertising (2006)
Vexcel – Satellite imaging (2006)
Onfolio – Internet search (2006)
GeoTango – 3D mapping (2005)
MediaStreams – VoIP (2005)

NEWS CORPORATION
Intermix Media – MySpace (2005)
IGN Entertainment – Gaming (2005)
Jamba – Ringtone company (2005)
Photobucket – Photo sharing (2007)
Dow Jones/WSJ.com - Financial news (2007)

GOOGLE
*Deja.com – Legacy Usenet archive/database, integrated into Google Groups (2001)
Pyra Labs – Blogger.com/BlogSpot (2003)
*Neotonic Software – Customer relationship management (CRM) email software (2003)
*Applied Semantics – Search and advertising optimization software (2003)
*Sprinks – Online advertising network (2003)
Kaltix Corp. – Context sensitive search (2003)
Genius Labs – Blogging platform (2003)
Ignite Logic – Web templates for law firms (2004)
Picasa – Digital photo management (2004)
*Keyhole Group – Digital mapping, basis for Google Earth and Google Maps (2004)
Where 2 Technologies – Digital mapping (2004)
ZipDash – Maps and traffic for mobile devices (2004)
2Web Technologies – Spreadsheets (2005)
*Urchin – Web metrics/analytics (2005)
Dodgeball – Mobile social networking (2005)
Reqwireless Inc. – Java browser (2005)
Current Communications Group – Broadband Internet (2005)
Android – Software for mobile phone operating system (2005)
Transformic Inc. – Search engine for deep/invisible Web (2005)
Skia – Graphics software engineering (2005)
dMarc Broadcasting – Digital radio broadcasting (2006)
Measure Map – Analytics for blogs (2006)
Upstartle – Writely, document editor for the Web (2006)
@Last Software – SketchUp 3D modeling (2006)
Orion – Referral search engine (2006)
Neven Vision – Automatic information extraction from jpgs (2006)
Jotspot Inc. – Wiki platform for websites (2006)
*YouTube – Online video hosting community (2006)
Endoxon – Geomapping software (2006)
Xunlei – Filesharing app for the Web (2007)
Adscape Media – In-game advertising (2007)
Gapminder’s Trendanalyzer – Presentation software (2007)
Doubleclick – Ad platform for the Web (2007)
Tonic Systems – Document conversion technology (2007)
Marratech – Video conferencing technology (2007)
Green Border Technologies Inc. – Secure Web browsing technology (2007)
Panoramio – Photo site sharing for Google Earth (2007)
Feedburner – RSS feed distribution analytics and management (2007)
GrandCentral – Mobile voice management (2007)
Postini – Communications security and compliance (2007)

by Costa Tsiokos, Fri 08/24/2007 05:28:56 PM
Category: Business, Internet, Media
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Not that it’s terribly hard to get a political mudslinging session started, but here’s one way:

Extract a minor demographic detail from a recent Associated Press-Ipsos public opinion poll that indicates one-quarter of Americans don’t read any books:

There was even some political variety evident, with Democrats and liberals typically reading slightly more books than Republicans and conservatives.

Next, take that partisan factoid and wave it like raw meat under the nose of an outspoken former liberal Democrat Congresswoman:

“The Karl Roves of the world have built a generation that just wants a couple slogans: ‘No, don’t raise my taxes, no new taxes,’” Pat Schroeder, president of the American Association of Publishers, said in a recent interview. “It’s pretty hard to write a book saying, ‘No new taxes, no new taxes, no new taxes’ on every page.”

Finally, extrapolate that into a characterization of the book publishing industry as laden with liberals, thus producing tomes that are alienable to the conservative masses.

Voila! Liberals second the idea of simplemindedly dittoheaded conservatives, and right-wingers deride lefties as obfuscating eggheads.

Now pardon me as I go crack open a new novel…

by Costa Tsiokos, Fri 08/24/2007 08:45:16 AM
Category: Politics, Publishing
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Thursday, August 23, 2021

corner to corner
Behold! On either side of Broadway and 57th, as odd a sight as you’ll ever see: Not one, but two Duane Reade outlets, directly across the street from each other. Both fully-stocked stores, neither slated for closure (I actually checked with each store manager).

It’s like encountering the nexus of the universe, in street retail form.

Like these drugstores aren’t ubiquitous enough in New York. Goes to show you how much mad business this chain does if two of them can go head-to-head like this. Very much of a Starbucks effect. In fact, at this rate every single street corner of Manhattan will wind up housing either a Duane Reade, a Starbucks, or some bank branch.

Click here, or on the photo above, for a bigger and bolder view of these twins. It actually took me several days to line up this shot — I had difficulty locating the right vantage point. Actually, I’m still not sure I got the ideal one. But short of standing in the middle of 57th Street, it’s the best I could do. Of course, I used the Nikon D80 camera loaned to me by MWW Group.

by Costa Tsiokos, Thu 08/23/2007 11:17:02 PM
Category: New Yorkin', Photography
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With current release The King of Kong creating a minor stir around town (it’s playing in two theaters — not that I’m going to go see some documentary on Donkey Kong freaks), and the impending release of ping-pong farce comedy Balls of Fury, I’ve conjured up this silly little fake title:

The Ping of Pong.

It probably would be a more fitting title for the latter flick. Or, it could be a companion piece to the former, this time chronicling the quest for an all-time high score in the venerable granddaddy of videogames, Pong (I’m sure someone out there is burning his retinas out on a 35-year-old machine).

by Costa Tsiokos, Thu 08/23/2007 04:28:25 PM
Category: Movies, Videogames, Wordsmithing
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