Daily Marauder

GAMING by Marauder


Earlier Techcrunch broke the news on the upcoming launch of City Of Eternals, the first Flash MMOG from Ohai.I have the rough footage below of in game play, and will add a proper screencast shortly. This is a World of Warcraft style MMOG that’s free to play and Flash based. It’s also integrated with Facebook Connect to allow easy signup and, more importantly, you can play with your friends and see the real identity of other players. (Techcrunch11/10)

Although it’s not yet live to everyone, a new Xbox LIVE Dashboard Update that adds social networking integrations with Facebook, Twitter and last.fm is currently in preview mode to beta testers and will go live to the public in short order. (Mashable 11/11)

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A battle has been brewing for months now: Google and Facebook both want to be the social layer that sits on top of every site on the Internet. So far, at least in mindshare, Facebook has been winning this battle with Facebook Connect. Google’s offering, Friend Connect is the sibling that gets no respect. But that could change starting today with some new features and functionality. (Techcrunch11/4(

Google Social


Yahoo Inc, looking to match rivals in providing up-to-the-minute Internet search results, is running tests with several real-time search partners, sources familiar with the matter said on Tuesday. (Reuters11/3)

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More than 60% of Twitter users stop using the microblogging service a month after joining, according to Nielsen Online. “Twitter has enjoyed a nice ride over the last few months, but it will not be able to sustain its meteoric rise without establishing a higher level of user loyalty.” (Iwantmedia 4/29, http://tech.yahoo.com/news/afp/20090428/tc_afp/usitcompanyinternettwitternielsen 4/28)


Bravo is tapping into the hottest social networks to help fans participate in The Real Housewives of New York City finale. On Tuesday, May 5 at 10 p.m. ET/PT, fans can utilize Twitter, Facebook Connect and live mobile chat integrations on BravoTV.com to interact directly with their favorite Housewives live and the ladies will respond in kind during the finale. (Cynopsis 4/29)


MTV is joining forces with both Facebook and Twitter for its new “The Alexa Chung Show.” The show will be similar in format to MTV’s former “TRL.” Audiences — whether on the set or watching from home — will be asked to tweet their reaction to guests while the show is on the air. (http://www.variety.com/article/VR1118002926.html?categoryid=1009&cs=1 4/28)

IAC/InterActiveCorp CEO Barry Diller is stockpiling cash and says he aims to “spend it intelligently.” Speaking at the USA Today CEO Forum, he says Facebook is “the real deal.” However, “nobody can buy Facebook now.” Also, Web video will evolve “just like the movie business did.” (http://www.usatoday.com/money/companies/management/2009-04-28-diller-ceo-forum_N.htm 4/29)


Facebook is on a “clear path to be cash-flow positive next year,” says COO Sheryl Sandberg. One indication that 2009 is an important year: Mark Zuckerberg, the company’s 24-year-old founder and CEO, has committed to wearing a tie everyday to the office, she adds. (http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=newsarchive&sid=aKLGItgfmt48 4/28)

With its new management team, News Corp.’s MySpace “looks more like a media and entertainment portal,” observers say. If MySpace comes to define itself that way, the site could incorporate social networking like Facebook, but with a focus on “consuming entertainment.” (http://www.thewrap.com/article/2736 4/28)


Network’s digital arms are beginning to get serious about monetizing their content. NBC.com will launch a series of targetable segments starting in Q2 2009 enabling advertisers to target groups of users using a menu style selection matching their target to NBC audience clusters or custom segments. The network also unveiled a whole new suite of ad delivery solutions and products geared toward attracting premium brand ad dollars. (Cynopsis 4/29)

One way to possibly track the spread of the swine flu is to look at where spikes in search activity around related terms is occurring. Google already does this with its Google Flu Trends, and has now extended that analysis on an experimental basis to Mexico with a site it just put up called Experimental Flu Trends For Mexico. (http://www.techcrunch.com/2009/04/29/searching-for-the-swine-flu/ 4/29)


The U.S. District Court for Massachusetts set aside a prior jury verdict against content delivery network Limelight, stating that Limelight doesn’t in fact infringe upon Akamai‘s CDN patents. Limelight hopes to reverse expenses of about $66 million saved for potential damages and interest in the case. Akamai promised to appeal the ruling. (Cynopsis 4/29)

Top U.S. Online Video Properties by Videos Viewed -March 2009
Property                   Videos (000)    Share (%) of Videos
Total Internet           14,468,345           100.0
Google Sites              5,919,530            40.9
Fox Interactive Media    437,098             3.0
Hulu                            380,102             2.6
Yahoo! Sites                334,724             2.3
Microsoft Sites             288,239             2.0
Viacom Digital             277,753             1.9
CBS Interactive            191,686             1.3
Turner Network            167,323             1.2
Disney Online               125,248             0.9
AOL LLC                       105,237             0.7
Source: comScore Video Metrix, Rankings based on video content sites; excludes video server networks.  Online video includes both streaming and progressive download video

Top U.S. Online Video Properties by Unique Viewers – March 2009
Property                   Unique Viewers       Average Videos
(000)              per Viewer
Total Internet                149,410                96.8
Google Sites                  100,382                59.0
Fox Interactive Media       55,156                 7.9
Yahoo! Sites                    42,524                 7.9
Hulu                               41,564                 9.1
CBS Interactive               35,400                 5.4
Microsoft Sites                32,194                 9.0
Viacom Digital                 27,168                10.2
AOL LLC                          22,349                 4.7
Turner Network                19,644                 8.5
Disney Online                   12,965                 9.7
Source: comScore Video Metrix, Rankings based on video content sites; excludes video server networks.  Online video includes both streaming and progressive download video

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WIRELESS by Marauder
March 16, 2009, 5:18 PM
Filed under: WIRELESS | Tags: , , , , , , ,


Mobile Web usage is still a nascent activity, but comScore put out some data on the information-consumption habits of consumers in the U.S. The number of people who access news and information daily on their mobile phones doubled from 10.8 million in January, 2008 to 22.4 million in January, 2009. (http://www.techcrunch.com/2009/03/16/daily-news-habit-doubles-among-us-mobile-users/ 3/16)


The big news out of SXSW over the weekend (besides AT&T‘s poor network coverage in Austin) is the launch of Facebook Connect – the social network’s technology for sharing data between Facebook and other apps – for the iPhone. The integration will allow developers to build or adapt existing applications to share data with users’ profiles including rich media such as photos. Even developers of popular applications like shakeable restaurant review app Urbanspoon have trouble gaining market share due to the sheer explosion of competitors. Now Urbanspoon users will be able to easily share their reviews with friends in their Facebook feeds, exponentially increasing the ability for apps to grow virally. More than 6,000 websites now utilize Facebook Connect to integrate with the 175 million-member social network. (Cynopsis 3/16)

fbFund, a $10 million seed fund focused on supporting entrepreneurs who are building their business around Facebook.com or with Facebook Connect, is now accepting applications for its third funding round. The fund, which is backed by Facebook, Founders Fund and Accel Partners, is shifting its focus to funding Web and iPhone app developers leveraging Facebook Connect. In the past, fbFund focused on the broad spectrum of successful and promising applications built on the Facebook Platform. (http://www.techcrunch.com/2009/03/16/facebooks-fbfund-is-accepting-applications-for-iphone-apps/ 3/16)


Makers of personal computers have begun invading the turf of mobile-phone manufacturers as they have rushed into developing phones that combine the power of PCs and the mobility of cell phones, industry observers noted. “The action is really with the smartphones where everyone is competing to cram the most features into a phone,” said chip analyst Linley Gwennap, head of the Linley Group. “I think of PCs as just kind of boring these days.” The New York Times (3/15)

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Twitter has become a central channel for eyewitness accounts and news updates on the terrorist attacks in India, amid a local coverage black out. The service has been flooded with thousands of “tweets,” some from people trapped in the hotels where the attacks were taking place. (Iwantmedia 12/1, http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/192cc2ae-bdb6-11dd-bba1-0000779fd18c.html?nclick_check=1 11/29)

I for one was glued to twitter for hours, watching the attacks unfold in real time on a monitor in front of me.  It brought me back to the dark place I felt after 9/11 in my upper west side apartment as I sat glued to CNN for hours on end.


The terrorists who attacked various locations in south Mumbai last week used digital maps from Google Earth to learn their way around, according to officials investigating the attacks. The terrorists are said to have used satellite phones and global positioning systems. (Iwantmedia 12/1, http://www.computerworld.com/action/article.do?command=viewArticleBasic&articleId=9121819&intsrc=news_ts_head 12/1)

Yesterday was the day that Facebook made their big press push for their Facebook Connect service, which was first announced last May. (http://www.techcrunch.com/2008/11/30/facebook-google-myspace-data 11/30)


The Web sites of Discovery Channel and several other content creators are preparing to join Facebook Connect, a new service from the social-networking site that allows users to let their friends know where they’re going on the Internet. Connect hopes to create pools of users who can, for instance, watch the same online video stream and discuss the content among themselves. The New York Times (11/30)


New research from NBC Universal suggests advertisers should continue spending while the economy is down and target women who do most of the purchasing. In previous downturns, companies that continued spending increased their market share, and it took years for companies that dropped ads to recover, says Susan Malfa, vice president of ad sales at Bravo and Oxygen. TVWeek.com (11/30)

What is fascination with Britney Spears? Maybe it’s a train-wreck kind of thing. Once again she tops Yahoo’s list of overall searches for 2008, just like she did last year. (http://www.techcrunch.com/2008/12/01/yahoos-top-searches-for-2008-are-the-same-as-they-were-for-2007 12/1)


U.S. cable and telecommunications companies are forging ahead with plans to radically change their familiar flat-rate monthly Internet plans, even as new options for watching movies and television online proliferate. “Usage caps” will penalize those who send and receive too much data. (http://www.smartmoney.com/Spending/Rip-offs/Get-Ready-to-Pay-More-for-the-Web 12/1)

Hulu.com performed an internal study offering users the option of viewing one two-minute ad or four 30-second spots, reports AdAge. An amazing 88% of Hulu visitors preferred the long form ads, which are opt in – allowing viewers to select from a variety of 2 minute commercials. Participating sponsors included Columbia TriStar, American Express, Hyatt, Paramount Pictures, Sprint and Capital One. (Cynopsis 12/1)


Pownce, the media-rich Twitter competitor once labeled by the New York Times as “the hottest startup in Silicon Valley”, is headed to the deadpool after being acquired by Six Apart. The service, which was co-founded by Digg’s Kevin Rose along with Leah Culver and Daniel Burka, will be closing its doors on December 15. (http://www.techcrunch.com/2008/12/01/pownce-deadpooled-team-moves-to-six-apart 12/1)


Parents hit with pre-holiday pleas for “Grand Theft Auto IV” have a new source for sorting out which video games are appropriate with the launch of AOL’s PlaySavvy.com. The new site offers parents a guide to games, from ratings and reviews to connecting with other parents. (Iwantmedia 12/1, http://www.mediapost.com/publications/?fa=Articles.showArticleHomePage&art_aid=95495 12/1)


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Chinese Democracy, the first new Guns N’ Roses album since 1991, debuts tonight at 9 PM PST exclusively on MySpace Music, where fans can listen to it for free. (http://www.techcrunch.com/2008/11/19/first-guns-n-roses-album-in-17-years-debuts-tonight-on-myspace-music 11/19)


Yahoo investors say the search to replace CEO Jerry Yang should focus on a “turnaround artist” from outside who can draw Microsoft back into takeover talks. But industry figures like Peter Chernin and Meg Whitman may balk at joining a company “that’s only being prepared for a sale.” (Iwantmedia 11/19, http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601204&sid=aYHWXMGykxZU 11/19)


Citysearch is finally coming around to replacing its creaking site design with something a little more contemporary. Today, it is launching in a major rethink of its entire site in beta that drills deeper into neighborhoods, uses Facebook Connect as an optional identity system, and lets users vote reviews up and down. The beta will quickly become the default Citysearch experience. (http://www.techcrunch.com/2008/11/18/the-new-citysearch-launches-in-beta-goes-hyper-social-with-facebook-connect 11/18)


Even Google is getting into the downsizing spirit. It just announced that it is killing Lively, its browser-baseed virtual worlds that could be embedded into other Websites. Lively launched just last July. The death notice on the site says it will shut down on December 31, so we are adding Lively to the deadpool. (http://www.techcrunch.com/2008/11/19/google-kills-lively 11/19)


Today, the (for-now) non-profit Mozilla Foundation released its financial statements for 2007 (embedded below). Revenues for the organization behind the open-source Firefox browser were up 12 percent to $75 million, with search-related royalties from Google accounting for 88 percent of the total, or $66 million. (Another $2 million or so came from other search engines). Those revenues come from Mozilla’s portion of the search advertising revenues generated by the default Google search box in the Firefox browser. (http://www.techcrunch.com/2008/11/19/google-makes-up-88-percent-of-mozillas-revenues-threatens-its-non-profit-status 11/19)


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Measuring viewer “engagement” on TV is simple. You count how many people tune into a given show. It stands to reason that the most popular shows would also be the most popular ones on social networks. But that is not exactly the case. Networked Insights, a company that measures brand engagement on social networks, compared the top ten TV shows for the week of September 22 to 28, as measured by Nielsens, to the most talked about TV shows on social networks, as measured by which ones were most commented on, linked to, shared, or rated. The comparison is for the 18 to 49 year-old demographic. (http://www.techcrunch.com/2008/10/27/the-most-watched-tv-shows-are-not-the-most-talked-about-online 10/27)

For most people, watching Web video is predominantly a streamed experience on their computers. But an important and substantial portion of Web video is still downloaded to be watched later, or transferred to a different screen (usually an iPod, but sometimes a flat-screen TV). The problem with downloads is that they don’t fit neatly into the advertising model that rules most other Web video. CEO Mike Hudack of Blip.tv revealed that his company has found a way to dynamically insert ads from DoubleClick into video downloads on iTunes and elsewhere. (http://www.techcrunch.com/2008/10/28/bliptv-figures-out-how-to-serve-ads-in-itunes-videos 10/28)

Microsoft made a major announcement today – they will be offering “lightweight” versions of Office applications – Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote – through the browser. Internet Explorer, Firefox and Safari will be supported. Users will be able to read and edit documents from the browser. (http://www.techcrunch.com/2008/10/28/microsoft-office-embraces-the-browser-thank-you-google 10/28)

MTV launched a free online music-video service this week that eventually will be supported by advertising, according to this report. The site, at mtvmusic.com, is looking to capitalize on the popularity of other online video ventures, including Hulu.com, the partnership between NBC Universal and News Corp., which currently is the sixth-most-popular U.S. video site on the Web. Advertising Age (10/27)

An update to Techcrunch’s recent post on Facebook Connect: Facebook is pushing partners hard to be prepared for an official November 30 launch.   24 of 26 announced launch partners have yet to integrate Facebook Connect. (http://www.techcrunch.com/2008/10/28/facebook-connect-launch-scheduled-for-november-30 10/28)

Some online-advertising networks are shutting down while others are cutting costs as growth in online spending slows and venture-capital funding begins to dry up. AdBrite recently cut 40% of its work force. Other ad networks “are in severe trouble and could be closing their doors.” (Iwantmedia 10/28, http://online.wsj.com/article/SB122514803617173825.html 10/28)

On the heels of announcing an expanded relationship with the New York Times website last week, Brightcove is adding all of AOL to its video-distribution client list. Like the New York Times, AOL is an investor in Brightcove.  But the deal is a coup for Brightcove 3, the latest version of its online video platform. Brightcove 3 will power all the video on AOL, which is one of the top ten destinations on the Web for video. (http://www.techcrunch.com/2008/10/27/brightcove-snags-aol-video-deal 10/27)

There’s been more downsizing in the start-up space (TechCrunch’ s Layoff Tracker counts 573 tech start-up layoff so far) and cost-cutting moves have begun to hit the creative side of the business. Web studio Revision3 announced a wave of layoffs and is shutting down production on Pixel Perfect, PopSiren and Internet Superstar. Revision3 also said it will cease distributing EPIC FU and Wine Library, both of which are produced by independent studios. EPIC FU producer Smashface followed with the news it was forced to lay off three members of its production team. (Cynopsis 10/28)

The Authors Guild and the Association of American Publishers, on behalf of a broad class of copyright holders, will join with Google to host a teleconference today to discuss a settlement agreement that would expand online access to millions of in-copyright books and other written materials in the U.S. from the collections of a number of major U.S. libraries participating in Google Book Search. (http://www.techcrunch.com/2008/10/28/authors-and-publishers-associations-settle-with-google-over-125-million-lawsuit 10/28)

Leading online firms Google, Microsoft and Yahoo! along with human rights groups have agreed to a common set of principles that will serve as a guide for doing business in countries that place strictures on free speech. Under the Global Network Initiative, the companies promise to “narrowly interpret and implement government demands that compromise privacy.” The Wall Street Journal (10/28) , The New York Times (10/27)

SlideRocket, an online presentation application that produces slideshows that rival (and in many cases, better) PowerPoint, has launched to the general public. The site had previously been available under a public beta, and is now removing the beta tag and introducing a set of pricing tiers along with some impressive new features. (http://www.techcrunch.com/2008/10/28/sliderockets-impressive-online-presentation-app-hits-general-release 10/28)

Top 10 Search Providers for September 2008, Ranked by Searches (U.S.)
Provider                    Searches (000)      YOY Growth     Share of Searches
All Search                   8,089,226               9.4%               100.0%
Google Search             4,825,556              20.8%                59.7%
Yahoo! Search             1,464,478               1.5%                 18.1%
MSN/Windows Live         953,504               7.1%                 11.8%
AOL Search                   335,187             -24.6%                  4.1%
Ask.com Search             178,217              12.1%                  2.2%
My Web Search               53,825               33.4%                  0.7%
Comcast Search              51,935              -13.1%                  0.6%
AT&T Worldnet Search     30,086             237.7%                  0.4%
NexTag Search               17,775              -29.3%                  0.2%
Dogpile.com Search        17,574                -5.3%                  0.2%
Source: Nielsen Online, MegaView Search

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