Daily Marauder



There is a perception that Google’s Chrome is a rounding error when it comes to browsers. And maybe it still is, but Google is now fighting that perception in a very public way. Today, it announcedthat the Chrome Team won a Founder’s Award for their achievements so far, and for the first time revealed how many people are using the Chrome browser: 30 million active users. (http://www.techcrunch.com/2009/11/02/google-says-chrome-browser-now-has-30-million-active-users/11/2)


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Microsoft has just pushed live its Release Candidate for Internet Explorer 8, the latest update to the world’s most widely used web browser. You can download it here. Unfortunately the release is only for Windows Vista, XP, and Server – if you’re trying out Windows 7 you’ll have to wait for the next OS update to try out the RC. (http://www.techcrunch.com/2009/01/26/microsofts-ie8-release-candidate-is-live 1/26)


Twenty-four of this year’s Oscar-nominated films are already available in DVD quality on the Internet, according to independent programmer Andy Baio. This is the highest percentage of Oscar contenders to appear online since he began tracking them six years ago. (hIwantmedia 1/26, ttp://news.cnet.com/8301-1023_3-10149360-93.html 1/23)

Twitter, which just recently turned down a half billion dollar acquisition offer from Facebook (albeit to be paid mostly with Facebook stock), is dipping back into the venture capital market, Techcrunch has heard from a source with knowledge of the deal. They’ve signed a term sheet with at least one venture fund to raise a new round at a $250 million valuation. (http://www.techcrunch.com/2009/01/24/twitter-raising-new-cash-at-250-million-valuation 1/24)


While 2008 was Twitter’s hockey-stick year, Twitter’s little brother FriendFeed is also beginning to show hockey-stick tendencies in its growth. According to comScore, FriendFeed attracted 950,000 unique visitors worldwide in December. That’s a tenfold increase since June, when comScore counted only 93,000 unique visitors worldwide (and nearly double since September, when it was 550,000). (http://www.techcrunch.com/2009/01/25/friendfeed-hits-nearly-one-million-users-grew-tenfold-in-the-past-six-months 1/25)


After watching your share of this year’s Oscar nominees, you might find yourself following the time-honored tradition of renting every tangentially related film in the hopes of finding something else just as good. Type in Slumdog Millionaire or The Wrestler, and Netflix will offer up recommendations that are “more like this.” But if you are looking for quirkier recommendations, the kind that you’d find at your local independent video store, then head on over to Clerkdogs. The human-curated movie recommendation site has an OscarMatch feature that suggests 400 films similar to this year’s crop of Oscar nominees. (http://www.techcrunch.com/2009/01/26/clerkdogs-has-your-oscarmatch-quirky-movie-recommendations-you-wont-find-on-netflix 1/26)


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TECHNOLOGY by Marauder
January 20, 2009, 7:00 PM
Filed under: TECHNOLOGY | Tags: , , , , , , ,


Microsoft lost its antitrust case against the European Union, reports the AP. Upholding a complaint filed by Norwegian browser company Opera Software, the body ruled that Microsoft must now untie its Internet Explorer browser from its Windows operating system or face a large fine. (Cynopsis 1/20)

LG has debuted a pair of new highly stylized DVD devices: the DV4S and the DV4M. The DV4S is a DVD player that can upconvert DVD movies to near HD quality; the DV4M converts MP3 files from a connected audio device onto another disc. Electronista (1/19)

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WIRELESS by Marauder


Verizon‘s acquisition of Alltel will close on January 9 according to an SEC filing made on Friday. Verizon will pay $5.9 billion and acquire $22.2 billion in Alltel debt to acquire some 13 million customers – creating the largest wireless carrier in the U.S with 83 million + subscribers. (Cynopsis 1/5)

Speaking of netbooks, Google‘s Android mobile operating system is being adapted for use on the Asus EEEPC 1000H netbook, according to VentureBeat. With netbooks poised to take off due to their affordability and ease-of-use, Google hopes the stripped-down OS will help dramatically increase the exposure of applications such as its new open source Chrome web browser. Chrome had carved out about 1% of the U.S. browser market as of Dec. 2008, according to research firm Net Applications, when Microsoft Internet Explorer‘s market share declined to 68%. (Cynopsis 1/5)

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Some record companies concerned that Apple’s iTunes is negatively affecting the industry’s overall sales power are shying away from the online service. Musician Kid Rock’s “Rock ‘n Roll Jesus” album, released last year, was not available through iTunes, but still sold 1.7 million copies in the U.S. The Wall Street Journal (8/28)

AC/DC hasn’t licensed its music to iTunes, staying with album sales, which are more profitable.

When it comes to search, Microsoft is trying everything it can to become a serious player. It tried to acquire Yahoo, its latest version of Internet Explorer attempts to steer Web surfers away from Google, and then there is straight-out payola to search advertisers. I am talking, of course, of Microsoft’s Live Search Cashback promotion, which lets advertisers offer rebates to consumers who make a purchase after doing a Microsoft search. (http://www.techcrunch.com/2008/08/28/microsoft-live-search-cashback-scheme-fails-to-move-the-market-share-needle 8/28)

Mozilla, the non-profit organization behind the popular Firefox web browser, has extended its search deal with Google for another three years. In return for setting Google as the default search engine on Firefox, Google pays Mozilla a substantial sum – in 2006 the total amounted to around $57 million, or 85% of the company’s total revenue. The deal was originally going to expire in 2006, but was later extended to 2008 and will now run through 2011. (http://www.techcrunch.com/2008/08/28/mozilla-extends-lucrative-deal-with-google-for-3-years 8/28)

YouTube has turned on the ability to add full closed captions to videos. This will not only allow videos to appeal more directly to foreign audiences, but will give YouTube excellent data for searching videos and targeting ads to them. After all, a complete set of subtitles is the same as a transcript of the video. And you can upload subtitles for as many languages as you want. It’s excellent data. (http://www.techcrunch.com/2008/08/28/youtube-adds-closed-captioning 8/28)

To turn closed captioning on or off, click the CC button at the bottom right of the screen.

Attorneys representing online video sites around the country are salivating today over the Veoh summary judgment decision (I know this because I’ve spoken to a few of them). In a nutshell, here’s what we learned today: If you take reasonable precautions against copyrighted materials on your service, you may be ok. (http://www.techcrunch.com/2008/08/28/what-the-veoh-decision-means-for-youtube-and-others 8/28)

CSI creator Anthony Zuiker signed a deal with publishing house Dutton to create a trio of suspense/thriller “digital novels” that include print, online video and social networking components, reports Variety. At the end of each five chapters readers will receive a code they plug into a website in order to view filmed vignettes that act as a transition to the next part of the story. The first title, Sqweegel, is due out in the fall of 2009 about a retired FBI (who guessed it) forensic investigator who picks up cases on the side. (Cynopsis 8/28)

Why is it that both political campaigns feel the need to have their own social networks. Barack Obama has my.barackobama.com and John McCain has McCainSpace, which just relaunched with a new design from KickApps after failing massively on its own. The new McCainSpace design itself is functional enough, giving McCain supporters a central place to discuss election issues via blogs, forums, videos, and photos. (http://www.techcrunch.com/2008/08/28/close-encounters-of-the-republican-kind-mccainspace-relaunches 8/28)

West Wing creator Aaron Sorkin chose Facebook to break the news about his newest film project with producer Scott Rudin – about the birth of Facebook. (He actually admits it was his researcher Ian Reichbach who started the group, given how technologically challenged Aaron is.) He gets points for using the medium he will be writing about to announce the deal and ping the crowd for backstories, but bloggers are already questioning his tech street cred. (Cynopsis 8/28)

Multiplatform music network Music Choice launched a special Live Your Vote thematic programming feature including a politically themed video playlist hosted by rapper/activist David Banner. A special Live Your Vote edition of Rock U features contributions from politically outspoken rock stars such as Tom Morello, Serj Tankian and Three Doors Down. (Cynopsis 8/28)

Lifetime, which doubled its revenue during the recent digital sales upfront, has acquired the ParentsClick Network, a San Francisco firm that develops social-networking Web sites for parents to share best practices in raising their children. As part of the deal, Lifetime gets control of MothersClick.com and more than 200 other URLs, including FathersClick.com. The Washington Post/paidContent.org (8/27) , Mediaweek (8/27) , Variety (8/27)

Video search engine Blinkx is partnering with Getty Images to help users more easily index Getty’s video and photo content. As part of the deal the company will leverage Blinkx’s AdHoc platform to place contextually relevant advertising against Getty Images’ multimedia, sharing resulting ad revenue. Getty’s digital video content includes live footage from the Democratic and Republican National Conventions. (Cynopsis 8/28)

Top Visited US Broadcast Network TV Websites (Week ending Aug. 23, 2008)
Rank                Network Website    Market Share of Visits
1  CBS       www.cbs.com 32.09%
2  NBC       www.nbc.com 27.21%
3 ABC        www.abc.com 21.19%
4 FOX*      www.fox.com 14.08%
5 The CW    www.cwtv.com 4.75%
6 MNTV   www.mynetworktv.com .69%
Source: Custom report from Hitwise, *includes traffic aggregated from stand alone websites americanidol.com, amw.com, familyguy.com, thelot.com and thesimpsons.com.

Top Visited US Broadcast Network TV Show Sites (Week ending Aug. 23, 2008)
Rank   Network       Website                      Market Share of Visits
1          CBS          Big Brother 9                        16.48%
2          FOX          American’s Most Wanted         6.11%
3          FOX          American Idol                        5.73%
4          NBC          Deal or No Deal                     4.37%
5          ABC          Dancing With The Stars          4.37%
6          CBS          CSI                                       2.67%
7          NBC          Heroes                                  2.62%
8          NBC          The Office                              2.53%
9          ABC          Lost                                       2.50%
10         CBS          Swingtown                             2.46%
Source: Custom report from Hitwise

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