Archive for June, 2007

Xcavator, Photo Comparison Search
June 26, 2007

Xcavator.net is an interesting stock photo search engine. Instead of just searching for tags, you can also select a color, or upload your own photo to get best matches returned. Results are already OK, and would probably be even better with a larger image database in the back-end (so that you would find more precise matches to the photos you upload).

What’s really neat is that you can drag and drop photos from the result onto the bar below the results, so that you can buy the stock photo at a later point but continue browsing… in fact, thanks to Ajax you never have to leave the frontpage of Xcavator; on the downside of that, you also can’t use your browser’s back button to return to past searches (as ever so often with modern web apps, for every pro of on-page interactivity, there’s a con in accessibility).

If you find certain surprising or just very precise matches when you uploaded a photo to the site, please post your screenshot in the comments.

Written by: Google Blogoscoped

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Plaxo 3 Beta Review
June 26, 2007

Robert Scoble broke the news on Sunday night first as far as I can tell. The address book, calendar and task management and synchronization platform Plaxo opened their new version 3.0 beta to the public.

As a user and fan of Plaxo, did I go and tested it out right away of course. I had a whole day to play around with it and here are my comments.

The new version included a complete overhaul of the web interface, the part of Plaxo, which I used the least to be honest. The interface was user friendly before and it did not change with the new version although the number of features increased and had to fit on the page as well.

I liked and still like the synchronization features, the de-duper, the auto update and the easy web access to your contacts the most. With Plaxo was I finally able to clean-up my address book for the first time to an extent, which I had never thought possible before. Plaxo offers plug-ins for Microsoft Outlook and Outlook Express. In addition, Mac users who are using Mac OS X have a plug-in available as well. I did not see any plug-in for Linux though.

The Plaxo plug-in automatically synchronized my contacts, calendars, tasks and notes (which are new I believe). The one thing I had hoped for did not make it into V3.0 unfortunately.

I posted comments in their support forum in April, after two other people already noted the same, but the Plaxo support people did misunderstand the request first.

Plaxo synchronizes images of people, if they provided one and shared it in their Plaxo profile. Images I specify in Outlook myself on the other hand, does Plaxo ignore and not use it, even for contacts who did not specify an Image at all. I am a visual person and the image for the contact helps me a lot to make associations about where we met etc. I hope that Plaxo will implement a feature like that in the near future.

Plaxo Syncs with MS Outlook, MS Outlook Express, Max OS X, Yahoo! Mail, Gmail, MSN Hotmail/Windows Live, LinkedIn (Pro Version) and Windows Mail. As I already mentioned, mobile access is also available, free (it used to be a Pro-Account feature). Users also have the option to do a one way import from a number of the sources I mentioned above.

The De-Dupe feature was extended and does include calendar entries. It is still a Pro feature, but that does not cost a lot. Full access to all features is available for less than $50 per year and well worth the investment.

A cool feature from previous version was the auto update of contact information for people in your address book that also have a Plaxo account. That happens automatically and requires no configuration at all. Plaxo informs you of contacts who created an account recently to let you know about it. Plaxo also reminds you of birthdays, if either you or your contact provided the information.

Another feature is to send out in bulk or individually a request to……. Read the full reviw from the Source “Search Engine Journal

Fauxto Online Photo Editor
June 25, 2007

Fauxto*, released in late 2006, is a Photoshop-like online image editor that’s constantly growing its list of features. Once you edited a photo with brushes, layers, fill tools, eraser and so on, you can save it online – no need to go back to your hard disk (though you can do that, too).

This tool works incredibly well, though I’m not sure if there’s any business plan behind it (registration is free). Perhaps the makers are hoping to get acquired. And Google Inc. seems to be one likely candidate: the Google office already has online Word, online Excel, online FrontPage, online email, online calendar, perhaps soon online PowerPoint, and more (all of these with less features than their desktop counterparts, but better sharing & multi-user editing capabilities), so online Photoshop would make sense too**.

*If you pronounce this the French way, faux – to, it supposedly sounds a bit like “photo.”

**Unless Google’s already working on this in-house, of course.

 

Written by:  Google Blogoscoped

Google wants U.S. help fighting censorship
June 24, 2007

WASHINGTON (AP) — Once relatively indifferent to government affairs, Google Inc. is seeking help inside the Beltway to fight the rise of Web censorship worldwide.

The online search giant is taking a novel approach to the problem by asking U.S. trade officials to treat Internet restrictions as international trade barriers, similar to other hurdles to global commerce, such as tariffs.

Google sees the dramatic increase in government Net censorship, particularly in Asia and the Middle East, as a potential threat to its advertising-driven business model, and wants government officials to consider the issue in economic, rather than just political, terms.

“It’s fair to say that censorship is the No. 1 barrier to trade that we face,” said Andrew McLaughlin, Google’s director of public policy and government affairs. A Google spokesman said Monday that McLaughlin has met with officials from the U.S. Trade Representative’s office several times this year to discuss the issue.

“If censorship regimes create barriers to trade in violation of international trade rules, the USTR would get involved,” USTR spokeswoman Gretchen Hamel said. She added though that human rights issues, such as censorship, typically falls under the purview of the State Department.

While human rights activists are pleased with Google’s efforts to fight censorship, they harshly criticized the company early last year for agreeing to censor its Web site in China, which has the second-largest number of Internet users in the world.

The company defends its actions, saying the Chinese government made it a condition of allowing Chinese users access to Google Web pages. China has an Internet firewall that slows or disrupts Chinese users from accessing foreign uncensored Web sites.

Censorship on the rise

Censorship online has risen dramatically the past five years, belying the hype of the late 1990s, which portrayed the Internet as largely impervious to government interference.

A study released last month by the OpenNet Initiative found that 25 of 41 countries surveyed engage in Internet censorship. That’s a dramatic increase from the two or three countries guilty of the practice in 2002, says John Palfrey, executive director of the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard Law School, who helped prepare the report.

China, Vietnam, Saudi Arabia, India, Singapore and Thailand, among others, are increasingly blocking or filtering Web pages, Palfrey says.

Governments “are having more success than the more idealistic of us thought,” acknowledges Danny… Read the full story at the source: CNN

Microsoft to Change Vista After Google Complaints
June 23, 2007

A little background info is in order. A couple of months ago Google made a confidential complaint against Microsoft to the Justice department over Microsoft’s indexing software. Google’s complaint was that Microsoft doesn’t make it easy to turn off the default indexing software in Vista (“Instant Search,” which allows you to search your hard drive) if you chose to use a competitor’s product like Google Desktop. So you would be wasting system resources by running 2 indexing applications.

Last week, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer said that Google’s claims were “baseless”. Well it seems that Microsoft and the Justice department have come to an agreement and will make changes to Vista that will allow users to select a third party application as the default search program. This update will be available for testing by the end of the year.

Written by: Colin Colehour, Google Blogoscoped

LG’s Google Phone Coming to Europe
June 23, 2007

The Korea Times is reporting that LG Electronics has unveiled their new cell phone which offers a full range of services provided by Google, or as us bloggers like to call it, the Google Phone.

The Google Phone (LG-KU580) is expected to hit the European markets this week and cost about $350.

The LG-KU580 will be the first phone on the market to specifically deliver GMail, Google Search, and Google Maps in one easy to use interface.

Other add-ons include an MP3 player, FM radio and a two inch display panel.

“Google’s strong search services are just one click away with our phone as we put a hot key that directs users to Google services in a fraction of a second,” Choi Je-wook of LG told the Korea Times. “In addition, the phone provides other Google services such as e-mail (G-Mail) and map-viewing (Google Earth).”

Written by: Loren Baker, search engine journal 

Mandriva: We Won’t Sign Microsoft Pact
June 23, 2007

Mandriva has become the latest Linux vendor to publicly refute speculation that it will join Novell, Xandros and Linspire in signing a patent covenant with Microsoft, in which the Redmond company agrees not to sue for potential intellectual property infringement.

The statement from Mandriva CEO Francois Bancilhon follows a similar refusal from Canonical chief executive Mark Shuttleworth; Canonical makes the popular Ubuntu Linux distribution. Red Hat also said it would not sign any patent pledge with Microsoft.

Microsoft’s agreement with Novell, inked last November, formed a rift in the Linux community. Some companies felt they could use the patent covenant to help protect their customers, while others felt Microsoft was simply spreading fear, uncertainty and doubt to push businesses to Windows instead.While the deal between Microsoft and Novell included work on interoperability between the two platforms, it primarily focused on intellectual property. Novell agreed to make royalty payments to Microsoft in exchange for lawsuit protection, although Microsoft has yet to specify what patents Linux may infringe upon.

“Interoperability between the Windows and Linux world is important and must be dealt with, and anything that helps this interoperability is a good thing,” wrote Mandriva’s Bancihon. “We also believe what we see, and up to now, there has been absolutely no hard evidence from any of the FUD propagators that Linux and open source applications are in breach of any patents.”

Red Hat said it would not pay an “innovation tax” to Microsoft. Like Ubuntu’s Shuttleworth, Banchion characterized Microsoft’s offer as a protection racket, similar to that employed by the mafia.

“We think that, as in any democracy, people are innocent unless proven guilty and we can continue working in good faith,” he continued. “So we don’t believe it is necessary for us to get protection from Microsoft to do our job or to pay protection money to anyone.”

Written by: Nate Mook, BetaNews

Apple Posts 20-Minute iPhone Tour
June 23, 2007

Apple on Friday provided the most in-depth look at the iPhone, one week before the device debuts at AT&T and Apple stores across the United States. A 20-minute guided tour posted to the company’s Web site showcases the various features of the iPhone and explains how to use the touch screen.

While the tour doesn’t disclose anything major that hasn’t been announced, it does provide the first look at the iPhone’s usability and innovative features like visual voicemail and SMS text messaging that works like an iChat session. The built-in iPod functionality is also demonstrated, and the included headphones include a microphone as well. According to the video, the iPhone’s built in mail client will support Microsoft Office Word and Excel documents.

Written by: BetaNews

translate Words with Google’s Bilingual Dictionaries
June 23, 2007

Google has a powerful translation tool that lets you translate a web page or a text, but that’s not very useful if you only need to translate a word or an expression. Without entering a context, Google shows the most plausible translation, but a word can have multiple translations.

To overcome this problem, Google launched a bilingual dictionary that lets you enter an English word and get the translations in French, German, Italian, Spanish and Korean or enter a word in of those 5 languages and get the English translation.

Google also shows related phrases, but it would be nice to see more contexts. “Some of these related phrases will show idiomatic usages of the word or short phrase that you entered, while others will be examples of your word or short phrase being used in its literal meaning.”

If you enter a word in one of the supported languages, but you don’t know the language, Google offers some options at the bottom of the page.

Google Toolbar also has a feature that lets you translate English words on a web page into another language by hovering your mouse cursor over a word, while Google’s define: operator gives you access to definitions from all over the Web.

Written by:  Google System

AMD to introduce 45nm process AM3 CPU family in 2H08
June 23, 2007

AMD schedules to launch its 45nm process socket AM3 family processors in the second half of 2008. The processors will support HyperTransport 3.0 and will have a built-in DDR2/DDR3 memory controller. The processors will be backward compatible with the previous AM2 and AM2+ socket motherboards, according to sources at motherboard makers.

AMD’s AM3 family will include the quad-core Deneb and DenebFX, dual-core Propus and Regor, and single-core Sargas. Shipments of 45nm products are predicted to surpass those of 65nm products within half a year from launch, noted the sources.

Although Socket AM3 processors will be backwards compatible with previous socket AM2 and AM2+ motherboards, socket AM3 motherboards will not be able to support the previous socket AM2 and AM2+ processors. Therefore shipment volumes of socket AM3 motherboards will depend on the speed of transition to DDR3 memory, added the sources.

 

Written by: Monica Chen, Taipei; Joseph Tsai, DIGITIMES 

Hitachi Deskstar 7K1000 (1 Terabyte) Hard Drive review
June 23, 2007

The terabyte race for consumer desktop hard drives has been on for a long time, now the first generation of drives is here. On April 25th, Hitachi announced that it would begin shipping the Deskstar 7K1000, their latest series of consumer hard drives, weighting in at 750GB and a monstrous 1000GB (1TB). The 1TB version which we are reviewing today is slated at $399, a serious price tag for this colossal amount of storage.The Deskstar 7K1000 represents a milestone for Hitachi and for the hard drive industry as a whole, as it is the first drive to offer a 1 terabyte capacity. Honestly, I expected that it would be Seagate who would deliver the first 1TB hard drive since they were the first to reach the 500GB mark. However, Hitachi has not simply grabbed five 200GB platters and stuck them together to create a 1TB hard drive. Rather, there is much more to the Deskstar 7K1000, such as its Serial ATA II interface and the massive 32MB memory buffer. This is also the first desktop Hitachi drive to feature PMR technology (Perpendicular Magnetic Recording).

Perpendicular recording is said to deliver up to 10x the storage density of longitudinal recording, on the same recording media. There was some interest in using the system in floppy disks in the 1980s, but the technology was never reliable. Today, there is renewed interest in using it for hard drives, which are rapidly reaching their fundamental limits.

Current hard disk technology with longitudinal recording has an estimated limit of 100 to 200GB per square inch due to the superparamagnetic effect, though this estimate is constantly changing. Perpendicular recording is predicted to allow information densities of up to around 1TB/sq. inch.

Depending on how you see it, this 1TB Hitachi is realistically a 935.5 GB hard drive. Operating systems such as Windows use the binary approach to measure capacity. Hard drive manufacturers measure capacity using a decimal system instead, which means a single kilobyte equals 1000 bytes (the binary approach measures one kilobyte to equal 1024 bytes). Hard drive manufacturers have been using the decimal system as a form of advertising because it allows them to claim larger capacities. The issue of whether or not this is ethical can be argued, but these days it has just been accepted the way things are.

Windows shows the capacity of the Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 500GB hard drive to be just 457.2 GBs, which means two of these drives would actually offer slightly less capacity than a single Hitachi 1TB drive. However, two Seagate 500GB hard drives cost just $300, making them considerably cheaper than a single 1TB drive, and given that two drives should be faster than one, which configuration is really the way to go?

With this mindset we can start to play the different possible scenarios, for example, the obvious advantage of having a larger single drive is that there is less room required inside the computer’s case, and only one SATA port needs to be used. There is also less heat produced and less power required. Another important consideration is that one hard drive is much quieter than having two or more. For Small Form Factor (SFF) and Home Theatre Personal Computers (HTPC) where space is tight, a large single hard drive can be invaluable.

Then again, two main negatives for owning a large single drive is that if it dies, all the data will go with it down the drain, and of course as we have covered, you do pay a price premium for having one large hard drive.

See the full Performances tests in the source:  TechSpot

New MacBook Pro Offers a Dazzling Display
June 23, 2007

What a difference 540,000 pixels make.

I’m talking in this case about the latest MacBook Pro to grace my desk, the top-of-the-line 17-in. model with a glossy 1,920-by-1,200-pixel high-resolution screen tricked out with a 7,200-rpm 160GB hard drive and 4GB of RAM added post-purchase. Oh, and it uses Intel’s new 2.4-GHz Core 2 Duo with a “Santa Rosa” chip set for a bit more zip and even slightly longer battery life.

But it’s the screen that’s the most appealing feature. This is without a doubt the best-looking LCD screen Apple has produced in what also happens to be the fastest laptop from the company yet.

In a word: suh-weet.

Of course, it should be, given the price: The basic 17-in. MacBook Pro (MBP from here on in) starts at $2,799. The hi-res display adds another $100, and the optional 7,200-rpm Seagate Momentus hard drive tacks on $150 more. The result is a seriously sick machine. That’s sick as in wicked good. Cost out the door? $3,049, before taxes and shipping–and worth every penny.

High Res Screen Envy

For the record, I hadn’t planned on buying a new MBP this year–the last-generation 2.33-GHz model I got in November was doing just fine–until I saw that Apple had added the hi-res screen option when it introduced the latest iteration on June 5. I’ve vowed ever since I bought a Sony Vaio with the same resolution screen almost two years ago that if Apple ever released such a laptop, I’d get one forthwith. So I found a buyer for my “old” MBP and promptly ordered the new one from Apple on the same day it were announced. Six days later, it was here. I’ve been using it ever since, with nary an issue.

Oh, and did I mention that screen? You know the difference between regular TV and high-def TV? That’s what it feels like using this model. Not that the standard screen offered by Apple is a slouch; 1,680-by-1,050 pixels is plenty fine for most users. But for those of us who always want faster, bigger, more, Apple has created what I’d call the MBP Ultimate.

See also: Resolution Debate, Battery Life, Gaming Speed

Writen by: Ken Mingis, Macworld

YouTube Live on Apple TV, iPhone
June 21, 2007

Apple said Wednesday that its update to Apple TV to allow viewing of YouTube videos was available, along with announcing similar functionality for iPhone. But the lack of 3G connectivity will limit the feature’s usefulness.

iPhone users will likely not be able to stream their videos across the mobile network as EDGE is often too slow to support higher-quality full motion video. Thus, the functionality would only be usable via Wi-Fi.

YouTube will encode videos in H.264 format for Apple’s handset, which requires about 50-60 KBps worth of bandwidth for mobile uses. Typical EDGE data rates fall below that range, therefore not offering the best performance in mobile applications.JupiterResearch analyst Michael Gartenberg, who could be considered one of the bigger proponents of the iPhone, also highlighted this problem.

“Key questions will be how well the experience transfers from the PC to these new screens and how well the video will perform, especially over the iPhone’s 2G network,” he remarked.

Apple left this important consideration out of their announcement of the new functionality, however CEO Steve Jobs still said it was “the best YouTube mobile experience by far.”

10,000 videos would be available for the iPhone’s launch, with the entire YouTube catalog being encoded in H.264 by fall, the companies said.

Users of Apple TV, meanwhile, are now able to download the new functionality and update their boxes by using the device’s Software Update feature. YouTube members would be able to save their favorite videos to the Apple TV, Apple said.

Written by: By Ed Oswald, BetaNews

Xerox tool analyzes text to improve search results
June 21, 2007

Xerox researchers have developed a search tool that tries to understand documents, rather than looking for keywords, in order to provide better results.

The tool, FactSpotter, analyzes the underlying grammar of a text in order to infer additional information, such as whether ambiguous words are being used as nouns or verbs, or to whom a pronoun refers, said Frédérique Segond, who manages the parsing and semantics research group at Xerox Research Center Europe near Grenoble, France.

The analysis allows the software to understand that references to “Bill Gates,” “he” and “the head of Microsoft” in the same document likely refer to the same person. But the software should also be able to tell that “Bill Gates said … ” and “A friend of Bill Gates said …” do not precede words spoken by the same person, a situation that would likely lead search engines using keyword analysis alone to return irrelevant results.

One of the first groups to use FactSpotter will be Xerox Litigation Services, which next year will build it into a suite of “e-discovery” software for the legal profession, Segond said. In the discovery phase of a lawsuit, where legal teams must often sift through millions of e-mail messages and other documents, the software could be used to identify the sender and recipients of messages, and pick out information about events and dates from them. These features could be used to form a picture of who knew what, and when, in order to build a solid legal case, she said.

Segond’s research team developed their own metalanguage to describe the grammars of different human languages. So far, they have used it to build descriptions of Dutch, English, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, and Spanish. A joint Fujitsu-Xerox research team has also used it to describe Japanese grammar, showing that it can be used for languages using other writing systems.

FactSpotter itself is written in the C programming language, and the researchers have also developed modules in Java and Python, allowing the software to interface with other applications.

Although the software only analyzes written language, it can be linked with audio transcription tools in order to search radio and TV archives, and the company is involved in joint research projects to do just that, Segond said.

Written by: InfoWorld

14 Google Products Won Webware 100
June 20, 2007

webware 100 google

Rafe Needleman announced the Webware 100 winners.The list was compiled on votes cast by nearly 500,000 users, and Google is the biggest winner with 14 products on the list:

  • Browsing: Google Reader
  • Communication: Gmail
  • Data: Google
  • Media: YouTube
  • Mobile: Gmail Mobile, Google Maps Mobile, Google 411
  • Productivity and Commerce: Google Docs & Spreadsheets, Google Calendar, Google AdWords
  • Publishing: Blogger, Google Analytics, FeedBurner
  • Preference: Google Map
  • Hmm in fact Google users are the biggest winners 🙂

    Track Every Click with Crazy Egg’s “Confetti”
    June 19, 2007

    Crazy Egg LogoOptimizing your website can be tough business since you can’t “see” your customers online. Analytics packages like Google analytics do a good job letting you see how many visitors are coming and going on your site by tracking every page request. However, another breed of analytics focuses on optimizing how they’re using it, by tracking where visitors click. Crazy Egg, one of these optimization services, now has a new feature “Confetti” that lets you easily see where every visitor clicked on your site and what brought them there. We’ve covered their previous overlay and heatmap features here.

    Confetti overlays your site, showing each visitor’s click as a colored dot. The colors stand for the categories you sort the clicks by: operating system, browser, window size, time before clicking, and what search term brought them to the page. It even shows you clicks that weren’t on links, so you know if your users are expecting a link where there isn’t one. You can see the results in aggregate as a bar chart or click on individual dots to find out more information about a particular user. For instance, you can use Confetti to see how users from different referrals behave, and settle the debate over exactly how many of those Digg users click on your ads.

    crazyconfettismall.pngCrazy Egg has been implemented on over 250,000 sites and is free if you just want to track up to 5,000 clicks on 4 pages at a time each month. But if you upgrade to a paid account, you can track more clicks over more pages with real time data. The limited number of clicks tracked may seem restrictive, but analytics from Crazy Egg are meant to run for a short period of time on a specific url to grab a sample of how your users react to design changes.

    There are a couple other optimization services out there: Map Surface, ClickTale, and Click Density. Click Density was one of the first services to show each unique click on your site, but Crazy Egg has added a simpler point-and-click interface for drilling into your data.

    Crazy Egg is based in Orange County California and has reportedly been in acquisition talks.

    Written by: TechCrunch

    No Microsoft-Ubuntu Deal in the Works
    June 19, 2007

    Don’t expect a patent deal between Microsoft and Ubuntu Linux distributor Canonical anytime soon.

    The company’s CEO said in a post on his personal Web log over the weekend that despite the rumors, there are no negotiations with the Redmond company. Furthermore, he took issue with Microsoft’s threats of patent lawsuits for unspecified patents.

    <script language=”javascript” src=”http://ads.betanews.com/adserve.iframejscript/www.betanews.com/MPU@Top?210140831″></script>

    Mark Shuttleworth, said that it was his position on the matter, and he was fairly certain that the members of Ubuntu Community Council and his company shared his views.”Allegations of ‘infringement of unspecified patents’ carry no weight whatsoever,” Shuttleworth wrote. “We don’t think they have any legal merit, and they are no incentive for us to work with Microsoft on any of the wonderful things we could do together.”

    He called Microsoft’s promise not to sue for unspecified infringement “not worth paying for,” and seemed to equate those taking the deal from Microsoft as living in a “false sense of security.”

    Microsoft has already struck deals with Linux companies Novell, Xandros, and Linspire. The deals promise that Microsoft would extend some patent protections to the customers of the companies, while also allowing for interoperability work.

    Shuttleworth apparently wants none of it. He also questioned Microsoft’s commitment to standards through its Open XML format, saying that it wasn’t good enough, and he didn’t think Microsoft would hold itself to the pledge of openness.

    “The Open Document Format (ODF) specification is a much better, much cleaner and widely implemented specification that is already a global standard,” he argued, saying OpenXML is far less open than ODF.

    Canonical wouldn’t be the first company to turn down Microsoft’s olive branch for patents. Red Hat has also declined to participate, saying it would not pay an “innovation tax” to Microsoft shortly after news of the Novell deal broke.

    Written by:  By Ed Oswald, BetaNews

    Google Takes YouTube Global
    June 19, 2007

    YouTube launched nine localized versions of its popular social video site on Tuesday, which will at first only place navigation and functionality in the country’s native language.

    Eventually, the site plans to offer localized content as well, with the featured pages targeted towards the individual tastes of consumers in each market. This would include ratings specific to that country in addition to localized comments.

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    The nine initial countries included are Brazil, Britain, France, Ireland, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Poland and Spain. Users in these countries would have the option to switch their preference to the new version, or jump between them through the menu bar at the top of the page.Localized pages will not merely be subdomains of youtube.com – the company in every case but Italy has gone ahead and purchased the YouTube domain for that specific country.

    YouTube’s efforts to become more internationally inclusive have been stepped up in recent months. While much of the attention has been on its deals with American television networks, it has signed several agreements with international broadcasters as well.

    Content will be made available to YouTube users worldwide unless the provider forbids it.

    Some believe that YouTube’s move was a long time coming. “Opening up the site to a non-English speaking audience will drive a new wave of growth that will further cement YouTube’s place as the leading online destination for on-demand internet video,” Duncan Riley wrote for TechCrunch on Tuesday.

    Written by:  By Ed Oswald, BetaNews

    iPhone Delivers Up to Eight Hours of Talk Time
    June 19, 2007

    Apple® today announced that iPhone™ will deliver significantly longer battery life when it ships on June 29 than was originally estimated when iPhone was unveiled in January. iPhone will feature up to 8 hours of talk time, 6 hours of Internet use, 7 hours of video playback or 24 hours of audio playback.* In addition, iPhone will feature up to 250 hours-more than 10 days-of standby time. Apple also announced that the entire top surface of iPhone, including its stunning 3.5-inch display, has been upgraded from plastic to optical-quality glass to achieve a superior level of scratch resistance and optical clarity.”With 8 hours of talk time, and 24 hours of audio playback, iPhone’s battery life is longer than any other ‘Smartphone’ and even longer than most MP3 players,” said Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO. “We’ve also upgraded iPhone’s entire top surface from plastic to optical-quality glass for superior scratch resistance and clarity. There has never been a phone like iPhone, and we can’t wait to get this truly magical product into the hands of customers starting just 11 days from today.”

    iPhone introduces an entirely new user interface based on a revolutionary multi-touch display and pioneering new software that allows users to control iPhone with just a tap, flick or pinch of their fingers. iPhone combines three products into one small and lightweight handheld device-a revolutionary mobile phone, a widescreen iPod, and the Internet in your pocket with best-ever applications on a mobile phone for email, web browsing and maps. iPhone ushers in an era of software power and sophistication never before seen in a mobile device, which completely redefines what users can do on their mobile phones.

    Pricing and Availability

    iPhone will be available in the US on June 29, 2007 in a 4GB model for $499 (US) and an 8GB model for $599 (US), and will work with either a PC or Mac®. iPhone will be sold in the US through Apple’s retail and online stores, and through AT&T’s select retail stores.

    *All Battery claims are dependent upon network configuration and many other factors; actual results may vary. See http://www.apple.com/batteries for more information. Music capacity is based on four minutes per song and 128-Kbps AAC encoding; actual capacity varies by content.

    About Apple

    Apple ignited the personal computer revolution in the 1970s with the Apple II and reinvented the personal computer in the 1980s with the Macintosh. Today, Apple continues to lead the industry in innovation with its award-winning computers, OS X operating system and iLife and professional applications. Apple is also spearheading the digital media revolution with its iPod portable music and video players and iTunes online store, and will enter the mobile phone market this year with its revolutionary iPhone.

    © 2007 Apple Computer, Inc. All rights reserved. Apple, the Apple logo, Mac, Mac OS, Macintosh and iPhone are trademarks of Apple. Other company and product names may be trademarks of their respective owners.

    Written by: PRNewswire

    Stalking 2.0: The Websites that Track Your Every Move
    June 17, 2007

    Eye

    So, you don’t mind being followed and tracked? You don’t care if your friends can see what websites you’ve been to lately, what software you’ve been running, or even what music you’ve been listening to? Then you’ll love the web’s trend towards extreme openness: sharing everything you do on your computer. Sometimes referred to as sharing your ‘attention’ data, this is a growing market. Below, we round up 12 services that want to track your every move – voluntarily.

    Wakoopa Logo

    Wakoopa is an excellent service which tracks what software you have been running. It keeps tabs of what software is running in the background, what software you have installed, and what software you actively use. Every so often the software uploads this data to the Wakoopa site where it then lists all programs you have been running. The interesting thing here is that you can add friends to track individually or join a team and combine the data. Thanks to Wakoopa, I have found several useful programs that I now use regularly.

    Last.fm has been making news with the site being acquired by CBS for nearly $300 million. If you’re a tech-savvy music fan, you probably already use it. With Last.fm you download a small program which gathers information on the current song you are playing through your favorite mp3 software application. Through a process called “scrobbling,” the software determines what song you are listening to and then uploads this song’s data to the server and then keeps track of it. On the website itself there are many ways of viewing the data which is fun to play around with. To be honest though, I think the greatest part is learning exactly how much horrible music you listen to and what songs your friends listen to in comparison. (Our Last.fm review.)

    Cluztr takes it to the web by tracking every site you visit online through your browser. Not only that, it also keeps a history log or “clickstream” of all those sites. One word of advice, avoid visiting sites that your mother would not think much of, as it’s all out there for your friends to view. Cluztr installs a plug-in to your FireFox or Flock browser (sorry IE and Safari users, Cluztr is hopeful for a mid to late 2007 release) where it then captures your entire web surfing history and compiles it into your “clickstream” which you are free to share or publish on the web for all your friends to see. There are also social functions built into the sidebar which allow for posting of messages for that specific site which other users can see when visiting that same site. (Our Cluztr review.)

    AttentionTrust offers services similar to Cluztr. AttentionTrust installs as a browser plug-in and tracks the sites you visit. You can then take this data and share it with other applications or development projects that could make use of this data, or simply store it on your desktop. AttentionTrust’s idea is to let you share this data with in interested parties for a fee – in other words, a form of lead generation.

    Atten.TV Logo

    Atten.TV is another site that allows you to follow what you or your friends are clicking on around the web. You have the option to share this data or keep it private. It is completely up to you. Since you are reading this article, I think it is safe to assume you are leaning towards the former option. The downloadable application is only for Mac OS currently. (Our Atten.tv review.)

    Me.dium can be considered a competitor to Cluztr. Me.dium takes the same basic approach, but doesn’t act as a personal log: instead, it lets you see which sites your friends are on, and join them there. It is simply personal preference on your decision to use Cluztr, Me.dium, Atten.TV or AttentionTrust. (Our Me.dium review.)

    Plazes Logo

    Plazes is a service that tracks where you are no matter where you are in the world. So now if you not only want your pals to know where you are online, you can have them know where you are in person. Just be sure not to get in to trouble with this service.

    iStalkr doesn’t keep tabs on you directly, but rather, indirectly by utilizing RSS and ATOM feeds that most social web 2.0 sites are utilizing now. If you sign up for an iStalkr account and enter some social sites you are a member of, like Del.icio.us and Twitter, iStalkr will then grab the RSS/ATOM feed for that service and will be able to get your updates from the site. To put it simply, think of iStalkr like as a central hub for your social website information and updates. (Our iStalkr review.)

    SlifeShare Logo

    SlifeShare is an application built for the Mac OS primarily. If you are running Firefox you can install the extension regardless of what OS you run. SlifeShare is similar to iStalkr in that the application tracks data from multiple sources and acts as a central hub, but SlifeShare takes it a step further and collects this data directly. Music, videos, photos, websites, applications, and more are tracked and then the data is displayed on the SlifeShare website which you can share with friends. You are only allowed five friends, after which you must either become a premium user or just stick with the five friend limit. (Our SlifeShare review.)

    YouTube Logo

    YouTube Active Share simply allows you to share videos that you watch on YouTube with all your friends. Your profile will show what videos you have recently watched and when you are currently watching a video while others are viewing the same video, they will see your name appear on a list of people currently watching that video.

    Particls is a downloadable application which doesn’t necessarily track what you do, but instead tracks what you are most interested in receiving information about. The concept is that you allow the Particls software to search your documents for keywords that will allow the program to determine what information you want to be fed to your computer via RSS and ATOM feeds. For example, if you type in Web 2.0, it’s almost a guarantee you will receive site updates from the Mashable website directly to the Particls software. Minor problems with the application is that it can be a resource hog at times, but it is very powerful, and Particls will have an ad supported version and a pay version in the future. (Our Particls review and custom Mashable version.)

    Google Logo

    Google History has drawn much controversy over privacy issues. Google search history is another controversial tool Google released that tracks every search term you enter into Google’s various search tools. This feature is mainly for your benefit only.

    Written by: Mashable

    Sony Ericsson shows shake-to-shuffle Walkman phone
    June 17, 2007

    Sony Ericsson’s been busy, busy, busy this week: in addition to announcing an upgraded Cyber-shot camera phone, it debuted a pair of new Walkman music phones – once controlled simply by shaking, rattling or rolling it.

    Sony Ericsson Walkman 960
    Sony Ericsson’s W960: Symbian runner

    What really makes the W960 stand out is its foundation on the Symbian operating system – it’s smart phone as music phone – complete with 240 x 320, 262,144-colour touch screen, stylus and jog dial as per Sony Ericsson’s P-series smart phones.

    Likewise, it has Wi-Fi on board and the Opera web browser pre-loaded. For cellular connectivity, it has tri-band GSM/GPRS and 3G radios.

    It’s a more traditionally styled, black model, and comes bundled with a Bluetooth stereo headset. There’s a 3.2-megapixel camera on board and 8GB of memory. Like the W910 it has an RDS-capable FM radio.

    All three handsets are due to arrive in the shops in Q4.

    Written by: the Register, Tony Smith