Google has added links to Belgian newspapers back into its main Web search site after beginning talks with a group that had filed a copyright lawsuit over Google's practice of linking to French- and German-language Belgian newspapers.
The group, Copiepresse, sued Google more than a year ago alleging that the search giant's use of headlines and snippets of Belgian newspaper articles in its Google News aggregation service, and its practice of providing links to cached copies of the articles in its main Web search results, violated copyright. A Belgian court sided with Copiepresse last September, ordering Google to … Read more
There's already a federal indictment of a woman accused of running a call girl ring in Washington D.C. A deputy secretary of state, Randall Tobias, has resigned. Tobias admits to using the services of Pamela Martin & Associates only for back rubs. Deborah Palfrey, the woman who ran Pamela Martin services, is gaining some notoriety in the blogosphere.
Palfrey is threatening to call many prominent D.C. men into court to testify on her behalf. Clearly, Tobias would happily back up Palfrey's claim that her service was about massage and fantasy, not prostitution.
So where are the … Read more
In the last two weeks we've gotten a large number of reports of choppy video on CNET TV. The symptoms were so odd that I had to reproduce them myself before our engineers would believe them. Users have reported that they hear the audio on CNET TV just fine, but to get the video to play smoothly, users reported, "I have to move my mouse in circles."
The good news is we have narrowed this down to a bug that occurs in earlier versions of the Flash Player when running Windows Vista, with IE 7 in Protected … Read more
The much-anticipated Digg-like news service from MySpace launched early this morning. The front page combines popular stories from the service's 24 categories and a user-democratized voting system for promotion and demotion. Stories are pulled from various sources by using technology from Newroo, an aggregation service MySpace acquired last year.
The voting system isn't based on simple thumbs-up or thumbs-down, as on Digg, Netscape, and Reddit. Instead, MySpace News uses a five-star rating system, with "loved it" and "hated it" on opposite ends of the spectrum.
MySpace News also features a local events section for 12 major cities. We tried out the San Francisco page, and there were a number of events listed, but no dates or locations for them, just small text summaries.
Any time you click on a story, MySpace will redirect you to the site where the story resides, and add a small navigation pane to bring you back to MySpace (like Netscape did when it launched its community news site). The navigation pane has a rating tool, a listing of three related stories, and a link to the story's URL to send to friends. Interestingly enough, MySpace will take over the site's URL and give it a news.myspace.com designation, so if you send that link to friends, the MySpace News branding will come with it. Very sneaky.
Tuite a few things are missing from MySpace News. The first is integration with MySpace proper. There's no way to show which stories you've been rating (or reading) on your MySpace profile. Likewise, you can't see what your friends have been up to, something that is critical for a social network. There's also no way to submit stories. According to the FAQ, this will be added later down the road. For now, stories are fed to the service from blogs or Web sites and put into a pool to be picked up by users. Finally, there's no way to discuss stories that are on the service.
In other words, almost all the features that make Digg worth coming back to are missing from MySpace News. While the service will likely flourish because of its built-in user base of MySpace millions, it hasn't been built from the start to let its users take the reins beyond just clicking buttons. It's a very thin social news experience.
For more screenshots, keep reading.
MySpace has more than 100 million registered users, with around 230,000 new ones each day. The prospect of … Read more