Technology StocksAlphabet Inc. (Google)

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From: zax2/21/2012 1:23:10 PM
   of 14958
Google now facing class-action suit over Safari cookie circumvention
By Jacqui Cheng via iggyl

A class-action complaint has now been filed against Google for its circumvention of Safari's privacy features. The lawsuit, filed in the US District Court for Delaware, accuses Google of willfully violating of the Federal Wiretap Act, the Stored Electronic Communication Act, and the Federal Computer Fraud and Abuse Act.

Google was discovered to have been working its way around Safari's blockage of third-party cookies last week by Stanford researcher Jonathan Mayer. The company immediately denied that the behavior was intentional and disabled the code that allowed it to install the tracking cookies in Safari. In a statement sent to Ars, Google Senior VP of Communications and Public Policy Rachel Whetstone claimed that the cookies didn't collect personal information and that the behavior was limited to Safari, though Microsoft claimed on Monday that Google was also tricking Internet Explorer into accepting the tracking cookies as well. (Google argues that Microsoft is using an impractical and outdated protocol that practically no one complies with.)

Still, privacy groups were up in arms and filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission over Google's behavior, and the new class-action lawsuit won't make things any easier. The plaintiff, Matthew Soble, argues that Google violated numerous federal laws designed to protect user privacy on the Web and asks the court for damages for all Safari-using Googlers like himself. Google declined to comment to BusinessWeek when asked about the lawsuit, but given the company's earlier responses, it looks like Google is maintaining that the tracking was a mistake, and that those who have opted out of Google's " interest-based advertising program" were unaffected—including Safari users.

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From: Glenn Petersen2/24/2012 2:20:14 PM
   of 14958
GOOG prepares to bail on Clearwire:

Google to sell stake in Clearwire for $47m, a tenth of the price it originally paid

By Vlad Savov
The Verge
on February 24, 2012 07:22 am

Google has filed documents with the SEC today in preparation for the sale of its entire stake in the troubled Clearwire Corporation. Having spent $500 million to acquire a 6.5 percent share back in 2008, Google is now cutting its losses and looking to sell up for approximately $47 million. The proposed $1.60 price per share dramatically undercuts the current $2.27 level, and Google's move will undoubtedly put even more pressure on the already financially constrained company. Clearwire's wireless broadband business was built on the premise that WiMAX will prosper and flourish in the US, but that forecast failed to materialize and now every major carrier — including Sprint, Clearwire's largest shareholder — is in the process of transitioning to LTE.

The SEC documentation explains Google's exit from Clearwire as an act of rebalancing its portfolio of investments, but a more candid assessment would be that Google expects Clearwire to sink beneath its mountain of debt and is getting out while it can. Sales of Google's shares in Clearwire will begin on February 27th, with the other equity holders getting first dibs, and should close by the end of March.

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From: Glenn Petersen2/28/2012 9:26:35 AM
   of 14958
The Mounting Minuses at Google+

Playing Catchup to Facebook, Google's Social Network Is a Virtual Ghost Town by Comparison

Message 27976780

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To: Glenn Petersen who wrote (13247)3/1/2012 10:58:36 PM
From: zax
   of 14958
Users spent 136x more time on Facebook than Google+ in January

... Although Google+ visitors are seemingly stricken with poor attention spans, what may be more worrisome for Google is that the attention deficit continues to grow. In November, Google+ users were spending an average of 5.1 minutes which slipped to 4.8 in December and 3.3 in January ...

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To: zax who wrote (13248)3/2/2012 6:27:32 PM
From: Kirk ©
1 Recommendation   of 14958
"Users spent 136x more time on Facebook than Google+ in January"

I spent a a decent amount of time on Facebook yesterday and today but didn't click an ad or look to buy anything. I uploaded a photo that they have to pay to store.

Yesterday I spent about 10 minutes searching with Google for places to buy a $2,000 to $4,000 Integra high fi receiver. I found the address for two stores near me and the specs for the models friends recommended I check out to replace my 19 yr old Yamaha unit that is crapping out. I haven't spent any time today on Google but to enter a dinner appointment for next week on the calendar.

I can see how Google could make a lot of money offering help find what I was looking for as well as alternatives to buy but all Facebook did was lose a bit of money storing my photo for me.

I have a hard time figuring how FB will be much different than Yahoo! with a better user experience. I actually find Yahoo! finance quite useful for stock research.... a busness need vs playing

BTW, facebook shows ads related to the photos. I uploaded a photo of my garden starting to bloom and discussed it with friends and relatives. We are shown ads but I have already learned to ignore that part of the screen so I can't tell you what they were....

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To: zax who wrote (13244)3/3/2012 7:56:45 PM
From: MJ
   of 14958
Google is everywhere-------doesn't matter what one I uses-----MSFT or Mozella or other.

In addition to Google there are sites that are set up as Blogger sites under various url's.

Recently, a Bloggers site came to my attention due to having current personal information with a picture of a person that should never have appeared on the Bloggers site.

I have talked with the person whom I know well, he/she is shocked. The person doesn't even use a computer and has no interest in having one--------has never put a picture on the net nor given permission to a blogger to do so.

As I followed the blogger's links---------the information and picture then get used on a money making site
by the blogger.

Something is not right with this scenario, I am considering what can be done if anything to get the picture and info off of the bloggers site and stop the use of the info to generate money for the blogger.

If anyone has thoughts, send me a private note. Thanks.



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From: Sr K3/6/2012 3:35:36 PM
   of 14958
Google ...

The company has retired the Android Market name for its store that sells apps, videos, music and electronic books on the Web and on mobile devices. From Tuesday, the store will be rebranded as the Google Play Store.

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To: Sr K who wrote (13251)3/6/2012 6:38:55 PM
From: Win-Lose-Draw
   of 14958

Serious Zune appeal with that rebranding, for sure!


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To: Win-Lose-Draw who wrote (13252)3/6/2012 7:04:33 PM
From: Sr K
   of 14958
It's interesting that this is as the MMI merger nears closing.

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From: Glenn Petersen3/11/2012 10:35:04 PM
   of 14958
New Layer of Content Amid Chaos on YouTube

New York Times
March 11, 2012

For a glimpse at the next phase in YouTube’s evolution, look no further than a stray crutch and a $20 birthday cake for Justin Bieber.

Those were among the props at a recent taping for MyIsh, a new music channel on YouTube. Filming in the small back room of a Manhattan television office, MyIsh tries to capture the low-budget charm of early MTV, with sets that consist of a few painted pallets and three young hosts who trade unscripted zingers about the day’s pop-culture news.

“I feel like Lindsay Lohan is one injection away from looking like Madonna,” said Hesta Prynn, a flame-haired D.J. who is one of the hosts. Behind her, as if to demonstrate the show’s casual semiprofessionalism, her black crutch, used since a recent running injury, leaned against the set.

MyIsh is one of about 100 entertainment channels being introduced on YouTube as part of the site’s broader mission to bring some order to its chaos. By introducing a layer of content closer to television than home video, YouTube believes, it will attract a steadier stream of viewers and advertisers, and the company is spending more than $100 million to help develop the channels.

“We want to make it easier and easier for viewers to find the content they love,” Robert Kyncl, YouTube’s global head of content, said in a phone interview. “Which,” he added after a pause, “is especially challenging when you have a lot of it coming every second.”

The channels — dedicated to topics like news, music, gaming, parenting and fashion — are also part of an escalating battle among Internet platforms like Hulu, Netflix and AOL to capture more of television’s advertising dollars by creating original content. According to eMarketer, a research firm, ad spending for online video should rise 55 percent this year, to $3.1 billion. But that is still a fraction of the $60 billion spent on television.

For YouTube, the gamble is whether audiences used to YouTube’s anarchic energy will subscribe to the channels in numbers significant enough to entice advertisers to pay higher rates. Google will present the channels to advertisers in New York in May at the Digital Content NewFronts — a play on the television networks’ annual ad pitches, called upfronts — alongside Hulu, Yahoo, AOL and Microsoft.

John Lisko, the executive communications director of the advertising company Saatchi & Saatchi in Los Angeles, described YouTube’s effort as “difficult and exhilarating.” To make the channels succeed, he said, YouTube must continue to invest in the channels and provide advertisers with audience data comparable to what is available on television.

Although the plan for the channels was announced in October, many of the outlets are only starting up now, and many music-related channels are among the first. They include MyIsh; the Warner Sound, an umbrella for acts from the Warner Music Group; and Noisey, which both cover alternative music; Bonnaroo365 and the Bowery Presents, which have live concert streams; and a branch of the cable channel Fuse.

The channels will get some promotion from YouTube, including placement on the site’s home page. Google has also been coaching the partners assiduously on the arts of online self-promotion, with tactics like search-engine optimization and the use of annotations, the links and text that pop up while a video plays.

But the content is in the partners’ hands, which for some means a degree of cultural adjustment.

“We’re playing by YouTube rules, which is fast, cheap and slightly out of control,” said Michael Hirschorn, a former VH1 executive whose company, IconicTV, has three YouTube channels in development. MyIsh’s production budget, Mr. Hirschorn said, comes entirely from Google, whose investment in all channels is counted as an advance against advertising revenues.

Vice, the youth-media conglomerate behind Noisey, already produces reams of online video, and the company has distribution deals with major partners like HBO and CNN. “We are pioneers of premium online video,” Shane Smith, one of Vice’s founders, said.

But Vice is also looking at its Google deal as a way to go for up-to-the-minute timeliness — and a potentially huge audience — through quantity and quick turnaround.

Last Thursday a small Noisey crew followed Joey Bada$$, a 17-year-old Brooklyn rapper, as he visited his high school and interviewed his teachers and principal. “Wall of fame,” he said as he pointed to the names of alumni from his school, Edward R. Murrow High School, “which I hope to be on one day.”

Others are pushing for higher production values. Warner Music hired Ocean MacAdams, a former MTV producer, to run the Warner Sound. Its programming slate resembles that of a cable TV channel, with concerts, documentaries and series built around the label’s stars, like “Cee Lo Green Presents ManTazia” and a choose-your-own-adventure sitcom with Cody Simpson.

Over the next year, the Bowery Presents, a promoter in New York, will run live streams of 12 concerts filmed with up to 11 cameras and will also post dozens of taped shows and short films. The first live event featured the band Sleigh Bells last month, during which promotional banners ran across every page on YouTube. Next is Kasabian on March 22.

“We’re trying to present music online in a way that it doesn’t feel like an award show, where everything is completely staged,” said Jesse Mann, general manager of the Bowery Presents.

Several producers said they had to be careful not to be too slick. Anything too closely resembling television, they said, would be rejected by audiences on YouTube, which was built on grainy, unprofessional, user-generated content.

“A lot of the content partners don’t want to feel like we’re coming in and saying, ‘O.K., the big boys are here; we’re going to show you how it’s done,’ ” Mr. MacAdams said. “If you have that attitude with YouTube, you’re destined to fail.”

The eventual payoff for the channels is unclear.

YouTube has exclusive rights to the videos for at least a year, and it has not said whether it will continue to finance the channels after those rights expire. (The channel producers own all their content.) A hit channel might bring in enough ad revenue to justify continuing the production, and Google’s standard advertising agreements give content owners a majority share of advertising revenue.

A challenge, however, is determining what counts as a hit when homemade viral videos routinely rack up millions of views. Some channels and groups in YouTube’s plan, like Machinima and Maker Studios, are already well established. But many are starting from scratch: after five days, MyIsh’s birthday tribute to Mr. Bieber last week had about 700 views.

The money YouTube has already spent, said Mr. Lisko, of Saatchi & Saatchi, “was the cost of entry.” He added, “They are going to have to invest significantly more, and do it on an ongoing basis and across multiple genres to really develop content.”

Mr. Kyncl, of YouTube, said that the measurement of success would not be with any one video but with the steady audience a channel could build over time by attracting subscribers.

“Yes, it’s nice if one channel gets one video that has 100 million views, but I care about their aggregate number of views,” he said. “What we are effectively doing is giving the content players a chance to play a little more in the equity game of audience aggregation.

“If that happens to align with our interest for viewers,” he added, “it’s fantastic. We love that.”

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