Google Search Appliance Info? Try Windows Live Search!

In it's promotional video, Google boasts that over 4000 corporations around the world are using their Google Search Appliance. I really love how the first half of the presentation I'm watching is a marketing vehicle. I mean, as a developer who is sold on the technology, it only makes sense to market it to me again.

Well, I decided to try searching for infomation. Seems about right, right? Well, to my shock "the Google" isn't indexing information on it's own products very effectively.

As an IT consultant, I find myself using new technologies all the time. I usually dive in fairly late in the game when information is abundant. So why is Google hiding the sweet pictorial big picture slides from me?

Could it be that as the promo video states that 1/4 of our time is actually spent looking for information? Is it possible they want me to keep using Google web search to find information? Are there really more sponsored links I could click on?

I figured after browsing 3 pages of Google search results that I wasn't getting best results, I should try switching search engines.

After a quick Windows Live Search I found all the information I needed on the first page of search results:



I was quite shocked about this truthiness. Is it possible "the Google" is actually trying to make more money off us poor suckers who have invested in their enterprise technology? I sure hope not.

Over And Out


Internet Taxes the new American Fu$k Ya?

"State and local governments this week resumed a push to lobby Congress for far-reaching changes on two different fronts: gaining the ability to impose sales taxes on Net shopping, and being able to levy new monthly taxes on DSL and other connections. One senator is even predicting taxes on e-mail. "

I don't know if the Senators and or Congress People have thought this through. Sure the USA really needs some positive cash flow's to hedge against their war on terror, but I just can't help think this will start the First Electronic World War (EWW I).

At this point I'm not too sure what that means (DOS attack US networks, US net vendors as targets, more virus's targeting commerce platforms, increased proxy use / anonymous net access, further propagate anti-Americanisms).

This video basically sums up all my thoughts. Enjoy.

Over And Out


Internet vs. Satellite Radio: Mobile Pandora.com + Sonos Zone Player + Sprint MP3 Purchase Solution.

Sometimes I feel like I’m on some sort of corporate marketing see saw that just keeps going up and down and down and up and up and down and … a couple years ago we started hearing about XM satellite radio, then Sirius (and we built their Canadian web site).

But seriously, who hasn’t heard of satellite radio yet? Who has heard satellite radio? Who listens to satellite radio as their primary audio consumption channel? I think I know one person who got a device for free at work and bought a subscription for a couple months. They genuinely enjoyed it, but they definitely were not into the wide variety of programming (hell I dated her for two years and she still couldn’t remember my 4 digit buzzer code, that has two unique numbers repeated once). How can you expect a person like this to remember the satellite radio channels without using the paper menu / radio programming guide – especially if they only use it in their car? Needless to say she listened to about two satellite radio channels and then probably forgot that she even had it or a subscription. She could however remember the artists she liked.

Nobody really blogs about the business behind internet radio, the silent player making big headway over digital delivery channels. I’m sure internet radio can be just as easily piped over a satellite connection, but I mean typically web based internet radio. Built for indiscriminate web based consumption. I’ve fallen in love with Pandora.com, an web based radio disc jockey. It’s possibly the best automatic DJ solution I’ve ever come by. It plays what I like, skips what I don’t (after one single thumbs down click), and keeps the music fresh by compiling lists of similar songs / artists / albums and grouping them into radio stations for playback. It makes it easy if I want to listen to Linkin Park, I click on the Linkin Park station. So on and so forth. Another site and community is Fine Tune (http://www.finetune.com/), I don’t like it as much because I have to do stuff. But if you’re a doer, and you like more control over your play-list, then it may be for you.

I’ve been fighting the iPod / MP3 player craze for a number of reasons. The biggest reason being that I think it’s silly and borderline crazy to store up to 80GB of music on a portable device that you carry around with you. It’s too easy to lose, too easy to smash up, drop in the water, and well, I already have a mobile phone to carry around and smash up so I don’t need more junk. Thus it’s not very shocking that we’re seeing MP3 players being pushed into mobile devices – and I cite the clunky iPhone as Apples’ last ditch effort to get in on that consolidating market.

I woke up last week to find out that Pandora was being shut down perminently in Canada. I said boo for a second, configured my proxy, and can still connect (note to US congress: we will always find way’s around your soft embrace with the RIAA).

OK so back to Satellite Radio, the thing that really sucks about the Satellite Radio we have up North is I have to purchase a device and another subscription to the Satellite Radio service. I once asked my uncle (CEO of a major multinational corporation) if he’d consume news information on his Blackberry. He looked at me, laughed, and asked: “why would I use my blackberry when I have a newspaper”. I didn’t retort to the many reasons why he could get better more global information delivered to his Blackberry in a more timely manner. I could tell in his eyes he thought I was crazy. He could tell I thought he was crazy. And we had a silent moment where I understood what a newspaper meant to him. To be frank, news isn’t that important to him, he got all the information he needed for his life for free – and didn’t have such urgency to consume information in real time.

Possibly this is what radio is to us? An audio media channel we consume in a manner of complete and utter convenience. I wouldn’t personally pay for both a device, and a subscription! That just seems crazy for someone like me that doesn’t commute above ground where the signal is available, nor even drive into work. And still, I’d have to carry another little annoying device around like the iPod that will break down and see me losing my music (please no stupid back-up your data comments here cause I’ll be frank and cite Murphy’s law in retort). But that technology can only get better (Note: most likely a hybrid approach with like an “underground cache”).

Sprint has announced a deal to bundle Pandora and Sonos with it’s next generation mobile devices. Not only is this my dream come true, but it’s my worst nightmare as I can’t subscribe to this service in Canada. Nonetheless, if I could, the cool part is, I can get a subscription to Pandora content for merely $2.99 per month on my cell phone – compared to $15-$30 per month on Sirius. I just think that’s a great price for a great service of convenience. I really want Pandora to succeed because I think Satellite radio is just too complicated – and I want internet based mobile CDN’s to take off and kick start the mobile network supply chain. The Sonos device allows users to stream media from their home PC to anywhere with a wireless connection – but at over $30 per month, I think I’ll continue to pass on that one!

This leaves me with one major question for satellite radio providers. I know the scale of the Sat CDN is huge. But the internet will deliver similar quality content in the very near future with equal reach but with many more devices. What is satellite radio going to do when bandwidth is inconsequential and digital music can just as easily be streamed over the mobile web in mass? Wouldn’t it be smart for XM and Sirius to partner with the Motorola, Nokia and RIM’s of the world to get their “radio bands” built into these consumer devices? I guess ultimately this is the Carriers decision.

Stay tuned for the big picture coming tomorrow …


Week In Review = Free Internet Video Sites = Internet Racism

I tried to write a couple stories this week but just don't have it in me. Felt like blogging about the continued online advertising consolidation, more about video and mobile ads. But, we're running a System Integration Test Cycle this week that has kept me busy 9am-5pm.

So here are two cool free video sites on the net (Movies + TV + Etc's):



Check them when you have time.

In other randomness, some guy commented on a quick blog entry I wrote on Sexiest & Hardest Ghetto, Black, Male Felon - Bragging Rights Competition for 2007 . I think his point is valid, but he totally misses my point. I live in Canada, and generally it's not like that up here. I'm sure if you look back at the history of many prominent Southern (US)American families you'll find ties to slavery deep in their roots - and certain unjust / unfair situations. I don't think that justifies killing the next generation of these descendants who may be in more influencial positions to turn things around.

There is a difference between being a repressed / oppressed minority citizen, and being a murderer, rapist, or car thief. They are not mutually dependent, nor exclusive – one does not lead to the other. I know many people who come from less well off areas and turned out to be as successful as their richer equivalents.

When it comes to role models I'm sure that the Chinese look up to Yao Ming, as Isreal idolizes Ilan Roman, and that the USA halo’s Tiger Woods. Is America really so blind as to the rest of the world that an isolated demographic can actually look up to homicidal rapists / murders? I think there is something wrong with that, and I just can't help think that if these people are your role models, that you will grow up to be just like them.

This is just my opinion.

Over and Out


Ontario Government Misappropriates Funds: Markets for Facebook on Tax Payers Dime


I came across a note on Facebook where a government agency (think privacy commission – I’m sure you can put it together by reading the title) published a public guide to protecting one’s privacy on facebook. The note reads and I quote: “Not a trend you'd expect a legislative office to be in touch with, but I'm happy to be proved wrong.” I’m not linking the article or agency on purpose.

Well my friend. Not only is the production you’ve linked grossly redundant, it’s a gross example of how our government misappropriates funds. It not only directly advertises on behalf of a private business on my tax dollar, but the document cannot be found on any search engine using common search phrases rendering it useless. …

Frankly, I think it’s great to have such information at my fingertips – however, I guarantee you I’m not going to a government site, to interface with an agency that has a poor track record with this, in my quest for this information.

So this person asked me why I thought it was a waste. Here is a copy of our dialog. I make the potentially ignorant assumption this person must work for the government so I’ve labeled his comments as GOV (he sounds like a “hot shot lawyer” or something). The numbered list represents the thoughts that came off the top of my head. I look forward to him trying to defend how this is A HUGE WASTE OF GOVERNMENT FUNDS.

1) Because there are hundreds of other articles on the net that already clearly talk to this. Redundant Cost.

GOV: From a Canadian privacy watchdog?
ME: If you are merely trying to prove that the Canadian government can do what millions of independent bloggers have already done then good work. This production is a great example of government redundancy. Nobody looks to watchdogs for advice, most people shun them. No matter how you put it - the information was already readily available on the net. This is redundant effort that blatantly squanders tax dollars.

2) I couldn't find the article in the general google search results above: Hence it's great that we've put it there, but now nobody can find it. Undermines the Purpose.

GOV: We live in an multi channel universe. Google is only one of many.
ME: Then look at Yahoo!, Live, and Ask and try to find your article (the other 3 major sites). Simply put it is not searchable on the web. And .on.gc sites are hardly SEO compliant (another waste of tax dollars). If you are talking about TV or Radio my friend well, your url is 59 characters long – simply put, it is too long for anyone to remember and probably too long to write down in any 30 second advertising spot. What other channels could distribute this content without being a waste of money? I believe all radio, TV, and Magazine ads cost money: another way to squander tax dollars.

3) Garbage is the easiest place to find private information - do you have guidelines as to how we are supposed to throw things out? Bigger Fish To Fry

GOV: Dealing with identity theft and Facebook are not mutually exclusive exercises. Watchdogs are doing both.
ME: I never said they were and frankly, you are missing the point. There are bigger fish for you to fry like why the CIA has access to all of my personal Canadian information because of facebook. I’d want my watchdog to be all over the CIA to understand how it is mining Canadian Citizenship data or understand hacking WEPs or highjacking WiFi. Give me a break Facebook is not a significant problem for privacy issues – what about the freaken porn sites that install spyware (like 75% of them), what are you doing for them? I don’t see any safe porn browsing guidelines. You’ll need a ton of $$ to do that and frankly, I would not be willing to contribute my tax dollars to this when the net is largely self regulating.

4) Facebook is only one site on the internet, are you going to do this everytime a site gets popular? In essence you are marketing for Facebook on my dime!

GOV: There are millions of Facebook users in Canada. It's more than popular, it's an emerging social phenomenon.
ME: as everyone knows, these social networks are self regulating. This seems like a promotion gone wrong for your organization. Further you are marketing for facebook on my dime by producing this. When facebook blatantly violated privacy rights as it did in the past it fixed it’s own infrastructure without the need for a regulator to f-them in a court of law. If they didn’t do this they wouldn’t be popular. It’s an economic concept called the invisible hand. Privacy = Choice = what facebook does now. So what you are saying is everytime a web site becomes commercially successful you will release privacy guidelines even though the economics promote these guidelines regardless: Blatant tax dollars squandered.

5) What is the purpose of a regulator understanding the unique inner workings of a social networking site they have no power to regulate? Waste

GOV: As the federal court recently stated in Lawson v. Accusearch <http://decisions.fct-cf.gc.ca/en/2007/2007fc125/2007fc125.html>, Facebook is not immune from Canadian privacy law merely by virtue of being a US company. Further, the guidelines and other articles published by the IPC on social networking/Facebook and privacy are merely the outward trappings of engagement with organizations who must be encouraged to design privacy into their systems.
ME: What legal mumbo jumbo: Who cares, they DON’T BREAK ANY PRIVACY LAWS guys. I’m a software architect at a major Canadian Bank and privacy is a major concern of ours. Your organization didn’t need to tell me this: MY USERS DID. This is business working the way it’s supposed to: don’t squander any more of my tax dollars by tossing meaningless legal terms that 90% of people don’t care to even attempt to process. This is SPIN and proves my point about WASTE.

6) The Internet has and always will come with a "Use at your own risk stamp" - you cannot regulate it - it is simply too big. Waste More $$

GOV: A guidelines for users is not top-down regulation, it's a public education roadmap.
ME: Man you guys are lost. You can’t even find your public education roadmap on the web. May be you could make a roadmap for us to find your public education roadmap and waste more money for us. Or, possibly you could get a bunch of lawyers together, organize them into a committee, discuss the feasibility of you producing a public education roadmap, debate it at Queens Park, and then decide that:


Isn’t there a saying that goes: Joe Blo pulls his head out of his ass – just long enough to show how clueless he is before sticking it back in again.

My advice to this agency: stick to what you do well, this isn’t one of them.

Digg This Story to raise awareness of misuse of tax payers dollars.

P.S.: Please link this story so this agency is accountable for the tax dollars they have squandered.

P.S.: If you post a link to this article in the comments section all data in that comment will be deleted.

Over and Out


Joost secures $45M and Signs Turner Broadcasting and Sony

Another Day, Another Joost Story.

Officially announced today, Joost has secured $45 Million in funding to push it's technology ahead. "This funding represents a tremendous vote of confidence in Joost's platform," said Janus Friis, co-founder of Joost. "We've carefully selected these investors from a variety of interested parties, as they are best-in-class in their respective arenas and bring unique assets to Joost that will enable us to significantly accelerate growth and development of the Company."

"The appeal of Joost is that it offers the mass audience of TV alongside the 'accountability' of the net - in other words the ability to click through from ads on the screen," said Rhys McLachlan, the head of broadcast implentation at Media Com, part of the media buying arm of WPP.

In other news, Joost Signed Turner Broadcasting and Sony on May 1st which means users will be able to watch content from Turner including CNN’s Larry King Live and 1970s repeats of Charlie’s Angels, Spiderman, and Starsky & Hutch available from Sony.

Over and Out


Joost Signs Another: Warner Bros; Future of TV?

Joost™ the best of tv and the internet

I Joost can't say enough good stuff about Joost. I got a free beta invitation, and well, the content just keeps piling on.

"As one of the premier television production studios, the fact that Warner Bros. has chosen to create its first online channels on the Joost platform shows that we are creating a unique, communal television experience for viewers where content owners can distribute professionally-produced programming with the quality and security they need," said Yvette Alberdingk Thijm, executive vice president, content strategy and acquisition. "The program offering that Warner Bros. will showcase on Joost demonstrates the depth and breadth of our content – from classic programs to current hits, from sitcoms and dramas to sci-fi and adventure, the Joost platform offers channels and programs that have broad appeal and are in high demand." - Link

One of the big things that caught my eye is that Warner Bros. has signed an exclusivity deal with Joost. If Joost can manage to continue down this road they will do pretty well. I mean can you really argue with the guys who started Kazza and Skype?

I keep blogging about this stuff because IPTV is here to stay, it's still a fairly immature technology (meaning adoption from the network side isn't happening too quickly, and neither is critical mass developing), BUT it may represent the largest growth opportunity on the net right now(other than mobile, especially as we recognize Video Advertisement ROI).

If video ads in IPTV can target all of the niche benefits of advertising similar to magazines (Video Advertisement ROI: The Internet as a Magazine), it's possible that some of those shows you never wanted to get cancelled, won't actually get cancelled.

All that is missing is critical mass on these services. But hey, there are 30 million people in Canada that can watch lame CRTC regulated telvision. This 30 million does not even come close to touching the number of broadband internet users world wide. So from an advertising perspective, if Joost can monetize viewers viewing habits and custom tailor ads for those users it could be a gold mine ($61 billion on television advertising in 2006).

Finally, and I think that it's brilliant to be able to link to Steve Paikin's The Agenda (gotta love Canadian content). They did a nice 30 min segment on the future of television in Canada last night. It is amazing that TVO the public Canadian station who hosts The Agenda, can't put together a better panel to talk about this stuff. Either way, they talk to a lot of the real economies involved. Oh and, you'll have to scroll half way through the below video to see the future of TV talk - and it's 30 mins long.

video removed please click link - MS

Other relevant stories I've posted about Joost

Over And Out

Slingbox + High Speed Wireless = Next Gen Video News Source?

CBS 5 has devised a very creative method to deliver traffic information to it's news viewers. Apparently, in the past setting up traffic cameras came at a huge cost; over $25,000 to rent space to mount the cameras and obtain a low quality feed (or around $8 per min of footage); required FCC licensing, and huge satellite trucks on location (with people) to uplink the video.

With Slingbox PRO, they have been able to connect a small camera to the Slingbox, and connect it to high speed wireless internet to uplink the digital signal. This costs them $300 for the Slingbox + $500 camera + a monthly expense of about $60 to for the video uplink, and they can run it 24 hours per day 7 days per week.

Slingbox allows users to watch and control up to three standard definition and one high definition video devices anywhere you go. Using an Internet connected computer or mobile device, you can watch and control your home TV, DVR, basic cable, digital cable box, or satellite receiver around town or around the globe.

Google blasted by media execs

Looks like the Googlenet is hard at work pissing more people off:

"The Googles of the world, they are the Custer of the modern world. We are the Sioux nation," Time Warner Inc. Chief Executive Richard Parsons said, referring to the Civil War American general George Custer who was defeated by Native Americans in a battle dubbed "Custer's Last Stand" [...] "They will lose this war if they go to war," Parsons added, "The notion that the new kids on the block have taken over is a false notion."

Read entire article.

Over and Out


Yahoo!'s Friday

I sold some Yahoo stocks last Monday. It wasn't by choice. I was sad when I saw what happened on Friday because well, I'd love to have been in on it. Snap.

People are saying if Yahoo! breaks $34, that the stock is going to soar (that is where the resistence is).

I don't mind purchasing it at $31. But I really hope Google does something crazy this week to make it slump below $30.

Regardless of if MSFT purchases them, they are a very solid, time tested and true long term internet stock. They will make tons of money off the media partnerships they are signing. Bring on Brand Universe and Business Directory so Yahoo can get even more local (and license the Microsoft Silverlight streaming video solution to get into the IPTV market).


Internet Video Advertising ROI: The Internet as a Magazine

In 2006 over $61 billion dollars were spent on US Television advertising. In comparison, in 2006 the IAB estimates $16.8 billion aggregate dollars were spent on Internet Advertising. That 16.8 billion is only 5% of all advertising dollars spent per year. That $16.8 billion is an aggregate figure, but even so, is only 27% of what advertisers spent in television advertising in the US in 2006.

Aside from search, a vast amount of Google's advertising revenue comes on the back of some very non traditional ad streams. They have basically created a $10 billion dollar fabric that runs through-out the internet (Ad Words / Ad Sense) letting the little guys make money off their sites. But, much of their ad revenue is not a product of the real world's demand, but rather, is a product of the ad industry they have spawned on the net.

Magazines are the big ROI winner for advertising in general. They beat out broadcast television, which is influenced by the law of diminishing returns. They beat out newspapers which are discarded immediately after reading. But the net may slowly be creeping into their territory when it comes to ROI – especially increasing the ROI of video advertising – and potentially unlocking billions more dollars of ad revenue to the IPTV / Internet video markets.

Why? Magazines target efficiently: With a range of titles that appeal to a wide variety of demographics, lifestyles and interests, advertisers can hone in on targets that fit their needs. Magazines provide reach to the most desirable consumers: Across almost every demographic, the top 25 magazines out deliver the top 25 TV shows. In addition, heavy magazine readers are likely to be among the largest spenders across most product categories. Magazine audiences accumulate faster than you think— and with lasting impact: The average magazine accumulates approximately 60% of its audience within a month’s time. In addition, consumers refer to magazines multiple times, even saving them, giving advertisers the opportunity for added exposure.

Dynamic Logic discovered that when comparing magazines, the Internet and TV, magazine advertising was the most powerful medium in increasing purchase intent. Magazines, in a media mix that included online and TV, contributed 64% of the total increase in purchase intent (7.2% of a total 11.1% shift).

So back to the $61 Billion dollar advertising question. What if we, as internet pioneers, can take this Magazine model and apply it to internet television:

1) Magazines target efficiently / Magazine advertising engages: the internet can target niche markets by tracking your usage patterns, then during an IPTV broadcast, advertisers can serve different video ads depending on the users preference and hit that same narrow niche market – not to mention custom video feeds for every viewer, not to mention being able to skip stuff you're not interested in (just like turning the page of a Magazine).

2) Magazine advertising moves readers to action: the internet can link IPTV ads to digital marketing programs, incorporating TV on demand features such that users could explore the advertisers web site (or digital magazine), even make a purchase, and then resume viewing of their IPTV program. It cannot get any better than the net for promoting ad action.

3) Magazines provide reach to the most desirable consumers: the internet provides reach to a very general audience, with the ability to target advertisements to the specific wants of customers; thereby reaching all consumers including the desirable / influential ones in a targeted manner.

4) Magazine audiences accumulate faster than you think — and with lasting impact: the same can be said about the internet, social communities, internet viral marketing. Remember the bride that cut all her hair off – that could be your commercial – and YouTube could have been your “marketing program”. In a couple years, that same funny video will make it's rounds again - you just wait.

5) Magazines supply credibility: with social functions being built into IPTV sites such as NetFlix.com and Joost, user communities rate content – thereby creating the equivalent type of credibility – and even supplementary / complementary cross promotion VIA the community / network effect.

As Bill Gates noted in his 2007 CES Keynote: "We've talked about this as the decade of digital lifestyle, the decade of digital workstyle. It's not just one application that makes it happen. It's the fact that as you adopt these things, they really go together. […] It only catches up to us in the way it changes the way entertainment gets done. TV where we pick the news segments we want. We find the video that wouldn't have been available in a broadcast system. […] TV is a big activity and one where we see software really surprising people with what it can do. ... An individualized video stream ... ads can be target to you ... something that you won't want to skip over. As you get into a news show, the subjects you care about, you can get more info, and skip over others. You might have a ski resort you want to see every time you want to sit down to watch the nightly news whenever you want. […] It completely blows open the limitations that channels used to create. It becomes something easy for you to navigate and find. Not one TV here, and your Internet TV there. Personalization, choice, all these things that weren't possible. Last year we had very successful trials .. AT&T and Verizon are rolling out commercial deployments. This year these will scale up to really large numbers, and people will see it blows away the previous video platform. […] As that video comes into the home it will be viewable on ... every screen in the house.”

There is a huge amount of TV ad revenue that isn’t being spent on the internet. The proportion of ad budgets targeting this medium dwarfs the entire internet advertising ad budget by nearly four times. It only makes sense that as we start to realize the benefits of video distribution over the internet, that some of these traditional broadcast TV advertising dollars will start to be spent on the internet.

Which means, if Google (making $10 Billion in 2006) had made the right moves in internet video, they would have seen substantial revenue grown VIA positive media partnerships. Rather, they face a media backlash. From the magazine ad market - to the video ad market: Companies do not want to work with them because of YouTube / monopoly fears. In fact, it is because of Google’s success, that Microsoft can do certain things without huge antitrust backlash – I mean, has Microsoft lost share in any of their core business markets? They sure kicked Sony’s ass in console’s in North America. Sure they missed out on the Internet concepts – but late adopters don’t face the same challenges as early adopters - the road is somewhat paved already.

What makes me really scared is the fact that Microsoft is in talks with Yahoo! who has been scooping up huge contracts with traditional broadcasters / networks to use their internet ad platform (as these huge media empires rally against Google / YouTube). If this acquisition moves forward, Microsoft will have an enormous advantage in that they control the corporate media ad platform of choice (Panama), and are able to back any ad program with a distribution platform Windows Server + Microsoft Silverlight. And this will truly spur the innovation they need to make Gate’s vision a reality.

I’m sure Microsoft would try to keep media sources distributed over the public internet such that they can sell more Windows licenses / run more advertising programs on other peoples dollar, and promote net neutrality – all the while making huge percentages off the Panama platform. But I would expect these video sources to be consolidated and delivered VIA their private xBox Live network, to your HDTV, without the need for a personal computer (and possibly ad sponsored), to a world audience.

Additionally you can’t discount Microsoft’s history of partnering with device manufactures over the closed shop model of Apple. This may allow device platforms to integrate directly into a Microsoft Live TV platform (think Silverlight + Panama + Device Integration), in a manner that promotes rapid network /content growth (especially if it starts being delivered through xBox Live & LCD HDTV’s are discounted if you sign a Windows Live TV contract for 3 years).

In other news, the most recent complaint against YouTube came on Monday when NBC joined Viacom in their billion dollar suit against YouTube. This followed Friday’s news, when England's most prestigious soccer league and an independent music publisher filed a class action suit against YouTube.

I guess people were right when they said YouTube was a copyright nightmare - not an advertising opportunity – and it looks like Google is now paying the strategy tax.

Over and Out


Microsoft To Acquire Yahoo!: v v v Video

New York Post is reporting that Microsoft, "stung by the loss of Internet advertising firm DoubleClick ... has intensified its pursuit of a deal with Yahoo!". In fact, on Tuesday, Yahoo Chairman and CEO Terry Semel will address the invitees on the state of the online advertising industry, as well as share the stage with MSN Corporate Vice President and Chief Media Officer Joanne Bradford to discuss "The New Network."

Wall Street places a $50 billion dollar value on Yahoo!. As of the day I write this, Microsoft only has $26 billion dollars in cash sitting on the sideline. Further, they have a Market Cap of $291 billion dollars compared to Yahoo!'s $45 Billion. An acquisition is not unreasonable.

Shoemoney has reported on the Top 10 Reasons why Microsoft would purchase Yahoo:
  1. For the Search Algorithm: honestly, is the live.com search algorithm really inferior to Yahoo!'s? I think it stacks up pretty well against both Yahoo and Google and the only problem is adoption.
  2. Yahoo Search Marketing
  3. Yahoo Publisher Network
  4. Flickr
  5. del.icio.us
  6. The People: Presumably everyone except Executive Management?
  7. Video: Ad Volume ++
  8. Community Properties
  9. Business Directories
  10. Yahoo just cleaned house.

I actually see this as a much bigger thing than just purchasing an Ad Network. It's the type of ad network they are purchasing, and with Microsoft's portfolio of media infrastructure, this could be a eutopic deal for the seemingly evil empire.

I've blogged a ton about online media. About Yahoo! inking deals with Comcast, Viacom, and CBS to manage their digital advertising platforms. As Google is seen as the new evil empire, media companies have rallied against the giant.

Can you imagine what would happen if Microsoft actually did acquire Yahoo!. I keep blogging about the network effect, and how the amalgamation of digital media will win the war, how Joost is creating the new corporate high quality version of YouTube, and how Microsoft Silverlight is Microsoft’s platform entry into the digital media content distribution market.

Can you imagine if Microsoft acquired Yahoo! and their ad platform (ie., Yahoo!’s customer base: CBS, Viacom, Comcast …), and could present these customers with a monetization platform (Yahoo!), and a content distribution platform (Microsoft), that could reach more than just the public internet, but the private xBox Live network (which at any time of day has better ratings than the Super Bowl), and any other private delivery networks that Microsoft and it’s video customers wanted to setup. Furthermore, using .Net integration they can easily extend the application to include customized functionality.

In the ninety’s, Microsoft invested heavily in trying to reach customers with satellite TV. Gates bet a ton and invested heavily with several big American networks. They knew they could revolutionize video advertising by presenting custom video ads. This may be their final foray into that market.

While, I doubt Yahoo! would sell out to Microsoft, I have a feeling Microsoft will do everything in their power to try to buy Yahoo!, but that everything at this point is still just a rumor.

Microsoft TV anyone? I like my Joost!


Nausea = Microsoft's Silverlight Home Page = WOW, I think I'm going to be sick

Wow (I think that's the new Microsoft Line),

I decided to take a quck look at Microsoft's demo of it's new Silverlight technology. Man did I almost puke all over my keyboard. I'm sure I'm not the only one. I've read in several places that the blury background effect is something Silverlight does for you automatically (Silverlight transition function). I really hope this isn't the default, cause I imagine everyone would want this feature turned off. I don't know if it's my eyes, or if it's me trying to focus to read the blury text, or what it is, but it makes me dizzy and sick to my stomach. Gives me a whole no meaning to the word WOW (Wow, I think I'm gonna toss my lunch).

Advertising playground that could potentially define the future of advertising on the net (Yahoo - Comcast = The Deal of the Year)

Another insightful article by Marc Cuban on the future of digital advertising. Basically states that the internet advertising marketplace is mature, and is being consolidated into private networks (I'm sure he wants us to think about HDNet's bright future).

This can be seen as a GREAT thing for Yahoo as they have just taken an advertising network with internet reach and pushed it into a private internet marketplace (that is to say Comcast.net is using Yahoo purely for advertising reach so they don't have to go at it alone). This isn't the first time Yahoo signed up a big media network - remember Viacom.

Possibly I'm crazy, but possibly, this is why I keep writing good things about Joost. Comcast.net is basically the same thing. But with Joost's web 2.0 sharing features and partnership with many other big networks I'd still put my money on it taking the cake (ust watch Google try to buy them).

Read the article: Yahoo - Comcast = The Deal of the Year

Over and Out

Microsoft Silverlight

Sorry readers. This is a quick response to a friend at Microsoft's email asking me what I thought of the Microsoft Silverlight platform. I'll write a better opinion when time permits after doing more research:

Silverlight looks pretty cool, is it really Microsoft recognizing that Adobe is a competitor and going after them? Or is this their platform entry into the video content distribution market? Its about time regardless! Gotta love the two step behind strategy (NOTE is it two step behind or did MS really think IT was still paving the internet freeway)!

I didn't see anywhere if the server platform had to run on Windows but that could be a problem if they had to convince big companies to use it (they will have to pay off Google/YouTube bigtime to switch the infrastructure to deliver the content - or more likely I guess just compete). Also, it seems like you'd need a ton of licensing to start a business with it. So I don't know who their target development market really is (we need more proof that this isn't just another Microsoftie).

I think it will be tough for it to take off via grassroots as the Adobe product is dug in / open and the market is pretty mature (is it really the next generation technology or will the next trend come first?). It really depends if Microsoft wants to go xBox on Adobe / Google and suck up losses for half a decade for long term gain. People think that Google is in this position but MS has way more power ($$).

Is it really all about pushing the Microsoft TCP Chimney technology (so we can go Microsoft over Intel 10gb internet and make use of the MS server farms)? Is Microsoft going to push this technology to all vista users so they will automatically have the client plugin? Will they use the ad platform to push to other platforms?

I can see google / adobe teaming up against this technology big time cause they like open source. Further, there are not many big .net sites on the net so its kind of tough to think this technology would scale too well. Typical MS issue stuff.

The big catch for me is when a company announces technology with a set of big media partners, its almost like they built it for themselves, and API'd the software for developers to use for FUN - but if you can prove it works with them then you can get credibility so developers may use it.

Is this just a name change and a couple business deals?

I just got a subscription to Joost and its pretty cool. Gives me 20 good quality digital stations with video on demand. I have a feeling there will be a future market for users to share hd video but think that high quality syndicate video internet lies in owning the network of programming - like YouTube is now, Joost is the evolution of the corporate side of YouTube and it is free.

I guess Microsoft could just make bigger offers to networks / sign bigger deals to get content and force other players out of the high quality part (but mobile may promote the low quality video internet if it gets more trendy - especially with respect to video capture over video preview and that my promote YouTube).

Its pretty cool stuff, but I don't think its a really new technology! Having said this, the one scary thing you can never discount is what Microsoft can do on the backend with some of it's video technology (and xBox stuff). Is it possible that this announcement will be followed by another PhotoSynth announcement? If Microsoft finds a way to make PhotoSynth stream real 3D models of the world this may actually become a development platform we can build avators into (careful Second Life and Google Earth). Also, how does this plug-in relate to Microsoft's mapping platform, will they move maps.live.com to Silverlight's open cross browser platform? Is this the final component we need for xBox to become a real streaming entertainment platform for home users?

I wonder. I wonder a lot about this one.

Over and Out