Google buys Ottawa’s Adscape for US$23 million: report

Friday, February 16, 2007
Google buys Ottawa’s AdScape for US$23 million
Download Squad
A report from Red Herring announced the sale, which could mean more ads on on video games, Chris Gilmer says. “In-game advertising insiders say that it will most likely will not do much for the search giant but, I highly doubt that,” he writes. “With this being a potential new advertising category, and with Microsoft already in the mix, there is serious potential for Google to open new doors and show smaller businesses the opportunities they could bring. With all current generation gaming machines having some form of internet connectivity, locally focused in-game advertising could find a whole a new level.”

The To-do list shouldn’t fill you with dread
Pimp Your Work

After attending a “Getting Things Done” seminar, Scot Herrick calls for more reflection on the job. “If we accept that we’re not attracted to our work, it means there is resistance. If you don’t want to look at your “to-do” list, there is resistance in your system somewhere,” he writes. “If we, in a disciplined manner, spend time reflecting on what we do and the resistance to what we are trying to do, we can Pimp our Work. Or our life. Identify what causes our resistance and then attack the resistance. Make it your goal to be attracted to everything that you do. Reflecting on resistance will give you a great framework for improving your work.”

There’s something deep behind the 40-gig drive in Apple TV
I, Cringely

The PBS host takes a closer look at the Mac maker’s latest hardware. “At US$299 the Apple TV is a pretty expensive video extender, but if you think of it instead as a computer, it is darned cheap. It might, in fact, be the prototype for a whole family of Mac Sub-Minis,” he writes. “We know it has an Intel processor, though nobody says WHICH Intel processor. We know it runs an operating system and has a GUI. It wouldn’t surprise me at all if the Apple TV hardware is based on the iPhone, with the exception that the mobile phone transceiver is replaced with Apple’s WiFi bits.”

Thursday, February 15, 2007
Drive-by pharming has widespread implications
Security Response Weblog
In order to educate user, Symantec’s Zulfikar Ramzan tries a high-level analogy. “Imagine that whenever you wanted to go to your bank, you picked up your phone directory, looked up the bank’s address, and then went there. Our attack shows a simple way that attackers can replace the phone books in your house with one that they created. Now, when you pick up that rogue phone book to get your bank’s address, it’ll actually give you the wrong address,” he writes. “At this wrong address, the attackers will have set up a fake bank that looks just like your bank. When you do business with this fake bank, you’ll give up all your sensitive bank account information. However, you’ll never realize that you were at a fake bank since you trusted the address that you got from what you thought was your legitimate telephone book.

Don’t get too excited about SAP succession planning

After speculation about his retirement, SAP said Henning Kagermann’s CEO contract has been extended until 2009. Thomas Ottor wonders what all the fuss was really about. “Folks seem to forget that SAP has managed several CEO changes in the past. First from Dietmar Hopp to Hasso Plattner, and then to Henning Kagermann, and for significant periods SAP successfully ran with a joint CEOs,” he says. “SAP succession is quite boring really. Now Oracle’s succession, that could be a movie, or a modern intepretation of a Shakespearean play.”

Something you would never have ‘Quought’ of
Life beyond code

A new series tries to ask questions that promote thoughts. Rajesh Setty provides some background on the idea. “I have always believed that it is not always the answers but sometimes asking one good question is what is required to make a difference in a person’s life or business or both. So as we approach the new year, I thought posting a series of questions that people should consider asking themselves in 2007 to get more out of their life or business or both. Since there is only so much that I can do alone, I reached out to several influencers and thought leaders to get those questions.”

Wednesday, February 14, 2007
Be proud if the U.S. calls you a pirate
Michael Geist
After the International Intellectual Property Alliance proposes placing Canada on a watch list, the University of Ottawa law professor offers a little context. “The reality is that the majority of the world’s biggest economies face similar criticism,” he writes. “The U.S. approach is quite clearly one of “do what I say, not what I do” (fair use is good for the U.S., but no one else), advising country after country that it does not meet international TPM standards (perhaps it is the U.S. that is not meeting emerging international standards), and criticizing national attempts to improve education or culture through exceptions or funding programs. Moreover, it is very clear that the U.S. lobby groups are never satisfied as even those countries that have ratified the WIPO treaties or entered into detailed free trade agreements with the U.S. that include IP provisions still find themselves criticized for not doing enough.”

3GSM gets in touch with ‘ubiquitous Web’
Segala Blog

As the annual conference continues in Barcelona, Paul Walsh posts a transcript of a keynote speech by W3C’s Tim Berners-Lee about how mobility is changing the Internet. “Have you noticed the price of LEDs is coming down, and more and more surfaces are covered with them? Not just at rock concerts and Times Square, but coming soon to all kinds of surfaces near you,” the transcript says. “Your phone could use these displays, and the abstract task you are doing can really rise above individual devices. Imagine that my phone or my wristwatch has details of a flight I am booking, and I walk into a room where it negotiates to project a map on the wall. And so on. Imagine yourself. Innovate on the mobile Web platform.”

Software doesn’t have to have bugs
Broadband Mechanic

Commenting on the success of Barak Obama’s social networking site, Marc Canter offers some tips for other developers. “No. 1. Get a really extensive private beta testing going – with hundreds of thousands of people participating – like IBM did with Lotus Connect. And don’t let anyone know about it. Keep it behind a Firewall. 2. Get a really loyal set of users providing you great feedback and bug reports – again all in private. 3. Use as much pre-existing code as possible. Which is apprently what Blue Light did for In fact I bet they did all three,” he writes. “4. Now do at least three or four turns of the crank, each time iteraing refining and trying out new appreoaches. Only until the code is up and running and being used – can you POSSIBLY refine it – so any code that ships refines means it’s been beaten on extensively.”

Tuesday, February 13, 2007
The latest BlackBerry is a Pearl for pros
RIM tries to update its business device by adding some consumer-friendly features, according to Alan Henry. “All the features you’d expect from a Blackberry are in the 8800: Web browsing, mail and calendaring features, e-mail and text messaging, and advanced phone features. Additionally, the 8800 has voice-activated dialing and Bluetooth, along with support for navigation using Blackberry Maps and GPS, expandable memory via Micro SD, and multimedia capabilities,” he writes. “Oddly absent from the 8800, however, are a camera (a feature the Blackberry Pearl has), along with stereo Bluetooth and support for faster Web browsing via high-speed 3G cellular networks.”

What’s a wiki worth?

The rise of user-generated content invariably raises the question of whether contributors should be compsenated, Denis Hancock notes. “Should the wiki owner, in turn, share some of the ad revenue with top contributors? They’re creating a lot of the value, so why not pay them? This has started happening in a few places, particularly around user generated video content, and could expand out in time. Of course, how to distribute such rewards could be tough to figure out,” he writes. “It’s a really interesting time right now to watch how wikis, open collaboration, and business models will integrate with each other in a variety of ways. But whatever the end results might be, the first movers are probably the best bet to figure it all out.”

HR execs could benefit from enterprise mashups
The Human Capitalist

Though they’ve been talked about by IT departments for a while, Jason Corsello sees some possibilties in human capital management (HCM). “For HCM, that mashup future could combine relevant, public data sources such as Jobster, LinkedIn (although they do not currently publish their APIs), Payscale, Skype, and even Google Maps with SaaS applications such as SuccessFactors, Taleo, CornerStone OnDemand, and and delivering the mashups and micro-applications tailored to the users ‘webtop’ or homepage of choice such as Google,” he writes. “Needless to say, I think mashups have a huge potential for enterprises and application vendors alike.”

Monday, February 12, 2007
Move over Vista — Microsoft already working on Vienna
Life Rocks!
A posting from Nirmal TV includes some early details about the successor to Redmond’s most recent OS release, which was formerly code-named Blackcomb. “Not much is known about Blackcomb officially and Microsoft has not given any details about Vienna.While Windows Vista is intended to be a technologies-based release, with some UI changes (in the form of the Aero set of technologies and guidelines), Vienna is targeted directly at revolutionizing the way we interact with our home and office PCs,” he writes. “All features are speculation and rumour at this point. However, with Vista arriving so late (5 years after Windows XP) – will Microsoft be able to deliver Vienna in 2.5 years (2009) is what time will tell.”

Canada Newswire gets a dose of Web 2.0

The firm has added buttons that will link its news releases to to and other services, reports Michael O’Connor-Clarke. This was after running into trouble for automatically adding content to Digg that went over the wire. “As you might imagine, they got their wrists slapped for spamming, and have now switched to just offering the buttons to viewers of online releases. At least – I thought that’s what they were doing. Checking the site just now, the links seem to have disappeared again,” he writes(UPDATE: O’Connor-Clarke has since corrected this post to point out that it was CCN Matthews – a CNW competitor – that had their wrists slapped by Digg and subsequently dropped the links).. “Either way, it’s interesting to see the wire services experimenting in this area. Hard to know how much real value there is in adding such functions, but at least it shows that they’re registering the seismic changes sweeping through their world, and trying to figure out how to respond.”

3GSM revisits a lot of the same old issues
Mobile Open Source

As the annual event gets underway in Barcelona, Fabrizio Capobianco offers an insider’s glimpse. “Today everyone is talking – again – about mobile bandwidth. HSDPA is everywhere. The carriers have to defend themselves from the message Intel is proposing (this year for real, I guess): ‘WiMAX is here,'” he writes. “In reality, we all know that nobody really needs that much bandwidth. A phone does not really need video . . . Messaging is going to be light in size because people cannot even type a long message without a keyboard. Who cares about bandwidth? 3G is more than enough.

Clippy wasn’t an annoyance, he was a rebel
Militant Geek Custom Shirts

The auotmated assistant for Office goes gently into that good night, but not without a tribute from an anonymous fan. “In an age of usability design that stressed minimizing user trepidation by maximizing user control Clippy broke all the rules. He would pop up unexpectantly, break work flows, nag with unnecessary questions, confuse with undesired options, and produce the kind of productivity terrorism now reserved for YouTube. He was a scamp!” the post says. “With the new Office 2007 ribbon interface, however, there was little room for Clippy’s antics.”

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