Saturday, May 19, 2007 - Searchable Patent Database

Looking for a patent? is a fully searchable US patent text database, with images and PDF documents as well. Whether the patent is active, expired, abandoned or pending, you can find it on this site. Of course there is a fee for this...$10 for a basic monthly membership or you can buy credits for a certain number of downloads. You can also bulk download patents on zip files, or email, post, or blog patents. They have a particularly informative blog on all the latest and greatest with patent disputes and issues, which would undoubtedly be of great interest to those dependent on patents for their business ventures. In their own words: is a patent search and document downloading site built with smart user focused features and tools for the average user and the most experienced patent searchers. Users can quickly scan front pages, build a list of patents to save and download and then choose free single patent downloads or bulk downloads for a fee. has a fully searchable data base of US issued patents with timely data updates. Why it might be a killer: This site is meeting a key niche of finding patents for entrepreneurs and those in other business ventures. The site is comprehensive, thorough and constantly in motion to make sure they are up-to-date and meeting their member's needs. Some questions: Can they make a profit charging only $10 a month membership? How many employees do they have to manage this ever-changing site? Are they open to redesigning the layout of the site, as it has a bland 2-color scheme and doesn't appear as professional looking as it should for a serious business. » original news


10X Revenue (continued)

I wrote a post about the recent ad network/ad infrastructure deals called 10x revenues several weeks ago.

Since then we've seen AQNT trade to MSFT (this morning) for $6bn which is 10x revenues.

But TFSM only got 3x revenues from WPP.

It's interesting that market leaders like DLCK, Right Media, and AQNT get 10x revenues but second fiddles like TFSM get 3x. That shows the power of market leadership for sure.


Friday, May 18, 2007 Rank and Visitors - stock photo peers

PictureSandbox is the BLUE line


Microsoft Pays $6 billion for aQuantive: Massive Ad Network Consolidation Is Occuring

Breaking: Microsoft is acquiring advertising network aQuantive, the parent company to Avenue A | Razorfish, Atlas and DRIVEpm, for roughly $6 billion in an all-cash transaction, the company said this morning.

aQuantive is a public company (AQNT) and had a market cap of just $2.8 billion as of yesterday. The acquisition price of $6 billion is a roughly 2x premium on yesterday’s closing price, which is a reflection of the fact that this were competing bidders (see notes below). The acquisition comes after recent big acquisitions by Google and Yahoo in this space. Google bought Doubleclick for $3.1 billion in April. Later that same month, Yahoo acquired competitor RightMedia for $680 million. Just yesterday, WPP Group acquired yet another company in this space, 24/7 Real Media, for $649 million.

2006 revenues for aQuantive were $442 million. Net income as about $54 million.

aQuantive’s operating companies include both tools and ad agencies. The company is located in Seattle.


Thursday, May 17, 2007 - Got 3-D? Madlix Does

3D artwork is cool and this new product from Agency9, a leading provider of 3D applications and games, allows anyone to include 3D-content in their web page, blog, Google page, a communication presentation, or wherever. While a bit slow to download, the site offers plenty of 3D examples and it was fun to explore the different options. The downloads are free and easy to integrate into your own applications. Agency9 believes that 3D content is just beginning to grow in popularity and use. Currently, most 3D content is used for defense system applications (i guess to show off all 3 sides of the bomb or tank to see to Congress). Madlix allows anyone to submit 3D artwork to them for review and possible publication as well. In their own words: MADLIX lets you insert true 3D-content into your web page, blog, Google page, community presentation and more. Choose your favourite 3D scene to insert into your space from the 3D gallery at , or create your own 3D scene. MADLIX is accompanied by the MADLIX exporter tool enabling 3D artists to directly export their 3D artwork from Autodesk Maya to the MADLIX gallery. The exporter features pre-view functionality as well as a standalone viewer, supporting the MADLIX file format and the open standard file format COLLADA. MADLIX runs smoothly inside all Java-enabled web browsers such as Firefox, Internet Explorer, Safari, Opera and more. MADLIX also supports a large number of Operating Systems including Microsoft Windows XP, 2000 and Vista, Apple OSX, Linux, Solaris and UNIX systems. Why it might be a killer: As websites get more and more sophisticated, 3D artwork will become more standard for displays and demonstrations. By making artwork free and easily integrated at this stage, they are helping to grow the market and interest in these products. Some questions: How are they going to market this page to the average blogger or website designer? Will the artwork become quicker to download? How are they planning on making a profit?


Objects of Desire, Week of 5/6/07

Decor and Gadgetry Hermès Travel Domino Set Handmade Painted Driftwood Mirror Christopher Paul Mats For Your Summer Decor Trump Home Furniture Collection The Erich Ginder Ghost Tree More Information on the Lomme Bed Pair of 1950s French Bergere Arm Chairs Add a Moroccan Glow with the Chandelier Mamounia The Loet Vanderveen Imperial Rhino Crushed Glass Vase Beolab 9 Speakers from Bang & Olufsen Pininfarina Hard Drives 47 Vases in One Accuro-Korle Ecstasy Stainless Steel Radiator Handbags Cole Haan Vivian Hobo, Handbag of the Day Lauren Merkin Eve Plaid Clutch, Handbag of the Day Isabelle Fiore Peacock Clutch, Handbag of the Day Antrobus Convertible Bag, Handbag of the Day Vive Le Rock, Allison Burns, Handbag of the Day Louis Vuitton Monogram Dentelle Batignolles Horizontal, Handbag of the Day Real Estate The Austonian Chickering Lane, Estate of the Day Golf Drive, Estate of the Day Seven Isles, Estate of the Day North Haven, Estate of the Day What $10 Million Buys You in Dubai Rosemary Beach, Estate of the Day Belle Epoque, Estate of the Day Santa Fe, Estate of the Day Wine and Spirits Xellent Vodka Danny DeVito's Premium Limoncello Vodka Goes Acai360 Vodka, Drink the Vodka Save The World Spirit of Toronto Whisky Gala Crown Royal XR Whisky For The Queen Pahlmeyer Goes Pinot Kendall-Jackson Highland Estates Wine Wheels Tesla To Electrify Chicago Porsche 911 Turbo Spied Topless 2008 Porsche Cayenne Hits The Press Fleet Shaq Supersizes His Lambo McQueen's Ferrari On The Block The Skinny On Maybach Luxury In Excess? Colnago for Ferrari Bicycles Journeys De-Age Your Face At The New Guerlain Spa Set To Open This Fall Luxe City Guides Offer Only the Best Scooops, a New Spa Just For Kids The Camelback Inn Plans A Massive Renovation Sleep Under the Stars in the "Honey Room" at L'Albereta Amuleto, Paradise Down Mexico Way RiverStone Lodge, Luxury Comes To Pigeon Forge The Stoli Hotel Is Not For Overnight Stays Watches and Jewelry FDR's Watch To Sell At Auction Brilliant Lady 21, How Many Facets Can Fit On One Diamond? Lauren Bacall Will Have Her Own Jewelry Line Wings Aruba has New Airport Terminal for Private Jets BMW Enters The Jet Design Business With The 787 VIP Business Jet Water Perini Navi Launches Tamsen The Plans For Pretty Woman


A New Visa Card For Spending Green

Your Centurion card comes with a lot of perks but saving the planet isn't one of them. The first card that purports to do that is the ReDirect Guide Visa , a credit card that promises to help fight climate change with every purchase and offers customers discounts from green businesses. A percentage of each purchase goes to carbon offset programs to fund renewable energy and sustainable development programs through Sustainable Travel International. The card is offered through ShoreBank Pacific which is the first FDIC-insured commercial bank in the U.S. committed to sustainable community development.

Read More... - Proof of Authorship?

Have you ever felt that someone is stealing your ideas, or plagiarizing your work? CopyClaim can help put a stop to that. CopyClaim is an internet tool that allows you to take a time stamp of your creative work, such as audio and video files, or pictures, enabling you to prove possession of the digital content at a certain time and certain date. With the time stamp you can then register your work and have the ability to prove the time of creation. There is no need to upload your files to the site, only hash values are registered, like MD5 and SHA. It is a safe and convenient way to protect your work. In their own words: "A free timestamp service without the need of additional software. You even don't need to create a user account." Why it might be a killer: Musicians, artists, and writers are increasingly posting songs, stories, pictures, and many other forms of creative work on the internet. No one wants their work to be stolen, or credited by someone else. CopyClaim can simplify the process of having your work copyrighted, and it soon could become a necessity for all creative works to be protected with a copyright. Some questions: Will people trust the site with their information that they want kept secret or protected? » original news


Researchers utilize electricity to move magnetically-stored data

While Fujitsu works overtime in order to boost hard drive capacity by 500-percent in just two years, researchers at the University of Hamburg in Germany are devising a method to move magnetically-stored data around a HDD "a hundred times faster than currently possible." Guido Meier and colleagues are purportedly using "nanosecond pulses of electric current to push magnetic regions along a wire at 110-meters per second," which easily trumps today's method of using comparatively slow spinning discs to access data. Additionally, their vision of the next-generation hard drive will sport fewer mechanical parts in order to lessen the "wear and tear" that existing units face. Notably, the idea behind the creation was actually conjured up by an IBM employee in 2004, but if the Germans crafting the current prototype have anything to say about it, said idea could turn into reality sooner than later. read more


LG Philips announces A4 color e-paper

While this doesn't mark the first time that we've caught wind of colorized electronic paper, South Korea's LG Philips has announced that an A4-sized rendition of the vivid bendable display has successfully been developed in its labs. The panel reportedly measures just 35.9-centimeters diagonally, is 0.3-millimeter thick, and can display up to 4,096 colors while maintaining the energy efficient qualities that inevitably come with using energy only when the image changes. Unsurprisingly, the company plans on marketing the device as one of convenience and doesn't hesitate to tout its greenness in the process, but unfortunately, it failed to mention when this would find its way out into the general public. [Via Physorg]


Dubai Burj al-Taqa skyscraper to generate all its own energy

Posted May 14th 2007 8:16AM by Conrad Quilty-Harper

A skyscraper in Dubai is being designed so that it generates all of its energy through renewable means such as wind turbines and solar panels. On top of the tower will be a 200 foot turbine that harnesses the power of the wind, and an array of solar panels on the roof and a series of islands that stretches over 161,459 square feet. The tower will also feature a massive solar shield to protect it from the sun, and vacuum glazed glass that will reduce the amount of heat absorbed from the extreme temperatures (up to 50 degrees C / 122 degrees F), presumably meaning less reliance on traditional air conditioning. Talking of air conditioning, the main system for cooling the air inside the tower uses a convection system which pulls in cold air at the ground level, and sucks it up out of the top of the tower. The air conditioning will use seawater, and underground cooling units lower the temperature inside to 18 degrees C / 64.4 degrees F. This building may be a technological beacon for environmentally friendly skyscrapers, but as a commenter on metaefficient points out, new building designs don't do much to solve the inefficiency of older buildings in cities. Although that doesn't mean we can't imagine what it'd be like to work and live in a sea of glass and metal without feeling slightly bad about it. [Via Metaefficient]


'Layered-layered' materials promise longevous Li-ions

Posted May 14th 2007 9:54AM by Darren Murph

It's been a tick since we've heard details on an emerging battery technology that promises to trounce even the best products currently available, but researchers at the Department of Energy's Argonne National Laboratory have reportedly developed yet another approach to boosting Li-ion capacity and stability. The technology is "based on a new material for the positive electrode made of a unique nano-crystalline, layered-composite structure," which allows an active components to provide for charge storage while residing in an inactive components which assists in keeping the risk of explosion low. Current claims are putting the capacity right around "double that of conventional Li-ion cells," and it could be used in a variety of wares from "mobiles, laptops, pacemakers and defibrillators, or even hybrid / electric vehicles." Unfortunately, there was no timetable as to when scientists expected said technology to actually be available commercially, so until then, we'll consider this yet another promise on pause.


3G option coming to MacBook Pros?

Posted May 14th 2007 10:34AM by Thomas Ricker

Not that any of this should be a surprise, but AppleInsider says that Apple may offer a "3G wireless" option on future notebooks. Citing an "unproven but seemingly credible source," the venerable rumor mongering site says that Apple has asked for a PCI Express mini-card adapter to integrate a WWAN module inside the display lid of some future Apple laptop. While the source would not state which 3G technology would be used or which laptop(s) would benefit, HSDPA in a MacBook Pro is certainly the most likely combination what with Apple's new found love-in with AT&T. Best part? Bluetooth back to your WWAN-enabled MacBook and you've got the world's first 3G iPhone.


Samsung poised to introduce white LED-backlit displays

Posted May 14th 2007 4:04PM by Erik Hanson

Samsung LED LCD televisionSamsung believes that by 2010, 30% of all LCD televisions will include LED backlights instead of the conventional flourescent used in most sets now. What's different from the LED units we've seen before is that Samsung wants to use white LEDs, with single diodes custom-coated to produce the same backlight previously requiring combinations of red, green, and blue bulbs. Samsung recently invested in Intematix, which produces custom phosphor coatings for LED bulbs to create uniform color -- required in a television to faithfully reproduce colors. Until recently costs have been higher for LED backlight units, keeping them relegated to higher-end models. Samsung claims the single bulb process reduces costs by 40%, but time will tell whether white-only LEDs are truly better or cheaper than tri-color LEDs, or if they are just the next "Reveal lightbulb" marketing gimmick.


Fujitsu's 250GB slimster for ultra-portable laptops

Posted May 15th 2007 5:28AM by Thomas Ricker

Slide on over Samsung, you'll need to make room on your "world's biggest" pedestal for Fujitsu's new 250GB, 2.5-inch drive for laptops. The MHY2BH matches Samsung's line-up nearly spec-for-spec: 12-ms average seek, 8MB cache, SATA interface, 5,400rpm, 24dB operational wheeze, and a slightly better 1.9W power draw. Still, neither can match the 300GB capacity of Fujitsu's other 2.5-incher. But Fujitsu's latest, just like Sammy's, measures in at a mere 9.5-mm thick -- a full 3-mm less than the 300GB beast -- making these the highest capacity drives available in the ultra-portable slimsters we all crave.


New DNA Art from the UK

If you're anything like us, you probably appreciate the convergence of art and science slightly more than the average Joe; there's just something extra appealing about sleek, aesthetically attractive representations of the hyper-complex. We found some of this cool 'DNA Art' a while back from a company called DNA11, but it seems they're finally being challenged from the Brits at DNA ART UK Limited. They'll run your DNA as a graphical interpretation (the method that seems to have been popular in the past), but they'll also etch out every letter of your DNA code into a cube of crystal. A little more unique than that Van Gogh print you've had on your wall since college, eh? Just be careful if you're a wine mogul using your DNA to protect your cellar.


Belkin Network USB Hub gets official

Posted May 15th 2007 9:11AM by Darren Murph

Right on cue, Belkin has coughed up the official details surrounding the Network USB Hub that we saw last month. As expected, this five-port USB hub will "work with your existing WiFi router to give you wireless access to printers, media readers, and external hard drives by simulating a direct USB connection that makes your computer think that the devices on the network are directly attached to the computer." Moreover, we now know that "special caching techniques" will enable high-speed USB devices to be supported along with isochronous transfers at full speed. The F5L009 is still on track for a June release here in the US, with launches in Asia, Europe, and, Australia to "follow soon," and while Windows users won't have any qualms trying to best the purported "three minute setup time" that this thing promises, OS X users will be pouting 'til September waiting for drivers. Click on through for one last shot.

Continue reading Belkin Network USB Hub gets official


The Motorola RAZR 2

Motorola has today officially unveiled the successor to one of the most iconic mobiles ever made, the RAZR 2. Available in 3.6Mbps HSDPA, EV-DO, and GSM / EDGE variants as the V9, V9m, and V8 respectively, the GSM and CDMA versions of the device comes in 2 millimeters slimmer than its predecessor and -- on some versions, anyway -- will be the second to use Motorola's new Linux-based platform (the first being the Z6). It includes something Moto is calling "Crystal Talk" technology that automatically adjusts volume and tone based on ambient noise. Other features include external music controls, haptics (read: vibration) for tactile feedback when external touchscreen keys are pressed, a full HTML browser, 2 megapixel cam, the full suite of Bluetooth profiles, Windows Media Player sync, a 2-inch QVGA external display, 2.2-inch QVGA internal display, and twice the screen resolution of the original RAZR. GSM versions start shipping in early July, with CDMA following up later in the summer.


Small LCDs with integrated backlight sensor use 30% less juice

Posted May 16th 2007 6:47AM by Nilay Patel

We seem to have been draining our phone batteries even faster than usual this week, so we find TPO's power-saving display sensor tech to be pretty encouraging news for the future. The Taiwanese display manufacturer has figured out how to integrate ambient light sensors directly into a standard LCD screen, resulting in more accurate light readings than the usual external sensor setup. The system can also compensate for temperature with the addition of a black level sensor, which means the screen can detect light levels from 3 to 10,000 lux and adjust the backlight accordingly. The sensor tech is designed for small screens in mobile devices, and TPO estimates that the setup reduces overall power consumption around 30% under normal use, which would maybe let us get through a day without resorting to buying that enormous external battery pack we've been dreading. No word on when we'll see these screens hit the consumer level, but TPO says mass production won't start until 2008, so better keep that charger handy for a while.


D-Link's Xtreme N Duo MediaBridge enables HD streaming

It's not too tough these days to find a router with HD streaming in its arsenal, but D-Link is aiming for a slightly different set with its dual-band Xtreme N Duo MediaBridge. Essentially, this liaison connects to your existing router in order to add 5GHz 802.11n abilities to your setup, which purportedly "helps avoid interference by allowing the user to use the 5GHz frequency band to provide a stable high-performance wireless link for streaming HD video." Clearly designed with the DIR-655 in mind, this device also allows up to five Ethernet-enabled media devices to become attached on a separate unit for even more high-definition WiFi streaming. Notably, the DAP-1555 itself doesn't seem to double as an Ethernet router, and unfortunately, you'll have to wait until the thing ships in Q3 to find out how much it'll dent your wallet.


Steinway & Sons, Peter Lyngdorf partner for high-end A/V equipment

Posted May 16th 2007 11:19AM by Ben Drawbaugh

Steinway & Sons Model-D Music System In the world of fine audio there aren't many names more prestigious than 154-year old piano maker Steinway & Sons, and now the renowned American manufacturer has partnered with Danish industry-vet and Lyngdorf Audio founder Peter Lyngdorf to release a new line of ultra-high end audio visual systems. Steinway Lyngdorf, as the joint venture is known, claims to be "offering unsurpassed performance, exceptional value and, most importantly, an extraordinary experience for discerning clientele the world over" -- though considering the company's first product has yet to be released, that statement may be a bit bold. The product in question is the so-called Model-D music system which will include a full set of speakers and receiver featuring Lyngdorf's RoomPerfect automatic acoustic calibration system. Sadly for big spenders, less than 100 Model-D's will be available when they hit undisclosed sales channels this fall, so you might want to put down your $150,000 in advance if you hope to grab one.


enano's latest mini PCs tout Core 2 Duo, energy efficiency

Joining Epson and a growing host of others in the miniscule PC arena, enano is throwing its own offerings in the hat while boasting about greenness all the while. The generation e2 lineup sports "book sized" enclosures, a sleek black paint job, and four different models to suit your fancy (and budget). All four units rely on one of Intel's Core 2 Duo processors, but apparently, none are sporting the Santa Rosa love just yet. The machines can be configured with up to 2GB of DDR2 RAM, 160GB of SATA hard drive space, an integrated TV tuner, gigabit Ethernet, 802.11b/g, 7.1 surround sound audio, and feature Intel's GMA950 integrated graphics set, an SD / MS / MMC card reader, a total of four USB 2.0 ports, one 4-pin FireWire connector, DVI or VGA out via adapter, S-Video out, and audio in / out ports to finish things off. The box itself weighs in at just three pounds and measures 8.8- x 6.8- x 1.65-inches around, and while the company claims that you'll save a bundle on energy costs with this power sipper, the up front charges ranging from around $1,200 to near $2,000 probably makes up for it.


Samsung develops 8GB microSD card

Posted May 16th 2007 11:48PM by Chris Ziegler

Wow, it seems like we were just marveling over the introduction of the world's first 8GB SD card a few moons back. Ah, that's right, we were. Alas, Samsung took it to heart that SD doesn't cut it for your average cellphone (they run a bumpin' mobile business, after all), announcing that it has managed to pack a full eight gigabytes into the microSD form factor for mid-2008 production. That's particularly timely considering that 4GB examples haven't even gotten into widespread circulation yet -- "8GB" just has a nicer ring to it -- not to mention that the new card handily surpasses SDHC guidelines with 16MB/s reads and 6MB/s writes. For the record, a microSD card rocks a little over 20 percent of the surface area of its SD counterpart, so does this mean we can expect 40GB SD cards, like, now? Not quite.


Samsung and LG.Philips announce AMOLED displays

A busy day on the OLED front this morning with both Samsung and LG.Philips announcing new AMOLED goods. Samsung announced the "world's thinnest" 2.2-inch Active-matrix OLED display (pictured above) which touts a 320 x 240 resolution, 262 million colors, 10,000:1 contrast ratio, 100% NTSC color gamut, and life span of about 50,000 hours when set at 200cd/m2 brightness. Better yet, the 0.52-mm thin wafer of a display is ready for mass production. That trumps LG.Philips' new 4-inch AMOLED which rocks the same resolution but only 16k colors. That is, unless the whole flexible display thing gets ya hot. If so, then you'll want to check the pose after the break. Read -- Samsung 2.2-inch Read -- LG.Philips' 4-inch

Continue reading Samsung and LG.Philips announce AMOLED displays


Is Fotolog next in line to be bought?

Fox Interactive, the corporate parent of MySpace may not be commenting on its rumored $250 million purchase of photo sharing & hosting service Photobucket, but the tongues are already wagging with many wondering who’s next. The name of the photo-sharing start-up quietly doing the rounds of likely buyers is one that is going to surprise many.

We have heard from multiple sources that Fotolog, a social photo site is one of the fast growing properties, getting a (notoriously unreliable) Alexa ranking of 24, which puts it above Photobucket.

The New York-based Fotolog started in May 2002 and now has eight million members, and is doing about 3 billion page views a month, with about 13 million unique users. In the last month alone the start-up has added about 700,000 users. Quantcast data puts them at about 26 million uniques.

So why is this company not getting the attention? Mostly because it is big in Spanish-speaking regions and in Southern Europe. The company has signed a deal with AOL, which will likely goose up the revenues for this little start-up.

But one should not confuse Photobucket and Fotolog. Fotolog CEO John Borthwick, a former Time Warner executive, on his blog notes:

Photobucket is a tool that is agnostic of destination – while Fotolog is a destination. Photobucket stores image-based media, then distributes it to your page on social networking sites such as Myspace, Bebo, Piczo, Friendster, etc. Fotolog is a destination where you post one image a day which then becomes the center of a social interaction/chat with your friends. It’s intentionally simple – stripped down and focused on the social media experience.

Borthwick agrees with the arguments we made in our post yesterday, even though he believes MySpace has grander ambitions for Photobucket.

Photobucket is a photo and video tool that could become a web-wide locker for the storage of digital media. Just as eBay’s acquisition of PayPal wasn’t meant to just serve just eBay, my guess is that NewsCorp’s purchase of Photobucket isn’t just meant to serve MySpace.

So who would be interested in this company? My guess is a large media player without a social media play. IAC, Viacom and several private investors could be interested in Fotolog. This is one you need to keep an eye on.


Flying without ID won't work? Try making your own ID.

BB reader Mark Olson says,
The CBS affiliate here in Kansas City (KCTV) just did an investigation into airport security, and proved that it doesn't matter what kind of ID you show when you try to board a plane, as long as the ID looks kind of real. So while people test the system and try to fly without an ID at all, I think the bigger story is that requiring an ID at all is a total sham security measure. The TV station made an ID from scratch and the screeners accepted it with no questions asked. They even have an interactive display on their website showing how they created it and all of the crazy stuff they included on it. Kind of funny and scary at the same time.


Neuros OSD: a set-top box that treats you like an owner

Augustine: this is product-development 2.0

The Neuros OSD isn't just a radically open set-top box -- it's also a radically empowering hunk of technology. Neuros gave me two of their open-source/free-software video recorders for my class to play with all semester. Each week, two of my students took these home and played with them. A few students complained about the clunky user-interface, but others had overwhelming nerdgasms at the power of the tiny, Linux-based box.

The OSD can record from any analog video source, from a TiVo to a satellite box to a DVD player to a games console. It records to any removable media you plug into it, such as a USB thumb-drive or a hard-drive -- so you can record your favorite DVDs, your best video-games, or your TV shows straight to drive. Needless to say, it'll play back from all this media as well.

The OSD is networkable, and can schedule programming in advance like a TiVo. It can play back all the standard download formats, including Xvid and Divx.

Best of all, the OSD is open: anyone can hack its firmware and add features to it (Neuros will even pay hackers for adding features to the box). Unlike traditional PVRs that come lumbered with anti-copying technology to appease the Hollysaurs and anti-hacking technology to appease the investsaurs, the OSD actually treats you, the customer, as the owner of your device, and encourages you to wring every possible erg of value from your purchase. Link


Your old CD ROMs could help kill a bogus patent!

EFF and its friends are on the verge of busting one of the most bogus technology patents ever granted, and they need your help to drive a spike through its heart. The patent in question is Acacia's ridiculous ownership over the idea of shipping CD ROMs and other media with hyperlinks in them.
To help bust this overly broad patent, we are looking for Prior Art that shows the use of this technology before 1994. Specifically, we are seeking the following items:

1. NetNews CD-ROMs, sold by Sterling Software, preferably volumes #1 through #35. These CDs may have been also available through CD Publishing Corporation.


2. Other CD-ROMs that were distributed in 1993 or earlier that contained hypertext content or were installation disks for applications that linked to Internet content.



Orange Japanese watch tells time with intersecting polyhedrons

from Boing Boing by TokyoFlash's latest wildly impractical, handsome Japanese wristwatch is the EleeNo WebTime Elite. Although this isn't nearly as impractical as a watch that vibrates the time in Morse code, it is nevertheless extremely handsome. I'm really becoming a fan of "butterfly clasp" watch-straps that make a continuous loop around your wrist. Plus it comes in orange, which is unquestionably the best color a watch can be. Link

See also: Binary LED watch from TokyoFlash Crazy TokyoFlash watch: the Pimp Watch Radio Active watch from Tokyo Flash Scope watch tells time using line-intersections on Cartesian grid Impractical lovely pixelwatch from Japan


Image-search isn't a copyright violation

Yesterday, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals handed down a mixed blessing in its ruling on the long-running Perfect 10 v Google lawsuit, in which Perfect 10, a photography site, sued Google for including thumbnails of its images in the Google Image Search results. Perfect 10 also sued Google for indexing infringing copies of its images that appeared on other sites.

The Ninth said that Google's Image Search thumbnails are fair use -- that's the good news. The less-great news is that the court also ruled that Google is a "secondary infringer" where it has "actual knowledge" of copycat sites in its index and fails to do anything about it.

Today's decision reversed the lower court's holding [PDF] that Google's thumbnails were not a fair use, following and bolstering an earlier image search engine precedent, Kelly v. Arriba Soft [PDF]. The court rightly took into account the important public benefit that search engines provide -- not simply the impact on the particular parties in this case -- and what would serve copyright's fundamental goal of promoting access to creative works. While Google's transformative use of the image provided a very real public benefit, Perfect 10's potential loss of thumbnail licensing revenue was highly speculative.

The Court also shot down Perfect 10’s claim that Google was displaying the full-sized versions of infringing images from third-party websites by framing them or providing an HTML in-line link tag to end users. The Court correctly discerned the technology at issue, finding that when you frame a page or provide an in-line link, it’s the site that you’re pointing to that could be displaying the picture, not the search engine that coughs up the HTML.


Entropia Universe: A Better Second Life?

notice the exchange of value into and out of the game - Augustine

entropia.png Depending on who you listen to, virtual worlds are the new black. Second Life needs no introduction and yesterday rumors surfaced that Sony was in talks to acquire Club Penguin for $500+ million.

To date there are two leading online spaces. World of Warcraft has been an unrivaled success, bringing Dungeon and Dragons style fantasy role playing to an audience in excess of 8 million. At the opposing end is Second Life with its embrace of capitalism and intellectual property rights.

What happened if you combined both?

Enter Entropia Universe

Set in a Sci-Fi future players assume the roles of colonists who must develop the untamed planet of Calypso. Game play is open across a number of different fields. Players who prefer a World of Warcraft style experience can undertake quests and join in groups to hunt and fight monsters. Mining is an option for those who don't like swinging a sword. Moving towards a more Second Life experience, players are able to own and run shops, manufacture goods, own land and build on that land, as well as being able to trade, buy, sell and create goods and services.

The addition that makes Entropia Universe a direct competitor to Second Life though is money. Like Second Life, the in-world currency in Entropia Universe can be converted to US dollars. Unlike the Linden dollar that continues to decline in value, the Entropia Universe PED can be traded at a fixed exchange rate of 10 PED to $1 USD.

Players are able to buy PED's to use in-world or can transfer PED's made in-world, out.

But there's more to Entropia Universe than just the ability to transfer cash in and out. A MasterCard branded ATM Cash Card is available to players which allow direct withdrawal of funds earned in-world. Banking is also taken seriously, unlike the unregulated wild west of Second Life with it's various in-world ponzi schemes. Entropia Universe recently sold 5 banking licenses for the amazing sum of $404,000 USD.

It all sounds great on paper, but how does it actually play?

Signing up is free, though personal details are not optional. Whilst you could probably enter false information, Entropia Universe does want to know who you are.

If Entropia Universe was to be judged alone on its installation procedures, there would be a lot less than the over 500,000 registered users. It's awful. The Windows only client is over 1GB in size and can only be downloaded from the one server using FTP. If you eventually mange to connect to the server, and it took me a several hours, you then have to wait an awfully long time for the download. Best I could get initially on a 2mb Cable connection was 20kbs download speed with an estimated time to download of 17 hours! In part it could have been a timing issue. I tried to download during the middle of the day European time (where the company is located). TechCrunch writer Nick Gonzalez reported a 4 hour download from the US during the European night.

A full sleep later I finally had it.

Login is simple although settings should be watched. I had regular issues staying connected until I dropped by internet speed settings to a much lower figure than my actual internet speed.

Users/ players must setup an avatar with a bewildering array of options. Entropia Universe claims that they have the best avatars in the business and it's a fair claim. Much nicer looking than Second Life with more customization options than you'll probably ever want to use.

In-world is good. I wouldn't call it excellent but it's definitely a slicker look and feel than Second Life. Moving around is easy enough, and once short-cuts and mouse options are learnt it's a pleasurable interface to use.

I took a tour of Calypso Island and teleported to a number of other locations as well. The non-user created areas look professional, but in some ways, compared to Second Life, it felt a little boring. Second Life would have to be 99% ugly but it's the raw passion of the user generated buildings that give it appeal.

The graphics engine behind Entropia Universe purrs. Even with relatively low settings the experience was seamless, and despite entering areas with large gatherings of people there were zero lag issues, a constant negative in Second Life.

I'd need to spend more time in-world to get a better feeling for all the possibilities Entropia Universe provides. You can't fly around and teleport at will in Entropia Universe like you can in Second Life so things do take a bit longer, and yet flying is not a feature you come to expect in virtual worlds if you're not an existing Second Life user.

Is Entropia Universe a better Second Life?

It depends on what you like. With a retention rate of 16% for Second Life amongst US users, it's clear that many don't enjoy what Second Life has to offer, despite the hype. One criticism I hear regularly about Second Life is that it's aimless; it's not a game so there is nothing really to do other than enjoy virtual sex and play Tringo. Now before I am shouted down by a legion of Second Life groupies, I do see Second Life's appeal as a creative and social space, but not everyone wants to get online and build virtual strip clubs or interrupt interviews with flying penises.

Entropia Universe offers the best of both Second Life and World of Warcraft style virtual worlds. The creativity and capitalism of Second Life can be experienced along with solid game play and decent graphics. If they can fix the issues with downloading the client (hint: bittorrent) and you don't mind downloading a 1gb file it's definitely worth a look. If it builds members so the social aspect becomes stronger, we could well be looking at a better Second Life, and already one that will appeal to a much more broader audience.


Smithsonian images migrated to Flickr for fair-er use

Carl Malamud says,

SmithsonianImages.SI.Edu has 6,288 images of tremendous historical significance, but this federal institution protects their "property" with draconian copyright notices.

Most of this stuff appears to be in the public domain which means you can do whatever you want with it, but the Smithsonian site has considerably chilled our ability to increase or diffuse this knowledge.

To better ascertain the public domain nature of this archive, we scraped their html and piped all 6,288 lo-res images to Flickr (check out the cool tag cloud). For those interested in purchasing images to upload back into the public domain, we've created a public domain prospectus on Lulu. For the historic Muybridge Cyanotypes, we've started purchasing the hi-res images and have posted those for bulk download as well as created a series of derivative works.

There is a 2-page memo explaining the issues and the actions we've undertaken to better increase and diffuse this knowledge onto the net.

Link. Above, a cropped detail from the Edward Muybridge cyanotypes subset.


Flickr = Censorship

Flickr = Censorship [I am CEO of Zooomr] I'm pretty pissed right now. Two days ago I blogged about an incident involving Rebekka Guðleifsdóttira. Rebekka is one of the most popular photographers on Flickr and definitely someone that those of us who have been around for a while would consider "Old Skool" (RIP). Rebekka is a single mom and art student living in Iceland. She's an artist and a talented one at that. She does amazing things with her camera. Recently she discovered that a gallery Only-Dreemin had been ripping her off. They'd sold thousands of dollars worth of her images and when she caught them and tried to make them give her the money that they stole from her they refused. So Rebekka did what anyone with a following on the internet might do and she posted about her frustration and plight on her flickrstream. And her story resonated loudly with the flickr community. Her story made the front page of digg and by days end she had 100,000 views on this particular photograph with hundreds of supportive comments. So what's got me pissed today? What's got me pissed today is that according to Rebekka, Flickr has removed her image from their site. That's right. Not only did they remove and kill her image and her *non-violent* words of protest, but they censored each and every one of us who commented on her photograph, who offered support to Rebekka, who shared in her frustration by wiping every single one of our comments off the face of the internet forever. According to Rebekka, Flickr's explanation? “Flickr is not a venue for to you harass, abuse, impersonate, or intimidate others. If we receive a valid complaint about your conduct, we will send you a warning or terminate your account.” WTF?!? So a flickr photographer gets ripped off. Dares to complain about it. Has an outpouring of support on the internet over it and Yahoo decides censorship is the way to handle this? This is the worst I've seen from Yahoo yet. You know when Yahoo decided to without my permission delete a photograph I'd posted of Michael Crook and along with it a long dialog of community conversation I was pissed. But I'm even more pissed now. Yahoo should not get away with this. This type of censorship is not right. They should apologize to Rebekka and reinstate this photo that they deleted and all it's comments. These comments that Flickr don't belong to them. They belong to all of us. All of us, the community that makes Flickr even possible. Remember the community Yahoo? Remember the community that Flickr used to stand behind. I remember back when I posted a much earlier photo on Flickr when I'd almost been ripped off by PriceRitePhoto. I used this photo to put pressure on PriceRitePhoto which eventually put them and their sleazy business practices out of business. You know what? Back when this happened I actually got a personal email supportive of my plight from someone on Flickr staff. That was then though. This is now. Rebekka, I'm sorry that Yahoo has decided to censor you. Consider this post and the posting I'll make at Flickr a protest in support of you and your right to share your frustrations in your photostream and in your art. This really sucks, and know that even without Flickr, the attention to this matter will not die down. I'm not sure how this company got to Flickr and Yahoo, but this will not make their problem of cheating you go away. Because when people censor it only makes the censored story ring louder in the end. Rebekka, you had my support when you originally posted about your plight and you have it now. And to Yahoo and Flickr? Shame on you. Digg this here. Update: Flickr has formally responded on this matter and a debate regarding this "mistake" is going on over here in this Flickr Help Forum. Feel free to chime in if you'd like.


Bringo: Phone Tree Killer. This Is A Genuinely Useful Service

Augustine: this is what I call useful innovation

Bringo solves one of the most frustrating problems that we encounter daily: phone trees. Call a customer service phone number and end up in automated operator hell.

I've memorized the keys you have to hit for United Airlines to get to an operator as fast as possible. With other companies I just keep saying "operator" while hitting # over and over again. Sometimes it works. With Bringo, none of that matters any more. You don't even need to dial your phone. Just find the company you want to talk to in their directory, type in your phone number, and a couple of minutes later Bringo calls you and connects you to an operator at that company. I tried it with Air Canada and it worked absolutely perfectly.

They need to create a stripped down mobile version of this as quickly as possible.

Thanks for the tip Narendra (Biz Stone also mentioned them recently).


MULTIMEDIA 2.0 - Update

It's a typically generic, copycat segment, where everybody is in peace with doing nothing original. The basic proposition "let's share media" must do it. Since the fall of 2006 I only add sites with distinctive features.This is one of the most crowded categories in EVERYTHING 2.0. Many more media samples in AUDIO 2.0, IMAGES 2.0 and VIDEO 2.0. 3voor12~** - Tag cloud based affiliate network Addictingclips - Post & get matches for classified ads thru cell & email Allpeers - Profile yourself & share media Audiri - Upload, watch & share multimedia Avidbeauty - Upload & share your media (Czech) Bigcontact - Recommend & share your media Bix* - Share photos & sounds Bofunk - Publish your videos & mp3s Broadsnatch - Create & vote for content, and win Bubbleshare - Pick up content for your blog Buzznet - Share multimedia Castpost - Phlog, share, add audio captions Colib - Share videos & photos Crowdrules - Upload your media, ask questions & get unbiased results Cruxy - Upload & share your av clips Douban - Tag, share & sort your media Eefoof - Sell, promote, buy your content Everybit - Catalog, rate, review & share books & music Fireant - Publish & share media Flukiest - Share your media Fluxiom - Upload & share multimedia Genwi - Publish & share videos & photos Glance - Share your screen (7 day free trial) Glide - Capture, manage, access & deliver content Grouper - Upload, share & promote all your media Hackoff*** - Upload & share multimedia Ibloks - Upload, create & share media Insolitus* - Book published as blog & podcast Izimi - Share everything, from your pc Jamglue - Mix, share, play your media Junklog - Upload & share all your files & docs Kaneva - Upload, edit, publish & share remixes Kaywa - Rate, review & share media Latengo* - Upload or publish & share all your digital things (German) Lemonzoo - Digital entertainment marketplace (3D) Lifelogger - Publish & share multimedia on web & cell, using sema code Listal - Upload, rate & share funny media Livedigital - Share audio, video & photos Loomia - List & share all your media Lphanr - Store, share, produce, distribute your content Lulu - Folksonomied media search Magnoto - Multi compatible P2P file sharing Mediamashup - Publish & sell your content Mediamatrix - Phlog & blog MediaMax* - Create, mix & share media Mediatuner - Isolate, segment & annotate media Mirpod - Store, manage & share media Mobango - Manage text & rich media feeds Moblr - Tuner, radio & tv to play RSS feeds or xspf Mochilla - Discover & share mobile media; ; marketplace for syndicated content Mogopop - View or upload & share mobile content Moqvo - Publish & share iPod content Mosaicglobe - Upload & share your media Multiply - Aggregate & share all your online personal data Mycoogee - Store, share & discuss multimedia Mygads - Compile info, access, update & share it thru phone, im, web, etc Mynumo - Access, store & share your cell's contents (client) Mytube - Create, share or sell mobile content Myvideokaraoke - Upload & share photos, video, music Nayio - Sing & share your song on video Onetruemedia - Record your music, add video & share Openmedianetwork - Mix & share videos, photos & music Orb - Multimedia epg Panjea - Stream your media, wherever Phanfare - Upload & share content, and get paid for it Pickle - Upload & share photos & videos Picpix - Share videos & photos Picturepush~ - Upload & share photos & videos Pixilis - Store & share videos & photos Pixpulse - Upload & share or sell media Podcastfm - Upload & share photos and videos on your mobile Podcastpickle - Publish pod & vod casts Poperti - Share podcasts & vidcasts Putfile - Enjoy music (and more) from your Gmail inbox Qnext* - Share all media & chat about them Quizilla - Upload, rate, share & discuss multimedia Radar - Create & share content Redswoosh - Upload & share photos & videos from your cam phone Sevenload*** - Upload & share video, audio & other big files Snapjot - Upload & share photos & videos Songbird - Organize & share photos, videos, text & communications Sonr - Media player & web browser Splashcast - Track media & media users Streamdrive - Create, mix & publish any media anywhere Streamload* - Upload & share multimedia Strmz - Store & share your media Suggestica - Clip & share tv & video Swagroll - Get media suggestions from experts Tagworld - List & share all your media Twango - Share music & photos Ubiplanet - Upload & share your media Ulinkx - Explore, share, discuss & manage your content Umundo - Search, bookmark & share media Upwarded - Upload & share mobile videos and pics Uspot - Upload, rank & share multimedia Veotag - Upload & share media Vidilife - Enrich media files with meta data & share Vidivodo - Upload & share media Virb - Profile yourself & share media Vox - Upload & share multimedia Winksite - Blog & share content Woomp - Create & share mobile content Yiibu - Upload & share art, photos & video Zannel - Publish & share videos & photos on your mobile Zshare - Remix, adapt, expand, share & sell content


MARKETING 2.0 - Update

Some mind candy for innovative marketers in this category: 1millionsentencesxista - Buy a sentence and increase traffic9minutesoffame - Submit your blog & get 9 minutes exposureAdahead - Marketplace for advertisers & affiliatesAdgridnetwork - Ad exchangeAdmob - Buy or sell mobile advertisingAgloco - Subscribe to portal & get paid for itAlexscoupons - Find coupon dealsAmigo - Matches advertisers with email newslettersAttentiontrust - Advertising based on mutual understanding Beetagg - Scan branded sema code with your cell to get access to websiteBlast - Promote your site for freeBoo-box - Add shopping links to your postings & make money on themCafespot - Social guide to cafes, restaurants, etcCampaignmonitor - Email marketing toolCitypixel - Claim your space in 3D citiesCoastr - List & share your beers and beer placesCreamaid - Spread the word thru your blog & get paidDaem* - Take pics with your phone cam, have them recognized & win prizes Dropcash - Create & manage online fundraiserEcityxista - Buy internet real estate to increase trafficEdgeio - Find classified listings, publish your ownFeedvertising - Put advertising in your feedsFruitcast - Podcast advertising networkHeyamigo - Matches advertisers up with newsletters Hittail - Search optimization softwareIgnoreme - Meta brandInvideo - Make money on free, customizable, brandable video playerItlinkz - Network of social networking sitesJaduka - Call-us-now features for all online mediaJigsaw - Subscribe, buy, sell sales contactsJoga - Nike + Google communityKanoodle - Sponsored links servicesKramkoob - Submit your online properties for 1 second fameKramkoob - Submit & share your site, blog, auction, news, vidcast or podcastLinklike - Link exchangeMailchimp - Design & code your newsletter, and have it distributedMarktd - Digg marketing storiesMemetrics* - Optimize your marketing across mediaMillennialmedia - Mobile marketing solutionsMmmzr - Buy space on this page now, or your price doublesMoola - Win millions with sponsored game (stealth)Movoxx - Get localized & personalized alerts & coupons on your cell phoneMsgme - Communicate or advertise thru sms keyword serviceMy-brand - Manage online advertising onlineMylongtail - Optimize search engine findabilityNumarketing~ (formerly: Keepaddit) - Digg on marketingOffermatica - Test & optimize your online marketingPayperpost - Buy a buzz in the bloggospherePipeline - Track your deals & organize your teamPixelotto - Click ads & win $ 1,000,000Ploud - Build subscriber lists for RSS marketingPodbridge - Metrics for usage of podcastsPodtrac - Advertise in podcastsPrimomailer - CMS for email newslettersPSFK - Share trends watchedRbloc - Sell, buy & meet auction market placeReferralmonitor - Manage word-of-mouth marketingRentxista - Rent a pageRmxdirect - Auction your ad inventoryRocketbux* - RocketEngine: deliver targeted offer to credit card holders' cell.Root* - RocketLaunch: sms couponing.Salesgenius - RocketPower: local closed loops for mobile marketing.Shotcode~ - Trading platform for realtime consumer dataShycast - Track your prospect's behaviour onlineSmackshopping - Scan branded sema code with your cell to get access to websiteSpotrunner - Participate in sponsored video contestSpringspotters~* - Jellyfish' web shopping gameshowTagacloud - Recycle, recreate & air tv adsTagdirectory - Watch & share trendsTenhunt - Add your domain to cloud & promote bothText2store - Tagged business directoryTheadcloud* - 10 questions, 10 sites, best & fastest winsThisplaceiknow - Get best offers & coupons on your mobileTitlez - Create & tag classified listingsTurn - Share placesVflyer - Get publishing market data from AmazonWebmarketing20 - Automate your online campaignsWikicompany - Compose classified ads and multi-post themWordofblog - Wiki on marketing 2.0Yawords - Social business directoryYellowikis - Spread the word for good causesYumenetworks - Video ad networkZookoda - Buy a search term, eternallyZoomtags - Social business directoryZypsy - Promote your blog with email marketing