Thursday, May 17, 2007

Spam Hunters Become a Digg Spammers Best Friend

collactive.pngNew service Collactive comes to the world courtesy of the team behind the failed Israeli outfit Blue Security, best known for running the anti-spam service Blue Frog. Wildly popular at first, the denial of service attacks from BlueFrog (be it a DOS from a moral high ground) rubbed spammers the wrong way and in May last year all hell broke lose, taking down SixApart amongst others. They subsequently gave in and shut the service.

What we didn’t know then was that having lost the battle in the war against spam, they’d actually manufacture arms for the opposing side.

Collactive works as a distribution service for what they call an All Points Bulletin (APB). You add, social bookmarking style a page on Digg or any where else to the APB system, then others are notified of the page. At this point the service differs. Users are directed to Collactive itself as opposed directly to the marked page. The page is presented with a Collactive frame to the left of screen that includes notes on the action required, for example “vote for this”. Traffic for your submitted pages comes from other collactive users plus there is support for emailing friends, a browser extension and a blog widget for displaying your APBs.

There are non-controversial uses for the site, any sort of page can be listed. However the real intent in terms of use is clearly promoted through out the site. The top listed APB when I visited the site was a request to vote on a story at Digg and other social networks were also listed amongst APB’s and social networking site logos were used in promotional material.

Alarm:Clock quotes Digg CEO Jay Adelson who puts it in perspective: “For sure, Digg is always being jacked around by people who are manipulating it, but Collactive is taking it to another level”.

Collactive is funded by Sequoia. Yes, that Sequoia.

Maybe there is something more to the service than spamming Digg? Of course there is aside from a name that sounds like medication; it works for spamming Reddit and Netscape as well!


Veotag’s Deep Tagging Gets $750K

from TechCrunch by

veotaglogo.png Veotag just got an angel investment of $750K. As we've covered before, deep tagging is an important feature in lengthier online media. Who hasn't wanted to skip the boring parts of a keynote address? A host of startups are incorporating deep tagging into their services, such as Pluggd, Viddler, Motionbox, and JumpCut, among others.

Veotag allows you to add this functionality to any of your video or audio from within their embeddable player. You can upload content (WMV, FLV, mp3) from your computer or via URL. Anyone can sign up for an account, upload content, publish, and start tagging points in the programming. The Veotag player wraps around the content, displaying time stamped comments along the right hand side that link to interesting segments, as chosen by the publisher. You can see an example of the player on a speech by Guy Kawasaki here.

Veotag has a search engine for the tags, which is also indexed by the major search engines. This index can then be transmitted to an ad serving engine for targeted advertising around the audio or video.

Readers interested in incorporating deep tagging into their own media should also check out's video deep tagging widget with comments.


Engadget Knocks $4 billion off Apple Market Cap on Bogus iPhone email

What a day for Apple investors. The stock started off strong today on a lot of pre-market buying, despite news that Amazon will finally start competing on sales of DRM-free music.

Then, whoops, at 11:49 AM EST Engadget posted saying that the iPhone and Leopard operating system launches would be seriously delayed. They based the story on an internal Apple email that was forwarded to them. The original post:

This one doesn’t bode well for Mac fans and the iPhone-hopeful: we have it on authority that as of today, the iPhone launch is being pushed back from June to… October (!), and Leopard is again seeing a delay, this time being pushed all the way back to January. Of 2008. The latest WWDC Leopard beta will still be handed out, but it looks like Apple-quality takes time, and we’re sure Jobs would remind everyone that it’s not always about “writing a check”, but just how much time are these two products really going to take?

Apple’s stock promptly tanked on massive selling, going from $107.89 to $103.42 in six minutes (11:56 - 12:02). This wiped just over $4 billion off of Apple’s market capitalization. A lot of people lost a lot of money very quickly.

Well, it turns out that the email was a hoax. In an update, Engadget said that the email was in fact sent from Apple’s internal email system, but that it was not accurate. Apple quickly notified Engadget of the error, saying “This communication is fake and did not come from Apple. Apple is on track to ship iPhone in late June and Mac OS X Leopard in October.”

By 12:22 Apple stock had mostly recovered and it ended the day down just $1.40/share, or $1.25 billion in market cap.

Let the lawsuits and criminal investigations commence (although to be clear, I do not believe Engadget will have any liability here. Apple may, if the email did originate from its servers).


Researchers create inexpensive, super-strong "nanoglue"

from Engadget by

Filed under:

Researchers at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute have announced that they've developed a new type of glue that's not only inexpensive, but can supposedly bond "nearly anything" together. To create the so-called "nanoglue," the team created a thin layer of "molecular chains" with a carbon backbone and sandwiched it between a thin film of copper and silica (as less-than-realistically depicted above). They then found that the more they heated the "nanosandwich," the stickier it got, ultimately going all the way up to temperature of 700 degrees Celsius before reaching its peak. Not surprisingly, the researchers see a wide range of uses for the glue, including applications in nano and microelectronic devices, not to mention high-heat environments -- for instance, holding paint to the inside of a jet engine. They also don't seem to think it'll have any trouble catching on, costing just $35 for 100 grams -- which, when you get down to the nano level, works out to be quite a bargain.


Wednesday, May 16, 2007

HP e-Book Reader Design Fakes Turning Pages

hpebook.jpgAlthough there've been lots of eBooks the past year, none of them have had this HP concept that was demoed at the HP Mobility Summit. Instead of pressing a button to turn the page (which you can presumably still do) there are touch strips on the top, bottom, and sides of the ebook that you can slide to virtually turn the page.

We're not entirely sure how the act of swiping makes reading more enjoyable on an ebook, but hey, whatever makes people adopt technology faster. On a similar note, who's reserved the last Harry Potter book? Doesn't he show his wand in this one or something?

HP to present 'ebook reader' featuring intuitive interface [AVING]