December 28, 2006
December 26, 2006
I first got a whiff of the news on NewsCloud which I subscribed via email. Then I hopped over to eonline.com for more details on the man who made rock-soul-funk his very own brand of music.
According to his management company, Brown was hospitalized Sunday with pneumonia in Atlanta. He passed away in the early morning of Christmas Day.
The legendary Brown had a long list of musical accolades including two Grammy awards in his career that seemed to last forever. You can count famous names like Elvis Presley, Chuck Berry and Ray Charles among his peers.
If Bob Dylan is known for his lyrics, Brown was the quintessence of rhythm and dance music. He had more than 100 R&B chart hits to his name.
The soul king had his ups and downs making wrong kind of headlines but he always bounced back. His rambunctious style is well documented - from his boyhood days in Georgia to reform school and eventually a legend.
Papa's Got a Brand New Bag
I Got You (I Feel Good)
Get Up I Feel Like Being A Sex Machine
Say It Loud—I’m Black and I’m Proud
...and many more.
December 22, 2006
That's the message you see when you log in to Blogger beta. So finally the beta tag gets a cross over it. All this happened over the weekend without much fanfare.
For users of Blogger beta, it's just a matter of carrying on blogging as usual in the new Blogger. There's not much change in the user interface.
For those still using the old Blogger, they have been advised to hang on for a while. Not everyone can switch over immediately. They will be notified on the Blogger dashboard when it's time for them to do so. So keep an eye out.
December 19, 2006
As they would say, things are coming out of the woodwork. But they don't have to be the wiggly types. That's the happening now at Digg. It sounds good for Digg-ers.
The user-driven social content website...ok, the technology focused news site where stories are picked by Digg (community) members are just about ready with their new interface design.
According to Digg-er Kevin Rose in his post on the Digg blog, they are digging out "tons of new features" to share with fellow Digg-ers.
Among the dug-up items to come your way are:
- Flexible layout on screen (good news for those with large monitors)
- Quick switching between sections (navigation becomes a breeze)
- Quick view of the top 10 hottest stories on Digg, dated in real time (that's moving stories in the fast lane)
- Added cool features include Digg video previews and Top 10 hottest videos (simply click the play icon)
- Digg your favourite podcast series and individual podcast episodes (yes, you can share all this with your friends)
P.S. Digg.com is among the top 100 sites on the web — in any category — according to Amazon's Alexa metrics.
December 8, 2006
What would it take to become a cult figure? Some people work hard at it to seek publicity. But for 19-year-old Qian Zhijun, it was kind of accidental. Qian has become a sensation in China with his pudgy face appearing everywhere online.
The overweight teenager from Shanghai, who works as a gas station intern, has become famously known as "Xiao Pang" or "Little Fatty." The China Daily newspaper described Qian as "the face that launched 1,000 clicks."
Not that Qian liked it when he first discovered that some Adobe Photoshop smarts had posted his porky features on the Internet in 2003 by superimposing his image onto movie stars and politicians. He was really upset and felt hurt.
Qian's superstar status shot up as his large head started appearing on the shoulders of famous names like Jackie Chan, Russell Crowe, Jim Carey, or even Mona Lisa! Witty webizens are having a field day using Photoshop's image editing ability to manipulate his image.
You can see Qian's face superimposed as the Roman general Maximus in Russell Crowe's Gladiator. a Brokeback Mountain gay cowboy and a roly-poly Johnny Depp in Pirates of the Caribbean.
One of my favourites is the hilarious image of Qian sitting next to President George W. Bush, holding up his two fingers behind his head.
"Xiao Pang" has a website promoting him at www.xiaopang.cn. He's now being managed by web designer Gao Feng who was himself once overweight.
P.S. The news about "Little Fatty" has been circulating online for sometime now and I couldn't resist not posting it here for those who may have missed out.
For more on "Little Fatty"...
> Little Fatty's spoofs gallery
> How Little Fatty made it big
> "Xiao Pang" tells of growing pains
December 7, 2006
It's also a time to remember all those who are suffering in Iraq where we still have that wretched war going on. Not a day passes by without news of despair and horror.
A high-level 142-page Iraq Study Group Report, now out, recommended that President Bush's policy in Iraq "is not working" and urged the US to stabilize the country diplomatically. AP
Co-chairman of the bipartisan panel, former US Secretary of State James Baker, was reported as saying that "a strategy of staying the course in Iraq was no longer viable."
In a nutshell, the gloomy report says:
- There's "no magic formula" to solve the problems
- Americans cannot win the war themselves
wishes all its visitors who just happened to drop by....
Thanks Parmilla G
for the lovely logo!
November 3, 2006
They will soon overtake Britain's main commercial TV channels in ad revenue, according to the BBC News.
A recent study reported that the US Internet search giant's UK revenues for 2006 are about to leapfrog over Britain's Channel Four's forecast of £800m (USD1.5bn) returns. Next to be overtaken by Google is ITV1.
> More on the Google steamroller...
November 2, 2006
"A firm selling machinery to make tubes and pipes has sued internet sensation YouTube - saying the video-sharing site causes havoc at its own business. Universal Tube & Rollform Equipment said its own website - Utube.com - had to be moved five times after millions of inadvertent hits made it crash.
The Ohio-based firm has now filed a claim in the US district court."
> To read more....
October 28, 2006
Looks like Google is never out of the news. After the celebrated marriage with YouTube, the Mountain View kingpin is believed to be cooking up something big again.
The rumour mill is getting the adrenalin flowing. So, what's cooking?
According to WebProNews, there's gonna be a hurricane (Not Katrina, again) swirling right up by Monday. They got wind of this from DM News associate editor Giselle Abramovich.
According to her, Google is set for a corporate restructuring and are about to launch an Adsense for Audio service.
For those who envisage the coming of the online video age, this has got to be huge. And that's the main reason for the sensational Google/YouTube marriage.
Think of this as a recipe that includes podcasts, streaming media like YouTube, MP3 player, radio and TV plus a few other new media technologies...and throw in Adsense for Audio for good measure, what do you get?
Voila, a Google Goodie Dish, of course!
To read more...
> WebProNews: Google to restructure
> Blog.dmnews.com: Rumour has it...
October 11, 2006
Your snoopy wiredhound was caught napping while Google Inc. was gobbling up YouTube Inc. for a cool USD1.65 billion.
This is the most expensive acquisition in Google's eight-year history and it really shook up the dotcom landscape.
After Monday's coup by the Internet's leading search engine company, some are rubbing their eyes and wondering whether this is the beginning or the end of the dotcom craze.
Certainly it brings back memories of the dotcom boom in the late 1990s. So has the dotcom boom come back with a vengeance?
If we take Google CEO Eric Schmidt's word for it when he told investors that YouTube would be "one of many investments" the company plans to make in the video field, then be prepared for more splashy news in the near future.
Last year, Rupert Murdoch bought MySpace - a hot social networking site popular with teenagers - for USD580 million and got tongues wagging about the acquisition.
The way things are moving, online video seems to be the next big thing 'cause there's a huge market out there for the taking.
As YouTube co-founders Chad Hurley and Steve Chen had proven, their video site turned out to be a cultural phenomenon. It appeals to the young.
Born August last year in Hurley's garage, YouTube captured about 2.8 million users a month but today its audience had shot up to 72 million users, according to a BBC news report.
Is this the theoretical "Long Tail" effect that Chris Anderson wrote about in his book whereby the future of entertainment is in the millions of niche markets at the shallow end of the bitstream?
Here's a quote from YouTube's CEO Hurley reported in the San Francisco Chronicle:
"We're in the middle of a shift in digital media entertainment. Users are now in control of what they want to watch and when they want to watch it. They decide what rises to the top, what's entertaining."
Here's a hypothetical USD1.65 billion question to Yahoo and MicroSoft: What're you gonna do about this Google-gobbling? You ain't gonna take this lying down?
October 7, 2006
October 6, 2006
Now, here's the bad news...the grass isn't that greener this side of blog heaven!
To my horror, most of my input - Google Adsense, RSS/Atom feed buttons, Amazon ads, and other paraphernalia that most visitors don't care two hoots about (they don't click 'em!) - seem to have vanished into thin air.
Just think how much efforts were put in to set up the blog, and now it's zilch. Kaboom! It's all gone to that big blog in the sky.
Would I go back to the old blog? No, I'm gonna stick this one out and see whether the Blogger folks sweat it out to bring stability and order to their realm.
Being the nosy kind of bloghound, I went to the forum for Bloggers to snoop around. Yada, yada, the confusion, frustration and constipation building up there was mind-boggling.
September 26, 2006
Since Scott Boulch's promo launch about his Adsense revelation about two weeks back, he has claimed that more than 31,000 people had signed up for his affiliate program. The controversial promo ended Tuesday, Sept 26. What these people have learned is that there's a new catchphrase "Click Flipping" which is supposed to really boost your online earnings. No doubt, interested parties will be keen to know how it works. Will there be more buzz?
September 24, 2006
In the last few weeks the Net was abuzz with Scott Boulch's latest revelation about Adsense. It was a "newsbreak" that sort of caught fire capturing everyone's attention. Definitely, it must have stirred up some controversy and caused some scrambling by some people.
Since the news broke, it has been claimed that Boulch's website announcement had prompted over 29,000 people downloading his report. And by now you can bet, some people are downloading his follow-up report.
September 18, 2006
They are called Crocs and these clog-like shoes are eye-catching. But do these trendy shoes have a place in good foot care?
They come in bright colors and it seems that more and more Americans are making their feet do the talking...or rather walk the talk with their Crocs.
The shoe might not match everyone's idea of fashion, but fans swear by its comfort. Croc lovers say they bring health benefits to the two extremities that carry us all the places we go.
Are Crocs really good for our feet? Or is this footwear phenom just a passing fad?
Crocs have the official seal of approval from the APMA, meaning the shoes have been found to be beneficial in promoting good foot and ankle care. But not all doctors have signed on to the medical value of the shoes.
> Some feedback from doctors, consumers, and the shoe's creators.
> Professional skepticism and what Croc fans are saying
September 9, 2006
The battle against cancer continues. And here's heartening news from a National Cancer Institute study.
Genetic engineers now can arm normal white blood cells with tools that let them weed out cancer cells and shrink large tumors.
Researchers in a National Cancer Institute study had success using the technique to treat skin cancer in two men.
"These results represent the first time gene therapy has been used successfully to treat cancer," said NIH director Elias A. Zerhouni, MD, in a news release.
"We hope it will be applicable not only to melanoma, but also for a broad range of common cancers." [Read more..]
September 7, 2006
the oldest living person to top the US album charts with his latest
release, Modern Times.
Since the album's release, it has sold over 192,000 copies in its first
week, according to music tracking service Nielsen Soundscan.
Modern Times has also gone to number one in Australia, Canada,
Denmark, Ireland, New Zealand, Norway and Switzerland, according to
The bloghound had a hard time finding a copy of the album after raiding
some of the record stores in town. He was told to come back later for
new shipments...but when? Maybe he should try Amazon.com.
Modern Times is Dylan's first US number one album since Desire in 1976,
which topped the charts for five weeks. That was 30 years ago.
The living legend's 44th album, Modern Times, earned five-star reviews
in Uncut and Rolling Stone magazines, with the latter calling it a "
USA Today praised the album for his "pointed political commentary" and
also Dylan's wit and imagery.
"This music is relaxed; it has nothing to prove," Rolling Stone magazine
said of the 10 songs on Modern Times.
His new release features 10 original tracks recorded by the musician and
his touring band last winter. Dylan plays keyboard, guitar and harmonica
as well as singing on the record.
The BBC News website asked six Dylan fans to explain their enduring
fascination with the man and his music [Read more...]
Modern Times: Track Listing
Disc 1: Thunder On The Mountain / Spirit On The Water / Rollin' and Tumblin' /
When The Deal Goes Down / Someday Baby / Workingman's Blues #2 /
Beyond The Horizon / Nettie Moore / The Levee's Gonna Break / Ain't
Disc 2: Cold Irons Bound (Unreleased live version from Masked & Anonymous) /
Blood In My Eyes / Things Have Changed / Love Sick (From The Grammy
> Critics shower praise
> Dylan's album tops charts
> Articles about Bob Dylan
Prominent Hong Kong banker Monica Wong, who has a passion for salsa dancing, has won back millions of dollars paid in advance for private lessions
She had engaged and agreed to pay Italian Mirko Saccani and his world champion wife Gaynor Fairweather HK$120m (US$15.4m, £8.2m) for eight years of unlimited lessons.
But the relationship quickly broke down after Mr Saccani called her a "lazy cow" at a public practice session.
A judge has ordered the pair to return HK$62m Ms Wong had already paid, plus interest.
Ms Wong, daughter of a shipping tycoon and head of HSBC's private banking business in Asia, told reporters she was pleased with the outcome. [Read more...]
September 5, 2006
Click fraud has become the greatest threat to the rapid growth of the paid search marketing sector. Many search engines are seeking a solution to this problem. But who's to blame for all this shenanigans?
Do You Pay Per Click Fraud?
The world of pay-per-click marketing started in 1997 with GoTo.com. Today they are known as Yahoo Search Marketing. What started in 1997 as a way to quickly get listed in the top of the search engines has turned into a 5.6 billion dollar industry in 2005. In fact, about 99% of Google's revenue comes from advertising.
However, this multi-billion dollar search industry is under attack and has been for quite a while. Click fraud has become the greatest threat to the rapid growth of the paid search marketing sector. The Interactive Advertising Bureau estimates that 20 to 35 percent of ad clicks are fraudulent.
Who's to blame? Click fraud can come from a variety of sources, including competitors, bots that simulate the human behavior of clicking on ads in web pages, or even friends of the publisher who want to "help" the publisher gain some additional click revenue.
However, the major search engines have received the majority of the blame, even though they are not necessarily responsible.
Yahoo has recently settled a class-action click fraud settlement. Under the settlement, Yahoo advertisers will be allowed to submit click fraud claims dating back to January 2004. Yahoo will reimburse any confirmed fraudulent clicks in cash, with no set limit on the amount of claims it will cover.
This year, Google has been burdened with its own click fraud case to the tune of 90 million dollars. Currently, the court is deciding whether to accept the search giant's proposed $90 million settlement while roughly 50 plaintiffs are voicing their dissatisfaction with it.
Click fraud is certainly no small matter. It has become larger than the total magnitude of credit card fraud in the U.S.
So far, these law suits have spawned more questions than answers for the ultimate solution to click fraud. Click fraud threatens an entire business model; one that is generating billions of dollars every year.
At this point, it's hard to tell whether pay-per-click advertising will stand the test of time, or line up for the chopping block.
Many of the search engines are already looking for solutions.
Microsoft is currently engaging in research to develop new, click fraud resistant advertising models. Joshua Goodman, a Principal Researcher at Microsoft has published a white paper on pay-per-percentage as a solution to click-fraud.
Pay-per-percentage is an advanced form of pay-per-impression. Within this system, someone can bid for a percentage of all impressions for certain keywords or keyword phrases over a specified period of time. In the pay-per-percentage model, click fraud is avoided because the advertiser is not charged any additional amount for clicks. The business model is based upon a percentage of ad impressions.
Microsoft research describes it as:
"A simple method for selling advertising, pay-per-percentage of impressions, that is immune to both click fraud and impression fraud... ads must be shown in a truly random way, across the percentage of impressions purchased..Pre-fix match: a system that is similar to broad-match, but more compatible with pay-per-percentage... auction pay-per-percentage matches, including prefix matches in a revenue maximizing way...make it easier to sell to advertisers."
The Google Adwords system itself was initially based on a cost-per-view model. Unfortunately, there was a lack of enthusiasm for the cost-per-impression services and they switched over to the pay-per-click model.
For the pay-per-percentage model to succeed, Microsoft will certainly have to do some things different. Their solution is outlined in the paper, "Pay-Per Percentage of Impressions: An Advertising Method that is Highly Robust to Fraud" (http://research.microsoft.com/~joshuago/percentageworkshop- final.pdf)
Another possible solution being explored is Pay Per Action.
Under this model, advertisers do not pay every time a user clicks on an ad. Instead, payment is only made when a click through leads to a desired action. This could be a purchase, filling out a form, downloading trial software, or even making a call.
This model takes much of the risk out of advertising.
In fact, Google Adsense is currently beta testing a compensation system based on CPA. If you are an adsense pubisher, this would mean that instead of getting paid for clicks or impressions, you would get paid a commission for a sale or other desired action. These ads won't compete with the regular pay-per-click ads and will be on a separate network. However, they may be beneficial for advertisers looking to avoid click fraud.
Another possible solution to pay-per-click is known as paid-inclusion. Although many of the paid inclusion companies have come and gone over the years, there is a new organization that is offering a very optimistic solution to the many pay-per-click problems we are facing today.
This organization is giving smaller search engines and directories the ability to compete with the big guns (Google, Yahoo, and MSN.) The smaller search players can attain this status by becoming part of a mass community that delivers quality advertising at a fraction of PPC costs.
The paid inclusion program offered by this community of search providers, known as the ISEDN (http://www.isedn.com), is a cross between the older paid inclusion models and the reigning PPC model. Purchased ads are displayed in a similar manner to the PPC ads shown by Google, but advertisers are charged on a flat fee basis, not on a per click basis.
The ISEDN program makes click fraud irrelevant because ads are displayed for a certain period of time, regardless of the number of clicks or impressions received.
Through the power of the collective community (the ISEDN currently has more than 230+ members), ISEDN paid inclusion ads are displayed over 150 million times per month. This equates to 150 million potential advertising opportunities.
Within this model, you can buy top 10 exposure across a rapidly growing network of search providers for $3 to $4 per month. If you choose to buy in volume, you can expect some significant discounts.
The ISEDN advertising model limits the sale of the same keywords or phrases to 30 advertisers. If a keyword term is sold more than 10 times, then those paid listings begin to rotate between the SERPs. So, for the worst case scenario, a listing would appear on the first page of results approximately once out of every 3 searches on most engines in the network.
This program gives advertisers the benefit of advertising with smaller search engines on a massive scale without the fear of click fraud. For more information on this advertising model visit ISEDN founding member ExactSeek.com (http://new.exactseek.com/featured_listings.html).
As for Google, Yahoo, and MSN, you can definitely expect to see some changes being made with their paid search programs in the near future. The pay-per-click model is inherently flawed and must be altered to survive. Google and the other major search engines know that their business will be crippled if they do not adapt. In the meantime, there are a number of alternatives for advertisers looking for a safer solution to advertising.
About the author: Kim Roach is a staff writer and editor for the SiteProNews (http://www.sitepronews.com) & SEO-News (http://www.seo-news.com) newsletters. You can contact Kim at: firstname.lastname@example.org
> Google Ban You...But You're Innocent
August 31, 2006
A US team followed 670 male military veterans and found those with high levels of hostility had poorer lung function than their happier peers.
The scientists also found that the angriest men suffered a more rapid decline in lung capacity.
Writing in the journal Thorax, the team said their findings could help develop new ways of targeting lung disease screening and prevention strategies. [Read more...]
August 30, 2006
White wine may bring cheers to your heart.
All the while, we have been told that red wine is good for the heart. But early this month, a new study has suggested that the lighter wines may be just as good as the red.
This challenges the notion that red wines, like cabernet sauvignon, merlot, and pinot noir, are better for the heart than white wines, such as chardonnay, sauvignon blanc, and Riesling.
Until now, research has suggested the bulk of grapes' heart-healthy benefits come from antioxidant compounds primarily found in their skins. These compounds are called anthocyanins and contribute to the red color of the fruit.
In the making of red wines, the grape skins are crushed along with the pulp. But the skins are quickly separated out during the making of most white wines.
That led to the conventional belief that red wines, which contain more of these compounds, are responsible for the drink's beneficial effects in fighting heart disease. [read more...]
August 29, 2006
The big-hype wedding of Malaysia's pop princess Siti Nurhaliza to businessman Datuk Khalid Mohamad Jiwa had all the trappings of an exclusive gala event - beautiful people, live TV coverage and entertainment by some of the top artistes in Malaysia and Indonesia.
The burning question that begs for a figure: What's the price tag for such a lavish wedding? According to Malaysia's English-language newspaper New Straits Times, based on information from reliable sources, Siti's wedding cost several million ringgit (Malaysian currency).
Her diamond-encrusted tiara which she wore at the wedding reception cost RM2 mllion. Her wedding was covered by Malaysia's leading TV stations. The TV3 rights of RM1 million will go to charity. [Read more...]
Photo credit: NST
Maria Esther de Capovilla's family was expecting to celebrate her 117th birthday but last Sunday she died, aged 116, after succumbing to pneumonia.
Capovilla, who lived in the coastal city of Guayaquil, Ecuador, is officially the world's oldest woman.
Born in 1889, the same year as Charlie Chaplin and Adolf Hitler, Capovilla was 22 when the Titanic sank and 79 when astronauts first set foot on the Moon.
Her family said donkey milk might be key to her longevity.
Capovilla was born in Guayaquil to a well-to-do Ecuadorean family which traced its ancestry to the Spanish conquistadores.
She married Antonio Capovilla, an Austrian sailor, in 1917, and was widowed in 1949. [Read more...]
August 27, 2006
Well, according to the man himself: "I want to bring my songs and melodies to hip-hop beats."
The 59-year-old singer told Rolling Stone in an interview published on their website.
"It may be a disaster, it could be fantastic, but you don't know until you try," he said. Sir Elton's latest album, The Captain and the Kid, is released next month.
Sir Elton's Broadway musical Lestat closed prematurely in May. [Read more...]
Preamble: Just managed to crack up this idea of a newshound blog and calling it WiredHoundBlog. Sounds great to me. I was apprehensive at first before I did a search hoping that someone out there has not cottoned on to this name.
There are blogs with titles like News Hound Blog, HoundBlog, etc. Lucky me, that name WiredHoundBlog was available. I like the name because it fits into my plan to provide this blog with newsy bits about things that make this crazy, crazy world go round and round. You know what I mean. Get the drift?