In September my daughter Tiara was born. Since that time the only family member that has seen her has been my father, when he visited a few months ago. Well, at the beginning of next month that will be corrected, as we take a two week vacation to Alaska to see the in-laws.
This means, I need some help keeping Betaflow on the up-and-up. I am currently seeking out guest bloggers who would like to write articles for Betaflow.com during the time in which I am away. Authors that contributed significantly during my absence will, of course, be invited to stick around. Authors will have the ability to enter the AdSense IDs so their ads appear on posts they make.
If you are interested, please contact me and provide links to your writing (preferably blogs you own or write for).
The team behind the wildly successfull digg.com and Revision3 returns – with Pownce. Rumors have been circulating that Kevin Rose and crew were working on a new startup and after reviewing Mike Arrington’s post it seems as if they are on track for another star performer.
Pownce is a web-based messaging system (a desktop client, built on Adobe AIR will be available) that makes it easy to send messages, files, files, and events. There are some basic social networking features included that you can see on Kevin’s Pownce profile.
Pownce is currently in private beta – I’ve applied for an invite but if anyone has one to spare it would be much appreciated. I can’t wait to try this out.
On Sunday we mentioned the strike taking place today – where a couple dozen internet radio companies are refusing to broadcast, in hopes it will send a message to Congress.
If you are still longing for your internet radio, like myself (I can’t function at work without music), then Slacker.com is the place for you to head! Slacker is by far my favorite of the internet radio companies to begin with – their vast array of stations will fit whatever mood your in, their interface is slick and intuitive, and they have a great desktop player.
I’m a huge Slacker fan – I use the web interface at work, the desktop at home, and I can’t wait to get the mobile device for myself and the car. Slacker gives me the variety I want as well as like/dislike system similar to Pandora. Pandora is great for finding new artists similar to your likes, but my interests vary so much Pandora has a hard time keeping track and giving me what I want.
What I really want is to click like and hear that song more often; ban, and never hear it again. Slacker provides just that.
In a move reminiscent of union strikes, numerous Internet Radio companies have vowed a day of silence to occur on 26 Jun. SaveNetRadio, an advocacy group fighting to keep Internet Radio alive is maintaining a list of companies (Warning: PDF) that are participating.
Honestly, I don’t really see this doing anything other than pissing off the users. Users will immediate go to the companies and complain about not having their radio – hopefully the companies participating will make it easy for those complaining users to direct their complaints to their representatives in Washington. If those companies don’t easily explain the situation, and the reasons for the silence, they will be to blame from the users.
Some of the largest names involved are: Yahoo, Live365, Rhapsody, MTV Online, and Pandora – along with many others.
Last.fm has publically stated they will not be involved in the day of silence, which is probably pushed down from their new higher-ups at CBS.
The Times is reporting that News Corp is in talks with Yahoo to potentially sell MySpace (and possibly other assets, like IGN) for a 30% stake in the search giant.
News Corp purchased MySpace for $580 million and IGN for $650 million back in 2005. The stake in Yahoo would be worth $11.1 billion based on Yahoo’s valuation of $37 billion yesterday.
It’s clear Yahoo wants to break into the social networking arena, after numerous failed attempts to purchase Facebook, the most recent of which was for $1 billion last year.
I simply don’t see Yahoo accepting this deal, as even News Corp CEO Rupert Murdoch knows people are flocking to Facebook. Why would take MySpace, which is starting to lose it’s hype, for such a large stake in the company?
Numerous phone calls to News Corp and Yahoo have yet to be returned but it is still early.
Update: News Corp and Yahoo both returned my calls with an expected, “No comment.”
Zenter, the web presentation app funded by YCombinator, has been acquired by Google as of today. If you remember, Zenter gave people the ability to create presentations and pull-down content from the web (Google Images) to use in those presentations.
All signs point to Google pressing forward with an online Powerpoint clone by buying up companies that have already developed this technology (the tactic they took with the Google Docs & Spreadsheets) service. Google has also recently acquired Tonic Systems, which developed a powerful backend technology to convert Powerpoint presentations into Java objects.
Each week Powerset is showing off a new query that highlights it’s awesome job at determining exactly what a user is searching for, through natual language processing. Last week we showed you the query “politicans who died in office.” This week, the query is “what senators wrote a book?” and they’ve returned some promising results once again, including John McCain, Barbara Boxer, and the first book ever written by a senator.
I’d just like to point out the grammar though… shouldn’t it be “which senators wrote a book?” I guess we can chalk that up to Powerset’s great processing engine – it even understands improper grammar!
Click the thumbnail above to view a screenshot of this week’s query.
About a month ago Kevin Rose, from digg.com, announced a few features that we should be expecting. The most popular of which would be digg’s ability to determine the type of articles you are most interested in and suggest those articles to you.
Beating digg to the punch is Thoof – which is in an invite-only beta mode. Similar to digg, users post articles with the url, title, and a description. After submitting the article it is then placed in a pool, which Thoof will use to compare against users that may be interested in that article’s content.
CEO Ian Clarke says Thoof knows what you’re going to like, “from the first moment you visit the site.” There’s a lot of information feeding into the system. For example, it takes all the information your browser passes to it, such as your platform and IP (which it uses to take a stab at your physical location), and correlates that with items that other similar people have clicked on. Of course, it also records what you click on, but it doesn’t yet develop a profile based on your Web history outside of Thoof or from other clues you leave on your system.
Powerset.com has been keeping it’s search product under lock-and-key for a long time now. Michael Arrington from Techcrunch got to see a demo and was pretty impressed with the results.
Powerset recently released a sample query that shows great promise. The query “politicians who died in office” returns some amazing results – results for politicians who actually died in office. If you try a search like this on Google or Yahoo – well, you’d be pretty disappointed in what was returned. Powerset even recognized that governors are politicans.
This query shows a little bit of the beauty behind Powerset but I am curious as to how much physical manipulation was required to actually get the engine to return these results. Was this automatic – straight from the spider and parsing engine?
Powerset will be releasing a new query each week on their blog.
eBay’s Developer’s Conference kicks off today and right from the start they are announcing a lot of great products. First, the company announced a more developer friendly shopping web service, that provides an API for bidding and a way to notify users about an auction via automated alerts.
Probably the most highly anticipated announcement of the conference is the eBay San Dimas project – eBay’s desktop application. The application is built on Adobe’s AIR platform and will provide a more fluid interface for interacting with auctions. I’m not sure if this application will make it’s home on a large share of the eBay user base – but I can definitely see it becoming a welcome tool in the power-seller’s toolbox.
Alan Lewis, the program manager for Sam Dimas at eBay, announced during the morning keynote that the beta program is open. People who attend the developer conference will get preferred access to the program, Lewis said.