Iraqi Government has joined the growing list of nations with channels on YouTube.
Around the world many governments and heads of state have embraced the transparency of YouTube. Among them: the US, France, South Korea, the Pope, the British Royal Family and the Queen Rania of Jordan. Others like China block YouTube as part of its censorship program.
Adobe has replaced Microsoft as the hackers' primary target when trying to infect or take control of PCs. Its software, Flash for Web video and Reader for documents, is loaded on virtually every personal computer.
So far this year, Adobe has released nine security updates for the current version of its Acrobat Reader software, up from four in 2008.
"More than a dozen sites, including those of The New York Times, USA Today and Nature, have been infected with fake ads that exploit Adobe software. In the case of the Times, if Web surfers clicked on an ad for antivirus software, malicious code would take control of their computers through Flash and direct them to a site infested with malware. Other attacks circulate via e-mail, with virus-laden PDF files that open in Acrobat Reader," reports Business Week.
It is said that Adobe lacks the resources to stop the attacks, despite its growing attention to security.
Also Yahoo's instant messenger and Apple's iPhone are starting to see attacks.
This is interesting. Instead of competing with the myriad live-streaming vendors in the world, VideoLobby.com builds on top of them, allowing a publisher to use live video powered by Justin.tv, Ustream, Qik, and Stickam's Stream API.
The service integrates Twitter and Facebook chatter, as well as a form to ask questions of a host that's powered by a backend comment moderation system.
Some analysts say that VideoLobby.com seems somewhat superfluous, given those companies already integrate comments and social media themselves.
The new Flash Player 10.1 beta, launched last week, has a disruptive feature: the ability to transmit video via P2P multicast, and build large-scale P2P groupware solutions that work right within the browser and stream video to millions of viewers without having to pay a fortune for bandwidth.
NewTeeVee.com says that "Adobe appears ready to open the floodgates. CDNs and P2P video solutions providers would be well-advised to take notice."
Here is a list of the top 10 online innovations that have changed the business world in the last decade, and might lead to the future. The list is according the Webby Awards.
Craigslist expands outside San Francisco (2000)
The launch of Google AdWords (2000), and therefore the economic boom to Google
The launch of Wikipedia (2001)
The shutdown of Napster (2001)
Google's initial public offering (2004)
The online video revolution led by YouTube (2006)
Facebook opens to non-college students and Twitter launches (2006)
Apple's iPhone debuts (2007)
The use of the Internet in the US presidential campaign (2008)
The use of Twitter during the Iranian election protests (2009)
In terms of business, one of the main innovations is Google, with a $180 billion market capitalization, a loyal audience and their non-stop launch of stellar products and services which support its advertising initiatives. As Webby Awards say, "Google is the standard by which all exceptional businesses will be measured for decades to come."
Also, it is worth to note the social media phenomenon; businesses are realizing the power of social sites, and their ability to reach goals fasters. Therefore, organizations should be getting involved starting with a solid strategy.
Lastly, the iPhone has structured a new mobile industry, starting with the apps, and giving users real power in the palm of their hands.
Now YouTube allows you to embed the upload functionality into your own site, enabling your organization to request, review, and re-broadcast user-submitted videos.
"News organizations can ask for citizen reporting; nonprofits can call-out for support videos around social campaigns; businesses can ask users to submit promotional videos about your brand,"explains YouTube.
This technology, called YouTube Direct, is a set of APIs that enables users' video uploads to YouTube via your site without leaving the page. A moderation panel enables to review and approve/reject all submitted videos, Another key feature is that all videos approved include a link back to your site when viewed on YouTube.
But there's a catch: all this video lives on YouTube.com, which continues to build out its news presence.
Among the first to use YouTube Direct: ABC News (see here), the Huffington Post, the San Francisco Chronicle (here) and WHDH-TV in Boston (here).
Developers can dive into YouTube Direct in this page.
More than 600 schools post lectures to iTunes U, the Apple's catalog service for colleges and universtities. There are about 250,000 individual classes available to the public, from Stanford to MIT, according to the latest Apple's data.
To me, using iTunes U, along with YouTube.com/edu, is a great free marketing tool. But it can also undermine the school's goal of getting people to pay for online.
Most of the universities prefer not to use iTunes U and YouTube.com/edu. Limited resources, copyright concerns and the reluctance of old-fashioned professors are mentioned as the main reasons.
This is a major step toward making millions of videos on YouTube accesible to deaf and hearing-impaired people and also to global audiences.
Google's new technologies, unveiled this week, automatically brings text captions to YouTube videos.
This feature uses voice-recognition algorithms (coming from Google Voice) along with a system to create auto-captions for videos. However, a Google blog post announces that captions will not always be perfect.
Additionally, you can automatically translate captions into one of 51 languages.
The second caption feature is automatic caption timing (or "auto-timing"). Creators upload a text file with all the words in a video, and Google turns that file into captions, automatically matching the spoken words with the files. This is very helpful for video owners who don't have the time or resources to create professional caption tracks.
An example of both in action is embedded in the video above.
Both features are already available in English. Automatic captions will only be visible on select partner channels, most of them specializing in educational content, like UC Berkeley, Stanford, MIT, Yale, UCLA, Duke, UCTV, Columbia, PBS, National Geographic, Demand Media, UNSW and Google itself — its corporate videos will be captioned. The company plans to gradually expand the number of channels that work with the automatic captioning technology.
In addition to helping people who are deaf or do not speak English, the captions will make it easier for anyone to search text inside videos and find specific snippets within a video.
Televisions are going to transition from having nice pictures to becoming smart, app-filled, interactive machines.
Vizio low-cost brand will ship next year a connected television that will use Flash and the Yahoo Widget platform to provide an easy way for programmers to build applications for the television.
Viziio will integrate apps into the TV. Tweets, emails and other app could interrupt a movie if the user wants to. In addition, the remote will have a QWERTY keyboard and Bluetooth. And user's smartphone or other device will work as a remote.
Smarphones are now much more computer than phone. And applications that take advantage of the device's portability are each day much more sophisticated.
Technologists forecast today's iPhone will like a relic within two years (see NYT article).
Imagine devices with an 8-inch fold-out screen (see Readius.com pocket reader; also, in the picture above), a big virtual keyboard for easy text input, numerous sensors to detect your sorroundings, and software smart enough to anticipate your needs and sharp enough to respond to conversational commands.
Pretty much that all this technology is within 24 months of reaching the market, analysts say.
Clicker.com, an $8 million-financed start up, has just rolled out its service.
They promise to be an effective video search engine, avoiding to navigate across the jumble of thumbnails that appear on video search engine sites like Truveo or Blinkx.
Clicker limits itself to television shows and other professional content. Through partnerships with content creators and its own scouring of the Web, this new search engine has created a database of programs. It finds only content that has been uploaded legally.
Clicker's CEO, who previously served as chief of Ask.com, said they will make money from advertising.
In my view, Clicker is an improved version of Yidio.com, which has been in the market since 2007.
In 2009, email marketing will generate a return on investment of $43.52 for every $1 spent, according to the Direct Marketing Association (DMA). This is twice the return earned by other marketing channels. And it means that email is still the most powerful and cost-effective tool for marketers.
"Used effectively, email goes far beyond sending a sales message. It can help build a brand's relationship with a consumer, create a sense of trust and generate referrals from satisfied customers,", DMA explains.
As you might noticed, I have changed the claim of this blog on the header. I'm using the sentence "Helping you succeed in the digital world".I don't know whether I will accomplish it or not. But that's the goal.
What I'm doing is posting everything I consider relevant to help you transitioning into a digital world. In this challenging economy, digital skills are key to compete and be productive.
Blogs are not thought to be an educational tool, neither Twitter. However, there is plenty of knowledge out there.
Here is the blog of another entrepreneur who happens to have the same claim than mine, and who posts interesting stories. For example:
Twitter international expansion has started in a smart way: being launched in Spanish language.
To me, as a Spaniard, it is a fantastic news to see Twitter expanding into Spanish earlier than in any other language, including French, German, Arabic... In the United Nations the second language might be the French. But in the digital world the importance of the Spanish is being recognized as a business and technology tool.
The goal of Twitter is to make its service to Spanish speaking users worldwide. While users have been able to write in their own languages, Twitter in Spanish translates the entire site to the Cervantes' language.
In this blog post, happily written in Spanish, Twitter told users that the new language could be enabled by going to their Settings page.
The company plans of readying the French, German and Italian language for use shortly.
PayPal, part of EBay, has officialy open its X.com platform to software developers wanting to include payments in their web or cellphone applications. No global online payments operator has ever opened up its platform before.
One of PayPal's goals are microtransactions, the small sums paid for a low cost products like single articles. With the new system, a buyer can agree to give a seller a certain amount and the seller can collect the money at any time, so a reader could buy a $50 subscription and subtract 50 cents for each article. Before today, there wasn't a way to do this.
Also this new technology also lets Web sites take cuts from PayPal payments as they happen, which was not possible before.
Another possibility: letting users to send money to multiple people with one payment. For a company using PayPal for payroll can be usefull.
In terms of fees, PayPal has reduced the amount for paying services out of a bank or PayPal account to either 50 cents or 0.75 percent.
Now PayPal has a customer base of over 75 million active accounts in 190 markets and 22 currencies.
This week a new WhiteHouse.gov website arrived that had been built with Drupal free open-source code in the background.
The White House shift to Drupal from a proprietary software package represents a serious approval for the open-source software. You know, President Obama being once again the coolest politician on Earth...
However, in terms of costs, Drupal is not the best solution. Base code is free, but a high-end customization and maintenance can be really costly.
In terms of security, since everybody on the planet can read the code (and there are half a million Drupal sites), many holes and bugs are daily reported. So you need to spend money on monitoring holes, fixing them and issuing patches.
For sure, there is a security mailing list that anyone can sign up to. You will receive mail on the latest security fixes. Your Drupal installation will tell you when components are out of date, and when there are security updates.
Real problem comes with undiscovered exploits. Not all the bugs are found and fixed on time. Not all of them are reported -especially the ones who would permit the bad guys to hack the WhiteHouse.gov site.
Running a Drupal -or Joomla, it doesn't matter- driven website without enough financial resources can be a nightmare.
Because the so-called free software is not free at all. On the contrary, it can be very expensive. Only if you want to be super-cool, it is worth the price.
Do I want you discourage you from using Drupal / Joomla or other extended open-source CMS (Content Management System)? Not fully... Or, may be yes.
You need to follow the money behind the Drupal business. The guy who wrote the underlying code for Drupal, in 2001, Dries Buytaert, is now the chief technology officer of Acquia, a start-up looking to commercialize the software. Yes, commercialize. Meaning: design, customization, daily security maintenance, and all the services around. For example, you need to know that Drupal provides a nightmarish content list, and doesn't have a convenient way prevent two people from accidentally editing the same page at the same time. In other words, you always need support.
Like many open-source companies, Acquia sells service and support to back up the free Drupal. It claims about 300 customers, and "that number is doubling every quarter."
So what is our advice? Write your own open-source code. You will be able to build from the beginning your dreamt web platform. You won't need to hire engineers investing long hours struggling with Drupal or Joomla code. You will spend the money on something that only belongs to you. Any talented PHP programmer will be able to enhance that code. And in terms of security, it would be thousand times better. Since the code is not posted and is not available to be downloaded, it would be hard to find any hole and bug. The maintenance work will be more pleasant and cheaper.
We can help you in this process. We are technology agnostic.