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INSIGHTS

Naming the Ephemeral

So much is happening as we approach the end of Q2 -- our industry's busiest quarter by some measures. I'm flying around seeing things but not always able to comment from a middle seat on a red-eye. So this piece is an attempt to catch up and set some markers for the traditionally slower summer. I've...

ANALYST CORNER

Publishers vs. Brave Software: Battle for the Ad Viewer

Brave Software is a startup that has ratcheted the ad-blocking game to a new level, and it is raising a lot of stink in the online community. For many people, Web-based ads have become an intolerable, costly distraction. That has led to a variety of ad-blocking approaches. The use of ad-blocking sof...

Blendle Bets Readers Will Micropay for Good Journalism

Blendle, a Netherlands-based news aggregation site that draws comparisons to Spotify, on Wednesday announced its beta launch in the U.S. Blendle made its debut with the participation of several major new organizations and financial backing from Axel Springer and The New York Times. The 5-year-old co...

Yahoo Tests the Determination of Ad Blockers

Yahoo earlier this week acknowledged that it has been experimenting with a neutralizing agent that can counteract ad-blocking software tools by closing off email access to browsers that use them. "At Yahoo, we are continually developing and testing new product experiences," the company said in a sta...

The New York Times May Get Technical With Ad Blockers

The New York Times Company last week indicated would take steps to circumvent ad-blocking tools. "As you know, the Times' digital subscription revenue stream means that we are less exposed than most publishers to the impact of ad-blockers," said NYT Company CEO Mark Thompson during an earnings call....

INSIGHTS

Customers Speak

Several news stories have provided interesting insights into the Black Friday phenomenon and into customer behavior. One indicates sales slipped by 0.5 percent from the same period last year, despite sharp discounting and stores opening on Thanksgiving. Another story shows how the Black Friday pheno...

Amazon Extends Olive Branch to Hachette Authors

With tensions deepening between Amazon and Hachette, Amazon sent a peace offering to authors caught in the middle of the dispute. While negotiations drag on, authors should receive all of the revenue from their e-book sales, Amazon proposed in a letter to some authors and agents. The letter reported...

TECH TREK

Microsoft Touts Privacy Bona Fides to European Customers

Having become the first company to formally meet the European Union's data protection rules, Microsoft is trying to turn its trustworthiness into business in privacy-wary Europe. "For customers who care about privacy and compliance, there is no more committed partner than Microsoft," wrote Microsoft...

TECH TREK

So Now China IS Lifting Videogame Console Ban

China reportedly will temporarily lift a sales ban on foreign videogame consoles, reversing a 14-year prohibition. Companies like Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo -- which long have salivated over the heretofore obstructed gold mine of Chinese videogamedom -- will be allowed to make game consoles in Sha...

TECH TREK

France to Follow Through on Tiny Google Fine

In France, data protection officials announced that they will impose sanctions against Google for the company's failure to stick to a three-month deadline to tweak its privacy policies. The fine stems from Google's melding of different privacy policies in Europe into a single policy that applies to ...

For NSA, Americans’ Emails Are an Open Book

The NSA reportedly is reading communications between Americans and foreigners abroad, despite its denials. The NSA responded to the allegations by stating its activities are lawful attempts to gather intelligence about foreign powers and their agents, foreign organizations, foreign persons or intern...

TECH TREK

Google Victorious in 6-Year Aussie Legal Battle

A court in Australia has ruled in favor of Google in its lengthy legal fight with the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, according to The Sydney Morning Herald. The case, which lasted six years, concerned search results from 2006-07. The Commission claimed that sponsored links publish...

New York Times Co. Cashes Out on About.com

There was rather an exact price offered and accepted for About.com. On Sunday The New York Times Company announced that it had sold the question and answer website to Barry Diller's InterActiveCorp for $300 million in cash. The site's early expertise in search engine optimization and revenues from c...

TECH TREK

Ecuador Mulls Assange’s Sleepover Request

Ecuador President Rafael Correa hopes to announce this week whether or not the country will grant political asylum to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. Assange sought refuge at Ecuador's embassy in London in June to avoid extradition to Sweden, where he is wanted on sexual abuse charges. Assange bro...

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