Internet Salsa

Monday, February 27, 2006

No more Butler at

Yes, no more Butler Guy that you used to see at They even dropped "jeeves" from their site. Its now simply "" with a new interface.

Askjeeve a search engine was launched in 1996 where you could ask a question as if you were asking a human. "Jeeve" acted as a human. Spokesperson for said that "Consumers today don't need help searching any more, they just want to find things faster. Jeeves just doesn't represent the brand today."

Personally I never became a fan of, however I use their Bloglines. I think they realize now that they need to compete heavily with Google. now has several search tools including advanced search, currency conversion, mobile content. is a unit of IAC/InterActiveCorp that also owns the following properties:

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Michigan Teenager gets Prizes from Apple/Itunes

Here is what the teenager got from Itunes/Apple:
  • 20-inch iMac
  • 10 fifth generation iPods
  • $10 000 gift card for any items in the iTunes Music store
  • Scholarship in his name at the Julliard School of Music

Why did he get these reward?

Alex Ostrovsky, a 16 year old from Detroit was the one whose purchase of a song by ColdPlay was considered to be the one billionth download at

Itunes even thanks all its customers a billion times on its website.

I think his name should also be mentioned on the website.

Itunes have also faced some criticism in the past, especially by Downhill battle, a non-profit organization. Please take a look at my earlier post on that.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Which country leads in use of Personal Computers?

Whats your guess? Is it USA? Your guess is as right as mine. But its not Americans. As a matter of fact Americans are even behind Canadians.

According to an article on Newsfactor, it's the Dutch that lead in use of computers. According to the study presented by the Pew Charitable trusts, Holland has one of the lowest fee for broadband in Europe, and there is a tax break that reduces the price of a PC.

Survey was done in 17 countries, and here is the result according to the article :
  • "82 percent of Dutch residents said they used a computer at least occasionally at home or at work, and 72 percent used the Internet
  • In Canada, the numbers were 79 percent and 71 percent, respectively
  • 76 percent and 70 percent in the United States "

You can read more on the website and also see where Germany stands in the study, and can also find that 79% of Swedes own a computer.

Friday, February 24, 2006

Perfect 10 won a battle against Google over Porn Images

It was a good news when Google had just announced its new tool to create website for free. Now the bad news is that Google lost a battle against Perfect 10 (a porn publisher).

Perfect 10 had filed a lawsuit against Google saying that Google violated its copyright by showing thumbnails/images that belonged to Perfect 10. Perfect 10 further said that it was affecting its attempt to sell such thumbnails as downloads for mobile phones.

You can

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Make a Website with Google.

Google is really expanding into lots of areas. Sometimes I think to myself that whether Google can sustain its popularity in the long run. When you dive into many areas then you might distant yourself from your main product/expertise.

Anyways, Google ( has introduced yet another tool that will help you make a website. It’s free and is in beta phase. I tried to test their product but was unable to do so due to heavy traffic, however you can enter your email address to be on their waiting list.

Another good thing is that you don't have to worry about hosting fee. Your site will be hosted on their server but you won't get the domain name you want. Your site address will look like But there is a way around. You can have your domain name forward/point to the site you have on Google. I haven't tried in this particular case, but I have successfully tried with my domain name "" When you type then it will get forwarded to this blogger account (

In any case, you can try this new feature from Google, and this is one another way to monetize you site by placing Google ads. I guess Google is trying to expand their reach in terms of Google Ads.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006 Refuses to comment on recent rumors

Few days ago there was an article on New York Times about Amazon taking on IPOD. However, according to the AFP/Yahoo News, is refusing to comment saying that its all speculation and rumor.
Its kind of confusing because when you read that article on New York Times, Greg Scholl said the following:
"We are excited to participate in Amazon's launch." Why would it be a rumor if the chief executive of a company called Orchard say like that. Orchid is no small company. Its the largest digital distributor of independent music.

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Monday, February 20, 2006

Intel to Open Technology Center in Gaza

Its a bold step by Intel who is planning to open a "first information technology education center in volatile Gaza Strip." According to the story on Yahoo, Intel is planning to train the Palestinians in IT related areas and the center will be employed mostly with Palestinians.

Intel already has its presence in Israel, and now trying to set an example to other big companies to follow the suit in terms of investments in the area. I think its a good move by Intel trying to offer a good life to heavily affected Palestinians,
however security has to be tight specially in case of American companies.

Photo Source--AP

Sunday, February 19, 2006 will take on IPOD

Just few days ago I wrote on similar topic "Who is Challenging Itunes?" So here is an update on what is happening with's pursuit to challenge Ipod/Itunes.

There was an article on New York Times with the title "Amazon Will Take On iPod With Its Own Music Player." Amazon is planning to come up with its "own portable music player" to challenge Apple Computer's Ipod. Amazon will be offering its service through subscription service rather than selling each songs for 99 cents like Apple does.

Yahoo along with Napster have already been offering digital music based on subscription service, but hasn't been that successful compared to Ipod. According to the article, Amazon is planning to make its own player efficient with the help of the device maker.

It is believed that they will start this service from this summer.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Is NETFLIX treating you good?

For those of you who don't know about Netflix; its an online service where you can rent DVDs. I have also tried Netflix in the past, and was happy with their service. However, we didn't continue to stay with them since we (me, my wife, and our little daughter) are not heavy movie watchers.

Heath Row at the "FAST COMPANY WEBBLOG" and wrote that Netflix has been showing slow response towards its heavy renters. Good news for the new customers!!!They are getting good treatment. I guess they figured that the active renters would come back anyways, and trying to attract the new ones.

However, I liked Netflix better than Blockbusters. Blockbusters were slower, and had less selections.

Friday, February 17, 2006

I know you might be saying "huh." There is a website called "", and it was pretty strange to see sites like that. This site basically lets former girl friends or I guess ex wives to post about their bad experiences with their former boyfriends. Of course these women are writing against their exes' and telling other women to stay away from their exes'. Basically either their formers were cheaters or didn't treat them well.

But is this really fair? How accurate are these information? How safe is it? These were the questions that came to my mind when I first saw the site. Anyone can come to the site and register and start posting bogus information. I don't know how the site has dealt with such cases. About the safety feature, it can be easy to figure out the poster. For example lets say that a girl posts an information in details, then the guy can easily tell who the poster might be or at least can guess, unless the guy have had numerous encounters with girls. There are some pretty good details posted by women against their bad boys.

The creator of the site says that the site gets about 200,000 hits a day on the website and has about 900 cheaters being featured.

So I guess if there would be a site called "" which is in fact taken but not ready yet.

So guys beware since girls can even post your picture.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Who is Challenging Itunes?

You have to admire Apple for coming out with Ipod, and of course Itunes. is the largest online store to download songs. According to their website, they now provide videos also. I also found out from the Stanford's Itunes website, that you can download faculty lectures on Itunes. How cool is that?

But is Itunes being fair to the music artists? According to Downhill Battle, "a non-profit organization working to support participatory culture and build a fairer music industry", Itunes is not giving much to the artists. According to downhill battle, Apple gets 35% for every song and album sold, and the record labels get 65%. So how much do the artist get? Well it depends on their contract with their record labels. In any case, they are not getting paid as Apple and record labels.

Downhill also points out a good point saying that Itunes should be clear and transparent. They should show how much the artist gets from each sale.

But is Itunes fair to the consumers? Apple says that most of their customers buy the full album, which is lesser than what they can get at retail stores. However, you could get even cheaper than what Itunes is offering at various other online sites such as, (considering used Cds), CD quality is better than the quality Itunes offer. But still Itunes is ahead in its business. I guess people don't care about the quality and also don't care how much artists are getting.

Even Google and is trying to get some share of the online music market. According to Financial Times, both Google, and Amazon are in talks with music companies trying to compete with Itunes. Amazon however is moving faster than Google in this field. even thinking about offering downloads for a full Hollywood movies. Even Wal-Mart is in talks with film studios, so that it could offer movies to be downloaded on portable discs.

So let’s see what will happen in this arena...

Monday, February 13, 2006

Are you on Think Twice...

I m sure you have heard of, but are you a member of that site? is the place to meet new people. You can share your pictures, interests, etc. The site was bought by News Corp in 2005 for about $580 million.

There are other sites like such as, and Ringo. I m tired of getting an email from them. However I do not get emails from however is the number one website for meeting people online. It's an online community. The site is very popular among musicians, and college/high school students. It has helped many musicians where they get a chance to show their talent to millions of people.

I was amazed to know that has more traffic than Google. It surely has gained its popularity but the site has been in news recently in a different way. There have been many cases where the minors have been victims of consensual sex with men older than them. Apparently these offenders met these minors on Anything goes on so its very dangerous if you are not careful. Parents should also be aware of their kids' activities. You never know who is going to be on the other side of the computer.

So think twice before you engage in such online communities..

Saturday, February 11, 2006

"In Germany, someone buys a bulldozer every three hours"

Wow!!! That’s impressive. I guess lots of construction going on in Germany. And guess what--it’s all happening online at Margaret C. Whitman, CEO of EBay addressed the European leaders concern by indicating that Europeans do indeed have Entrepreneurship. According to New York Times, Whitman presented the following facts:
  • more than 170,000 Europeans make their living on
  • 50 million Europeans use the site
  • Germans are buying bulldozer every three hours
  • Italians are selling and buying cars or bikes every 10 minutes
  • French are selling comic books on EBay every minute
  • British are auctioning Teddy bear every 2 minutes

I m still amazed that there is such a huge demand for bulldozers in Germany.

Friday, February 10, 2006 It Survive?

Yet another area Donald Trump is into. That's "TRAVEL"!!! is an online Travel site powered by Mr Trump promises to offer lowest airfare, hotel bargains, and his tips on vacation, but I didn't find anything special about that site.

The fares are not the lowest. Since its powered by, the rates also seems to appear the same when you search directly on Travelocity. I guess its the name he is taking advantage of. I m sure fans of Mr Trump is going to use his site.

Donald Trump also claims that the site has seen quite a good response from visitors, but some of the independent researchers doubt that. I checked the stat on and the traffic rank was 73,608 . Actually not bad but not good enough to compete with big guys such as, or

Travelocity however is in good position. It doesn't possess any threat to them but will help gain business to Travelocity. I guess a little extra income for Travelocity.

So lets see how well it will adjust to the Travel Industry. I m sure it will be advertised heavily on his show "The Apprentice."

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Zestimate the value of your house or the one you want!!!

My wife was preparing dinner listening to NPR, and I was on the net wrapping up my work for the day. Well not really..My work never ends...

Anyhow..We listen to NPR a lot, and I heard about a website being mentioned on a program called "All Things Considered." I couldn't get the name at first. Then I heard the name Richard Barton. I quickly went to NPR and searched for Richard Barton, and found out the site they were discussing. It was called "" Richard Bartron created, a successful online travel website now owned by Microsoft. is a pretty cool site, where you can enter an address of a house and you can get an estimate of a house. I did the same for our house, and was a pretty good estimate. So now he is into real estate arena. He already have about 75 employee and still in early phase of development. According to Richard the site still doesn't cover most of New York area. The site even crashed on the day of its launch. They are working hard to move forward.

Some of the real estate people don't think that Zillow could outsmart the real estate agents. Richard however, says that he is not trying to compete with them but just trying to educate the consumer so that the consumer will know what he/she is talking about with the agent. Most of the time consumer is very less educated when it comes to real estate. Zillow even wants the real estate agents to advertise on their website.

So lets see how it will turn out. And yes the debate between the real estate agents and

But first try to "zestimate" your house on and see whether you get an aerial picture or not.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Yahoo Accused in Jailing of 2nd Chinese Internet User

I was just reading news at Reuters and came across one interesting one. "Yahoo Accused in Jailing of 2nd China Internet user."

This is the second time it has happened involving Yahoo. Based on the report, Yahoo submitted information to the Chinese government upon request that led to the arrest of an "Internet writer." The person was sentenced to 8 years in prison. To my understanding it happened in 2003.

Recently, Google cooperated with Chinese Government in censoring its site in China. Yahoo, and MSN also cooperated with the Chinese authority.

I think it all boils down to business. China is growing at a very fast pace, and its in second place as Internet users, so there is lots of potential.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Is GBUY a Threat to Paypal?

Is Google really trying to compete with Paypal? Eric Schmidt (CEO) of Google denies that Google is trying to compete with Paypal, however, according to Wall Street Journal, President of Paypal Jeff Jordan doesn't believe what Eric is saying. According to Jordan, Eric had said in the past that Google would not introduce online payment services, and yet Eric announced that they are working on the online payment service called GBUY, and has been offering the service as part of their beta testing. was founded in 1998 and grew rapidly over the years. Paypal was later bought by eBay in 2002, and have helped both eBay and Paypal to a greater extent. Paypal currently has more than 80 millions customers.

What started as a search engine, Google now has been rolling out new products and services. I think Google is taking an advantage of its solid base of customers/traffic/users when it rolls out new services. They do not have to publicly announce their services, thus saving extra costs. Paypal is also expanding is horizon. Paypal was used to be used by small businesses, and individuals, but now even bigger companies are using the service. I think this is what Google is also planning to come up with their online payment service to get a piece of a pie.

So should Paypal be worried? I guess they should. You never know what Google comes up with. Please note that they have one of the largest numbers of PHDs employed...

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Blogging from Iraq or from a Taxicab?

No doubt that blogging has spread like a wild fire. Many are getting into this band wagon. Most of them are in for the money, and some even don't know that they could cash in some $$.

I have seen some popular blogs without any ads. I mean blogs with extensive readership. I wonder to myself, whey in the world aren't they putting any ads?

So my question to you is --Do you prefer to blog from Iraq or from a Taxi cab? Most of you might think that you would prefer to blog from a Taxi Cab, but do you have/own a Taxi?

Two different individual with two different backgrounds does exactly the same thing. "Same thing" meaning that they both blog, but Michael Yon went to Iraq and started to blogg on his site . He spent time with combat soldiers and reported from the frontlines in Iraq on his website. I was amazed to see the postings/reports he did from the war zone including pictures. Its not a simple task. He even declined advertisements for his blog, but at the same time he was facing budget problem. However through Paypal donation, he got help from several readers with which he bought new camera, other equipments such as body armor, and even hired some assistants to help him cover from the war zone. See it for yourself by visiting his site at

Another blogger, but this time a writer/copy editor turned Taxi driver. Melissa Plaut, on her blog writes about her experiences as a cab driver. She shares about her life as a cab driver in New York city. Its also a tough job given her 12 hours night shift where any stranger can hop into her cab. She shares some interesting stories on her blog, including picking up a pornstar, Hare Krishna devotee.

So now which one would you prefer?

Saturday, February 04, 2006

Thai Music is entering into Japanese Market

Japan is one of the few Asian countries that have had many Western bands/artists perform. Even bands like Scorpions (from Germany), Deep Purple have toured Japan in 70s, and 80s. No doubt that Japan is one of the best destination in terms of fans and of course money.

What makes Japan attract such Western/American bands/artists to perform in the land of rising sun? Answer is very simple. Japan is one of the richest economy in the world, and it is profitable for the artists/bands to put on a show. Japanese audience very loyal, and is more exposed to Western cultures than any other Asians. Please note that "Sumo Wrestling" is not their National Sport, but is Baseball.

However, besides English music, Thai music is now entering the Japanese market. Thailand is pretty good in terms of music business. Music business in Thailand is flourishing. Well known Thai Pop star such as Tata Young have had huge success in Japan. As a matter of fact she is the top Thai artist to perform in Japan. She has even performed in Kathmandu, Nepal.

Its all due to digital music that can be downloaded over the internet. Digital music has been very popular in Japan. Japanese have to thank IPOD for such digital revolution. Digital Music is not expensive and allows artists reach a wider audience.

Thai musicians are in competition with their European, South Korean, American counterparts.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Go Daddy Commercial Finally Accepted for Super Bowl XL

Finally's Super Bowl ad was accepted by ABC. It was rejected for 13th time.
According to Bob Parsons (founder of, their ad will be showing in the 6th break. Godaddy even bought a second spot. I guess ABC was tired after 13th submission. It was even mentioned in the local evening news.

Check out their both rejected ads and the accepeted one.
Its a funny ad.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Super Bowl Ads On Internet

Is it really a good idea to have links for Super Bowl Ads on Internet?

Well can be good for the viewers, but I m not sure how that will affect the sponsors, and ABC . I m sure that large number of people watch Super Bowl just for those expensive ads, but sometimes you might miss those ads and hey now you can watch them online as well.

Yahoo is going to have links to such ads on their video page. According to Yahoo, there will be a delay on those ads, however portion of the ads should start before the end of the game.

Ads are being hosted on You can view last year's ads also including some banned ones. According to, they don't have any rights for those ads, but none of the sponsors have complained.

So my question is
  • Will this affect the sponsors?
  • Will this affect ABC?

I would assume that it might affect ABC more, because there is a large number of people who just want to watch the ads, but if it is available on the Internet then they might not spend too much time in watching them on TV thinking that they could see the same ads online, thus affecting the ratings for ABC.

But sponsors can get even larger reach for their commercials at no cost due to such website.

By the way there hasn't been decision on's ad for this years game even after their 14th submission. However Bob Parsons of Godaddy says that he will make the ad available on Godaddy. You can see the timeline of their ads being rejected by ABC.

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