Pilgrim’s Picks for November 29

Did you miss me yesterday? What do you mean you didn’t even notice I was gone? Well, I’ll make it up to you with these hot news items.

Yahoo Partners with Adobe to Bring Ads to PDFs

If you’re thinking of creating an e-book and can’t decide whether to give it away for free or charge for your hard work, you now have a third option. Yahoo and Adobe have teamed up to provide contextually relevant ads for PDF documents.

According to CNET, publishers upload their PDFs to Yahoo (we assume via Yahoo! Publisher) and then text ads appear in a panel to the right of the main PDF content. The ads are dynamic, giving them flexibility to change based on the content.

Here’s a screenshot from CNET:

Google Experimenting with User Voting – No More Wikipedia?

If you happen to know someone that’s not a fan of having Wikipedia entries dominate every search on Google, you might want to share this news with them.

Google is testing a new search feature which allows you to promote up search results you like and completely nuke the ones you don’t.

Here’s how Google describes the experiment:

This experiment lets you influence your search experience by adding, moving, and removing search results. When you search for the same keywords again, you’ll continue to see those changes. If you later want to revert your changes, you can undo any modifications you’ve made. Note that this is an experimental feature and may be available for only a few weeks.

 

And here’s how it looks in practice:

Linky Goodness, November 28

It’s just a good month for linky goodness. May as well keep a good thing going!

“Now go take on the day.” Or the evening.

New Features for Google Maps

Google Maps has announced lots of new features this week for everything from collaboration to portability.

My Location for mobile Maps—even for nonGPS phones
Google Maps has long played nicely with GPS phones, using the built-in locator to center the map. Now even nonGPS phones can use this feature. Search Engine Land reports that the feature will use cell phone tower triangulation to automatically locate the user on maps. Now that Google’s into it, maybe they’ll stop pretending like cell phone triangulation takes half an hour on TV shows.

Google Maps explains how the service works and how your privacy is preserved in the service in a short video:

Collaborative Maps
the new collaborate link on Google MapsGoogle has introduced a feature to enable multiple people to create custom ‘My Maps’ (or, I suppose, ‘Our Maps’). Jess Long on the LatLong Blog explains:

Facebook to Face FTC?

facebook logoWill Facebook have to face the Federal Trade Commission over their three-week-old Project Beacon and Social Ads platforms? If the Electronic Privacy Information Center and the Center for Digital Democracy have their way, you bet.

The two privacy watchdogs have said that they intend to file against Facebook’s new advertising platforms, which they view as an invasion of users’ privacy. EPIC says they’ll file by January; CDD has already begun an official complaint against behavioral targeting in general and says they’ll join in action against Facebook.

MediaPost covers the planned action, and offers a succinct summary of the difference between the two Facebook advertising programs:

EPIC plans to protest both Facebook’s SocialAds–which tells members which of their friends have signed on as “fans” of the advertisers– and Beacon ads, which notifies members’ friends about their off-site purchases.

Yahoo’s Weak Apology for Cyber Monday Outage

Yahoo Stores (now called Yahoo Merchants Solutions) was down on Cyber Monday one the biggest online shopping days of the year. The first reports of problems were at 8:31 a.m. Pacific time. From then on most retailers couldn’t process orders. It took 14.5 hours to get fixed. Yahoo’s blog said the problems lasted 12 hours. By either calculation it was down all day.

The reason for the outage is still unknown but customers couldn’t check out and pay for their orders. Merchants lost sales, including OnlineStores.com who said they project their losses at $35,000. Yahoo hosts around 45,000 online shops.

Yahoo followed up with a statement on their blog apologizing for the issue and said: “Yahoo’s relationship with our merchants is extremely important to us and we value their loyalty. We deeply regret any inconvenience this may have caused.” It didn’t really go far enough and has gotten them a lot of negative press and angry merchants.