AP & Yahoo Reach Deal; AP & Google Next?

The Associated Press has long had a rocky relationship with the Internet. Two years ago, they were suing people for linking to their stories. Then they sent C&Ds to people using short quotes. After much deliberation, they decided that you could quote them for free—if you used less than five words. After that, prices started at $12.50.

However, they have had a few things worked out. Way back in 1998, they came up with a limited deal for sharing with sites like Yahoo and Google News (which obviously didn’t come until later), which expired late last month. Although they have reached a new agreement, Google stopped adding new AP stories in December, but will continue to host old ones. Now the AP has expanded their deal—with Yahoo.

Beware of Google Agent 007

Google is so good at what it does that it actually uncovers illegal acts and helps bring perpetrators to justice. Well that may be a bit of a stretch but in the “is that really news department” is an incident where the roving Google camera caught a Canadian tree-killer in the act. As a result, the parties that were committing “treeicide” (not a real word, I know but this is a blog, remember) may find themselves facing some significant fines.

Wired magazine tells us

Forget about all of those ubiquitous police surveillance cameras in your city: the new sheriff in town is that shifty Google Maps camera wheeling through your neighborhood.

Recently, a property owner in Canada was charged with illegal removal of trees after a Google camera helped capture the evidence, according to CanWest News Service.

Why Aardvark’s Social Search Engine Might Suffer from “Participation Fatigue”

Let me ask you something, are you happy with the search results you receive from Google?

If you were to guess how often Google gives you exactly the result you were searching for–on your first search query–what would that look like? 40% of the time? 60%? 90%?

I’d say that for me, Google gives me precisely what I was looking for, less than 50% of the time–at least out of the gate. I find I have to refine my query before I get the desired set of search results.

Would I be better off asking my network of friends? Social search engine Aardvark’s new research paper suggests that might be the case:

70.4% of answers were deemed to be ‘good’, with 14.1% as ‘OK’ and 15.5% were rated as bad.

Google to Open Online Software Sales Effort

Google continues to reach into the application side of the web wholeheartedly while dabbling in the device area as well. It is likely that Google is smart enough to see what happened to the PC industry when it was finally realized that “It’s the application, stupid!”. As a result it looks like Google is readying another opportunity to get deeper into the application game while turning the corner from being totally “free” to generating revenue from their efforts. Imagine that. Revenue.

The Wall Street Journal reports

Google Inc. is preparing to launch a store selling online business software that integrates with its Web services, according to people briefed by the company, enlisting software developers in its battle against Microsoft Corp.

Did Apple Brainwash Us with Its Subliminal Messaging for iPad

Is Apple’s Steve Jobs the king of subliminal marketing?

You decide:



What are Twitter Followers Worth? <1¢

Basically since Twitter became popular, there have been companies offering “pay for followers” services. Back in August, for example, we talked about one company offering 1000 followers for $87. But it turns out those followers are way overpriced—the going rate on eBay is less than 1¢ per follower, as TechCrunch reports.

Some of the Buy-It-Now listings include 5,000 followers for $20 (which comes to 0.4 penny/follower), $5,500 for $40 (0.7 penny/follower), $1,100 for $10 (0.9 penny/follower). You are not actually buying followers outright (Twitter doesn’t allow people to transfer their followers), but rather services which “guarantee” getting your account up to the promised number of followers through “proven and safe methods.” Some even only count reciprocal followers (followers who follow back).

35% More Facebook Users Engaged with Privacy

In case you missed it, Facebook updated its privacy settings in December. The resulting debacle resulted in complaints to the FTC (even though Facebook consulted with the commission before the change).

But, as it turns out, the new privacy changes—where a message prompted users to update their privacy settings—have (surprise, surprise) gotten more Facebook users thinking about their privacy. In fact, Facebook Director of Public Policy Tim Sparapani said that 35% of Facebook users who had never before consulted their privacy settings have now updated them.

Let me say that again, quoting the BayNewser:

In other words, [35% of] Facebook users who had never previously configured their privacy settings now configured them. (Not, as it could be read, one-third of the subset of Facebook users, in which the subset included all people who had never configured their settings before.)