Microsoft Hopes Its New Mobile Ads Will Toast Apple’s iAd

Microsoft has paid close attention to the apparent early success of Apple’s iAd platform and it would like a piece of the action.

In fact, it believes its new Windows Phone 7 ad platform will be the best thing since sliced bread–seriously! It’s calling the platform “Toast!”

Windows Phone 7, due out for the holidays, will allow advertisers to push notifications about their products to people’s phones through a platform called “Toast.” Even when a company’s app is not active, a small ad box can slide down from the top of the phone’s screen to alert the user there’s an update or new offer from that brand.

Twitter Gets FTC’s Attention on Privacy Concerns

With all of the mess that surrounds Facebook and data security etc., it seems at times that other web properties are doing it well. That’s a dangerous assumption. Yesterday Twitter was thrown into the data security spotlight when it took some medicine from the Federal Trade Commission regarding data / security breaches in the past.

The LA Times reports

Twitter has agreed to settle allegations by federal regulators that it put the privacy of its users at risk by failing to protect them from data security lapses last year that let hackers access their accounts.

The Federal Trade Commission said Thursday that the settlement bars Twitter from misleading consumers about its security and privacy practices and requires the start-up to establish a comprehensive information security program.

Facebook Blocks Twitter. Is a Lawsuit Next?

Just minutes after Twitter announced a feature to see which of your Facebook friends are on Twitter, Facebook blocked it!

Now, thanks to Techdirt, we can see that this is not just some harmless mistake. Facebook does not want you having access to the data you’ve worked hard to compile. In other words, if you try to access any of your Facebook data via a 3rd-party app then the social network won’t just block you, it may sue you!

FedEx Delivers Real Twitter Support During iPhone Tracking Crisis

Which company do you think of when you hear,” when it absolutely has to be there overnight?”

OK, that was an easy question, considering FedEx is mentioned in the post title.

But, imagine if thousands of customers were facing “when you have absolutely no idea where it is or when it will get here!”

That’s the situation I–and thousands of others that had pre-ordered the Apple iPhone–found myself in, when FedEx’s normally reliable package tracking tool collapsed under the strain. OK, maybe it didn’t actually collapse, but the data was so inaccurate that the system may as well have crashed.

At this point, I’m mad at FedEx.

Should I stay in, should I print off a signature release? Will the iPhone arrive today, tomorrow, ever?

WhitePages.com Updates Local Business Product

Did you know that WhitePages.com regularly ranks among the Top 50 web sites in the US for traffic? I didn’t but I guess that just shows that I don’t need to find many phone numbers. That kind of traffic though is a valuable asset and WhitePages.com is looking to take advantage of the push in local business information that has been led by Google’s Place Pages and other specific local business directories.

paidContent.org tells us more

WhitePages.com has given visitors the option to search for local businesses for almost a decade, although it has historically sent those queries to third-party sites. Starting Thursday, it’s taking those listings in-house and adding several features, including a “store locator,” which lets people find branches of national chains in their area.

Is Mobile the Future for eBay?

While everyone is trying to figure out just how big mobile commerce will get, eBay is just out doing something about it. That’s kind of refreshing in this day and age of hype replacing action. So what has lit the mobile fire under eBay? Simple market principles like survival and competition (you remember those, right?). Bloomberg BusinessWeek reports that this sector of eBay’s business is growing and they are doing what they can to keep it that way.

After losing ground to Amazon.com (AMZN) for years in online retailing, eBay has emerged as a leader in a new market: mobile commerce. As consumers increasingly shop with their BlackBerrys, iPhones, and handsets powered by Google’s (GOOG) Android software, such as the Motorola (MOT) Droid, eBay has become the top mobile retailer in the U.S., say analysts.

YouTube Gets a Summary Judgment Against Viacom

YouTube has chalked one up for the distribution channel of videos. The Google Blog says it best so I’m going to let them say it:

Today, the court granted our motion for summary judgment in Viacom’s lawsuit with YouTube. This means that the court has decided that YouTube is protected by the safe harbor of the Digital Millenium Copyright Act (DMCA) against claims of copyright infringement. The decision follows established judicial consensus that online services like YouTube are protected when they work cooperatively with copyright holders to help them manage their rights online.

The key to this entire argument and result is that YouTube worked cooperatively. They didn’t pirate anything, per se. Copyrighted material that was on YouTube was taken down as pointed out by the Judge in the case. The Washington Post reports