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Technorati Revamps (Again)

Technorati has seen a lot of changes this year. In May, they launched a total redesign. In August, then-CEO Dave Sifry stepped down without a replacement. In September, they launched a stream-of-consciousness-river-of-news Topics section to highlight posts in each area (for one second apiece), which soon became the new front page for Technorati. And today, as reported by TechCrunch, they have another redesign going live.

Latest Technorati redesign

The new front page is similar to the topics front page in that it features recent stories. However, stories are featured for longer and the featured stories are determined in a Techmeme-esque algorithmic way (kind of ironic after the heat CEO Richard Jalichandra took for paying Techmeme a backhanded compliment in October).

NBC Pulls Videos from iTunes

NBC’s contract with the iTunes store has expired, which means NBC no longer has content on the site. That means Battlestar Galactica, The Office, NBC News, CNBC, NBC Sports, and other popular show are gone. The two have been long fighting over pricing.

NBC has launched a number of new initiatives like NBC Direct where downloads are free. They also have deals with NetFlix and others to distribute their content, often free, rather than the $1.99 charged on iTunes. NBC wanted to experiment with different prices and bundles but iTunes refused.

The problem with NBC Direct Player is that it requires Internet Explorer, a proprietary player, and the latest .Net framework. You can watch the videos 7 days after they are released and they expire 48 hours after you begin watching a movie. You can’t watch them on another computer or on a portable video player like your iPod. A Mac version is planned for next year.

Digg Adds Image Support, Restructures Categories

It seems like Digg users have been asking for–and Kevin Rose promising–a category for images and photos forever. Well the long wait is now over and you can finally uploaded your favorite lolcats image.

At the Digg blog, Kevin Rose announces the launch of image support and also better organization of existing categories. Here’s what Digg users are waking up to today:

  • New Universal Taxonomy
    Now you can submit news, images, or videos to any category on Digg! Categories will be consistent across the board, which means you can view all media types in a given topic, or view one media type at a time (e.g., only images under the “sports” category). We’re also excited to support the launch with new categories. “Offbeat” will be its own category, with new topics, and we’re adding a whole new “Lifestyle” category with topics like Autos, Food & Drink, and Travel.

Tracking Santa’s Sleigh with Google Earth

I have hung the stockings and this weekend I’m off to get the tree. If you have young children at home or if you’re just a kid at heart, you’ll like what Google and NORAD are up to. A tradition of tracking Santa Claus, which was started in 1955, is still happening today, but thanks to Google Earth, this Christmas you can track Santa online.

What is NORAD? It’s the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD), the organization responsible for the aerospace defense of the U. S. and Canada. They inadvertently got involved in tracking Santa. In 1955, a Sears store published an ad that said kids could call Santa, but they put the wrong phone number. It was actually a phone number to NORAD, who decided to humor the kids. The organization started tracking Santa’s sleigh on Christmas Eve and continue to do that today. Working with Google, now they made it possible to see Santa’s trip in 3D, using Google Earth.

Webify Your Living Room with TiVo

On a day where notable bloggers are talking about "webifying" their living room with the use of Mac Minis, along comes TiVo to help the millions of consumers that already own its digital video recorder.

According to Crave

The digital video recorder manufacturer has partnered with two photo-sharing services–the Google-owned Picasa Web Albums and Fox Interactive Media-owned Photobucket–in order to enable users to surf through their photo albums as well as their friends’ and family members’, provided that their TiVo boxes are broadband-connected.

A release from the company emphasized the fact that photos are viewable in the highest resolution possible, which on the TiVo Series 3 and TiVo HD devices means full high definition.

Not only can TiVo users view their own photos, but they can also search through all publicly available photographs.

Facebook Follows through on Beacon Changes

As anticipated yesterday, Facebook has announced their modifications to Project Beacon. As Search Engine Land reports, the changes include opt-in instead of opt-out for listing purchases through Project Beacon partner sites. I think we can also safely assume that the opt-in notices will be more noticeable than were the previous messages.

Among the other changes:

If a user does nothing with the initial notification on Facebook, it will hide after some duration without a story being published. When a user takes a future action on a Beacon site, it will reappear and display all the potential stories along with the opportunity to click “OK” to publish or click “remove” to not publish.

Sites Let Bloggers Make Money on Photos

With the popularity of Flickr photo sharing site, some people get shortchanged for their work. Two sites are finding ways to compensate the photographer and the bloggers who post their photos.

I learned about photo money for bloggers first from Photrade, at BlogWorldExpo. Now stock photography company Corbis is offering bloggers to use some of their images free. The images have ads embedded in them (and show up when you mouse over them) or the ad is an overlay on top of the image.

Rather than user-generated they are professional pictures. Corbis has more than 100 million creative, entertainment and historic images from top photographers. They will offer the images through the site Picapp. The images can be tracked and the company can determine if they’re used illegally. Bloggers earn revenue when people click on the images.