Hacking Google Talk’s Voicemail to Play MP3

Amit Agarwal has discovered that Google Talk’s new voicemail feature utilizes the Google Video player and can be hacked to play any MP3 of your choice.

…you can play any MP3 files from the embedded Google Video player without even having to login to GMail. Here’s the secret URL (works perfect in Firefox)

http://mail.google.com/mail/html/audio.swf?audioUrl=MP3_URL

Not sure why you’d won’t to uses such a basic player, but have at it!

Does Microsoft, Facebook Pact Leave LookSmart Out in the Cold?

Lots of buzz surrounding Microsofts new advertising deal with social networking site Facebook.

Late Tuesday evening, Microsoft announced that Facebook had agreed to allow the software company to provide search and advertising listings to Facebook’s 9 million users. The Wall Street Journal reported that the arrangement was for three years.

So where does this leave LookSmart? Jilted at the altar? They recently announced the same type of deal with Facebook and I met with CEO Dave Hills recently and he seemed very excited to have Facebook as an ad-partner.

So has LookSmart been dumped, or is there still room for them? I’ll email Dave Hills and let you know what he has to say.

Channel Sponsors

Heading to New York

Not much happening here Tuesday as I’m heading to New York to spend the day consulting with Jim Boykin and We Build Pages.

I’ll be back Wednesday. ;-)

Consumer Created Web Content Impacting Online Purchases

JupiterResearch has discovered that consumer-created content (blogs, forums etc) are having an increasing impact on consumer’s online purchasing.

“The power of the consumer’s voice has never been stronger,” said David Daniels, Vice President and Research Director at JupiterResearch. “It is impacting consumer behavior and how companies operate. Smart marketers are not just reviewing consumer-created content, they are studying it and using it to develop strategies to grow their business.”

Interesting stats include…

* 77% of online shoppers use consumer generated product reviews and those that find them useful are more likely to be loyal to recommended stores.

* Consumers who post feedback on forums – positive or negative – spend 22% more online than others.

Three Depart AOL Over Search Data Leak

I’m glad to see AOL considers the accidental release of user’s search data to be unacceptable. The company has fired the researcher responsible and his supervisor, according to CNET.

The culling didn’t stop there, either…

CTO Maureen Govern “has decided to leave AOL effective immediately,” AOL Chief Executive Jon Miller wrote in an e-mail to employees dated Monday.

Seems like an appropriate response to me. Anyone think AOL should do more?

Still Waiting for Legal Stance onTrademarks in Subdomains

It looks like we’ll have to wait a little longer before we find out if using a trademark in a subdomain is legal or not. The lawsuit that would have helped define the situation has been settled out of court, according to ClickZ.

According to attorney and Santa Clara University law professor Eric Goldman, the case could have set some precedent about third-level subdomains (like the “blog” part of http://blog.clickz.com). While trademark law has been shown to apply to a regular domain name, it has not yet been applied to third-level ones, and it’s not clear that it would apply, he said. It would also help define Google’s responsibility in what subdomains it allows to be registered.

Yahoo Has Eye on Tech Start-ups

Bradley Horowitz, Yahoo’s vice president for product strategy, chats with Lee Gomes of the WSJ about Yahoo’s strategy for acquiring interesting start-ups.