The CIA Tracking Blogs

It seems that big business are not the only ones interested in tracking online blogs, the CIA has launched an initiative to track the blogosphere.

As OSC Director Douglas J. Naquin told The Washington Times, “A lot of blogs now have become very big on the Internet, and we’re getting a lot of rich information on blogs that are telling us a lot about social perspectives and everything from what the general feeling is to … people putting information on there that doesn’t exist anywhere else.”

I’m always looking for new readers, so, early next week, I’ll be revealing the secret location of Osama Bin Laden, showing your where Sadam Hussein keeps his nuclear weapons and reveal all about Area 51. – that should get the spooks driving up my visitor count. ;-)

Yahoo Gives Babel Fish New Features

Over at the Yahoo blog, comes news that translation service Babel Fish has received a makeover, complete with a host of new features.

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Drinking the Google Juice

Rand points to a new article from the Washington Post’s Leslie Walker. She looks at how improve your “Google juice” by using “search-massage consultants” but warns us to be careful of the “search-engine police”. ;-)

Get Google SketchUp for Free

Google has released Google Sketchup, the recently acquired 3D modeling software and making it available for free (except for concerned residents of San Francisco, who don’t like free stuff from Google).

As Nathan explains…

The free version lets you create 3D models of “houses, sheds, decks, home additions, woodworking projects – even space ships�, detailing and texturing as necessary. All your work can be placed in Google Earth and shared, as well as posted to Google’s 3D Warehouse. You can also grab anything from the Warehouse and edit it, giving you a great base to start from.

More via the Google blog.

Google Wi-Fi Deal Facing Absurd Criticism

eWeek reports that San Francisco Supervisor Jake McGoldrick, the ACLU and couple of other groups do not want the current Google/Earthlink free wi-fi deal to go ahead.

It seems they’re concerned that users will be asked to provide information that would allow Google to track who they are and where they.

As the Travelocity gnome would say…”Bullhonkery”.

Hello? Google is offering free wi-fi, that’s F.R.E.E, free, as in no cost. Let them collect the information. If users don’t want to give out their info, guess what, let them pay for wi-fi access!

Google Click Fraud Settlement a Raw Deal?

I’ve just received an interesting press release from Los Angeles law firm Kabateck Brown Kellner LLP. They’re clearly unhappy with the recent $90 million settlement and I’m guessing would like to encourage others to think the same way.

They obviously have their own motives, but I thought the release made some valid points, so here it is in full.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE April 26, 2006

GOOGLE’S $90 MILLION ARKANSAS CLICK FRAUD SETTLEMENT
LEAVES LITTLE FOR VICTIMS

LOS ANGELES, CALIF. –Brian Kabateck, an attorney representing plaintiffs in a Federal Court “click fraud” class action pending against Google in California, says the $90 million preliminary settlement in an Arkansas case announced April 20 includes a $30 million windfall for the plaintiffs’ attorneys but provides only pennies in credits to Google click fraud victims. The most a victim can expect to receive is about a half a cent for every $1 lost to click fraud.

Microsoft Acquires Video Game Ad Network

If Google can get into Radio ads, Microsoft can get into video game ads. According to Reuters, MSFT plans to pay $200 million to $400 million for Massive Inc., a privately held company that places ads in video games.

Clients of Massive, which uses always-on Internet connections to place real-time ads in games, include Coca-Cola Co. , Honda Motor Co. Ltd. and other advertisers that are boosting spending for ads in video games.

The in-game ad industry is expected to grow to $3 billion by 2010. Neither side is confirming the deal, but I think it’s a great move by Microsoft who can combine this with their Xbox products.

As a search engine, given a choice between a radio ad network of in-game ads, I’d put my money on the video games.