According to Microsoft Watch, a new standalone version of Internet Explorer will go into beta this summer to be delivered to Windows XP Service Pack 2 customers. Labeled as version 7.0, the new IE will have anti-phishing, anti-spyware, and anti-virus protection built-in.
On the way home, I listen to CNBC on XM Radio. Dylan Ratigan, host of the Bullseye segment, had an interview with the CEO of GoDaddy.com, Bob Parsons. Apparently, the NFL contacted Fox after their commercial aired in the first quarter and requested Fox pull the commercial. Fox complied and the spot was not aired a second time.
When asked on CNBC why he thought the ad was pulled, Parsons stated that it was the NFL censoring GoDaddy’s parody of censorship stemming from last year’s Super Bowl half time show controversy. Watching the commercial, I have to agree with Parsons as this is the only rationale that makes any sense. Fox reviewed the commercial two weeks in advance. In addition, the ad itself was rather tame when compared with standard beer commercials and the coverage of NFL cheerleaders on the sidelines. Honestly, I think the NFL is going overboard here and the league appears hypocritical.
Was the banned Go Daddy Super Bowl ad indecent?
Following up on my post concerning the faulty logic used for the Super Bowl productivity waste comes a study from the Center for Excellence in Service at the University of Marylandâ??s Robert H. Smith School of Business and Rockbridge Associates, Inc. calculating the costs of spam. Now donâ??t take my next comments the wrong way. I feel spam is an enormous problem and a productivity drain. What I do have a problem with is the methodology with which this study was performed.
Spamâ??s price tag now reaches $21.58 billion annually in lost productivity according to the results of the 2004 National Technology Readiness Survey (NTRS). Findings from the 2004 NTRS, an annual survey that tracks U.S. consumersâ?? technology opinions and behaviors, indicate that online users in the United States spend an average of three minutes deleting spam each day they check e-mail. Aggregating their usage across the 169.4 million online adults in the United States, this equals 22.9 million hours a week, or $21.58 billion annually when based on the average working wage.
The authors reached a dollar figure by multiplying their 3 minute per day average by the 169.4 million online adults in the U.S. which equates to 22.9 million hours per week. Where do I start with the absurdity? First, “online adults” does not equal “working adults with internet access”. Second, how many of these people are deleting spam that comes to a work email address versus a home / personal email address? To leave this out invalidates the entire study. If an unemployed person spends 3 minutes or 3 hours deleting spam, the action in no way impacts any productivity to any business. Likewise, the casual user checking their AOL email account and spending 3 minutes deleting spam in the evening again does not impact productivity. The key metric here is where the user is checking their email account and to a lesser extent what type of account it is (personal or work).
I recognize and agree that spam is an issue. Really, who doesn’t? Iâ??d prefer to see a well thought approach to measuring its impact though, instead of this nonsense. This just goes to show that statistics can be manipulated to tell any story you want.
While Iâ??m on the subject of spam, letâ??s talk about whatâ??s more annoying and a bigger waste of time in my opinion â?? postal mail spam. I get tremendous amounts of junk mail every single day at home and the office. Once you get your name on someoneâ??s list, itâ??s there for eternity. It takes me about a second to delete email spam. It takes me 20 to 30 times that long to get rid of junk mail. This is mainly because it’s hard to tell the difference anymore between legitimate mail and the junk (especially the mortgage refinance mailings). Unfortunately, I have to actually open the majority of junk mail to make sure there isnâ??t something important Iâ??m throwing away. Now that is a real waste of time.
I’m sure many of you have had this problem. Some of the pages on your site have not been indexed by Google yet and the Google AdSense ads are displaying the public service ads. Now not to be miserly or anything, but the whole point of placing ads on the site was to generate revenue. And the last time I checked, free public service ads are driving revenues to neither Google nor my site. Since Google can be notoriously slow to index pages sometimes, especially new sites, I began researching solutions for my other blog, All Climbing. What I found was a free Perl script called AGAR, Amazon/Google Ad Replacement.
AGAR allows you to replace the Google public service ads with Amazon product links using the Amazon Web Services (AWS). The script is simple to modify. You then just upload it to your cgi-bin directory and then tell Google AdSense to replace the public service ads with the URL to the AGAR script. AGAR looks similar to the Google AdSense ads and can also use the same color scheme.
Google released its TV search service on Monday. Google is currently beta testing the service and right now there is limited programming to search. Searching is available for some local ABC and NBS affiliates, PBS, C-SPAN, and Fox News. Interestingly, Google actually searches the closed captioning text of the TV programs in their databases. While Google searches TV, Yahoo takes a different approach and has a much wider variety of clips to search on any particular topic.
I just stumbled on a new service from a company called Streamload. It essentially provides online storage for files, but with a unique twist on the business model. Instead of charging for the amount of total storage, Streamload users pay for the amount they download. Primarily aimed at heavy music users, this service could also be a cheap alternative to backup limited amounts of crtitical files. Zero cost to store data on their servers and in the case you actually need them to be backed up, you pay for the download. Not a bad idea.
Following up on my earlier post regarding the new Yahoo Desktop Search, Nathan Weinberg points to a BusinessWeek article questioning whether desktop search will provide profit for Yahoo, Google, and Microsoft.
Reading Frank Barnako’s latest Internet Daily column, I saw an interesting mention of a recent interview with Google’s Product Manager, Marissa Mayer. This is a highly recommended read as it provides some fascinating insights into the founders and culture of Google. The interview specifically underscores the importance of focusing on and managing to the user experience.
SearchEngineWatch also has some additional stories on Google from Mayer.
The title speaks for itself. The author writes a short, yet interesting article on the history of blogs.