Monthly Archives: September 2007

Chris Nuttall

Dinerdash Casual games companies are getting serious about where they find their next growth driver, and it’s no surprise they see the boost coming from the introduction of social networking features.

Real Networks agreed to acquire Game Trust this week, a company that allows casual games sites to add customisable communities for players. Read more

Richard Waters

Glam Some very big bets are being placed on finding the next online media conglomerates. One thing these companies have in common: they don’t spend too much money on content, but have models designed to aggregate large audiences on the Web.

Glam Media, which claims to have the largest reach of any Website aimed at women, is understood to be looking to raise $250m from private investors. Glam likes to think of itself as a US-style TV network for the Web. It creates a small amount of content, a brand and advertising: other websites with relevant content that want to sign on to the network have to commit to an exclusive relationship, making them the equivalent of the "owned and operated" stations of the TV networks (though Glam doesn’t go actually buy them outright.) This aggregated audience has now reached 25m unique visitors. Read more

Halo3masterchief1 As energy drink-addled Master Chief wannabes emerge from their caffeine haze having conquered Halo 3, they are sure to begin exploring the game’s interesting user-generated features.

The most interesting of these is Forge, a map editor that lets Halo players roam around the game’s multi-player battlefields dropping weapons, vehicles and other materiel around the map. Players can then save their custom-built maps, invite friends and even upload them to the web site of Bungie, Halo 3′s developer, where they can be shared and commented on by the entire Halo 3 community.  Read more

Paul Taylor

One of the consequences of the evolution of the web from a text-heavy to an increasingly video centric medium is that search tools also need to evolve.

UK-based Blinkx and AOL’s Truveo unit led the way with video search tools that enable users to track down and watch video clips by entering search key words in a browser window. Read more

Richard Waters

Crowds The "wisdom of crowds" motif has become a tired cliche in online circles in recent years. With the latest in low-cost interactive Web technologies, though, there finally seems to be a real wave of experimentation underway in how to harness the knowledge of the masses.

The range of that experimentation is intriguing. Two of the companies presenting at the Demo conference – a showcase that tries to filter out the best tech start-ups, though the "winners" of this contest still have to pay $18,000 to show up – represent the extremes. Read more

Richard Waters

Q: Where can you find 1m screens, at the heart of a multi-billion-dollar industry, that are just waiting to be connected to the internet?

A: Las Vegas, Atlantic City and anywhere else that players of the slots congregate. Read more

Paul Taylor

It is always good to kick off a conference – particularly a tech startup beauty show like Demo – with a splash. That is just what DemoFall’s longtime organiser, Chris Shipley, did with Digital Fountain, the kick off demonstrator at today’s event in San Diego.

Digital Fountain, a privately funded Fremont-based digital video infrastructure startup, showed off itsDF Splash technology which cleans up "lossy" IP-delivered video guaranteeing near broadcast quality video even when a sizable number of packets are dropped. Read more

Richard Waters

Demo_4 It’s good to see that there are still some internet visionaries out there with really big, outlandish ambitions.

The Demo, which has just started in San Diego, looks like being a great showcase for a wide range of practical businesses being built on today’s internet technologies: online video delivery networks, "wisdom of crowds" marketing systems, workplace social networks, mobile search engines. Read more

Chris Nuttall

Triton_2000 Before the internet came along, I once had a vague interest in orienteering – a sport requiring a map, compass, running gear and a whistle – in case you got lost in the woods.

The advent of the web and GPS devices has made all that seem out of date. In 2000, the US removed selective availability from its GPS system, allowing locations to be nailed down to within three metres and leading to the growth of geocaching as a sport and worldwide treasure huntRead more

Chris Nuttall

Facebookfriends_2 The merry-go-round of big internet companies looking to buy a piece of Facebook is taking another turn, with Microsoft coming into view again – a Wall Street Journal report says it is seeking to invest up to $500m in the social networking site.

Yahoo, Google and Microsoft are all understood to have flirted with Facebook in the past year or so, but it has remained resolutely independent, and there is every chance its founder Mark Zuckerberg would rebuff Microsoft again. Read more