Daily Archives: January 9, 2008

Richard Waters

Ask_jeeves_2 Barry Diller must be feeling pretty frustrated about the search business. When he bought the small but feisty Ask Jeeves three years ago he said his aim was to boost its traffic, partly by plugging it into all of IAC’s other websites. He even took a financial hit, slashing the number of sponsored listings carried on search results pages to make the service less off-putting.

The result? Ask.com (as it is now called) remains decidedly small and feisty. According to comScore, its share of the US search market was just over 5 per cent when IAC bought it: it’s now just below 5 per cent. That is despite a number of user interface innovations that have generally won it good reviews, including the latest "Ask3D" search results page

Richard Waters

Intel_dotstation Paul Otellini has been setting out his stall for yet another push by Intel into consumer electronics. His keynote speech at the Consumer Electronics Show this year made much of the "personal internet". In this vision, every CE device connects to the internet, and anything that connects to the internet should be powered by an Intel chip.

At times like this it’s worth remembering previous Intel false dawns from CES. There was the 2001 announcement of a line of Intel-branded CE devices, like the $300 Intel Pocket Concert Audio Player (by October, Intel had decided to scrap the whole idea, along with the Dot.Station internet appliance for the kitchen, pictured above.) Then there was the 2004 unveiling of the LCOS technology that was meant to revolutionise the large-screen TV business (it was dropped seven months later.) Two years ago came the official launch of the Viiv consumer brand, which is quietly being put out to pasture

Bloggers are buzzing about Facebook’s decision today to dispatch a representative to join the DataPortability Workgroup, a group of coders working to develop standards that would allow web users to transport their friend lists, photos and other media between social networking sites. Google, the search engine, and Plaxo, a web site that lets users share their personal contacts, also announced they would join the group.

But most of the attention has fallen on Facebook, which in the past had favoured a closed approach in which it would not allow its data to be easily ‘scraped’ for transfer between sites. Just last week, it blocked the account of Robert Scoble, the popular tech-blogger, after he used a tool made by Plaxo, the web contacts company, to mine his Facebook profile for his user information.  

Chris Nuttall

300_warner_bros If HD DVD is about to lose the next-generation DVD format war to Blu-ray, comparisons with the Betamax-VHS battle and even (for UK readers) the squarial versus Rupert Murdoch’s Sky television, seem particularly apt.

Both Betamax and British Satellite Broadcasting offered better technology than their victorious rivals and the same can be argued for HD DVD.