Featured Picks from Contributor

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  • Grouper lets video viewers leave video comments

    Grouper, a video sharing site we’ve covered a number of times before, has launched a very cool new feature that could disrupt the crowded world of online video sharing. Viewers can now add their own video comments to Grouper videos and the comments can be watched inside the same embedded player. In just a few weeks the embedded players themselves will be able to record the video… Read More

  • US House: Schools must block MySpace, many other sites

    US House Resolution 5319, the Deleting Online Predators Act (DOPA), was passed by a 410 to 15 vote tonight. If the Resolution becomes law social networking sites and chat rooms must be blocked by schools and libraries or those institutions will lose their federal internet subsidies. According to the resolution’s top line summary it will “amend the Communications Act of 1934… Read More

  • Skype announces toolbar that calls from MS office

    Skype announced today the release of some very cool toolbars including one that interacts with Microsoft Office. When you’ve got it installed, you can click on any phone number inside a Word, Excel or Powerpoint file and Skype Out will call that number! It recognizes fax numbers too, and won’t call those. Very cool. Beta versions of toolbars for Outlook, Outlook Express and… Read More

  • Google challenges SourceForge in open source project hosting

    Google announced today at OSCON, the O’Reilly open source conference, that it has launched an open source project hosting site that will rival The service has been given the unglamorous name Google Code Project Hosting. Early comments around the web highlight the need for a competitor to, which is believed to experience too much down time and… Read More

  • Massive Korean Social Network CyWorld Launches in US

    Those of us in the US can finally get our very own minihompies in the newly launched US version of the South Korean social network CyWorld. Minihompies are now called MiniHomes in the US version and they are these strange little spaces for user avatars (MiniMe) and cartoon charms that people apparently spend real money on. Most of the charms appear to cost 5 acorns – the CyWorld… Read More

  • Yahoo's Webzari visualizes link search

    The Yahoo! Korea team has launched a service called Webzari for visualizing the weight of inbound links to any web page and saving the visualization query history in Yahoo!’s social bookmarking service. The interface is in Korean, and it’s not entirely clear how well it works yet, but the basic feature set is discernible and it’s an intriguing thought for the future. The Yahoo! Read More

  • Backpack adds calendar and voice notes

    37Signals, the poster child of consumer facing software as a service, is making another move that’s sure to please their customers and demonstrate again the advantages of hosted services over desktop-bound software. The popular personal productivity tool Backpack is now offering an online calendar with all paid Backpack plans. The the calendar page was just linked to the Upgrade page… Read More

  • Netvibes adds Meebo IM

    Netvibes, one of the leading ajax desktops online, announced today that they have added a module for Meebo, a cross-platform web IM system. Netvibes is a great way to make RSS visually appealing and usable, but the inclusion of Meebo in the platform takes things to the next level in terms of interactivity. People who use multiple computers can now use any terminal to read their feeds in… Read More

  • Madhens auctions timeshare image ads

    Madhens is a new site for auctioning off image ad space on web pages for a set period of time. It looks like a simple, smart system. It’s already scored real estate on ThoughtMechanics, the #6 blog on the Technorati 100. Through August the revenue split goes 90% to site publishers, 10% to Madhens. Over the long run the company founder says he intends to offer an 80/20 split. Madhens… Read More

  • SayNow helps musicians call their fans

    Sometimes simple systems work the best and SayNow might be one of those cases. The service, still in private beta, is targeting musicians on MySpace who want to exchange voice messages with their fans. They can record voice messages, SMS alerts are sent when new messages are available and fans can leave messages in response after listening to a recording from the musician they are… Read More

  • Limelight Networks lands $130m more to deliver the web's future

    Limelight Networks, the content delivery technology behind such Web 2.0 leaders as MySpace, Facebook and XBoxLive, has received a new round of funding. Limelight is also widely believed to be the content delivery provider for YouTube. Goldman Sachs led the round of $130 million invested so that Limelight can increase its capacity. Limelight is the number two player in the online… Read More

  • SightSpeed 5.0 Launches

    Berkeley, CA based SightSpeed, an IP video and voice services company, is launching its 5.0 product tonight. While many of the changes are upgrades to its video product suite (including a new video codec) and user interface (which is already good), SightSpeed makes several introductions in this launch. Among them, it’s adding new PSTN out and in-calling features to extend SightSpeed… Read More

  • Questions, Quests and Bookmarks: Otavo does it all

    Otavo is an Ontario, Canada based service that’s just moving into public beta today. We posted about them in April and now that the service is public, it looks good. Otavo users can ask and answer questions, organize and comment on bookmarks and share their goals in a social context. Think + ask.metafilter + 43Things wrapped in a nice UI with points for participation… Read More

  • Pop-up Politician dishes dirt on US congress members

    There’s a number of little tools emerging that pop up information from off-site when users hover over a link, but here’s the coolest one I’ve seen yet: Pop-up Politicians. This ajax widget from the Sunlight Foundation lets anyone link US Congressmembers’ names on their blogs to a popup window about that politician. Here’s an example of the tool in action. … Read More

  • Amazon to throw its weight at video downloads

    Amazon disclosed this weekend that they would be entering the video download space in mid August. AdAge reported on Saturday that Amazon Digital Video will be a subscription service operating through a desktop client. The company has already cried uncle on music downloads and will focus instead on video, a milieu it believes is still free of domination by a single vendor. ABC/Disney appears… Read More

  • Skype upgrades Mac version – now with video

    Mac users feeling spurned by Windows development for Skype can take heart – the company released a beta version of Skype for Mac 1.5 today. Video support is finally included, though it’s a separate download. Drag and drop contact adding and file transfer are smooth. You can even drag and drop someone from your contact list into a group chat. The biggest change though is in the… Read More

  • BlogTalkRadio to turn bloggers into talk radio hosts

    Podcasts are fun to listen to, but they’d be even cooler if you could listen live and IM your feedback to the host in real time. The soon to launch service BlogTalkRadio will make that possible. BlogTalkRadio is targeting bloggers who want to hold a live telephone conversation with up to 5 people on a phone line at once. Anyone can listen live to the call on the phone or through… Read More

  • JumpCut In Deal With FoxAtomic

    JumpCut, reviewed here by Michael Arrington several months ago, announced a licensing deal for its browser-based video editing software with FoxAtomic today. FoxAtomic will use Jumpcut to enable online auditions for its remake of the classic comedy “Revenge of the Nerds”. It is the second such deal for JumpCut, following a contest that allowed users to remix the trailer for… Read More

  • Microsoft Zune to Battle iTunes/iPod

    Microsoft today confirmed the existence of a new portable music player and integrated service called Zune. Launch is scheduled for launch some time this year. Zune is clearly aimed at Apple’s iTunes/iPod dominance. In an interview with Billboard, Chris Stephenson, Microsoft’s new GM of marketing for MSN Entertainment Business, said Zune will be an umbrella brand for what he says… Read More

  • Guba's Johnny will find copyrighted videos online

    Online video service Guba, fresh from distribution deals with several major movie studios, has launched a new technology that it claims will automatically detect and flag copyrighted video footage, even if that video has been altered. The company says it intends to license the technology, nicknamed “Johnny” (after Johnny Mnemonic), to other video sharing sites. … Read More