• Hey ChaCha, I Don't Like SMS Spam

    Twelve days ago ChaCha, a controversial search engine that uses humans to answer search queries, rolled out a mobile version of the service. Ask it anything via text message, and they’ll send you an answer in a few minutes. I tried the service once to test it, and haven’t used it since. But today I received a text message from them saying “Ever wish you could actually… Read More

  • Attn SimulScribe: Don't do crack, it's a ghetto drug

    SimulScribe, a provider of voicemail-to-text services, must be smoking the nasty because they just put out a press release that sounds like something out of a “Poor PR Tactics 101.” It seems Paul Giamatti got into an accident in a cab. He was standing next to a SimulScribe advertisement, looking sad. Then SimulScribe decided to give him and his family and the taxi driver whose cab… Read More

  • University students banned from Google and Wikipedia

    A lecturer from the University of Brighton has banned her students from researching their essays on Google and Wikipedia, dubbing the phenomenon ‘The University of Google’. Speaking to the Brighton Argus newspaper Professor Tara Brabazon said thousands of students across the country, including those at the universities of Brighton and Sussex, were churning out banal and mediocre… Read More

  • China Mobile wants nothing to do with iPhone

    iPhone? Not iPhone? China Mobile was all like “No thanks, Apple” in talks about bringing the Apple iPhone to China. No reason was given for the break in negotiations but Bloomberg suspects it was the 20 to 30 percent of data fees Apple asks for each iPhone subscription. This does not rule out “further cooperation” but who really cares? China has plenty if iPhone… Read More

  • Amazon And Pepsi To Offer Free Music

    Amazon.com and Pepsi have teamed up for a new free music cross promotion that will see Pepsi drinkers earn free music with Pepsi purchases. “Pepsi Stuff” is billed as a “massive collect-and-get program” where “consumers can download the most DRM-free MP3 music available anywhere.” In layman’s terms, drink lots of Pepsi, get DRM free music for free… Read More

  • A charming new Skype scam

    I hate it when people call or chat with me on Skype randomly. I know some people use this opportunity to share stories of their native lands and to brush up on their English, but I use it as opportunity to share pictures of the Lemon Party (don’t search for it. Trust me.) This, however, is a wonderful new method of getting attention by spamming thousands of accounts with fake spyware… Read More

  • Gigya Unveils Monetization Strategy: Distribution of Branded Widgets

    Widget distribution company Gigya has publicly launched a distribution service for branded widgets, a premium service for advertisers that complements WildFire, its free service for the distribution of non-branded widgets. As <a href="we described last April, WildFire helps to distribute widgets across the web by making it easy for users to install them on their social network profiles… Read More

  • Vista SP1 Release Candidate gets updated

    Another version of Vista’s Service Pack 1 is available today and, although it’s not the actual finished service pack, it apparently fixes “a number of bugs that testers encountered in previous prerelease versions of SP1.” It’s called “SP1 RC Refresh” and to get it to work, you’ll have to uninstall any previous service pack release candidates and… Read More

  • GeekBrief.TV #290

    Speculation about why Brief 289 ended so abruptly is worthy of a contest. I’m giving away something from my gadget closet to the most creative commenter on that episode. Sean Carruthers from The Lab with Leo Laporte and Lab Rats helped me out with some CES coverage. In Brief 290, he showed us a new iOmega Ego Drive, the Powermid, a Bluetooth headset for motor cycle helmets and the… Read More

  • Pleo dies for our sins

    Pleo, everyone’s favorite animatronic dinosaur, has been completely disassembled by iFixIt, leading to a rending of clothes and gnashing of teeth up and down the “cuteness corridor” that runs from San Jose to Cleveland. IFixIt, the guys who taught us all how to open our MacBooks and get at the juicy innards, decided to cut down Pleo as a lark. It makes me cry just to look at… Read More

  • Showing cat-like agility and psychic foresight, Netflix reacts to the announcement Apple hasn't yet made

    Netflix might be hedging its bets on an impending movie rental announcement by Apple. Starting today, subscribers to all but the cheapest ($4.99 per month for two DVDs) Netflix plans will receive unlimited streaming of more than 6,000 available movies. Read More

  • MySpace Tries To Put Sexual Predator Problems Behind It

    In a deal announced today with 49 state attorneys general and Washington D.C., MySpace has put into place new measures to protect minors from sexual predators. (Texas is the lone holdout). The site, owned by News Corp., has agreed to independent monitoring and to work on age-verification technologies. It also agreed to, according to the WSJ: • Allow parents to submit a child’s… Read More

  • Toshiba drops prices on HD DVD players

    Forget holiday shopping deals, many Toshiba HD DVD players are now selling for under $200 anyway. The HD-A3 and HD-A30 are going for $134.98 and $174.98 on Amazon, respectively. You’ll still get two free movies in the box (Bourne Identity and 300) plus five more by mail, too. These may very well be closeout prices, though. Often times, retailers will change the last two digits in the… Read More

  • Tinfinger: A User Generated Who's Who

    Geelong, Australia based Tinfinger has launched in beta today with a user-generated “omnibus” of famous and well known people. The site combines user-authored encyclopedic profile pages of famous people, some social networking aspects, a revenue share model and aggregated news. People in Tinfinger’s database are sorted via a top-down category structure and a flat tag… Read More

  • You should fix your broken gadgets

    [photopress:toolman.jpg,full,left] Got a broken gadget? Don’t do like I do and throw it out and swear off using technology ever again—pay a man to fix it. The Times has a small piece on the growing high-tech repair business. Not that the business itself is high-tech—companies like Partsearch Technologies compile a database of spare parts and orders your parts as… Read More

  • Google Beefs Up iPhone Interface

    As we noted earlier, Google has pumped up its interface for the Apple iPhone. It is now faster, more customizable, and supports iGoogle gadgets on the mobile phone. (Official details here). This should help Google see even more mobile traffic from the iPhone than it does already. More significantly, with iGoogle integration, developers don’t have to wait for Apple to open up the iPhone… Read More

  • Patent Reform Act Focuses On the Wrong Problem

    The Patent Reform Act of 2007, passed by the House last year, is still wending its way towards the Senate. The New York Times positions the upcoming battle for passage as one that pits big tech companies against the individual inventor. In the wake of increasingly expensive patent litigation, a section of the act would limit the amount of damages courts will be able to award patent owners… Read More

  • China Mobile Drops iPhone

    China Mobile announced today that it is no longer negotiating with Apple to provide the world’s most populous nation with the popular iPhone. This opens the door for China’s number two mobile service provider, China Unicom, to talk with Apple. “We can only say that negotiations have ended for now. We have no other news to report,” said Li Honghui, a spokeswoman for… Read More

  • Video Ad Network Tremor Media Raises $11 Million B Round

    Canaan Partners and Masthead Venture Partners led an $11 million B round in Tremor Media, an ad network that runs video ads streaming in other videos and in banner ads as well. This brings the total raised by the New York City startup to $19.4 million, including a series A in September 2006. Canaaan and Masthead led that round as well. Tremor’s video ad network reaches a cumulative… Read More

  • Coghead 2.0: Built on Adobe Flex, Hosted By Amazon

    Today, Coghead is introducing the 2.0 version of its DIY, Web-based, enterprise-application development service. The site boasts a new user interface (screen shots below) based on Adobe Flex, with 50 new features and performance that is three times faster than the previous version. Basically, this amounts to a massive upgrade of its Website, but calling it Coghead 2.0 lets the company make a… Read More

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