The Tech 10: YouTube Monetizes, iPhone Prepares for a European Tour and Google Sees Stars
Note: John Paczkowski is on vacation and won’t be writing or posting videos until he returns Monday.
To keep you abreast of tech news while he’s away, we’re compiling a daily digest of 10 must-read tech stories. We’re calling it the Tech 10 and it appears below.
- As inevitable as death and taxes: YouTube, the world’s No. 1 video site, will begin placing ads in its videos, All Things Digital’s Kara Swisher reports. The animated advertising will appear no earlier than 15 seconds into a video, overlaid on the bottom fifth of the screen. Citing viewer revulsion, a YouTube product manager told NewTeeVee the site will not use the dreaded preroll or postroll.
- Apple, leveraging its deal-brokering with AT&T stateside, has signed up European partners for iPhone sales and service. A report in the Financial Times notes that three telecoms–T-Mobile in Germany, Orange in France and O2 in the United Kingdom–will fork over 10% of the revenues made from iPhone calls and data transfers.
- Stargazing earthlings will get a new perspective today, as Google unveils Sky, its view of the heavens from Earth. The New York Times reports that users will be able to zoom around to view millions of stars and galaxies, much as they do on a smaller scale with Google Earth.
- Henri Richard, the very visible top sales officer of Advanced Micro Devices, is leaving the troubled chip maker. Confirming an earlier report on Hexus.net, Tom Krazit of CNET describes the executive vice president’s departure as a “significant development in what has been a disastrous year for AMD,” precipitated by its postponement of Barcelona, its quad-core server chip.
- Regrouping years after the dot-com implosion, the online-trading business is in for some consolidation now that TD Ameritrade Holding Corp. and E*Trade Financial Corp. are holding merger talks. The Wall Street Journal is reporting that the potential union could create a single dominant force in what has been seen as a highly fragmented industry, with many small companies in the competitive fray.
- Spotting potential in the social-networking trend, U.S. spy agencies plan to develop an information-sharing portal based on MySpace and Facebook. According to the Register, taxpayers, rather than advertisers, will foot the bill for the spook Web site.
- Darkening the cloud of suspicion hanging over electronic-voting machines, California’s secretary of state has accused Election Systems & Software of selling about 1,000 uncertified electronic-voting machines to five California counties in 2006, according to IDG News Service. The state has instituted new security standards for all electronic-voting machines after a review sharply criticized the technology.
- Reconsidering the upswing in PC gaming, Microsoft is bringing back its SideWinder line of peripheral equipment, starting in October with a new mouse, reports the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. The device will cost $79.95 and includes a wider scroll wheel, special buttons and other doodads for gameheads.
- Joining the competition for the thinnest TV screen, Sharp is unveiling a 2-centimeter thick LCD screen. PC World reports that the prototype TV will get its signals via a high-speed wireless link, eliminating the need for a cable.
- Talk about a cybervirus. Epidemiologists have found that studying an imaginary epidemic in an online game world could provide valuable clues to coping with the real thing. Writing about research published in the September issue of Lancet Infectious Diseases, ABC News reported that researchers from Tufts and the University of North Carolina are serious in applying the lessons of online epidemics (in particular, the “corrupted blood” that spread on World of Warcraft in 2005) to disease-control efforts worldwide.
–posted by Associate Editor John Sullivan