Curious diners have a new friend in Urbanspoon, a practical dining discovery app that shows a playful side when you let it. Otherwise, it gets to the serious business of finding you food. GPS or various forms of manual input shine a light on the restaurants nearby. While there's also browsing by popularity or neighborhood or searching by name, the most interesting and invigorating feature is the slot machine on the main screen. Enthusiastically shake the iPhone (or press "shake") to set individual wheels in motion. They'll randomly land on a nearby neighborhood, cuisine, and price … Read more
Online media reporter Greg Sandoval talks with Kara Tsuboi about the predicament movie studios and online video sites face in trying to provide free movies online. Also in this podcast: Google has added video and voice to its chat service; video game ratings board ESRB will now post summaries online to explain why it has rated video games they way it has; and YouTube will now offer advertisers the ability to buy sponsored video results on people's keyword searches.Listen now: Download today's podcast
Parents trying to figure out what video games are appropriate for their kids have a new tool at their disposal.
Already, they've been able to look at games' ratings--"E" for everyone, "T" for teen, "M" for ages 17 and up, and "AO" for adults only. But now, the agency that decides which games are right for which age groups, the Entertainment Software Ratings Board, will be offering what it calls "summaries" of each game's rating.
If you're a hard-core runner, it's a good idea to have the right tools at your disposal to maximize your training. In anticipation of the New York City Marathon Sunday, Polar a maker of portable fitness electronics, is now selling the RS800CX heart rate monitor. This is an updated version of the RS800G3 we covered last year.
The three major new features include:GPS mapping: Routes are color-coded for "heart rate zones," and can be viewed on Google Earth with Polar's ProTrainer 5 Software Compatibility with Polar's speed and cadence cycling sensors Ability to … Read more
In recent months, financial analysts have expressed concern that Google's financial results could be hurt by foreign-exchange rate changes. But Google said Thursday that it has taken measures to insulate itself from the potential problem.
Specifically, Google has invested about $80 million in hedging programs that counteract currency swings, Chief Financial Officer Patrick Pichette said on a conference call to discuss Google's third-quarter financial results. The foreign-exchange issue that currently afflicts Google is that the dollar is growing stronger relative to other currencies right now, which effectively devalues revenue from other countries.
The hedging programs "should be … Read more
The U.S. Senate on Tuesday afternoon passed the Webcaster Settlement Act, the legislation that lays the groundwork for Web radio stations to negotiate reduced royalty rates for the songs they stream over the Web.
The bill passed through the House of Representatives on Saturday and is now headed to the White House, where President Bush is expected to sign it.
"I'm relieved, optimistic, and grateful to our listeners," said Tim Westergren, founder of Pandora, a Web radio station and music-suggestion engine.
Webcasters have long complained that the royalty rate to stream music is too high for … Read more
We all make mistakes. To err is what makes us humans. But at the same time, it can be pretty embarrassing when it's something that's seen by many--like a blog post. A new service called gooseGrade is trying to change that by crowd-sourcing blog copyediting to readers. The hope is that they'll help fix your mistakes instead of filling up the blog's comments or your e-mail in-box with correction recommendations.
To get the system working on their blogs, blog owners must insert a few lines of code into their template. This adds a small gooseGrade rating stamp that users can click when they want to correct you. While in this correction mode they can simply highlight things that need fixing, make a recommendation, then send it your way. The moment they do that, the post's gooseGrade, which starts at 100, begins to drop incrementally. Each user recommendation takes it down a few points, and it will not go back up until you've addressed it, either by accepting the change or simply declining.
As the blog owner you get a notification for each edit, and you can then go in and see what the suggested change is and have it fixed with one click.
What makes the service particularly attractive to publishers is that it tracks these errors and corrections in a central location. If you're part of a group blog, this system helps you figure out who on your team needs the most development or hand-holding before hitting the publish button.… Read more
As a fan of Battlestar Galactica, I've watched every episode thus far. What didn't fully dawn on me until I pondered an Associated Press article this week, however, was that out of all the 60-plus episodes I've seen, I've probably watched less than five "live" on TV (I don't have a DVR yet).
I discovered the series on DVD and was able to catch up that way. After that, I began downloading it from iTunes when it was available. On those rare Friday nights that the planets aligned and I was at home, … Read more
After 10 straight quarters of grabbing a favorable foreign-exchange rate, Google's luck is expected to hit a bump in the third quarter, according to a report Monday by a Wall Street analyst.
The search giant, which relies on more than half of its gross revenues coming from overseas operations, is expected to take a sequential $22 million hit to its third-quarter gross revenue, due to unfavorable exchange rates, according to a report by Collins Stewart analyst Sandeep Aggarwal.
As a result, Google's anticipated international gross revenue is expected to come in at $3.03 billion for the third … Read more
The Olympic Games in Beijing is proving to be a hit in the workplace.
Traffic to Olympics-related Web sites soared Monday, the first full workday after the official opening of the games Friday, according to numbers released Wednesday by Nielsen Online (see chart below). More than 2 million people visited the video section of NBCOlympics.com, up nearly 140 percent from Sunday when the site had about 858,000 visitors, according to Nielsen. Overall visits to the site increased 40 percent to 4.6 million compared with Sunday's 3.3 million.
Traffic to Yahoo's Olympics site also skyrocketed, … Read more