Apple Goes After The Camera Market Too

Any iPhone owner knows that there are a lot of gadgets and objects the iPhone has replaced. Among its Web and communications abilities phone owners don’t need maps, notepads, music players and a litany of other single-serving devices.

Now, there’s something else the iPhone is poised to completely replace for many owners: the standard point and shoot camera.

Take a look at Flickr, the popular photo sharing Web site, where the statistics of the cameras used to upload images to the site show that the iPhone is by far the most popular compared to other cameras, including Nikon and Canon.

And although this trend has been a long time in the making as the iPhone’s camera quality has improved, a new series of patents that have emerged from the company show that the Apple could completely replace the traditional camera for many.


By NICK BILTON | http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com
Apple patent via Patently Apple A new Apple patent shows an array of camera flashes that can be focused on a specific area.

DESCRIPTION

Any iPhone owner knows that there are a lot of gadgets and objects the iPhone has replaced. Among its Web and communications abilities phone owners don’t need maps, notepads, music players and a litany of other single-serving devices.

Now, there’s something else the iPhone is poised to completely replace for many owners: the standard point and shoot camera.

Take a look at Flickr, the popular photo sharing Web site, where the statistics of the cameras used to upload images to the site show that the iPhone is by far the most popular compared to other cameras, including Nikon and Canon.

And although this trend has been a long time in the making as the iPhone’s camera quality has improved, a new series of patents that have emerged from the company show that the Apple could completely replace the traditional camera for many. Leer más “Apple Goes After The Camera Market Too”

Bing Overtakes Yahoo as No. 2 in Search Survey

The Microsoft search growth coincides with a decrease in usage of Yahoo’s services. [Más…]

It’s important to note that Bing and Yahoo announced a search deal in 2009 that would use Bing’s search technology to power the Yahoo search engine. Yahoo officially began using the search technology behind Microsoft Bing in August, but the entire transition to the service won’t be completed until 2012.

Nos. 4 and 5 on the list of United States search services are Ask.com, owned by IAC/InterActiveCorp, and AOL. Both account for 2 percent of the search market apiece and have remained stagnant, according to Nielsen’s research.


By NICK BILTON
The Nielsen Company

Bing Yahoo Search

Yahoo search just dropped from No. 2 to No. 3.

According to a report released today by Nielsen Company, Microsoft’s search services, which include Bing search, overtook Yahoo search in the United States as the No. 2 search engine during the month of August.

Nielsen said that the Microsoft search services had taken 13.9 percent of the search market in the United States compared with Yahoo’s 13.1 percent. Nielsen also noted that neither company came close to Google’s domineering 65 percent share of the United States search market.

The Microsoft search growth coincides with a decrease in usage of Yahoo’s services. Leer más “Bing Overtakes Yahoo as No. 2 in Search Survey”

Craigslist Pulls ‘Censored’ Label From Sex Ads Area

By CLAIRE CAIN MILLER

Is Craigslist’s adult services section gone for good?

The classifieds site, which shut down the sex ads section last weekend and replaced the link with a “censored” bar, has now removed that label. The sex ads section is still gone. Craigslist has refused to discuss the move and on Thursday, Susan MacTavish Best, its spokeswoman, would not say anything beyond confirming that the ads were still blocked.

Analysts had speculated that Craigslist used the word “censored” to make a statement. Though Craigslist is not legally responsible for what people post on its site, state attorneys general and advocacy groups have been pressuring the company to shut down the adult services section. But analysts also said that the outpouring of attention that Craigslist’s sex ads have received in recent days would make it very difficult for the site to bring back the ads.


Image representing Craigslist as depicted in C...

By CLAIRE CAIN MILLER

Is Craigslist’s adult services section gone for good?

The classifieds site, which shut down the sex ads section last weekend and replaced the link with a “censored” bar, has now removed that label. The sex ads section is still gone. Craigslist has refused to discuss the move and on Thursday, Susan MacTavish Best, its spokeswoman, would not say anything beyond confirming that the ads were still blocked.

Analysts had speculated that Craigslist used the word “censored” to make a statement. Though Craigslist is not legally responsible for what people post on its site, state attorneys general and advocacy groups have been pressuring the company to shut down the adult services section. But analysts also said that the outpouring of attention that Craigslist’s sex ads have received in recent days would make it very difficult for the site to bring back the ads. Leer más “Craigslist Pulls ‘Censored’ Label From Sex Ads Area”

Texas Attorney General Investigates Google Search

For instance, the Department of Justice has asked for more information to review Google’s proposed acquisition of ITA, the flight information company. The government will look at issues of search fairness as part of that inquiry.

The Texas attorney general has asked Google for more information on several companies, Google said. They include Foundem, a British shopping comparison site, SourceTool, a business search directory and myTriggers, which collects shopping links.

In the Google blog post, Mr. Harrison drew an association to Microsoft. He said that Microsoft funds Foundem’s backer and that its antitrust attorneys represent the other two.

Foundem is a member of the Initiative for a Competitive Online Marketplace, a European group co-founded and sponsored by Microsoft. SourceTool and myTriggers are clients of Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft, the law firm that represents Microsoft on antitrust issues.


By CLAIRE CAIN MILLER

Google said Friday that the Texas Attorney General, Greg Abbott, is conducting an antitrust review of its search business.

The examination involves the fairness of Google search results, a concept called search neutrality. Some companies worry Google has the power to discriminate against them by lowering their links in search results or charging higher fees for their paid search ads.

In a company blog post, Don Harrison, Google’s deputy general counsel, said that the company’s priority is to “provide the most useful, relevant search results and ads for users.”

“Given that not every Web site can be at the top of the results, or even appear on the first page of our results, it’s unsurprising that some less relevant, lower quality websites will be unhappy with their ranking,” Mr. Harrison wrote. Leer más “Texas Attorney General Investigates Google Search”

Why I.B.M. Took a Different Path in Storage

Updated to correct the name of the company that EMC purchased last year.

The high-stakes sumo match between Hewlett-Packard and Dell ended on Thursday, with H.P. paying about $2.3 billion for 3Par.

I.B.M. has said it looked at 3Par and other companies more than two years ago, when it was building up in the field of clustered storage, an important technology in handling data remotely for so-called cloud computing systems. Instead of 3Par, it bought an Israeli clustered-storage specialist, XIV.

I.B.M. did not report the price tag on XIV. But analysts estimate it probably paid less than $200 million for a business that now generates more sales than 3Par’s revenue of $194 million last year.

I.B.M. will not comment on those estimates, but it does point to the XIV deal as an example of how its research labs are used to inform the company’s merger, acquisition and divestiture strategy.


Image representing IBM as depicted in CrunchBase

By STEVE LOHR

Updated to correct the name of the company that EMC purchased last year.

The high-stakes sumo match between Hewlett-Packard and Dell ended on Thursday, with H.P. paying about $2.3 billion for 3Par.

I.B.M. has said it looked at 3Par and other companies more than two years ago, when it was building up in the field of clustered storage, an important technology in handling data remotely for so-called cloud computing systems. Instead of 3Par, it bought an Israeli clustered-storage specialist, XIV.

I.B.M. did not report the price tag on XIV. But analysts estimate it probably paid less than $200 million for a business that now generates more sales than 3Par’s revenue of $194 million last year.

I.B.M. will not comment on those estimates, but it does point to the XIV deal as an example of how its research labs are used to inform the company’s merger, acquisition and divestiture strategy. Leer más “Why I.B.M. Took a Different Path in Storage”

Twitter App for iPad Puts New Focus on Design

“Twitter for iPad takes advantage of the iPad’s fluid touch interface, letting you move lots of information around smoothly and quickly –- without needing to open and close windows or click buttons,” wrote Leland Rechis, a user interface designer at Twitter, in a company blog post.

People often use Twitter to share links, and one of the annoying things about the 140-character limit for messages is that links that have been shortened, using bit.ly and other services, do not offer any indication of where they will lead. That is something that Flipboard, another iPad app, is addressing by taking the links in a person’s Twitter and Facebook feeds and adding clips and photos from the linked articles.


By CLAIRE CAIN MILLER

Twitter on Apple iPad
Twitter on the iPad

Adding comment from Flipboard at the end.

Twitter has a new app for the iPad — and along with it, a new approach to design and usability.

Twitter has surprised its founders with how useful it has become to a wide variety of people — but the founders are also the first to admit that Twitter’s own Web site has not been the easiest, prettiest or most intuitive to use. “It’s amazing it’s grown so fast given how hard it is to use,” Twitter’s chief executive and co-founder, Evan Williams, said last spring.

The iPad app, introduced late Wednesday night, seems to be a big step toward fixing those problems and a new approach for Twitter, one that is all about ease of use and intuitive features. Leer más “Twitter App for iPad Puts New Focus on Design”

Microsoft Enters Google’s Unwalled Garden

In late 2009, when Microsoft introduced a downloadable application for the iPhone from Apple, it set off some excitement in the tech world. For years, Microsoft and Apple had been head-to-head in the war for personal computing.

On Monday, the tech world was buzzing again with an announcement by Microsoft’s search group, Bing, that the company has released an application for the Android platform from Google. The move could be seen as an encroachment on Google’s turf, as the two companies compete directly on a number of search platforms.


By NICK BILTON

Microsoft Microsoft Bing is now available as a downloadable application for the Android platform.

Bing for Android

In late 2009, when Microsoft introduced a downloadable application for the iPhone from Apple, it set off some excitement in the tech world. For years, Microsoft and Apple had been head-to-head in the war for personal computing.

On Monday, the tech world was buzzing again with an announcement by Microsoft’s search group, Bing, that the company has released an application for the Android platform from Google. The move could be seen as an encroachment on Google’s turf, as the two companies compete directly on a number of search platforms. Leer más “Microsoft Enters Google’s Unwalled Garden”

Google Offers Respite From Inbox Overload

The system also looks for the people you interact with on a daily basis, pushing their messages higher up the ladder. Finally the new inbox looks to see if a new e-mail was sent “directly to you, or if it is sent to other people too.”

Although Mr. Coleman said the Priority Inbox doesn’t work on mobile devices, he said people can expect it at some point in the future.

The new feature will begin appearing in beta mode on Tuesday and will be available as an option for Gmail users as it rolls out across the service. Users will begin seeing an alert allowing them to switch to Priority Inbox.

There are other services with similar approaches to the inbox problem, including Sanebox, which prioritizes Gmail’s inbox with new folders, and Xobni, which works with Microsoft’s Outlook software.

I’ve written several times before about the frustrations and anxiety my inbox causes me as messages drop into place uncontrollably.


By NICK BILTON

Priority Inbox

If you hate your inbox, if the very thought of it makes you fretful and nauseous, you’re not alone. Plenty of people who use e-mail on a daily basis feel the same.

Now Google is trying to come to the rescue with a new Gmail feature announced Tuesday called Priority Inbox, which monitors your messages and tries to organize your inbox based on a number of criteria, like how often you correspond with a particular sender.

Google explains that the first thing Priority Inbox does is split your inbox into three sections: “important and unread,” “starred” and “everything else.”

“Important” messages are judged to be the most significant, and sit at the top of your Gmail window. Next is the “starred” area, the messages you say are important. Finally, “everything else” includes those messages that can probably be dealt with later, or completely ignored — the ones that aren’t quite spam, but don’t need to clutter up your screen or your brain right now.

Keith Coleman, Google’s product management director, told me in an interview that Google has been working to solve the e-mail overload problem for the better part of a decade.

“Features like Priority Inbox were in the prerelease version of Gmail but were not ready for the public,” Mr. Coleman said. “We finally figured out how to organize and categorize e-mail in a simple and intuitive way using three different criteria.”

Surprisingly, Mr. Coleman said that one of the tools put to use in the new inbox organization is taken from the programming and algorithms used to categorize mail as spam. He said Gmail looks for terms and people that you categorize as important, or not, and decides whether those messages make it into your priority inbox accordingly.

Google

Priority Inbox

The system also looks for the people you interact with on a daily basis, pushing their messages higher up the ladder. Finally the new inbox looks to see if a new e-mail was sent “directly to you, or if it is sent to other people too.”

Although Mr. Coleman said the Priority Inbox doesn’t work on mobile devices, he said people can expect it at some point in the future.

The new feature will begin appearing in beta mode on Tuesday and will be available as an option for Gmail users as it rolls out across the service. Users will begin seeing an alert allowing them to switch to Priority Inbox.

There are other services with similar approaches to the inbox problem, including Sanebox, which prioritizes Gmail’s inbox with new folders, and Xobni, which works with Microsoft’s Outlook software.

I’ve written several times before about the frustrations and anxiety my inbox causes me as messages drop into place uncontrollably. Leer más “Google Offers Respite From Inbox Overload”

SideReel Tracks TV Shows Online, Wherever They Are

For those who take the plunge and cancel their cable or satellite subscriptions, there’s certainly no shortage of television shows and movies to watch online. The trick is finding it all.

There are a handful of Web sites that are vying to be the one-stop shop for finding programming on the Web. Some, like the three-year-old site SideReel, are trying to get an edge by not only offering links to legitimate sources of shows, like network sites, but also letting users share links to sites where illegal copies are available for instant viewing.


By JENNA WORTHAM

SideReel

For those who take the plunge and cancel their cable or satellite subscriptions, there’s certainly no shortage of television shows and movies to watch online. The trick is finding it all.

There are a handful of Web sites that are vying to be the one-stop shop for finding programming on the Web. Some, like the three-year-old site SideReel, are trying to get an edge by not only offering links to legitimate sources of shows, like network sites, but also letting users share links to sites where illegal copies are available for instant viewing. Leer más “SideReel Tracks TV Shows Online, Wherever They Are”

Bits Pics: Visualizing the Web’s Icons

The data visualization above shows the “favicons” of nearly 300,000 Web sites on the Internet. Favicons are small images used to identify a Web site in the browser.

The sizes of the icons are based on the amount of traffic each Web site receives, using data from Alexa.com, a traffic and Web metrics site.

The project, which I came across via Gizmodo, is the work of two programmers, David Fifield and Brandon Enright. They work for a company called Nmap that makes open-source security programs.


By NICK BILTON

Favicon Data visualization

The data visualization above shows the “favicons” of nearly 300,000 Web sites on the Internet. Favicons are small images used to identify a Web site in the browser.

The sizes of the icons are based on the amount of traffic each Web site receives, using data from Alexa.com, a traffic and Web metrics site.

The project, which I came across via Gizmodo, is the work of two programmers, David Fifield and Brandon Enright. They work for a company called Nmap that makes open-source security programs. Leer más “Bits Pics: Visualizing the Web’s Icons”

Plug In, Turn On and Tune Out Wi-Fi

By ASHLEE VANCE

As a Texan, I find it deeply offensive when the Internet blocks me from watching “Friday Night Lights.”
The Sofa Wars

Media, cable and technology companies are fighting for consumers’ screen time, and their money, as viewing habits grow more unpredictable.

* Go to the Series »

More specifically, my rage goes toward Wi-Fi, that oh so finicky creature that will buffer, buffer, spurt, gurgle and then just break down. For some reason, my router, walls, laptop and H.D.M.I. hookup to the TV appear determined to wage war with one another, making streaming television shows an all too brief and painful experience.

For people suffering from similar Wi-Fi maladies, there is hope, and it runs through your electrical outlets.

I picked up some adapters from the start-up Plaster Networks that plug into a wall socket and then carry a Web connection via Ethernet cable to your devices.

For this type of set-up, you need to plug one adapter ($90) into the wall and connect it directly to a router. Then, you can plug more adapters in the house anywhere that a fast Web connection is desired.


By ASHLEE VANCE

As a Texan, I find it deeply offensive when the Internet blocks me from watching “Friday Night Lights.”

The Sofa Wars

Media, cable and technology companies are fighting for consumers’ screen time, and their money, as viewing habits grow more unpredictable.

More specifically, my rage goes toward Wi-Fi, that oh so finicky creature that will buffer, buffer, spurt, gurgle and then just break down. For some reason, my router, walls, laptop and H.D.M.I. hookup to the TV appear determined to wage war with one another, making streaming television shows an all too brief and painful experience.

For people suffering from similar Wi-Fi maladies, there is hope, and it runs through your electrical outlets.

I picked up some adapters from the start-up Plaster Networks that plug into a wall socket and then carry a Web connection via Ethernet cable to your devices.

For this type of set-up, you need to plug one adapter ($90) into the wall and connect it directly to a router. Then, you can plug more adapters in the house anywhere that a fast Web connection is desired. Leer más “Plug In, Turn On and Tune Out Wi-Fi”

CollegeOnly, a Social Network Just for the University Set

When Facebook arrived at my university near the end of my fourth year, I remember feeling a huge wave of relief.

Not because I had an easy way to keep in touch with my friends after college — although that was nice, too — but because the site arrived when we were nearly finished with our undergraduate careers. We didn’t have to worry about whether or not a satirical status update or photos from the weekend’s revelry would threaten our standing or ability to get a job.

But Josh Weinstein, a New York-based entrepreneur, says sharing photographs, trading gossip and obsessing about your crushes are now just part of the fun of being in college.

It’s what he’s hoping to replicate with a new social networking start-up called CollegeOnly.


By JENNA WORTHAM

A screen shot of CollegeOnly.

When Facebook arrived at my university near the end of my fourth year, I remember feeling a huge wave of relief.

Not because I had an easy way to keep in touch with my friends after college — although that was nice, too — but because the site arrived when we were nearly finished with our undergraduate careers. We didn’t have to worry about whether or not a satirical status update or photos from the weekend’s revelry would threaten our standing or ability to get a job.

But Josh Weinstein, a New York-based entrepreneur, says sharing photographs, trading gossip and obsessing about your crushes are now just part of the fun of being in college.

It’s what he’s hoping to replicate with a new social networking start-up called CollegeOnly. Leer más “CollegeOnly, a Social Network Just for the University Set”

Stipple Seeks to Tag the Web’s Images

Stipple, a San Francisco-based start-up, is introducing a new service on Wednesday that allows online publishers to add tags to particular parts of an image with information about its contents and related links.

The service, which is free to use and offers a revenue-sharing program for purchases made through the links, allows publishers to tag products for sale within an image, or to add information about objects or people.

Rey Flemings, the chief executive and founder of Stipple, said in a phone interview that one problem his new company intends to solve is the “much needed” ability to add more information to “the trillion or so images on the Web today.”

Stipple will introduce the product with three partners: Six Apart, a blogging software maker; Jive Records, a Sony music label; and the media company E.W. Scripps.

“We’re partnering with some companies when we launch to show how simple the tools can be and how much information you can share within an image,” Mr. Flemings said.


By NICK BILTON

Stipple Clicking on the pants in the photo shows how much they cost and where they can be purchased.

Stipple used to identify pants

Stipple, a San Francisco-based start-up, is introducing a new service on Wednesday that allows online publishers to add tags to particular parts of an image with information about its contents and related links.

The service, which is free to use and offers a revenue-sharing program for purchases made through the links, allows publishers to tag products for sale within an image, or to add information about objects or people.

Rey Flemings, the chief executive and founder of Stipple, said in a phone interview that one problem his new company intends to solve is the “much needed” ability to add more information to “the trillion or so images on the Web today.”

Stipple will introduce the product with three partners: Six Apart, a blogging software maker; Jive Records, a Sony music label; and the media company E.W. Scripps.

“We’re partnering with some companies when we launch to show how simple the tools can be and how much information you can share within an image,” Mr. Flemings said. Leer más “Stipple Seeks to Tag the Web’s Images”

Who’s Calling? Some More Than Others

The idea that Americans are talking less on their phones and texting more might be true in many instances, but you can exclude a couple of groups of people from that category.

In a report released Tuesday, Nielsen, a consumer data and trend-tracking agency, said blacks are talking on their phones more than ever before, on average more than 1,300 minutes a month. Hispanics, the “next more talkative group,” talk on the phone 826 minutes a month.

Compare these numbers to whites, who only use 647 minutes a month of talk time, half the average of blacks.

In a blog post on Nielsen’s Web site, the company said it carried out the study in March by analyzing the phone bills of 60,000 mobile phone subscribers in the United States.


By NICK BILTON

Nielsen The number of voice minutes and text messages used each month by age bracket.

number of text messages a month

The heaviest use of cellphone minutes is in the Southern states.

location of most cell phone talk time

The idea that Americans are talking less on their phones and texting more might be true in many instances, but you can exclude a couple of groups of people from that category.

In a report released Tuesday, Nielsen, a consumer data and trend-tracking agency, said blacks are talking on their phones more than ever before, on average more than 1,300 minutes a month. Hispanics, the “next more talkative group,” talk on the phone 826 minutes a month.

Compare these numbers to whites, who only use 647 minutes a month of talk time, half the average of blacks.

In a blog post on Nielsen’s Web site, the company said it carried out the study in March by analyzing the phone bills of 60,000 mobile phone subscribers in the United States. Leer más “Who’s Calling? Some More Than Others”

New Hires at Twitter Put the Focus on Making Money

Twitter.

The hires round out Twitter’s sales executive ranks, and indicate that the start-up is moving into a new phase, focusing on revenue. [Más…]

Early on, Twitter refused to worry about how to make money and instead concentrated on getting people to use the service. In 2008, Evan Williams, Twitter’s co-founder and chief executive, compared the strategy to Google’s in its early days, telling me in an interview: “It was the classic story of not worrying about monetization yet and getting their product right.”

Since then, Twitter has evolved from a start-up trying to attract users to a household name. With 145 million registered users and $160 million in venture capital, Twitter has been increasingly shifting its focus to figuring out how to earn revenue.


Image representing Twitter as depicted in Crun...
Image via CrunchBase

By CLAIRE CAIN MILLER

Twitter is getting more serious about making money.

On Tuesday, Twitter announced that it had hired two new sales executives, continuing its pattern of plucking top sales executives from other Web companies. Adam Bain, former president of the News Corporation’s Fox Audience Network, will be Twitter’s president of global revenue, and Brent Hill, Google’s former head of financial services for the Midwest, will be director of sales for the Midwest at Twitter.

The hires round out Twitter’s sales executive ranks, and indicate that the start-up is moving into a new phase, focusing on revenue. Leer más “New Hires at Twitter Put the Focus on Making Money”