Amazon Contextual Advertising

It appears that Amazon are planning to launch a contextual advertising network much like Google’s AdSense

Amazon is apparently looking into the feasibility of starting their own ad network like Adsense. They’ve been contacting select members of their associates programs, including myself, asking if we’d like to be beta testers. The way they want the beta test to work is to give you a special code for Amazon’s Keywords Recommends banners (the banners that you feed a keyword to and they show related products) and have this special code then show these new ads 50% of the time.

When I first heard about this I thought it’d be Amazon product listings displayed in an Adsense-like way and I figured it’d analyze your content for for products to serve, but they’d be Amazon products. Turns out I was wrong, they want their own contextual advertising network.

On the phone last night it was explained to me that this is more or less an Adsense clone, meaning third party sponsored links, not Amazon links. It is known that Amazon currently get’s sponsored links for their own sites from Google, but apparently they wish to take out the middleman and break out on their own. The fact is that while Amazon has a high gross revenue, they have really thin profit margins, whereas Google and even eBay have much better profit margins. So I think there is probably a little bit of business jealousy at work here, and rightly so. Amazon realizes that if they want to compete as a major Internet destination, not just an ecommerce site, they need to capture a larger chunk of the online advertising revenue. It’s kinda funny, 5 years ago people were speaking about the death of online advertising, and now its huge.

So anyways, if they go through with this, then once MSN’s AdCenter program is launched, and Yahoo’s Publisher Network goes out of beta, that’ll give us publishers 4 choices in this area and choice is never a bad thing.

Consequently I do not know if they’re have much luck finding beta testers. For obvious reasons you cannot co-serve their ads with those from Adsense, so for testing you really need to find a high traffic site that is willing to forgo Adsense revenue. Originally their deadline for signing up for the beta was the 31st of January, then they called me last night, past the deadline, and asked me to join still (but I again turned them down because Adsense is just too profitable for me). They also previously offered a $50 bonus for everyone who signs up, and that bonus is now $100.

Keep your eyes open for more developments.

Source: SitePoint Blog

Other Sources:

ThirdSquare.com
sylitathomas.com

7 simple steps to grow your fortune!

Here’s something that may be of use to you!

Who doesn’t want to have more money? Most everyone it seems! Just look at their spending and borrowing habits. Clearly these people want to be poor. They think poor. They act poor. Their comfortable being poor. They’ve made the decision to value their lifestyle over and above their financial and personal well being. And who can blame them? Saving and growing money is hard.

That’s right, I just told you that adding to your personal fortune is HARD! That’s the truth. Too many people are out there giving others positive reinforcement and pats on the back for making bad financial decisions. I’m not going to do that here. I want to tell you the truth.

Obviously the following 7 tips are not universal, but most people will be able to leverage at least a few of them in their day to day life. If you do follow them I can promise you that you will cut the amount of money flowing out of your personal empire and be able to build a better and more secure life. These tips are hard, but they are also simple.

1. Cut the Starbucks.

Starbucks started in 1971 and, within just a couple of decades, grew to become an international phenomenon. That’s great! Good for them. Bad for you.

In order for them to plant their nearly 6000 stores they had to addict you to a $5 a day cup of overpriced caffeine. Some may call it evil, others might call it good marketing, but the reality is that it kills your ability to save and invest money. How much damage does it do?

Lets suppose that you were able to save the $5 you spend a day on Starbucks or some equivalent product and invest it in a savings account with a conservative return of %4. Lets say you just do this for the first six months of the year and then go back to your normal habit after that. How much money would you have in your account at the end of the year?

 

 

Over $950! That’s right. In just a year, with 6 months of sacrifice, you’d have close to $1000 and have earned about $30 in interest. Neat, huh? Think of what giving it all together could do!

2. Follow the 5% rule.

I’m going to assume you have some personal debt (most people do you know). Maybe some student loans, couple of credit cards, mortgage, 2nd mortgage, 3rd mortgage, car loan, yatch loan…you get the idea. The 5% rule says you should put into savings 5% of the funds you use to pay your recurring loan payments. How’s that? Well lets say you pay $700 a month on loans (including money going to principle), following the 5% rule you would need to put $35 into savings. Why? Because not having money in savings is why you took out loans in the first place! Don’t want that to happen again, do we?

 

 

Notice that over 10 years that $35 a month could turn into over $5000 in savings.

3. Don’t be fooled by “deals.”

A while back I nearly signed up for a preferred membership with Barns and Noble. It offered me 10% off all my book buys and only cost $25 a year. Only costs $25 a year! What am I, an idiot? I’d have to buy $250 worth of books to even cover the cost. If I really plan on buying that many books in a year I should darn will prepare ahead of time and buy them online, getting free shipping and up to 35% of the cover price at places like Buy.com and Amazon.com.

Remember the golden rule that companies follow when they offer you a deal: do unto your customers that which makes you more money. Don’t buy memberships. Don’t buy stuff simply because its “on sale.” Don’t buy anything off of TV. And, more importantly, don’t buy anything unnecessary at the time its being sold to you. If you need it now you’ll need it in two weeks. If you don’t need it in two weeks (or don’t remember to go back and buy it) you’ve just saved yourself some money.

4. Use Credit Cards as a form of Payment, not Credit.

Last year I got a DiscoverCard and used it throughout the year on every-month purchases such as gas, food, and various types of entertainment. I faithfully paid the full amount each time I got a bill, and do you know what happened? By Christmas I’d earned enough of a dividend (1% on all purchases, 5% on certain types of purchases) to pay for nearly all the presents I purchased.

You don’t have to go with Discover. Chase offers a rewards Visa and Citi offers a rewards Mastercard.

Remember, the worst thing you can possibly do for yourself is to dip your hand in super heated melted plastic. Especially if it’s pink. Ugh! The second worst thing you can do is carry a balance on your credit cards!

5. Open a high yield online savings account.

My bank pays me just less than 1% interest on my savings account. Nice of them huh? This is up considerably from a few years ago when finding money in parking lots brought in a lot more income than savings accounts. Now days there are a number of competitive online savings accounts (still FDIC insured) that offer rates as high as 4.25%. If you don’t have one of these accounts you should get one. ING offers a good one at 4.75% (for a limited time, 3.8% normally). Emigrant Direct as one that pays 4.25%. And HSBC has one paying 4.25% with $25 sign up bonus (use promo code: start) and an ATM card. All are free and simple to use with your existing checking account.

6. Save before you pay your bills.

I don’t care how much money you save, just start saving. Make saving the first thing you do after pay day. The more money “out of your hands,” the better. If you don’t have an extra $20 to spend on movie night, so much the better! Try going for a walk or watching the sunset instead. Hollywood won’t be the worse for wear and you’ll be in better financial shape for it. Do whatever you can to not tempt yourself to spend money when you don’t need to. And “need to” is defined as pre-ordained in the budget.

7. Choose a less consumer-centric lifestyle.

You know you’ve done it. You know you’ve laughed at a friend when they got all caught up in the latest reality TV show, clothing style, music artist, or “Warcrack” video game. But did you stop to think that you get played by the same big money cycle of consumerism everyday? Why not stop? Then you can laugh at all your friends as they mindlessly return to Walmart again and again. Ho! Ho!

Ok, so laughing may be kind of cruel. How about leading them? Listen when I tell you that the George Foreman Grill, the subscription to Esquire, the flat screen TV, the Herbal Essences Shampoo, the entire collection of McDonald’s Beanie Babies, and the latest and greatest in trash bag technology is never going to make you happy or attractive. Look at the people you know who have them. Are they happy? Or do they just want more stuff?

Ask yourself one question right now, do you want an IPOD with 5000 of your favorite (legal!) music tracks or would you rather be able to pay for treatment to help a loved one suffering from severe back pain? Well I can tell you this much, you’re not going to get closer to either goal with that pack of Bubblicious gum in your hand. So put it back on the shelf, pay for the stuff you need, and run! Run for your life. Run for your health. Run for your happiness. And run for your fortune!

Source: Credit Review Blog

Google’s communications breakdown

I have just been reading this article on the BBC website, it’s about Google and it’s Headquarters not looking anything like you would think it would look like!

The headquarters of the most popular search engine in the world is a remarkably unimpressive place.

Google’s base is more industrial than architectural

Mountain View, California, sounds like a glamorous address. But the home of more than 5,000 Google staff is a sprawl of low rise, nondescript buildings on an industrial estate about 20 miles south of San Francisco.

The main building has a novel name – the Googleplex – but there are warehouses in the British Midlands that are more architecturally interesting. Similarly, one spot is known as the “amphitheatre” – but nothing could be less classically inspired or artistically stimulating.

What is striking is the number of very young, geeky-looking people wandering between the buildings. The campus of Stanford university where Larry Page met Sergey Brin is not far away.

College kids

The Googleplex could easily be an extension of that campus, just as Google is the commercial expression of the vision which those two computer scientists had of getting a grip on the internet by inventing their search engine.

Most of the staff look as if they are still at college.

Some jog around. Some are on bikes. Quite a few ride around on yellow motorised scooters – which will no doubt become a craze elsewhere.

But most simply wander around like students, wearing casual clothes, chatting a little anxiously in small groups and glancing at the TV crew in the car park with a mixture of curiosity and suspicion.

“I know, I know”, says a more weatherworn face when I tell him that profits have just gone up 82%. “I’ve made three quarters of a million.”

I can’t tell if he’s joking, but one in five on the payroll here is a millionaire. The boys who started it – still in their early 30s – are worth more than $10bn each.

Fighting shy

Again, that is hard to believe from the site. I once filmed the Lazio football team outside Rome, and was mesmerized by the Ferraris in the car park. A typical premier league team in England packs the car park with Porsches and Aston Martins.

Here, though, the parking lot is more typical of a secondary school: modest medium-sized family vehicles, usually Japanese, and a high proportion of hybrids. There’s the odd jeep and sports car, but they are rare and restrained.

A high proportion of the staff are Asian too. Eavesdrop, and you’ll hear many languages.

One youngster rides over on a bike which is far too small for him. He’s friendly, but turns out to be a security guard – checking up on us.

Another in more typical bouncer uniform – black bomber jacket and jeans – soon takes up position in the car park corner. She’s shy when we try to reassure her that we have no intention of storming the joint.

The senior communications staff are equally shy. Though we’ve met them in the past, they ignored our e-mails and calls. No-one else has been briefed either – which could explain why an extraordinary 82% rise in income to $372.2 million in the last quarter is viewed on Wall Street as a disappointment.

A few lines from Google’s chief executive officer, Eric Schmidt, are released through a press agency stating the obvious.

“We are very pleased with our results for the fourth quarter as we achieved excellent performance across our businesses,” he says.

Growing up

Some might imagine that the media blackout means they have something to hide. Others, however, suggest something more prosaic: arrogance.

There is irony in the sense that an army of computer nerds with a mission to facilitate the transfer of information feels no need to communicate with the outside world.

With Google’s shares taking a – rare – beating following the earnings announcement, the Wall Street Journal spelt out a common mood.

“Google’s investors may have got a painful lesson about the risks of the company’s Warren Buffett-inspired policy of refusing to give earnings guidance,” it said, warning that “the risk of nasty surprises” would be high until the company started offering more of a steer on what its performance would turn out to be.

The overall impression on the ground is that Google has got big – but has not yet necessarily matured.

That tallies with its recent policy positions. One day, it takes a defiant stand, refusing to hand over data to the US Justice department. Days later, it’s agreeing to censor its searches in China.

Interestingly, having recently been encouraged to look at the good deeds done by the Google Foundation, I read in the latest accounts that there will be no more payments to that charity “for the foreseeable future”.

No-one offers an explanation. Surely times aren’t too hard for the company to keep up its payments and cling onto its philanthropic ambitions. I wish I could tell you their answer.

Source: BBC

Domains Registered to Google Inc.

The list of domain names being register by Google is increasing day by day, here’s a small collection of them:

    My-deja.com
    Gppglr.com
    Googlesucks.org
    Googlesyndication.com
    Googlegalactic.om
    Googleuniverse.com
    Googlegalaxy.com
    Googlesun.com
    Googlemercury.com
    Googlepluto.com

Has Google gone crazy with domain name buying or are they just trying to stay in the world of domain names so you never miss their name anywhere you go.

I can see Google going a long way in the future and I wish them all of the best but I’m still quite worried about how far they will go, will flash videos like Epic 2005 become true, it’s kind of disturbing in a way even if Technology is the way to go!

Watch Epic 2005 now!

Domain names from Google

Phising emails in my junk box!

Let me share a little email that I received in my spam box, emails like this have been going around for ages, are people really that stupid to believe them, people really should be more aware of phising emails like this.

06-10-05
Sincere Greetings,

My name is Catherine Jennings I work with the Private Banking DivisionAt Berkeley Bank Limited, London. We are conducting a standardprocess investigation in relation to matters involving a client whoshares the same name as yours (Kessler) and also the circumstancessurrounding investments made by this client at our bank.

Our Berkeley Banking client died intestate and nominated no next ofkin to inherit the title over the investments made with our bank.

The essence of this communication with you is to request you provide usinformation on three issues:

1-Are you aware of any relative/relation who shares your same namewhose last known contact address was in Brussels ?

2-Are you aware of any investment of considerable value made by such aperson at the Private Banking Division of Berkeley Bank?

3-Can you establish beyond reasonable doubt your eligibility to assumestatus of next of kin to the deceased?

It is pertinent that you inform us ASAP whether or not you are familiarWith this individual that we may put an end to this communication withyou and our inquiries surrounding this person.

You must appreciate that we are constrained from providing you withMore detailed information at this point. Please respond to this mail assoon as possible to afford us the opportunity to close this investigation.

Thank you for accommodating our enquiry.

Cathy Jennings
For: Thomas Masters:
Director Berkeley Private Clients.

Google’s stock soars higher

Google is quickly expanding day by day and for every day that passes they are worth a little bit more!

Will this continue forever?

SAN FRANCISCO Google Inc.’s market value briefly surpassed $100-billion (U.S.) for the first time Friday, its stock scaling new heights after an earnings and revenue spike that astonished investors.

The on-line search leader’s shares traded as high as $346.43 on the Nasdaq Stock Market before backtracking as the day progressed. The shares had gained $36.16, or 11.9 per cent, as their price eased to $339.36 in late afternoon trading.

After the slight retreat, Google’s market value stood at $98-billion after just seven years in business. That was nearly $20-billion above the market value of Hewlett Packard Co. a Silicon Valley pioneer founded 66 years ago.

Google’s shares have nearly quadrupled since their initial public offering at $85 just over 14 months ago a stretch that has been marked by stunning financial growth and a steady stream of new products designed to lure even more traffic to a search engine that seems to spit out profits as efficiently as it does answers.

The innovation, combined with media consumption habits that are shifting more advertising to the Web, paid off in a big way during the third quarter.

Google’s profit, announced after the market closed Thursday, increased by more than sevenfold to $381.2-million. Excluding advertising commissions, revenue more than doubled to $1.05-billion.

After crunching the numbers, some of the most optimistic analysts became even more enthusiastic about Google’s prospects.

ThinkEquity Partners analyst John Tinker and Hoefer & Arnett analyst Martin Pyykkonen both raised their targets for Google shares to $425, up from $350, while Citigroup analyst Mark Mahaney predicted the shares would hit $430 within the next year.

“There is definitely a bit of a ‘wow factor’ here,” Mr. Pyykkonen said. “The [company’s] earnings are looking better than you could have imagined in your wildest dreams.”

Google probably will make even more money during the next two quarters, Mr. Mahaney said. That’s because advertisers typically spend more during the holidays and people usually are connected to the Internet more frequently during the dreariness of winter, creating more opportunities for them to visit Google and click on ads.

Mr. Mahaney and other analysts also expect Google’s stock to be added to the Standard & Poor’s 500, a move that would provide another lift to its stock as portfolios tied to that blue-chip index snap up more shares.

In another bullish sign, Google executives on Thursday said more Fortune 500 companies are lining up to join an on-line advertising network that so far has been dominated by mostly small and medium-sized businesses.

The company “appears to be tapping into new growth opportunities that may be just as significant as the ones that it already has tapped into,” Mr. Mahaney said.

Google is outperforming Yahoo Inc., the owner the Internet’s other major advertising network, largely because it has developed a formula to display ads more likely to intrigue its visitors.

That connection to the consumer zeitgeist is generating more revenue-generating clicks on the ads. Google’s system, which relies heavily on low-cost automation, ensures that a big chunk of revenue turns into pure profit.

Investors, in turn, have rewarded Google for its technical savvy. Google is currently worth nearly twice as much as Yahoo, whose market value during Friday’s trading stood at $53-billion.

Although it may seem like everything that Google touches turns to gold, the Mountain, View, Calif.-based company still faces significant risks.

“The higher their stock price goes, the more likely that others are going to spend more money to get a piece of the action,” Mr. Mahaney said.

Microsoft Corp. and Yahoo already have been investing heavily in search, hoping to narrow its lead and, more recently, veteran media mogul Barry Diller entered the space when his InterActiveCorp bought Ask Jeeves Inc. for $2.3-billion.

Despite the tougher competition, Google remains well ahead of its rivals, according to comScore Media Metrix and Nielsen/NetRatings.

Although it keeps introducing new products, Google’s profits remained tied to advertising a field susceptible to volatile swings of fortune.

“In terms of prudence, you would like to see other revenue streams,” Mr. Pyykkonen said.

Finally, Google is expanding so quickly that it’s bound to test the management skills of its multibillionaire brain trust co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin, along with CEO Eric Schmidt. The company has been hiring about 10 new employees per day during the past six months, a spree that’s expected to continue for several years.

Friday, though, Google’s leadership had little reason to stress.

After the day’s big market gains, Mr. Page and Mr. Brin, both 32, each held Google stakes worth $12-billion while Mr. Schmidt’s holdings were worth $4.7-billion.

Article

Google Drops Gmail Name in Britain

Woooow now this is News!

Due to an ongoing trademark dispute in the United Kingdom, Google has changed the name of its free Web mail service from Gmail to “Google Mail.” The switch was made after the company failed to come to an agreement with financial research company Independent International Investment Research (IIIR).

IIIR offers an e-mail service called G-Mail through its Pronet subsidiary, and owns the trademark for Gmail in the UK. Google said on its Web site that it attempted to resolve the dispute through negotiations, but failed to reach a compromise with IIIR.

“This company has been very focused on a monetary settlement,” a Google spokesperson said in a statement. “We went back and forth trying to settle on reasonable terms, but the sums of money this company is demanding are exorbitant.”

From now on, all new users from the UK who sign up with Google will receive an e-mail address ending in @googlemail.com. “We are still working with the courts and trademark office to protect our ability to use the Gmail name, but in the meantime, we want you to have an email address you can rely on,” the company said.

The change will not affect existing Gmail users located in the UK, but Google warned that it did not know what the future may hold. “The trademark issue is still unsettled, and unfortunately, we cannot predict what the other party or the courts might do here.”

According to press reports, IIIR values its Gmail trademark at 25 million British pounds.

News source
Gmail’s Announcement

The Channel 9 Team Is Hiring

The Channel 9 Team is now looking for Web developers who love the web and are experienced with ASP.NET, SQL, and CSS, if you think you have the experience and would like a career at Channel 9 then why not send them an email, more information bellow:

Ok, I am biased but I think I’ve got the best team inside Microsoft and guess what, we’re hiring!

First I’m looking for Developers who love the web and are experienced with ASP.NET, SQL, and CSS. Your passion should be for shipping breakthrough user experiences on the web work as part of a team to help build sites like Channel 9, MicrosoftGadgets.com and even cooler stuff we can’t talk about yet.

In addition to Developers we are looking to add to our interview crew for Channel 9. The ideal person will be well versed in the current wave of Microsoft developer technologies, industry trends, and competition. They should also have experience in software development is preferred but not required. Strong digital video filming, editing, and compression skills are required as we shoot, edit, and produce our own content.

Do you like to ship, takes chances and effect change?
Can you work independently and pride yourself in the ability to get things done?
Want a work on a team thats fun and where you’ll make an impact on day one?
Do you wan to help care and feed a unique community?

Then we’re the team for you!

Interested?

Send an email to me at JeffSandatMicrosoftdotcom with the subject line “Channel 9 Careers” and include your answers to the following questions:

1. What project are you the most proud of? (if you can, send a link)

2. What is the toughest technical problem you personally had to solve?

We look forward to hearing from you!

Jeff Sandquist’s Blog

Google and Nasa in space venture

Now here’s some interesting news about Google!

Web search firm Google has formed a partnership with US space agency Nasa in an effort to harness new technology which could boost the space programme.
Google is to build a new office complex on the site of Nasa’s research facility in California, close to its own headquarters in Silicon Valley.

The two companies will co-operate in a range of areas including IT solutions, data management and nanotechnology.

It would look to “bring entrepreneurs into the space programme”, Nasa added.

A new frontier?

The two companies have signed a memorandum of understanding, although the financial terms of the joint venture were not disclosed.

Google is expanding rapidly and recently raised more than $4bn for new projects by selling shares in the company.

As part of the venture, Google will develop one million square feet of real estate at the Nasa Ames research centre.

The centre, built in 1939, has been at the heart of the US space program for many years, conducting research into the Apollo moon missions between 1963 and 1972.

Nasa recently unveiled plans to make another moon landing by 2020.

Examples of areas of potential collaboration include the development of new types of remote sensors and improving analysis of engineering problems.

“Google and Nasa share a common desire, to bring a universe of information to people around the world,” said Eric Schmidt, Google’s chairman and chief executive.

“Imagine having a wide selection of images from the Apollo space mission at your fingertips whenever you want it.”

Scott Hubbard, director of Nasa Ames Center, claimed the partnership could provide a huge range of potential benefits to the space programme.

“While our joint efforts will benefit both organisations, the real winner will be the American public,” he said.

BBC Article

Wikipedia has met their goal of raising $200,000

The total raised for Wikipedia is now $224,350

Here’s a statment from the Wikimedia Foundation page telling you about their goal to reach US$200,000 for the third quarter 2005 budget:

The third quarter 2005 fund drive is being held from Friday 19 August to Friday 9 September 2005 (2005.08.19 2005.09.09). The primary goal is to raise US$200,000 (Yahoo! Currency Converter) to meet income requirements in the third quarter 2005 budget. If there is a substantial amount of money collected above income requirements, then the board will decide what to do with those funds.

Wikipedia Homepage
Wikimedia Foundation