Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Bundled Service, Unbundled Customer Service

Memo to telecom service providers: "We never thanked you, but you did a great job offering us consolidated billing. It is hard to remember now, as for the last few years yo have been so aggressive in promoting bundled services, but five years ago, this was a major pain point. Three bills for ISP, cable and telephone, and usually three different due dates a well

Click here for the complete story

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Verizon Wireless Invests $155 Million to Enhance Florida Network During 2008

Florida Network Now 100 Percent 3G; Investment Totals $1.8 Billion in State since 2000

Verizon Wireless announced today that it invested nearly $155 million to further expand and enhance coverage to customers throughout Florida in 2008. The company’s ongoing network investment now totals $1.8 billion in Florida since the company was formed.

The company completed enhancements to its 3G high-speed wireless network throughout the state this year, allowing customers to access advanced wireless services more reliably and at even faster broadband speeds. The enhancements, which took nearly two years to complete, entailed installing the most advanced hardware and software on thousands of cell sites in the Verizon Wireless network in Florida, as well as updating and optimizing technology in five Verizon Wireless regional network switching facilities throughout the state.

In addition, Verizon Wireless constructed more than 90 new advanced digital cell sites throughout the state in 2008.

These upgrades help provide high-speed access to advanced services such as V CAST – which allows customers to stream video clips, play cutting-edge 3D games and download full song tracks over the air; and VZ Navigator – a location-based service offering maps, audible driving directions, traffic updates, gas station locations and pricing.

This technology also enables customers to wirelessly access their e-mail and calendars, the Internet and other information anytime, anywhere via a secure connection with the company’s BroadbandAccess service. BroadbandAccess offers average download speeds of 600 kilobits per second (kbps) to 1.4 megabits per second and upload speeds of 500-800 kbps, which means being able to upload or download a 1 Megabyte e-mail attachment – the equivalent of a small PowerPoint® presentation or a large PDF file – in less than two seconds.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Small Businesses See 10 Percent Increase on Cyber Monday


Consumers Buying from Smaller Online Retailers Too

Network Solutions, a leading provider of small business web services, announced today that its more than 7,000 e-commerce customers saw a collective 10 percent year-over-year increase in sales on Cyber Monday, the highly anticipated start of online holiday shopping. While retailers across the country reported slow same-store sales, smaller online entrepreneurs enjoyed a jump in holiday sales this year, with more consumers shopping online in greater numbers.

As many brick-and-mortar shop owners struggle with increased costs and shrinking in-store sales, small businesses with e-commerce sites are augmenting their revenues with online sales. As more consumers search Google first to find bargains and products, local small businesses with properly marketed Web sites are benefiting from national exposure. According to a report from iProspect and Jupiter Research, 62 percent of searchers click on a link within the first page of results. Having an e-Commerce Web site and using search engine optimization tools from Network Solutions, small businesses have secured new audiences to increase holiday sales.

“With small businesses across the country struggling, Network Solutions’ is excited to see that our e-commerce customers are benefiting from greater exposure,” said Scott Ableman, Chief Marketing Officer at Network Solutions. “Whether you own a small shop or work out of your home, having a professional web site is an economical way to build sales during tough times.”

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Bebo Launches ‘Social Inbox’


Bebo Builds on the Foundations of Social Networking to Become the First Major Network to Give Consumers a One-Stop Destination from Which to Experience Life Online

Social Media Network Opens Its Doors to Aggregated Social Feeds, Mail and Media Recommendations

Launch Companies Include Twitter, Flickr, Del.icio.us, AIM, YouTube, Gmail, Yahoo! Mail and AOL Mail

Every AOL and AIM User Now Can Now Log into Bebo Using Their Credentials

Bebo today made it easier for Internet users to manage their online life by providing users with a one-stop “Social Inbox” that combines e-mail, social networking and media recommendations in one easy-to-use interface. Designed to allow consumers to organize their lives online, Bebo’s Social Inbox makes it simple for users to keep in touch with the information and people who are important to them. The Social Inbox aggregates feeds and updates from Twitter, Flickr, Del.icio.us, YouTube, AIM and others, so users can see at-a-glance what's going on in their online world. The new experience also offers one-click access to Gmail, Yahoo! Mail, AOL Mail, as well as user-selected media favorites, such as videos, music and photos. In addition, more than 100 million* users of AOL and AIM can now log directly into the Bebo service, http://www.bebo.com, using their existing screen names.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Geek Squad Announces In-Store and At-Home Gaming Set-Up and Customization Services


With Geek Squad’s gaming optimization service, parents gain the upper hand and take back control of the family’s game system

Parents, the day has come. Today tech support task force Geek Squad announced gaming set-up services and parental control customization for today’s most popular consoles. Available at Geek Squad Precincts in Best Buy stores nationwide, Geek Squad’s gaming services are an easy and affordable way to set-up a system’s parental controls and user accounts, transfer data to a new system and connect to the Internet.

Even as they’re serving the public, policing technology and protecting the world, many Geek Squad employees are also parents. They know firsthand that when it comes to video games, keeping Pac Man and the kids safe from Blinky, Pinky, Inky and Clyde is the least of a parent’s concerns. With gaming systems now offering online features that encourage interaction among players, any parent would be ill-advised to send a child out into the virtual world without the proper parental control settings.

“I love to play video games with my sons, but I can’t always be there to monitor what’s coming into our home via the gaming console,” said Geek Squad Deputy of Counter Intelligence Frances Gallup. “As a parent, I can attest to the necessity of parental controls on video game systems. And, as a Geek Squad Agent, I’m thrilled to offer an easy and affordable solution to the rigors of setting up and navigating a gaming system’s parental controls.”

“Just like with TV and film, there’s a broad diversity of video games available today, and many games now enable online competition,” said ESRB president Patricia Vance. “Geek Squad’s new gaming services are a great way to ensure that your system’s parental controls are secure and working properly, so that your children are only able to play games that you’ve deemed appropriate, at times of the day that you’ve approved and/or with other players that you know.”

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Bridgevine Ranked Number 57 on Deloitte's Technology Fast 500 list for 2008


Attributes extraordinary revenue growth to compelling customer value proposition, marquee partnerships, and proprietary marketing software platform.

Bridgevine today announced that it ranked number 57 on Deloitte's 2008 Technology Fast 500, a ranking of the 500 fastest growing technology, media, telecommunications and life sciences companies in the U.S. and Canada. Rankings are based on percentage of fiscal year revenue growth over five years, from 2003-2007. Bridgevine grew 4,582 percent during this period.

Bridgevine's CEO, Vinny Olmstead, credits the growth to a strong customer value proposition, marquee partnerships and a world-class performance marketing software platform. He said, "We're honored to be a part of this esteemed group of companies named to the Fast 500 list. It's a testament to the hard work and dedication of our employees and our impressive list of valued partners."

"Deloitte's Technology Fast 500 recognizes companies that have achieved extraordinary growth in North America's most innovative and competitive market sectors," said Phil Asmundson, Deloitte LLP vice chairman and national managing partner for Technology, Media and Telecommunications. "We congratulate Bridgevine on this significant accomplishment."

Fast 500 Selection and Qualifying Criteria

The Fast 500 ranks the fastest growing technology, media, telecommunications and life sciences companies in North America. It is compiled from Deloitte's regional North American Fast 50 programs, nominations submitted directly to the Fast 500, and public company database research. Companies are selected based on percentage revenue growth from 2003 to 2007.

Entrants must own proprietary intellectual property or proprietary technology that contributes to a significant portion of the company's operating revenues or devote a significant proportion of revenues to research and development of technology. Using other companies' technology or intellectual property in a unique way does not qualify. Base-year operating revenues must be at least $50,000 USD or $75,000 CD, and current-year operating revenues must be at least $5 million USD or CD. Companies must be in business a minimum of five years, and they must be headquartered within North America.

About Bridgevine
Founded in 2003, Bridgevine, Inc. has offices in Atlanta, GA, and Vero Beach, FL. The company's performance-based merchandising platform empowers marquee advertisers to efficiently market their products through multiple online and offline channels. Focused on the service industry, the company's customer base of more than 110 leading companies includes Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Qwest, Verizon, Protect America, Real Networks, Verizon, Speakeasy, Covad, and D-link. The platform powers in excess of 1,000 websites and is licensed by leading retailers, websites, and Fortune 500 companies. The company also operates Bridgevine.com, a website dedicated to consumer for comparative shopping and exclusive promotions from the leading service providers. For more information, please visit www.bridgevine.com.


Corporate Contact:
Mark Ballard
Bridgevine, Inc.
772-539-0618
mark.ballard@bridgevine.com

Monday, October 27, 2008

Comcast Begins Rollout of Extreme 50 Mbps High-Speed Internet Service


Plans to Reach More Than 10 Major Markets and Nearly 10 Million Homes and Businesses in the Next Several Months

Two New, Faster Speed Tiers Introduced and Speeds Doubled for Most Existing Customers

Comcast, the nations leading provider of entertainment, information and communications products and services, today announced it is making the leap from broadband to wideband with the launch of next-generation DOCSIS 3.0. With wideband, Comcast will introduce a brand new echelon of Internet speed tiers, which will redefine the customer experience online and create a platform for Internet innovation in the years ahead.

In the next few weeks, Comcasts new services will be available to millions of residential homes and businesses in parts of New England, including the Boston Metropolitan region and Southern New Hampshire, as well as areas of Philadelphia and New Jersey. These services also will be available in the Twin Cities where wideband was launched earlier this year. Comcast plans to continue to roll out wideband across its footprint and expects to reach more than 10 major markets and pass nearly 10 million homes and businesses in the next several months.

With wideband, Comcast will offer among the fastest speeds available today, including the Extreme 50 tier at up to 50 Mbps. It also will enable Comcast to double speeds for the majority of existing high-speed Internet customers at no additional cost.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Selects Qwest to Connect Nationwide Health Care System with Voice and Data Services


The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has selected Qwest Communications International Inc. (NYSE: Q) as its contractor for the delivery of voice and data services valued at approximately $60 million to connect the VAs headquarters in Washington, D.C., and nearly 1,300 hospitals, regional offices and other facilities across the nation.

Caring for the men and women who have defended our nation in the armed services is among the federal governments most important missions, said Diana Gowen, senior vice president and general manager of Qwest Government Services in Arlington, Va. The VA has taken advantage of emerging technologies resulting in tremendous advances in medical treatment and the delivery of remote services, such as telemedicine. Qwest is proud to use our state-of-the-art, secure and converged network to support the VAs vision of providing veterans the world-class benefits and services they have earned.

Qwest is providing VA with voice and voice-related services and wide-area network (WAN) data services. Qwest will deliver the services under the federal Networx Universal contract, which is part of Networx, the largest government communications procurement program in the world.

Also, the VA is permitted to order additional voice and data services from Qwest that could increase the value of the 10-year agreement.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Leading Payroll Company Counting on LifeLock Identity Theft Protection


LifeLock Partners with AmCheck to Bring Premier Identity Protection Services to a Half Million People

Nothing puts a damper on a pay-day celebration like finding out that the dollars on your pay stub have been stolen, along with your identity. Although tiny in size, your pay stub can be pretty valuable in the hands of a criminal. Personal information printed on your check, such as your full name, address and Social Security Number, are key pieces that a thief needs to steal your identity.

Customers and employees of Phoenix-based AmCheck, a leading payroll processing company, can now take advantage of an identity theft protection offering as a result of a partnership announced today between the company and LifeLock®. With more than 1,500 clients that service more than 200,000 employees, AmCheck has added LifeLock’s services to its list of human resource benefits, giving clients and employees the opportunity to take advantage of LifeLock’s proactive identity theft protection package at a discounted rate.

“Identity theft criminals will take advantage of any avenue they can find to take over a person’s identity,” says LifeLock CEO Todd Davis. “A few weeks ago I was in the park with my family and found a piece of paper on the ground. It was someone’s pay stub that included all the information I would have needed to cause great harm to that individual. Though it may have been in trash or just lost to the wind, this important information was lost for anyone to use. It’s because this simple mistake could have cost someone dearly, that we stress the importance of placing layers of protection. This should be a tremendous partnership to spread that vital message.”

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Clearspring Acquires AddThis to Create the World’s Largest Sharing Service for the Web


Company’s Reach Now Comparable to 7th Largest Web Property

Clearspring Technologies, the leading widget network connecting publishers and advertisers to audiences on the social Web, today announced the acquisition of AddThis, the No. 1 bookmarking and content sharing service on the Internet. Together, Clearspring and AddThis will serve over 20 billion views per month and reach more than 200 million unique visitors, creating the most widely used set of content sharing services on the Web.

Both companies achieved market leadership by delivering distinct content sharing products – AddThis providing the market’s most widely used tool for bookmarking and sharing Web pages, and Clearspring as the company that introduced the concept of point-and-click tools enabling users to easily move content between Web sites. Together the companies will offer the most comprehensive set of sharing tools available – becoming the de facto universal content sharing platform for Web publishers and end users. The collective footprint of the combined entity will reach a worldwide audience comparable to the 7th largest Web property.

“The Internet is becoming the backbone for digital communications – an essential part of our everyday lives,” said Ted Leonsis, chairman of the board at Clearspring. “With the acquisition of AddThis, Clearspring is now at the forefront of that evolution, connecting digital content publishers and consumers via a single set of universally recognizable tools that enable people to easily communicate with content.”

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Fast Cash for Students - Break.com Pays For Your Original College Videos


College Students to Receive $800 for Videos Featured on Break.com Home Page

Break Media, the Internets leading entertainment community for men, is offering college students a simple way to make money in these difficult economic times. All students need do is upload their best original college videos to Break.com -- those students whose videos are featured on the Break.com home page receive an impressive $800. With higher tuition, gas prices and increasing inflation affecting the everyday life of a student, Break.com wants to provide much needed support for students struggling to make ends meet. On top of the cash, college students will also get the cache of being featured on one of the most trafficked video sites in the world and have their videos seen by millions of people each month.

Break.com will continue to pay non-college students $400, already one of the highest cash rewards for content, for original videos on the homepage as well. To date, Break.com has paid over $1,000,000 to users for their original videos.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Bridgevine and Verizon Sign Agreement on FiOS Services


Bridgevine Offers Consumers Both Fiber Optic TV and High Speed Internet

VERO BEACH, Fla. & ATLANTA--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Bridgevine Inc., the trusted source for consumers to compare and shop for cable TV, fiber optic TV, high speed Internet and other home services, announced the company will now offer to consumers the Verizon FiOS TV and FiOS high speed Internet services.

These fiber optic TV and high speed internet services are a proven hit with consumers and were proud to add them to our suite of offerings, states Bridgevines President and CEO Vinny Olmstead. We offer three Verizon FiOS TV plans. FiOS Local that includes all local channels. FiOS Premier with more than 200 channels including music and the ability to add premium movie channels and FiOS TV La Connexion, which has 140 channels including 35 English, 25 Spanish-language and additional music channels.

Verizon FiOS Internet is a broadband service designed to provide Internet access with the fastest download speeds currently available up to 50 megabits per second. The package includes a suite of services with access to newsgroups, nine email accounts and 10 MB of personal web storage. FiOS is an alternative to DSL and cable, provided on a state-of-the-art fiber-optic network. These services are available directly from the Bridgevine.com website or from Bridgevines shopping platform, dslnational.com.

Bridgevines consumer-facing website, Bridgevine.com, addresses the often daunting task of shopping for services in a marketplace where constantly changing prices, promotions and package offerings can leave consumers unsure if they are getting the best deal, or even the service that best meets their need. Unlike other comparison shopping sites, the Bridgevine experience is differentiated by a unified shopping cart, real-time pricing, order status and scheduling to deliver the best customer experience in the industry. Bridgevines deep integration with leading service providers enables the company to deliver the most accurate information on services, pricing and special promotions, adding even more value to the bundled services shopping experience.

About Bridgevine

Founded in 2003, Bridgevine, Inc. is headquartered in Vero Beach, FL with an office in Atlanta, GA. The companys consumer-facing website, Bridgevine.com, is a trusted source for consumers to compare and shop for the services that shape their lives. From communications to entertainment to security, Bridgevine.com lets consumers choose individual services that are best for them, or create personalized bundles from trusted providers resulting in saved time and money. Unlike other comparison shopping websites, Bridgevines powerful technology offers a unified shopping cart, real-time pricing, order status and scheduling to deliver the best customer experience in the industry. Bridgevines deep integration with leading service providers from across the country including Comcast, AT&T, D-Link, Time Warner Cable, Verizon, DIRECTV, RealNetworks, Panasonic, GameFly and more enables Bridgevine to deliver the most accurate information on services, pricing and special promotions, adding even more value to the bundled services shopping experience. The companys proprietary ecommerce platform is licensed by leading retailers, websites and Fortune 500 companies, making it possible for them to monetize online, call center and in-store traffic. Bridgevine was ranked 57 on the prestigious 2007 Inc. 500 list of fastest growing private companies. For more information, please visit www.bridgevine.com.

Bridgevine, Inc., Vero Beach
Mark Ballard, 772-539-0618

mark.ballard@bridgevine.com

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

AT&T Ready for Tropical Storm Hanna in South Carolina


Provider Offers Tropical Storm Communications Tips for Residents and Small Businesses

As residents and businesses across the Southeast begin to recover from the impact of Hurricane Gustav, AT&T Inc. is also taking steps to prepare equipment and facilities for a potential strike by Tropical Storm Hanna.

Despite the extensive commercial power outages caused by Hurricane Gustav, AT&T's network continues to perform well because of extensive pre-storm preparation. The company has invested hundreds of millions of dollars to create and maintain its Network Disaster Recovery capabilities.

A critical element of AT&T's efforts to maximize network reliability is the company's ability to swiftly respond when disaster strikes. This is made possible by AT&T's pre-season and pre-storm preparation which includes: ongoing readiness drills, topping off fuel at generators positioned at cell sites and switching centers, testing high-capacity backup batteries, adding capacity to the wireless network, and staging additional emergency response equipment in strategic locations.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

The Best Visual Display and One of the Safest Ways for Kids to Search the Internet


With school back in session and families gearing up for the nightly homework grind, Ask.com announces the upgrade and expansion of its popular children's and tweens' search engine, Ask Kids (www.askkids.com). Built with Ask.com's proprietary search technology, Ask Kids delivers a search experience unlike anything for kids on the Internet today -- including more relevant, kid-friendly search results presented in the most graphically vivid display of any major search engine. The Ask Kids launch advances Ask.com's strategy of using its core search technology to fuel vertical search properties such as RushmoreDrive.com, the search engine for the Black community, launched in April 2008.

Studies prove that visual learning improves children's comprehension, retention, critical thinking, and organization.* Additionally, children are better at "mousing" than typing. Ask Kids was built with this in mind, and organizes search results in a graphically vivid three-panel display that includes SmartAnswers and related images, current events, videos and encyclopedia results. For example, a child who enters the query "George Washington" will see options to narrow their results with "Facts on George Washington," along with options to expand their results to learn about the "Declaration of Independence," "American Revolution," and "Mount Vernon."

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Verizon FiOS TV Broadens Multicultural Content With 14 New In-Language Channels From World TV


New Content Includes Leading Channels for Arabic, Portuguese and Russian Audiences, Among Others

As part of Verizon's continual expansion of its FiOS TV channel lineup, the company announced Monday (Aug. 25) that it has started adding 14 new multicultural channels from World TV. The channels, broadcast in eight different languages, offer a diverse mix of programming to FiOS TV subscribers.

"This new programming from around the world is part of what makes FiOS TV the ultimate home-entertainment experience," said Terry Denson, vice president -- FiOS TV content and programming. "It also helps to expand our multicultural channel lineup, making FiOS TV an outlet for emerging and independent networks to showcase their diverse content."

The 14 new channels come from World TV, a division of content management and delivery company GlobeCast, which previously signed a distribution deal with Verizon for top-tier international channels.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

BRIDGEVINE RANKS ON INC 500 LIST FOR SECOND YEAR BY SIMPLIFYING SHOPPING FOR HIGH SPEED INTERNET AND CABLE TV BUNDLES


COMPANY RANKED NO. 182 ON THE 2008 LIST OF FASTEST GROWING COMPANIES

VERO BEACH, Florida, and ATLANTA, Georgia
— August 20, 2008 — Bridgevine, Inc., the trusted source for consumers to compare and shop for cable TV, high speed internet and other digital home services, announced the company was recently ranked No. 182 on the 2008 Inc 500 list of the fastest growing private companies.

The digital services market is so fragmented with deals and packages that consumers are baffled. Bridgevine's web site allows shoppers to choose the best values from online video rental and high speed internet to cable TV, moving services or home security. “A listing on the Inc. 500 for the second straight year demonstrates how consumers realize the value our service provides them,” states Bridgevine’s President and CEO Vinny Olmstead. “Our remarkable growth is the result of a strong team, solid technology and listening and responding to consumer needs and wants.”

Bridgevine’s CFO Rob Hamilton goes on to state, “Our Company will continue raising the bar higher to deliver the best service possible, for the millions of consumers with unique needs. We are very proud of this Inc. 500 honor and we look forward to building upon it again next year.

Bridgevine’s consumer-facing website, Bridgevine.com, addresses the often daunting task of shopping for services in a marketplace where constantly changing prices, promotions and package offerings can leave consumers unsure if they are getting the best deal, or even the service that best meets their need. Unlike other “comparison” shopping sites, the Bridgevine experience is differentiated by a unified shopping cart, real-time pricing, order status and scheduling to deliver the best customer experience in the industry. Bridgevine’s deep integration with leading service providers enables the company to deliver the most accurate information on services, pricing and special promotions, adding even more value to the bundled services shopping experience.

About Bridgevine
Founded in 2003, Bridgevine, Inc. is headquartered in Vero Beach, FL with an office in Atlanta, GA. The company’s consumer-facing website, Bridgevine.com, is a trusted source for consumers to compare and shop for the services that shape their lives. From communications to entertainment to security, Bridgevine.com lets consumers choose individual services that are best for them, or create personalized bundles from trusted providers resulting in saved time and money. Unlike other “comparison” shopping websites, Bridgevine’s powerful technology offers a unified shopping cart, real-time pricing, order status and scheduling to deliver the best customer experience in the industry. Bridgevine’s deep integration with leading service providers from across the country — including Comcast, AT&T, D-Link, Time Warner Cable, Verizon, DIRECTV, RealNetworks, Panasonic, GameFly and more — enables Bridgevine to deliver the most accurate information on services, pricing and special promotions, adding even more value to the bundled services shopping experience. The company’s proprietary ecommerce platform is licensed by leading retailers, websites and Fortune 500 companies, making it possible for them to monetize online, call center and in-store traffic. Bridgevine was ranked 57 on the prestigious 2007 Inc. 500 list of fastest growing private companies. For more information, please visit www.bridgevine.com.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

NWA WorldVacations Launches Online Travel Story Contest


Win a trip to Cancun, Mexico by submitting your favorite travel story to the NWA WorldVacations Travel Blog.

Until September 14, 2008, travelers can win a Cancun vacation by submitting a travel story to the NWA WorldVacations® Travel Blog.

After an entry is posted on the Travel Blog, the writer will be automatically entered to win a WorldVacations trip to Cancun, Mexico, including roundtrip air and hotel, valued up to $2,200. The stories can be about a favorite travel memory or a travel tip, and they should be 600 words or less.

Almost everyone has a great, unique travel story to tell and its so cool that some lucky person is going to win a trip to Cancun just for sharing their story on a blog, said Susan Worwa, Manager of Corporate Communications at NWA WorldVacations.

Visit the NWA WorldVacations Travel Blog for more contest details and to read the trips and travel experiences that others have blogged about. Also, the Travel Blog offers great ideas and information on where to go and what to do for people wanting to create new travel memories for future contests.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Yahoo! Announces New Privacy Choice for Consumers

Will Expand Its Opt-Out Policy to Customized Advertising on Yahoo.com

Today Yahoo! Inc. announced that it will offer users greater choice in how they manage their privacy online by enabling them to opt-out of customized advertising on Yahoo.com. This new option expands Yahoo!s existing opt-out program for customized advertising served by Yahoo! on third party networks.

Yahoo! announced the new opt-out capability as part of its response to a Congressional inquiry about customization sent to 33 companies from the House Energy and Commerce Committee. Yahoo!s full response to the letter from Congressman Dingell is attached below.

Anne Toth, head of privacy and VP for policy, said, Yahoo! understands the trust of our users is our greatest asset, so we strive to create the most trusted, compelling online experience.

Yahoo! strongly believes that consumers want choice when customizing their online experience and they have also demonstrated a strong preference for advertising that is more personally relevant to them, continued Toth. However, we understand that there are some users who prefer not to receive customized advertising and this opt-out will offer them even greater choice.

This new opt-out capability is expected to be available for consumers by the end of August. Users will be able to access the opt-out in the Yahoo! privacy center, which is linked on the home page and nearly every page on the Yahoo! network. Users will also be able to access the opt-out through a link in the public service advertising campaign Yahoo! has been running with online ads across its network to educate users about customized advertising.

Monday, August 11, 2008

DogTime.com Launches Most Comprehensive Online Dog Breed Center


New Features Provide Easier Access to More Information and Capability to Upload Dog Photos

DogTime.com (dogtime.com/), the premier destination for dog people, today announced the launch of its enhanced Dog Breed Center (dogtime.com/dog-breeds.html), the most comprehensive guide to dog breeds on the Internet.

Users will find details on nearly 200 breeds in the new DogTime Dog Breed Center, including a dog's unique personality, coat, color, size, care, feeding, grooming, health, and history. Profiles are now easily sorted by breed name, or dozens of breed characteristics, including compatibility with kids, amount of shedding, apartment appropriateness, ease of training, energy level, intelligence, playfulness and more.

"DogTime encourages the adoption of both pure breed and mixed breed dogs," said DogTime CEO Trevor Wright. "Our new Breed Center provides insight into the key characteristics of every breed of dog and will help users better understand the make-up of mix breed dogs, which will help them choose a pet that is compatible with their lifestyles and thereby keep more dogs out of shelters."

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

GameFly Announces Fully Integrated Campaign on Xbox LIVE


GameFly Promotion Gives Gamers a Chance to Win Metallica Concert Tickets and Brings Exclusive Subscription Offer to Xbox LIVE

GameFly, the online video game rental service, today announced a fully integrated campaign with Microsoft to execute a multi-tiered program on the Xbox LIVE® online entertainment network. This relationship will provide another avenue for users to learn about the benefits of GameFly. The program includes a special subscription offer exclusive for Xbox LIVE members -- $5.95 for the first month of GameFly -- plus 400 Microsoft Points, which can be used to purchase downloadable content on Xbox LIVE® Marketplace for the Xbox 360® video game and entertainment system from Microsoft. The campaign will run now through September 13, 2008.

The GameFly presence on Xbox LIVE includes a GameFly Branded Destination Experience (BDE) which lets users learn more about GameFly, watch the newest commercial and download GameFly Themes and Gamer Pics. Additionally, Xbox LIVE members can enter the Register and Win Sweepstakes, with a grand prize package featuring tickets to meet and see multi-platinum recording artist Metallica perform.

Working with Microsoft and establishing a presence on Xbox LIVE is a natural fit for GameFly, said Sean Spector, GameFlys co-founder and senior vice president, business development and content. With millions of Xbox LIVE members in the U.S., this is a great way to share the benefits of GameFly with the largest gaming community in the console market.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Yougetitback.com Launches in North America; Offers Protection for Lost or Stolen Phones, Laptops


Mobile Superhero Is First Comprehensive, Peace-of-Mind Solution to Help People Quickly Resolve Loss or Theft of Electronic Devices

Yougetitback.com today announced the North American debut of its service to help protect, recover and replace mobile devices from theft and loss.

Yougetitback protects and helps recover mobile devicessuch as phones, PDAs, cameras, iPods and laptopswhile preserving the sensitive information they may contain. The companys premium service will even replace the device, if it is not recovered.

People carry a great deal of sensitive data in their mobile phones, PDAs and laptops, such as contacts, credit card numbers, banking details and sensitive business informationnot to mention personal mementos like photos of their loved ones, said Yougetitback.com CEO Frank Hannigan.

Most people may not give a second thought to the valuable personal information stored in their devicesuntil they are misplaced, lost or stolen, he said. Our service assures that all is not lost in such cases. If their devices go missing, we provide people peace of mind.

Think about it: On top of the hassle and cost of replacing your valuables, theres a personal price to pay, Hannigan said. All those contacts in your cell phone. Hours of music on your iPod. Memories in your digital camera. Your whole working life in your laptop or PDA.

According to industry reports, the number of mobile phones lost each dayin airports, on public transport, at the checkout counter or even from the roof of a moving caris staggering. (One report called taxis a black hole for lost cell phones and PDAs.) Millions of cell phones are lost, misplaced or stolen each year.

Based on its experience, Hannigan said Yougetitback estimates 75 percent of lost or stolen devices registered and tagged with the companys labels are returned to their owners.

He attributes this high level of success to the ease with which people who find lost items covered by Yougetitback can return them to their rightful owners. Many people who want to return a found item are stymied by their inability to identify the owner. Without revealing anyones identity, Yougetitback helps the finder get the item safely back into the right hands.

Industry research indicates that most people want to do the right thing, Hannigan said. And if you make it easy and risk-free for them, as Yougetitback does, they are more than happy to see that a found item is reunited with its owner.

Other services deal with only parts of the problem, such as lost-and-found, data backups and encryption services, Hannigan continued. But Yougetitbacks patent-pending Mobile Superhero is the first truly 360-degree service that addresses and covers the problem comprehensively through its three-step approach: protect recover and replace.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

New Technology From Web Design Giant Gives Businesses Greater Networking Capabilities Than Ever Before


Mega Star Media, Inc. announced the beta launch of their latest technology, JumpSwitchMedia, slotted to take place in mid-October. JumpSwitchMedia, which is still pending patent, will eventually take its place among the web giant's custom made social networking media.

The company specializes in harnessing the tremendous networking capabilities taken by big name social networks like MySpace and Facebook and scaling them down to create custom made, industry niches specific websites for their clients. JumpSwitchMedia will serve as a switching mechanism for both social and dating sites, streamlining their natural resources and providing their clients with greater growth potential than ever before.

"(We are) building dreams one website at a time," says Mega Star Media, Inc. lead designer Sandra Rowley.

Rowley and her team have enjoyed a tremendous amount of success building those dreams since the company's birth in 1999. Mega Star Media, Inc.'s client base has grown from thirty to over 1600 (and growing), with over 3500 websites bearing their savvy graphic design and optimized text designed to give businesses the boost in site traffic they need to watch their business grow exponentially.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Comcast Partners with Warner Bros. Pictures’ The Dark Knight to Bring Exclusive Content to Batman Fans


Mini-movies and Behind-the-Scene Footage from the Blockbuster Film Available on Comcast On Demand, All in HD

Comcast Corporation, announced today a partnership with Warner Bros. Pictures The Dark Knight. This partnership provides Comcast customers with exclusive behind-the-scenes movie footage, mini-movies and trailers from one of this summers most-anticipated films, available on Comcasts signature On Demand service.

Leading up to the films release, Comcast will launch six mini-movies, which are exclusive original-content episodes, of a show called Gotham Tonight, featuring the films actors providing commentary in character and in a news format that tell the story of what has occurred between Batman Begins and The Dark Knight. In addition to the Gotham Tonight segments, customers can watch exclusive behind-the-scenes footage, interviews with the cast and filmmakers, and The Dark Knight trailers, all in HD. This exclusive content is available on Comcast On Demand, www.comcast.net/thedarkknightmovie and Fancast.com. The Gotham Tonight episodes also can be seen at www.Gothamcablenews.com.

Friday, July 11, 2008

For Marketers, iPhone is to content what iPod is to music


Fuel Industries among very first to offer iphone games

Fuel Industries is not a company known for coming in late on industry trends. The Canadian interactive studio was among the first in the branded entertainment space, and one of the first to build 3d immersive worlds in a browser dating back to 2004. The same early adopter spirit holds true with their first entry into the mobile gaming realm as their new title Spinner: Prologue for iPhone launches with the iPhone App Store on July 11.

"The iPhone has done more to change the way we think about mobile interactive than any other individual device in history," said Warren Tomlin, Chief Creative Officer of Fuel Industries. "For us to wait and see with this device would be to put us in the same league with companies who waited around for the internet to catch on."

While Spinner: Prologue is just the first iteration of the gameplay, The company has more titles and applications planned in the next few months.

"Mobile has always been the black sheep of interactive marketing," said Tomlin. "Clients want to love it, but the technology has always been too limiting. This new platform gives us a way to create rich entertainment that reaches out and grabs the palm of their hand."

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Dell College Gaming League Becomes First Official Amateur League Partner for Championship Gaming Series



Exclusive Deal Gains College Gaming League Worldwide Exposure and Brings CGS to Hundreds of U.S. College Campuses

Dell’s College Gaming League (CGL), the community for avid PC and Xbox 360 collegiate gamers and Championship Gaming Series® (CGS), have joined forces and established the CGL as the first Official Amateur League Partner of CGS.

The College Gaming League was founded as a joint venture between Dell, Intel and Microsoft as part of the Dell University program, which offers educational discounts and customized PC bundles for students, faculty and staff at thousands of participating schools across the country. League membership is free and open to all college students in the U.S. Benefits include access to public game servers for all members, exclusive offers on systems and games, member communication tools, weekly “Play with a Pro” game nights, open- and closed-ladder tournaments, a Premiere Division for top performers and a national championship tournament where school teams compete.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

AOL Launches BigDownload.com


New Site Targets PC Gaming Audience with Free Downloads, Game Reviews and Industry News

AOL announced the launch of BigDownload.com, http://www.bigdownload.com, a new content- and service-centered site for the PC gaming audience providing free downloads, game reviews and industry news. BigDownload.com is the first joint project between AOL Games, http://www.games.com, and Weblogs, Inc., http://www.weblogsinc.com.

"AOL Games is adding to our network of gaming sites by bringing a one-stop online destination to computer gaming enthusiasts," said John Benyamine, Senior Product Manager, AOL Games and BigDownload.com. "In addition to serving this niche fan base, BigDownload.com provides advertisers an opportunity to reach gaming enthusiasts directly and a chance to create interesting and exclusive campaigns surrounding content.

"Unlike competing sites, BigDownload.com offers fast and free file downloads with no required sign-up process, subscription fees or lengthy queues," said Barbara Dybwad, Senior Producer, Weblogs, Inc. "Our staff of writers eats, breathes and sleeps PC gaming so they can bring readers a deeper level of analysis. Theyre also committed to a diverse range of original and community features, exemplifying BigDownload.com as a participatory media where the "audience" is encouraged to be a part of the site.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Fotolog and StumbleUpon Announce Content Partnership


StumbleUpons 5 Million Users Access Content From Worlds Largest Photo-Blogging Site and Top 10 Most-Active Social Network

StumbleUpon (www.stumbleupon.com), one of the most popular ways to discover new Web sites and online videos, and Fotolog (www.fotolog.com), the world’s largest photo-blogging website and one of the 10 most-active social networks, announced today a content agreement. Under the agreement, StumbleUpon’s rapidly-growing community of 5 million users will have access to photos posted by Fotolog’s over 18 million members in over 200 countries.

“Our agreement with Fotolog underscores StumbleUpon’s commitment to help our users to discover great content online,” said StumbleUpon General Manager, Michael Buhr. “StumbleUpon users will now enjoy high-quality photo content in the same simple, engaging manner.”

“We’ve joined with StumbleUpon to bring together unique content generated by our members – over 550 million photos posted already and about 1 million new pictures added each day – with one of the most creative ways of discovering terrific content online,” said Fotolog General Manager, Andrew Cohen. “Our content is truly unique because Fotolog members post only one carefully-curated picture a day, unlike users who periodically dump everything in their camera memory onto photo storage sites.”

As of June 18, 2008, Fotolog members are able to post their photos on StumbleUpon by clicking an icon on their personal photoblogs. StumbleUpon members will enjoy Fotolog content from around the world and an introduction to the world’s largest photo-blogging community.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

HBO & Apple Bring Critically Acclaimed Television Programming to the iTunes Store

Favorites Including 'The Sopranos' and 'Sex and the City' Now Available on iTunes

HBO and Apple today announced that programming from HBO is now available for purchase and download on the iTunes Store. New HBO programs on iTunes include the Emmy Award-winning programs "The Sopranos," "Sex and the City," "Deadwood" and "Rome," as well as the critically acclaimed hits "Flight of the Conchords" and "The Wire." The iTunes Store is the world's most popular online TV store with over 150 million episodes sold and features the world's largest catalog with over 800 shows (over 20,000 episodes).

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Yankee Group Says 2008 Is the High-Water Mark for Interactive Cable


Cable Networks Must Step Back From Interactive Video and Address On-Demand Programming

Yankee Group today announced that there is a significant shift taking place in the advertising industrycable and IPTV operators will lose out to internet video platforms in the competition for the incremental ad revenue that supports investments in interactive television. By the time cable and IPTV operators will be able to deliver interactivity to a large number of households, content owners and advertisers will have already made long-term interactive platform investments online.

According to the recently published Yankee Group Report, The High-Water Mark for Interactive Cable, digital and interactive advertising is the cornerstone for the infrastructure investments necessary to support interactive programming. Cable networks will continue to command large linear audiences and above-the-line advertising revenue, but cable operators will be limited in their ability to deliver interactive experiences that can compete with internet video.

Ubiquitous broadband connectivity is driving a new media mix for time-shifting and ad-skipping audiences, said Daniel Taylor, senior analyst, Yankee Group Consumer Research group. Advertisers see interactive television as a way to reach viewers in this increasingly saturated media environment. But in light of recent internet video developments, it's time for cable operators to face facts about their abilities to deliver interactive experiences.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Photobucket Launches Top Pics on MySpace


Photobuckets Top Pics Application Connects Friends Through Photos on the Worlds Largest Social Network

Photobucket (http://www.photobucket.com), the world's largest standalone photo and video-sharing site, today announced the launch of Top Pics on MySpace (http://www.myspace.com/top_pics), the worlds most popular social network. Top Pics gives MySpace users a fun way to showcase their favorite photos from MySpace and Photobucket alongside those of their friends. Empowered by MySpaces newly announced Developer Platform (http://developer.myspace.com), Photobucket was able to easily build, test, and ultimately deploy Top Pics.

Top Pics displays photos in an attractive grid that can be viewed privately on a users MySpace home page or by friends on a users profile page. The applications intuitive drag-and-drop interface enables users to quickly find, select and arrange images from multiple sources, including:

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

AOL to Include ESPN Content via Syndicated Video Player


ESPNs First Online Video Syndication Agreement to Deliver Short-Form Sports Programming from ESPN.com to AOL Video and AOL Sports

ESPN and AOL announced that ESPN.com will make its short-form online video content accessible directly through AOL Video (http://video.aol.com), and AOL Sports (http://sports.aol.com/), marking the first time ESPN has syndicated its video content through an Internet portal. ESPN will offer highlights from games and major sporting events as well as video clips from ESPN original programming via an embedded ESPN video player. The ESPN channel page (http://video.aol.com/video-category/espn/112704) launched yesterday on AOL Video.

ESPN.com video is second to none, and we are excited by the expanded reach afforded us through this syndication agreement," said Matt Murphy, Senior Vice President, Digital Video Distribution at ESPN. "Working with AOL allows us to offer new benefits to fans and advertisers--viewers can now access the programming they want, whether they are on ESPN.com or AOLs portal, while our advertisers benefit from a larger online video audience than ever before. The potential is tremendous and we hope fans will be seeing more syndicated video from ESPN.com in the future.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Dinner and a Movie, at Your Fingertips


MovieTickets.com Announces Online Ticketing Partnership With Movie Tavern
Dallas-Based Movie Tavern Is a Leading Operator of Cinema-Eateries

MovieTickets.com
, the world's most powerful Internet movie ticketing service, announces a partnership with Movie Tavern, a Dallas-based cinema- eatery chain operating 11 theaters and 101 screens nationwide. Movie Tavern combines the enjoyment of first-run movies with an in-theater dining experience.

"Movie Tavern appeals to consumers who appreciate the ease and convenience of a full-service dinner-and-a-movie offering," said Joel Cohen, executive vice president and general manager of MovieTickets.com. "Our advance online ticketing option will make the unique Movie Tavern experience even more enjoyable for its patrons."

Movie Tavern operates theater locations in Texas, Colorado, Ohio and Kentucky, with future locations planned this year in Georgia, Virginia and additional locations in Texas. The rapidly expanding chain is on track to increase its number of screens from 101 to more than 135 in 2008.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Facebook Chat?????

Facebook Chat is Coming… in 2 Weeks!!

Facebook is set to launch a highly anticipated chat feature in the next 2 weeks to allow for real time communication within the popular social network.

The program will sit at the bottom of the page showing open chat windows and number of friends online. The user can pop out the entire chat interface into a separate window to show online friend lists and current conversations which is similar to Gchat’s Gtalk feature (see screen capture to the right). The users will be able to throw online/offline status easily which is a similar feature to Away Messages in AIM. Users will also be able to clear their chat history and they “online” status will appear throughout the site.

All-in-all it’s a major upgrade for Facebook but let the backlash begin from users who feel Facebook is pushing the instant communication envelope too far.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Ex-Googlers Launch rentBits.com - Vertical Search for Rentals


rentBits.com today announced the beta launch of its rental search engine, offering renters one place to find available rental homes, condos and apartments.

rentBits helps users make sense of the millions of bits of rental housing data and information that reside on the web. Using advanced search technology, rentBits crawls the web to provide users with an index of single family home, condo and apartment for rent listings from major rental sites, associations and property management websites.

In addition to improving the online search experience for rental properties, rentBits also offers:

  • Intuitive and clean search design
  • No login requirements
  • New rental search technology
  • Comprehensive listings
  • Speed and accuracy
  • Daily listing updates

The rentBits executive team brings search and advertising expertise to the online rental space. Dan Daugherty (CEO) and Tim Moynihan (COO) come from Google and Dariusz Rakowicz (CTO) has extensive experience developing technology and search platforms for the hotel industry.

"While at Google, we learned to develop products that were simple to use, free for users, and clean of annoying advertising," says Dan Daugherty, President and CEO. "rentBits has all of these qualities and this beta release is just the beginning. We will continue to innovate so we can provide the best rental search experience for our users."

rentBits' business is advertising-based and provides a platform for property managers, real estate investors and agents to reach renters while they are actively searching for rental properties.

For more information, or to search for a rental home or apartment, visit http://www.rentbits.com/. Read about or comment on updated rentBits news and observations in the rental industry at rentBits' corporate blog at http://www.rentbits.com/blog.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Price Spurs Demand for Triple-Play’s


Bear Stearns Finds Consumers View Services As Commodities By Linda Moss -- Multichannel News, 3/6/2008 2:53:00 PM

Price is the key factor driving demand for video, broadband and voice services, according to consumer research conducted by Bear Stearns.

“Our survey finds that users continue to view these services as ‘commodity-like’ with price the primary driver of demand,” the Wall Street firm said in a report by analyst Spencer Wang.

For its 2008 Communications Survey, Bear Stearns surveyed nearly 1,000 consumers.

“Consistent with our prior work, our survey finds that across all three products categories, price is the top factor affecting demand,” Wang wrote. “This implies that consumers view communication services as fairly ‘commodity-like,’ and that as competition rises, pricing power may wane. However, we still expect rational pricing given the oligopoly structure of the industry, although average revenue per user growth will likely slow going forward with more competition.”

Click here for the full story.

Monday, March 10, 2008

McCartney to release Beatles back catalog on iTunes


By Jonathan Brown

Saturday, 8 March 2008

It may be almost 38 years since they officially split but the ability of all things Beatles to shake the world continues unabated.

If proof were needed, reports yesterday that Sir Paul McCartney had given the go-ahead for the Fab Four's back catalog to be made available on iTunes and other digital download services "within months" made front-page news and set fans' internet chat rooms buzzing.

Official "no comments" that anything was imminent from both Apple Corps, owners of the Beatles' legacy, and Apple, the creator of iTunes, which dismissed suggestions as "rumour and speculation," could do little to dampen the excitement.

Click here for the entire story.