March 25, 2009

Pixazza - Something New (To Me, Anyway) [2:26 pm]

Pixazza Launches ‘Product in the Picture’ Service (*don’t* ask me how I came across this)

Pixazza, Inc. today unveiled a new internet service which turns static images into engaging content, while generating incremental income for web publishers. Pixazza enables consumers to simply mouse over images on their favorite web sites to learn more and see related products. To achieve scale, Pixazza utilizes a proprietary crowdsourcing platform, enlisting a distributed workforce of product experts to match products inside an image, with similar items from its network of advertisers.

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Documenting Canute’s Futile Struggle [8:13 am]

Two articles on why one can’t stop the tide:

  • Blockbuster and TiVo Join To Deliver Digital Movies (pdf)

    With its lingering debt problems resolved for now, Blockbuster is pinning some of its hopes on a digital future.

    The struggling video rental chain will announce a partnership with TiVo on Wednesday to deliver Blockbuster’s digital movie library over the Internet directly to the televisions of people with TiVo digital video recorders.

  • German Retailer Expected to Buy Music Download Firm (pdf)

    Metro plans to acquire 24-7 Entertainment, which handles the logistics of music, video and ring tone downloads, including digital rights management, for companies like telecommunication operators and retailers. Metro hopes that the company, which has access to a database of five million songs, will help it expand the offerings of its consumer electronics business.

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Routing Around Censorship? [8:07 am]

YouTube Being Blocked in China, Google Says (pdf)

Google said it did not know why the site had been blocked, but a report by the official Xinhua news agency of China on Tuesday said that supporters of the Dalai Lama had fabricated a video that appeared to show Chinese police officers brutally beating Tibetans after riots last year in Lhasa, the Tibetan capital.

Xinhua did not identify the video, but based on the description it appears to match a video available on YouTube that was recently released by the Tibetan government in exile.

[...] “We don’t know the reason for the block,” a Google spokesman, Scott Rubin, said. “Our government relations people are trying to resolve it.”

Mr. Rubin said that the company first noticed traffic from China had decreased sharply late Monday. By early Tuesday, he said, it had dropped to nearly zero.

China routinely filters Internet content and blocks material that is critical of its policies. It also frequently blocks individual videos on YouTube. YouTube was not blocked Tuesday or Wednesday in Hong Kong, the largely autonomous region of China. Beijing has not interfered with Internet sites there.

“The instant speculation is that YouTube is being blocked because the Tibetan government in exile released a particular video,” said Xiao Qiang, adjunct professor of journalism at the University of California, Berkeley, and editor of China Digital Times, a news Web site that chronicles political and economic changes in China.

Mr. Xiao said that the blocking of YouTube fit with what appeared to be an effort by China to step up its censorship of the Internet in recent months. [...]

See also China: Censors Bar Mythical Creature (pdf) as a followup to this earlier post.

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