Read all about it; AOL goes tabloid “above the fold”

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“Pics show beauty topless, kissing married TV star”..
“Reality show couple calls it quits”…
“Star is skin and bones on red carpet”…or if you don’t like that anorexically-inclined headline, try “Skinny actress frumpy in white”…
“One busy, hot mama tells how to get in shape quickly”…

At 10:30 p.m. PST on July 15, 2008 – the end of a day that saw more stomach-churning stock market volatility, more violent death in Iraq and Afghanistan and closer poll results in the presidential race – the front page of AOL showed some, shall we say, interesting priorities among those who are making the news judgment calls and authorizing the headlines at this major portal.

Not that Yahoo! or MSN, viewed at the same time, were in danger of being confused with PBS’s “Newshour with Jim Lehrer.” It’s just that AOL seemed to be taking most of its news cues lately from its sister entertainment/celebrity gossip website

How to punish a “digi-kid;” take away their PC’s, cell phones..not their TV’s

The Me Generation, Generation X, Generation Y…they’ve all had their time in the media spotlight. Now prepare yourself for “Digi-Kids,” the term that market research firm NPD Group uses to refer to youth ages 4-14 who spend more time on their computers instead of parked in front of a television. Parents of digi-kids probably didn’t more »


LCD, plasma TV sales still hot as economy cools off

Size still matters when it comes to buying a flat-screen TV during a recession. And instead of using economic stimulus checks to buy new HDTV’s, consumers are spending that money to pay off the energy bills generated by their current home entertainment systems. Those are just two of the findings released during the recent DisplaySearch more »

9th Court of Appeals says your work emails/text messages are private

ComputersLaptopWork.jpg Sending nasty text messages about your boss – or sending an email to another company asking about openings – always rated high on the employee risk scale if you were using a work-based account. Never mind the existence of personal email accounts; some workers felt they had a reasonable expectation of privacy even if they were sitting in a cubicle.

The Justice Department and lower courts said no, but the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has actually ruled in favor of those workers. The court said employers who outsource email and electronic communications to an outside company do not have the right to read those emails just because they’re paying for you to use those services; they have to get your permission first. Of course, all emails kept on internal servers are still fair game.

LinkedIn makes the connection to more funding and publicity

logo_linkedin.jpgHow ironic: LinkedIn – indeed any social network – is all about making a connection. Yet thanks to the blizzard of coverage generated by the professional-themed network’s new $53 million-dollar round of funding, all I saw when I first tried to get on LinkedIn were error messages saying “connection interrupted” (Firefox) or “the server unexpectedly dropped the connection, which sometimes occurs when the server is busy” (Safari).

Yep, a New York Times story and ton of links on top content aggregators like Techmeme will do that to you.

FCC’s Martin says yes to XM-Sirius merger; what about the other commissioners?

It’s been 17 months since the XM-Sirius satellite radio merger was announced, and in that time a typical consumer’s desire to spend discretionary income on a satellite radio subscription may have broken up into static. Now that the regulatory process appears to be winding down and FCC Chairman Kevin Martin has given his blessing to more »

The 2008 election: we’re Internet users and we approve this message

Imagine a Secretary of Social Networks as part of the Presidents cabinet. If the impact of the internet on this election continues its current technological fashion, then the winning candidate might just have to add another chair at cabinet meetings as social networks are becoming critical to getting elected. The Pew Internet and American Life more »

Sony Ericsson has Wii envy with its F305 phone with motion gaming

Sony Ericsson has officially set into motion all the details about its F305 Motion Gaming phone,. If the company has its way, soon your city streets and public places will be full of young people pretending to bowl and fish while oblivious to the strange looks from passersby. The leaked details as seen previously here more »


Block pestering SMS messages with AT&T

Just because you’re living la vida digital shouldn’t mean that all your digital hassles have to follow you wherever you go, like a stray dog or (worse yet) Rupert Pupkin, Jerry Lewis’ deranged fan in Martin Scorsese’s “King of Comedy.” Text-message spam is merely a 21st-century example of the annoying telemarketer who majored in Bad more »

An LG computer monitor that Al Gore could love

No disrespect to Kermit the Frog, but it’s actually a helluva lot easier these days to be green, especially with corporate marketers working overtime to tout any and all energy-efficient / environmentally-safe qualities of their products. Such is the case with LG’s new Flatron W2252TE LCD monitor, which the company claims is the “world’s most energy-efficient monitor.” LG says the Flatron model uses 45-percent less power but still manages to serve up enough contrast and brightness for all that web surfing and all those games you like to play on your computer.

Canada copyright bill allows personal music copies

Give the Canadian Parliament credit for at least attempting to drag its copyright laws into the 21st century. But one gets the feeling that a digital hornets’ nest has been stirred up by new legislation introduced by Industry Minister Jim Prentice. Canada’s government tried to find the right balance between personal freedom and protection of more »

Will Disney’s Blu-ray strategy rake in the green?


I’ll admit it: every Christmas will probably be a Disney Christmas in my house for the next few years, thanks to a four-year-old daughter who knows why Ariel has daddy issues and a two-year-old son who wants to be Lightning McQueen when he grows up.

As an unrepentant tech enthusiast who also wants to keep his kids happy ever after, you can imagine my curiosity about the announcement from Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment about the company’s plans to maximize Blu-ray technology for its DVD releases, beginning with “Sleeping Beauty” in October. Disney is promising live chat rooms as the story of Princess Aurora unfolds on your flat-screen HDTV. Division president Bob Chapek pictures grandparents in one part of the country chatting with grandkids in another part as they all watch the movie together. He also previewed video messaging and an onscreen DVD menu reflecting the weather conditions where you are, all thanks to Blu-ray’s Internet capabilities: