Block Google-Yahoo Ad Deal, Advertisers Argue

Advertisers came out against the potential ad deal between Google and Yahoo in a letter sent to the U.S. Department of Justice yesterday. The deal, announced in June, would allow Google to display text ads on Yahoo, with Yahoo deciding when and how the ads display and taking a cut of revenue. 

In its short announcement of the letter, the Association of National Advertisers stated the deal "will likely diminish competition, increase concentration of market power, limit choices currently available and potentially raise prices to advertisers for high quality, affordable search advertising."

The Wall Street Journal digs into the drama and history of the deal, which came about during Microsoft's attempt to buy all or part of Yahoo. The story notes that the ANA is a major trade group representing clients such as Procter & Gamble Do. and General Motors Corp., but that some "large advertising agencies and midsize advertisers have endorsed the deal."

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Zoho Adds Google Docs-like File Management

Zoho has finally added a central document management page called Zoho Docs to tie together its many useful online apps. The clean-looking, functional page looks much like the Google Docs start page, with a folder view on the left and all files - spreadsheets, documents, presentations, etc. - listed on the right.

You can create folders and drag and drop files among them, and also right-click files or folders to quickly share, tag, rename, etc. You can also sort the file list by created time, modified time or document type (such as documents or presentations). 

I used to use Zoho for online word processing and spreadsheets, but switched to Google Docs specifically for the better document management (I still use it for invoicing).  So I think Zoho has made a good move here.  What's more, the company leapfrogged Google by allowing you to upload almost any file (10MB or smaller, and no .exe's) into Zoho Docs, which turns the offering into online storage as well as file management for Zoho creations.

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Quick Fix for Firefox 3 Bug with Yahoo Mail

If you use Firefox 3 and Yahoo Mail (the nice new interface, not Classic), you might be dealing with a bug I've noticed where the message pane scrollbar doesn't display.  It's not a game-breaker, as you can still use the page-down and page-up keys to navigate, but it's an annoyance. 

It was a mystery bug for me, as only my primary workstation suffered from it. Two other systems had no issues. Disabling all addons on my afflicted system didn't change the situation. Neither did starting in Safe Mode, which surprised me.

I had been using a kludge-y workaround with the useful IE Tab addon to render Yahoo mail with the IE engine (but still within the Firefox window). That worked fine, but it means that any links I clicked in Yahoo mail also loaded with the IE engine. Not terrible, but not optimal (though IE tab is still a great addon for IE-specific sites).

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Olympic Gold Medalist Gives Props to Google Earth

Google got some serious gold, promotion-wise: Olympic cyclist and Gold Medalist Kristin Armstrong wrote that Google Earth was "invaluable" in helping her find a training route in Boise, Idaho similar to the Olympic course in Beijing.

Armstrong tipped the hat (helmet?) in a guest post in the Google Lat Long Blog, which covers Google Earth and Maps. In it, she describes how at her husband's urging, she took one of his GPS units on her time trial ride back in December. After exporting the GPS and elevation data and loading it into Google Earth, she "was then able to trace the entire course from the comfort of my home half a world away and find a similar route to train on back in Boise."

Moral of the story?  An innovative use of technology can give you the win in everything from business to sports. And tech geek friends (or spouses) are great to have around.

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Market Your Home-Based Business With StartupNation Contest

StartupNation, a Web site for entrepreneurs, has begun taking applications for its 2008 Home-Based 100 contest. If you have your own company, the competition affords an opportunity to market yourself - and of course, be marketed to.

I found out about the competition from one of my own home-based business service providers, RingCentral. While there's no material prize for winning, the free advertising from a good ranking could be worth plenty.

Per the site, entrants must be home-based and have a Web site, and "some aspect of your business should fit at least one of the themes of the Top Ten categories." Those categories are:

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Hulu's Streaming Shows Reel in Viewers

Hulu.com, a well-made site offering free, ad-supported streaming TV shows and movies through a Web browser, now tops CNN and Turner in U.S. video site rankings, according to Nielsen stats relayed by Silicon Alley Insider.

Despite an official launch only five months ago and a relatively small library of shows and movies, the site offered up 105 million streams in July, just behind ESPN's 106 million streams.

According to paidContent.org, that's up from 63 million streams in April. Strong growth, but still far, far behind YouTube's 5 billion - yes, billion - streams in July. Then again, when it comes to streaming video, nobody comes close to YouTube.

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Online Investing Web Site Picks

Sure, Yahoo Finance rocks. But plenty of other, smaller sites offer good data for the online investor. Yesterday's San Francisco Chronicle outlined seven of them.

In Harry Domash's piece, most of the seven were new to me, though I had written about one of them (tickerspy.com) here previously.

Domash has a good range of sites, such as a site that tracks Chinese companies that buy a U.S. listed company instead of going through an IPO, and another that lists potentially undervalued stocks based on its intrinsic value and a "margin of safety." He also has his personal favorite for that investment must-have, price charts.

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