Google News Not Profitable

I read “an interesting article”:http://wired.com/news/culture/0,1284,65106,00.html over at “Wired News”:http://www.wired.com yesterday. Apparently, Google News is facing some complex issues. I’ve been wondering for a while why it’s still considered beta even though it hasn’t changed much since I stumbled across it almost a year ago.

The answer is simple: it’s not generating any revenue for Google. Since they are culling their news from thousands of third-party sites who they are not contracted with, if they were to throw any advertising up they would probably be hit with a class-action copyright infringement lawsuit.

It’s really a shame, as I think their idea is an extremely good one. I’ve been using it as my only news source for several months now.

ContentWatch in the News

This doesn’t happen very often, but I have a “Google News Alert”:http://www.google.com/newsalerts set up to catch it when it does. “ContentWatch”:http://www.contentwatch.com appeared in an article called [“Safe Surfing”:http://www.rockymountainnews.com/drmn/family/article/0,1299,DRMN_107_3028609,00.html ] on “RockyMountainNews.com”:http://www.rockymountainnews.com.

The article comes in response to the Supreme Court’s recent decision to overturn a proposed federal law (i.e. the Child Online Protection Act) that would have deemed it illegal for sites to make objectionable material available to minors on the Internet. The law was considered by the court to be unenforcable (they cite that nearly 40% of sites harmful to minors are outside the U.S.), and the recommendation was that parents should use commercially available filtering software.

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Frog in a Pot

Microsoft is going down, and they just don’t get it. I just read a “PCWorld.com”:http://www.pcworld.com article about “browser market share”:http://www.pcworld.com/news/article/0,aid,116848,00.asp. Apparently, IE has lost 1% of the market, which isn’t much, but it’s the most significant downturn for them since June 2002. The downturn has been attributed to the “US-CERT recommendation”:http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A6746-2004Jun25.html that people stop using IE.

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Patent Office Sees the Light

I’m not sure how I missed this one on MozillaZine last week. Apparently, the U.S. Patent Office has decided that Eolas’ patent on browser plugin technology is invalid. This is a victory for the W3C and open web standards, but it’s almost unfortunate, since IE is the only browser that would have been affected. No plugin support in IE probably would’ve caused more people to move to standards-compliant browsers like Mozilla Firefox.

Read the whole story at Reuters.

And The Nominees Are…

The 76th Annual Academy Awards are scheduled for February 29, 2004, and the nominee list was just released this morning. The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King was nominated for a whopping 11 Oscars!

I’m not sure how many nominations the first two LOTR movies got, but the winnings have been pretty sparse. Fellowship took in four academy awards (for cinematography, make-up, best original score, and visual effects) and Two Towers only took in two (for sound editing and visual effects).

So, it looks like Return of the King may be a shoe-in for visual effects (although it’s up against Pirates of the Carribean, so I’m not holding my breath), but will it get best picture? It did get the Golden Globe award last week for best motion picture drama, along with three others (best directing, best original score, and best original song), so I think it’s got a fighting chance. Only time will tell…