19:55 PM

Newswatch: Answerbots; Google as Monopoly and Obama's Offshore Tax Proposal

Wednesday 8am Silicon Valley news report:

Disney looks beyond traditional studio model -Reuters

Disney said on Tuesday it will continue to reposition itself for a changing marketplace as industrywide DVD sales slump and as more and more consumers look online for content, even though a clear business model for online distribution has not yet emerged.

Few Match Google; Does That Make It a Monopoly? -WSJ

Google is indisputably a victim of its own success. Its market share of Internet search has continued to rise steadily, encompassing roughly two-thirds of total searches. At 76%, its share of search advertising is even higher, thanks to Google's technological prowess at matching ads to people's search queries.

A Tech Company’s Campaign to Burnish Its Brand -NYTimes

The campaign is Intel’s first that focuses on its brand rather than its products, Ms. Conrad said. It is Intel’s most expensive campaign since 2006, and the company wants it to run for at least three years. One of the company’s challenges is that people do not buy products from Intel directly

Tech Companies Are Still Hiring -WSJ

In a survey of 122 senior technology professionals, including 67 CEOs and company founders, 54% of respondents reported that their companies were currently hiring, or would be hiring new employees within the next three months.

The Rise of the Answerbots -h+

Here's the basic concept behind AI-completeness: Some problems are so hard that the only way to solve them is to create an artificial entity with human-level general intelligence. These problems are AI-complete. On the other hand, some problems --- even though they're hard for humans and seem to require great general intelligence --- are actually amenable to simple, specialized approaches. These problems are not AI-complete.

SOA to Reduce Complexity? -SOAWorld

In short, standards are essential, but standards aren't enough. They help systems talk to systems, but they don't do enough to help systems work well with other systems. They don't supply agreements on the meanings of terms, rules for data storage and format, or contracts that govern the interaction of organizations. And SOA does.

Digital Hollywood: Can The TV Industry Survive The Online Video Boom? -WashingtonPost

"We're spending too much time trying to figure out what model is going to work, when it's clear that we just need to be better at following consumers." said Jason Forbes, group SVP of strategy, new products & marketing at Time Warner

U.S. Cyber Infrastructure Vulnerable to Attacks -WSJ

Army Lt. Gen. Keith Alexander, who is expected to lead the new command, called for a "partnership" between the government and the private sector. He acknowledged potential obstacles, including the difficulty of giving private companies access to classified intelligence on specific cyber attacks and possible corporate reluctance to spend the money necessary to better protect its networks.

Swedish Hacker Indicted in Cisco, NASA Attacks -WSJ

Hacking under the nom de guerre "Stakkato," Philip Gabriel Pettersson was a teenager when he penetrated the systems five years ago. He is now 21 years old and faces charges in a five-count indictment of illegally damaging computer networks and theft of trade secrets.

Measuring Social Media Optimization -clickz

The benefit of optimizing a site for social media is that it naturally inspires the creation of excellent, keyword-rich content that can, in turn, improve an online brand's overall visibility and continually increase high-quality inbound links over time. In that way, social media optimization reinforces what a site should be working toward through a natural SEO campaign: building a crawler-friendly Web site, creating compelling content, and building links.

Swedish Pirate Party may get seat in EU Parliament -Reuters

The jail sentences handed out last month to the four Swedish men behind The Pirate Bay, one of the world's biggest free file-sharing Web sites, have given a boost to the namesake party among young voters in Sweden, a recent opinion poll showed.

Obama riles high-tech exec over outsourcing -SFGate

Indeed, Obama's proposal to limit U.S. companies' ability to defer paying U.S. taxes on offshore earnings does put Bay Area companies doing a lot of business overseas directly in the crosshairs. "It would adversely impact our ability to invest and grow our business in the (United States) and to compete against our foreign competitors," said a spokesman for Cisco.

Microsoft lays off workers, more job cuts coming? -Reuters

"As we move forward, we will continue to closely monitor the impact of the economic downturn on the company and if necessary, take further actions on our cost structure, including additional job eliminations," Microsoft chief executive Steve Ballmer

Libraries eye stimulus money for their Web access -AP

The library association is trying to convince the federal agencies in charge of doling out stimulus grants that libraries are the best way to extend high-speed service to the most people.

EA posts smaller 4Q loss as costs decline -AP

Video game publisher Electronic Arts Inc. posted a smaller net loss Tuesday for its fiscal fourth quarter as it further slashed costs in a quarter that had fewer hit game launches.

Flash activists use social media to drum up support -USAToday

The proof is in the numbers: 81% of members of online communities use the Internet to participate in social causes, up from 75% in 2007, finds a survey by the Center for the Digital Future at University of Southern California's Annenberg School for Communication.

U.S. Rep. Frank to unveil online gambling bill -Reuters

The new bill would exempt operators that are licensed and regulated from the ban enacted in 2006, Frank said.

Authorities seek to crack down on Craigslist -msnbc

In a separate statement after the meeting, Craigslist said it was optimistic that the dispute could be resolved “without compromising the quintessentially American values of free speech embodied in our Constitution.”

A larger Kindle could upend textbooks, periodicals -AP

Up to now selling digital copies to portable devices like the Kindle mainly has been an experiment. Ken Doctor, a media analyst at Outsell Inc., said that a larger-screen Kindle would be another reason for publishers to hope for profitable electronic distribution. He added, however, that a lot will depend on how much of each page a reader can see on a device's screen, and how intuitive it is to navigate the content.

Scientists unveil chocolate-fueled race car -SFGate

The car runs on vegetable oils and chocolate waste that has been turned into biofuel. The steering wheel is made out of plant-based fibers derived from carrots and other root vegetables, and the seat is built of flax fibre and soybean oil foam. The body is also made of plant fibers.

Facebook's new Friendplex -SFGate

The new two-story headquarters, encompassing just under 150,000 square feet on 1601 S. California Ave., was previously an office of Agilent, the electronics measurement company spun off from Hewlett-Packard. A crane and safe - presumably for holding chemicals - will remain in the building and be incorporated into the decor.