Friday, October 27, 2006

Google Drives Shoppers....Yahoo Drives Buyers

While it wasn't the focus of the recent Nielsen//NetRatings talks, I found it striking that the conversion rates generated from Google searches can be substantially lower than those coming from Yahoo!. Anecodotally, Nielsen//NetRatings noted that while Google drove more visits than Yahoo! did to one mega-retailer, Yahoo! delivered better quality.

* 52% of the retailer's site visitors came from Google, compared to 28% from Yahoo!

* 45% of purchasers came from Yahoo!, compared to 42% from Google

Yahoo!'s searches drove more actual buyers. I would expect some variance in results from the different search service, user base, etc...but not this much of a variance. Nielsen shared this as an example of the nuances of search, and it shows that the nuances have a substantial impact.

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Liberals Throw Google 'Bombs' at GOP

Tags: NetRatings | Quality | conversion | Yahoo | nielsen | Google

Ayatollah warns Arabs of US 'plots'

Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, speaking to a crowd of thousands on Tuesday to ring in the first day of Eid al-Fitr at a mosque in Tehran, warned other Middle Eastern countries against cooperating with American initiatives that may be designed to divide the Middle East for Israel's benefit.

"Our nation should be aware. The Lebanese nation should be aware. The Palestinian nation should be aware. Arab nations in the region, Iraq and other Muslim nations should be careful not to play along with these US plots," said Khamenei. The supreme leader said America's biggest priority in the Middle East was protecting Israel's interests.

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Tags: al-Fitr | warns | plots | leader | Washington | US | tuesday | Tehran | Middle East | Khamenei | Israel | Iraq | Iran | Ayatollah | Arabs | America

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Britney names second child -- officially

Who really gives a shit.....


Britney Spears has named her second baby son Jayden James -- and that, finally, is official.

The September 12 birth certificate, filed with Los Angeles officials this week, was the latest twist in the rumor and secrecy that marked the arrival of the once publicity-hungry pop star's second baby.

Not only was the birth at a Los Angeles hospital never officially announced by Spears or her husband Kevin Federline, but sources close to the couple led the world's media to believe that the boy had been named Sutton Pierce.

For weeks beforehand, the tabloid media was sure the former teen pop sensation was expecting a girl. Celebrity magazines had Spears stocking up on pink baby clothes and reported she planned to name the child Jamilyn after her younger sister Jamie and her mother Lynne.

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Britney Goes Deep in Her Blog

Tags: Jayden | twist | rumor | official | names | hospital | BIRTH | arrival | PIERCE | Los Angeles | Jamie | James | California | Britney

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Venezuela to give up UN candidacy for Bolivia: Morales

Venezuela has agreed to drop out of the hotly contested race for Latin America's open seat on the UN Security Council and asked Bolivia to run in its place, Bolivia's president said.

"Comrade (Venezuelan President Hugo) Chavez says that to find a consensus he leaves the candidacy to Bolivia," President Evo Morales said at a ceremony with small business owners in the La Paz suburb of El Alto.

US critic Venezuela has battled for the seat against US-backed Guatemala but neither country was able to win the two-thirds majority needed to win the spot after three-dozen polls at the UN General Assembly.

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NY Governor Sick of Chavez, Will Boycott Citgo -- CNS NEWS Progressive Black Bloggers on Chavez Hugo Chávez in London

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Sunday, October 22, 2006

Angelina Jolie Really the Father of Madonna's New Baby

MADONNA pulled out of adopting a US child just three months before whisking one-year-old Malawi boy David Banda out of Africa.

She and husband Guy Ritchie filled out an application at a California agency – and even underwent an evaluation process as adoptive parents.

But they abandoned plans to take a US baby from the Vista del Mar Child And Family Services Clinic after dinner with Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt.

The Hollywood couple, who adopted African daughter Zahara last year, told Madonna and Ritchie they should instead choose a Third World infant.

According to a source close to Jolie, the actress – who chose Africa again to give birth to her and Pitt’s natural daughter, Shiloh – pressed home the idea in a series of e-mails to Madonna and over dinner.

Last night, as the furore mounted over her “fast track” taking of David and her plans to adopt a little Malawian sister for him, the source revealed: “Both Brad and Angelina sold Madonna and Guy on the idea of creating a global family like theirs by taking kids out of Third World poverty.

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AngelinaJolie3 Madonna set for further adoption hurdles in Britain

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Wikipedia founder plans rival

One of the founders of Wikipedia is days away from launching a rival to the collaborative internet encyclopaedia, in an attempt to bring a more orderly approach to organising knowledge online.

Wikipedia – which is available to be written and edited by anyone on the internet – is one of the most visible successes of mass collaboration on the web, with many of its 1.4m articles appearing high in search results.

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However, its openness has also drawn charges of unreliability and left it vulnerable to disputes between people with opposing views, particularly on politically sensitive topics.

The latest venture from Larry Sanger, who helped create Wikipedia in 2001, is intended to bring more order to this creative chaos by drawing on traditional measures of authority. Though still open to submissions from anyone, the power to authorise articles will be given to editors who can prove their expertise, as well as a group of volunteer “constables”, charged with keeping the peace between warring interests.

Accusing Wikipedia of failing to control its writers and editors, he said: “The latest articles don't represent a consensus view – they tend to become what the most persistent ‘posters’ say.”

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Controversial Ann Coulter theory embroils Wikipedia over Racoon Gas debate

Tags: Larry Sanger | venture | rival | Online Collaboration | knowledge | internet | founder | Wikipedia

Great Interview with Nobel Peace Prize Winner

In 1974, Bangladeshi economist Muhammad Yunus began making tiny loans to the rural poor. The success of his charity led him to found Grameen Bank, pioneering microcredit. Yunus spoke to TIME's Ishaan Tharoor last week, moments before learning he and Grameen had won the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize.


When did the microcredit idea dawn on you?


In 1974, there was a famine in the country. I felt empty because my knowledge in economics meant little to the people suffering. Villagers had to borrow from loan sharks on terrible conditions--some even becoming slave labor for the moneylenders. I made a list of 42 people most seriously in debt who, all together, owed no more than $27. I went around the village according to the list, giving each of them the money they owed with no conditions other than that they concentrate on their work and repay me when they could.


About 97% of Grameen members are women. Why?


The main challenge for a poor woman was overcoming the fear in her, which was holding her back. We found that, compared with men, who spent money more freely, women benefited their families much more.


In a heavily Muslim society, did this trigger opposition?


Of course. The first opposition came from the husbands, who thought we were insulting them. Second were the mullahs, who started preaching that taking money from Grameen Bank was against the religion. We told them that in Islamic history, women had been warriors and businessmen--look at the Prophet's first wife!

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Tags: Ishaan | microcredit | Economist | Muhammad Yunus | Grameen Bank | Bangladeshi

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Germany - Smells Like 1930 Again

Copies of Anne Frank's diary burned at Neo-Nazi parties, Ethiopian youth beaten because of his ethnicity, student humiliated because of his association with Jews. These are only some manifestations of the rise in Neo-Nazi and anti-Semitic violence in Germany. Jewish community leaders say dangerous trend is being ignored by government

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Tags: Anne Frank | youth | violence | ethnicity | jews | Germany | German | ATMOSPHERE

Branson's SpaceShipTwo interiors to look fucking awesome

Wired Magazine's NextFest is taking place in NYC this week, and I could kick myself for not being there. If you're there, digging it in person as I type this from behind my lonely little MacBook, I hate you.

Among the many amazing things at NextFest today: Sir Richard Branson unveiled the concept interior for SpaceShipTwo, the Virgin Galactic spaceliners on which passengers will soon be able to space-vacay with cushy intergalactic recliner seats and lots of big windows looking out on the great beyond.

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hf_privatespctrav_041006_01.jpg Virgin Atlantic Airways  Airbus A340-311 Branson Calls for 25% Reduction in Airline CO2

Tags: recliner | interiors | awesome | wired | spaceshiptwo | nextfest | Magazine | macbook | Branson

Monday, October 16, 2006

Politicians caught on Internet candid cameras

Want to catch a senator napping during a congressional hearing? Or letting a possible racial slur slip out at a campaign rally?

Then log on to Internet video-sharing Web sites like YouTube.com -- the latest weapon in U.S. politics where a candidate's missteps can be viewed by hundreds of thousands of people.

Political campaigns for the November 7 congressional elections have sent out mass e-mails with links to videos of opponents in unscripted, often embarrassing, situations.

Some campaigns have even dispatched young staffers known as "trackers" armed with video cameras. Their sole job is to track a rival candidate's every move and make sure their cameras are rolling in case the politician makes a gaffe.

Republican Sen. George Allen of Virginia got some unwanted publicity when at a political rally he pointed to a tracker sent by rival James Webb's campaign and called the young man a "macaca" -- an African monkey and sometimes a racial slur.

The video of Allen's remarks to S.R. Sidarth, a 20-year-old U.S. college student, spread swiftly on the Internet (http://youtube.com/watch?v=9G7gq7GQ71c), drew the attention of Democratic activists and boosted Webb's campaign.

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Tags: video | Slur | Senator | rally | hearing | candid | campaign | CAMERAS | Washington | Virginia | U.S. | Politicians | internet | George Allen

Another Hitler Pub Opens In Russia

Jewish leaders in a Russian region are protesting against the use of Adolf Hitler’s name by a new pub.

The pub, set to open soon in the city of Ekaterinburg, is named Hitler Kaput.

In a letter to the local mayor, leaders of the Jewish community said that any use of Hitler’s name to attract public attention is unacceptable.

Authorities haven’t yet responded to the Jewish community.

The letter also referred to a similar development in India where a restaurant initially named after Hitler changed its name after protests from the Jewish community.

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Sieg Miaow?  cats that look like hitler... Purchase Artistic Rendition of Adolf Hitler 1936 German Magazine Advert

Tags: Community | Pub | India | Hitler | ekaterinburg

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Microcredit pioneers win Nobel Peace Prize

Bangladeshi economist Muhammad Yunus and his Grameen Bank won the Nobel Peace Prize on Friday for their pioneering use of tiny, seemingly insignificant loans — microcredit — to lift millions out of poverty.


Through Yunus's efforts and those of the bank he founded, poor people around the world, especially women, have been able to buy cows, a few chickens or the cellphone they desperately needed to get ahead.


The 65-year-old economist said he would use part of his share of the $1.4 million award money to create a company to make low-cost, high-nutrition food for the poor. The rest would go toward setting up an eye hospital for the poor in Bangladesh, he said.

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Tags: pioneers | Muhammad Yunus | microcredit | Economist | United States | Subscribe | Nobel Peace Prize | Grameen Bank | Bangladesh

Campus Newspapers Featuring Nude Picture Stolen From Racks

Campus officials said someone stole nearly 2,500 copies of the University of Southern Indiana's student newspaper, an edition that featured a photograph of two women in bed, one of them nude.


Journalism instructor Patricia Ferrier, who is faculty adviser to student publications, said almost all copies of The Shield were taken from newspaper racks some time after 10 p.m. Wednesday.


Another 2,500 copies of the edition were printed Thursday, and Ferrier said there were plans for increased campus security near newspaper racks. Ferrier said the student publications committee will decide whether to contact the Vanderburgh County Sheriff's Department about the theft.


Julia Hunter, managing editor of The Shield, said whoever stole the newspapers brought more attention to the picture than it would have received otherwise.


"I think their purpose was censorship, and they did themselves a disservice because this is a much bigger issue now," she said.


The edition included a photograph of two women together on a bed as part of a story about the controversy the picture created when it was published in a campus magazine. After the picture ran in the magazine, a group of college Republicans issued a statement condemning it as "soft-core porn" and noting that the magazine's funding is partially comprised of student fees.


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