TechCrunch founder and editor Michael Arrington and Facebook advertising guru Dennis Yu scored a couple victories for the Good Guys this week by forcing decisive action from MySpace along with Social Gaming platforms RockYou and Zynga.

Arrington started the ball rolling with Scamville: The Social Gaming Ecosystem of Hell and Yu pushed the gas pedal to the floor with, How To Spam Facebook Like A Pro: An Insider’s Confession.

The result of these searing indictments of sleaze is that MySpace publicly flagellated these scammers, toughen up their TOC for applications and advertisers and pledged to get serious about enforcement.

Maybe Facebook, Google Adwords/Adsense and Yahoo will follow suit and get serious about cleaning up the scams.


The ROIguys (and gal) took the show on the road for July for what was ostensibly a vacation, but as the great philosopher Buckaroo Banzai once said, wherever you go, there you are. In this case, one of the places we went is Adams Morgan in Washington, D.C.

We stayed with a dear friend who is one of the top real estate agents in the area. She was lamenting the lack of a really good site focusing on the neighborhood she lives in. The first thing we did when we go home was to secure a domain and do a little experiment in Hyper Local for Adams Morgan.

The result is a lovely little site dedicated to information about restaurants, shopping and nightlife in a great neighborhood along with specific information about Adam Morgan Real Estate.

The site still has some dust with a few pages under construction and some place holder images, but we are pretty excited about the results.


I finally got a chance to put launch the website about my recent trip to Siem Reap.  Cambodia is an interesting, magical place and the Angkor Temples are something that everyone needs to see at least once in their lifetime.  I have over a thousand high resolution pictures, including some fantastic shots on Bante Srey and Angkor Thom, so I put about 50 of them online.



If you move a section of articles from one site to another and you properly 301 the urls, sometimes Google still hasn’t crawled the OLD URL so it thinks the new URL on free online credit report is duplicate content.  No big deal when you move one article, but it can really cause havoc when you move a whole section.  This is particularly an issue if the old content has a low crawl frequency, so the question is, does posting on a semi-respectable blog with RSS trigger Googlebot to crawl the link?

Jonah Stein


Looking for a really unusual vacation idea?  Going to Wales?  Check out this really cool vacation rental in a Medieval Manor.

Nothing like sleeping in an 800 year old manor house in Caldicot to remind you that America is a new country.  This is a great find if you are thinking of going to the Ryder Cup in 2010, because apparently all the hotels within 100 miles are sold out already.


If you are too social for words, you might consider this nifty widget from People Search Engine What’s cool is that if you take a few minutes to consolidate your identities, you can use this widget and it links to all of your profiles from a single location.


where i’m at…


people search by

make your own Wink Widget!


We all recognize a bad neighborhood when we are walking or driving.  Trash and broken glass lay scattered on dirty, cracked concrete.  Billboards adorn the buildings on every corner, presiding over liquor store & payday lender.  Pan handlers, can collectors, scam artists, drug dealers  and prostitutes lurk by the bus stops and most of us lock our doors while we try to find a safer neighborhood.  Urban blight inevitable leads to plummeting property values and anyone who can afford to do so quickly flees in search of a better neighborhood.

Websites and virtual communities suffer from the digital equivalent.  Spam, Sock Puppets, Bot Attack, Slogs and Advertorial mix with aggressive affiliate programs, ads for debt consolidation, pay day lenders, porn, casino’s and pharmaceuticals without a prescription —   everything you encounter online that makes the web feel like a bad neighborhood have been given a name –  Virtual Blight.

Like it’s real world counterpart, blight left unchecked it will chase away the  inhabitants of a community and destroy the value of the site and the brand.


The Utility Computing revolution apparently arrived in the form of AppLogic from 3tera.

Modern applications are complex systems comprised of the application software, web servers and databases, operating systems and drivers, numerous servers, storage for application data, switches, firewall, and the networks that connect it all. Deploying and operating these systems requires significant expertise and scaling complex systems is a not-trivial problem. Applogic is trying to address these issues:

Applogic starts with grid operating system that puts together standard servers to creates a single supercomputer.  A grid can be built from commodity servers and may contain anywhere from 1 to 5,000 machines (so far, they claim they don’t know the effective upper limit).

3tera recently completed Grid Computing Benchmark Test along with dedicated server hosting provider Layered Technologies. The benchmark measurements show that Applogic really delivers performance.

An overall performance benchmark of 42,540 was achieved with the UnixBench WHT utility while consuming 443 CPUs. Based on the single CPU server result for the same benchmark of approximately 100, this implies that users can harness the equivalent of 420 single CPU dedicated servers through the utility computing service. This is no way represents the maximum performance of the system. During the benchmark we did not reach any fundamental architectural limit of the system, but ran out of hardware resources to add to the test.

Applogic makes very clever use of software virtualization, a process that can make almost any piece of Linux software or infrastructure hardware (Switches, Firewalls, Storage Arrays) and replicate them as a virtual appliance. A visual mapping tool allows the user to model complex IT application systems and transform them virtualized infrastructure — completely self-contained solutions that be propagated from one datacenter to another or seamlessly scale from a fraction of a server thousands of servers without reconfiguration.

We have yet to measure this Grid solution under real world tests, but the technology seems very promising


Happy Bat Mitzvah day to Hana Jael.


April 1st, 2007:

Microsoft Corporation (Nasdaq: MSFT) will announce on Monday that it has reached an agreement to acquire Digg, Inc. for an undisclosed sum.

The deal has been in the works for several weeks, according to Microsoft spokesman Mario Nette, who noted that, “Digg is a pioneer in crowd sourcing, the Web 2.0 way of discovering what is important to a new generation of technology-friendly consumers. The Digg community is our natural consumer base and this acquisition is a great opportunity to connect with them. We know Digg users are passionate about Microsoft products and we are anxious to engage them through this new channel.”

Stories posted on Digg are submitted by community members, who currently number over 1 million accounts. After a user submits a story, other members read the submission and “Digg” what they like best. If a story receives enough votes, it is promoted to the front page for the millions of visitors to see.

The acquisition of Digg is a significant advance in Microsoft’s promise to improve Live Search as well as an important an important step towards developing social media platforms.

“This deal is not about buying our way into the hearts of a million Digg members; it brings together two important players in the battle to improve the relevance of online content,” said Pierre Calzino, Director of User Feedback at Live Search. “Web users waste too much time searching for what’s important. Microsoft has been involved with this problem for years and Digg has clearly become a factor to be reckoned with.”

“The natural synergies between the two companies are really exciting. Digg has created a user validation model for determining the significance of online content – a system that is almost impossible to manipulate. Combining Digg’s crowd-sourcing methodology and validation infrastructure with Live Search’s leading technology will allow us to remove the last vestiges of SPAM from our search results.”

“Improving Live Search is just the beginning,” Calzino continued, “We see enormous opportunities for electronic voting. Digg’s online voting platform inspires confidence. Add Microsoft’s track record for building secure systems and you can envision the voting system of the 21st Century. No one will have to wonder if the vote could be hacked or stolen. This deal represents the future platform of our Democracy.”

Digg founder Kevin Rose could not be reached for comment, but according to spokesman Morceau De Bouche, he was delighted with the deal. “Microsoft has an enormous tradition of excellence in engineering and we are all excited about the prospect of learning from them. They have set the standards for technology innovation very high and we know we will benefit from their ability to develop innovative applications on-time and on-budget.”

The acquisition of Digg technologies and brand will help Microsoft maximize shareholder value. “We’ve had our eye on Digg for some time,” said Lavage Green, Environmental Communications Director for Spuhn Associates, “Kevin and his team have created a compelling success story by providing a forum for discussing important social issues such as climate change, the impact of globalization and the Xbox versus the Wii without ever doing anything about it. They have effectively created a committee of millions; everyone can agonize over the problem and feel good about being globally aware without being inconvenienced by committing to any quantifiable action. This shows the depth of thinking and skill they will bring to Microsoft. The addition of Digg’s street credibility and perceived expertise to their existing talent will provide the ability to continue not addressing fundamental global issues for another decade – without fear of repercussions.”

Financial terms of the deal have not yet been released, but company sources indicate that the purchase price is somewhere between .1% and .01% of the total market capitalization for Microsoft as of 5/1/2007.

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.

Microsoft and Windows are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.

The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.


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