Tag Archives: aol

TechCrunch and AOL: A Match Made in Heaven?

The web has exploded with news of AOL purchasing TechCrunch. Instead of rushing to throw a blurb here on my blog, I wanted to take time to read what everyone else is saying. What are people thinking about this massive merger of minds? Is the tech blog world as we know it about to end? Do readers hate this idea… or love it? It’s impossible to know how one feels about something so colossal unless you take the time to see what others have to say and digest it.

Make no mistake, fellow tech geeks: this is definitely colossal news. Yes, Mike Arrington is reportedly staying with the company. Yes, TechCrunch will retain editorial control. Yes, AOL promises more technology and stability behind the scenes. Yes, the entire TC staff is welcome to stay on in their current roles. Whether they will or not remains to be seen, of course.

When thinking only of those pros, one would think that nothing much will change. TechCrunch will be as important to us as it has always been. The site will continue to deliver the news in a way that makes us want to read, right? All of the people we love (or love to hate, in some cases!) are still going to have their bylines splashed across the juiciest articles. What’s the big damn deal about the sale, then?

Even though there are several amazing people working at TC, there is no doubt that the driving force behind it is Arrington himself. Whether you love him or hate him, you have to admit that when he speaks (or writes), people tend to listen carefully. He’s never been afraid to say exactly what is on his mind about any subject at any time. He has Cojones made of steel, and uses them to post whatever the hell it is he feels the need to. This is what makes TC as vital and unique as it is.

I’m not trying to take away from writers such as MG Siegler or Jason Kinkaid. However, if any type of muzzle is placed on Arrington, the site simply will not be the same. The deal reportedly gives TechCrunch complete editorial control. Does that extend to allowing Mike to run with stories in HIS way whenever he wishes? Will he continue to be able to report stories such as AngelGate without having someone slap him on the hand and tell him no?

It’s going to be interesting to watch this development unfold, and to see where exactly it takes us. My sincere hope is that nothing will really change over there, other than a boost in hosting and technology. An infusion of new readers, commenters and “fans” is a welcome thing. Let’s keep our fingers crossed that nothing changes when it comes to the way the news and stories are told.

Goodbye iFrame Toolbar – Hello Sites Now Unbanned on Digg.

Things sure are shaking up around the Digg offices this week. On his first official day as CEO, Kevin Rose has laid out a few interesting changes which should vastly improve the popular social networking site. The DiggBar we have all come to hate is going to finally disappear in the upcoming version of the site. Additionally, all previously banned domains will have their restrictions removed – not including those sites with malicious intent.

With surprising candor, Rose admitted that the toolbar was a mistake from the beginning. “Framing content with an iFrame is bad for the Internet. It causes confusion when bookmarking, breaks w/iFrame busters, and has no ability to communicate with the lower frame. It’s an inconsistent/wonky user experience.”

Both of these are positive moves for the site in my humble opinion. I have read thousands of rants regarding the toolbar, and I have a feeling that no one is going to miss it. Do you Digg? Are you looking forward to the changes? If so, you can sign up to beta-test the new version now. If you do, let us know what you think!

Your computer will “Digg” the hottest new software and apps that we’ve placed on our software center.

AOL Pays High Price for a Mistake with Bebo

Two years ago, AOL bought the Bebo social network for a cool $850 million. What seemed like an excellent move at the time is now being seen as a very costly mistake. AOL sent a message to their employees today, acknowledging that they are “not in a position” to support the service.

As we evaluate our portfolio of brands against our strategy, it is clear that social networking is a space with heavy competition, and where scale defines success. Bebo, unfortunately, is a business that has been declining and, as a result, would require significant investment in order to compete in the competitive social networking space. AOL is not in a position at this time to further fund and support Bebo in pursuing a turnaround in social networking.

Bebo will now either be sold (likely at a huge loss) or simply shut down. It’s hard to imagine that in this competitive industry that anyone will pony up enough dough to make a sale worthwhile for either side. With AOL changing their focus so much in recent months, could other services (such as ICQ) be next up on the chopping block?

Do You Believe in Aliens?

I spend most of my time attempting to bring friends the latest news, hottest new hardware and software, and the very latest in technology advancements. While it’s true that I post a few humorous things at times, I know that I still need to take time to lighten up. I decided that, tonight, we’d end the week on a slightly more thought-provoking note.

Do you believe in aliens? I’m not talking about illegal immigrants, folks. I’m referring to “intelligent” life on other planets. Extraterrestrials!

How can you say (with certainty) that humans are the only sentient beings in the universe? Isn’t that rather presumptuous?

The question of the day is: do you believe that intelligent life exists in this universe (beyond planet Earth)? Have you ever had a close encounter of the first, second, or third kind? Are you an ET, yourself?

While I’ve never been a witness to any such event, I do believe that “aliens” exist (just as much as I believe that Jesus existed, even though I’ve never met the dude). I also believe we have some intelligent life floating around the Internet:

Is your computer feeling not-so-very-intelligent right now? Smarten ‘er up through the software center before too long.

Have You Tried the New AOL Desktop?

iPhone is a regular member of our chat room, and sent me a surprising email the other day. He has apparently found something from AOL that he is happy with. Take a look:

I wanted to share something GOOD AOL made. No I’m not kidding, I actually like the app really well. It’s called AOL Desktop. It’s available for the Mac and PC both. Yes, it may be AOL, but it actually has been very reliable. When you first open AOL Desktop, it will give you a toolbar at the top which you can customize. It kinda reminds me of Webkit, except it has a better User Interface, and crashes a few times. But remember, we’re talking about AOL. The best thing is the browser. They fully changed the browser… and at some points it was actually faster than Safari. I went to Chris’ site from my AOL browser and my Safari browser at the same time (have them both as my home page). AOL desktop browser beat Safari by 7.62 seconds. I also tried websites like Plurk, Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, and Friendfeed. AOL Desktop beat Safari by about 1-2 seconds every time when loading pages fully. That may not seem like that big of a difference, but it really is when you add up all the pages you load in a normal day.

Also, you can have AIM, E-mail, and your browser all in one app. Of course… Apple mail is MUCH better than AOL’s e-mail app. I wouldn’t recommend using the e-mail app. But, I definitely recommend you try out the browser.

Thanks, iPhone for passing this along. I’m sure several people will be checking this out in the near future. What other apps do all of you recommend that we may be skeptical about the quality of? Let’s hear what you’re using.

Is AOL Still Worth Downloading, Installing, and Using?

Add to iTunes | Add to YouTube | Add to Google | RSS Feed

I remember when every day the mail would come, and there was at least one AOL disc included. It was everywhere, and you couldn’t seem to get away from it.

Over the next couple of months, AOL will be laying off more than 2,000 workers. This doesn’t really come as a suprise to many people. AOL is not the powerhouse it once was.

The software package is so bloated, and can seriously bog down your system. It is also Adware driven. Back in the day, AOL was one of the few options for getting online and having Email. However, it’s a simple thing to get online these days, and there’s honestly no reason to have to install this huge package that can slow you down, give you ads, and all the “features” you don’t even want or need.

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Is AOL a Bad Thing?

http://live.pirillo.com/ – In the beginning Ameria Online – AOL – was a necessary part of the Internet. They were, in a large way, responsible for the commercial success of the Internet: thanks to their aggressive marketing tactics (such as giving away free floppy disks and CDs) they were able to open up the world of the Internet to people who would otherwise not get online.

In a time before the Internet was so ubiquitous you generally had to jump through a lot of hoops in order to get online. AOL – along with a handful of other ISPs – offered an easy to way get online, by automatically installing all of the software, rivers, and low-level components that computers did not originally come with.

Years ago – before broadband was an option – we would recommend AOL as your Internet Service Provider. They offered an easy-to-use all-in-one package that got you online easily. Nowadays, however, AOL has simply become a way to view advertisements on your desktop.

Our recommendation is to avoid AOL. You can use Internet Explorer just as easily as you can AOL.

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More of AOL's Free Crap

Going out on a limb here, but… “When the Internet first became available outside of educational institutions, workaday users needed some kind of friendly interface to get online. Trumpet Winsock was an absolute nightmare to explain (and configuring Kermit was far more unfriendly). However, AOL needs to wake up to the fact that users no longer need advertising-laden software to get themselves online. Offering me “usefulâ€Â? software that’s just as riddled with advertisements is not a step in the right direction…”

You Know I Love You, Jason

The Calacanis Circus

Jason Calacanis spent billions of dollars on socially engineering a social bookmarking experiment, only to discover that his paid socialites were bookmarking a single page on Gizmodo.com over and over again.

The failure of this project really took its toll on Calacanis. Jason started showing up for work in full ringleader regalia, and AOL executives started to become a bit concerned. When paying for links didn’t work, he started paying people NOT to link – and that effort, too, failed miserably.

It was then that Calacanis turned his attention to the anti-social demographic. Enlisting help from the Asociation of Shy Superbloggers – or ASS for short – Weblogs Inc. was able to launch The Stalker Blog, The Serial Killer Blog, and Whoretexx (a blog for psychotic hookers).

Source: The Jason Calacanis Weblog
Domain: Calacantis.com

[Use the Coupon Code “bLaugh” to save 10% on your next GoDaddy purchase]

AIM Pro for AOL Instant Messaging

I needed to get on AIM, and apparently forgot to copy over my Trillian folder. I went to the Web in search for AIM Express, only to discover that it was currently down for the count. I really wasn’t feeling like installing AOL’s crapware, but (if I had to do anything) I thought I’d give the latest Triton build another shot. Before the installer process could begin, it told me that my copy of Windows wasn’t new enough – even though I’m running Windows Vista Beta 2. A quick-click into compatibility mode sent that dialog running, but just when I thought I was good to go – nothing happened.

I still needed to get to someone on AIM, so I went back to the AOL instant messaging portal in search of another IM binary to download. That’s when I noticed something new (?) in the sidebar: AIM Pro. It appears to be a way to help AOL users interface with the WebEx platform. However, in doing so, AOL has created an amazing product. I’m talking about AIM Pro, mind you – not any other AOL IM product. It’s not perfect, but AIM Pro is far less annoying than any other AOL IM product I’ve seen to date. I could easily recommend using AIM Pro over either Windows Live Messenger or Yahoo Messenger (though I’m still a Trillian fan). AOL needs to push AIM Pro over their other instant messengers. Jason Calacanis, are you listening?