Google Expected to Cut 300 Jobs at DoubleClick

Google plans to eliminate approximately 300 jobs at DoubleClick, the company it recently acquired. This represents one-quarter of the 1200 Doubleclick jobs in North America.

DoubleClick employs 1500 employees worldwide. Employees outside the USA may be affected by this downsizing later.

Google also plans to sell DoubleClick’s Performics a search marketing/advertising firm on search engines such as Google, Yahoo and Microsoft. Keeping Performics would put Google in a conflict of interest because it would be engaged in business on both sides of the table, essentially because of selling advertising space on its own engine.

Google shares are currently trading in the $460 range, after reaching a peak of $750 in November 2007, which is a significant plunge within just 5 months.

In addition, rumors are circulating that Google may also acquire Skype (eBay) and the online travel site Expedia.com.


No Country for Old Men, American Gangster, Atonement, Hitman, We Own the Night

No Country for Old Men

Here are five films that I saw recently, and as usual I set my scores between 6 and 9.5/10. Below I will not mention them, or, if not…then that means I didn’t see them. It happens ; -)

And as usual, this is my personal opinion only. You may agree or disagree. Express yourself in the comments section.

My Panasonic wireless sound home theater system is quite nice, but I am not very sure about my 32-inch LCD TV. Too small. In fact, I preferred my big 48-inch projection TV I had 2 years ago. I would willingly sacrifice image quality to size now that I have a good sound system. OK, that’s enough. I will wait, that’s all.

No Country for Old Men 8/10

Frankly, regarding the style of the film itself, I like it at 100%. I love it. One recognizes the Coen brothers’ style, in that it is similar to “Fargo“. It takes place in America in the vast, deep desert (Texas) and shows the inevitable imbalances that can arise between money and social differences. Javier Bardem plays a really fascinating character, with a haircut no one can compete with.

In my opinion, this film deserves its 4 Oscars: Best Film, Best Supporting Actor (Javier Bardem), Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay. I think the end is rather abrupt…but it doesn’t matter. Here we do not have a story with a beginning and an end, but a piece of living, regional history.

Note: that this film is No Movie for younger audiences, due to its violence.

American Gangster 7.5/10

This is a very good movie, inspired by the true story of Frank Lucas. It’s not a masterpiece, but it’s excellent. Denzel Washington plays the character very well, as usual.

Atonement 7/10

The trailer was so good that it raised the expectations of the film, leaving one to expect excellence. But it was deceiving ; I never saw excellence. What a disappointment. I expected a masterpiece, and I just saw a movie. British films are usually better than this, to me. It was quite the same style of movie as the 1993 “Remains of the Day” which borders on excellence. About Atonement, my rating fluctuates between 4/10 and 8/10, depending on certain sequences in the film.

Hitman 7/10

I was pleasantly surprised. I expected an unpretentious action movie, not so credible. But the final result was really fun. Inspired by the video game “Hitman: Contracts“, it’s a little like a Jason Bourne movie. Yet in contrast, the actor who plays Hitman is not as good as Matt Damon. It is just a different style. Bold as Bruce Willis but not as much virility as Bruce himself.

We Own the Night 6.5/10

What can I say? I like the script and the story, but the actors’ interpretation did very little for me. The parts played by Joaquin Phoenix and Mark Wahlberg were not very convincing. Likewise for the police parts in the film.


Craigslist in French

The famous American Classifieds website Craigslist is now available in France.

It is also available in several other countries, such as Canada(Quebec), Belgium, Switzerland, etc.

Craigslist has not a nice design. It’s not that it isn’t very good ; in fact, it’s pretty effective and goes over very well — at least in the USA. But I’m not sure about France. Its success in France remains to be seen, largely because there are already tons of big players in the classifieds ad sector.

Also with this web design coming directly from 90’s, will it succeed in French language?


TechCzar Made Me An Offer

TechCzar

TechCzar made me an offer for my french blog vincentabry.com, but I am not very excited about it. VincentAbry.com currently received 350,000 unique visitors for March 2008.

(note: this blog Abry.biz is now adapted in english from vincentabry.com by Catherine)

TechCzar, a company I had never heard of, approached me two weeks ago to offer me a partnership with their firm and to become part of their network of blogs.

The offer would have resulted in a monthly cash income plus a free translation blog, available in nine languages.

The idea did seem attractive because there is a big name behind three blogs that are currently part of the network there: Jeremy Zawodny, the MySQL Guru at Yahoo. Its Blog is a top blog ranked among the top100 Cnet tech blogs.

Becoming part of TechCzar would also broaden the audience here, but I hesitated due to several things: first, each site does not take responsibility for its own translation — instead, they appear on TechCzar (Jeremy’s example is in French).

In addition, the header isn’t really impressive…and also, I wondered, what’s about SEO with a header ?

Finally, I considered the impact that such a partnership would have on the readership of this blog. Not sure.

Well even if the team at TechCzar appears to be truly serious and professional, for the moment I do not want to take the risk. I would prefer a partnership with a less intrusive and more fluid logo/header.

What do you think?

Note: Despite the Russian inscription on the logo, the company is based in California.


Yahoo Returns To A Neutral, Centered Logo

Yahoo is repeating history: The portal has decided to return to the logo it used in the good old days.

Personally, I do not like this very much. There is a lot of unnecessary, wasted space on each side of the logo. Too neutral.

Those who prefer a simplified Yahoo, like Google, can always find solace on http://search.yahoo.com/.

Blogoscoped has illustrated the evolution of Yahoo’s home page from 1990 to 2008:

yahoo-home-1990-to-2008


Carpal Tunnel Syndrome: The Ergonomic Mouse

For some time now, I have been inquiring around about buying an ergonomic mouse because I have some problems with my hands, which are akin to Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome occurs in people who use their hands a lot in their daily work, and those who use a computer (mouse and keyboard) all day long are the first to be affected.

The symptoms include tingling and numbness of the fingers, then of the hand and wrist, arm and even shoulder (i.e., “writer’s cramp”). It is a little-known malady, but it is still badly affecting more and more people as the computer has taken up such a large part of our daily lives. This syndrome should not be taken lightly, and we should not underestimate nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as cortisone, or even an operation. We may even be forced to change jobs.

The solution: Change your work station to include the ergonomic mouse. I am about to buy one, and right now three models have caught my attention:

1 — Ergonomic Mouse Evoluent Vertical Mouse 3:

Evoluent Mouse
According to all the opinions that I have read on the Internet, it seems that the Evoluent Vertical Mouse is the best on the market. It is a vertical mouse, which keeps the wrist in a natural position, without rotating your forearm. The problem is that it is difficult to find outlets that sell this mouse in Canada unless you order it online directly from the Evoluent site at www.evoluent.com. In USA, no problem, evoluent mouse is available at Amazon.com : Evoluent Right Hand VerticalMouse 3 – Silver / Black

2 — The Mouse Joystick: Anir Vertical Mouse, Or Ergonomic Mouse 3M:

3M Ergonomic Mouse

This mouse is definitely more difficult to manage because it is really different, but once you work with it enough for it to feel familiar in your hand, it is very comfortable to use. The 3M product is available at Amazon.com: 3M Ergonomic Mouse SMALL/MEDIUM

3 — Microsoft Natural Wireless Laser Mouse 6000:

Microsoft ergonomic mouse

The ergonomic wireless mouse from Microsoft seems to be a good fit because it works well with the Evoluent Vertical Mouse, in an upright position, which relieves the wrist and carpal tunnel area. The mouse buttons are also programmable. Available in most stores. Canada: FutureShop for example. USA: available at Amazon.com: Microsoft 69K-00001 Natural Wireless Laser Mouse 6000

There are a few other factors that should be taken into consideration to adapt your work station to a comfortable one. For example, you can also change:

— the mouse pad. For an optimal solution that reduces friction to the maximum, you can opt for pure Teflon sheets, or PTFEs (polytetrafluoroethylene).

— the keyboard. The ergonomic keyboard is the best choice among all stores.

If some of you have tips or experiences with the ergonomic mouse, feel free to leave a comment!


Yahoo to Join Google in OpenSocial

Open Social

Yahoo announced Tuesday that it will join Open Social, along with Google.

OpenSocial already has several big names in its social network, such as MySpace, Linkedin, Orkut, Ning, Friendster…and now Yahoo.

OpenSocial aims to enable developers to create applications (APIs) compatible with all social platforms that have joined Google’s alliance.

OpenSocial now has a total of more than 600 million users, facing competition with Facebook, which has 60 million members.

Site: http://code.google.com/apis/opensocial/


TradeDoubler Announces its System of Contextual Advertising, AdMatch

AdMatch TradeDoubler

A newcomer to the sponsored links, TradeDoubler, an European leader in affiliate marketing, will embark on contextual advertising on March 31 with AdMatch.

Knowing the seriousness of the TradeDoubler platform and its advertisers, I look forward to seeing what AdMatch looks like.

The sponsored links will be available in three formats: text, xml feed and product display.

In its press release, the company says

“AdMatch operates as follows: the solution scans the contents of web pages and facilitates the placement of advertisements along the site’s content as relevant and contextual. Thus, AdMatch helps improve the relevance of ads on your site, optimizing conversion rates and ultimately increasing your commissions.”

For the moment, there is no site for Admatch.com, .eu, or .fr online. I think TradeDoubler will be an integral part of Admatch in and among the members’ section.


Nicolas Princen Appointed to Monitor Sarkozy Buzz

Nicolas Princen

It is the “Anti-Buzz” that has become the Buzz in France: Nicolas Princen, a 24-year-old graduate of HEC and the Ecole Normale, has been appointed by the Elysée to make sure he gathers everything that is said about French President Nicolas Sarkozy on the Web.

In other words, Princen will do some News Monitoring and will decide whether the Buzz on Nicolas Sarkozy is either good or bad.

Also, it is understood that if a blogger says something against the president, an attack to justice will follow. Wow. It’s another step towards the death of Web 2.0 and blogs on celebrities.

Bloggers, it is time for you to recycle somewhere else: soon you will not be able to say anything without fear of prosecution. Nicolas Princen will sue all blogs and online media that releases false rumors about Nicolas Sarkozy.

By “attacking,” it is not yet clear whether this includes formal notice or a direct summons to court.

Some people took this news with humor by creating a page on Facebook, declaring that Nicolas Princen is “sexy”. The page already has almost 200 members.

Princen, definitely a name to remember. A future Loic Le Meur, perhaps? (The story did not say whether Nicolas Princen planned to hire someone to monitor everything that is said on the Web about himself… ; -)


Boston Dynamics: Big Dog Video is back

Big Dog from Boston Dynamics is back with a new video.

This video shows the high technology of the beast : it can climb a slope in a wood, it can walk in the snow, on ice, is pushed roughly without saying a word, jump over an obstacle without contact, climb a wall of bricks… and all this without never falling down.

What this robotic quadruped is able to achieve is incredible. But the most unsettling is its shape, its body like a beast or a giant spider with a permanent noise of a big bee. We could easily think that there are also two men hidden under the Big Dog.

Big Dog weights 235 lbs (106.7 kg) and can carry more than 340 lbs (154.3 kg). A Monster.

Big Dog

The new Big Dog Video from Boston Dynamics :

The program is funded by the Defense Advanced Research Project Agency (DARPA).


Looking for french to english translators for Blog

I’m looking for english native people (US, UK) to translate my french tech blog www.vincentabry.com into english in this one Abry.biz.

Work is on a regular basis.

I can pay between 5 to 10$ per post. About 5 posts per week.

Please email me at vincentabry (at) gmail.com


Rinspeed sQuba: James Bond’s Car

Rinspeed sQuba is the perfect James Bond’s Car. And she is ecologic.

Genius Frank Rinderknecht just created a superb electric Roadster that is the first world submersible car.

Squba has 3.79 m long, 1.94 m width and 1.12 m tall, it weights 920 kg and looks like the Lotus Elise. It goes from 0 to à 80 km/h in 7.1 seconds and max speed is 120 km/h.

sQuba uses lithium-ion batteries.

sQuba can go underwater with two back propellers and two lateral Seabob jet drives, responsible for keeping the car stable. It can goes under a maximum depth of 10 m and speed is 6 km/h above the water and 3 km/h under.

Passengers use oxygen cylinders. “If the car was a hardtop, all the cabin would have to be really strong to cope with the water pressure. This would add lots of extra weight to the car and it would move very slowly out of the water as well”.

Official website: www.rinspeed.com

Here is the Rinspeed sQuba video and some pictures:

Rinspeed sQuba 1

Rinspeed sQuba 2

sQuba 3

Rinspeed 4

Rinspeed sQuba 5

Rinspeed sQuba 6

Rinspeed sQuba 7

Rinspeed sQuba 8

Rinspeed sQuba 9

Rinspeed sQuba 10

Rinspeed sQuba 11


Yahoo Buzz The Yahoo Digg

Yahoo Buzz

Yahoo is going to launch Yahoo Buzz, a competitor to Digg.

It should replace the actual Yahoo Buzz – The Buzz Log : http://buzz.yahoo.com/

Project Manager is Tapan Bhat. Yahoo Buzz will be first open to 100 publishers and will rank the news according to the most popular search results and the number of votes.

This Summer YahooBuzz will be open to every member of the Yahoo Publisher Network, that means all webmasters that display Yahoo Ads on their Website. Very Bright from Yahoo to recruit publishers and to increase the overall Yahoo online Ad Revenue!

Here are some screenshots of Yahoo Buzz:

Yahoo Buzz Beta

Buzz Yahoo Buzz


Revver bought for less than 5 millions

Revver

Sharing Video website Revver was desperately looking for a buyer for a ridiculous price of 300-500K dollars.

Revver was bought last night by Brad Greenspan, ex MySpace Boss for an amount of less than $5 millions.

Revver had raised 12.7 millions from investors in the past and had about 1 million in debts.

Revver was one of the first video sites to share revenue with their members and affiliates. They also hosted the official famous Coke-Mentos Video.


Yooba : Internet Marketing for Pros

Yooba

I received this morning an email from Gabriel from Yooba.com

For now we don’t know much about this website except this is a B2B service for Internet Marketers. You can use Yooba for create, publish and evaluate different kinds of online content for marketing purposes.

Yooba goes from a simple ad to a complete interactive Internet campaign.

Beta Release: Spring 2008. You can register now on the site.

If the service is as good as the promotional video, Wow !

Watch this video, welcome to the pros:


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