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August 16, 2006

News Nuggets

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Yahoo! Class Auction Settlement Information Revealed

Yahoo! advertisers should expect to receive an email regarding the class action settlement between Yahoo! and Checkmate informing them of important settlement dates to watch out for.

Advertisers have until Oct. 14 to opt-out of the settlement or submit an objection, and have until Nov. 20 to submit their claim. The final hearing for this case has been scheduled for Nov. 20.

Latest Google Acquisition Sparks Rumors

Any Google acquisition is going to get press, but when the Google blog announced yesterday that they had acquired Neven Vision, a key player in face and image recognition, the speculation flurry began.

Google’s trying to pass this acquisition off as a mere Picasa improvement, but insiders are looking far beyond what effect this will have on Google’s imaging program. It’s true that once integrated the system will allow for automatic tagging in Picasa, turning it into a serious Flickr competitor, but if existing Neven Vision patents are any indication, this acquisition has far more value than that.

Neven Vision holds several patents related to video recognition and how to apply this technology to mobile phones – something Google forgot to mention in their press release. We wouldn’t be surprised to see Neven Vision technology incorporated into services like Google AdWords, Google Checkout, Google Images, Google Video and beyond.

Loren Baker has extensive commentary about the acquisition and what it could mean for Google over at SEJ. You may also want to check out Bill Slawski’s review at SEW.

No More Lines at Google Analytics

Andy informs us Google has officially removed the wait period for creating a Google Analytics account. Go get ’em while they’re hot.

Don’t Blame the Cookie

With all the privacy issues swarming the Web, cookies have gotten a bad rap. User paranoia has hit as we start to imagine these small nuggets latching themselves onto our computer, sucking out our deepest secrets and then mass mailing it to spyware groups everywhere.

Obviously, this is not what happens, and someone needs to stand up for the cookie. Enter the WAA. The Web Analytics Association has created an advocacy group designed to educate users on the value of cookies and to help clear cookies’ bad name.

Co-chair of WAA’s advocacy committee Jay McCarthy:

“Cookies are just data files used to store information. They’re not software. In most cases, cookies are being used for reasonable purposes.”

See that, they’re harmless! Sort of. McCarthy said blocking or deleting cookies degrades the publisher’s ability to collect important information on how to monetize their content, which in turn results in more ads and less relevant content.

Yahoo Answers Gets API’d

Using the new Yahoo Answers API, users can build Messenger plugins, flash pages, as well as search questions based on keywords or category. You can try it out over at Mindsack, courtesy of Kent.

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