AOL Stories October 15, 2015

Yahoo releases redesigned Mail app for Android w/ Outlook, Hotmail, AOL Mail integration

Yahoo is rolling out an update to its Mail app for Android that introduces a refreshed design, as well as new features including smarter search, contacts management and rich compose. Alongside the updated app, Yahoo Mail is for the first time introducing account integration for third-party email services including Outlook.com, Hotmail, and AOL Mail.

AOL Stories April 17, 2015

Microsoft-Accused-of-Censoring-Bing-Chinese-Search-Queries-in-the-US-426214-2

Microsoft’s Bing isn’t the most popular search engine around, but—at least according to the latest from comScore—it’s gaining ground slowly but surely. For the first time, Microsoft sites have surpassed the 20% milestone, meaning more than one fifth of overall search traffic is now owned by the Redmond, Washington company… expand full story

AOL Stories October 15, 2014

Next Player with Remote

AOL is brining its video app, along with original shows and movies to Android TV, the company shared the news in an announcement today following Google’s reveal of its new Nexus Player set-top receiver. Some of the content provided by the AOL app includes the short-form web series Park Bench with Steve Buscemi, movies from Miramax and clips from the outfit’s in-house media outlets like HuffPost Live.

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AOL Stories November 1, 2013

Google and other leading tech companies support USA Freedom Act to limit NSA powers

Google, Apple, Facebook, Microsoft, Yahoo and AOL have all signed an open letter expressing support for the USA Freedom Act co-sponsored by Democrat Senator Patrick Leahy and Republican Representative Jim Sensenbrenner. The Act, if passed, would outlaw the NSA’s speculative bulk collection of data and allow the companies to be far more transparent about the data they are obliged to make available to the government.

As companies whose services are used by hundreds of millions of people around the world, we welcome the debate about how to protect both national security and privacy interests and we applaud the sponsors of the USA Freedom Act for making an important contribution to this discussion.

The companies had previously complained that gag orders forced them to issue denials that were technically true but misleading. They had asked to be allowed to release more specific figures about the number of demands they receive for personal data.

This letter goes further, in supporting moves to actually limit the powers the government would have to gain access to the data in the first place.

Transparency is a critical first step to an informed public debate, but it is clear that more needs to be done. Our companies believe that government surveillance practices should also be reformed to include substantial enhancements to privacy protections and appropriate oversight and accountability mechanisms for those programs.

In introducing the bill, Senator Leahy said “The government surveillance programs conducted under the Foreign Surveillance Intelligence Act are far broader than the American people previously understood. Modest transparency and oversight provisions are not enough.”

The Verge reports that Google is tightening the security of its internal networks, and that Twitter has already moved to encrypt direct messages.

Full text of the open letter below.

 October 31, 2013

The Honorable Patrick J. Leahy Chairman, Committee on the Judiciary United States Senate 224 Dirksen Senate Office Building Washington, DC 20510

The Honorable Michael S. Lee Member, Committee on the Judiciary United States Senate 316 Hart Senate Office Building Washington, DC 20510

The Honorable John Conyers, Jr. Ranking Member, Committee on the Judiciary U.S. House of Representatives 2138 Rayburn House Office Building Washington, DC 20515

The Honorable Frank James Sensenbrenner, Jr. Member, Committee on the Judiciary U.S. House of Representatives 2449 Rayburn House Office Building Washington, DC 20510

Dear Messrs. Chairman, Ranking Members and Members:

As companies whose services are used by hundreds of millions of people around the world, we welcome the debate about how to protect both national security and privacy interests and we applaud the sponsors of the USA Freedom Act for making an important contribution to this discussion.

Recent disclosures regarding surveillance activity raise important concerns both in the United States and abroad. The volume and complexity of the information that has been disclosed in recent months has created significant confusion here and around the world, making it more difficult to identify appropriate policy prescriptions. Our companies have consistently made clear that we only respond to legal demands for customer and user information that are targeted and specific. Allowing companies to be transparent about the number and nature of requests will help the public better understand the facts about the government’s authority to compel technology companies to disclose user data and how technology companies respond to the targeted legal demands we receive. Transparency in this regard will also help to counter erroneous reports that we permit intelligence agencies “direct access” to our companies’ servers or that we are participants in a bulk Internet records collection program

Transparency is a critical first step to an informed public debate, but it is clear that more needs to be done. Our companies believe that government surveillance practices should also be reformed to include substantial enhancements to privacy protections and appropriate oversight and accountability mechanisms for those programs.

We also continue to encourage the Administration to increase its transparency efforts and allow us to release more information about the number and types of requests that we receive, so that the public debate on these issues can be informed by facts about how these programs operate. We urge the Administration to work with Congress in addressing these critical reforms that would provide much needed transparency and help rebuild the trust of Internet users around the world.

We look forward to working with you, the co-sponsors of your bills, and other members on legislation that takes into account the need of governments to keep individuals around the world safe as well as the legitimate privacy interests of our users around the world.

AOL Stories January 29, 2013

YouTube Ad Blitz

We heard last summer straight from YouTube chief Salar Kamangar that Google’s video service considered introducing subscription-based content that would rival traditional cable channels and see users paying a fee to access some partner channels. Today, a report from Ad Age, quoting “multiple people familiar” with YouTube’s plans, shared some additional details.

According to the report, YouTube will not only charge somewhere between $1 and $5 per month for access to certain channels, it will also charge for some “content libraries and access to live events, a la pay-per-view, as well as self-help or financial advice shows.”

YouTube has reached out to a small group of channel producers and asked them to submit applications to create channels that users would have to pay to access. As of now it appears that the first paid channels will cost somewhere between $1 and $5 a month, two of these people said. In addition to episodic content, YouTube is also considering charging for content libraries and access to live events, a la pay-per-view, as well as self-help or financial advice shows.

Ad Age’s sources said the service could launch as early as the second quarter of 2013 with around 25 channels and a 45-55 revenue split for content creators: expand full story

AOL Stories November 6, 2012

Google to pay Vringo $15.8M for infringing old Lycos patents

Reuters reported today that Vringo released a statement to confirm a jury has upheld its patent claims against a handful of companies. One of those companies is Google, which was found to infringe two old Lycos patents. Vringo is receiving much less than the $696 million it sought—$30 million from all the companies combined. Of that, Google will pay $15.8 million:

Vringo inherited the lawsuit after it acquired Innovate/Protect (I/P), a company which specializes in monetizing intellectual property, in March.

I/P had filed a patent infringement lawsuit against AOL, Google, IAC, Gannett and Target Corp in 2011.

After finding that the patent claims were both valid and infringed by Google, the jury found that reasonable royalty damages should be based on a “running royalty”, and that the running royalty rate should be 3.5 percent, Vringo said.

AOL Stories October 11, 2012

The only 2012 U.S. Vice Presidential election debate, with nominees Vice President Joe Biden and Wisconsin Representative Paul Ryan, will live stream tonight on YouTube’s Politics Channel.

The YouTube Politics Channel often swaps its feature video on the main page, as 9to5Google previously reported, but today’s prominent live feed is from partners ABC News and Yahoo News (above). ABC News just finished airing preview debate coverage with predictions, insights, and commentary by leading analysts, but the network will go live again this evening to cover the debate at 9 p.m. EST. The debate is scheduled to conclude at 10:30 p.m. EST.

The video below, now spotlighted on the channel’s main page, is “The Choice 2012” by PBS’ Frontline. Additional preview coverage between 4 p.m. and 9 p.m. contains live streams by The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, and Al Jazeera.

A screenshot of the schedule is also below, or just check out the YouTube Politics channel now.

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AOL Stories October 1, 2012

YouTube is continuing its dominance in the online video space today by announcing plans to live stream the 2012 Presidential and Vice Presidential debates and launch AOL’s entire original video content library through 22 curated channels.

Woah. Google launched the YouTube Elections Hub in August as a complete video resource for all-things political until the U.S. Election Day on Nov. 6. The Hub features videos from politicians, parties, and well-known media, as well as shared coverage with live and on-demand content from ABC News, Al Jazeera English, BuzzFeed, Larry King, The New York Times, Phil DeFranco, Univision, and the Wall Street Journal.

Now, according to the official YouTube blog, Google announced the Hub would broadcast the four general election debates starting Oct. 3 at 9 p.m. EST:

Throughout the month of October, President Barack Obama and Republican Presidential nominee Mitt Romney will go head-to-head in a series of highly-anticipated general election debates. This year, for the first time, you can watch the debates live and in full on the YouTube Elections Hub, via our partners at ABC News, who will be live streaming all four debates on the ABC News YouTube channel. No matter where you are in the world or how you’ll be accessing the internet, you’ll be able to watch the most important events of the 2012 election on YouTube.

YouTube will also post highlight clips at YouTube.com/politics after the debate for the busy folks unable to tune-in live.

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AOL Stories April 25, 2012

Google ranks No. 1 in comScore’s Top 50 US Web Properties

Digital world measurer comScore released its monthly analysis of United States-based web activity for March 2012 today, and Google debuted at No. 1 in two of the survey’s categories.

Google websites came out on top in the Top 50 Properties category with 189.7 million visitors in March. Meanwhile, Microsoft sites landed the No. 2 spot with 178.9 million visitors, followed by Yahoo! sites at 175.4 million visitors. The Mountain View, Calif.-based Company’s Ad Network also grabbed the crown in the Top 50 Ad Focus Ranking category last month with a reach of 91.7 percent of Americans online. AOL Advertising netted 83.1 percent, and Google itself closed out the top three at 81.7 percent.

Check out the full report for more information (PDF), including details on comScore’s measuring metrix.

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