NBC scrubs the Web of SNL video
The network launches a legal campaign against sites that post clips from Saturday Night Live. Plus: Firefox proves safer than IE.
SAN FRANCISCO (Business 2.0 Magazine) - After a mock rap video by actress Natalie Portman from NBC's Saturday Night Live hit YouTube and other websites, NBC lawyers launched a cease-and-desist campaign to prevent the clip from appearing anywhere besides nbc.com. The move followed an earlier push to fight copyright infringement of SNL's "Lazy Sunday" video. Those were boneheaded moves, say authors Ben McConnell and Jackie Huba on their Church of the Customer blog. Limiting SNL videos to NBC's own website and to official sales channels like iTunes, they argue, kills the viral effect that prompted hundreds of thousands of Web users to download and share them -- a phenomenon that has given the venerable-but-tired SNL new buzz.
Firefox browser safer than IE
Firefox users can breathe easier: In a new survey by security-software maker Symantec (Research), the popular open-source browser proved less vulnerable to attack than Microsoft's (Research) Internet Explorer. The results differ markedly from a Symantec survey last fall, which claimed Firefox was more vulnerable. Symantec changed its reporting method, which previously only counted vulnerabilities confirmed by a software maker. But Firefox advocates pointed out that developers of open-source software are more prone than commercial software makers like Microsoft to admit to flaws discovered by independent security experts. The survey now reports security-related vulnerabilities whether or not the software maker has confirmed them.
Apple storage sales shine
You might think of Apple (Research) products as mostly good for storing your tunes. But the Mac and iPod maker has a little-known side business in selling high-end storage systems for businesses. Customers for Apple's storage systems, which work equally well with Macs and PCs, now include the makers of the hit animated comedy South Park. And Business 2.0 senior writer Om Malik reports that Apple has increased its market share in the storage-server sales arena, and now ranks tenth in the market, up from the No. 12 spot in 2004. While its 2005 storage sales of $185 million are a tiny slice of the $14.5 billion storage market, they more than doubled from the previous year. Gartner analyst Robert Cox says Apple's products sell for "a fraction of the cost of storage" from Dell (Research), HP (Research), Sun (Research) or IBM (Research), poising Apple for further market share gains this year.
A date with Google calendar
TechCrunch has posted exclusive screenshots of Google's CL2 calendar website, a hotly anticipated service that ties into Google's Gmail e-mail service. A calendar program makes Google (Research) more competitive with Microsoft and Yahoo (Research), which have already integrated calendars with their online email offerings. Google's CL2, like Google Maps, uses Ajax, a new programming technique that makes websites as fast and responsive as desktop applications (earlier Web calendars suffer from having to load a new Web page every time you create or update an event.) CL2 also promises to let users invite other people to events, putting Google in competition with popular services like Evite, as well.
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