Google searches for TV chief
The Web-search giant is hiring for a push into interactive television. Plus: YouTube cops to piracy.
SAN FRANCISCO (Business 2.0) - Last fall, Google sales chief Omid Kordestani speculated on the possibility of putting Google's lucrative contextual ads on television. Now the company is moving to make Google TV a reality by listing a job opening for a product manager to oversee the effort. The company is also hiring engineers in Mountain View, Calif. and London for the project. One feature we hope they'll add: Google (Research) search that finds your remote control when it gets lost between the sofa cushions.
YouTube cops to piracy
Since it launched last year, YouTube has rocketed to fame largely by riding on others' copyrighted content, like Saturday Night Live's "Lazy Sunday" sketch. Now, YouTube has admitted that its previous policy of relying on users to report copyright violations hasn't been effective. The website now prohibits videos longer than 10 minutes, saying it found that the vast majority of those videos were copyrighted material. Will the change hurt YouTube's popularity? As Ars Technica points out, "a YouTube sans TV and movie clips is a different YouTube than some of its users are used to."
Windows Live Mail hits dead letter office
Email is the original killer app of the Internet. But Microsoft (Research) is proving how getting it wrong can be deadly, as Yahoo (Research) and Google redouble their efforts to win over Hotmail users with their Web-based email products. Microsoft's new and supposedly improved version of Hotmail, dubbed Windows Live Mail, has been in beta testing for a year, and last week signed up its millionth user. But as the Email Battles blog points out, that's not a lot of users compared to Hotmail's 40 million -- and some Live Mail testers have switched back to Hotmail because of the new product's slow performance. Those criticisms haven't stopped Microsoft developers, who are plowing ahead with a new desktop version of Windows Live Mail. Critics say that with Outlook, Outlook Express, Hotmail, and the new Live email apps, Microsoft is juggling too many mail clients, and find that the latest advertising-laden Live desktop client is the worst of all worlds.
Paper batteries that are flat-out cool
What if batteries came on a roll like Scotch tape? This geeky Holy Grail is closer than ever, French tech blogger Roland Piquepaille reports, thanks to two companies that have created promising new paper-thin, disposable batteries. Piquepaille predicts that the SoftBattery from Enfucell will be used in applications as divergent as greeting cards and RFID sensors, and remains unphased by the fact that there are as of yet no commercial applications for the company's product. Engadget says that the newest paper batteries from Enfucell and competitor Power Paper are part of a long trend, and quips that the latter's new line of PowerCosmetic products -- wherein the thin batteries are applied to the skin to remove wrinkles -- could mean the end of Botox.To send a letter to the editor about this story, click here.