THE BROWSER: Truth and rumors from the tech world
Red Hat snaps up JBoss
The Linux vendor is expanding its open-source offerings. Plus: Time Warner mulls TV-ad auctions.
By Owen Thomas, Business 2.0 Magazine online editor and Oliver Ryan, Fortune reporter

SAN FRANCISCO (Business 2.0 Magazine) - Open source is red-hot again, with larger companies on the hunt for startups to buy. Red Hat's just-announced $350 million acquisition of JBoss is the latest deal in a shopping spree that began when Oracle (Research) bought Sleepycat in February. JBoss was also rumored to be on Oracle's acquisition list, and the company had been mulling an IPO. Instead, Red Hat landed JBoss, which will help the company expand beyond just selling operating systems. JBoss's open-source application server is a key software component which helps link Web servers and databases.

Time Warner Cable to auction TV ads

DVR users still watch commercials
Even on fast-forward, users of TiVos and other DVRs may still take in advertising messages. Plus: New Sprint gadget targets AT&T, Comcast. (more)

Google's (Research) keyword-related ads, sold through an online auction, are the fastest-growing advertising business today. The response from cable TV? If you can't beat 'em, adopt their technology. Time Warner (Research) Cable is working on an auction-based system to deliver ads. The division's CEO Glenn Britt claims that cable providers have advantages over Internet website operators in knowing more about their customers thanks to the data collected in set-top boxes, including name, number of children and other demographic data. "TV is more powerful than the Internet at the end of the day," Britt told Reuters.

The dark side of online video

Viral video is becoming a media force to be reckoned with. But it also has its dark side, which Canadian teenager Ghyslain Raza learned the hard way. After a video of the then-15-year-old Raza dancing with light sabers was posted online by his classmates, Raza became the butt of jokes on late-night television, and strangers called him the "Star Wars kid." He became depressed and dropped out of school, and then sued the video pranksters for $310,000 in damages. Now Raza and his tormentors have settled the case out of court, averting a trial that was due to begin today. Of course, Internet video websites like YouTube and Grouper are vastly more popular today, making the unwanted spread of a clip like Raza's ever more likely. The lesson from the Star Wars kid? Keep those videotapes under lock and key.

Can blogs make it up in volume?

Making money has proved tough for owners of individual blogs, since one blog's traffic is rarely enough to draw advertisers. One popular answer - ever since AOL paid $25 million for Weblogs Inc. - is to band together in a blog network. Some proof of scale's value comes in today's announcement that BlogBurst, a syndication service aggregating over 600 bloggers, has signed distribution deals with several big newspaper companies, including Gannett (Research) and the Washington Post Co. (Research) Meanwhile, Syntagma Media -- itself a blog network -- reports that Canadian blog network B5media has begun the hunt for venture-capital backersTop of page

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