YouTube Founders Save Delicious!

San Francisco, CA – April 27, 2011 – Delicious.com, the leading social bookmarking service, has been acquired by the founders of YouTube, Chad Hurley and Steve Chen. As creators of the largest online video platform, they have firsthand experience enabling millions of users to share their experiences with the world. Their vision for Delicious is to continue to provide the same great service users love and to make the site even easier and more fun to save, share, and discover the web’s “tastiest” content. Delicious will become part of AVOS, a new Internet company.

“We’re excited to work with this fantastic community and take Delicious to the next level,” said Chad Hurley, CEO of AVOS. “We see a tremendous opportunity to simplify the way users save and share content they discover anywhere on the web.”

Great news! I’ve always felt like social bookmarking still has lots of room to grow; many users are highly active and engaged around sharing websites and web content, but those who aren’t haven’t heard of it at all. Services like Facebook’s “Like” button and Google’s “+1″ are making it easy for people to understand what one-click sharing is all about, and I’m psyched to see where the creative minds behind YouTube can take it.

Obama: ‘We do not have time for this kind of silliness’

Declaring that he and the country have “better stuff to do” than fight about where he was born, President Obama on Wednesday morning released his long-form Hawaii birth certificate and asked that the “sideshows and carnival barkers” stop raising the issue.

Unfortunately, he apparently DOES have time to deal with this issue, which is just really, really sad statement about America. The GOP has done an incredible job during Obama’s presidency of stalling, distracting, and deflecting any substantiative issue of national policy, instead spending time on ploitical fluff like this.

The sad news, is just how terrible the other side of the aisle is, at doing the same.

US Army picks Android

The US military is preparing to arm troops with the latest in mobile technology, developing a mobile device based on the Android OS.

While iPhones are unquestionably the popular choice for preening media types hanging out in Soho, it seems that the Google system is the weapon of choice for military folk for hunting down insurgents in Fallujah.

A prototype device called the Joint Battle Command-Platform being developed by MITRE is already undergoing tests with Android used to run the software as part of a bid to reduce the amount of weighty equipment being lugged around by troops.

There are also already a variety of uses for the smartphone such as apps for keeping track of friendly forces, no doubt also handy for the US’s cannon fodder allies, and ‘critical messaging’ which can exchange important data such as medevac requests.

Why would the army choose to give our soldiers the most unsecured mobile platform in the world? Especially on the heels of the BotNet disaster a month or so ago, I’m very concerned about the potential for critical military information to be compromised by rogue applications installed by unwary users at a whim.

Maybe there will be some kind of private/enterprise security suite developed for Andorid, but there’s no fixing the fact that the platform is fundamentally far more vulnerable than something like BlackBerry’s enterprise-level security features.

Please, let’s just not cross the bridge into allowing our military to pilot drones via handheld mobile devices. It’s a logical extension of bringing as much safety to our personnel as possible, but I find the gamification of war a very troubling possibility. Adding unsecured, powerful communications devices into the mix just seems like a truly terrible idea.

What happens when the network gets hacked, and clever enemies figure out how to ‘spoof’ enemy contact signals? It seems like a very small step to make these phones our own Achilles heel.

Sony admits utter PSN failure: Personal data stolen

Sony has finally come clean about the “external intrusion” that has caused the company to take down the PlayStation Network service, and the news is almost as bad as it can possibly get. The hackers have all your personal information, although Sony is still unsure about whether your credit card data is safe. Everything else on file when it comes to your account is in the hands of the hackers.

In other words, Sony’s security has failed in a spectacular fashion, and we’re just now finding out about it. In both practical and PR terms, this is a worst-case scenario.

What did they get?

Here is the data that Sony is sure has been compromised if you have a PlayStation Network Account:

  • Your name
  • Your address (city, state, and zip)
  • Country
  • E-mail address
  • Birthday
  • PSN password and login name

How long until a class action lawsuit, I wonder?

Paywall numbers for the NYT

The overall news from the New York Times Co.’s quarterly earnings report this week wasn’t good — net income is down 57 percent from a year ago — but there was one silver lining for online paid-content advocates: More than 100,000 people have begun paying for the Times’ website since it began charging for access last month.

100,000 doesn’t sound that high to me… and, 57% sounds pretty terrible also.

Apple Signing Deals For Cloud-Based Music Service

Yep. Apple is planning a cloud-based music locker service, which will let users stream their music, over the Web, to different devices.

Which may sound a lot like what Amazon rolled out last month.

From the music industry’s perspective, however, there’s a big difference: Amazon started its service without getting approval from the big music labels. But Apple is actively seeking licenses for its service, and will pay the labels for the privilege.

Except the lack of iOS support, Amazon’s cloud music service is everything I want. I’m fairly certain the Apple service, like Ping, will be primarily written to meet the company’s goals, not the users’.

Nintendo Confirms Wii Successor. It’s On Sale In 2012.

Today in Japan, Nintendo confirmed the upcoming release of the Wii’s successor. The still-unnamed console will be revealed at this year’s E3 gaming expo in Los Angeles in June.

Better specs than Xbox or PS3, combining a touch and motion interface, and it’ll be on the market 2 full years before the other “next-next gen” consoles? Sounds like a winning strategy.

Another online milestone for the Pulitzer Prize

In the winner’s circle again is ProPublica, which took home its second Pulitzer this year. But unlike the nonprofit’s last prize, which was for a story published in The New York Times Magazine, this year’s prize (for reporters Jesse Eisinger and Jake Bernstein) was for work that didn’t move through a partner newspaper (although they did partner with radio’s Planet Money and This American Life). As ProPublica chief Paul Steiger wrote, “This year’s Prize is the first for a group of stories not published in print.”

Great job, internets!

Groupon Could Take Out Foursquare with Pelago Acquisition

All Things Digital reports that Groupon has acquired Pelago, the company behind location-based check-in service Whrrl, for an undisclosed amount. Whrrl allows users to check in to locations and discover new businesses nearby, while the Groupon iOS app simply shows nearby deals.

Could Groupon – the leader and pioneer in the deals space – overshadow efforts by other LBS services to bring deals to check-ins, by bringing check-ins to deals?

Dropbox under fire for security concerns

The most recent of these criticisms arose from an update to the Dropbox Terms of Service to state that if the government asks, it will hand over your files:

As set forth in our privacy policy, and in compliance with United States law, Dropbox cooperates with United States law enforcement when it receives valid legal process, which may require Dropbox to provide the contents of your private Dropbox. In these cases, Dropbox will remove Dropbox’s encryption from the files before providing them to law enforcement.

All this comes on the heels of a report last week by security engineer Derek Newton that revealed another insecurity in Dropbox. Newton reports that the machine hash — a string that uniquely identifies the computer running Dropbox to their servers — is stored unencrypted and in a standard location on any machine with Dropbox installed. This means that if someone steals that single small file, perhaps by tricking a user into revealing it or through a malware attack, they can copy the machine hash to a computer of their own and download a copy of the entire contents of the Dropbox account in a manner that is almost undetectable to the user.

Beware the cloud?