Home > Uncategorized > AOL Oops; Apple Magic; 50M Blogs?

AOL Oops; Apple Magic; 50M Blogs?

Top Stories for the Week of August 7 – August 11

 Oops! AOL released three months’ worth of data on the web searches of 658,000 paying customers, and the possibilities for misuse are endless, blogs TechCrunch. It was a screw-up, says a flack who apologized on AOL’s behalf, but Web 2.0 calls it a blatant violation of users’ privacy and details an “anonymized” AOL user’s searches for everything from “how to kill your wife” to “pictures of dead people.” Google Blogoscoped wraps up the top “cancel AOL” and porn searches here.

 Ars Technica isn’t surprised at searches for porn and illegal material, but the New York Times spent the weekend finding user 44317749 who searched for “numb fingers,” then photographed her with her dog. Apparently, inside every corporate wrongdoing is an insipid human-interest story waiting to get out, blogs Valleywag.

Has Steve Jobs lost his magic? Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) was highly anticipated and hype about Steve Jobs’ keynote abounded-but the speech was mostly a yawn by a tired-looking Jobs, blogs Slashdot. Scobleizer did a lot of pre-conference hyping, but at least had the grace to apologize. New details on System 10.5 Leopard did emerge, though, which got Gizmodo excited, and MacWorld has three video selections from Jobs’ speech.

The MySpace Monetization Watch continues: Google will pay News Corp. at least $900 million for the privilege of being the search provider for MySpace and other sites, reports the Wall Street Journal.  And for those who wonder about Google forays into content, Mountain View also inked a deal with Viacom for access to MTV Video and other Viacom properties, blogs SiliconBeat. John Battelle gets Google’s message loud and clear: Work with us and we’ll get you paid.

While Dave Sifry’s quarterly state-of-the-blogosphere report might claim there are 50 million blogs (via Micro Persuasion), Kevin Burton says there are more likely 1.6 to 6 million depending on how you define “active.” Still, there are still a lot of Chinese yet to get online, blogs /Message, so  we haven’t exactly hit the flat part of the adoption curve. In other blog news, there’s one less blogger at Microsoft this week. First Scoble left, and now business2blog tells us Niall Kennedy has walked too, citing internal problems with Windows Live that have punished Redmond’s stock this year. And Michael Arrington of TechCrunch got together with startup CEOs and execs to create Web 2.0: The 24-Minute Documentary. For those who don’t have 24 minutes to watch, Valleywag, ahem, decodes it.

 In world politics, British police disrupted a massive terrorist plot to blow up an aircraft between the U.S. and the United Kingdom. All signs point to Al Qaeda says the Bush administration (via HuffPo). Security Watchtower rounds up the theories and reports.  Had the plot succeeded, the death toll would have exceeded that of 9/11. And speaking of 9/11, some even more disturbing news: 30 percent of Americans cannot say in what year the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks took place says Carpetbagger.

Tuesday’s Democratic primaries were unkind to famous incumbents. Two-fisted Rep. Cynthia McKinney lost in Georgia, while the man Jon Stewart calls Joe Loserman lost to Ned Lamont in Connecticut, which just tickles Riehl World View. BAGnewsNotes says Lieberman’s undoing was the Godfather-style kiss from Bush that symbolized his submissiveness-but Lieberman has vowed to run in the general election as an independent. Lieberman’s defeat is all about his support for a senseless, immoral, unwinnable war, blogs Michael Moore. Actually, it’s because he doesn’t hate Republicans with every fiber of his being, snarks Real Clear Politics.  As if Connecticut politics wasn’t already confusing enough, Right Wing News, thinks Republicans should support Lieberman because the actual Republican candidate won’t win in such a liberal state. And sure enough, White House spokesman Tony Snow as much as said that a vote for Lamont is a vote for the terrorists.

Lebanese photographer Adnan Hajj apparently Photoshopped images to increase the impression of damage from Israeli bombing. Little Green Footballs recognized Hajj’s clumsy cloning of smoke and buildings, and Reuters fired him on Saturday (via NYT Technology). Reuters Newsblog explains what’s acceptable in altering news photos and what’s not, but all CJR can do is bleat about the pressures of war photography.

Finally in entertainment, Jay Leno grilled Tour de France champion Floyd Landis on his flunked drug tests, and Landis floated the idea that it could’ve been something he ate, the latest in a line of suspects that includes whiskey, cortisone shots and thyroid medication (via Yahoo News). Landis could part company with the yellow jersey-but could it also be time for Brad and Angelina to split as well? Celebitchy thought a fight-when Pitt proposed that Jolie stay home rather than filming Kung Fu Panda-might signal the end, but it looks like the kids kissed and made up. Lindsay Lohan isn’t staying at home; Yahoo News reports the actress wants to visit troops in Iraq a la Marilyn Monroe, maybe through the USO-but only after she learns how to shoot a gun. Finally, there’s this video: “Girl caught stripping by Mom” pretty much says it all (via Digg).

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