Microsoft and FTC offer up anti-scammer PSAs

Microsoft appears to be getting a lot more serious about online security. A couple of days ago it announced the free Security Essentials for Windows users, and now it’s running a range of public service ads, in collaboration with the FTA, warning against online scams.

It may not tackle Bing’s fake pharmacy ads but these PSAs will pop up in a bid to protect surfers from scam mortgage foreclosure, credit repair and advance fee fraud. [Read more...]

UK’s online advertising spend exceeds TV

The UK has become the first major market where spending on online advertising has exceeded that of TV, according to figures released by the Internet Advertising Bureau and PricewaterhouseCoopers.

The recession caused an overall reduction in advertising spend, but many companies have invested more in online advertising compared with traditional media.

New Media Age’s editor, Justin Pearse, said that although this was expected to happen eventually, the milestone had been achieved at least a year sooner than expected due to the current economic climate. [Read more...]

Shazam music discovery service comes to O2 UK customers

shazam logo Shazam music discovery service comes to O2 UK customersO2 may still be reeling from its recent loss, but it’s not resting on its laurels, and has partnered with the Shazam music discovery service, finding a new way to make money from its impatient customers.

Some smartphones already have Shazam as an application, so no worries for those users who desperately need to know what that song is, but for those on O2 with lesser handsets, they can now call the 2580 short code, hold their cellphone’s microphone to the source of the music for a few seconds, and then have details of the song texted back to them via SMS. [Read more...]

Vodafone UK also gets the iPhone. Let the bun fight commence!

3g iphone 150x150 Vodafone UK also gets the iPhone. Let the bun fight commence!Great news for those who favour competition in the mobile marketplace — Vodafone UK will sell the iPhone alongside Orange and, of course, O2.

Again, the details are sketchy. All we’re told is that the iPhone 3G and iPhone 3G S will be available in the UK and Ireland “in early 2010″. That’s possibly a few months later than Orange will be releasing it, though we don’t have any juicy details yet.

Vodafone has had a bit of a love/hate relationship with the iPhone, with successive CEOs either praising or dismissing the handset. Nevertheless, you can be sure Vodafone is pleased to get a share of iPhone action in the UK’s competitive mobile space.

So, come early next year we could see a real price and deals war going on in the UK. About time, too.

Will we hear a similar announcement from T-Mobile in the next few days? It’s possible.

Annoying Tech Ads

Why does the tech industry produce some of the worst ads in the history of advertising? Do geeks spend so much time with their computers that they have no idea how to convey ideas to agency guys? Do agency guys misunderstand geeks so badly that their creations come out crap?

Whatever the reason, Brian X. Chen compiles a list of eight outrageously annoying tech videos. This is why normals will never understand geeks: our ads suck.

YouTube Sensation Dude Perfect Reveals Techniques

It’s amazing what can make you famous in the new media. Two years ago, a gymnastics video made $27,829 on Metacafe. Five months ago, a bunch of college kids started filming their crazy basketball shots and posting them to YouTube, getting more and more extreme as they went along. Almost nine million video views later, their group Dude Perfect is a YouTube sensation. Here they are revealing their extreme throwing techniques.

As revenue-sharing members of YouTube’s partner program, these kids are making money from their videos. Who knew playing around with a camera and a basketball could make you a national sensation?

Hacked Macs: 43 Cents

Mac fanboys like to parrot Apple’s claims that Macs are more secure than PCs. This should come as a nice kick in the balls to those smug bastards. Apparently, those three-thousand-dollar desktop decorations are worth forty-three cents once compromised. [Read more...]

Nokia acquires Dopplr mobile travel service

dopplr logo Nokia acquires Dopplr mobile travel serviceNokia has announced another acquisition in its push to deploy useful mobile services for its cellphone users.

Dopplr is a service that allows travellers to share their personal and business travel plans privately with selected networks, as well as gleaning information about good places to stay, eat and explore in various worldwide cities.

Though the press announcement is shortened to-the-point, this is no doubt a useful service that could tie in well with other services such as Maps, Plazes and Navteq.

Nokia insists that the current experience for Dopplr users won’t change. I expect there’ll be some interesting ongoing development to get Dopplr functionality into Nokia phone software. It could see the expansion of the seven-strong London/Helsinki-based company.

Apple and Orange finally break O2 UK iPhone monopoly

orange iphone 3g uk 490x213 Apple and Orange finally break O2 UK iPhone monopoly

Some countries that had the “privilege” of getting the iPhone early on, such as the US and UK, have been shackled to one telecoms company since the outset.

While AT&T may still have Apple fans tied up, there is at least some hope for UK users who either object on principle to exclusive deals (common though they are), or don’t like the O2 network because of its reliability or customer screwing tactics. [Read more...]

Users Triple Time, Advertisers Double Spend on Social Networks and Blogs

Spending too much time on Facebook? You’re not alone. A new study from Neilsen shows that Americans have tripled the time they spend on social networks and blogs. Even has-been MySpace is getting a lift from the rising tide. On average, you spent seventeen percent of your online time on social networks and blogs in August 2009, up from six percent the year before.

When it comes to online media, advertisers are often slow to go where the audience goes — but in this case, they’re definitely catching up. Advertisers increased their spending on social networks and blogs by a whopping 119%, up to $108 million in August 2009 from $49 million the year before.

Now you won’t feel so guilty about goofing off on Facebook. Even Madison Avenue’s starting to hang out there.