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Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Video Pirates' New Adversary: Chinese Web Sites

Western companies hope China's domestic disputes will help Beijing get serious about intellectual property theft

Victor Koo was looking for a way to make his video-sharing Web site stand out from China's legions of similar outfits. So the founder of Beijing's Youku.com arranged a pay-per-view special with Guo Degang, a comedian known for dialogues vaguely akin to the "Who's on First" routine by Abbott & Costello. For $7.30, subscribers could watch eight nights of Guo's fast-paced schtick, only on Youku.

Or at least that's what Koo thought. Soon after the Guo shows aired in August, Koo says, unauthorized copies started appearing on rival Sohu.com. That touched off a running battle among the kingpins of China's Internet. In September, Sohu and several other Net companies sued Youku and a handful of similar sites for airing videos without permission. Youku responded with lawsuits of its own, alleging defamation as well as illegal use of the Guo videos. "They make these announcements about us infringing their content, and the next day we still find evidence they violated our copyrights," fumes Koo, who once served as president of Sohu. Koo's lawsuit, counters Sohu chief Charles Zhang, is "pathetic."

Angry words aside, it seems the Chinese are beginning to get serious about piracy. While multinationals have battled intellectual property theft in China for years, Chinese companies have largely stayed on the sidelines. But as domestic players start to take umbrage at rivals stealing their wares, they're jumping into the fray — which may soon lead to better protection. If only foreigners complain, "it's an uphill struggle," says Michael C. Ellis, president of Asia-Pacific for the Motion Picture Assn., a trade group. But now "local industry is starting to realize the losses they are suffering."

China's video sites say they're doing their best to battle pirated content. They have introduced new technology to keep unauthorized videos offline and are quicker to take down those that make it through. "We always remove links" to pirated clips, says Gary Wang, chief executive of Tudou.com, another video - sharing site targeted by Sohu and its allies. For his part, Sohu boss Zhang argues that his company and its allies have spurred more Chinese sites to follow the rules. "Last year you could steal things in broad daylight," Zhang says. "Now, because of our efforts, you do it very discreetly."

Dan Brown, author of The Da Vinci Code, has already gained from the changing attitude. A Web site that had recruited more than 1,000 volunteers to collaborate on an unauthorized translation of Brown's latest novel, The Lost Symbol, pulled the plug on the initiative in September after a warning from the publisher that held the local rights to the book. To avoid "serious copyright consequences," the moderator wrote on the site, "I suggest that everyone suspend translating."

But plenty of demand remains. Prices for legitimate content have skyrocketed; site operators now pay $5,000 per episode, vs. $500 a year ago. And Beijing permits just a few dozen foreign films annually in Chinese cinemas — an invitation to piracy. "Unless you open the door to [foreign content], people will always find illegal ways to get it here," says Thierry Raymaekers, business development chief at Irdeto, a company that sells anti-piracy technology to cable TV operators.

That means copyright holders have a long road ahead. Lawsuits by foreign record companies against Chinese search engines for allegedly providing easy access to pirated songs have languished for more than a year, says Leong May-Seey, regional director for the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry. "It's just taking forever."

Source: Businessweek

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Clicksia Database Issues Solved!

Just recently, Clicksia encountered some database errors that prevented signing up, logging in, or clicking ads on the site. Clicksia's admin NorthOwl informed us via email that this is nothing more than just some database issues, which has been resolved now. Here is the content of the email:

Hello Dear Members,

It seems we had some database issues on Clicksia.com today which caused errors when members tried to sign up, log in, or click ads. We have fixed these issues and taken measures to assure that this does not happen again in the future. We are very sorry for the inconvenience this caused today.

On a side note, Clicksia.com is over 2 years old now and still paying! We are very proud to be one of the longest running honest sites. Many members submit support tickets asking about payment times. Please note that as per our Terms Of Service, Payments are done within 7 business day(s) but we usually try and pay all payment requests within a few days.

If you ever have any questions or concerns please contact us using the contact form on Clicksia.com or visit our forum at EarnMoneySpace.com

Thank you for being a member of Clicksia.com and Happy Earnings!

Clicksia is actually working properly now like what the admin had said.

Technorati: Many Bloggers Get Paid

Today, blogs tracker Technorati released a new report on the state of blogging, and it appears that a respectable number of bloggers out there manage to eek out a living.

According to a survey of 2,828 bloggers nationwide, 13% of the respondents do blogging full time. Another 15% blog to supplement their income. Basically, 28% of the people who blog get paid for it — which is a staggering number, if you think about it. Every fourth blogger out there is getting paid for promoting brands or driving new leads to their businesses. That — at a time when most advertising- and marketing-dependent businesses, such as traditional media, suffer. Clearly, bloggers are doing something right.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

YouTube in Deal with Britain's Channel 4

Within months, the Google unit will start offering full-length, time-delayed TV shows and archived hits from the British broadcaster

Channel Four Television has signed a deal with YouTube to bring its flagship shows to the video-sharing site.

The agreement will see programming from Channel 4's catch up service, 4oD, made available for free through YouTube, a unit of Google (GOOG).

The broadcaster's best-known shows such as Skins, Hollyoaks, The Inbetweeners and Peep Show will all feature on YouTube, along with around 3,000 hours of full-length programming such as Teachers and Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares from the Channel 4 archive.

The first Channel 4 content will begin appearing on YouTube in the coming months—shortly after the programs appear on TV — with a full service available by early 2010.

The partnership will initially run for three years and the two parties will share advertising revenues.

Under the terms of the deal, Channel 4 will have a branded presence on YouTube and will be able to sell advertising around its own content, as well as around some non-Channel 4 content on the site.

The broadcaster hopes that syndicating its programs on a non-exclusive basis will help 4oD to expand its market share.

"Syndication deals are key to Channel 4's strategy for monetizing on-demand audiences," said a spokeswoman for Channel 4. "YouTube already has 20 million users in the UK and we believe it is certain to be a major player in the UK [video on demand] market."

While the Channel 4 deal may be the first time a broadcaster has put its catch-up service on YouTube, it seems unlikely to be the last. "We look forward to other similar agreements to come," YouTube's director of partnerships Patrick Walker said in a statement.

Channel 4's original programs are already available over the internet via its own on-demand 4oD platform, which it launched at the end of 2006. According to the broadcaster, the 4oD platform had more than 10 million views of long form content in September — a year-on-year increase of 204 per cent.

Source: http://www.businessweek.com and silicon.com

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

FastMoney24 Scam Alert!

Url: www.fastmoney24.com

There is no such thing as fast money or a fast way to make money on the Internet! Some people, including some online business gurus agree to this statement. Any site that offers fast and easy money or get rich quickly schemes are more likely scams. There is one site that makes this statement true - and this site is fastmoney24.com.

FastMoney24 is a site that offers huge returns on your investment in Forex and Gold or so they claimed. FastMoney24 is just an example of a ponzi scheme or an illegal HYIP business. When you take a look at this site, and read its statements, you'll definitely find a lot of conflicting arguments. Here is an example of their statement:

fastmoney24 does not claim the highest interest rates available online and this has never been our primary aim. What we consider most important is stability, timely payments and flawless service. fastmoney24 stands out from most online investment opportunities. Our professional expertise allows us to offer you secure returns on investments. We plan our investment portfolio in order to mitigate the risks inherent in trading. We use various investment strategies and always diversify our investments.

They say that they do not claim the highest interest rates available online, and yet, they are offering these plans..

Plan Investment A

Min Invest: US$ 149
Maximum Invest: US$ 299
Period: After 6 Days
Total Profit: 250%

Plan Investment B

Min Invest: US$ 300
Maximum Invest: US$ 600
Period: After 3 Days
Total Profit: 500%

Plan Investment C

Min Invest: US$ 700
Maximum Invest: US$ 1500
Period: After 12 Hours
Total Profit: 800%

The promise of an outrageous return in investment is proof of scam already, but for those too greedy to listen, we think it would be wise to add more proofs.

For why this site is on the scam list is obvious, but not only that, this site has a bad reputation of scamming numerous people. Our partner site PTC-Investgations has all the links to forums that store complaints against the site. See it here.

This site also claims to have paid in Paypal. This is not true, and we can automatically mark fastmoney24's payment proofs as fake. Note that Paypal do not accept HYIPs, and for them to have paid in Paypal is ridiculous.

Other reasons that can only be considered minuscule, yet helps add weight to the evidence are "no forum", and a hidden "WhoIs Info". Sites that have no forum, or with owners that are hiding their information are likely scams.

Search Ad Spending Improves and Boosts Google Shares

Hit by the economy early this year, search advertising looks to be on the mend. For the second quarter in a row, two search marketing firms say U.S. spending on text ads on Google, Yahoo, and Microsoft’s Bing improved—or at least got less bad. The results bode well in particular for runaway search ad leader Google, which reports its third-quarter earnings on Thursday.

Analysts have been saying for months that as the economy improves, search advertising is likely to return most quickly among all other forms of advertising. It’s seen as the most measurable, and it’s also easy for marketers to increase spending literally overnight because it’s largely self-service, requiring no advance commitment. But Web companies from Yahoo to countless startups also hope that an uptick in search ads eventually will open up wallets for display, video, and other online ads.

SearchIgnite today said U.S. paid-search spending was down about 1%, or flat for all intents and purposes, from a year ago across all the search engines. But more encouraging, search ad spend rose 10% from the second quarter--much more than the usual 2% gain in the same periods in 2007 and 2008.

Another search marketing firm, Efficient Frontier, saw a similar pattern, though with different numbers, since it's measuring results for its own unique clientele. The company, whose report is out tonight, said U.S. search ad spending was up 5% from the second quarter, though it was down 5% from a year ago. "Search marketers are starting to get back in," Efficient Frontier CEO David Karnstedt said in an interview. "Traditionally, search has been a leading indicator" of a recovery in ad spending.

For SearchIgnite's customers, retailers led the way. In fact, they accounted for virtually all the improvement, with a 40% jump in search spend from a year ago, SearchIgnite President Roger Barnette told me. "Retail is a bellwether because people spend there before they resume spending on travel, for example," he says. "I would hope that the other markets would follow."

So far, they haven't. All other categories, including travel, finance, and autos, showed little growth or were down. Specifically, Efficient Frontier says travel ad spending plummeted 39% from a year ago. Even automobile-related ad spending was up only 6% thanks entirely to the Cash for Clunkers programs.

However, among Efficient Frontier's retail clientele, the uptick in spending was much less pronounced, up only 2%. "As we move into the shopping season, we could see growth increase," Karnstedt says, potentially moving search ad spending overall back into double-digit territory.

Google remained dominant in the quarter. Efficient Frontier said Google lost a bit of ground, as its share of search spending fell to 73.7%, from 75.5% in the second quarter. Meantime, Bing's share rose to 5.3% from 4.3% in the second quarter. However, Google's return on investment, or how much marketers got in new business in return for their ad spend, shot up 47%, way more than its rivals, which may help it recapture any lost business in coming quarters.

For its part, SearchIgnite saw little change in market share, with Google continuing to lead with 77% of search marketer spending, up from 72% a year ago. Although Bing was up the most, with a 15% increase in spending, that didn't help lift its overall share. It remained at 6%, unchanged for the last several years, when it was known as Live Search. Yahoo's share fell sharply, from 22% a year ago to 17% today.

Despite the mixed picture for Google's market share, any improvement in search ads is likely to benefit the company more than its rivals. That's not only because it so dominates search ads, but also because it's disproportionately strong in retail, which is likely to see even more search spending in the fourth quarter. In anticipation of that improvement--as well as a spate of new, higher target prices by analysts--Google's stock has risen sharply this year, up 63% from the start of the year to $524 today.

Two weeks into the fourth quarter, it's too early to say how things are going, but Karnstedt and Barnette are cautiously optimistic. "So far, so good," says Barnette.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Picks of the Week: Google, Cisco, Alcoa, AT&T

Wall Street analysts give their buy, sell, or hold views on 10 stocks in the news this week..

Highlights of analyst stock opinions issued the week of Oct. 5-9:

Oct. 9

Google (GOOG)

Credit Suisse keeps outperform; raises price target

Credit Suisse analyst Spencer Wang sharply raised his share price target on Google on Oct. 9, just two days after the online search leader's CEO Eric Schmidt said an economic recovery is under way in the U.S. and Europe.

Wang boosted his price target to $600 from $475. The new target implies the stock has room to rise 17% over the next year. Google's shares last crossed $600 in May 2008. Wang said online search will be "one of the first advertising mediums to benefit from an advertising recovery."

AT&T (T)

S&P Equity Research reiterates strong buy; lowers estimates

S&P equity analyst Todd Rosenbluth said on Oct. 9 that ahead of the expected release of AT&T's third-quarter results on Oct. 22, he was modestly lowering his 2009 and 2010 earnings per share (EPS) estimates. Rosenbluth cut his 2009 EPS forecast by 6 cents to $2.12 and his 2010 estimate by 7 cents to $2.28.

However, he still sees AT&T's earnings prospects and balance sheet as relatively strong and views its dividend, yielding an above-average 6%, as stable. He maintained his 12-month price target of $31.

Oct. 8

Alcoa (AA)

Citigroup maintains buy; raises estimates, price target

Citigroup analyst Brian Yu said on Oct. 8 that Alcoa's third-quarter operating earnings of 4 cents per share, reported after the close of trading Oct. 7, topped both his 10 cents loss per share estimate and the 9 cents loss per share consensus forecast of Wall Street analysts.

Yu continues to anticipate a profit in the fourth quarter as better third-quarter aluminum pricing flows to the company's Alumina business, and cost-cut initiatives advance. He raised his 2010 earnings estimate from 24 cents per share to 48 cents, and his 2011 earnings view from 60 cents to 80 cents. He boosted his $14 price target to $17.

Adobe Systems (ADBE)

Robert W. Baird upgrades to outperform from neutral; raises price target

Predicting an earnings recovery in the second half of next year and following an upbeat analyst meeting, Robert W. Baird analyst Steven M. Ashley upgraded Adobe Systems on Oct. 8 and boosted his target price on Adobe's shares to $40 from $35. He expects the software maker's earnings to recover thanks to the release of Creative Suite 5 next year.

Ashley also expects Adobe's acquisition of Omniture Inc. to close as expected and provide a longtime benefit to the San Jose, Calif.-based company.

Oct. 7

Cisco Systems (CSCO)

William Blair upgrades to outperform from market perform

Cisco Systems is winning new deals and benefiting from a broad economic recovery, William Blair analyst Jason Ader said Oct. 7 as he upgraded the company's stock.

"Our analysis suggests that there has been significant pent-up demand building over the last year for Cisco's products ... which has started to loosen up over the past few months," Ader told investors in a note. He also praised Cisco's recently announced plan to acquire Norway's Tandberg ASA for $3 billion, a move he said will help the company make video communication "ubiquitous" in the business market.

Goodrich Corp. (GR)

FBR Capital Markets upgrades to outperform from market perform; raises price target

Analyst Patrick J. McCarthy of FBR Capital Markets upgraded airplane parts manufacturer Goodrich Corp. on Oct. 7, saying he expects airline travel to improve next year. McCarthy also raised his price target to $65 from $46.

"Last quarter, the company noted that commercial passenger, regional/business travel and cargo markets were still challenging but that its aftermarket business appeared to be stabilizing and incremental end-market data appears to be supporting this as well," he wrote in a client note. "Also, while we are not free and clear from the economic recession's impact on commercial aerospace, signs of a modest recovery in 2010 travel seem to be improving."

Oct. 6

Family Dollar Stores (FDO)

BMO Capital Markets upgrades to outperform from market perform

BMO Capital Markets analyst Wayne Hood lifted his rating on Family Dollar Stores Inc. on Oct. 6, noting the stock had lost 14% of its value since early July. Hood said the stock now represents a good buying opportunity. "The stock is as cheap as it's been in years," he wrote in a client note.

"We believe investors are presently struggling to find new ideas with reasonable (stock prices), above average returns on capital, strong free cash flow yield and good long-term growth prospects. We see all of these in Family Dollar," he wrote.

Cirrus Logic (CRUS)

Needham & Co. rates buy; raises estimates, price target

Needham analyst Vernon Essi, Jr., said on Oct. 6 that Cirrus preannounced second-quarter revenues of about $55.7 million, 11% above the midpoint of its prior guidance range; augmenting the upside is that gross margin will be at higher end of its prior 50%-52% guidance range, implying the company can maintain margins against a shift in its business mix toward what's being perceived as lower-margin portable audio business.

The analyst notes the company's audio business is benefiting from a revenue ramp-up in key smartphone programs, as well as continued penetration within a legacy portable audio customer. He raised his fiscal 2010 (ending March) earnings estimate from 22 cents per share to 28 cents, and his $8 price target to $9.

Oct. 5

Manitowoc Co. (MTW)

Deutsche Bank upgrades to buy from hold

Deutsche Bank analyst Nigel Coe upgraded heavy equipment maker Manitowoc Co. late Oct. 4 on the strength of its foodservice equipment business. Manitowoc's foodservice division is "likely to dominate" over the next year or two, accounting for about 45 percent of revenue and two-thirds of earnings before income taxes, depreciation and amortization in 2010, Coe said in a client note.

"While the convenience restaurant and lodging segments have not been immune through this downturn, with revenues down low single-digit and margins expanding next year ... we see Manitowoc's foodservice segment as a critical earnings anchor," Coe said.


Deutsche Bank upgrades to buy from hold; raises price target

DTS Inc. is set for a period of "hyper-growth," Deutsche Bank analyst Brian Thackray said Oct. 5, pointing out improving demand for Blu-ray DVD players. Thackray said his checks with more than 500 retailers show Blu-ray technology is finally catching on as prices come down, a trend likely to boost sales for DTS. The Agoura Hills, Calif., company makes equipment for audio systems used in DVD players, computers and other electronics.

In addition to upgrading the shares, Thackray raised his price target to $32 from $28.

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