Stock market crash confuses Google Finance — has the wrong closing price for nearly every stock!

If you look at Google Finance, Google’s stock information site, you may notice something odd: Its numbers are off — as far as I can tell, nearly all of them! This is clearly a problem on a day when the majority of the country is looking for information about stock prices after one of the biggest collapses in the history of the stock market.

Yahoo launches its own Dr. Know site for the Google search ad deal "flat facts"

I think it’s a fair assessment to say that the Google/Yahoo search advertising deal, like most things, is a shade of gray as to whether or not it’s a good thing. It really depends on your perspective. While Google and Yahoo might like it, obviously, Microsoft will not. That isn’t stopping Google and Yahoo from promoting their perspectives with their own sites. Google launched one last week. And today brings one from Yahoo.

Q&A with PlayFirst's John Welch on making game consoles obsolete and making gamers out of everyone

PlayFirst co-found and CEO John Welch has done what many have tried, and few have succeeded. He’s managed to launch a company built around casual gaming and actually build established brands. And while Cooking Dash might not be as instantly recognizable as Mario just yet, the company has just started cookin’. We sat down to talk to Welch, who co-founded the company in 2004, at the New York Game Conference. VB: Where do you see the state of online games today?

Q&A with Sony Online Entertainment's John Smedley on making online games

John Smedley grew up playing the “Dungeons & Dragons” fantasy-role playing board game during lunch. Today he’s president of Sony Online Entertainment. Smedley was in New York to give the keynote at the inaugural New York Games Conference, which was under extremely tight security. But it turned out they weren’t there to protect Smedley or the conference – Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the president of Iran, was actually staying at the hotel across the street. That was the backdrop as Peter Suciu, a longtime video game writer in New York, sat down to talk with Smedley about the future of online games.

Adweek: Media buyers still hesitant about highly targeted ad campaigns

Addressability — the ability to deliver TV ads to target individual households rather than more general groups — is the new buzzword in advertising. And a panel session at the Adweek conference in New York yesterday that included speakers from Bloomberg and NBC Universal, as well as several traditional and digital ad agencies, highlighted exactly why addressable advertising has Madison Avenue’s media buyers feeling more than a little conflicted.

Twitter to launch election site tonight

Longtime users of the micro-messaging service Twitter may have noticed something around the start of the political primary season: A lot of tweets (Twitter messages) about politics. To some this is annoying, to others, it’s addicting. Tonight, Twitter will acknowledge how big the interest is around the topic of politics by launching a new sub-site to Twitter called Election2008, according to The New York Times’ political blog, The Caucus.

Q&A with Graham Hopper, head of Disney's game division, on going hardcore

The distinctions between hardcore games and casual games (the committed enthusiasts versus the broader market fans) are melting away. That’s evident in the strategy of Graham Hopper, president of Disney Interactive Studios. The company puts 70 percent of its investment into titles that support major Disney licenses, but the investment is growing so much that Disney is pouring a lot of money into original titles for hardcore gamers such as “Pure,” a critically-praised off-road ATV racing game that Disney just launched. In a fairly short time, Disney will be tripling the amount of money that it invests in video games. As Disney builds its gamer cred, it will be interesting to see if it can snare hardcore gamers even as it pursues mainstream consumers and girls.

Google expands its television ad platform with Bloomberg TV

Advertising is perhaps now the key element to Google. One could even make the argument that it’s even more vital to the company now than its core product, search, is. After all, if someone pulled the plug on Google’s AdSense and AdWords revenues, the company would be a shadow of itself. That’s why it continues to diversify its advertising projects.

Video game anti-violence crusader Jack Thompson is disbarred

You could say it was a long national nightmare for the video game industry. Whenever there was a school shooting, anti-violence crusader Jack Thompson was there to blame it on violent video games. But the industry can breathe a little easier now. The Florida Supreme Court has ordered that Thompson be disbarred 30 days from today.

More rumors of a convergence of the MacBook family

While it’s still very much in the rumor stage, there’s another report today that Apple’s MacBook and MacBook Pro lines could soon be twins of sorts. New 13-inch MacBooks and 15 and 17-inch MacBook Pros have apparently been spotted with matching aluminum enclosures, AppleInsider reports.

Hey güey, here's how to translate an OpenSocial application into 26 languages

Hi5 is releasing a way for its users to translate third party applications on its site into other languages. This means developers can reach new users — and use the translated application on any other social network that also uses the OpenSocial code specification. See the always-funny Chuck Norris quote application as it goes through the various stages of translation into Japanese, below.

Yahoo's Right Media ad exchange was so broken some turned it off

After Yahoo confirmed it has been experiencing problems with latency at its Right Media exchange on Monday, I’ve heard from those at ad networks using RXM, verifying latency issues were widespread. How bad was it? One Right Media client actually turned off Right Media exchange for a period until latency issues improved. It’s not clear if the problems have been fixed for everyone yet, though, or what the problems were. As of this writing, Yahoo hasn’t responded to my request for comment.

RescueTime actually rescues time — nine percent of it for productivity

Anyone who sits in front of a computer every day — all day — realizes how many ways there are to get distracted. There are games, instant messaging software, music — hell, I even have fun using the calendar application when I’m procrastinating from doing work. Then there’s the Internet. If it wasn’t invented as a time suck, it has grown into just that. RescueTime is a startup that aims to evaluate and help you manage the distractions.

Stayin' alive: Roku to open its box

Roku is a compelling little device — right now, anyway. The living room box streams Netflix “Watch Instantly” films. These are movies and television shows that Netflix members can watch anytime for free. The mixture of free instantaneous content and a box that costs only $99 is a nice combo. The problem Roku has is that competition from major players is coming fast.

Gmail hits 7 gigabytes of storage

Gmail, Google’s online email system has an interesting take on the storage it gives users. Rather than give out a flat number, like say, 5 gigabytes, Gmail has a policy called “Infinity + 1.” Basically, this means that the amount of storage you get is always growing. Today, the amount of storage each Gmail user gets surpassed 7 gigabytes for the first time.

Q&A with Kareem Ettouney on Sony's great hope: LittleBigPlanet for the PlayStation 3

NEW YORK CITY—Sony is pulling out the stops to celebrate the launch of a critical game, LittleBigPlanet, from developer Media Molecule. In the game, you can customize a group of ragdoll characters and use them to solve puzzles to navigate a visually cute world that makes you feel like you’re moving through a model railroad landscape. The console maker needs this game to attract mainstream audiences to the PlayStation 3 and so it held a 24-hour Game Jam at Parsons The New School for Design to celebrate the October 21 game release. Kareem Ettouney, art director of LittleBigPlanet and co-founder of Media Molecule, was on hand to judge the competition. He talked about the competition, as well as the current shift in game design from narrative to user-generated playgrounds, in this exclusive interview.

New data: Technorati releases second and third parts of its blogger survey

Blog indexing company Technorati released more data in the last couple of days from its new blogosphere survey. In part two and three of its report, the company has more to say about the profiles and habits of bloggers. (See my coverage of part one here.) The summary: bloggers are a diverse lot, but not so raggedy as their stereotype would have you believe.

Digg beefs up its funding for major expansion plans

With over 30 million monthly unique users, Digg is a juggernaut of a site. Despite perpetual rumors of an imminent acquisition by major players like Google or Microsoft, the social voting site is now gearing up for a major expansion on its own. And it’s just secured a big round of funding to make that expansion possible.