Mobile advertising: Better measurement leads to new opportunities

[Editor's note: This is a piece by Russell Buckley, managing director of mobile advertising company AdMob's European operations. He is global chairman of the Mobile Marketing Association and blogger at MobHappy.com. He’s spent nearly 10 years working on mobile marketing, overseeing thousands of campaigns for both large and small advertisers. This is the first of a series of posts about mobile advertising coordinated by mobile expert and VentureBeat freelancer Matthäus Krzykowski.]

Video dating site SpeedDate says its growing 50 percent a month, raises $6 million

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JJnXORCW1Vg&hl=en&fs=1%5DRemember the awkward video from last December that featured various bloggers and video bloggers in video speed-dating situations? Well, the company that offered the dating service behind it, SpeedDate.com, claims to be on a bit of a tear. It’s growing 50 percent a month and now getting 100,000 online dates happening on its service per day.

Jaiku comes back with a new TOS and unlimited invites

The life-streaming site Jaiku has come back online after being down the entire weekend and the first part of this week while it moved to Google datacenters. While the look and feel of the service are exactly the same as before it went down, users were greeted with a shiny new terms of service (TOS) agreement to accept. The big news though is that now users have unlimited invites to send out.

YouTube's video revolution will be monetized (if the numbers hold)

The online video sharing site YouTube is a great product with a rich community. To say it has a stranglehold on the online video space would be putting it lightly. Yet, as with most things in the tech world, all anyone seems to ever want to talk about YouTube is its monetization. Today, Google, which bought YouTube for $1.65 billion back in 2006, is doing some talking of its own.

The iPhone 2.0.2 security flaw — and its temporary fix

A security flaw in the new iPhone 2.0.2 software was uncovered last night by a MacRumors forum user. To expose the flaw you must have your iPhone password protected. When you turn on the phone and get to the “Enter Passcode” screen, hit the “Emergency Call” button. From here, double click the main iPhone button and you’ll be taken to your phone’s “Favorites” menu. This should not happen.

Urbanspoon: An iPhone app that bests its website

One of my biggest pet peeves with the iPhone App Store is the paid apps that offer the same functionality as free web sites. Why should I pay to access information when I can just look it up using the mobile Safari browser? Apps like theNextTrain, which gives users quick access to Bay Area train times, may be worth the $4.99 for some daily commuters. But I’m cheap, and I’ll go through the hassle of typing icaltrain.com into Safari, thank you very much.

The Apple cartel? Psystar to countersue Apple

Psystar had a simple idea. It wanted to build a low-cost machine that would run Apple’s Mac OS X operating system. Apple had a simple response: Lawsuit. Now, Psystar is striking back. It will not only answer Apple’s lawsuit, it will meet the computer giant with a countersuit of its own, reports CNET.

Custom Reddits get even more customizable

The social news voting site Reddit took a step outside the norm back in January when it announced it would allow any Reddit user to create their own custom Reddit. If you liked candy for example, you could create a Reddit devoted to that and restrict its usage to ensure only the people you really wanted participated in your community. However, these custom Reddits still very much retained the look and feel of the actual Reddit, and thus they looked like more or less what they were: Sub-pages. That changes today.

Q&A with Nvidia CEO: Jen-Hsun Huang on visual computing, tension with Intel, and product bugs

Jen-Hsun Huang, chief executive of Nvidia, started his graphics chip company in 1993 and is now the last man standing. Back then, no one could have predicted that PCs and game machines would spawn the powerful visual computing we have today. In a speech in San Jose, Calif., Huang talked about how video games and movie special effects are only the tip of the iceberg for visual computing, which encompasses everything from digital art to medical imaging. Huang is celebrating the growth of this ecosystem this week with his own new visual computing conference, dubbed Nvision 08. But it’s a turbulent time for Nvidia as the company struggles against competitors and its own product bugs. After his speech, Huang took questions on a wide range of topics at a press conference. I’ve blended questions from the general press Q&A with my own one-on-one questions in this edited transcript.

Google Gears quietly launches beta test for Safari

Gears is an open source project run by Google which allows users to take online data offline via a web browser plug-in. It can, for example, allow you to read Google Reader feed items even when your computer is not connected to the Internet, and soon it will allow you to read your Gmail messages too. Unfortunately, thus far to use it you had to be running either Microsoft’s Internet Explorer or Mozilla’s Firefox browsers. For those of us on a Mac, Firefox was the only option. Now there is another: Safari.

Online ad network Brand.net raises $10 million

Brand.net is an online ad network that claims to be the first of its hundreds of competitors to focus “exclusively on brand advertising.” Unlike many ad networks, it doesn’t “own or ‘rep’” web site publisher inventory. The San Mateo, Calif. company has raised $10 million from Norwest Venture Partners, with participation from existing investor InterWest Partners.

DMCA takedown notice forces Twitter to blacklist Mad Men characters [UPDATE: They're back!]

The micro-messaging service Twitter tonight suspended the accounts of users don_draper and peggyolson. If those names sound familiar, you’re probably a fan of the hit AMC show Mad Men. Those two Twitter users take their names from two of the main characters on the show, and over the past several weeks had been providing updates, mostly in character from what I could tell.

As Facebook hits 100 million user mark, twenty percent have already opted in to the redesign

Will Facebook users like the redesign? The company made a big gamble in changing the interface to focus on feeds — it’s a move that many in the “early adopter” crowd liked (including myself). But it’s also been met with some pockets of resistance from people who preferred the old site (including my college age sister, who’s in the company’s original demographic).

New iPods, iTunes 8, 2.1 iPhone software and price cuts on September 9 — or another Kevin Rose "wolf"?

Digg founder Kevin Rose has gotten a reputation as “the boy who cried ‘wolf’” recently with some of his Apple “leaks.” He was dead wrong about many of the specs for the initial iPhone despite having a “source” and then he was wrong again in talking about Apple-built IM/video chatting coming to the iPhone 3G prior to its launch. As such, I was hesitant to write about his latest Apple leaked news this weekend, but he went on the popular podcast This Week in Tech (TWiT) today to talk about it even more — so I’ll put it out there with that big disclaimer.

Nvision 08: Surprise, Nvidia CEO Jen-Hsun Huang predicts visual computing revolution

Nvidia chief executive Jen-Hsun Huang took the stage at the inaugural Nvision 08 conference to celebrate the era of visual computing. You’d expect him to be the chief ambassador for this era, since the graphics chips that his company designs are at the heart of the hardware that powers visual applications, from car designs to video games.

Scrabulous' last gasp? Facebook app disappears overseas

Scrabulous, the popular Facebook application based on the board game Scrabble, has been shut down in the United Kingdom, Australia and elsewhere around the world. According to a statement from developer Jayant Agarwalla, who created the application with his brother Rajat, Facebook started restricting user access on Friday in response to a takedown notice from Mattel, which owns the rights to Scrabble outside the U.S. and Canada.

Local news aggregator Fwix expands to 25 more cities

Fwix uses the ubiquitous-in-Silicon-Valley concept of information feeds, exemplified by sites like Facebook and FriendFeed. But somewhat differently than those sites, it takes feeds from other sites around the web, like Craigslist and Yelp, and aggregates them based on what city you’re in. Menlo Park, Calif.-based Fwix only launched on Thursday, for a few major cities. But it claims to be getting decent traffic and is rolling out to 25 more cities today.

Google finally ready to take Jaiku seriously?

When Google bought Jaiku in October of last year, there was some thought that it would overtake Twitter as the go-to lifestreaming/status update site of choice on the Internet. Instead, Google completely and utterly neglected the service and gave its users a product that ranged from laughably inconsistent to unusable. But there’s a sign that’s about to change.

Twitter begins bringing down the spam hammer

Over the past few weeks, I’ve received a lot of friend requests on the micro-messaging service Twitter that were either accounts with icons of scantily clad women, or had usernames eerily similar to other accounts that had also just requested a connection with me. More than likely these are spam accounts, Twitter profiles set up simply to mass promote something without adding any real value. Twitter realized this and promised to work on the situation. True to its word, it’s now begun suspending accounts.

Adisn, another company that uses "social" data to target ads, raises $1.6 million

Adisn is the latest social data-using ad company to raise venture funding — $1.6 million, from Battery Ventures and angel investors, according to VentureWire. The Long Beach, Calif. company says it is aggregating and analyzing “web conversations,” online profiles, blogs, and user behavior to spot the most meaningful relationships between millions of “seemingly unrelated topics.” It uses this information to target ads that are most relevant to users.