Floods, Fires, Famine, #GmailFail!

fail-whaleThe fourth horseman of the apocalypse has arrived! Gmail is down, sending waves of panic through the media world (and possibly the world at large). Google is apparently working on the problem. Twitter meanwhile is full #gmailfail mode (screengrab below). Have the Georgian rebels decided to aim for the really big whale this time? Will Obama have to turn off the Internet to save us? If we can’t g-chat do we exist? It’s unclear. In the meantime reactions from the Twitterverse at large below.

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Google Taps SpotMixer for DIY In-Stream Video Ads

spotmixerSpotMixer announced today that its do-it-yourself video ad creation service will be integrated within Google AdWords In-Stream Video Ads. The partnership allows Google AdWords users to create in-stream video ads that can be placed within video on the Google Content Network or YouTube.

SpotMixer’s technology automatically converts an advertiser’s AdWords copy into a customized video ad template that can be further tailored with photos, video and voiceover. With SpotMixer on Google, advertisers can create 15- or 30-second ads that can be distributed as pre-roll, mid-roll, or post-roll spots.

Google and SpotMixer have been bosom ad buddies for a while now. Google has been recommending SpotMixer for over a year for the Google TV Ads service, and SpotMixer became a Google AdWords reseller in January of this year.

Competitors in the self-service video ad creation space include Jivox and Mixpo.

Elsewhere in Google ad land, the company is trying to extract more dollars from the entertainment industry by including video in plain-text search ads, Ad Age reports. The “video plus box” link below a standard keyword ad brings up a clip, with Google getting paid if the user watches 10 seconds of the video or clicks through. The goal is to entice entertainment companies to spend more on search, an ad sector they haven’t embraced yet.

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Outed blogger plans to sue Google for outing

Last week a New York judge ordered Google to turn over the identity of an anonymous blogger who called a model a “skank” in a blog post. The order was part of a defamation suit, and apparently Google complied because the blogger in question is now talking to the press, and she’s angry.

Speaking out for the first time since a court order forced Google to reveal her identity, blogger Rosemary Port tells the Daily News that model Liskula Cohen should blame herself for the uproar…

…The pretty 29-year-old Fashion Institute of Technology student added that she’s furious at Google for revealing her identity, so much so that she plans to file a $15 million federal lawsuit against the Web giant.

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Vid-Biz: Pirate Bay, YouTube, iPhone

Trading of Stock in Pirate Bay Bidder Halted; regulators question whether Global Gaming X has the money to complete the transaction; CEO of Peerialism, which was also to be acquired by GGX, says it has not received any money from the company. (CNET)

How YouTube’s Content ID System Works; a bit of a look at the tech that helps content owners monetize infringements. (Epicenter Blog)

iPhone 3GS Can Do 1080p Video Playback; Engadget tests it out and while buggy — it works. (Engadget)

Roku’s Netflix Interface to Get More Xbox-y; company will include browse and add features similar to those found on the game console. (Hacking Netflix)

BBC Signs Deal with Blinkbox; agreement would let viewers pay for access to hit shows like Doctor Who and Hotel Babylon. (The Hollywood Reporter)

Adobe Adds Video Sharing to Photoshop.com; file size limits are 200 MB for a web upload and 2GB through Adobe AIR uploader. ()

Google Chef Befuddled by Clams on Top Chef; Preeti Mistry had a hard time with the shellfish during this week’s episode. (MediaMemo)

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geoTwitter and news and more

Twitter announced a geolocation API today and it set my mind to spinning with implications that I tweeted like a Gatling gun:

* For news, it would be possible to verify that witnesses reporting what they see are where they say they are. Twitpics can be geotagged.

* Local news organizations should build apps to track surges of activity around any address. Could be a news event. Could be hipsters congregating (telling one where hippness happens).

* News orgs could also use it as a reporting tool: the fabled pothole report via Twitter.

* A hyperlocal blog could set up a feed of your neighbors’ tweets all around town.

* Over time, the geoTwitter enables what I’ve been thinking of as the annotation layer atop the real world: diners create simple reviews of a restaurant simply around location, anyone annotating any location.

* I wonder about the commercial applications: subscribing to tweet ads near me.

The live web, the social web, and the geo web come together.

Now there are caveats aplenty. Foursquare is similar and hasn’t yet burned up the world and neither has Google Latitude. Laptops need geolocation. There are privacy concerns that may stop people from switching on geolocation (the default is off). There are dangers; geolocation could have made tweets from Iran more credible but also more perilous for the authors. I wonder why Twitter is choosing to erase geo data after time; this diminishes the value of the annotation layer.

But still, a simple API like this can make the mind spin. Now combine geoTwitter with my recent obsession, Google Wave, and imagine how live and collaborative content can be enhanced with geography. Or add geography to Marissa Mayer’s vision of the hyperpersonal news stream. The possibilities are endless.

Bloggers beware?

A US court has ordered Google to hand over the identity of a blogger who used her website to defame Liskula Cohen a former Vogue cover girl. What does the ruling mean for the blogosphere?