Cool News For Digital Photos, Spam

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I know at least two people who read this blog when I update it, and it is with them in mind that I'm finally emerging from my self-imposed cone of silence to bring us at least into the month of March.

A note to one of them: No, I have not figured out a way to use the word "bananas" in a meaningful way. But, I'll keep trying, if you keep giving me news to write about.

Note to self: I MUST buy a digital camera, even if I still am paralyzed by all the choices. If you need any more evidence analog photography is going the way of the dodo, consider that both Yahoo and Hewlett-Packard have moved to acquire photo-related services in the past few days. Under one deal, Yahoo has bought Canadian photo-sharing company Flickr. The company's technology lets communities of users upload images for viewing by other community members. Meanwhile, HP is buying Snapfish, an online photo-service that claims more than 13 million registered members.

Since most of my friends and relatives live many miles away from me, and since I'm about to become an aunt for the first time in a few months, I love the idea that I can have access to virtually instantaneous documentation of what's going one.

And from a business perspective, developments like these (no pun intended) bode well for CRN's ability to use more of-the-moment photos in both our print edition and online.

I LOVE the new spam-fighting approach being adopted by IBM with its new FairUCE (Fair use of Unsolicited Commercial E-mail) technology. Basically, the software identifies spam by linking it to its origin and determining whether or not it's legitimate. FairUCE supposedly will cut down on the effectiveness of phishing or spoofing strategies. You can read more in this press release.

We all know search technology will be one of the most invaluable competitive weapons to emerge over the next several years. And now, media legend Barry Diller is getting into the act with a stock deal worth almost $2 billion to buy the Ask Jeeves site.

And, finally, since I always love to hear about the insanely cool things people can do with Apple products, you MUST read this story from Wired about how "hackers" are using motion sensors in PowerBooks for other than their intended purpose. (The sensors are supposed to lock down the hard drive if the notebook is dropped.) Creativity at its finest.

All for now.

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