Sun, 12 Nov 2006 00:00:00 ESTHard-core Web users are constantly fighting unfair stereotypes:
Sun, 05 Nov 2006 00:00:00 ESTImagine if, in August 2001, the U.S. intelligence agencies had dumped all of their information into one secure, online resource where it was searchable and accessible to anyone who had the proper clearance.
Sun, 29 Oct 2006 00:00:00 EDTAmid all the bad news about the future of newspapers -- and there is plenty -- a good news story quietly has been building: Online newspaper revenue is growing.
Sun, 22 Oct 2006 00:00:00 EDTAn online music store in Russia caused headlines and created some unintentional yuks last week.
Sun, 08 Oct 2006 00:00:00 EDTLazydork was just another loser in a bathrobe, doing movie reviews on his Web site that no one watched. Then, he discovered YouTube. Then, he discovered Emmalina. And a splendid story began about dual lives, the mechanics of Internet fame and chest hair. It leads all the way from a courtroom in Miami to a casino in Vegas.
Sun, 01 Oct 2006 00:00:00 EDTThe big media companies aren't looking at just the Web for new viewers and more advertising revenue. Increasingly, they are turning to mobile devices, and with mixed results.
Sun, 24 Sep 2006 00:00:00 EDTAbout a month ago, the two founders of Facebook came to The Washington Post, excited to tell me about a product they were planning to launch.
Sun, 17 Sep 2006 00:00:00 EDTThree months and millions of page views after lonelygirl15's debut, the most recent Internet phenomenon turned into a detective story and came to a conclusion last week.
Sun, 10 Sep 2006 00:00:00 EDTIn the wacky Wiki world that is the Internet, it's hard to know which information is reliable and which isn't.
Sun, 27 Aug 2006 00:00:00 EDTFrank Ahrens is away. His column will resume when he returns.
Sun, 20 Aug 2006 00:00:00 EDTSome of the most popular programming on cable television networks today revolves around the do-it-yourself theme -- from Bob Vila showing you how to tile a floor to the team on "While You Were Out" offering tips on how to brighten a room with the right colors.
Sun, 13 Aug 2006 00:00:00 EDTMy late mother first logged on to the Web in 1999, when her office in West Virginia got Internet access. She was 76. She didn't blog, she didn't shop online, she didn't download music. She learned how to use the Web because it let her do something she wanted to do: read articles that her son wrote in The Washington Post. Months later, when she was given a work e-mail account, she took to it instantly because it gave her another way to stay in touch with her son.
Sun, 06 Aug 2006 00:00:00 EDTLast week provided another fascinating chapter in the evolving story of Wikipedia, the almost-anybody-can-edit-it online encyclopedia.
Sun, 30 Jul 2006 00:00:00 EDTSo, you say you don't have the attention span for YouTube and its seat-squirmingly long two-minute videos?
Sun, 23 Jul 2006 00:00:00 EDTPASADENA, Calif. -- Summer in Southern California means sun, surf and a chance for television journalists from around the country to question the big networks -- and some bigger Hollywood stars -- about the fall prime-time lineup.
Sun, 16 Jul 2006 00:00:00 EDTCome and listen to my story 'bout a man named Ted,
Sun, 09 Jul 2006 00:00:00 EDTThe surprise death of Kenneth L. Lay last week did more than throw a monkey wrench into the government's plans to jail and fine the Enron Corp. founder. It further exposed the critical weakness of Wikipedia that prevents it from becoming the go-to source for Internet knowledge that it ought to be.
Sun, 02 Jul 2006 00:00:00 EDTIt must be a sign of encroaching age that one's tolerance for cuteness increases.
Sun, 25 Jun 2006 00:00:00 EDTAnime and the Internet go together like Kirk and Spock, Han and Chewie, Gates and Ballmer, Dungeons & Dragons.
Sun, 18 Jun 2006 00:00:00 EDTWhat does it take to become an Internet video phenomenon?
Sun, 11 Jun 2006 00:00:00 EDTPerhaps the biggest obstacle that federal prosecutors overcame in winning fraud and insider-trading convictions of former Enron Corp. executives Kenneth L. Lay and Jeffrey K. Skilling last month was the lack of a smoking-gun e-mail that directly linked them to criminal doings at the failed energy giant.
Sun, 04 Jun 2006 00:00:00 EDTIt looks like there's a war brewing between Internet movie and music pirates and authorities in Sweden, of all places.
Sun, 28 May 2006 00:00:00 EDTLast week, Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia Inc. -- which already has magazines, a radio show, a television show and a line of furnishings featuring the eponymous founder and domestic expert -- said it would enter the social network space by launching a site in late 2007. It will be similar to MySpace.com, the social network site hugely popular with teens and young adults, but aimed at adult women, the company said.
Sun, 21 May 2006 00:00:00 EDTFrom the Further Merging of Sports and Entertainment Dept.: Tomorrow, Major League Baseball's Web site, http://www.mlb.com , will begin directing viewers to http://www.rehearsals.com , a site that features video of musicians rehearsing for upcoming tours and sitting down for interviews.
Sun, 14 May 2006 00:00:00 EDTMorpheus, the popular peer-to-peer file-sharing software, is celebrating its fifth year in existence -- and a bumpy five years it's been -- with a new version allowing users to share podcasts.
Sun, 07 May 2006 00:00:00 EDTJust in time for Cinco de Mayo (the celebration of Mexico's May 5, 1862, military victory over the French, for those not versed in their Mexican history) and the flare-up of the immigration debate comes the launch of http://www.matt.org/ , the Web site of "Mexicans and Americans Thinking Together."
Sun, 30 Apr 2006 00:00:00 EDTI have mentioned the fabulous parody power of the Internet. What I find fascinating is how the parodies often reveal the remarkable transfer of culture that technology enables these days.
Sun, 23 Apr 2006 00:00:00 EDTBack in the early days of Internet streaming, around 1997 or so, I used to listen to Cincinnati Reds games by going to the Web site of WLW, the team's hometown flagship radio station, and clicking on the site's streaming audio. A year later, Major League Baseball stepped in and consolidated the Web broadcasts, inking a deal with Yahoo to stream them through the portal at no charge.
Sun, 16 Apr 2006 00:00:00 EDTAt one point back in the early '90s, newspaper sports editors made fun of the "ESPYs," ESPN's annual awards show for best female athlete, best play, best game and so forth. "A made-up event," they grumbled, and refused to cover it. Well, that's probably what music writers said for the first few years of the Grammys. Now, the ESPYs get good ratings and fewer folks are reading sports pages.
Sun, 09 Apr 2006 00:00:00 EDTLaunched on cable in 1991, Comedy Central was, for most of that decade, a small-viewership niche channel that was probably best known for the cult show "Mystery Science Theater 3000" and being the first home of Bill Maher's "Politically Incorrect."
Sun, 02 Apr 2006 00:00:00 ESTOne of the noteworthy things about the Internet is that it lets you experience the world and, indeed, significant pieces of the universe, without having to actually experience it.
Sun, 26 Mar 2006 00:00:00 ESTAh, William Shatner. How effortlessly he moves from show to show, era to era, platform to platform.
Sun, 19 Mar 2006 00:00:00 ESTThose of us in the newspaper business hope that the Web will save our future. Now, it's saving our past. For a small fee.
Sun, 12 Mar 2006 00:00:00 ESTLast week, NBC Universal Inc. became the most recent Old Media giant to graft on a small bit of New Media with its $600 million purchase of iVillage, a collection and aggregator of Web sites that target women. Or, as it calls itself, "the Internet for women."
Sun, 05 Mar 2006 00:00:00 ESTLast week, I asked: "Why do you blog?"
Sun, 26 Feb 2006 00:00:00 ESTThere's been some recent chatter about whether we're entering the twilight of the blogs, even though it feels like we're only in the late morning. Noon, at the latest.
Sun, 19 Feb 2006 00:00:00 ESTLet's all gather 'round the world's virtual water cooler now and talk about Dick Cheney.
Sun, 12 Feb 2006 00:00:00 ESTWe humans have an endless capacity and desire, apparently, to have other people tell us what to do.
Sun, 05 Feb 2006 00:00:00 ESTThe Internet rage of the last days of '05 was the viral success of "Lazy Sunday," a digital short film produced by "Saturday Night Live's" Chris Parnell and Andy Samberg. "SNL" broadcast the film during the Dec. 17 show, and the thing caught fire on the Internet, becoming a must-see around office cubicles. (If you're one of the dozen or so people who haven't seen "Lazy Sunday," a rap about two New Yorkers going to see "The Chronicles of Narnia," go to http://www.nbc.com/Saturday_Night_Live . It's in the site's "videos" section.)
Sun, 29 Jan 2006 00:00:00 ESTOkay, Web fans, it's time for new lingo to help us get a grip on the vast self-publishing landscape known as the blogosphere. Blogs vary so much that they cry out for pithy names to describe each of their many genres.
Sun, 22 Jan 2006 00:00:00 ESTJust because Apple Computer won the first round of the Internet video wars, I wouldn't count out Google's rickety video store just yet. Google's new video service is weak partly because it is attempting to do far more than most of the new wannabe Internet TV channels do.
Sun, 15 Jan 2006 00:00:00 ESTThe Web's bizarre bazaar now offers adventures in nearly naked capitalism.
Sun, 08 Jan 2006 00:00:00 ESTUsed to be, when you were angry with a corporation or a government or even a person, you had to stand outside the building and hold a sign, or at least yell a lot.
Sun, 01 Jan 2006 00:00:00 ESTThe early advocates of the Web predicted it would create a global community. They said it would cause an unslakable thirst for knowledge about others. That it would raise our eyes to the horizon and open our minds to the world.
Sun, 25 Dec 2005 00:00:00 ESTFinally -- December 25. Merry Christmas. Happy Hanukkah. Seasons Greetings. Yadda yadda yadda.
Sun, 18 Dec 2005 00:00:00 ESTMarketers have long relied on children as their most effective pitchmen. Kids get Mommy and Daddy to buy most anything. Now, kids are being enlisted to get their folks to sign up for Sony's video and voice Internet service.
Sun, 11 Dec 2005 00:00:00 ESTI heard of Pixar Animation Studios in 1989 when I saw the company's first short film, "Luxo Jr.," at a short-film festival at Georgetown's Biograph Theater. Thanks to "The Incredibles," "Toy Story," "Finding Nemo" and Pixar's other blockbuster feature-length films, filmgoers are now accustomed to the film studio's signature computer-animation style.
Sun, 04 Dec 2005 00:00:00 ESTSuppose you're considering an airline trip and you stumble onto the Web site http://www.oceanic-air.com/. The first thing you'd probably notice is the picture of a gorgeous beach and the airline's slogan, "Taking you to places you've never imagined!"
Sun, 27 Nov 2005 00:00:00 ESTReligious leaders in a tightknit Orthodox Jewish community in New Jersey have instructed parents who have Internet access in their homes to unplug from the Web, else their children will face expulsion from the area's 43 yeshivas, or Jewish private schools.
Sun, 13 Nov 2005 00:00:00 ESTHey, kids: Wanna pocket a hundred large?
Sun, 06 Nov 2005 00:00:00 ESTThe best thing I read on the Web last week was the most recent version of the semi-regular Uni Watch column written by Paul Lukas on http://www.espn.com , posted on the Web site's irreverent Page 2.
Sun, 30 Oct 2005 00:00:00 EDTNothing says "can't-put-it-down reading!" like census data.
Sun, 23 Oct 2005 00:00:00 EDTEach week in Web Watch, we seek to bring you the freshest Web sites, the hottest news, the biggest scoops and the smartest ideas. We're not saying we actually do that, but we try.
Sun, 16 Oct 2005 00:00:00 EDTWhat is Steve Jobs going to pull out of the sleeve of that black turtleneck next?
Sun, 09 Oct 2005 00:00:00 EDTInternet dating can be scary. You agree to meet complete strangers based on blurry headshots, puffed-up self-descriptions and furtive e-mail exchanges. The guy who said his body type is "about average" shows up with a body type that is "about average" in a crowd of baby hippos. The girl who said she "loves reading" turns out to "love reading" only "Star Wars" novelizations.
Sun, 02 Oct 2005 00:00:00 EDTI have always wondered why Google has such an empty search page. A snowfield of white space, dominated by a multi-colored nonsense word, one simple rectangular box and only two buttons. So simple, it reminded me of an HTML student's first page. Or maybe the computer screen in a Hollywood thriller where the hero types in a code to stop an A-bomb countdown.
Sun, 25 Sep 2005 00:00:00 EDTUnless you can afford a first-class seat on an airplane, you're stuck in steerage -- a cargo area where solo travelers have little say about the person who will become their seat neighbor -- also known as the person you plan to claw your way through when this thing ditches in open water.
Sun, 18 Sep 2005 00:00:00 EDTYahoo is giving its Web-based mail service the biggest makeover since it launched in 1997, switching to a format that looks more like Microsoft Outlook and other desktop computer mail programs.
Sun, 11 Sep 2005 00:00:00 EDTIf Internet dating sites can match people by trying to compute the elements of attraction, why can't songs be matched with people in the same way?
Sun, 04 Sep 2005 00:00:00 EDTThe Internet offers a ton of ad hoc resources -- along with many official relief sites and an annoying number of bogus ones -- for people who want to help the victims of Hurricane Katrina.
Sun, 28 Aug 2005 00:00:00 EDTAmazon.com wants to revive the art of the short story by selling 49-cent digital downloads of new writing from a variety of name-brand authors. The Web retailer last week introduced "Amazon Shorts," (http://www.amazon.com/shorts), consisting of 60 brief works of fiction, nonfiction, mini-plays and sample chapters from upcoming books that people can buy and download in a variety of formats -- none of them protected against piracy.
Sun, 21 Aug 2005 00:15:00 EDTDistrict residents spent a lot of time cruising the Web for liquor stores and temporary employment last week -- or so it would seem from the new "top searches" feature Yahoo introduced Monday.
Sun, 14 Aug 2005 00:00:00 EDTNow's your chance to die in a Stephen King novel or be portrayed "in a good light" in the next thriller from John Grisham -- while championing the cause of free speech.
Sun, 07 Aug 2005 00:00:00 EDTFlickr, the photo-sharing service Yahoo bought this year, says it's figured out a search system that will lead to smarter image-surfing.
Sun, 31 Jul 2005 00:00:00 EDTMicrosoft's new MSN Virtual Earth site can look both sharp and blurry at the same time. This new, free service cleverly combines aerial images of buildings with business details extracted from phone directories to let people zoom around neighborhoods across the United States -- but many of those images are fuzzy, black-and-white photos that, in some cases, appear to predate the existence of the Web itself.
Sun, 24 Jul 2005 00:00:00 EDTA company called Zazzle wants to be the place you express yourself online by creating custom goods such as personal postage based on your photos, T-shirts featuring your dog or stationery adorned by doodles you drew in your zanier moments.
Sun, 17 Jul 2005 00:00:00 EDTAmerica Online, as part of an overhaul of its AOL Instant Messenger software, released a new trial version that adds new communications tools.
Sun, 10 Jul 2005 00:00:00 EDTWeb users, beset with problems from spyware and viruses, are starting to wise up online. A new study from the Pew Internet and American Life Project reports that online users are trying harder to steer clear of trouble on the Web.
Sun, 03 Jul 2005 00:00:00 EDTYou'd think the World Wide Web was about to spring to life as a movie theater, given the way major sites are racing to create tools for finding and watching videos online.
Sun, 26 Jun 2005 00:00:00 EDTCable news channel CNN, which had tucked its online video content behind subscription screens for several years, began offering free access to video clips this week. CNN ( http://www.cnn.com/ ) is offering the free online video in 14 categories of news and sports, in addition to two-minute updates of the latest breaking news.
Sun, 19 Jun 2005 00:00:00 EDTYahoo, locked in a feature war with Google, rolled out a new service Thursday that it touted as the first from a major search engine to let people sift through Internet subscription sites from a single query box.
Sun, 12 Jun 2005 00:00:00 EDTMercora wants to be your music search engine -- and jukebox, too.
Sun, 05 Jun 2005 00:00:00 EDTEveryone on TV seems to be touting an affiliated Web site, where viewers can vote for some celebrity or unravel some deeper mystery beyond what aired on the boob tube. Web-TV links have been trying to push beyond marketing into storytelling for years, with modest success.
Sun, 29 May 2005 00:00:00 EDTMicrosoft and Google are trying to move satellite imagery on the Web beyond the gee-whiz-look-at-my-neighbor's-house stage into something more useful. They want to use this technology to make their local search services more helpful and useful, which in turn would enable them to sell more ads.
Sun, 22 May 2005 00:00:00 EDTEverybody wants to be your phone company, but nobody's sure what a phone is anymore. Consider Yahoo's latest instant messaging software. Released in trial form last week, Yahoo Messenger 7.0 ( http://beta.messenger.yahoo.com/ ) lets users talk over the Internet for free to other Yahoo Messenger users, as well as send them text messages. To stage these Internet phone calls, both parties must use the latest version of Yahoo's messaging software (Windows only) and have a microphone or headset plugged into their computers.
Sun, 15 May 2005 00:00:00 EDTWant to hazard a guess when the price for listening to music from RealNetworks and Napster will drop? It's hard to imagine the Internet's two leading subscription music services can continue charging three times what Yahoo is asking for the rival service it introduced on Wednesday.
Sun, 08 May 2005 15:17:00 EDTThe business-oriented networking site LinkedIn just celebrated its second birthday, and the free service now boasts more than 2.5 million members around the world.
Sun, 01 May 2005 00:00:00 EDTMusic subscription services may make economic sense to those selling them, but most customers have yet to agree. RealNetworks Inc. seems determined to change that with a 25-free-songs-a-month listening service it introduced Tuesday.
Sun, 24 Apr 2005 00:00:00 EDTDon't take this personally, but Google wants your Web search history.
Sun, 17 Apr 2005 00:00:00 EDTTwo popular Internet services recently rolled out free, bite-size versions of their sites that can be used on cell phones and handheld gadgets. Google rolled out a new Google Local site last week, allowing users to call up local business listings quickly, while Answers.com introduced a reference service that offers look-ups on the go.
Sun, 10 Apr 2005 00:00:00 EDTFor a weird walk down memory lane, visit Google's latest mapping service (maps.google.com), type in old addresses where you once lived and click on the "satellite" links appearing at the upper right. That should call up aerial photographs of your old 'hoods.
Sun, 03 Apr 2005 00:00:00 ESTIt's a blog. It's a dog. No, it's Yahoo 360!
Sun, 27 Mar 2005 00:00:00 ESTSoon you may be able to search your life history online to recall where you ate that fabulous dinner in New Orleans six years ago or the names of those two dopey dudes you met in Acapulco when you were 21.
Sun, 20 Mar 2005 00:00:00 ESTBlog mogul Nick Denton's gossipy online empire walked off with four awards at the 2005 Bloggies, while a woman fired for her Web log also snagged four prizes for her edgy postings about motherhood and the mundane annoyances of life.
Sun, 13 Mar 2005 00:00:00 ESTOne of the Internet's busiest paperboys got a bit more personal last week: Google News, which culls headlines from 4,500 news sources across the Web, added a custom feature letting people design their own news channels.
Sun, 06 Mar 2005 00:00:00 ESTNetscape, the Web browser out-muscled a decade ago by Microsoft's Internet Explorer, has undergone an extreme makeover in an attempt to regain its former relevance.
Sun, 20 Feb 2005 00:00:00 ESTDigital shutterbugs have a new way to share photos online, a program called Photoleap that shrinks image files from 5 to 15 times to get around slow Internet connections and the size limits many e-mail services impose on attachments.
Sun, 09 Jan 2005 00:00:00 ESTInternet video is sneaking up on us. That became clear last week in Las Vegas, where all sorts of firms announced new Internet video services at the 2005 Consumer Electronics Show.
Sun, 02 Jan 2005 00:00:00 ESTInternet experiments made a comeback during 2004. Here are some of the year's notable Web innovations:
Sun, 26 Dec 2004 00:00:00 ESTWant to know whether traffic on the Beltway is good (doubtful), bad (more likely) or intolerably miserable (the norm)? Yahoo has added a traffic-update feature to its maps section (maps.yahoo.com) that hands out nearly up-to-the-minute information on accidents, construction and traffic speeds.
Sun, 19 Dec 2004 00:00:00 ESTIndexing Web pages looks like child's play next to indexing video files -- the next big frontier for Internet search engines. But they're giving it a try.
Sun, 12 Dec 2004 00:00:00 ESTWe need a search engine to find all the search engines. Two more Web-query services launched last week, Accoona and Blingo; their initial performance, however, suggests market leaders Google and Yahoo don't have reason to worry yet.
Sun, 05 Dec 2004 00:00:00 ESTMicrosoft Corp. made a belated entrance into the "blogosphere" Thursday, unveiling a free Web-log publishing service one day after Merriam-Webster Inc. proclaimed "blog" the word of the year.
Sun, 28 Nov 2004 00:00:00 ESTWeatherBug wants to make meteorologists out of its users. The Internet weather service based in Gaithersburg has begun selling sensors that can turn anyone's back yard into a Web-connected weather station.
Sun, 21 Nov 2004 00:00:00 ESTA locally focused Web marketplace called LiveDeal made its official debut last week, offering "free for life" storefronts to sellers and the ability to list anything for sale or rent at no cost. The site (http://www.livedeal.com/) is one of many Internet ventures exploring new ways to make money from local commerce.
Sun, 14 Nov 2004 00:00:00 ESTGoogle engineers must have breathed a sigh of relief Thursday when rival Microsoft Corp. rolled out a new search engine that proved glitchy and failed to wow reviewers.
Sun, 07 Nov 2004 00:00:00 ESTNow you can check traffic conditions across the Washington region from your cell phone -- not by calling a friend already stuck in traffic, but by subscribing to a new video service that sends updates to any Internet-enabled phone.
Sun, 31 Oct 2004 00:00:00 EDTIt has come to this: Pop-up video attack ads on instant messaging software. The ads are part of a noticeable ramp-up in Internet political advertising that some Web sites report in the last days before Tuesday's election.
Sun, 24 Oct 2004 00:00:00 EDTInternet photo sites are scrambling to exploit the digital camera boom with new products and -- in some cases -- lower prices.
Sun, 17 Oct 2004 00:00:00 EDTTwo new Web services launched last week that aim to help people tap their friends for tips about where to eat, shop and play.