1. Google News
In a surprise announcement , Google has acquired ITA. ITA was one of favorite tech companies and the fantastic work they do in a messy industry is just amazing. It is interesting to see what impact it will have on Kayak, Bing etc. More details are at Taking off with ITA .
Google News site has been refreshed to make it more personal. I have tweaked my settings, but I am yet to see a big qualitative change in the content. Details are at : Google News redesigned to be more customizable and shareable.
Google to Add Pay to Cover a Tax for Same-Sex Benefit – It is little nice gestures like these that make you feel Google is still (if only marginally) a different company 🙂 Also , Google is doing some work in Social Search by adding Google Buzz to the mix. I tried some sample searches but felt, they did not fully figure out my social circle’s content. You can read more at Google Social Search, Now With Google Buzz .
2. Woot’s Deal Of The Day: Woot! — Amazon Buys It. Price? $110 Million
Woot is a company with a very interesting business model and a very different culture. And in an interesting news, Amazon has acquired Woot – I am not sure what Amazon gets from the deal. Read the email sent by Woot CEO to his employees – very funny and well written.
3. Windows Live
I think, Microsoft is doing some credible stuff with Windows Live. They refreshed Hotmail recently, introduce Wave 4 and lot of other interesting changes. Is Windows Live Delivering What Google Buzz Promised discusses some thing I have been mulling. Is everyone fixated on Facebook – Google that they are ignoring Microsoft ? Windows Live has some very neat features like Activity Streams , Aggregators etc that let you interact with other social networks and communication systems from within Live.
You may also want to read Windows Live, Twitter and Social Network Interoperability for additional details.
4. e-book wars
An thoughtful post by Rakesh Vohra. It mostly deals with basic ideas and formulation. It should be very interesting to have a game theoretic model of this market. Let us see how the discourse develops.
5. Chrome Nanny Blocks Time-Consuming Sites to Keep You Productive
Shameless plug. Looks like my Chrome extension has been LifeHackered 😉 The immediate impact is amazing – The number of users doubled almost overnight. And there were hundreds of tweets and retweets. The influence of Life Hacker is amazing 🙂