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September 26, 2005

“Trust, But Verify”

Thanks, Ronnie for the words of wisdom.

I wonder if our former president would have ever fathomed that $11.7 billion would be lost to fraud among online adults in the year ending April 2004 (according to Gartner Group) or that 60% of the sites claiming to offer help to Katrina victims were likely bogus (according to the FBI). It's no wonder so many Internet users avoid online transactions because they are afraid of getting ripped off or nervous about their financial information being stolen.

Trust, but verify: I think this is exactly what GeoTrust had in mind when they introduced their new TrustWatch Search today.

Powered by Ask Jeeves algorithmic search technology, the new service is designed to combat web-based fraud, identity theft and phishing scams. Users simply type queries into the search box at www.trustwatch.com and view easily understood green, yellow and red verification symbols beside each search result that represent the web site's trustworthiness rating.

For example, users wanting to donate money for tsunami relief can type "Tsunami Relief Organizations" directly into the TrustWatch search box. The Ask Jeeves search engine will return relevant search results based on each site's authority on that specific topic, including redcross.org, usaid.gov, directrelief.org and americares.org. Each result will also appear with the TrustWatch rating prominently displayed, so users can quickly select trustworthy sites and donate with confidence.

Screenshot of  TrustWatch - Tsunami relief organizations search

I really like the service. Give it a try.

Patrick Crisp, Corporate Communications

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September 22, 2005

We the Bloggers...

Blogs have given individuals of any and every background the ability to freely speak their minds and share information with anyone who chooses to read it, at any time they wish to do so. Bloglines was created for people as a window to access this world of dynamic content and a way to participate in its creation. We believe blogs have helped enable an open exchange of information that has never before been possible. As some of you may have heard, the Federal Election Commission (FEC) is reviewing its regulations concerning political speech on the Internet, including blog activity. Bloglines is committed to the continuation of open exchanges of information and opinions throughout the blogosphere and the Internet in general. Today, the Committee on House Administration is having a hearing on this issue. In the spirit of these beliefs, I have provided the Committee with the following statement. We encourage you to express your opinion on this matter in any forum you choose.

Mark Fletcher and the Bloglines team

Statement by Mark Fletcher
Founder, Vice President and General Manager of Bloglines
Regulation of Political Speech on the Internet
Before the
Committee on House Administration
U.S. House of Representatives
September 22, 2005

Chairman Ney and Members of the Committee:

     On behalf of Bloglines and our users, I am pleased to provide the following statement concerning regulation of political speech on the Internet. Bloglines, founded in 2003, is a free online service for searching, subscribing, creating and sharing news feeds, blogs and rich web content. The company is a property of Ask Jeeves, Inc., a wholly-owned business of IAC/InterActiveCorp, and is headquartered in the San Francisco Bay Area.

     We believe it’s critical for us to speak out on behalf of individual bloggers who, while empowered by the Internet, have a limited capacity to carry messages to Congress. We commend you and the Committee for convening this hearing and focusing needed attention on this issue.

     We urge Congress and the FEC to ensure that the Internet, particularly blog activity, remains free from campaign finance regulation. While regulation of campaign financing plays an important role in maintaining public confidence in our political system, we believe the significant public policy interests in encouraging the Internet as a forum for free or low-cost speech and open information exchange should stand paramount.

     Linking to campaign websites, quoting from or republishing campaign materials and even providing a link for donations to a candidate, if done without compensation, should not result in a blog being deemed to have made a contribution to a campaign or trigger reporting requirements.

     Blogs permit the expression of and access to a diversity of political opinions and other information on a scale never before seen.  This speech must remain free and not be discouraged by burdensome regulation.  As such, it should be explicit that the activities of bloggers are covered by the press exemption of Sections 100.73 and 100.132.

     Should the FEC fail to provide this critical protection to Internet activity, or if courts determine the Commission lacks statutory authority, we urge Congress to promptly move legislation to achieve the goal. Thank you for this opportunity to share our comments on this important issue.

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September 19, 2005

Talk Like A Pirate Day

Talk Like A Pirate Day

Today be a very important day in modern society where we collectively celebrate t' traditions o' t' sea by speakin' totally within t' character o' a pirate.  Resistance be futile. Abandon thy hope and submit t' this glorious freedom o' pirate speak all day long.

Capt. Jeeves

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September 14, 2005

Compare. Contrast. Repeat.

ask.gifts.com smart answer

Compare prices, buy a product. That’s so 2004…

We already know that online shopping is not just about comparing products - things like reading reviews and finding product specs are just as important.  We are therefore always looking for new functionality to help users research products and get new ideas.

Today, we launched a new feature built through a partnership with the latest IAC venture: Gifts.com. This functionality has been integrated into our Smart Answers contextual search units, providing users with a shortcut to find the perfect gift.

Rather than using price and product features as the primary purchasing criteria, this feature enables users to intuitively search for gifts using a wide range of personal criteria, including price, gift occasion, recipient interests, age and gender.  In response, we’ll provide a range of gift ideas, from consumer electronics to travel adventures and spa getaways. 

Give it a try and let us know what you think!

Young Mi Chun

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Opinions expressed here and in any corresponding comments are the personal opinions of the original authors, not of IAC Search & Media and may not have been reviewed in advance.

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