Online talent contests

Unsigned bands to compete online. “Last.Fm, Skype, 7Digital and Bebo have joined forces to create an online talent contest, with the public voting for their favourite performers. “It’s a lot easier for bands to join online than it is to head down to London to audition and be humiliated,” said organiser John Leaver. Each vote will cost 80p, with the money donated to the Save the Children.”


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Public vs. private phone numbers

Here’s My Number (for Today). “Some people have found a way to avoid compromising the sanctity of their cellphone without committing the modern sin of being unreachable. Instead of giving out her cell number, Ms. McClain has recently been dispersing what has become known as a “social phone number.” This is a free number that is as disposable as a Hotmail address. A handful of Web sites are creating these mask numbers, which can be obtained in nearly every area code (users can either have a number in their own region, or make it look as if they have an office in New York City when they are actually operating out of rural Maine).”

New York Times

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Humming recognition

Nayio Humming Search tries to recognize tunes, doesn’t know the Beatles. “The idea is that if you hum a few bars into your computer via its online “Humming Search,” Nayio should be able to recognize the tune and then take you to Napster to buy it. However, one blogger, Rafe Needleman, says that his experience with the site isn’t so positive, given that it couldn’t recognize his humming of a Nirvana tune nor his Juliard-trained wife’s humming of the Beatles’ “Yellow Submarine.””


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Domain tasting

The Great Internet Brand Rip-Off. “A mid-December browse uncovers a constellation of Verizon-inspired domains such as,, and varizoncellularphone. What angers Deutsch is that none of the sites have anything to do with Verizon. Instead, they’re registered by companies like Nassau (Bahamas)-based Wan-Fu China and Pompano Beach (Fla.)-based They’re engaged in a little-known activity called “domain tasting,” a legal practice that lets registrars snatch up Internet domains for five days at no cost. Typically, these companies jam the borrowed Web sites full of ads and pull in money as visitors click on the ads. Because they can use the Web sites for no charge, these firms are registering mass quantities of domain names each day, getting under the skin of companies trying to protect their brands online.”
Business Week

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