Home Weekly Wrapup, 13-17 August 2007

Weekly Wrapup, 13-17 August 2007

Here is a summary of the week’s Web Tech action on Read/WriteWeb. Note that you can subscribe to the Weekly Wrapups, either via the special RSS feed or by email.


The latter part of this week was dominated by the major outage suffered by popular VoIP product Skype.

Also this week eBay stepped up its attack on the online classifieds market in the US, by rolling its UK subsidiary Gumtree to three US cities – Boston, New York, and Chicago. Gumtree is the most popular classifieds site in England, and is popular in other European countries and Australia, serving 500,000 new ads every month. This move follows the launch into the US market last month of eBay’s popular overseas classifieds service Kijiji. Note that eBay owns 25% of craigslist!

This week Google introduced embeddable maps and added Sun’s Web Office suite StarOffice to Google Pack. In related news, there were rumors of a Web Office offering from Adobe. Google also partnered with Universal Music to sell DRM-free music. Speaking of Universal, they were a factor in the demise of online video site Bolt.com, which shut its website this week after settling a lawsuit with Universal in March. It’s bit of a sad story, because online video copyright only became an issue after Google acquired YouTube. But it seems that Bolt.com didn’t have deep enough pockets to survive.

Also this week Microsoft unveiled some updates to Windows Live Hotmail, which were at the same time an indication of how Windows Live is progressing. The answer? Slowly getting there, but still a lot of work to do.

Finally, some extra tidbits: Facebook is now offering RSS feeds and opened an iPhone version of their site, there was a sighting of Google Health screenshots, PubSub is back, and Yahoo Local got a makeover. You can follow all the latest Web Tech news on our new links blog, called (funnily enough) Web Tech News.

Read/WriteWeb Files

This week Read/WriteWeb featured a series of posts about Online Music. We started by identifying three main eras in online music so far:

1. P2P systems such as Napster and Kazaa;

2. iPod and iTunes;

3. Streaming music over the Internet, such as last.fm and Pandora.

We also ran a poll, asking what your favorite online music streaming service is. More on that at the end of the Wrapup. Our coverage this week:

Web Products

This week’s Web Product of the Week is BuiltWith.com, a Technology Profiler. Josh Catone reviewed it for R/WW and called it “an interesting site that reveals the behind the scenes technology that powers any web site.” Unlike statistics websites such Popuri, said Josh, BuiltWith.com is not concerned with how many visits a page gets or its Google PageRank (though it does include very rudimentary statistics estimates from Compete). Instead, it peers under the hood to see what sort of technology is being used in the creation and delivery of the web site.

Other startups we profiled this week (apart from the online music ones noted above):


This week Alex Iskold took a hard look at an issue that has been bothering many blogs and readers lately: How JavaScript is Slowing Down the Web (And What To Do About It). A single line of JavaScript is what powers a lot of blogging technologies these days, wrote Alex. Widgets, sharing tools, visitors tracking, advertisers. In many cases a single line of JavaScript is all that a blogger needs to add a new technology to their blog. The problem is what happens when a lot of these single lines of JavaScript come together. Check out the comments for some informative discussion on this vexing issue.

Other analysis posts this week:

R/WW Network Blogs

Our Digital Lifestyle blog last100 has a Weekly Wrapup too. In a great post titled ‘Microsoft Points – what‚Äôs next for the company‚Äôs virtual currency?‘, Mack D. Male examined Microsoft’s virtual currency strategy, which currently exists as part of Xbox Live Marketplace and the Zune Marketplace. But will that always be the case or could Microsoft have bigger things in mind for their points system? last100 also published a first look at YouTube Desktop, which aims to bring a desktop application experience to navigating and viewing YouTube videos through a web browser.

Over on AltSearchEngines, featured posts include a Great Debate on social search, more on music search engines (focusing on concerts and tickets), and plenty of reviews of Alt Search Engines.


Our poll this week asked: What is your favorite online music streaming service? Here are the results:

last.fm 32% (239 votes)

Pandora 30% (222 votes)

Other (please comment) 10% (77 votes)

Yahoo Music 9% (67 votes)

iTunes Music Service 7% (55 votes)

Rhapsody 4% (27 votes)

FineTune 2% (16 votes)

Live365 2% (13 votes)

Napster (the latest version) 1% (8 votes)

AOL Music 1% (6 votes)

Slacker 1% (6 votes)

Zune Marketplace 1% (4 votes)

Mogg 1% (4 votes)

MSN Music 0% (1 votes)

iJigg 0% (0 votes)

It was a very close race between last.fm and Pandora, but last.fm pipped their rival in the end. It’s possible this had something to do with Pandora not currently being available outside the US, but then again in my own tests I concluded that last.fm was slightly better anyway.

That’s a wrap for another week! Enjoy your weekend everyone.

About ReadWrite’s Editorial Process

The ReadWrite Editorial policy involves closely monitoring the tech industry for major developments, new product launches, AI breakthroughs, video game releases and other newsworthy events. Editors assign relevant stories to staff writers or freelance contributors with expertise in each particular topic area. Before publication, articles go through a rigorous round of editing for accuracy, clarity, and to ensure adherence to ReadWrite's style guidelines.

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