Buzz Out Loud 799: Pop a cap in your usage

Comcast comes clean with its bandwidth cap: it's coming, it's coming in October, it's 250GB, and they won't give you any tools for monitoring their use, and if you exceed your cap twice, you get the boot for a year. So, we have a little fun with that. Also, a little fun with IE 8 Beta 2 bugs, the lack of Kindle this year, and the pseudo-alphabetical distribution of spam. Listen now: Download today's podcast EPISODE 799

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Yahoo Mash: When getting social isn't enough

Let's hope Yahoo has finally learned that the maxim "If you build it, they will come" simply does not apply to a social network.

The Silicon Valley mainstay and onetime Microsoft shopping-spree target is quietly shutting down Yahoo Mash, its latest foray into creating a general-interest social network like a Facebook or MySpace.

It's the latest social-networking failure for Yahoo, which was unable to get its earlier "Yahoo 360" network off the ground, and once attempted to purchase Facebook, only to have its billion-dollar offer turned down.

Mash was cute, with a slick interface, … Read more

Yahoo Mash gets smashed, bashed, quashed

File this one under the "ouch" category. Yahoo is shutting down its social-networking experiment, Yahoo Mash, after only a year in business.

An e-mail to Mash members from Yahoo community manager Matt Warburton read, "Thank you for trying out our Mash Beta service. We hope you had fun with it. Please note that we will shut down Mash on September 29, 2008. As a result, your current profile on Mash will no longer be available."

Mash didn't really offer anything new, other than the fact that instead of inviting friends you created profiles for them … Read more

Intel Mash Maker: Mash-ups for the masses

Intel wants to make the whole Web editable, just like a single Wikipedia page.

The chip giant on Tuesday will make a beta available of Intel Mash Maker, a free browser extension that allows users to modify Web pages and combine information from different sources. Its first beta works with Firefox 3 and Internet Explorer 7, though at this point the features are far more mature in Firefox, Intel said.

The product, which originated in Intel's research labs, is similar to existing mash-up tools like Yahoo Pipes and Microsoft Popfly in that it has a graphical design tool.

What's different is that the actual mashing up of information on Intel Mash Maker happens on the client, rather than the server. So instead of making a different Web application to, say, plot real estate listings on Google Maps, Intel Mash Maker lets people add a widget that adds visualization to the real estate listing site.

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ThisIsMyJam offers intelligent mash-up creation

Most of us remember mix tapes as those carefully curated cassettes that collected our favorite music together into one 90-minute playlist. Ask a DJ about mix tapes, however, and you'll hear about a whole other side to the art, involving matched beats, seamless crossfades, and other nuances of literally mixing music together. If you're looking for an alternative to mix tape sites such as Muxtape and Mixwit, ThisIsMyJam offers people a way to create mix tapes that emphasize the science of blending songs together.

Based off of the Musical Brain API, ThisIsMyJam allows you to create interwoven music … Read more

IBM touts Web 2.0 cred with Lotus Mashups

At its annual Lotusphere conference, IBM on Wednesday showed off an early version of Lotus Mashups, a tool designed to let businesspeople, rather than professional programmers, quickly assemble Web applications.

The application will let people combine, or mash up, data from enterprise applications and the Web. It uses a browser-based visual tool and a set of pre-built widgets for displaying information.

It is scheduled to be released in the middle of this year.

IBM has been pursuing the idea of giving end users in businesses powerful enough tools to build their own applications.

These Web applications may be relatively simple … Read more

Are you a passionate worker...?

...or just a workaholic?

In a poignant post, Seth Godin explains the difference:

"A workaholic lives on fear. It's fear that drives him to show up all the time. The best defense, apparently, is a good attendance record.

A new class of jobs (and workers) is creating a different sort of worker, though. This is the person who works out of passion and curiosity, not fear.

The passionate worker doesn't show up because she's afraid of getting in trouble, she shows up because it's a hobby that pays. The passionate worker is busy blogging on … Read more

SmashMash: Uber online media editor

SmashMash is a new multifaceted visual editor. It can add motion to still photos, create slide shows, and edit videos and audio. A hybrid app (it can work inside a browser but uses a large plug-in), SmashMash is impressive for its capabilities, although in this early beta stage it's hard to actually make attractive content with it, and it's a bit buggy.

But it's got amazing potential. Just messing around? Take your still photos of people, make their lips move (see also Blabberize), and put words in their mouths. Or take a bunch of slides and create … Read more

Yahoo-owned MingleNow closing up shop

MingleNow, one of the first few social networks to promote companies making their own social networking profiles, will be closing up its doors in early January. We wrote about the company at its late-2006 launch, and from the looks of site activity, things appeared to be doing reasonably well. While the company's blog post about the closure is ambiguous at best, a good guess would be that Yahoo (parent company of BlueLithium Labs) did not see much worth in maintaining a social network that directly competed with at least four of its other properties including Upcoming, Flickr, Mash, and … Read more

Microsoft opens beta of Popfly mashup builder

Microsoft started an open beta program for its consumer-oriented mashup builder Popfly on Thursday at the Web 2.0 Summit in San Francisco.

Popfly is a hosted application that enables people to assemble mashups by dragging and dropping components, rather than writing code. It's built with Microsoft's Silverlight Web browser plug-in.

When Microsoft released the alpha in May, it had prebuilt "blocks," or connections, to popular Web sites Flickr and MySpace.

Now it integrates with Facebook and people can create gadgets (also called widgets) that run on Windows Vista or Windows Live.

There are a growing … Read more