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Republican Senate candidate Sharron Angle

Reading my column could save you a lot of money and headaches.

In my Aug. 23 Surfin’ Safari, I warned bloggers to beware of posting stories from any and all Stephens Media news outlets, publishers of over 70 newspapers in nine states. At the time, I wrote that military blogger Blackfive took action when he learned of lawsuits being brought by the Las Vegas-based legal wrangler Righthaven against bloggers reprinting Stephens Media copyrighted content.

Evidently candidate for U.S. Senate Sharron Angle didn’t read my column, because she has been caught in Righthaven’s net and is being sued for using content from the Las Vegas Review on her campaign website.

Righthaven tracks Internet traffic for copyright infringements of Review-Journal stories. It then buys the copyright for a story from the newspaper’s owner, Stephens Media LLC, and sues the alleged infringer.

Cue the music. I’m hearing the ominous theme from the movie “Jaws,” about a shark that terrorized everyone in the pool.

News aggregator Glenn Reynolds at Instapundit has a link to a Firefox plug-in to ensure that his readers don’t accidentally use content contained in Stephens Media.

Like having a personal assistant!

I opened my Gmail account the other day and noticed a new feature: Priority Inbox. Yay! I’ve been drowning in e-mails (564 unread at last count), and now Google has made it easier for me to manage them.

Priority Inbox is a housekeeping feature that divides your inbox into three sections: “important,” “starred” and “everything else.” It monitors your messages and sorts them based on a number of criteria, including how often you correspond with the sender, how often you read a message that contains certain keywords and whether the message is addressed just to you. The most pressing messages appear at the top of your screen, so you don’t miss them and can respond to them first.

Over time as you interact with the new system, it gets smarter, figuring out what’s important to you. That’s the good news.

The bad news? Consumer Watchdog, a public advocacy group has set up a special Google website to log and monitor “misdeeds” as Google tracks and collects data on us through our search history and browsing habits.

Consumer Watchdog is also playing ads on a JumboTron in New York’s Times Square to “make the public aware of how out of touch Schmidt and Google are when it comes to our privacy rights.”

“Google knows more about us than most government agencies,” Consumer Watchdog warns.

See the Jumbo ad here.

Is Google manipulating search engine results?

Texas’ attorney general thinks so, and has opened an inquiry into whether Google is deliberately demoting the sites of its competition.

Looking for something?

Google’s new search page displays real-time results, making reports from Twitter and other sites searchable within seconds of being posted, giving you one place to find timely information about an earthquake or other major event that just happened.

Microsoft’s Bing.com/social already shows real-time results on a separate page.

Google’s location tool zeroes in on specific geographic areas allowing you to read tweets near you. You can follow the responses to tweets without having to click through a bunch of links. The tweets are organized from oldest to newest. For more, here’s the demo video.

YouTube violates copyright

A Hamburg state court in Germany has ruled that Google’s YouTube must pay compensation after users violated copyright laws by uploading several videos of performances by singer Sarah Brightman.

The court said the standardized question to users about whether they have the necessary rights to publish material is not enough to relieve YouTube of the legal responsibility for the content, especially because the platform can be used anonymously.

Streaming TV

What can stream movies, music and photos from computers on the network? Or bring you programming content from iOS (operating system) devices such as the iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch? And access online content from Flickr, YouTube and Netflix all for under a dollar a program? APPLE TV.

Tip of the hat again goes to Glenn Reynolds, who caught this one on the fly for his readers at Instapundit. Reynolds hosts his own online program at Pajamas Media TV, one of the earliest online content providers.

“It’s what’s RIGHT with the world”

Watch for actor Kelsey Grammer’s RIGHTNETWORK to launch its multi-platform capability through television, web and mobile this week too.

RIGHTNETWORK, an independently-owned media company, launches on television, web and mobile Sept. 8. Brains behind RIGHTNETWORK are Grammer and entrepreneur David Jaget, who say RIGHTNETWORK will “entertain, engage and enlighten Americans who are looking for content that reflects and reinforces their perspective and worldview.”

RIGHTNETWORK will be accessible anywhere, anytime, from every device.

As Jaget says, “It’s what’s ‘RIGHT’ with the world!”

Google goes Hollywood

The Google Beat, a weekly 90-second program on YouTube (which is owned by Google) launched last month.

According to Financial Times, Google is in talks with Hollywood studios over the venture, and the plan is to launch a world-wide service in 2010.

Google has been promoting its move into video-on-demand for movie content for some time, and it’s reported the studios like what they see. Google’s been working on the service for several months and is already offering some movies for rental on YouTube, although they’re B-list selections.

Apple bites into Tinseltown too

Rumor has it that Apple also is getting into the video-on-demand market for movies and TV.

And Netflix also is amping up its streaming catalog through studio deals.

Open up!

Google and Skype were in India’s crosshairs last week when both came under fire in a telecom security crackdown. Why? Because while battling insurgencies, India’s security forces want the telecoms to give them the capability to monitor their data.

Google uses powerful encryption technology for its Gmail email service. Skype, a Voice-Over-Internet-Protocol (VOIP) technology that sends calls over the Internet, is particularly troublesome for India’s intelligence services. Blackberry not so much.

“All of them will be asked to comply with the directive or else they will have to close down their networks,” said a senior official.

Censored

Craigslist made news with a legal fight over erotic ads posted on its website. In legal action brought by a group of state attorneys general, Craigslist shuttered its adult services section. Readers will now find a black bar that reads “censored.”

Attention Tweeters!

Twitter’s evolving eco-system: Twitter engineers say that in the coming weeks, they’ll be making important updates that will impact how you interact with the more than 250,000 Twitter applications built using the Twitter API.

Begun Aug. 31, all apps will be required to use “OAuth” to access your Twitter account. OAuth enables apps to access Twitter on your behalf with your approval without asking you directly for your password.

Up, Up, and Away!

Aerospace buffs will love this. Nearly 200 amazing NASA pictures documenting more than half a century are now posted on photo-sharing website Flickr. And more are being added. What’s even neater is you can add tags or keywords to the images to identify objects and people.

There are three sets:

Buckle up

A belt-buckle sized nano. It’s Apple’s tiniest iPod-like device. It’s a clock. It’s a music player, a calendar, comes with a clip you can clip to your pants, it’s another step into the touch screen family.

They’ve got you figured

Why your social networking data is so valuable: They read your mind.

Online stalking

Facebook is currently testing a new feature that makes online stalking easier than ever.

How does it do it? The new feature lets you subscribe to all the actions of a specific user, notifying you anytime a specific user takes an action on Facebook.

But don’t sweat the stalk stuff. Twitter’s already doing it.

Through the rearview mirror

2001: U.S. rocked by day of terror; declares war on terror

2005: Last Israeli troops leave Gaza

1940: London blitzed by German bombers

1943: Italy’s surrender announced

1970: Hundreds held in series of hijacks

1972: Olympic hostages killed in gun battle

1976: Chairman Mao Zedong dies

1997: Diana’s funeral watched by millions

Now playing at the Princess in Urbana, Ill.

Congratulations to WorldNetDaily readers Anthony Osuna of Calif. and Russ Dobbyn, Miss., who were among the first to correctly guess actor Russell Crowe in his portrayal of John Nash in the 2001 movie “A Beautiful Mind” (trailer).

Directed by Ron Howard, “A Beautiful Mind” won four Oscars. Earning 27 wins and 49 nominations, the story tells of the meteoric rise of John Forbes Nash Jr., a math prodigy able to solve problems that baffled the greatest of minds, and how he overcame years of suffering through schizophrenia to win the Nobel Prize.

The quote was: “Despite my privileged upbringing, I’m actually quite well-balanced. I have a chip on both shoulders.”

This week’s movie trivia quote: “No thinking – that comes later. You must write your first draft with your heart. You rewrite with your head. The first key to writing is … to write, not to think!”

Name the movie, the actor and the character. Send your answer to me at the email address below. Good luck!

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