Article 43


Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Can NebuAd Survive

NebuAd Jettisons PR Firm, Employees

By Cade Metz
August 6, 2008

Now that Congress has PUT THE FREEZE on its stateside ISP partnerships, NebuAd is slimming down.

The Phorm-like behavioral ad targeter has jettisoned its PR agency, and sources tell us the company recently laid off a significant portion of its workforce.

Sources also say the company is considering the adoption of an advertising model that does not require the tracking of web surfers from inside ISPs.

A spokeswoman for the company has confirmed the layoffs, though she would not provide numbers. “We have made temporary adjustments in the headcount,” she told The Reg. But the company says it intends to move forward with its deep packet inspection technology, which monitors both the search and browsing activity of ISP users.

“Today, NebuAd employs about 60 employees, including many leading behavioral scientists and other advanced technology engineers. We have built a sophisticated behavioral targeting system and unique appliance technology, which provide value to the entire online advertising ecosystem. We intend to continue to develop and market our solutions.”

NebuAd maintains at least two offices: One in Silicon Valley, and another in London, and its web site still advertises a sales position in New York, where The Horn Group formerly handled its PR. The Horn Group’s Anthony Loredo, who spearheaded on the NebuAd account, told The Reg the two companies have parted ways.

Loredo was unaware of the layoffs, but rumors of cutbacks have been circulating since Congressman Ed Markey GRILLED NebuAd CEO Bob Dykes during a hearing of the House Subcommittee on Telecommunications and the Internet. Dated July 19, THIS BLOG POST from one of NebuAd’s ad partners mentions the downsizing.

Meanwhile, resumes from former NebuAd employees have turned up at the online job board

Ed Markey, chairman of the House Subcommittee on Telecommunications and the Internet, and other high-ranking Congressman have questioned whether NebuAd’s system runs afoul of the US Communications Act of 1934, the Cable Act of 1984, the Electronic Communications Privacy Act, and other wiretapping-related US statutes. The system does not require an opt-in.

While they investigate, Markey and crew have asked all American ISPs to at least delay their use of systems from NebuAd and similar ad targeters.


Posted by Elvis on 08/06/08 •
Section Privacy And Rights • Section Broadband Privacy
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Abandoned Bell Labs Could Make History Again


By Ian T. Shearn
The Star-Ledger
August 3, 2008

When it comes to scientific research, BELL LABORATORIES’ Holmdel campus remains one of the most famous addresses in the world.

This is where one of the most prolific technology innovators gave us cell phones, microwave ovens and the global wireless movement, arguably the most crucial communications development of the 20th century.

But these are different times.

Today, where Nobel laureates once advanced the debate over the formation of the universe, long vines stretch across the carpet in the building’s atrium and a sole security guard walks around puddles of water when doing his rounds.

Bell Labs’ big bang has been reduced to a stifled whimper.

Last year, a plan to demolish most of the mammoth structure and replace it with smaller office buildings and single-family homes on the 472-acre site in Monmouth County was introduced and soon abandoned under a wave of protest.

But now, Bell Labs, the once-magnificent campus considered too inflexible, too immured and too grand to save, has received a stay of execution and, if a new developer has his way, a second life.

Abandoned for more than a year and slipping into disrepair, the 2-million-square-foot building has a new suitor in Somerset Development, a Lakewood firm that wants to keep the architectural gem standing and convert it into its own self-contained village, The Star-Ledger has learned.

“I don’t go around preserving architectural wonders,” Somerset president Ralph Zucker said in an interview last week. “But when I find an architectural wonder, and I can turn it into a great place, that’s what we’re all about.”

Zucker is well aware that the structure itself has attracted almost as much acclaim as the historic advances made there.

Designed by renowned Finnish architect Eero Saarinen, who also created the Gateway Arch in St. Louis and the TWA terminal at JFK International Airport, Bell Labs was the world’s first mirrored building. Erected in 1962 and expanded in 1966 and 1982, it has been the subject of architectural study in universities around the world.

But its purpose has lapsed in the rapidly shifting world of science, technology and commerce.

Zucker’s new, and still forming, plan would keep the building essentially as is, but modified to accommodate retail on the ground floor, with condos, apartments and office space above.

Mary Ward, spokeswoman for Alcatel-Lucent, which owns the property, confirmed that a contract has been signed with Somerset, but said she was not at liberty to discuss particulars.

Somerset came to terms in recent months to purchase the building after a contract with another developer, Preferred Real Estate Investments, fell through late last year. Preferred had proposed demolishing most of the landmark edifice, and building smaller office buildings and houses on the 472-acre site.

That notion triggered immediate protest from a variety of interests. It prompted letters from more than 100 members of the National Academy of Sciences, among them a dozen Nobel laureates. Soon, a high-octane coalition of historic preservationists, conservationists and architects joined forces to save the imposing edifice, along with its history and acclaimed architecture.
On Wednesday, Zucker sat down with a key member of the coalition—Michael Califati, chairman of historic resources committee of the New Jersey Chapter of the American Institute of Architects—to exchange ideas. Each man said he left the meeting encouraged.

“Their thinking is in line with our thinking, and actually influenced our thinking,” Zucker said. And while preservationists and developers often collide, he said, “In this case, our interests are aligned.”

Califati’s take on the sitdown was similar, though a bit more guarded.

“It went well. We’re pursuing parallel tracks,” he said. “But the devil is in the details. I want to see what they’re proposing.”


Posted by Elvis on 08/06/08 •
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