Remote jobs a refuge for workers in crisis-hit economies

A quarterly report from Elance indicates that with the lengthy economic crisis in Europe showing no signs of coming to a happy conclusion, workers in troubled countries are increasingly turning to remote work as an alternative to finding jobs in their stressed home economies.

YouTube’s AdWords-Like Product Now Part of AdWords

YouTube (s GOOG) this morning said it is making its “Promoted Videos” advertising product available through Google AdWords. “This integration will provide a single destination for your overall Google ad buy, and will give YouTube advertisers access to campaign tools in AdWords,” according to an emailed announcement.

Rather than contextual text advertising shown next to videos, Promoted Videos are contextual video advertising. Advertisers use them to drive views to their own videos amidst the crowd of content on YouTube.

YouTube first rolled out the program for search and then added Promoted Videos to its home page, video watch pages and the broader AdSense network.

YouTube — being characteristically vague with its stats — said clicks on promoted videos are up 500 percent since January, driving “millions of video views per week.” Alongside the launch, YouTube extended Promoted Videos from just the U.S. to Canada, the UK, France, Italy, Germany, Spain and the Netherlands.

Magma Finds Videos Before They Erupt


Magma, the viral video analytics startup brought to us by the folks behind Rocketboom, is still a bit raw around the edges. Its internal metrics system is a black box and the site has so many features it’s inscrutable. Magma wants to be a public analytics platform, a personal viral video collector, a Billboard chart, a social recommendations engine and a promotional tool for content producers. But it’s still very new, so we’ll give it some time.

For now, one feature I’m finding quite useful is Magma’s “Must Watch” section, which is also available as an embeddable widget (seen here). “Must Watch” highlights videos that have recently surfaced and are gaining steam on sites like Twitter, IceRocket and YouTube’s daily most popular list. Videos are assigned a “Magma score” (I don’t really get it, but higher is better), but more importantly, their view counts, comments and links are collected across multiple uploads and multiple sites, with the portion from the current day split out. Here‘s an example.

For Magma to really beat out competitors like Viral Video Chart it should do a better job of parsing and illustrating stats — after all, the data the site uses isn’t proprietary; the secret sauce is in combining it in a good UI. The company understands that and sent over a screenshot of its planned feature set. Still, what really matters is that each time I’ve checked Magma I’ve found something to watch that isn’t already overexposed.

Do You Do Web Work During Weekends?

I called one of my friends earlier this week and asked her if we could have lunch on Sunday. I was surprised that she said she couldn’t make it, since she had to work. “What kind of evil forces are making you do this?” I asked her. Then again, who was I kidding? I was planning to write a couple of blog posts on Sunday evening. Like my friend, I was going to work during the weekend.

As I reviewed my own work habits, as well as those of other web workers, it became evident that working during the weekends is becoming more common.
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Daily Sprout

Tesla Model S Factory Update: Tesla Motors said today it’s in “late-stage” negotiations for a soon-to-be named site where it will manufacture its long-promised Model S sedan. — San Francisco Business Times

LEED for Data Centers: A coalition of data center industry groups has released a draft of an energy efficiency standards for data centers in an effort to push the U.S. Green Building Council toward creating related guidelines in 2009. — Data Center Knowledge

Cap and Trade on the Move?: Promising to draft cap-and-trade legislation by the end of the year (possibly in a matter of weeks), Sen. Barbara Boxer has unveiled revealed a six-point list of familiar climate policy principles. — WSJ’s Environmental Capital

LED Market Looks Bright: The solid-state lighting will bring in more than $33 billion in revenue by 2013, with a compound annual growth rate of nearly 22 percent during the next four years, according to a new report from NextGen Research. — Press Release

Government Shutdown: In the current budget crunch, several states have considered following Utah’s switch to a four-day work week, potentially saving millions a year on state utility bills. — NYT’s Green Inc.

Daily Sprout

Make Way for Lemons: GM CFO Fritz Henderson says automakers still have a lot to learn about battery science, which means there are going to be some absolute lemons in the brave new world of electrical transport. — Telegraph

China, Europe, Come Together on Climate: Chinese Premier Wen Jiabau and EU officials today signed agreements meant to reduce demand for illegal timber and establish a permanent center in Beijing to promote clean energy technologies. — NYT’s Green Inc.

Big Three Nix Super Bowl Ad Blitz: Chrysler, Ford, and GM, which plugged its Yukon Hybrid during last year’s broadcast, have opted out of the pricey Super Bowl advertising game. — Edmunds

The Problems With Geo-Engineering: Two new studies on geo-engineering, which holds that humanity should consider planet-wide engineering projects to reduce the side-effects of fossil fuel combustion, suggest hopes for this high-tech last ditch effort are misplaced. — The Economist

Daily Sprout

Ausra Scales Back Solar Plans: Solar startup Ausra has abandoned plans to build massive solar-thermal power plants in favor of smaller, cheaper units because of a lack of financing. — CNET’s Green Tech

More Money, More Problems?: Congress plans to put $10 billion or more in economic stimulus funding into a DOE loan guarantee program that hasn’t backed any projects since it began in 2005. A DOE spokesperson said the program will move more quickly now that it has motivated administrators. — Bloomberg

Obama’s No Jimmy Carter: The new president keeps the Oval Office toasty enough to wear shirtsleeves, opting not to demonstrate energy conservation on the job. — NYT’s Green Inc.

High-Speed Rail Hops on the Fast Track: After languishing for years at the margins of federal policy, passenger rail projects are picking up speed as President Barack Obama joins states in calling for investment in rail infrastructure. — Wired’s Autopia

CIGS on the Rise: Research firm NanoMarkets projects CIGS-based thin film photovoltaics sales will reach $2.1 billion in 2016, up from $402.1 million expected in 2011. — PV Tech

Low Prices, Convergence Devices Dominate CES 2009

sony-webbie-mhs-pm1The poor economy dominated the scene at CES this year, and it led highly anxious exhibitors to highlight lower prices for gadgets like netbooks, cell phones, and A/V devices. The jittery economy is pushing consumers to look for value, and aggressive price points are the best way to coax them into spending their limited stash of cash. That said, lower prices don’t mean less interesting features. Almost all the relevant devices unveiled this year offer efficient, web-convergent services. Read More about Low Prices, Convergence Devices Dominate CES 2009

Even Bigger Nightmare On Tech Street

Updated: The technology sector, already rocked by the credit crunch and slowing global economies, is facing a bleak 2009, the impact of which is going to be felt across the entire ecosystem. From PC makers to chipmakers to chip equipment makers, almost everyone is bracing for a stomach-churning ride.

“The problem is three times worse than everybody thinks,” said Terry Gou, chairman of Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., a large Taiwan-based contract manufacturer. According to The Wall Street Journal, he is looking to cut jobs in his factories, most of them in mainland China. Read More about Even Bigger Nightmare On Tech Street

Even Silicon Valley Isn’t Shopping

[qi:011] For many Web 2.0 start-ups, build-it-to-flip-it has been a mantra of sorts, with most hoping to get big payouts when Google (s GOOG), Yahoo (s YHOO) or AOL (s TWX) cuts them a big check. Unfortunately, the credit crisis has turned those dreams into layaway plans. The 451 Group, a research firm, released an M&A report this morning that should give everyone a reality check. Read More about Even Silicon Valley Isn’t Shopping