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Today in Most Innovative Companies

News of note from our Most Innovative Companies, including Hulu, Facebook, IBM, and Microsoft.

Web MD

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Hulu: Researchers at comScore told audiences today that Hulu viewers would welcome extra advertisements interrupting their television shows. On average, Hulu displays four minutes of commercials per hour of video. ComScore discovered that users would actually tolerate two to three additional minutes of advertisements. Thanks, comScore poll-takers.

Facebook: Sure, you thought you were safe poking people on Facebook and surreptitiously surfing through photo albums of incoming freshman. But not anymore. Now you can catch syphillis on the social network–at least according to a public health director in the U.K., who says that incidents of the virus have increased by a factor of four since Facebook’s rise in popularity. The reason? Facebooky love-connections make it easier for users to meet and engage in sexual activity. Wait, you can only catch STDs from actual sexual activity and not online interraction? Phew–keep reading!

IBM: How many commercials have you seen for IBM’s Smarter Planet? Too many, right? I’m convinced IBM’s main contribution to making the planet smarter is hiring German doctors to make the ad-campaign sound successful (“Vee ville make zee planet svarter“). But now it looks like some of those ideas are coming into fruition. Today, IBM announced their first Smarter Cities Technology Centre, which will open in Dublin after an investment of 66 million euros. What’s the centre for? Likely a production studio for IBM’s Smarter Cities ad-campaign.

Microsoft: Today, Xbox Live introduced its “Game Room,” a space for 360-users to play their favorite arcade game classics, and compete against other Live players. Typical of Microsoft’s success with product roll-outs (see Windows Vista), the service quickly ran into trouble and has faced complaints across the Xbox universe. “Yeah, being stuck at a loading screen sucks,” user Modemman11 wrote. “Things like this make me wonder if the devs even bothered to actually test the thing before release, or just looked over the code for errors.” Steve Ballmer has yet to respond.

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About the author

Austin Carr writes about design and technology for Fast Company magazine.

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