iFive: Digital Blindness Cure, Facebook Font Tweak, Aol Buying Ad Firm, James Bond Goes Digital, Facebookphone Rumors Abound

The GOP may have won the House but not the Senate but innovation is party-agnostic, and keeps spinning on anyway: Here’s the early news.

Among the tedious to-ing and fro-ing of yesterday’s election, one fact has shone true: Being a senior tech CEO doesn’t guarantee you a political career. Former HP boss Carly Fiorina and former CEO of eBay Meg Whitman, both Republicans, lost their battles for political power. Best stick to digital battles, hey?


1. German doctors today have announced a big breakthrough: They’ve successfully given sight to three people suffering from blindness. It’s via an advanced retinal implant, and it’s so clever it allows the three to walk around freely and even let one patient read letters–albeit big ones. Big implications for the hundreds of thousands of people suffering from some of the forms of blindness.

2. Facebook tried one of its habitual UI tweaks last night, adjusting the font size of its news feed downwards–presumably to get more data on each page viewed, and thus retain user attention. Characteristically it caused big fuss among Facebookers, who then used Twitter to voice their opinions on the matter. Looks like Facebook has a way to go before it can compete with Twitter’s real-time public-shared status skills.

3. Rumors are popping up ever faster that Aol is in the process of buying online ad firm Dotomi–a “retargeting” firm that could help Aol better place ads in front of its users, based on real-time data on user habits. Interestingly enough, Dotomi was founded by Yair Goldfinger–the chap also behind ICQ, which AOL bought back in 1998.

4. James Bond’s adventures are getting their e-book debut this week, and there’s a massive and important wrinkle: It’s not via 007’s decades-long publisher Penguin, because Penguin’s contract with Ian Fleming’s estate didn’t cover digital editions. Bond’s e-books are being seen as a test case that may shake up the publishing industry.

5. More and more excitement is building about Facebook’s event tomorrow…and the one thing everyone’s asking is: Will there be a Facebookphone? Expect a near fever-pitch of excitement about the matter online today. Probably more so on Twitter than Facebook… (a situation a Facebook smartphone may actually be designed to influence!).

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