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CBS to Pit TV.com vs. Hulu: MediaBytes with Shelly Palmer December 16, 2008

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CBS will re-launch TV.com to compete with Hulu. Originally the domain, secured in its $1.85 billion acquisition of CNet, was more of a "water cooler site" rather than an online video or IPTV destination. CBS head Les Moonves is excited, noting "we think TV.com will become the destination, or certainly one of the leading destinations, for anybody who wants to watch TV shows or have a community around TV shows, see clips, play games, etc."

Facebook is getting an honest valuation of approximately $2 billion. Last fall the social network was valued at the absurd price of $15 billion. While Facebook is not publicly traded, the casual market for shares values each between $2.50-$4.00.

Users of Internet Explorer, the world's most popular web browser, may be susceptible to having their machines hacked through a security flaw in the browser. As many as 10,000 sites have been hacked to include programming which allows hackers to steal passwords, among other things. While most of the sites hacked with bogus-code are Chinese, an analyst noted that economically minded hackers could easily take advantage of this flaw, which has yet to have been fixed.

The CEO of National Lampoon, Daniel Laikin, was charged with conspiracy and securities fraud. According to reports, Laikin paid a stock promoter to help increase the value of National Lampoon. The goal was to increase shares , valued at $1.87 in March, to between $2.50-$5.00, which would've increased Laikin's share to roughly $15 million.

Plus, today's consulting question, "Mac sales are down for the month, is this cause for concern?" Shelly has the answer on today's MediaBytes.

Shelly Palmer is a consultant and the host of MediaBytes a daily show featuring news you can use about technology, media & entertainment. He is Managing Director of Advanced Media Ventures Group LLC and the author of Television Disrupted: The Transition from Network to Networked TV (2008, York House Press). Shelly is also President of the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, NY (the organization that bestows the coveted Emmy® Awards). You can join the MediaBytes mailing list here. Shelly can be reached at shelly@palmer.net