First some numbers on the NYT deal, NYT deal makes sense but looks rich: "(MarketWatch) - The New York Times Co.'s $410 million buy of About.com is a good strategic move into a growing Internet advertising market, but analysts said the publishing company paid a high price. 'Positives of the deal include exposure to higher growth Internet business and a much more diverse advertising base, and a younger demographic,' Bear Stearns analysts said Friday morning. 'Negatives include the very high price of the deal. About.com, with about 22 million unique visitors each month, provides information on thousands of topics led by a network of 500 experts called 'guides.'
The About.com deal comes nearly one month after Dow Jones & Co. (DJ: news, chart, profile) completed its $528 million acquisition of MarketWatch Inc., the publisher of this report. Weeks earlier, Washington Post Co. (WPO: news, chart, profile) agreed to acquire the online magazine Slate."
The other great free services I use now come from Google after their purchase of the groups that developed the desktop search capability that I have bragged on in an earlier post and the purchase of Picasa which provides fantastic photograph editing (better than MSN's Photoshop 7 which costs $) and other web photo manipulation tools. You may download the latest versions of Picasa 2 and Hello from Picasa through Google.