Digital billboards are everywhere
Waiter! There's an ad in my PDF file! Yahoo! (NASDAQ:YHOO) and Adobe (NASDAQ:ADBE) announced that they would start serving Yahoo!'s targeted text ads alongside the PDF files viewed with Adobe's Acrobat or Reader programs.

Publishers would have to opt in for the service, with the ad revenue shared between the three parties.

Ads can be distracting, especially off to the side when reading a PDF file. However, how much free digital content would exist without a way to monetize it? There could be far worse additions to PDFs than text ads from Yahoo! Don't tell me you'd prefer an annoying rich-media spot instead?

The next time you're basking in free access to someone else's work -- like this article, perhaps -- look around. Thank a sponsor!

In brief
It was a busy week, so let's dip briefly into a few of the intriguing financial headlines.

  • Was there a telethon to raise money for out-of-sync lenders that I didn't hear about? E*Trade (NASDAQ:ETFC) was a big winner this past week, securing a deal to infuse $2.55 billion into the company while shaking off its troublesome asset-backed portfolio. Remember, Countrywide (NYSE:CFC) got bailed out a few months earlier.
  •  I may have been premature in blasting Cyber Monday as a joke. The day turned out to be a monster one for online retailers. Still, I was partly vindicated by the comScore data. The Monday after Thanksgiving was strong, but healthier percentage gains in online sales took place on Thanksgiving Thursday itself, and the following Friday (as I had predicted).

    Either way, it's a strong start for online retail. That's great news for online leaders like Amazon.com (NASDAQ:AMZN) and Overstock.com (NASDAQ:OSTK), but also for bricks-and-mortar chains like Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT) that are taking bigger stands in cyberspace. Let's hope those virtual parking lots don't get as crowded as the real ones at the mall.

Until next week, I remain,
Rick Munarriz

Amazon.com and Yahoo! are Motley Fool Stock Advisor newsletter selections. Wal-Mart is an Inside Value recommendation. Subscribe to either service and take advantage of a 30-day money-back offer.

Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz recommends windshield wiper fluid when trying to look back. He is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early. He does not own shares in any of the companies in this story. The Fool has a disclosure policy.