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Archive for Services

Google adds IMAP support to Gmail

Posted in Gmail,Google,News,Services by Darrin Olson on October 24th, 2007

Matthew Glotzbach from Google announces that Gmail will now support IMAPGoogle announced today at Interop New York that Gmail will now support IMAP along with POP3 for synchronizing email across multiple mobile devices and computers. This new addition to the popular free email service allows users to download and organize emails on any one interface including online, through their mobile device or on their computer and instantly see the changes on the other interfaces.

IMAP is not a new technology but is new and a welcomed upgrade to Gmail. The IMAP support was presented by Matthew Glotzbach, product management director for Google Enterprise who announced users could begin using IMAP immediately, however according to the Gmail site Google will be rolling this out to everyone over the next few days, so if you don’t see it right away it’s probably coming to your account soon. Google has a video that describes how to configure your Gmail account to turn enable IMAP and how to configure your iPhone with the service which is available after the jump.

SanDisk unveils Fanfare video distribution beta

Posted in Digital Video,SanDisk,Services by Darrin Olson on October 22nd, 2007

SanDisk Fanfare, a video distribution online serviceAlong with SanDisk’s launch of the TakeTV video player today the company also unveiled a beta version of their new online video distribution platform called Fanfare. Fanfare not only works in conjunction with TakeTV to bring digital video content to your TV, the TakeTV device is actually required in order to take advantage of the Fanfare online service.

This beta version is intended for the US audience only at this time and is currently offering around 85 different titles of content from CBS, Jaman.com Inc., Showtime Networks, Smithsonian Networks, The Weather Channel and TV Guide Broadband. Titles currently include CSI, Survivor China, Dexter and Sleeper Cell but are expected to increase as the weeks and months progress, according to SanDisk. The company hopes to soon have thousands of hours of programming available soon, and expects that many current-season TV episodes could even be offered for free, supported by advertisements.

Hug Shirt sends love through your cellphone

Posted in Apparel,Services by Conner Flynn on October 18th, 2007

The hug shirt reproduces hugs electronically via your cellphone.Everybody needs a hug sometimes. Love makes the world go round after all. But in this high-tech digital age, we barely have time to eat, sleep and enjoy our favorite blogs. Needless to say, hugs have suffered. They don’t enjoy the same care free social prominence they once did. Somehow, hippies and teenage girls have gotten through these trying times of limited embrace. At last, they can rest easy.

Now you can buy yourself a hug shirt and reproduce hugs electronically via your cellphone. The designers at CuteCircuit actually held several hugging sessions in order to map out the most crucial hugging intensity points. As it turns out, those points include the upper arms, upper back, waistline, neck, shoulders, and hips. (NOT some of the areas that us guys like to think are included.)

Google buys Jaiku and gets even more social

Posted in Google,News,Services by Chetz on October 10th, 2007

Google buys Jaiku, a company that makes software for mobile phones to read feedsIn its latest acquisition the internet superpower company Google has purchased a Finnish startup called Jaiku for an undisclosed amount of money. Jaiku is a developer of a mobile phone application that allows users to read web feeds, send messages about where they currently are and even do blogging all on the go. Dubbed “microblogging” by industry analysists, this is the second social networking company that Google has bought out in as many months following the September purchase of Zingku.

In a release Google said this of their latest business decision: “We plan to use the ideas and technology behind Jaiku to make compelling and useful products. Although we don’t have definite plans to announce at this time, we’re excited about helping drive the next round of developments in web and mobile technology.”

Microsoft brings Office to the web

Posted in Microsoft,News,Services by Darrin Olson on October 1st, 2007

Microsoft launches Office Live Workspace allowing users to share office documents on the webToday Microsoft launched Office Live Workspace, a web-based service allowing users to share their Microsoft Office documents on the web. The new service allows users with an installed version of Office to upload as many as 1,000 documents to a place on the web were they can access it from different locations connected to the internet as well as share them with others.

Office Live Workspace, which is currently in beta and free to use after registering, saves the online documents in a secure environment where users can send invites to others who enter a password and view the documents. Users without Office installed on their computer can still log on and view documents online and even comment on them, but cannot edit them or add new documents.

MySpace unveils free mobile web service

Posted in MySpace,News,Services by Chris Weber on September 24th, 2007

MySpace mobile web service allows access and editing of MySpace profile while on the goFox Interactive Media (FIM) announced today that the popular MySpace social networking service has rolled out a free mobile version of its site available for use through mobile phone browsers while on the go. The new service is currently in beta with a wider rollout panned for the coming months with plans to show ads on the site to support the free service for consumers.

FIM is working with Millennial Media to sell and serve the mobile ads and have given the mobile version of the site a significantly different look and feel which supports showing the ads and makes navigation easier on the site through a mobile browser. With the newly designed service, users will still have quite a bit of functionality to their online MySpace profiles. MySpace users will be able to send and receive messages and friend requests, add comments, post bulletins, update blogs, find and search for friends and view or change mood status all through the mobile version of the site.

NBC offering free episode downloads

Posted in Digital Video,NBC,News,Services by Chris Weber on September 20th, 2007

NBC will offer free downloads of its popular episodes on NBC Direct for a week after it airsNBC has announced that they will be offering free downloads of the popular television episodes through a new service of their own called “NBC Direct”. This move is part of NBC’s overall plan to expand the digital distribution of its programs with the ability to set their own price and provides further competition for its former partner iTunes.

There are a few small caveats with the new service, however. For one, the episodes can only be viewed on PC’s running Microsoft Windows (how interesting). They company says they have future plans that will allow the files to be played on portable devices and eventually Mac’s, but not at this point. The files are also available for download only for the first 7 days after the episode has aired, and then will be removed. Also, you won’t be able to escape commercials with this offering. The downloaded episodes will contain advertising and you won’t be able to skip over them.

IBM Lotus Symphony – Office Competition For Free

Posted in IBM,News,Services,Software by Darrin Olson on September 19th, 2007

IBM Lotus Symphony is being offered online for free providing text document, spreadsheet and presentation editors.Microsoft has taken more than one significant hit this week by losing its antitrust ruling appeal in Europe on Monday and then finding out that IBM now also provides competitive software to their Office suite of products. What makes this even more concerning for Microsoft is that IBM is offering their tools for free.

Tuesday IBM launched Lotus Symphony, a collection of three office-minded, internet-based programs that are freely available on the web after registering. The programs, bearing the same name as IBM’s top commercial software, consist of Lotus Symphony Documents which is a word editor, Lotus Symphony Presentations as a slide show creating tool, and Lotus Symphony Spreadsheets. All the programs work with Windows and Linux operating systems, and IBM says they have a future version planned for Mac OSX. The trio of programs can export documents to PDF’s and support a multitude of file types including Word, Excel and Powerpoint files from Microsoft.

Yahoo Sends Out Mash Beta Invites

Posted in News,Services,Yahoo by Darrin Olson on September 17th, 2007

Yahoo Mash is rolled out in beta as a social networking toolYahoo has a new social networking site in the works called Mash, which is has similarities to popular sites such as MySpace or Facebook along with some “added twists” according to Will Aldrich, the team lead for Y! Mash.

Yahoo Mash is just in beta right now and is available by invite only but Will provided some scant information about the service along with letting us know that there are still some things in the works for the site. What seems to set Mash apart from the others mostly revolves around the ability for users to start and edit profiles of their friends.

I’m lovin’ it

Posted in Services by Chetz on September 14th, 2007

McDonalds partners with Telecom Korea to offer ordering food through mobile phonesWe all know that fast food is unhealthy for you but that isn’t stopping a lot of us from grabbing a quick burger and fries to go for a lunchtime treat. The one thing that could make it easier to swallow is not having to stand in line to grab your meal, which is something that McDonald’s is trying out in South Korea right now.

The burger giant has partnered with Telecom Korea on a new system that lets customers place their meal order via their mobile phone. Located at each table in the restaurant is a RFID reader and a menu with built-in RFID chips. The customer with the Big Mac attack then inserts the reader into their phone, looks at the menu, orders what they want and then the store will send back a phone message when your order is ready for pick-up. You don’t even need to worry about paying at the counter since the bill will appear on your phone statement.

Apple Launches iTunes Wi-Fi Music Store

Posted in Apple,iTunes,music,News,Services,Wi-Fi by Chris Weber on September 5th, 2007

Apple launches the iTunes Wi-Fi Music Store to access millions of songs wireless through the iPhone or iPod touchAlong with all the cool new stuff announced by Apple today the company also unveiled a new upcoming, wireless music download service called the iTunes Wi-Fi Music store.

The Wi-Fi Music store allows owners of the iPhone or the iPod touch to access and download over six million different songs through any Wi-Fi hotspot directly to their mobile device through a new iTunes button.

Skype outage due to Microsoft update… oh, and a software bug

Posted in News,Services,Skype by Chris Weber on August 20th, 2007

Skype outage blamed by company on Microsoft update and an internal bugSkype posted a news release today about “What happened on August 16“, deciding to downplay the hidden, internal software bug they had identified earlier. In the post the company identified Microsoft as the indirect culprit, blaming the issue on a “massive” number of simultaneous logins from Skype users after receiving a set of routine patches through Windows Update which required a reboot.

All of the automatic logins after the reboot cause a chain reaction which resulted in a “critical impact”, according to Skype. There was however a hidden bug in an algorithm that controlled resource allocation for the service, which reared its head in this instance and essentially caused the outage.

The press release followed up to ensure users that the issue has been resolved and the system has been improved upon to ensure they would …

Skype Software Error Brings Down Service

Posted in News,Services,Skype by Chris Weber on August 17th, 2007

Skype peer-to-peer voip phone network experiencing outages due to error leaving some users without communicationsThursday was a stressful day for frequent users and especially for those who have come to be dependent on the Skype online phone network. Yesterday the service when down for much of the day, and officials are unsure how long the outages will last. According to Skype officials they have found the problem and are working around the clock to correct the issue.

“There is a chance this could go on beyond tomorrow, but it’s our hope that it’s going to be resolved,” said Kurt Sauer, Skype’s chief security officer on Thursday. “What happened today was caused by a unique set of events, the genesis of which is not entirely understood.”

The Skype service allows its users to make free phone calls through their broadband internet connections using a peer to peer network. The …

Google selling overflow storage for online apps

Posted in Google,News,Services,Storage by Chris Weber on August 10th, 2007

Google has begun selling overflow storage for services such as Picasa and GmailGoogle has made it known that they will now be offering additional storage for their online applications, for a fee. Currently Google offers up to 1GB for Picasa Web Albums and as much as 2.8GB of storage for Gmail, all for free. When you reach your limit on the amount of storage space you now have the option of purchasing more which will apply across the different applications on your Google account.

The company is offering plans that start at $20/year for 6GB of additional storage and go up to $500 a year for 250GB. Right now the extra online storage will apply to Picasa Web Albums and Gmail, but in the future, according to Ryan Aquino, Google Software QA Engineer Lead, the storage will also be available for other online applications such as …

UMG to Offer its own DRM-Free music downloads

Posted in DRM,music,News,Services,UMG by Darrin Olson on August 10th, 2007

Universal Music Group will have a trial of selling DRM free music online, but not through iTunesUniversal Music Group has announced that it is going start offering 99 cent downloads of its online music without any copyright restrictions as somewhat of a trial starting August 21 through Jan 31. UMG says it will be offering the music tracks in the MP3 format but individual retailers will be allowed to sell them in whichever DRM-free format they wish. This comes after last month when UMG decided not to renew its contract with Apple iTunes, and although iTunes is currently the largest online music retailer it will not be one of the retailers to offer UMG’s 99 cent DRM-free tracks.

According to AP: “Among the online retailers that will be selling the tracks are Amazon.com Inc, Google Inc, Wal-Mart Stores Inc, Best Buy Co, RealNetworks Inc’s Rhapsody, …