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AT&T and eMusic bring songs direct to mobile phones

Posted in AT&T,eMusic,Mobile Phones,News,Services by Chris Weber on July 31st, 2007

eMusic partners with AT&T to provide independent label songs to download to mobile phonesToday eMusic, who is the second largest online retailer of music behind iTunes, announced along with AT&T that they together will be providing a service to allow people to buy and download songs directly to their cellphones with no computer in between.

eMusic will be offering through the mobile service almost all of the 2.7 million songs available currently from the online service, DRM free as always, which feature only independent labels and not as many mainstream artists as rival services. They do however carry a number of popular artists such as Paul McCartney’s and his latest album.

The songs will be priced a little higher then they are online due to the increased cost of transferring them through the mobile network. Where $9.99 would get you 30 songs online, $7.49 will get you only 5 …

Ooma Offers Free Domestic Calls For Life

Posted in News,Ooma,Services,VoIP by Chris Weber on July 19th, 2007

Ooma provides free domestic phone calls, voice mail through broadbandA start-up company called Ooma has announced a new service that could provide free domestic calls through your existing home phone, for life. The program requires you to have a broadband internet connection, your own phone and preferable an active land line for you phone, but that’s not required as long as there are enough people that do.

Through a one-time purchase of a $399 “box” from Ooma you can connect it to your existing phone and make calls that are routed through the Ooma network. The system works through something called P2P, which relies on a network of people that have the Ooma system to be able to route calls across the country somewhat similar to how BitTorrent works, but for voice.

For the system to actually work there needs to be a number of people involved, so aside …

Sony Streams On with Crackle

Posted in Digital Video,Services,Sony by Chris Weber on July 16th, 2007

Sony launches Crackle online video sharing site spotlighting new talentSony Pictures announced today that it is relaunching the Grouper online video sharing site that it bought last year, branding it as Crackle. The intention of the new video site will be to spotlight newer, up-and-coming talent and not to be another user-generated content (UGC) site like YouTube, which is already a very saturated market. Prior to its acquisition by Sony Grouper was one of the original popular online video sharing sites.

“We decided that the UGC space was not really a business,” said Josh Felser, co-president of Crackle. “The content is the same on every site and it’s really hard to monetize,” said Felser. “Advertisers don’t buy space alongside videos of people vomiting.”

Through being owned by Sony Pictures, Crackle will be able to take advantage of the connections that Sony has and pass that on to the new …

Webkinz – Second Life for Kids

Posted in Kids,Services by Darrin Olson on June 9th, 2007

Webkinz is like a second life for kidsThere’s been quite a bit of buzz in the kid community lately regarding Webkinz plush toys and their associated social website for kids. The basic run-down is that you buy one (or more) of the three dozen different types of stuffed animals, and each one comes with a unique special code. You can then log into the Webkinz website using the special code to “adopt” your Webkinz pet.

Once an account is created there are a number of things to do in the “Things To Do” menu, such as hang out at the Clubhouse, play games or visit friends online. Each user is represented as the plush toy that they purchased as they navigate to different rooms or to rooms of their friends.

One of the common concerns of parents is the interaction allowed and the fear of online predators, but …

iTunes Plus DRM-free service launched

Posted in Apple,DRM,iTunes,News,Services by Chris Weber on May 30th, 2007

iTunes Plus DRM-free service launched by AppleIt looks like Apple did get the EMI catalog out by the end of the month, but barely. Today Apple launched iTunes Plus along with the iTunes 7.2 version release, which is now offering DRM-free music downloads.

For now the songs that are available without the DRM restrictions or only from EMI’s catalog (excluding the Beatles, but including Paul McCartney), but hopefully more labels will follow suit in the near future. The songs cost slightly more without the DRM at a price of $1.29 each, and any existing songs that you previously purchased for $.99 can be upgraded for $.30 if they are from EMI. Songs purchased for this higher price have no restrictions on what MP3 player, the number of MP3 players or the number of computers that the song can be transferred to. Once you buy it, just …

Google Announces Universal Search Model

Posted in Google,News,Services by Darrin Olson on May 19th, 2007

Google Universal SearchAn announcement was made Wednesday by Marissa Mayer, Google’s vice president of search products, at the Searchology event at the Google campus in Mountain View, CA regarding a change in Google search engine results to something they are calling a “universal search model”.

Google, along with other search engines, have recognized that although they have various search engines for things like images, videos, news and patents, most users only use the main search engine and often are even unaware of the other features. Also it can be an inconvenience for users to have to switch between different engines of the same search provider to find relevant results.

The changes involved in the universal search are said to be slowly ongoing and subtle to notice, but nevertheless noticeable. A Google search may return results of web pages, maps, videos, books and photos all within the first ten …

Windows Live Hotmail

Posted in News,Services,Windows by Chris Weber on May 7th, 2007

Windows Live Hotmail Beta launches in more languages and more featuresMicrosoft had recently launched a beta version of its web-based email client MSN Hotmail, called Windows Live Hotmail beta. The new Live Hotmail starts rolling out of beta today where users can sign up for a new Hotmail account, and existing uses can choose to upgrade their current MSN Hotmail account by clicking an upgrade button in the upper left of their screen once they are logged in.

The Live Hotmail has the most significant improvements in the Hotmail client since it launched in 1996, boasting a safer and more user-friendly experience than previous versions. One of the biggest improvements in the expansion of supported languages, as Live Hotmail is launching worldwide and supporting 36 different languages.

One of the most significant features for us was the return of remote HTTP access from the Microsoft Outlook client. MSN …

iOrder Food Service Kiosk from VeriFone

Posted in Services,VeriFone by Chetz on April 27th, 2007

VeriFone iOrder Food Service KioskThe job of being a waiter may be in danger in some food serving locations if the owners find out about the iOrder Food Service Kiosk. VeriFone Holdings just released this piece of technology that allows restaurant or convenience store customers to key in their order on the 15-inch display screen, sit back (or do some more shopping) and then come get their food when it’s ready to be served.

If the thought of not reducing their employee overhead costs wasn’t enough VeriFone also throws out to prospective buyers that early partakers of the iOrder Kiosk in the northeast of the country have reported a 20% increase in the average customer’s order size. In some situations this kind of thing could be the best thing ever, like ordering your drinks ahead of time before wandering up to the bar and having to …

LG’s VCAST Phone Prices?

Posted in LG,Mobile Phones,Services,Television,Verizon by Chetz on March 10th, 2007

VX9400 VCAST mobile phoneThe rumor du jour is that LG is prepping to release its VX9400 handheld phone/TV on March 23. As we reported this past January, Verizon is soon to launch a service that allows for live television to be beamed and picked up by mobile phones.

Samsung is the other company with plans to release a phone, the u620, that works with the service, but we’ve been waiting to see what LG’s entry looks like in action especially since it has a neat looking pivot screen. According to a tipster that whispered in Engadget’s ear, LG will launch the VX9400 on the 23rd in the VCAST launch cities.

Prices are said to be $350 for the full version, $250 for a one year contract or $200 if you purchase two years at sign up. The same tipster also claims that the Samsung …

Apple Releases iTunes 7.1 and QuickTime Fixes

Posted in Apple,iTunes,News,Security,Services by Darrin Olson on March 6th, 2007

Apple releases QuickTime fixes and iTunes updateOn Monday Apple released both an updated version of its iTunes digital music software and updates to the QuickTime media player software to fix eight security flaws.

According to a security alert from Apple, the 7.1.5 version of QuickTime fixes security issues involving how the player handles certain types of “maliciously-crafted” files including QuickTime, MIDI, 3GP, PICT and QTIF. The update also adds some functionality updates with the new version which can be downloaded through the Software Update preferences or from the QuickTime download page.

iTunes 7.1 adds features for improved sorting, full screen Cover Flow and most significantly additional support for the upcoming Apple TV. “Using iTunes 7.1, you can now enjoy your favorite iTunes movies, TV shows, music, and more from the comfort of your living room with Apple TV. iTunes 7.1 also supports a new full screen …

JumpTV Increases Exposure Through Joost

Posted in Digital Video,Joost,News,Services by Reuben Drake on March 5th, 2007

JumpTV teams up with Joost to deliver online video contentIt was recently announced that the global video carrier JumpTV Inc. well be bringing international television channels to Joost. Recently, Joost has been signing deals with many media publishers. One of the more noteworthy pact is the one with Viacom Inc. which will allow Joost to screen content from big channels such as MTV, Nickelodeon, Paramount and Comedy Central.

What sets this deal apart from the rest is that JumpTV Inc. already has its very own online network for videos. However, they are more focused on local shows from around the world than anything else. The CEO of JumpTV, Kaleil Isaza Tuzman, said that they will continue to show videos on their network, but are using Joost to reach a ‘broaderwider audience’. Thanks to this, we can look forward to seeing more and more videos pop up on …

BBC Programs Now Available on YouTube

Posted in Services,Television,YouTube by Darrin Olson on March 4th, 2007

BBC will now make program excerpts available on YouTubeThe British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) has announced a deal with YouTube to publish excerpts from the BBC news and entertainment programs on the popular video downloading site. The BBC clips starting appearing on YouTube Friday, which marks the first time an international broadcaster has made such a deal with the Google-owned YouTube site.

Mark Thompson, BBC director, hopes the agreement will help drive more traffic and subsequently more revenues to the BBC web site to supplement British license fees for taxpayers. “It’s essential that the BBC embraces new ways of reaching wider audiences with nonexclusive partnerships such as these,” said Thompson.

The BBC videos will be available through their own channels on the YouTube portal. One of the channels called BBC Worldwide will show popular BBC programs such as “Top Gear” and “Spooks” along with nature documentaries. A BBC

EA Games Music Now Available on iTunes

Posted in Games,iTunes,music,Services by Darrin Olson on March 3rd, 2007

EA now to offer music from popular games for download on iTunesIf the theme songs and music that plays during some of your favorite games is not already burned into your subconcious and playing in your mind during all hours, Electronic Arts has now made the music from its best selling games available for purchase and download through the iTunes store so you can take them with you wherever you go.

The new addition to the EA website is at EA Trax which lists featured artists, news, videos, screenshots and of course music from some of the most popular EA games of past and present. Games are listed with links to the download through the Apple iTunes Store with currently listings for games such as Madden NFL , Burnout and Need for Speed to name a few, with specific songs such as Snoop Dogg’s version of “Riders …

Wireless V Cast Mobile TV Announcement Set for Thursday?

Posted in Mobile Phones,Services,Verizon by Chetz on February 27th, 2007

Verizon to launch V Cast Mobile TVIt looks like Verizon is getting ready to launch its Wireless V Cast Mobile TV service later this week. According to a hidden away sign-up sheet located on the Verizon website, the service is scheduled to kick off on March 1.

When queried as to the information Verizon neither confirmed or denied that 3/1 is V-Day for the company, nor does the website list exactly where the service will be provided or how much it will cost. At least Verizon hasn’t removed the option from its sales website which is a good sign that something is indeed coming shortly.

V Cast Mobile TV was announced last month at the Consumer Electronics Show and will give consumers the opportunity to receive live television broadcasts to their mobile phones. Qualcomm is building the network that Verizon subscribers will use, beaming its signal through channel …

Wireless internet users rise to one third

Posted in News,Services,Wi-Fi by Darrin Olson on February 26th, 2007

Study shows that one third of US surfers have used wireless connectionsA recent and interesting study by the Pew Internet & American Life Project has shown that 34% of people that surf the internet in the US have logged in using a wireless connection at one point or another. This percentage includes people using WiFi or cell phone networks at home or at work along with anywhere else, through a PC, laptop or any handheld device.

Of these wireless users, 27% of them have connected wirelessly from somewhere other than home or work, possibly implying that there is a high level of trust in these wireless users that either public networks are safe or that their computer is secure. 19% of them have a wireless network at home and 13% have some type of PDA or smart device.

The study goes even further to investigate what these wireless …