Amazon's Instant Video service has reached an important milestone.
The e-commerce giant says it now has 100,000 movies and television shows available to customers to buy or rent. The video content, which can be viewed on more than 300 devices, including PCs, Blu-ray players, and televisions, has a starting price of $3.99 per video, depending on what customers choose to watch.
"The 100,000 titles on Amazon Instant Video range from new hit blockbusters to old favorites, with more than 15,000 of those titles available in HD, and popular TV shows available the day after … Read more
Microsoft is reportedly locking down its latest Windows 8 build to prevent unauthorized people from installing it and leaking details about certain features, WinRumors reported yesterday.
Other purported details about the latest Windows 8 build, known as 8064, were revealed earlier this week by WinRumors, which is a Windows enthusiast site, and other sites. The new build is apparently the Windows 8 Developer Preview that Microsoft is likely to unveil at its Build conference next month.
In an attempt to thwart unauthorized users from accessing the new developer build, Microsoft has apparently set up unique product keys that are now … Read more
The three groups urged ICANN to reconsider the domain-name expansion program. The strongest terms came from the ANA, which outlined its concerns in an August 4 letter to ICANN that threatens broader and "far more expensive" action than just strongly worded correspondence.
"Should ICANN refuse to reconsider and adopt a program that takes into account the ANA's concerns expressed in this letter, ICANN and the program present the ANA and its members no choice but to do whatever is necessary to prevent implementation of the program and raise the issues in appropriate forums that can consider the wisdom, propriety, and legality of the program," ANA said in its letter. … Read more
Google has a new feature it hopes will keep Music Beta users tuned in.
The Web giant today launched Google Magnifier, a new feature to help users of its online music-storage service discover and obtain new music. In addition to free music tracks, the site has videos of live performances, artist interviews, and a chance to explore music genres.
The move is an effort by Google to distinguish its Music Beta service from competitors such as Amazon's Cloud Music and Apple's forthcoming iCloud service, which is expected to launch in the fall. Google's music-storage service, which launched … Read more
A group of music publishers that joined a class action lawsuit filed against YouTube in 2007 have reached a settlement with Google's video-sharing site.
The National Music Publishers Association as well as individual music-publishing companies, such as Cherry Lane Music Publishing Company, the Harry Fox Agency, and Murbo Music Publishing, joined a class action lawsuit filed against Google by The Football Association Premier League among others.
The suit--which accused YouTube of encouraging users to upload pirated video clips of TV shows, films, and music videos--was filed shortly after Viacom filed a copyright complaint against YouTube and Google. For efficiency, Viacom and the class action were reviewed by the court simultaneously even though they were separate complaints.
"As a result of this resolution," the publishers wrote in a statement, "music publishers will have the opportunity to enter into a license agreement with YouTube and receive royalties from YouTube for musical works in videos posted on the site."
Thanks to the agreement, music publishers can license Google the right to sync their music with videos posted by YouTube users and YouTube will pay the royalties. The parties involved didn't disclose the complete terms of the agreement.
That's nice but what's important here is that YouTube executives continue to put their copyright troubles behind them. The Web's top video-sharing service was once packed with pirated content but the service built a filter system and now most of the top film studios and TV networks consider the site to be swept clean. … Read more
An administrative law judge denied Google's request to bar one of Microsoft's expert witnesses from testifying in the software giant's patent dispute litigation against Motorola.
Microsoft has accused Motorola of infringing on its patents with its phones that run on Google's Android mobile device operating system. Google alleged in a filing last week, that Microsoft improperly shared Android source code, which is supposed to remain confidential, with an expert witness it hired for the case. Google sought to prevent the expert witness from testifying, based on the alleged breach.
But U.S. International Trade Commission Administrative … Read more
Continuing its march into social networking, Google launched its Photovine picture-sharing service on iTunes this morning.
The service, which debuted as an invitation-only application last month, lets users snap photos and share them with friends much the way they'd blurt out tweets on Twitter. With Photovine, though, photographers group pictures thematically, with one person taking a snap of, say, their desk and sharing it under the theme of "cluttered desks." Other Photovine users, then, can add pictures of their work spaces. In the parlance of the new application, that's a vine.
Vines can be mundane, like the "cluttered desk" example, or personal, like "girls night out." Among the most popular vines today are "cutest dog" with the requisite adorable puppy pics, and "Things I Love About Summer" with shots of a cold glass of beer and another of kites flying over a beach, among others.
Anyone can see photos you post, either by browsing the vine in which the photo was included or by browsing your profile. People following you, though, will receive the snaps automatically in their feed. In Photovine, no approval is needed to browse or follow another person.
The service is entirely iPhone-based, with both pictures and vine titles composed on the device. Users can share photos and vines on Facebook and Twitter. Oddly, there is no integration yet with Google's own social-networking service, Google+. And Photovine only exists on iTunes now, and not for devices running Google's Android mobile operating system.
That's probably because it wasn't developed by home-grown talent, but rather the team from Slide, the social-media company Google acquired a year ago.
MetroPCS Communications announced today that subscribers of the company's $60-per-month Android phone rate plan can receive access to the Rhapsody Unlimited Music service, and some 12 million songs.
Only the service isn't unlimited, at least with regard to the music, due to the absence of one of the four major record labels. Warner Music Group, which has a reputation for being a tough negotiator with digital services, is the only major that didn't sign on to the MetroPCS deal. It's the third-largest of the record companies.
In the past, Warner pulled its music off YouTube during a contract dispute and reportedly was slow to license Spotify's U.S. service. Warner Music and Rhapsody representatives declined to comment about the negotiations.
The idea of bundling music into phone services has been around awhile. The top labels have looked for ways to achieve this but some of the earliest attempts, such as Nokia's "Comes With Music," were a bust.
In that case, consumers were asked to purchase phones that came preloaded with music. With MetroPCS, the music and the charges are tucked into the service and monthly bills.
MetroPCS, a wireless carrier, is known for offering prepaid phones, and a music deal like this should be attractive to the labels. It could help them reach an audience that includes people who aren't participating in the digital economy. It is believed that many MetroPCS subscribers don't own credit cards. … Read more
It's another confusing day on Google.com, with a foreign-looking (for most of us) equation greeting visitors to the search engine's front page. Wednesday's Google doodle is a tribute to mathematician Pierre de Fermat on his 410th birthday.
de Fermat spent most of his life working as a lawyer, but became the father of modern number theory in his spare time. Apparently the lack of e-mail, Facebook, and Twitter in 17th century France allowed the smartypantses of the era to be a lot more productive.
The equation in Google's doodle, x^n + y^n = z^n, … Read more