As Amazon, Google, and Apple appear to be leading digital music in the direction of the cloud, it seems a good time to look back at some of the most influential online music services of the past.
Some people might argue that the modern digital music era started with the launch of iTunes. Others will say the birth of Napster kicked it off. The truth is two years before Napster launched in 2000, there were plenty of companies jockeying for dominance in online CD sales as well as downloads.
They were competing in nascent Internet radio or trying to create … Read more
PayPal filed a lawsuit against Google today, alleging the Web giant misappropriated trade secrets from its mobile-payment business when it hired away a key executive in PayPal's mobile payments effort.
The lawsuit (PDF), which was filed in Santa Clara County Superior Court in California, alleges that Osama Bedier, a former senior PayPal executive working on the company's mobile-payments platform, misappropriated PayPal's trade secrets when he went to work for Google earlier this year.
Bedier "is now leading Google's efforts to bring point of sale technologies and services to retailers on its behalf," according to … Read more
Over the next two weeks, Google is rolling out a new feature to its Gmail users, a "people widget" that tidily aggregates the content you share with your contacts.
Stashed away on the right side of the screen, the people widget will list the messages, phone calls, and chats between you and a contact. You'll also get a glance at e-mails, shared Calendar activities and Google Docs, and Google Buzz updates. You should be able to click an item to interact with the entry.
"The digital library is designed for Paul McCartney and his media company, MPL Communications Ltd," says Scott Anderson of HP Enterprise Business. "The library will help to power his media business, making it simpler and more efficient to identify, locate, and use assets across his vast personal collection."
So for the time being, the archive is a personal library for McCartney, but it could be opened up for licensing or fan use. A sample of some of the photos in the collection can be seen here.
The project is an example of HP's Instant-On Enterprise service, which embeds technology into everything a business or government does to make it more responsive to customers and partners. The private cloud also protects MPL's library in London from natural disaster since it will have backup files in a separate location. … Read more
Contrast ratio is the most important aspect of a TV's performance. More than any other single metric, a set's contrast ratio will be the most noticeable difference between two TVs.
That is, if you could juxtapose them. Which you can't. Or if you could compare their claimed specs. Which you can't.
Understanding what contrast ratio is and how to judge it will help you determine the best TV for your dollar. But it's a lot harder than it sounds.
In its simplest form, contrast ratio is the difference between the brightest image a TV can create and the darkest. In another way: white/black=contrast ratio. If a TV can output 45 foot-lamberts with a white screen and 0.010 ft-L with a black screen, it's said to have a contrast ratio of 4,500:1.
Unfortunately, it gets more complex from there. … Read more
Skype was down for some users this morning, but the VoIP provider fix seems to have quickly set things straight.
Around 5:00 a.m. PT this morning, Skype posted to its Twitter account that "some" of its users were having trouble signing in to the service and placing calls. The company didn't say what was causing the trouble. An hour later, Skype updated its Twitter account to inform users that it had discovered the issue and would roll out a solution as quickly as possible.
That fix, which the company posted to its blog shortly thereafter, … Read more
As expected, the U.S. Senate's Judiciary Committee unanimously voted to approve a bill that targets Internet pirates based overseas.
The Protect IP Act looks to hand the U.S. Department of Justice the ability to seek a court order against allegedly infringing Web sites. The order could be served on search engines, certain Domain Name System providers, and Internet advertising firms--which would in turn be required to "expeditiously" make the target Web sites vanish from the Internet.
The bill was backed by leaders of both major political parties and is supported by a wide range of … Read more
A security researcher in Italy has discovered a flaw in Internet Explorer that he says could enable hackers to steal cookies from a PC and then log onto password-protected Web sites.
Referring to the exploit as "cookiejacking," Rosario Valotta claims that a zero-day vulnerability found in every version of Microsoft's IE under any version of Windows allows an attacker to hijack any cookie for any Web site.
Demonstrating his findings at security conferences this month in Switzerland and Amsterdam, Valotta acknowledges that to exploit the hole, the hacker must employ a bit of social engineering because the … Read more
After facing some troubles the first time around, Amazon today is again selling Lady Gaga's new "Born This Way" album for just 99 cents.
The deal is available only for the MP3 version of the pop star's latest album, which hit store shelves on Monday. In addition to getting the album for less than a dollar, consumers will also receive 20GB of free storage in Amazon's Cloud Drive, which allows users to stream music over the Web to a PC, Mac, or Android-based device.
It appears that one of Google's mobile-wallet partners has stolen some of the Web giant's thunder ahead of tomorrow's planned announcement.
Google, which is widely expected to unveil a long-rumored mobile-payments system on Thursday, will dub the service "Google Wallet," according to what appears to be an internal memo from The Container Store. According to the memo, which was published by Thisismynext.com, the Web giant plans to launch Google Wallet near the end of summer:
...this summer Google will launch a test of "contactless" payment through a mobile device--so customers will be … Read more