For years now, the tech industry has been a sucker for the "gotcha" moment every April 1. Teams at companies large and small cook up clever gadgets and widgets and such that sound ever so almost plausible. Or not.
In case you hadn't already noticed, April Fools' Day is here again. A flurry of pranks has descended upon us via the Web. Some of them are quite smart and might just elicit a few chuckles from even the most cynical of us. Others are just plain goofy.
We're keeping tabs on the April Fools' jokes for … Read more
Twentieth Century Fox and Netflix have expanded their digital distribution deal, the companies said today.
Under the new agreement, Netflix can now stream two of Fox's top television shows--"Glee" and "Sons of Anarchy." The first season of "Glee" and the first two seasons of "Sons of Anarchy" were made available on Netflix's streaming service today. Going forward, subsequent seasons will be "added annually," the companies said.
The companies also plan to bring several more series in the Fox library to Netflix, including "Ally McBeal" and &… Read more
Sony plans to expand its Music Unlimited streaming service to more of its gaming hardware, the company reportedly told Eurogamer in an interview published yesterday.
Speaking to the gaming publication, Shawn Layden, executive vice president and CEO of Sony Network Entertainment, said that Music Unlimited would be made available on the PlayStation Portable "in a matter of weeks." He then turned his attention to Sony's upcoming gaming device, codenamed the Next Generation Portable (NGP), which the company plans to release at the end of 2011.
"We will make it happen," Layden said to Eurogamer in … Read more
Class, we need to go over this again: when you post things on Facebook, it is likely that they will go far beyond your few thousand friends.
This reminder needs to be made right now. You see, the mother of 7-year-old Ukailya Lofton from Chicago has accused her daughter's teacher of taking a cell phone picture of her daughter's hair--in order to post it on Facebook. It seems she thought the hair was somewhat amusing.
Bowing to legal pressure from News Corp, Viacom, and Discovery, Time Warner Cable has removed 11 channels from the application, cutting away at the 32 it had offered before. Though a scant number when compared with home cable packages, which can number in the hundreds, the app represented the step toward taking that same lineup on the … Read more
At first, it's a bit jarring to see Washington-based Microsoft press its unfair competition claims against California-based Google in Belgium. But Microsoft picked Europe as the latest venue in its fight with Google for the simple reason that it's more likely to get quicker action from European regulators who've been more prone to reel in dominant companies.
Microsoft General Counsel Brad Smith disclosed the filing with the European Commission in a blog post last night. Microsoft is alleging that Google is unfairly competing in European markets by rigging its search algorithms, ranking its own services higher than rival products, and impeding access to YouTube content, making it harder for alternative search engines to find videos.
There are plenty of reasons for Microsoft to press its case in Europe rather than the United States. To start, Microsoft filed its complaint there because European regulators have already opened an investigation into Google's conduct. In addition, Microsoft has learned from its own battles with European regulators that the burden to prove anticompetitive conduct is often lower in Europe than in the United States. That's particularly true with the kind of case Microsoft is hoping the European Commission will bring.
"Microsoft has a much better shot at this in the European market," said Herbert Hovenkamp, a professor of antitrust law at the University of Iowa College of Law. In Europe, companies with dominant market positions have a duty to share technical data that rivals need to compete. So when Microsoft alleges that Google won't share technical data to help it examine and index information on services such as YouTube, it may very well find favor with the European Commission, Hovenkamp said. … Read more
Facebook users ready to move from a personal profile to a business page can now make the switch through a new process offered by the company.
Sparing people from the chore of building a business page from scratch, Facebook's Profile To Business Page Migration tool can provide a head start by just converting an existing personal profile. The process is geared for a variety of business types and categories, including local companies, larger organizations, public figures, causes, and even individual products.
The migration works by converting all of a user's friends into fans and moving over his or … Read more
Microsoft has officially released its new Windows Home Server 2011.
With the release to manufacturing, Windows Home Server 2011 is now slated to reach MSDN and TechNet subscribers in early April where they can download the software via their subscriptions. The latest version should also start to pop up on computers in May, according to Microsoft, which said that manufacturers have already been working with the new home operating system.
Phishers use all kinds of come-ons to lure their victims. But one persistent piece of spam tries to trick people by offering an upgrade to Adobe Acrobat.
Detailed by security provider Cloudmark in a blog posted yesterday, this type of advertising spam e-mails users a notice to upgrade to the new Adobe Acrobat Reader. Those who click on the link are directed to a Web site touting the benefits of the software.
The Web site domain name contains the word "adobe," says Cloudmark, as an attempt to give it some kind of legitimacy. But of course, it's … Read more
Samsung and Visa are joining forces to offer smartphone users the ability to make mobile payments through NFC technology in London next year as part of the 2012 Olympic games.
Using special Samsung Olympic and Paralympic Games mobile phones, attendees in London before and during the games will be able to buy items on the go through near-field communications, an emerging technology that lets people send payments by phone directly from their bank accounts to special terminals.
Samsung and Visa join a growing number of companies hopping onto the NFC bandwagon. Dangling the lure of wallet-free purchases, an array of … Read more