For a few days this month, with midterm election season heating up, the Internet's army of bored office drones cast aside their usual YouTube fodder of strangely-behaving cats and all things lip-synced and Auto-Tuned. They turned instead to what may or may not have been a completely serious political campaign ad: fresh-faced Delaware Senate candidate Christine O'Donnell took to the airwaves, and to the Web, with a spot that began with the proclamation, "I'm not a witch."
There's a backstory, of course. As an evangelical Christian activist appearing on the 1990s talk show "… Read more
Editors' note: As of July 2011, this product has been discontinued and replaced by the Roku 2 XD.
A Netgear-branded Roku XD box is making its way to several retailers.
Dubbed Netgear Roku Player NTV250, the device is the Roku XD featuring Netgear branding. It enables users to access several channels from Roku's service, including Amazon Video On Demand, Netflix, Pandora, and others. The offering also includes the ability to view Flickr photos and UFC content. Unlike the competing Apple TV, which boasts 720p video content, the Roku XD supports 1080p content.
Netgear isn't selling branded versions of … Read more
JustSpotted, a Web site that today began ballyhooing an upcoming service that would publish the real-time whereabouts of celebrities, can no longer crow about its cozy relationship with Twitter.
It seems that Twitter was unaware of the relationship.
Just as JustSpotted managers were drumming up publicity, Twitter was canceling a licensing deal that would have given JustSpotted special access to Twitter posts, a Twitter representative said today.
Earlier on Thursday, The Hollywood Reporter published a story about the upcoming launch of JustSpotted, a company that wanted to sift through millions of Twitter posts to single out tweets from people who … Read more
Google continues to pile up the money, beating analyst estimates today for revenue and earnings for its third quarter.
Third-quarter revenue, excluding the traffic acquisition costs Google pays to its partners, was $5.48 billion, exceeding estimates from analysts polled by Yahoo Finance of $5.25 billion for the quarter. Overall revenue of $7.29 billion increased by 23 percent, compared to last year's third quarter, on the back of a 16 percent jump in paid clicks across Google's network of Web sites.
"We're very pleased with our Q3 results, and it's clear that the … Read more
File this under Web sites that are sure to anger George Clooney.
Much like Gawker Stalker, the upcoming JustSpotted.com wants to offer users information on the real-time whereabouts of 7,000 celebrities. The difference is JustSpotted, which is scheduled to launch Tuesday, will harness the power of Twitter to help hunt down stars, according to a report in The Hollywood Reporter.
JustSpotted executives have struck some kind of partnership with Twitter that enables them to get access to Twitter posts from people who spot stars in public, the trade magazine reported.
"Proprietary technology uses 'natural-language' filters to figure … Read more
Those who are disappointed by the sound quality of Netflix's streaming service will finally get their wish for better audio.
Netflix has tapped Dolby Digital Plus to feature 5.1-channel surround sound in its streaming service, the companies announced today.
The new 5.1-channel surround sound feature will be made available on the PlayStation 3 first, the companies said. It will be offered in tandem with the native Netflix app launch on Monday. According to Netflix, it plans to offer 5.1-channel surround sound to other devices "over time," but it wouldn't say when it would … Read more
PlayStation 3 owners will soon be able to stream Netflix without inserting a disc.
Starting Monday, Netflix Instant Streaming will appear on the console's XrossMediaBar, console maker Sony announced today. In addition, the PlayStation 3 will be the first Netflix-capable device to boast support for 5.1-channel surround sound on Netflix content.
Sony said the free Netflix application must be installed for the disc-less streaming to kick in. After that, PS3 owners will find a new interface that includes search. The company said that since the app will run natively on the console, people will be able to use … Read more
Google and Microsoft's Bing continue to pick up snippets of the U.S. search engine market at the expense of Yahoo, according to the latest stats from ComScore.
For September, Google's share of the 16 billion "explicit core" searches inched up 0.7 point from August and accounted for 66.1 percent of the market, while Microsoft eked out a 0.1 point rise to grab 11.2 percent. Although Yahoo remains in second place with a 16.7 percent slice of the market, it shed 0.7 point in the month.
Google TV has been all over the news recently, because of recent press events by Logitech and Sony, with the search engine giant making its big play for the living room space. Even with all the hubbub, Google's new home entertainment platform can be tough to understand, so we've rounded up some of the basic questions you might have about Google TV.
What is Google TV? The basic pitch for Google TV is the capability to search all of your TV content through a search bar similar to Google.com's, which displays on your TV. The search bar overlays whatever screen you're on and combs through online video sources as well as live TV from your cable/satellite box to find content. (Currently, Google TV searches only DVR programs for Dish DVRs, although we've been told that support for other DVRs will roll out over time.) The idea is that you don't need to know whether the video originates from Netflix, your cable box, YouTube, or a random Web site--Google just finds it.
That's the main gist of what Google TV does, but what makes it hard to understand is that a Google TV-equipped device needs to do a lot to make that functionality seamless. It has standalone apps like Netflix and Pandora; a built-in Chrome browser capable of displaying (almost) any video you can watch on the Internet; the ability to control other devices like a Harmony universal remote; and support for the Android Marketplace coming in 2011. There's just a lot going on in any Google TV product.
Why do I want Google TV? If you find yourself watching content across several different platforms (Netflix, Amazon VOD, regular cable, ComedyCentral.com, etc.), Google TV should take away a lot of the hassle over finding exactly what you want to watch. If you want to watch a recent episode of "30 Rock," you can just search for "30 Rock" and Google TV will show you results in all the available services. Google TV leans strongly toward a "search" model of TV watching, rather than "browse." If you generally browse a program guide or flip channels looking for a show, however, you might not get as much use out of it. Similarly, if everything you want to watch is already available via your cable subscription, you probably won't benefit much from a Google TV product.… Read more
NBC Universal has ended a two-year-old arrangement with Google that allowed the Internet giant to sell ad space on several NBC cable channels, according to a report.
The Los Angeles Times reported today that the network has called off the deal, whereby Google sold ad space on NBC's Syfy, Oxygen, MSNBC, Sleuth, and Chiller channels by way of its Google TV Ads online marketplace. The marketplace lets companies get help in creating commercials; choose networks, programs, and time slots for showing them; and monitor--through data recorded by set-top boxes--how many household TVs are tuned to a commercial when it … Read more