Many Googlers are spending time working on technology to help Japan in the aftermath of last week's devastating earthquake, tsunami, and developing nuclear crisis. One of the tools being used in the crisis response is Fusion Tables, according to Riku Inoue, product manager at Google and lead for Google Labs. The application is a service that manages large collections of tabular data in the cloud.
In response to the disaster in Japan, Google has set up a multilingual Crisis Response page with resources on emergency hotlines, relief organizations, shelter information, blackout status, donation channels and maps, as well as … Read more
If you think music-streaming services are big now, just wait five years.
According to data compiled by ABI Research, music-streaming services are set for rapid expansion in the coming half-decade, and they have mobile phones to thank for it. By the end of this year, ABI said, subscribers to paid music services who access them from a mobile phone will number about 5.9 million worldwide, and by 2016, that figure will grow to more than 161 million subscribers. That amounts to an annual growth rate of about 95 percent, the research firm said.
The growth of streaming services comes … Read more
Tech hardware advice site and reviews aggregator Retrevo is opening its own online store. The company has struck deals with 10 online resellers that will fulfill orders for Retrevo, but buyers will conduct all their business on Retrevo.com itself. Retrevo is also taking on the support role for customers who need help with products they purchase on its store.
Retrevo's main function, to date, has been to provide tech buying advice to consumers. It aggregates reviews data from professional sites (like CNET) as well as consumer reviews (from sites like Amazon) and generates reviews scores and other analytics to help users make buying decisions. There's also a strong editorial hand at work at Retrevo to come up with the criteria that the site's algorithms use to rank products.
Retrevo has always linked out to online stores for people who want to purchase a product they read about. Today's new store function replaces the links to other stores with Retrevo's own "Add to Cart" button for select items.
The ethical wall There is a barrier at good reviews sites between opinion and commerce, for one big reason: If a site is recommending a product and then turns around and makes a direct profit from selling it, one could think the site's recommendations are tainted by potential profits. Retrevo CEO Vipin Jain says you can still produce a trustworthy editorial service even if you are helping readers close the loop in commerce.
If you plan on buying a Blu-ray player in 2011, don't be surprised if the back panel is lacking a component video output. A surprising number of mainstream 2011 Blu-ray players, (such as the Panasonic DMP-BDT210, Samsung BD-D5700, LG BD670, to name a few) are omitting the red, green, and blue video jacks, which means buyers will have to rely on HDMI for high-def Blu-ray video signals.
It's all about AACS We can't blame manufacturers for omitting the component out of new players. For one, it's not a huge loss, as the vast majority of buyers … Read more
Once again, Google sites, primarily YouTube, easily bested all other online video services in February, research firm ComScore revealed today in its Video Metrix study.
Over 169 million people watched online video in the U.S. last month, tallying over 5 billion viewing sessions. A total of 82.5 percent of the entire American Internet audience watched at least one video on the Web last month.
Not surprisingly, the vast majority of those people--over 141 million--watched video content on Google sites for a total of 1.8 billion viewing sessions. Microsoft's video services came in second behind Google with … Read more
We'll soon see how much readers are willing to pay to access The New York Times online.
The country's leading general interest newspaper has finally unveiled its digital subscription plan, and the first thing that jumps out is that it's not cheap.
The Times said today that starting on March 28, U.S. readers who want access to NYT.com on every device, including smartphones and tablets, must pay $35 every four weeks, or $455 a year. The debut of the subscription offering launched in Canada today.
"Our decision to begin charging for digital access will … Read more
A leaked version of Netflix for Android has been uncovered on the Net, but so far it doesn't seem able to actually stream any content.
Reportedly stripped off a prototype of LG's Revolution Android phone, according to Business Insider, the APK (Android package) for Netflix found its way onto the Internet this week for anyone to download.
Police have arrested 184 people accused of participating in what authorities are calling the largest global pedophile network ever uncovered--and more arrests are expected, Europol said today.
Authorities infiltrated an Internet child pornography forum that was the center of the network and had as many as 70,000 members at one time, Europol said in a statement. About 670 suspects and 230 children have been identified in the investigation, officials said, adding that the children have been "safeguarded."
The Web site, which has been taken down, was traced to a server in Holland in 2009. Europol got a … Read more
Want to stream a movie over the Internet that's not available for streaming on a service like Netflix or Amazon? Zediva can stream films that you can only get on physical DVDs--through a goofball workaround that actually has strong legal precedent.
Zediva rents you a DVD but keeps the DVD in a player in its own facility. You then control this player remotely from your computer, and the output is piped over the Net to you. Think of it as a wall of Slingboxes, available for rent. If you want to watch a movie online that's only available on disc because it's in the pre-streaming, DVD-sales-only "window," this will punch through that restriction.
Or will it? The service just launched today, and in my quick test, at about 5 p.m. PT, only 6 of the 49 "new releases" on the site's main movie selection screen were available for viewing. The marquee title, "The Fighter," was available, but "127 Hours," "Megamind," "Due Date," and most other titles were marked as "rented out." Unlike services such as Netflix, which can stream as many copies of a single video as it has bandwidth to support, Zediva only has so many copies of each DVD, and each lives in its own dedicated DVD player. When all the players holding a given movie are in use, nobody else can rent the film.