Well, the music offerings at South by Southwest are heating up, and we'll keep you posted on the good ones. I mentioned BurnLounge in a Hoooka, which is a start-up that lets you sell music through a MySpace widget. BurnLounge, which has been around for a while longer, has a similar model: create your own music store, choose the music in it (WMA format), add your own reviews and recommendations, and (optimally) profit. But until this point, it had been just that--standalone personalized music stores, lacking additional functionality that most people think of when they think of new Web … Read more
There's no denying it. Hoooka has a killer name. Its motto ("Take a hit, pass it on") is pretty good too. But this new side project of the Indie 911 social network, which launched in beta earlier this week, isn't particularly momentous. The central concept behind Hoooka, according to the company, is enabling "both artists and fans to play, share, promote and sell their favorite digital media."
Warning: This will be addictive. Earlier today I read about Comeeko on ShinyShiny, and let's just say I haven't gotten much else done at the office for quite some time. (Sorry, editors.) Comeeko is a fun and super-easy way to arrange your photographs into comic book panels and then share them with your friends. It's highly Ajax-y: we're talking drag-and-drop functionality, easy uploads, and the like. You can't get up to a particularly high resolution (i.e. to print, or to order prints) but Comeeko makes it easy for you to share it on a … Read more
Yahoo unveiled a new look and feel for its My Yahoo personalized start pages today, bringing the service up to speed with an increasingly customizable, Ajax-driven Web. It's about time: competitors like Google Desktop and Pageflakes have also been rolling out new updates recently. The new My Yahoo is not readily available; rather, it's in a limited beta that only a handful of random Yahoo members can opt into thus far. The full version will be rolled out over the next few months.
We haven't tried it out yet, but Yahoo representatives stressed that this is "… Read more
Google has announced on their blog a new partnership with BMW's Assist driving service--but only in Germany, so far. BMW drivers using Google Maps Deutschland can now "send" selected geographic data from their PCs directly to their in-car navigators. Consequently, there's no need to look it up at home and then look it up again in the car. (Above: Check out Google's promotional video. Don't worry, it's in English.)
It's not available stateside yet, or with non-BMW navigators, but Google has stressed that this is only the first step in the introduction … Read more
As though timed to coincide with the much-anticipated release of indie rock powerhouse The Arcade Fire's album release this week (it's a must-listen, by the way), Monday night's monthly NY Tech Meetup at Cooper Union featured a trio of Gotham-based start-ups devoted to spreading the buzz about independent music. One's a marketplace; one's an ongoing competition; and one's a way to discover what the people who are discovering new music are discovering (in other words, an aggregator).
AOL released a couple of upgrades to its Webmail app today--they're not in the regular program yet, but if you're a desperate AOL junkie who wants to check them out, the new features can be tested on its beta site.
I gave the beta a brief spin, though I must say I haven't used AOL Webmail enough to really be able to compare it to anything. (I had to use my leftover screenname from AOL's early days to access it, and let's just say I haven't used AOL mail much since 2001.) The updates … Read more
The phenomenon of branded social networks was thrown into the spotlight back in January when Disney CEO Bob Iger unveiled the company's revamped Web site complete with MySpace-like features (or kid-safe, Disneyfied versions thereof). And there's been plenty of talk recently about how small is the new big (to use Seth Godin's words) when it comes to social networks: that sites centered around a specific niche or subculture will be the next major trend, as opposed to enormous, all-encompassing, and arguably cluttered sites like MySpace. From what we've been seeing, this push toward niche social … Read more
Google Maps has made things a little spicier for users who are looking up information on cities like New York, London, and San Francisco: outlines to show the footprints of buildings, and subway stops. Public transportation map mashups have been around for a while--take subway stop site Hopstop, which uses Yahoo Maps, for example--but this is the first time that Google has incorporated that data into its standard map search.
It doesn't look like this has spread to mobile platforms yet: I have Google Maps on my Helio Drift phone (oops, I called it a phone), and it does … Read more
Hey TiVo, Slingbox, AppleTV, and everyone else who's trying to "bridge the content gap" between TV and broadband video--Joost might really pack a powerful punch. The start-up from the founders of Skype and Kazaa has been all over the news recently with new content deals, a Mac beta version, and an agreement in the works with Viacom to distribute programming from such cable mainstays as MTV and Comedy Central.
Last week, it was announced that the previously Windows-only private beta version of Joost would be available for Intel-based Macs. At the same time, Joost released new … Read more