Yesterday, Nokia announced a new initiative, Comes With Music, that will offer "free" music to purchasers of certain cellphones. It's the first outgrowth of Nokia's Ovi brand, which the company announced earlier this year. It also seems to be the first implementation of Universal's Total Music plan, in which device makers bundle a music subscription on new devices and add the cost to the price of the device, rather than forcing consumers to pay the monthly fee.
Despite what Apple loyalists may think, iTunes needs NBC Universal more than the network needs iTunes, according to a report issued by Forrester Research.
As NBC shows such as The Office and Heroes began disappearing from iTunes over the weekend, James McQuivey, a Forrester analyst, warned Apple executives that it was in their best interest to "win NBC back."
In the report issued Monday, McQuivey asked what good it is equipping iPods with video monitors if there isn't any video to watch. The way McQuivey sees it, NBC Universal is the clear winner in the feud between … Read more
If you own an estate with huge grounds, perhaps the Ricavision Wave100 remote control may interest you. This $299 magic wand has an extended 17-meter range and is capable of controlling up to 20 audio-video boxes and Windows Vista PCs. Unlike the Logitech Harmony, setup can be performed offline through a built-in infrared code library compiled from more than 1,500 brands. Other standard remote capabilities include learning function and macro programming.
The Wave100 can also stream Bluetooth audio (A2DP) right out of the box with the companion wireless transceiver integrated into the docking station. Engadget notes that another cool … Read more
Carnegie Mellon University will upgrade its 6.5-ton robot mobile, the "Crusher," by adding advanced suspension and hybrid-electric innards as part of a $14.4 million Army grant meant to push the envelope for unmanned ground vehicles.
The project, a result of more than two decades of robotics research by the university's National Robotics Engineering Center (NREC), will demonstrate how advanced vehicle and navigation technology can solve transportation challenges like those encountered by supply convoys in Iraq, according to the university (PDF).
This month's Wired feature on Universal Music Group CEO Doug Morris--which was posted online--has received a lot of commentary, most of it damning Morris as representative of a clueless and mortally wounded industry. The following quote, in which Morris talks about the dawn of the MP3 era, has drawn particular interest:
"There's no one in the record company that's a technologist. That's a misconception writers make all the time, that the record industry missed this. They didn't. They just didn't know what to do." He goes on to explain that he … Read more
In two consecutive days, The Wall Street Journal presented two different answers. The first is not surprising: Intellectual Ventures, the brainchild of ex-Microsoft executive Nathan Myhrvold. It's now out "to raise as much as $1 billion to help develop and patent inventions, many of them from universities in Asia." I know I will sleep so much more comfortably knowing that IVL will be out plundering Asia so that it can turn around and plunder the rest of the planet.
The second might surprise you: the University of California. The University of California may be especially pernicious because it can sue for patent infringement but has sovereign immunity:… Read more
Does hearing actually go first as you get older? For those who've always feared dead giveaways like hearing aids and bifocals, help is on the way. Perhaps taking a cue from Oakley's MP3-playing Thump, a company called Varibel is developing eyewear that hears.
It won't give provide bionic auditory powers, but it does promise vastly improved hearing through a device built directly into a pair of eyeglasses. Embedded over the length of each spectacle arm are four tiny microphones that transmit sounds from the front and simultaneously block background noise.
The result is "directional sensitivity"… Read more