2/23/2006

Sony Tops LCD TV Market

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Sony leapt to first place from fourth place in the LCD-TV market during the final three months of last year, knocking rival Sharp off the top spot for the first time ever, according to market researcher DisplaySearch.

In what may mark signs of a revival for Sony, the company’s Bravia series of LCD-TVs led it to the first place spot in the fourth quarter of last year in both units and revenue, along with its LCD panel capacity from its TFT-LCD panel joint venture with Samsung Electronics, DisplaySearch said.

Sony has been aggressively slashing prices of its Bravia series, and pumped up its marketing in the final months of last year to grab a bigger share of the market. Its strong name brand was the biggest boost, a DisplaySearch analyst says.

Sony’s share of unit sales surged to 15 percent of the overall market from just 9 percent during the third quarter, mainly due to sales of LCD-TVs with larger size screens, the market researcher says. In terms of sales, Sony reached a 19 percent share of market revenue in the fourth quarter, up from 13 percent in the previous quarter.

Source: pcworld

MPAA sues BitTorrent, newsgroup search tools

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

The Motion Picture Association of America said Thursday that it sued a new round of popular Web sites associated with movie piracy, including several that serve as search engines but do not distribute files themselves.

The lawsuits mark an expansion of the copyright holders’ legal strategy in the file-swapping world, targeting sites that help make downloading easier, but aren’t actually delivering the files or the swapping technology themselves.

It’s also the first time the group has sued organizations that direct their members to the Usenet newsgroup system, an MPAA spokeswoman said. The movie group makes little distinction between a peer-to-peer network and the search engines that point to pirated works, saying that all facilitate the distribution of copyright works.

“Disabling these powerful networks of illegal file distribution is a significant step in stemming the tide of piracy on the Internet,” John Malcom, MPAA director of Worldwide Antipiracy operations, said in a statement.

The issue of targeting search engines rather than actual file-swapping networks themselves has been a touchy one in Silicon Valley, because ordinary search engines such as Google and Yahoo also can be used to find pirated works.

The full list of sites sued Thursday include Torrentspy.com, IsoHunt, BTHub.com, TorrentBox.com, NiteShadow.com, Ed2k-It.com, NZB-Zone.com, BinNews.com and DVDRs.net.

Source: News.com

Email service rejects suitors for you

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Whether it’s at a bar or bus stop, unwanted suitors are everywhere. So a clever Web developer named Josh Santangelo came up with “Paper Napkin,” an “e-mail rejection service” designed to dispense with such overtures without making a scene.

Just give a phony “papernapkin.net” email address to the offending party and let the service do all the dirty work. “When they write you, they’ll automatically get a response telling them how badly they’ve been rejected,” according to the site. “If they sound desperate enough, it may even get posted and ridiculed. Yes, it’s cruel, so use it wisely.”

Source: News.com

PC looks like a giant iPod

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

For years, Windows PC owners have been able to connect to an iPod. Now they can have a computer that looks like the iconic digital music player.

Logisys Computer this week added the ePod Soho case to its lineup of unusual PC shells. The white PC case has several “buttons” resembling those found on the scroll wheel of an Apple Computer iPod, as well as a blue LED light that gives the case a constant backlit glow.

The ePod is currently shown on Logisys’s Web site, but is not yet available through any retailers. A Logisys representative said the company has not had any communications with Apple.

Source: News.com

Google’s Web Page Creator Crashes on Takeoff

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Search giant Google’s latest feature, a personalized Web page creator, stumbled on its first day.

Google is dealing with an embarrassing capacity problem that forced it on Feb. 23, the same day the service began, to temporarily stop letting people sign up for Page Creator.

The reason? An “extremely strong demand,” according to a message found on the site. “Please submit your e-mail address and we will notify you as soon as we are ready to add new accounts.”

Google Reader and Google Analytics, two of Google’s other applications, also went down on their first days.

Source: eWeek

AOL Upgrades Video Search

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

The new technology examines the context of the surrounding Web application, which often reveals detailed metadata about the video, the company said.

America Online Inc. this week upgraded its online video search engine with the integration of technology from Truveo Inc., a company AOL acquired in December.

AOL bought Burlingame, Calif.-based, Truveo in order to expand the portal’s ability to find video on the Web. AOL, a Dulles, Va., unit of Time Warner Inc., has made online video a key focus of its free Web portal.

Truveo uses proprietary Web crawling technology that it calls “visual crawling.” The technology goes beyond traditional means of video search by examining the context of the surrounding Web application, which often reveals detailed metadata about the video, the company said. Other search engines are not as effective, because they examine only closed-caption transcripts and import RSS feeds to deliver results to user queries.

Source: information week

Microsoft to make EU dispute documents public

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Microsoft said it was posting on the Web confidential documents used in its defense as it fought the threat of
European Commission antitrust fines reaching up to 2 million euros ($2.4 million) a day.

The U.S. software giant planned to post the documents at 1800 GMT on Thursday at www.microsoft.com/presspass/legalnews.mspx, including an exchange of letters between its chief executive, Steve Ballmer, and EU Competition Commissioner Neelie Kroes.

“Transparency is vitally important in what can be a very opaque process in Brussels. We’ve decided to open this up so people can understand the issues,” said Horacio Gutierrez, Microsoft’s European associate general counsel.

Source: Reuters

UK Government Confiscates Firefox CDs

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

The idea that Free Software can be sold has some government officials perplexed. Times Online has the story.

A UK Trading Standards officer contacted the Mozilla Foundation to report catching a business selling copies of Firefox. The organization confiscated the CDs with the intent to prosecute said business. When informed that such distribution was authorized, the officer first expressed disbelief that Free Software could be sold then said ‘If Mozilla permit the sale of copied versions of its software, it makes it virtually impossible for us, from a practical point of view, to enforce UK anti-piracy legislation

Source: Slashdot

US demands extradition of ‘419 scammers’ from Europe

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

US investigators have requested the extradition of four Nigerians accused of running 419 scams in the Netherlands after the arrest of a gang in Amsterdam and the nearby town of Zaandam earlier this week.

It is the first time the US has asked for the extradition of individuals accused of running 419 scams, a clear sign that authorities want to put an end to these schemes. Convicted scammers can expect hefty jail terms.

On Tuesday, Dutch police arrested 12 people and confiscated €25,000 in cash, computers and fake travel documents. The US Postal Inspection Service assisted in the investigation against the alleged scammers, who are accused of posting over 100,000 emails to victims in several countries, in particular the US, and gained approximately $2m.

Source: The Register

LimeWire Surpasses KaZaA As Most-Searched Music File-Sharing Site

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Lycos, Inc. today announced the following information from The Lycos 50, the 50 most popular Internet search results for the week ending Feb.

Since Napster was introduced in 2000, there has been a succession of file-swapping software programs. First it was Napster, heralded as the third most popular search term of 2001. The government took Napster down, leading to the rise of Morpheus, the fifth highest-ranking search term of 2002. When Morpheus had difficulties, it was replaced by KaZaA. KaZaA was the number one most popular search term of 2003, but fell to number 12 overall in 2005. For the first time since its debut more than a year ago, LimeWire (#13) lands higher than KaZaA on this week’s Lycos 50.

iTunes Sold Over 1 billion Songs

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Apple Computer has sold 1 billion songs via its online music store.

At about 9:40 p.m. PST Wednesday, the company’s online counter reached the 1 billion mark. For several minutes before the online counter crossed the threshhold, about five songs per second were being tallied, but with about 50,000 to go, the counter suddenly jumped to 1 billion and stopped.

To the purchaser of the billionth song, the company promised a 20-inch iMac (whether it’s the model with the Intel chip was not specified), 10 60GB iPods, a $10,000 iTunes Music Card and “a full-ride scholarship in your name to a world-renowned music school.”

Source: News.com

Google unveils Web page creator

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Google launched on Thursday a service that lets people create their own Web pages hosted by the Internet giant.

Google Page Creator, which is in beta, has sample layouts and lets people type in content, upload images and publish their pages, without knowing HTML. People can create multiple linked pages and are allowed 100MB of storage on the service.

The free service requires a Gmail account and supports either Internet Explorer 6.0 or Firefox 1.0, or higher.

Source: News.com

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