11/28/2006

Wal-Mart to Test Movie Downloads

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is edging into selling video downloads by offering buyers of the “Superman Returns” DVD a chance to buy downloads of the same movie, beginning Wednesday.

The world’s largest retailer said Tuesday that shoppers have the choice of paying $1.97 to download the movie to a portable device, such as Apple’s iPod or Microsoft’s Zune, or paying $2.97 to download it to a laptop or desktop computer. For $3.97, customers can download the movie for both formats.

Source: AP

Universal Music may seek royalty deal with iPod

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Universal Music Group Chief Executive Doug Morris said on Tuesday he may try to fashion an iPod royalty fee with Apple Computer Inc. in the next round of negotiations in early 2007.

Universal, the world’s largest music company, owned by French media giant Vivendi, was the first major record label to strike an agreement with Microsoft Corp. to receive a fee for every Zune digital media player sold.

“It would be a nice idea. We have a negotiation coming up not too far. I don’t see why we wouldn’t do that… but maybe not in the same way,” he told the Reuters Media Summit, when asked if Universal would negotiate a royalty fee for the iPod that would be similar to Microsoft’s Zune.

Source: Reuters

Opera Intros New Version of Mini Web Browser

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Microsoft’s Internet Explorer and Mozilla’s Firefox might vie for dominion in desktop browsing, but Opera, makers of an eponymous browser that comes in desktop, smartphone, and cell phone versions, wants to control the mobile space.

On Tuesday, the Norwegian firm released version 3.0 of Opera Mini, a Web browser for mobile phones. Among its claims to fame is a feature that lets bloggers and users of social-networking sites such as Facebook, Flickr, and MySpace quickly upload photos from their phone’s on-board camera.

Opera Mini will launch the camera, let users snap a photo, then send it to the site in question. The net result is fewer buttons to push, always a plus on phones whose small size can make them hard to use, even for teens and tweens who text as much as they talk.

Source: Yahoo

Time Warner sees “download-to-burn” movies in ‘07

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Time Warner Inc., the world’s largest media company, plans to offer services that let consumers download movies from the Internet that can be burned onto DVDs in 2007, its top executive said on Tuesday.

The company would likely make these movies available for such services, including one service with Wal-Mart Stores Inc., on the same day its DVDs go on sale.

Source: Reuters

Web browsing behind closed doors

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Canadian developers will next month release a tool to bypass government-enforced restrictions on web browsing in countries like China, Syria and Iran.

The University of Toronto has developed the Citizens Lab software in the hope that government internet censorship can be effectively circumnavigated.

Psiphon is an open source software program using the GPL license, and will be free to download from 1 December.

It works when a net user - or psiphonode - in an uncensored country downloading the software onto their computer, which in turn creates an access point through an encrypted connection to a proxy server.

They can then pass on a unique web address with a login and password to someone in an internet-restricted country - or a psiphonite - who links directly to it without the need to run software locally.

Even if the website is blocked, developers claim that it is incredibly simple for a psiphonite to reconnect because the system operates using a social network built up through trusted relationships.

Although the software encrypts traffic between the provider and user, content accessed is not anonymous which means all websites visited can be monitored. As a result, Citizens Lab advises against using it “for anything you do not want the psiphon provider to be able to see.”

Source: The Register

MPAA Goes After Home Entertainment Systems

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

The MPAA is lobbying to make sure that home users authorize their entertainment systems before any in-home viewings. From the article: “The MPAA defines a home theater as any home with a television larger than 29″ with stereo sound and at least two comfortable chairs, couch, or futon. Anyone with a home theater would need to pay a $50 registration fee with the MPAA or face fines up to $500,000 per movie shown.”

Source: Slashdot

Nintendo Wii sales top 600,000 in U.S.

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Nintendo Co. said consumers in the Americas snapped up more than 600,000 of its Wii video game systems in eight days, totaling about $190 million in sales, as it competes with Sony Corp.’s new PlayStation 3.

Sales of both long-awaited systems are not expected to meet demand until next year. The Wii launched Nov. 19; the PS3 made its U.S. debut Nov. 17.

Sony Corp. has said it will have about 1 million PS3 systems for North American stores by the end of the year. Nintendo said it will have shipped 4 million units.

Source: AP

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