Social site Bebo opens up to outside developers

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Bebo, the largest social network in the U.K., launched an open technology platform for outside software developers on Wednesday, signing up 40 partners to provide applications for users on the site.

The Open Application Platform will be fully compatible with the thousands of applications that have helped fuel growth at social network Facebook, as well as a newer platform called OpenSocial launched by Google Inc in October.

Microsoft buys Web map company

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Microsoft Corp. said Wednesday it has acquired a United Kingdom online mapping company to enhance its existing Windows Live Web-based services.

The software maker did not say what it paid for Multimap, which provides street-level maps, travel directions and local information. Multimap also offers hotel and restaurant-booking services and builds private-label mapping tools for companies, including Hilton Hotels and Ford Motor Co.

Microsoft said Multimap will operate as a wholly owned subsidiary of Microsoft as part of its Search and Virtual Earth teams.

New `Jackass’ Movie to Hit Internet

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

The next batch of painful “Jackass” stunts is coming to a computer screen near you.

The first two films - spun off from the former MTV series - co-starred Johnny Knoxville and his gang of gross-out pranksters as they performed stunts to the delight of their youthful fans. But for the sequel “Jackass 2.5,” the dirty daredevils pull a new stunt: bypassing the movie theater entirely.

“Jackass 2.5″ will instead be released to the Internet. The feature - which combines unreleased footage from “Jackass Number Two” and new content - was announced Thursday as a joint venture between Viacom-owned Paramount Pictures and MTV Networks.

“It’s the first broadband movie ever distributed by a major studio,” said Thomas Lesinski, President of Paramount Pictures Digital Entertainment.

Blockbuster Inc. will present “Jackass 2.5″ free of charge at http://www.blockbuster.jackassworld.com beginning Dec. 19 through Dec. 31; on Dec. 26, DVDs of the film will be available for purchase on the site and at major retailers, as well as for rent at Blockbuster stores and the company’s Web site. The film will also be available for download at iTunes, Amazon.com and other sites.

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