Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Wikipedia Founder's Google Killer

Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales is planning to launch a new search engine that he hopes can compete with top search engines Google and Yahoo.

Mr. Wales plans to launch the new search engine, currently dubbed “wikiasari,” in early 2007, he wrote on a Wikia page devoted to the project. The name combines the words “wiki”—a Hawaiian word meaning quick, and “asari,” Japanese for “rummaging search.”
RED HERRING | Wikipedia Founder's Google Killer

Jaxtr Tests Social Network Calling

Startup Jaxtr on Thursday launched a test version of its calling application for social networks and blogs.

The test comes after Palo Alto, California-based Jaxtr last week brought in LinkedIn co-founder Konstantin Guericke, who was vice president of marketing at the social-networking site for professionals.

Jaxtr’s service will allow people to connect phone calls via social networks or blogs through installation of its web-based widgets. The heavy interest in social networks has brought a need for startups creating such applications, Mr. Guericke said.
RED HERRING | Jaxtr Tests Social Network Calling

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Visiting the 'Second Life' World: Virtual Hype?

Virtual appearances in Second Life have generated a real world business for Giff Constable, Vice President of Electric Sheep Company. The 35-person startup helps other companies create social events inside Second Life.

For example, they produced a recent appearance by musician Ben Folds for Sony. Constable believes this is just the beginning.

"Right now everybody has email," Constable says. "You know, 10 years ago, I think a lot of people would have found that a surprising thought. I think 10 years from now, everyone is going to have an avatar."
NPR : Visiting the 'Second Life' World: Virtual Hype?

Friday, December 22, 2006

Google upgrades Blogger for some users

"Google is offering some Blogger users access to a new version of the service which enables user-definable templates, tagging of posts, multiple authors, and faster publication of new posts.

The company said the service upgrade will also integrate use of the blogging service more closely with its other services through changes to the account log-in process.

The new features bring Blogger service closer to that offered by competing blog-hosting services such as Six Apart's TypePad and Automattic's Wordpress."
Google upgrades Blogger for some users - Digital Lifestyle - Macworld UK

Mogopop lets users create, download content for iPods

Mogopop has been announced as a new free online service and website that lets users create, publish and download content for iPods. “Mogopop is a free web-based service where members and visitors can create, publish and download multimedia content for iPod,” the company explains. “This content that can incorporate audio, video, pictures, podcasts, text—whatever our members’ minds can imagine, they can create. Mogopop downloads are like mini-Websites for iPod that anyone can enjoy.”

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Gartner: Blogging to peak in 2007

Could blogging be near the peak of its popularity? The technology gurus at Gartner Inc. believe so.

One of the research company's top 10 predictions for 2007 is that the number of bloggers will level off in the first half of next year at roughly 100 million worldwide. The reason: Most people who would ever dabble with Web journals already have. Those who love it are committed to keeping it up, while others have gotten bored and moved on, said Daryl Plummer, chief Gartner fellow.
Gartner: Blogging to peak in 2007 - Yahoo! News

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Lulu: The Long Tail of publishing

In one area at least, the new economy is delivering on its promise.

Unlike expensive vanity publishing of the past, today an author need not part with a penny to see their words in print and can even make money.

In just three years, Canadian Internet entrepreneur Bob Young's Lulu ( has gone from nothing to a turnover of $16 million and is now publishing 2,500 new titles a week by unknown authors from across the globe.
Online vanity publisher is a Lulu - Yahoo! News

Monday, December 11, 2006

Wikipedia founder remakes Web publishing economics

Wikia Inc., is ready to give away -- for free -- all the software, computing, storage and network access that Web site builders need to create community collaboration sites.

Wikia, a commercial counterpart to the non-profit Wikipedia, will go even further to provide customers -- bloggers or other operators who meet its criteria for popular Web sites -- 100 percent of any advertising revenue from the sites they build.
Wikipedia founder remakes Web publishing economics - Yahoo! News

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

By 2010, movies-over-the-web will be Hollywood’s ‘new box office’

Movies-over-the-web are going to be a big part of Hollywood’s “new box office,” according to the Research and Markets research firm. And Apple is in a good position to capitalize on the trend. In fact, the research firm says that the iPod is also laying the foundation for Apple’s “Television 2.0” business expansion, with the advent of video capability and the sale of video programming on iTunes.
By 2010, movies-over-the-web will be Hollywood’s ‘new box office’

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

The eBay Model Goes To The Movies

How can independent filmmakers and small film libraries, whose titles are languishing unseen in storage, connect with the new venues for video that are sprouting up? The traditional methods of licensing films--attending film festivals and markets or meeting with distributors--are too expensive, exclusive, and inefficient for almost everyone but major players.

Here's one possible solution: inDplay, a Silicon Valley startup backed by Google Chief Executive Eric Schmidt and Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers venture capitalist William R. Hearst that aims to connect films with professional buyers through an online marketplace.
The eBay Model Goes To The Movies

Friday, December 01, 2006

You Oughta Be In Webcasts

Scripted Web shows are piquing the interest of Mad Ave and giving filmmakers a new venue...

Welcome to the new wave of Web video. Far from the land of dogs on skateboards and Webcam yakkers on YouTube (GOOG ), this online genre of scripted programs is attracting small but passionate groups of fans. The networks and talent agencies are watching closely, and the phenomenon is giving indie filmmakers new ways to get their works seen. At the same time, this emerging ecosystem is creating a tempting--albeit challenging--play for advertisers looking to cut through the chaotic mass of Web pages on YouTube and MySpace.
You Oughta Be In Webcasts

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Verizon Wireless to feature YouTube videos

YouTube videos will be viewable on cell phones for the first time under a deal with Verizon Wireless, which will also allow users to upload videos shot with their camera phones.

The partnership to be announced Tuesday marks the first big distribution deal for YouTube since the young video-sharing Web site was acquired earlier this month by Google Inc.
Verizon Wireless to feature YouTube videos - Yahoo! News

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Internet Video - How To Monetize Your Independent Video Content

Good resource for information on How To Monetize Your Independent Video.
Online video pays itself. The opportunities to monetize online video are rapidly increasing. You need not find anymore a distribution house to make your video- or film-making passion pay back for your hard work.
Internet Video - How To Monetize Your Independent Video Content - Robin Good's Latest News

Monday, November 20, 2006

176 Newspapers to Partner With Yahoo

Interesting turn of events as "Big Media" turns to Yahoo!, one of the webs' early pioneers, in a deal that could ultimately benefit both to fend off competition from Google, who they fear will take over the world ;-)
“There has been a big question asked for a while as to how newspapers will navigate the online future,” said William Dean Singleton, vice chairman and chief executive of MediaNews Group, one of the members of the consortium. “I think this is the answer to that question.”
176 Newspapers to Form a Partnership With Yahoo - New York Times

Sunday, November 19, 2006

The Secret Life of 'LonelyGirl15'

For those who are still curious about the Lonely Girl phenomenon, here's ABC News Nightline's take on it with interviews of its creators and the actress who played the character. The creators also talk about how they plan to continue the saga in the same vein as TVs Lost series. There's also a video interview available on the site and a link to a new report in Wired magazine.
"She was the girl-next-door with depth and enough warm vulnerability to push atop the clutter of YouTube. And the moment she appeared, thousands reached out just to be her friend."
ABC News: The Secret Life of 'LonelyGirl15'

Yahoo Memo Urges Wake-Up Call: Enough of the "Peanut Butter" Strategy!

Here's a great memo written by a senior VP at Yahoo that could very well apply to any business that's struggling for a vision and a direction. It's urging them to go back to their core strengths instead of spending their energies half-heartedly on a multitude of competing ventures. It's definitely worth a read for budding entrepreneurs.
This critical, internal Yahoo (NASDAQ: YHOO - News) memo was being forwarded all over the place late Friday, and made the WSJ Saturday morning. The author is allegedly Brad Garlinghouse, a Yahoo senior V.P.
Yahoo Memo Urges Wake-Up Call: Enough of the "Peanut Butter" Strategy!

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

NPR Fresh Air: Exploring the Online Gaming World

Audio for this story is available at NPR.
Fresh Air from WHYY, November 15, 2006 · Journalist Julian Dibbell talks about his book Play Money: Or, How I Quit My Day Job and Made Millions Trading Virtual Loot. He explores the world of online role-playing games, where hundreds of thousands of players log on to operate fantasy characters in virtual environments. One of the most popular games, World of Warcraft, has six million subscribers.
NPR : Exploring the Online Gaming World

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Apple in deal to let iPod videos play on planes

Apple Computer Inc. said on Tuesday six major airlines will let passengers play video and music from their iPod digital devices on in-flight entertainment systems beginning in mid-2007.

Air France, Continental Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Emirates, KLM and United Airlines will begin offering their passengers iPod seat connections, which power and charge iPods during flight and allow the video content on the devices to be viewed on seat-back displays, Apple said.
Apple in deal to let iPod videos play on planes |

Monday, November 13, 2006 returns to music sharing with new features, the once massive music download site that settled copyright infringement suits with major record labels, said on Monday it is allowing the sharing of music and videos but this time with the authorization of independent artists. returns to music sharing with new features - Yahoo! News

Lycos seeks rebirth as "virtual living room"

Looks like a Lycos is building social networking site around watching online movies.
Lycos said it is using proprietary technology to enable viewers to watch synchronized videos on the Web. The company compared its ability to offer such a service with massive, never-ending online games such as Warcraft and Second Life, which host hundreds of thousands of players.

Lycos users will be able to watch films and create public chatrooms to invite other potential viewers. Viewers in any one particular viewing room can type comments on the window, while watching the movies that are streamed at the same time.

Kalinowski said its service differs from others as it offers feature length films, unlike YouTube, which limits uploaded videos to about 10 minutes.
Lycos seeks rebirth as "virtual living room" - Yahoo! News

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Web 3.0 to be Guided by Common Sense

Good article in NY Times that discuses the basis for Web 3.0, which according to the writer, will be based on common sense and intelligence. He cites, Flickr and Digg as early examples of the next phase in the evolution of the Internet.
[In] the future, more powerful systems could act as personal advisers in areas as diverse as financial planning, with an intelligent system mapping out a retirement plan for a couple, for instance, or educational consulting, with the Web helping a high school student identify the right college.

The projects aimed at creating Web 3.0 all take advantage of increasingly powerful computers that can quickly and completely scour the Web.

“I call it the World Wide Database,” said Nova Spivack, the founder of a start-up firm whose technology detects relationships between nuggets of information by mining the World Wide Web. “We are going from a Web of connected documents to a Web of connected data.”
Entrepreneurs See a Web Guided by Common Sense - New York Times

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Second Life is a preview of the Internet of the future

Is it a game? No. Is it a marketing opportunity? Yes, but who cares? What matters most is that it may point to the future of the Net, says Fortune's David Kirkpatrick.
Second Life is a preview of the Internet of the future - Nov. 10, 2006

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Another video host that let's you monetize video

Good thing about is that they
  • Have an open advertising marketplace where you can pick the video advertising company that works best for you. They share everything 50/50.
  • They support every video format: Flash 8, Quicktime, DivX and 3gp (for cell phones).
  • The videos can be posted to personal websites, blogs, MySpace, Yahoo! Video and iTunes (which other's don't offer).
  • They are also working on sending top shows directly to the television set with Internet video on demand.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Verizon near content deal with YouTube

Verizon Communications Inc., the No. 2 U.S. telecommunications company, is in advanced talks with YouTube Inc. to bring the Web site's videos to cellphones and television sets, the Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday.
Verizon near content deal with YouTube:

Saturday, November 04, 2006

What’s on tonight? Just tape it off the internet

A social network site built around TV shows. Pretty interesting. Check-out the article.
It seems TIOTI’s aim to be the first TV-based “social media aggregator” may prove more popular than that convoluted name suggests. Already it seems to be tapping into a pent-up desire among users to share and discover TV shows, employing several Web 2.0 techniques like tagging and user ratings.
TechCrunch UK » What’s on tonight? Just tape it off the internet

BrightRoll Launches DIY Video Ad Network

One more site to help video producers monetize their video.
Video ad network BrightRoll... now offers direct access to the ad insertion process for consumer video producers. The company’s technology serves up ads in multiple formats, monitors click throughs to determine which format is most effective and switches ad formats dynamically for the best results. Video publishers can choose to insert the most lucrative format, preroll ads, or allow BrightRoll to switch between video, banner or text post roll ads.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

YouTube hopes to be on mobile devices in 2007

Going forward, video is going to be increasingly an important offering from all the major web players due to the fact that the tools are getting easier and a visual medium is preferred by the emerging generation who have grown up with the Internet, Digital Cameras and Cell Phones for most of their lives.
Chad Hurley, YouTube chief executive and co-founder, told an advertising conference that offering video services on mobile phones was a key opportunity for the company.

"Within the next year we hope to have something on a mobile device, it's going to be a huge market, especially for the video mind-set we're dealing with, it's a natural transition," said Hurley.

Already many of the clips seen on YouTube are captured by users with their cellphones. A new mobile service could enable users to share videos with others in the YouTube community directly via their phones.

YouTube hopes to be on mobile devices in 2007 - Yahoo! News

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Google Video Now Sharing Ad Revenue

According to Peter Chane, a senior product manager for Google Video, Google has agreed to pass on to the Diet Coke and Mentos clan "most advertising revenue" generated by their latest video. "This is the first case where we matched up video content with advertising," Chane explained. "We've taken user-submitted material that is not considered professional content and monetized it."

Interestingly enough, this move forward in online video is happening from Google Video and not coming first from the coveted YouTube. When questioned about how this might affect the Google/YouTube relationship, a Google representative said, "Until the deal closes, we're continuing to operate as two separate companies." Get Paid for Your Videos: Google Video (not YouTube) Now Sharing Ad Revenue
People interested in participating in the Sponsored Video program are directed to a Google Video page that says it is for publishers with more than 1000 hours of video available.
Techcrunch » Blog Archive » Google Video Goes High Brow with Revenue Split

Google Acquires Wiki Collaboration Company Jotspot

A very smart move by Google, once again beating Yahoo to the draw.
Google’s office strategy just got a whole lot richer with the announced acquisition of the wiki based company Jotspot. A business oriented service that plugs a long list of different applications like calendars and photo sharing into a wiki framework, we called Jotspot “the best business-facing hosted wiki available” when we reviewed its newest iteration this summer.
Techcrunch » Blog Archive » Google Acquires Wiki Collaboration Company Jotspot

Monday, October 30, 2006

Students produce movies with cell phones

This story is a clear indication of things to come in Emerging Media. EMAC/ATEC needs to be doing something similar in order to give this program and its students more exposure to the current happenings in the industry. Don't miss this article.
The exercise is part of a new Boston University class created through a unique partnership with cellular company Amp'd Mobile and taught by director Jan Egleson.
Students produce movies with cell phones - Yahoo! News

Cos. have broad aims for TV on the Web

This company looks pretty promising for independent producers; offering a one-stop solution for publishing, distributing and monetizing video content.
Aiming to serve everyone from garage auteurs to major media companies, Brightcove offers free publishing tools and runs video wherever publishers want it.

That could be on the central Brightcove site, which is accessible through the video search functions at Google, Yahoo and AOL. Or content publishers can use Brightcove to run video on their own separate, branded sites. Or they can syndicate it to third-party Web sites, such as blogs or MySpace pages, where the content might run alongside user-generated material.

All those videos can be sold as paid downloads or streamed for free, with ads. Brightcove will sell ads and pool them among its customers, or it will plug in commercials that content creators sell themselves.

"They can launch a business in our system in a week," said Brightcove's founder and CEO, Jeremy Allaire
Cos. have broad aims for TV on the Web - Yahoo! News

YouTube Is Purging Copyrighted Clips

I wonder if this is going to hurt YouTube in the long run. On the one hand, media hosting sites should respect copyrights, but on the other hand, this is they type of content that attracts viewers such sites. YouTube and its many clones out there better figure-out a middle ground soon else this video boom is going to be in big trouble.
[YouTube] late last week began purging copyrighted material from Comedy Central, including clips from YouTube stalwarts like “The Daily Show With Jon Stewart,” “The Colbert Report” and “South Park.”
YouTube Is Purging Copyrighted Clips - New York Times

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Google Blogger Service Outages Spark User Firestorm

Is this a sign of things to come? As more people start publishing blogs, posting videos, and generally creating more media rich websites, are the networks being stretched to their limits?
Users of Google's blogging service vented some anger Friday over outages and slow response times that have plagued the service over the last week.

Engineers at Blogger acknowledged the problems on the site's own blog. 'It's been a Murphyesque cavalcade of power failures, fileserver trouble, and wonky network hardware, and I hope you'll believe me when I say that the Blogger staff is even more sick of it than you are,' engineer Peter Hopkins wrote.

Blogger staff advised users to switch to the new version of the service, which is in beta. However, users publishing team blogs or blogs with more than a couple of thousand posts, wouldn't be able to make the move yet. The same was true for users publishing blogs via FTP to a non-Blogger server.
Google Blogger Service Outages Spark User Firestorm - E-business & Business Technology News by TechWeb

Friday, October 27, 2006

Private conversation is aim of new blog software

I think this is the right step in "blogging" because not everything one writes is for public consumption. I like this concept of a multi-level blog with a way to control who sees what.
The next big blog trend is about what you and your friends see and others don't.

The online medium built for loudmouths is taking an inward turn to focus on private conversations among friends and family, instead of requiring bloggers to write for a public stage as most current publishing tools do.

On Thursday, Six Apart Ltd., a supplier of the software used to publish blogs, unveiled a widely anticipated blog-writing tool called Vox (

While Vox blogs may look like other blogs, they are distinguished by five levels of privacy settings that can be placed on each item a user publishes. Who comments and who reads comments are also under the publisher's control.
Private conversation is aim of new blog software - Yahoo! News

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Skype founders plan to launch Web TV service

The founders of file-swapping service KaZaA and Internet calling program Skype plan to launch advertising-supported Internet television shortly...
Skype founders plan to launch Web TV service: paper - Yahoo! News

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Automated video news program using RSS and game-graphics

This is further proof of why traditional TV networks are in so much trouble as viewership continues to drop.
News at Seven is a mind-blowing automated news-video project from Northwestern University. It pulls news stories in from RSS feeds, digs up video and still images, and then composes a story that's 'read' by a video-game character from Half-Life.
Boing Boing: Automated video news program from RSS and game-graphics

Companies Show How To Blog

Further reaffirmation of why blogging is becoming so important for companies wanting to get their vision out in front of the consumer and not let the message be shaped by external bloggers.
McDonald's blogs on corporate responsibility. General Motors' blogging team posts pictures from photo-sharing site Flickr and videos from YouTube. Product groups within Wells Fargo use blogs to exchange ideas. And Sun Microsystems CEO Jonathan Schwartz, one of the first execs to start a blog and really make waves with it, is seeking approval from the Securities and Exchange Commission to write about Sun's financial performance on his blog.

Despite the blog's reign as Internet trend of the year, these companies are in the minority. For many businesses, blogs remain a mysterious medium dominated by teenagers and technology geeks. Most execs 'do not read them, they do not understand why people write them,' Forrester Research analyst Charlene Li says. According to a tally by blog vendor Socialtext, just 40 of the country's largest 500 companies have blogs. That will need to change if they want to stay current with customers. "It's a different mind-set that they have to understand," Li says.
Revenge Of The Suits: Companies Show How To Blog - News by InformationWeek

More players are offering options to monetize online videos. Here's one...
They're text advertisements that usually appear at the end of a video, and they're related to what the video's about. › Learn More

Will Goobe Go Mobile?

I think it's only natural for Google/YouTube and similar video sites to start pushing content out to mobile users since there is huge growth potential in the market as bandwidth increases and younger users participate.
According to Telephia three percent of U.S. mobile subscribers, representing nearly eight million consumers, say they use their cell phones to take personal videos. That isn’t that high, but that percent jumps to 6% for consumers that have purchased a new handset in the last six months — particularly those that bought the Razr V3 series. In Europe, Telephia says the numbers are even higher with Spain at 15%, Italy at 14%, and the U.K. and Sweden at 12% and 10% respectively.
GigaOM » Will Goobe Go Mobile?

Talent Agency Is Aiming to Find Web Video Stars

"The goal this time around, executives say, is not only to recruit the next generation of television and film writers and directors from the relative obscurity of sites like YouTube and Revver. It is also to help the major Web portals that are hungry for original content to find the creative people they need — just as movie studios have long turned to talent agencies when looking for new directors, screenwriters and actors."
Talent Agency Is Aiming to Find Web Video Stars - New York Times

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Google lets Web sites tailor search to user tastes

The Google Custom Search Engine is the company's biggest push yet to rely on "the wisdom of crowds," where rival Yahoo Inc. and start-ups such as and have focused for several years.

"It is basically applying human judgment by saying I can make search better by allowing people to decide," said Forrester Research analyst Charlene Li.

Google is moving beyond the formula-driven, one-size-fits all way it indexes the Web to a relativistic approach for finding sites. The move also points toward a balkanization of what different groups of people see on the World Wide Web.
Google lets Web sites tailor search to user tastes - Yahoo! News

JibJab, Verizon and Comedy Film Director John Landis iteam-up n the Great Sketch Experiment

"The Internet has given new talent a way to reach directly to the public," said John Landis, Hollywood film director. "It is an exciting and ever-evolving new medium and I am happy to have been given the chance by JibJab to meet and work with fresh young talent."
Business Wire Business News: JibJab and Verizon Wireless Team Up With Renowned Comedy Film Director John Landis in the Great Sketch Experiment: US:VZ - MSN Money

Monday, October 23, 2006

Wikipedia co-founder to launch competing project

Like Wikipedia, the Citizendium, or “the Citizen’s Compendium,” will be a wiki project open to public collaboration, Sanger said. But, unlike Wikipedia, the community will be “guided by expert editors, and contributors will be expected to use their own names, not anonymous pseudonyms,” according to its Web site.
Macworld: News: Wikipedia co-founder to launch competing project

AOL to offer downloads for movie, TV shows

Movies and television shows from Paramount Pictures will be available for sale through AOL's new video portal under a deal announced Monday.
AOL to offer downloads for movie, TV shows - Yahoo! News

Sunday, October 22, 2006

The Starbucks Aesthetic

Starbucks is bucking the trend and using its distribution advantage to try and blend culture in its mocca-capuchino-latte, so to speak. It's experimenting with promoting films, CDs and DVDs, and possibly books. Is this really going against the Long Tail theory or exploiting a niche market that's open to this idea? Read about it in this NYTimes article.
These days the so-called long tail model of cultural consumption — the 1.5 million songs on iTunes, the 55,000 films on Netflix — is getting a lot of attention among business theorists, and teenage boys are getting a lot of attention from the entertainment complex. But Starbucks relies on a previous model: a narrow range of blockbuster hits geared toward an older, educated audience.
The Starbucks Aesthetic - New York Times

Saturday, October 21, 2006

So You Want to be a Cop

Another funny video from JibJab.

Shawshank in a Minute

Cool video from JibJab

Are you the Master of Your Domain ?

"As with Seinfeld, there is a contest going on right now in the videohosting world between the forces of temptation; In this case, the temptation of allowing others to post any and all content, copyrighted or not, on your domain, ala Youtube; and the forces of copyright law, taking complete control of your domain and only allowing content that has been reviewed and approved, ala .

Put another way, Youtube puts up a notice to all of those who post to its domain....'Please dont do it. We are telling you not to do it. If someone catches you doing it, you will be embarassed and they will have the right to come after you. But, wink wink, we all can have a good time in the meantime. Flog away at copyright laws'."
Are you the Master of Your Domain ? - Blog Maverick

What will Apple Do ?

Interesting take on the YouTube/Google deal and how it may affect Apple's iTunes, from Mask Cuban.
"While it used to be ITMS was the path of least resistance to legal music downloads in the past. That position is quickly being replaced by Youtube. As i have written earlier, its just too easy to convert the music videos that Youtube downloads to my computer over to Ipod format. ITMS has lost business from me. I believe they are losing business across the board. While some people think that its too much hassle for most people to do the conversion, that problem is disappearing quickly. A cottage industry of software apps is being built around Youtube. Its getting easier by the minute to download music to your IPod ...

Its different on the video hosting sites like Youtube, Grouper, etc. The owners of the sites all make the point as loudly as they can that everything they do is legal. Then Youtube is bought by Google AND they do deals with the music labels . So everything and anything that happens on Youtube must be legal. So forget going to ITMS for music. Lets go to Youtube. Its perfectly ok to convert the music Youtube downloads to me over to my IPod (of course if youtube and google truly were legal in their videohosting, there never would have been a reason to do a deal with these music companies at all, would there ?"
What will Apple Do ? - Blog Maverick

Cartoons Coming to Nokia Phones

The idea of making digital content more accessible to the growing legions of mobile users has grown in popularity recently as more manufactures look to sell handsets and content providers try to reach an ever-broadening audience.
NewsFactor Network

Friday, October 20, 2006

Motion Capture Technology That Captures the Soul

This is just plain cool! Don't forget the watch the video on this page. I was blown away by the quality of the facial animation.
The Image Metrics software lets a computer map an actor’s performance onto any character virtual or human, living or dead.

Its creators say it goes way beyond standard hand-drawn computer graphics, which require staggering amounts of time and money. It even goes beyond “motion capture,” the technique that animated Tom Hanks’s 2004 film “The Polar Express,” which is strong on body movement but not on eyes, the inner part of the lips and the tongue, some of the most important messengers of human emotion.

“One of our principal tenets is to capture all the movements of the face,” Mr. Wood said. “You can’t put markers on eyes, and you can’t replicate the human eye accurately through hand-drawn animation. That’s pretty important.”
Cyberface: New Technology That Captures the Soul - New York Times:

Video-hungry users could push Net to brink: Nortel

Is the growing demand for online video going to stretch the Internet to its limits?
"The only reason YouTube didn't destroy the Internet is because there was a bit of a bubble in terms of excess capacity out there," Roese said. "But, boy, don't take that for granted."

Nortel believes its Metro Ethernet unit, which uses technology similar to the one used to connect local, short-distance networks to build Internet infrastructure, will soon draw carriers that need more capacity and let them stay safely ahead of the demand curve.

This curve has been growing steeper as users demand more bandwidth for online video, music, games and, increasingly, television.

"That's our underlying fear," he said. "If the industry cannot keep up with the demand because we kind of take it for granted after the buildout in the 2000 timeframe, if we ever hit a wall, the impact on global economies, the impact on innovation is just profound."
Video-hungry users could push Net to brink: Nortel - Yahoo! News:

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Videos that Put on the Map

If you are not already tiread of YouTube, here's a NPR report on the top six videos that made the site so poular among Internet video viewers.
Launched in August 2005, wasn't the first Web site with video archives. But what set apart was the site's ability to make it easy for technophobes to upload videos to the site and find and view what others uploaded.

The site's slogan may be 'Broadcast Yourself,' but a big part of the appeal may be the many clips taken from popular television shows or films that find their way into the archives. Visitors to the site view more than 100 million videos every day.
NPR : Videos that Put on the Map

Aliens Teach University Economics Class

Here's a preview of things to come in education. As kids spend more time online, the teaching will shift online as well and here's a good example of how it's going to happen.
[Students] taking ECON 201 at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro... don't even come to class, they just log in to the Internet. The entire microeconomics course is a video game that students play online to earn three college credits.

The Sarbonian aliens are named after economics professor Jeff Sarbaum.

"This is a game in which the students are literally immersed in a story. And they take on the role of a character," he explains. "So all of the reading material, all of the content, all of the examinations and homework, if you will, are built inside the engine of the game."

NPR : Aliens Teach University Economics Class

Eastwood examines nature of heroism in new movie

And now for something comeletely different... Being a HUGE Eastwood fan I was naturally drawn to this story. But the movie is very relevant today considering the mess this country's in. We need more voices telling the world why war of any kind is bad for everyone. Emerging media is very much in the middle of this with blogs and vlogs discussing this very important issue.
The three flag-raisers are hurled into the public spotlight as canon fodder and used as propaganda tools to sell war bonds.

The war and their subsequent brush with celebrity marked the men for the rest of their lives. The crux of Eastwood's film is how wars, even 'good' ones, create perpetual nightmares for the people who fight them.

Eastwood, 76, said he did not set out to make a war film, but a movie about the meaning of heroism and an examination of celebrity, something he has lived with for years as he rose from spaghetti westerns to making Oscar-winning films.

Eastwood examines nature of heroism in new movie - Yahoo! News

A Virtual World but Real Money

It's all about the money; that's what it boils down to. As more people shift online to conduct their daily business and socialize, companies are trying new ways to reach this audience. This is just a sign of things to come.
The Second Life online service is fast becoming a three-dimensional test bed for corporate marketers, including Sony BMG Music Entertainment, Sun Microsystems, Nissan, Adidas/Reebok, Toyota and Starwood Hotels.

The sudden rush of real companies into so-called virtual worlds mirrors the evolution of the Internet itself, which moved beyond an educational and research network in the 1990’s to become a commercial proposition — but not without complaints from some quarters that the medium’s purity would be lost.
A Virtual World but Real Money - New York Times

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Google to convert HQ to solar power

Kudos to Google for taking the initiative. If more corporations adopt this approach, we could see some effect on the current energy crisis, and also help the environment in the long run.
Google wouldn't disclose the project's cost, but it won't strain a company with nearly $10 billion in cash.

The anticipated savings from future energy bills should enable Google to recoup the solar project's costs in five to 10 years, estimated David Radcliffe, the company's vice president of real estate.

"We hope corporate America is paying attention. We want to see a lot of copycats" of this project, Radcliffe said.
Google to convert HQ to solar power - Yahoo! News

Virtual economies attract real-world tax attention

The rapid emergence of virtual economies has outstripped current tax law in many areas, but there are some clear-cut guidelines that already apply. For example, people who cash out of virtual economies by converting their assets into real-world currencies are required to report their incomes to the U.S. Internal Revenue Service or the tax authority where they live in the real world.

It is less clear how to deal with income and capital gains that never leave the virtual economy, income and capital gains that in the real world would be subject to taxes.
Virtual economies attract real-world tax attention - Yahoo! News

Second Life is virtual world with real economy

Second Life is an online, 3D world with a thriving business sector and a currency that can be exchanged for U.S. dollars, effectively making it a real currency in its own right. Up to 135.5 million Linden dollars, worth about $500,000, changes hands every day among its 900,000 registered users.
Second Life is virtual world with real economy - Yahoo! News

Yahoo adds CBS news to video lineup

Yahoo's reliance on video from established TV networks has caused some Internet industry observers to question whether the Sunnyvale-based company is being too stodgy in its approach. YouTube and other online video upstarts are thriving by giving Web surfers a chance to watch and rate a potpourri of amateur clips.

"Yahoo almost seems to be telling people what they should be watching instead of letting them make their own choices," said Dmitry Shapiro, chief executive of video startup Veoh Networks.
Yahoo adds CBS news to video lineup - Yahoo! News

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Wallflower at the Web Party

Is there a lesson in this story for entrepreneurs? Take the money and run or hang in there hoping for a better opportunity, that's the big question.
Friendster’s fate is “a real puzzle,” Professor Piskorski said. “This was a company that had the talent and had the connections.” he said. “They had this great idea that people really took to.”

There is no single reason that explains Friendster’s failures, Professor Piskorski added, which is what makes it academic fodder. “It’s a power story,” he said. “It’s a status story. It’s an ego story.” But largely, he said, Friendster is a “very Silicon Valley story that tells us a lot about how the Valley operates.
Wallflower at the Web Party - New York Times

New Technology That Captures the Soul

Cool new mocap technique discussed in this article.
[If] Image Metrics can do what it claims, the door may open wider still, to vast, uncharted territories. To some who make the movies, the possibilities may seem disturbing; to others, exciting: Why not bring back Sean Connery, circa 1971, as James Bond? Or let George Clooney star in a movie with his aunt, Rosemary; say, a repurposed “White Christmas” of 1954? Maybe we can have the actual Truman Capote on-screen, performed by an unseen actor, in the next movie version of his life.
Cyberface: New Technology That Captures the Soul - New York Times:

We Are a Camera

Good article on the current "video" obsessed culture.
"We have become so accustomed to cameras everywhere that we know how to behave on video as well as we know how to order a burger. And we all know what such familiarity breeds. It is no wonder that, for the generation raised on video, the au courant way to address the camera is to exude contempt for it, degrading it. This is the YouTube aesthetic; and with it, Martin Scorsese’s fears are realized."
We Are a Camera - New York Times

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Adobe buys Actimagine, extends mobile offerings

While all the news is being made by online video sites, there are other developments afoot that are enabling mobile devices to become feature rich media delivery platforms.

Flash is one of the key technologies enabling this and Adobe is quietly trying to capure the market and become the leader in this area.
Pushing deeper into the market for mobile phone applications, Adobe has agreed to acquire Actimagine, a French developer of video and interactive vector graphics technology.
Macworld News: Adobe buys Actimagine, extends mobile offerings

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

PBS Programs Now Available on the iTunes Store

More power to Public Broadcasting and to Apple iTunes.
"The remarkable success of PBS podcasts on iTunes over the past year indicates that PBS members and viewers of all ages are enjoying the new, expanded access to the content they want, when and where they choose."
PBS Programs Now Available on the iTunes Store

Run Windows apps on Macs without Windows

Pretty cool solution, to run Windows software installed on the server, on your desktop Mac.
New server-based software that claims to allow Mac OS X to run Windows applications without installing them has been announced.

The software means Mac users don't need to use Boot Camp or Parallels to run Windows applications, though they will need a Windows server, making the new solution ideal for workgroups.
Macworld UK - Run Windows apps on Macs without Windows

Google proclaims its commitment to Mac

This is good news for Mac users. I hope, going forward, we'll see more parallel development of Google tools for Mac users so we're not treated as second-class citizens.
Google has affirmed its commitment to the Mac by starting up the Google Mac Blog and pushing some new software and browser plugins our way.
Tech Digest: Google proclaims its commitment to Mac

Monday, October 09, 2006

Google snaps up YouTube for $1.65B

So it happened! Now we wait and see what emerges from the union of these two creative forces.
Internet search leader Google is snapping up YouTube for $1.65 billion, brushing aside copyright concerns to seize a starring role in the online video revolution.
Google snaps up YouTube for $1.65B - Yahoo! News

Sunday, October 08, 2006

No longer the MySpace of your youth

Social networking the true power behind MySpace.
It's not all youths on MySpace. Half of the site's users are 35 or older, according to comScore Media Metrix's analysis of its U.S. Internet traffic measurements. Only 30 per cent are under 25 despite a common belief that the site is mostly populated with kids and young adults.

Just a year ago, teens under 18 made up about 25 per cent of MySpace, the popular on-line hangout run by News Corp. That's now down to 12 per cent in the comScore analysis released Thursday.

By contrast, the 35-54 group at MySpace grew to 41 per cent in August, from 32 per cent a year earlier. “This analysis confirms that the appeal of social-networking sites is far broader,” said Jack Flanagan, executive vice president for comScore, adding that the data suggest that social networking is becoming mainstream. No longer the MySpace of your youth

'Second Life' 3-D digital world grows

Good article on the growth of Second Life and some of the issues that users have to deal with in a Virtual World.
In the beginning, Philip Rosedale created a virtual heaven and a digital earth, and then he said 'let there be "Second Life."

Whether or not it's good, the 38-year-old entrepreneur's 3-D world is certainly fruitful and multiplying.
'Second Life' 3-D digital world grows - Yahoo! News

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Google Is Said to Set Sights on YouTube

I wondered how long YouTube could sustain the growth on its own. This had to happen sooner or later.
Google is in discussions to acquire YouTube for $1.6 billion, people involved in the talks said yesterday. While the talks are in the early stages, and may fall apart, the size of Google’s offer may push YouTube closer to a deal. Other companies have also expressed interest and could swoop in with a higher offer.
Google Is Said to Set Sights on YouTube - New York Times

Friday, October 06, 2006

Blogger book craze could fizzle from overkill

"I just hope publishers with deep pockets don't squash the life out of blogs becoming books," said Clare Christian, publishing director of The Friday Project, a start-up firm dedicated to combing the Internet for book projects.

"It's like the dot-com boom all over again," added Paul Carr, Friday Project's editor in chief.

'In the same way that publishers knew they needed a Web site even if they didn't know what that was, they're just buying up blogs because they're hot."
Blogger book craze could fizzle from overkill - Yahoo! News

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Hunting Incident - Trailer

Trailer for an upcoming animated short.

MySpace Rules Online Video

These are some eye-opening stats.
"37.4 million unique individuals watched a video on MySpace in July. All told, they collectively watched 1.4 billion videos... 3 out of 5 Internet users are watching online videos, typically twice a day. On MySpace, its audience on average watches 39 videos a month, or just over 1 times a day."
Dean's Review: MySpace Rules Online Video
Original article on MarketWatch

Monday, October 02, 2006

MP4 Watch for Videos

"...check out this watch that can play MP4 videos on a screen that’s tinier than your cell phone display." - MP4 Watch for Videos

Saturday, September 30, 2006

Why Apple Will Change TV

The iPod shares a similar price point and feature set with the iTV. That helps provide some clues of what the iTV will be able to do. Both need primarily to decompress audio and video from a hard drive, but instead of creating output for headphones and a small display, the iTV will use digital audio ports and component video, or its HDMI AV connector.
Why Apple Will Change TV

Thursday, September 28, 2006

43 Pounds of Life's Work

This morning I heard a story on NPR about a writer who left 43 pounds of unpublished manuscripts and writings to his friend when he died.

The writer had written several stories in the 1950s and 60s, sent them to various publishers but had been rejected time-and-again. He finally gave-up writing, thinking of himself as a failure.

This man had studied creative writing in college and was a good writer. However, for whatever reason, publishers didn't deem his stories marketable or publishable.

The story made me wonder if this would happen in the modern Internet era that we live in. Today, anybody can be a published writer.

Blogs such as this one and numerous other sites on the Internet give each and every one of us the necessary tools to express ourselves and tell our unique story to the rest of the world.

Now, there is no reason for a writer or creative artist of any kind to be unpublished, to be dependent on the whims of a gatekeeper who can accept or reject the work because it does not meet their criteria of what's acceptable.

The creative professional of this era need not leave 43 pounds of unpublished works when they pass on. He or she can be content in knowing that they have left their mark where it will be possibly seen, hear or read by millions of people around the world.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

What's Art in the New Tech World?

Yesterday I got into a discussion with a few friends regarding what constitutes art in the new technological world. Where does theater, performance, painting etc. fit in?

Is online video on YouTube and Google Video art? Are the pictures and images on Flickr art? Are blogs as a way of expressing ourselves art? And is playing a character (an avatar) in a virtual world like SecondLife art?

I think it is. This is the medium of choice for the our generation. When people express themselves through these Emerging Media venues, I think it can be considered as art. It might not appeal to everyone's sensibilities but it's an expression never-the-less.

So let's stop debating whether it's art or not, but just accept it for what it is; individuals expressing their creativity using a new medium.

iPod puts books in palm of hand

A Philadelphia-based company called iPREPpress LLC has been transferring books to a format that can be moved to an iPod, compressed so they don't put too much of a squeeze on your kid's favorite tunes.
iPod puts books in palm of hand

Girl sells ad space on her future MacBook Pro

Why didn't I think of this! I guess, if you are a cute young woman you can get away with this kind of stuff.
Leah is a clever one though. While some pay for their brand new Macintosh computers, she has devised a way in which you pay for her new computer. Leah.. is selling ad space for $150 a square inch on the lid of the laptop. Each ad will be laser etched into the machine. To sweeten the pot, for the individual who buys the most space will get her old 'Zip Drive (250 GB!)' autographed by her "with love."
Infinite Loop: Woman sells ad space on her yet-to-be-bought MacBook Pro

MSN to air live webcasts of concerts

Very interesting move by M$.
The move to offer major live performances online is the latest move by Microsoft to drive both consumer and advertiser growth on its sites with a range of new entertainment and media features to challenge or differentiate itself from rivals including Yahoo Inc., YouTube Inc. and News Corp.'s MySpace.
Microsoft's MSN to air live webcasts of concerts

MySpace launches voter-registration plan

Now if we can figure-out a safe, secure way to vote online (using PCs & Cell Phones) we may have more voters voting.
The youth-heavy online hangout is launching a voter-registration drive to engage its members in civics. In partnership with the nonpartisan group Declare Yourself, MySpace is running ads on its highly trafficked Web site and giving members tools such as a 'I Registered To Vote On MySpace' badge to place on their personal profile pages.
MySpace launches voter-registration plan - Yahoo! News

Companies tap cell phones for podcasts

This article talks about new companies that are creating businesses around features found on most cell phones these days, turning them into valuable business and social networking tools.
Many people are just getting used to snapping pictures, listening to music, watching videos, sending text messages and getting e-mails over their cell phones. It turns out the phones can handle much more.
Companies tap cell phones for podcasts - Yahoo! News

Google Video to feature university lectures

The University of California at Berkeley said on Tuesday that it is using Google Video to deliver college courses, including lectures and symposia, free of charge, the first university to have its own featured page on Google Video [].

"Coursecasting" is a growing trend in educational technology, enabling students and the general public to download audio and video recordings of class lectures to their computers and portable media devices. Berkeley has been offering a limited set of material since 2001.
Google Video to feature university lectures - Yahoo! News

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

M$ Tries To "Wallop" MySpace

A Microsoft Corp. spin-off on Tuesday said it will take on Internet social networks and, touting tools users can buy to craft better-looking Web pages.
Microsoft spin-off to take on MySpace, Facebook - Yahoo! News

CinemaNow offers new DVD for download-to-burn

Online movie service CinemaNow on Tuesday said it will offer a version of Universal Picture's 'The Fast and The Furious: Tokyo Drift' that customers can download onto a blank DVD the same day it is available in stores.
CinemaNow offers new DVD for download-to-burn - Yahoo! News

Digg Founders Launch Internet Television Network

"Truly revolutionary Internet television isn't about cutting and pasting television programming onto a computer," said Jay Adelson, CEO of digg and Revision3. "It's created by having your ear to the ground -- knowing what the new generation of Internet consumers wants -- and mastering the latest technology to deliver it. It's a whole new model for the video broadcast industry"
Digg Founders Launch Internet Television Network - MarketWatch

Don't forget to check-out

Indie films + iTunes Store = Good Match

With only one major studio (Disney) signed on board at present, it would seem Apple’s decision to sell full-length videos on iTunes would be a boon to indie filmmakers and consumers. Sites like iTunes and YouTube could help the indie film market flourish. There are lots of talented and budding young filmmakers out there who don’t have big budgets—or the desire to make “blockbuster” films...

The iTunes Store could offer a high-profile site for the buying and selling of a variety of videos and movies. Besides helping indie filmmakers, it could provide another avenue for iTunes to stand out from rivals...

The Research and Market group has a new report, “Broadband Digital Movies: European Market Assessment and Forecasts,” that predicts that European movie downloading will accelerate from Euro 10 million in 2005 to Euro 690 million by the end of 2010. If their forecast is on target, there’s no reason to think this 69 fold growth won’t also occur in the U.S. and other countries.
Macsimum News - Indie films and the iTunes Store might make a good match

Monday, September 25, 2006

Why iTunes Works

Good article discussing why the iTunes model works while some other's don't.
"The only real profits to be made on the web are related to offering products people want to buy. Successful Internet companies such as Amazon, Ebay and Google all link potential buyers to real sales. Each has created an audience of consumers by offering services the public finds useful next to things they can directly buy.

By similarly offering free services and making desirable content available for sale on the side, Apple is able sell to people interested in the convenience of digital downloads without demanding the regular rent payments that turn off casual buyers."
Why iTunes Works

Digging for Video

In 2004, [Adelson and Rose] started Digg... Now, [they] are preparing to announce that they have turned the Revision3 Corporation, an Internet video production firm they have been running on the side, into a full-fledged company.

Revision3 has close to $1 million in financing from a group of investors that includes Marc Andreessen, the founder of Netscape, and Greylock Partners...

It is trying to capitalize on the rapid growth of Internet video, and its founders hope that their programming formula, a hybrid of the polished shows created for the networks and the amateur videos that populate sites like YouTube, will be the path to commercial success in this medium.
Young Internet Producers, Bankrolled, Are Seeking Act II - New York Times

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Pros take advantage of blogs

"One of the major points of a corporate blog is to put a more human face on the organization," said Sally Falkow of ExpansionPlus, an Internet marketing and public-relations firm in Pasadena, Calif. "You have to develop an authentic voice."
Pros take advantage of blogs |

Useful tools:

Saturday, September 23, 2006

You don't need an iPod to enjoy podcasts

Podcasts are typically MP3 files. Technically, they are like music files, which you also can listen to on the computer. They can be transferred to and played on virtually any music player. Or, they can be burned to a CD.
Personal Tech News and more from Gannett News Service

Friday, September 22, 2006

Apple's iTV strategy is iChat on steroids

Very interesting article, forecasting Apple's strategy for social networking via iTV. I sure like what Cringely thinks Apple is doing. Keeping my fingers crossed that this will happen for real.
"Where Microsoft is trying to follow its user out into the street, Apple is trying to lure its user back into the home for what is essentially a social activity conducted in a formerly antisocial setting. This is computing you'll never do by yourself."
PBS | I, Cringely . September 22, 2006 - Beam Me Up

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Still Not Ready for Prime Time

"I really hope Apple succeeds where Microsoft and others have failed. The amount of quality video available for download to computers is growing daily, but the challenge of putting that video where people want to watch it has so far been insurmountable. And the reluctance of the studios to buy into the digital vision has kept much of the best content out of reach. Apple revolutionized music with the iPod and iTunes. Maybe it can work its magic again with video."
Still Not Ready for Prime Time

Hot Recorders for Cool Podcasts

Thanks to Mike for bringing this to my attention.
Until a few years ago that would probably have been a portable analog cassette tape recorder. More recently, it might have been a MiniDisc recorder or digital audio tape recorder. But today, the hottest recorders do not use tape or discs but record to the same type of nonvolatile flash memory used in digital cameras.
Some Hot Recorders for Those Cool Podcasts - New York Times

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

A way to "monetize" those videos

Thanks to my friend Pat for finding this article. Now there is a way content creators can make an income off their creations. A couple of new websites Metacafe and Revver are offering a pay-per-view and a 50-50 ad-revenue sharing program. You create, they host, you both make some money. The "Lonely Girl" has already moved over to Revver; this is definitely a trend worth watching.
Lonelygirl15 (now known to be Jessica Rose) doesn’t seem to be out of the headlines for one day: this week, the news is that they’ve moved the operation to video-sharing startup Revver, where the creators can earn 50% of the show’s ad revenue.
Lonelygirl15 Moves from YouTube to Revver? - Mashable!

Cingular sponsorship gives YouTube cash

Is there money in them free videos?
Cingular Wireless LLC has agreed to sponsor an online battle of the bands on YouTube Inc., providing the Internet's most watched video site with a cash infusion as the rapidly growing startup tries to prove it will be able to parlay its popularity into profits...

YouTube has been subsisting on credit card debt and $11.5 million in venture capital since Hurley and Chen, a pair of 20-something buddies, launched the company in a Silicon Valley garage 19 months ago.
Cingular sponsorship gives YouTube cash - Yahoo! News

Yahoo, Current TV unveil new video service

More video on the web. When will the madness end?
Yahoo... and Current TV, a television channel founded by former U.S. Vice President Al Gore, on Wednesday said they had teamed up on a Web video service aimed at young adults...

The Yahoo Current Network will launch four Internet channels tracking buzz-generating trends, sports news, hot cars and exotic vacations. It plans to offer a total of eight channels by the end of 2007.
Yahoo, Current TV unveil new video service - Yahoo! News

USB Cell

Now this is cool!
This NiMH AA cell can be used in normal battery applications and can be recharged simply by plugging into a USB port.
Our Products -

Are Apple and Google YouTube-ing For Dollars?

The second half of the article is more interesting than the first-half. Read on.
[I]nteresting ideas start flowing when you move beyond the obvious and consider the enormous technological and culture-shaping resources that could be pooled if Apple and Google got together. Google's been busy buying all sorts of dark fiber and storage facilities suitable for repurposing as data centers, not to mention rolling out initiatives to blanket metropolitan areas with free and ad-subsidized WiFi. And they've got that whole search engine-cum-targeted advertising thing happening.

Apple, meanwhile, has been hard at work changing the way we buy, store, transport, and listen to music - and, to a lesser extent, TV and movies - and building a computer here and there on the side. So, geez, what might happen if Steve and Sergey and Larry decided to go in together on a side project aimed at taking out broadcast and cable TV? Don't laugh -- just ask the recording industry giants what they think of iTunes.
I Want My i(P)TV: Are Apple and Google YouTube-ing For Dollars?

Users want video downloads on the TV

Users want more control over the content they watch on their television sets according to an Accenture report released this morning. Over 10,000 Internet users were surveyed in China, South Korea, Italy, Canada, United Kingdom, Taiwan, Germany, United States and Japan—with 1,609 being from the United States—to get a feeling for what consumers want in their future 'digital homes. The results found that nearly half (47 percent) of those surveyed in the US want to be able to download movies, TV shows, and other video content to their television sets, with even more of those surveyed globally (54 percent) wishing for such technology.

Consumers are even willing to pay extra for such services, with the majority of respondents indicating that they'd cough up some cash for help in product installation, technology support, service to back up data, service to monitor PCs, and the ability to call tech support.

Pricing is also a factor for most consumers—in fact, it is the number one concern among those surveyed, outweighing all other factors. Puri said that there is currently such a high degree of commoditization in the market that hard for providers to differentiate themselves, but that they could easily do so by providing better services at a decent price.
Users want video downloads on the TV

Is more open better?

Facebook, the popular social networking Web site that has mainly focused on college students, is preparing to open its membership to everyone.

The move is meant to help the site expand, but it risks undercutting one of its attractions: it has been more exclusive and somewhat more protected than MySpace, its larger and more freewheeling rival.
Site Previously for Students Will Be Opened to Others - New York Times

iTunes Nets $1M in Movie Sales for Disney in a Week

The future of video downloads from Disney's point-of-view.
In only one week, Apple Computer’s iTunes store generated US$1 million in movie sales for Walt Disney...

By the end of this year, Disney expects to reap $50 million in movie sales through the iTunes store "at no marketing expense to us at all," said Robert Iger... CEO of Disney...

The initial success of the venture, with more than 125,000 Disney titles sold in a week, should help boost confidence in the Internet as a lucrative place for entertainment companies to deliver content to users...

"We are very, very bullish on consumption over electronically delivered media, and we’re taking a very optimistic view of technology as a friend, or a great enabler, and not a great predator," Iger said.
iTunes Nets $1M in Movie Sales for Disney in a Week - CIO

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

The Best Web 2.0 Sites

So what makes a site or service 'Web 2.0'? While a specific set of criteria doesn't exist, most of these next-generation sites and services offer new technological tricks, an emphasis on community and user-generated content, or a combination of both. Plus, many of the services are free, and only a few try to sell you premium-service upgrades.
The Best Web 2.0 Sites - Computer Shopper

Fifteen World-Widening Years - What's Next?

Good article on how it all started, key milestones, and where it may be headed beyond Web 2.0
In 1991, the Web was just a gleam in a few people's eyes. Today it's driving communications, research, business, and life everywhere. How'd we get here, and what's next?
Fifteen World-Widening Years - News by InformationWeek

Pure Digital's Point & Shoot Video Camera

This could be a useful (inexpensive) tool for aspiring vloggers.
"The camera is very light. The controls are minimal (power, play, record, delete, and a four-way pad that doubles as a zoom control). It takes two AA batteries and has a clever flip-out USB connector to let you attach the camcorder to your computer. Realistically, you'll need a USB extension cable to attach it to most hubs, though. There's also an included cable that lets you attach the camcorder to a TV."
Personal Tech Review: Pure Digital's Point & Shoot - News by InformationWeek

Microsoft to launch video service to rival YouTube

The video-service business is getting pretty crowded with the number of players entering this field. I wonder who'll still be standing when the dust settles down.
Microsoft Corp. will start testing on Tuesday an Internet video-sharing service called Soapbox, the software company's answer to Web sensation YouTube...

Since March, the number of YouTube monthly visitors has nearly tripled while MSN Video remained mostly unchanged at less than 12 million users.

MySpace video quadrupled to 17.9 million visitors a month and monthly Google Video users rose 70 percent to 13.5 million over the last six months, according to Nielsen//NetRatings.
Microsoft to launch video service to rival YouTube - Yahoo! News

Monday, September 18, 2006

Can YouTube Grow Up And Stay Cool?

Can an innovative start-up survive if it plays by corporate rules? Read the article to find-out more.
Finally, an old-media dinosaur gets it! By agreeing to license its artists' songs and videos to the video-sharing Web site, Warner embraces the digital revolution. Meanwhile YouTube shows other crusty media conglomerates how to get with the program.
Can YouTube Grow Up And Stay Cool? -

The Lessons of "Lonelygirl"

Good summary of the Lonely Girl 15 phenomenon on YouTube.
"The case of lonelygirl15 tells us a few things.

Chiefly, people hunger for stories. Unlike Emmalina, a summer YouTube phenom who had tons of fans but no point, Bree's vlogs have a story. What will happen to Bree? Will she get to the party?

Also, the power to create popular content is shifting from the entertainment industry to anybody with a digital camera, high-speed Internet and a story idea."
Frank Ahrens - The Lessons of 'Lonelygirl': We Can Be Fooled, And We Probably Don't Care -

Warner distribute videos through YouTube

Warner Music Group Corp. has agreed to distribute and license its copyrighted songs and other material through online video trendsetter YouTube Inc., marking another significant step in the entertainment industry's migration to the Internet.
Warner distribute videos through YouTube - Yahoo! News

Not in the Real World Anymore

Blurring the lines between the Real World and the Virtual World. Second Life anyone?
This week, MTV will introduce Virtual Laguna Beach, an online service in which fans of the program can immerse themselves — or at least can immerse digitized, three-dimensional characters, called avatars, that they control — in virtual versions of the show’s familiar seaside hangouts.

“You can not only watch TV, but now you can actually live it,” Van Toffler, the president of the MTV Networks Music, Film and Logo Group, said in an interview.
Not in the Real World Anymore - New York Times

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Make Room on the Couch for iTV

"It's inevitable that one day the boundaries between television and the computer will dissolve, but there are endless technicalities to hurdle. Could a simple $299 box really break the logjam? It seems like a stretch—but that's what people said when Apple set out to change digital music."
Make Room on the Couch for Steve - Steven Levy

Video Business Models

Good article in NYTimes discussing the merits of online video.
"Still, a few things are clear from the recent news flow. First of all: yes, the world has gone batty over video. Thirty-second clips, three-minute spoofs, half-hour sitcoms, TV dramas that haven’t been shown in decades, rap videos, Hollywood blockbusters and feeds from TV news outlets big and small are flooding online. The term video itself is already starting to sound old — the equivalent of songs before the advent of MP3’s and downloads.

The research firm eMarketer estimates that video-related advertising will top $2.3 billion within four years. And let’s not forget that Google is on track to exceed $7 billion in revenue this year — and that is predominantly from old-fashioned, Yellow Pages-style text ads. Heck, they don’t even have pictures, let alone moving images.

The good news — and my second point — is that there’s gold in them there hills. Video delivered over the Internet is clearly shaping up to be an actual business that advertisers are interested in. The broadcasting (netcasting?) of television programs and clips on the Web moves the debate away from Internet-versus-TV because if TV executives put their best material online and get paid for it, the proposition becomes Internet-cum-TV."
A Video Business Model Ready to Move Beyond Beta - New York Times

MySpace members get sneak preview of "Borat"

Another example of using social networking for marketing.
"The presentation marks the international launch of the social networking site's Black Carpet screening series, which debuted Wednesday in the United States with previews of Paramount Pictures' September 22 release 'Jackass: Number Two' in Los Angeles, Chicago and Philadelphia."
MySpace members get sneak preview of "Borat" - Yahoo! News

Friday, September 15, 2006

Crossing over from YouTube to the Boobtube

Jessica Rose, the 19-year-old New Zealand actress who played the mystery girl named Bree, known to millions of people on the internet as LonelyGirl15 showed-up on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno yesterday (Sept 14, 2006) and acknowledged that the entire thing faked.

The New York Times reported many of the LonelyGirl15 videos were shot in the bedroom of Ramesh Flinders, a screenwriter and film-maker from Marin County, California, with the help of Miles Beckett, a doctor-turned-filmaker, and Grant Steinfield, a software engineer in San Francisco.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Apple's iTV: Bridging the Big Divide

The iPod maker is betting it can do a better job than predecessors in getting digital content from the computer to the TV.
Apple's iTV: Bridging the Big Divide

What is Apple up to, and are we on the verge of a new digital revolution?

Interesting article from The Independent (UK). Worth a read.
Existing patterns of consumer behaviour simply do not lend themselves to movie watching on the go. However, this may not be as important as some fear. Video internet sites such as YouTube, which has enjoyed 2,291 per cent growth in the past 12 months, as well as new services from Google and Yahoo!, specialise in short clips - many of them homemade. Some believe consumers may not be looking for the highest production values when they fire up their iPods. Steve Jobs may be relying on it.
Independent Online Edition > Science & Technology

Intel, Siemens to cooperate in Internet telephony

Intel and Siemens said they wanted to expand the scope of Internet telephony, popularized by Skype, to build communications systems for corporate customers such as providers of telecoms and financial services and digital healthcare.
Intel, Siemens to cooperate in Internet telephony - Yahoo! News

CBS wants to buy the next YouTube, not YouTube

The big-boys are obviously worried and keeping a close watch on the web video phenomenon.
"It is obviously phenomenally successful,' Moonves said of YouTube. 'I doubt we would buy it at this point. Maybe we would look for the next YouTube, the next great idea that's not spread across the world."
CBS wants to buy the next YouTube, not YouTube - Yahoo! News

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Lonelygirl Really Wasn’t

Aah.. but it was fun while it lasted.
A nearly four-month-old Internet drama in which the cryptic video musings of a fresh-faced teenager became the obsession of millions of devotees — themselves divided over the very authenticity of the videos, or who was behind them or why — appears to be in its final act.

The woman who plays Lonelygirl15 on the video-sharing site has been identified as Jessica Rose, a 20-ish resident of New Zealand and Los Angeles and a graduate of the New York Film Academy. And the whole project appears to be the early serialized version of what eventually will become a movie.
Well, It Turns Out That Lonelygirl Really Wasn’t - New York Times

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Are You Ready for Googlevision?

Comments from a Google exec on video on the web. To read more, click the link below.
"Does professionalism matter?"

"I dunno, but if you watch a video on the Web and you don't get it within a few seconds, you go to something else because it's so easy. The Chinese kids doing the Backstreet Boys parodies - that's a good example of something made for the medium. You're entertained very, very quickly. I wish those two would do more projects. You guys should find them."
Wired 14.05: Are You Ready for Googlevision?:

The New (Video) Networks

Good list of online video aggregators. Site's you want to bookmark if you are serious about online video.
"Say good-bye to the CBS eye. Aggregator sites like iFilm and YouTube let you watch anything - and everything - you want."
Wired 14.05: The New Networks:

Guide to the Online Video Explosion

Things are getting really interesting in the online video arena, what's going to stick is anybody's guess at this point.
"Online video has arrived, unleashed from the networks, cable companies, and media giants. Thanks to growing bandwidth, easy access to the means of production, and cheap storage, it's exploding all around us and becoming a very real, very different way to experience news and entertainment."
Sites mentioned:
Rocketboom, blinkx, YouTube,, House of Cosbys, Kevin Sites's hot zone at Yahoo!

Wired 14.05: A Guide to the Online Video Explosion

A Business Plan for your Second Life

Just what we need, busniness consultants from the RL (real life) following us into the SL (Second Life) ;-)

But seriously, this article shows how important Virtual Worlds and other online environments are becoming. The days of simply starting a business in your virtual life may be coming to an end. Things are getting serious as big players are getting into this space. You may need a real business plan, hence a real/virtual business consultant.
"Arlene Ciroula, the chief operating officer of the 100-person Baltimore accounting firm KAWG&F, said she wants to help the people who are breaking new ground with their 'Second Life' enterprises, many of whom have never run businesses before."
Business consulting comes to 'Second Life' | CNET

Self-Promotion on MySpace

"If so-called 'MySpace phenomena' such as the Arctic Monkeys and Lily Allen continue to emerge through self-promotion and are given unprecedented direct selling access to their MySpace-addicted audience, where do the big guys fit in exactly?"
MySpace punts 'MyTunes', targets Apple | The Register

NBC launches venture for online video

Based loosely on the model of the hugely popular YouTube site, members of the venture will be able to add video to the system and also select which clips to play on their own site.

NBC officials say the network will focus on short clips that will retain high quality standards. At the same time, NBC clearly wants tap into the thriving video-sharing activities that have made sites like YouTube so popular. One early partner in the venture is, which features user-generated video clips.
NBC launches venture for online video - Yahoo! News

Apple to sell movies via download

After much anticipation, today Apple unveiled its own movie download service on iTunes along with an entire revamp of the iPod line-up. It also said users will soon be able to watch the downloaded movies on TV with the upcoming release of a new product dubbed the iTV player.

Apple to sell Disney movies via download - Sep. 12, 2006

Pete has now left the building!

This guy writes with passion. It's definitely worth a read.
"So, today I resigned my job, and completely ended my Microsoft career. I have taken a role as Director with a company at the leading edge of the “Web 2.0” curve. My team and I will write Ruby on Rails code, use Macintosh computers to do so, shun Microsoft technology completely, go to work in shorts and sandals and blast each other with nerf guns. My team is devoted to being the best it can be, to learning, to improving, to pushing boundaries. And it's not Microsoft.

I'm writing this on my Mac using NeoOffice Writer while the PC under my desk is, for the last time ever, removing Windows and all the trappings that go with it to install Ubuntu Linux. My Microsoft career is now officially over.

Microsoft don't innovate, in my opinion. Vista looks like a pile of crap compared to Mac OS X and Ubuntu with GLX. Their software is buggy, overpriced, and stress inducing. Their development tools are staid, designed and developed by committees to solve every problem you could ever conceive of, while being ideally suited to solving none."
Strange new worlds, and programming languages...: Good bye Microsoft; Pete has now left the building!:

Monday, September 11, 2006

Simplicity: The New Trend In Gadgets

Interesting observation. I am definitely all for this new trend in product design. Keep it simple!
"I’m noticing a new trend in consumer electronics lately - simplicity. Let’s be honest here. How many of us want gadgets that are loaded with thousands of buttons, look bulky and cost significantly more than what we can afford? Thankfully, companies are now starting to embrace the more economic model, thereby making consumer electronics more mainstream than they were a few years ago." - Simplicity: The New Trend In Gadgets

New entrant in the downloadable movie arena

Looks like a whole bunch of players are entering the downloadable movie business ahead of Apple's expected announcment of a similar service on iTunes.
EZTakes is a new commercial movie download service that lets you buy DVDs, download, watch and burn them on your computer... EZTakes offers a full DVD disc image, often measuring 4GB in size. You pay for and download an encrypted file — once it gets to your Mac, the download management software — which runs on Mac OS X v10.4 or later on both Intel and PowerPC-based Macs — checks to make sure you’ve paid for it, then decrypts it...

Rather that protecting the content using DRM encryption, EZTakes “personalizes” it, according to EZTakes CEO Jim Flynn. The downloaded DVD is personalized with your name, and information about your account is embedded into the disc image. “You could make unlimited numbers of unauthorized copies, but you’d incriminate yourself in the process,” Flynn told Macworld. “We’ve developed this system to make copies traceable.”
Playlist: EZTakes offers burnable movie downloads

Emerging Media: Content for Mobile Devices

NYTimes has a great example of a company who is creating content for mobile device users.
[Amp’d Mobile] is aiming its services at 18- to 24-year-olds, a group many advertisers and television networks are eager to reach, and it has persuaded a number of investors that it can do so. In May it closed its third round of financing by raising $150 million, making it the largest venture capital deal of 2006 to date...

“We’re estimating now that by 2010 about 24 million United States consumers will be subscribing to either video” or some mobile service other than voice in some capacity, he said. “That’s about 9.2 percent of total cellphone subscribers.”

Are You Breaking Up? A Cellphone Original Comedy Is Calling

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Is Open Source the platform of the future?

"Shuttleworth... is taking on U.S. technology behemoth Microsoft by pioneering free computer software that he hopes will revolutionize the way computers are used, and make the Internet accessible to millions in Africa and other emerging markets.

'Ultimately open source is the platform of the future,' Shuttleworth told Reuters. 'It's one of those enormous waves that is taking over everything -- like the Internet.'

Shuttleworth's 'Ubuntu' family of software programs is based on the Linux open source operating system, which works on the principle that software is free and can be modified at no cost by anyone to suit local and specific needs -- unlike rival Microsoft's proprietary software."
Millionaire cosmonaut takes on Microsoft - Yahoo! News:

YouTube Growing ... Like Cancer?

There are may issues regarding the view-for-free model on video hosting sites; how can their growth be sustained and how it can be supported. Slashdot has some interesting points covering this issue with regards to YouTube.
YouTube co-founders Chad Hurley and Steve Chen are moving slowly to ramp up advertising. They have been wary of asking viewers to sit through a 30-second ad before a two- to three-minute clip. Instead, YouTube is developing new formats, like ones rolled out in August that let marketers build their own video channels or pay to place a video on YouTube's popular front page.
Slashdot | YouTube Growing ... Like Cancer?

Friday, September 08, 2006 launches TV, movie service -

This news comes just day's ahead of an expected announcement by Apple of a similar service. One major limitation of Amazon's service is that it only works on Windows PCs and devices that play the Windows Media format. Now the ball's on Apple's court. Inc. launched a digital video downloading service Thursday, ending months of speculation that the Internet retailer would be getting into the online TV and movie business.

The service, dubbed Amazon Unbox, will offer thousands of television shows, movies and other videos from more than 30 studios and networks, the company said.

TV shows will cost $1.99 per episode, and most movies will go for $7.99 to $14.99; movies can also be rented for $3.99. launches TV, movie service -