A new service launching today promises to put book publishers in touch with a group of online companies including Amazon, Google and Sony, in order to boost both digital and print sales.
Apple’s App Store is filled (some would say littered) with applications that are basically useless. Multiple cow bell applications, multiple fake lighter applications, multiple coin flip applications, etc. The thing is, who’s to say what is useful and what isn’t? Some even tried to argue that about the $1,000 I Am Rich “piece of art” application.
Traffic Marketplace, an online ad network, has purchased Livemarkets for an undisclosed amount. Livemarkets offers technology that lets an advertiser operate a click-to-chat feature within a banner ad, so a potential customer can immediately talk to a salesperson.
When I got a chance to meet with events web site Eventful back in July to look at their iPhone application, the company informed me it was working on some interesting ways to incorporate advertisements. Today, it revealed those plans: It’s the first cross-platform partner of location-based ad-targeting service 1020 Placecast.
Amazon‘s new online streaming video service, Video on Demand, isn’t going to win any awards for creative branding. Then again, to have a service with such a straightforward name replace one that had anything but, Unbox, may be a good thing. Most importantly, Video on Demand is a compelling alternative to the iTunes video store.
Microsoft cut Xbox 360 prices on all three of its console versions today. The $50 to $79 price cuts mean that Microsoft will have the cheapest new console on the market in the form of the Xbox 360 Arcade, which will now cost $199 compared to the $249 Nintendo Wii.
Stylesight, a company that helps merchandisers and designers track fashion trends, has raised $16 million in a first round of financing.
Big Stage, a startup that gives people the ability to create avatars based on pictures of their own face, has released a public beta — and it’s pretty interesting.
We’re under a week away from the next Apple event. That means two things: Leaks and fake leaks. The latest is the supposed schematics for the upcoming fourth generation iPod nano and the new second generation iPod touch. The images below, leaked to the Apple-focused blog iLounge, certainly seem legitimate enough given the rumors floating around from multiple sources and the new iPod cases caught in the wild.
The next version of iTunes, version 8, is set to launch on Tuesday with a few new features, a tipster tells Digg founder Kevin Rose. Normally, I’d be skeptical of such a rumor, but Rose did nail the September 9 Apple event date and appears to be dead-on in terms of what the new iPod nanos will look like based on product case shots out in the wild.
What is the deal with Michel Gondry and Microsoft? Apparently, he’ll be one of the directors at the helm the new Microsoft/Jerry Seinfeld advertisements, Computerworld is reporting.
Mobile startup FunMobility is releasing a new product dubbed the MoMoney content widget to help bloggers make money by selling mobile content.
Add web browers to the list of things Google does well. The Mountain View-based search giant debuted its new web browser today in a public beta, and I’ve spent most of the afternoon poking around the web and seeing how Chrome performs. The verdict? While it’s still a few iterations from displacing Firefox as my browser of choice, Chrome already provides a much more pleasant web experience than Microsoft’s newest competitor Internet Explorer 8 (also in beta).
Apple is holding an event on Tuesday, Sept. 9, to show off some new products. You may ask, what new products?
Google’s new web browser Chrome was officially unveiled today and is ready for download here — if you have a Windows PC. If you’re like me and don’t have a Windows machine, you were probably disappointed to learn that Google didn’t have a Mac or Linux version ready for launch day. While both are promised to be in the works, it may be a while, the company laid out on its Google Mac Blog today.
The mid-day charge. It’s a term that iPhone 3G owners are getting to know all too well. You unplug the device in the morning then set out on your day, only to find that sometime in the afternoon you need to recharge the battery again. Many complain about this annoyance and wonder why Apple made a device with such a limitation.
Heading into a battle with Cisco and others, Google is launching a YouTube-like video service for businesses.
With the first mobile devices running Google’s Android coming shortly, the development community at large seems apprehensive about the platform. After all, why develop for something that may or may not work when there is already a hot, new mobile platform out there, Apple’s iPhone, that has proven to be extremely successful? Well, the team behind the life update and emergency messaging application Life360 took the opposite approach.
Last.fm, one of the truly great online music sites, has an iPhone app, but I find it somewhat lacking. It seems to have most of the features it needs, but for whatever reason the app just doesn’t flow well. Loading time seems to be a constant issue and site navigation is clumsy.
Tap Tap Revenge held the mantle as the most downloaded application on Apple’s App Store for a while. It’s a solid Guitar Hero-like music game that utilizes the iPhone and iPod Touch’s touch screen with the right price: Free. A new update out today could push it back to the top.
One the most important parts of online mapping tools is the satellite imagery that is used. Right now, the images used by Google, Microsoft and Yahoo in rival products are all roughly the same. But Google just bought an exclusive ticket to hitch a ride with a new satellite going up that could make its offering a lot better.
An application called NetShare was the talk of the App Store back in July. The app, made by Nullriver, allowed users to connect their computers to their iPhone 3G to use the device’s unlimited data plan to surf the web. Unfortunately, this process, known as “tethering,” was apparently not approved by AT&T. Thus, NetShare was pulled from the App Store.
If there is one thing Microsoft has plenty of it’s money. It proved that again tonight by agreeing to buy Greenfield Online, the parent company of Ciao, which runs various price-comparison and shopping search sites in Europe.
Okay, this console war is getting really boring. Nintendo is thrashing everyone else. Today, the Japanese company revised upward its financial forecasts for the six months ending Sept. 30, 2008. It also upped its forecasts for game hardware and software during the period, as well as for its full fiscal year that ends March 31, 2009.
Earlier today we learned about the Android Market, Google’s way to get third-party applications on phones running Android. It sounds a lot like Apple’s App Store for the iPhone, but claims to be more open. Now we know some of the applications that will be offered on it.
[Editor's note: This is a piece by Russell Buckley, managing director of mobile advertising company AdMob's European operations. He is global chairman of the Mobile Marketing Association and blogger at MobHappy.com. He’s spent nearly 10 years working on mobile marketing, overseeing thousands of campaigns for both large and small advertisers. This is the first of a series of posts about mobile advertising coordinated by mobile expert and VentureBeat freelancer Matthäus Krzykowski.]
You just knew it was too good to last. Starting on October 1 of this year, Internet service provider Comcast will begin placing a cap on the amount of data its customers can access a month, DSLreports has learned.
Picateers has raised $6.6 million in a second round of funding to expand its effort to replace school portrait vendors with volunteer-based programs run by parents.
[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JJnXORCW1Vg&hl=en&fs=1%5DRemember the awkward video from last December that featured various bloggers and video bloggers in video speed-dating situations? Well, the company that offered the dating service behind it, SpeedDate.com, claims to be on a bit of a tear. It’s growing 50 percent a month and now getting 100,000 online dates happening on its service per day.
SugarSync, the service from startup Sharpcast that allows users to synchronize files across multiple computers and mobile devices, just became even more useful with the release of an iPhone application.
Google-owned video site YouTube is experimenting with another way to make some extra cash — placing a giant banner ad on its homepage, according to Silicon Alley Insider.
Here’s the latest action:
The life-streaming site Jaiku has come back online after being down the entire weekend and the first part of this week while it moved to Google datacenters. While the look and feel of the service are exactly the same as before it went down, users were greeted with a shiny new terms of service (TOS) agreement to accept. The big news though is that now users have unlimited invites to send out.
The online video sharing site YouTube is a great product with a rich community. To say it has a stranglehold on the online video space would be putting it lightly. Yet, as with most things in the tech world, all anyone seems to ever want to talk about YouTube is its monetization. Today, Google, which bought YouTube for $1.65 billion back in 2006, is doing some talking of its own.
A security flaw in the new iPhone 2.0.2 software was uncovered last night by a MacRumors forum user. To expose the flaw you must have your iPhone password protected. When you turn on the phone and get to the “Enter Passcode” screen, hit the “Emergency Call” button. From here, double click the main iPhone button and you’ll be taken to your phone’s “Favorites” menu. This should not happen.
One of my biggest pet peeves with the iPhone App Store is the paid apps that offer the same functionality as free web sites. Why should I pay to access information when I can just look it up using the mobile Safari browser? Apps like theNextTrain, which gives users quick access to Bay Area train times, may be worth the $4.99 for some daily commuters. But I’m cheap, and I’ll go through the hassle of typing icaltrain.com into Safari, thank you very much.
When I saw the an iPhone advertisement was getting banned in the UK, I assumed it was the one showing ridiculously fast web browsing speeds that no iPhone user had ever seen. I had to laugh when I saw that the actual ad causing controversy basically amounts to a semantics argument.