Archive for January, 2008

It's time to kiss and make up: Put NBC content back on iTunes

nbc appleApple-NBC is so high school. He loves me. He loves me not. He loves me. This time, it’s like NBC top exec Jeff Zucker is passing a note through a friend, suggesting that NBC might really like Apple again.

In the role of “friend”, the Financial Times published a story Sunday that said Zucker “eyes TV shake-up.” At the end of the report, the FT’s Joshua Chaffin includes a seemingly innocuous paragraph:

Mr. Zucker appears to have patched up relations with Apple after a pricing dispute last year led NBC to pull its shows from the iTunes digital media store. ‘We’ve said all along that we admire Apple, that we want to be in business with Apple,’ he said. ‘We’re great fans of Steve Jobs.’”

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HBO dips a toe in the Internet TV waters

HBO dips a toe in the Internet TV watersHBO is the latest U.S. television network to jump on the Internet TV bandwagon, albeit with a rather cautious approach.

The new service, dubbed “HBO on Broadband”, will be offered free of change to existing HBO subscribers only, and initially you’ll need to be served by the Wisconsin division of Time Warner Cable, and a user of their “Road Runner” high speed broadband service.

Over 600 HBO movies and shows will be made available each month, reports DVD Dossier, although most content will expire after four weeks. January’s lineup includes “We Are Marshall,” “Norbit,” “Breach,” “Smokin’ Aces,” “The Devil Wears Prada,” “Superman Returns,” “The Last King of Scotland” and the documentary “Baghdad Hospital: Inside The Red Zone.”

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iTunes movie rentals in Europe face many obstacles

iTunes movie rentals in Europe face many obstaclesThe New York Times provides a good overview of the challenges Apple — or any company — faces to deliver a European-wide online movie rental service.

“Apple will have to confront legal and regulatory hurdles, copyright challenges, scheduling conflicts and technological issues, reminders that the European media landscape remains a patchwork of individual countries, rather than the single market that the European Commission envisions”, notes the report.

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Weekly wrapup, 14-18 January 2008

Here’s a summary of the week’s digital lifestyle action on last100. Note that you can subscribe to the weekly wrapups, either via the special weekly wrapup RSS feed or by email.

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Top digital lifestyle news

This week’s digital lifestyle news was dominated by the Macworld Conference and Expo in San Francisco. Apple CEO Steve Jobs delivered his traditional keynote, announcing a flurry of new products and updates: Macbook Air, iTunes movie rentals, iPhone/iPod Touch software, and Apple TV “take 2”.

In our follow-up coverage we asked how movie rentals on iTunes fare?; called for the AppleTV to be opened up to third-party developers; and looked in more detail at the iPhone/iPod Touch updates and how they point to the future.

Additional Macworld coverage:

Other digital lifestyle news:


Our feature of the week was a guest post by Aseem Kishore, titled ‘Ten mobile apps and services you should definitely check out‘. Aseem wrote: “…most cell phone companies are not necessarily giving you the best software and services for your phone. If you’re looking for some cool mobile phone apps or mobile services that are free and really useful, here are ten worth checking out.”

That’s a wrap for the week. Enjoy the rest of the weekend!

ESPN to cover Major League Gaming; it's a sign of what's to come

espn and mlgBack at the end of July we reported that CBS, home of The Masters and March Madness, and Nielsen Media Research were betting on gaming’s future. Now ESPN is getting into the game mix.

Gaming coverage on television isn’t new, but it’s interesting to see big names like CBS and ESPN dipping their big toes into the gaming pool. ESPN, the grand daddy of all sports television, has entered into a multiyear agreement with Major League Gaming (MLG) to provide exclusive online coverage of upcoming video game competitions.

The agreement includes streamed matches, player interviews, scores, and stats. ESPN will be onsite for each 2008 MLG Pro Circuit competition and will include content from the games in short segments on existing TV programs.

The temptation is to say that ESPN’s MLG gaming coverage is only online and that the cable network is not committing much valuable air time to MLG events on one of its cable channels. But think of this as a precursor of what’s to come.

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NBA decides not to go it alone, partners with Turner to expand its digital offerings

nba logoThe NFL and MLB stayed home. The NBA is stepping out. We’ll see who innovates the best.

The NBA and Turner Broadcasting System will jointly manage the league’s domestic 24-hour digital business (announcement), including programming, marketing, technical operations of NBA TV, hosting and operating the network (,,, and broadband and wireless offerings.

When faced with similar decisions, the NFL and MLB opted to manage their digital business in house, and the innovation jury is still out as to whether it’s better to keep everything inside or partner with someone on the outside. The NBA decided to buck the trend and step out, choosing to go with with Turner, its broadcasting partner of 24 years and the longest league/network partnership in professional sports.


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TiVo offers American indie and international films through Jaman partnership

jamanGive TiVo points for continuing to improve its service for subscribers, and while you’re at it throw in a clove cigarette or two.

TiVo has struck a deal with Jaman, the peer-to-peer Web movie service, to bring its catalogue of American indie and international films directly to its set-top box. Think Oscar-nominated “Paheli”, “Loverboy” (Sundance), “All About Lily Chou-Chou” (Berlin International Film Festival), and “La Promesse” (Cannes) — movies that you’d have a hard time finding anywhere else. Ah, subtitled films.

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BBC tech chief: iPlayer on iTunes now a possibility

BBC tech chief: iPlayer on iTunes now a possibilityMovie rentals on iTunes could pave the way for content from the BBC’s catch-up service, iPlayer, being offered on Apple’s platform, according to the broadcaster’s Future Media and Technology Director, Ashley Highfield.

Writing on the BBC Internet blog, Highfield says that Apple’s re-launch of the AppleTV (no computer required) is “encouraging” and, furthermore, the BBC could potentially piggyback on Apple’s newly announced movie rental offering, to deliver iPlayer content through iTunes.

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Ten mobile apps and services you should definitely check out

This is a guest post by Aseem Kishore, a technology enthusiast and lead blogger for Online-Tech-Tips.

Got an iPhone? What about a Treo? Or maybe you’re in love with your Blackberry? Whatever phone you may have, it’s becoming more and more common to see people with phones that can access the Internet, play video, download music, and do a lot more.

However, most cell phone companies are not necessarily giving you the best software and services for your phone. If you’re looking for some cool mobile phone apps or mobile services that are free and really useful, here are ten worth checking out.


MShopperMShopper is a mobile phone application that lets you quickly find the best bargain deals for any product right from your cell phone. It’s free, very fast, convenient, and can be accessed while you’re window shopping. You can also purchase items once you find a good deal or email the info to a friend.

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Report: music phones spur adoption of mobile music consumption; we say "hogwash"

m:metricsI’ve been wondering this ever since the handset manufacturers and mobile carriers got into the mobile music business. Do people really want to listen to music on their phones and buy it from Verizon, AT&T, Nokia, and others?

According to a new study by M:Metrics, 83 percent of the mobile music consumed in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, the U.K., and the U.S. is “sideloaded”, meaning it comes from another source and is transfered to the phone via a computer. With this is mind, the answer for buying music directly from the carriers or certain handset makers is, for now, “no.”

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