Archive for December 16th, 2008

Analyst: Apple to release 'closed' Netbook with iPhone-esque App Store

It’s not very often that I find myself agreeing with a likely overpaid analyst, especially one who admits that they have no “inside information”, but I think Ezra Gottheil of Technology Business Research could be onto something. Gottheil is predicting that Apple will announce its own Netbook at Macworld in January, priced higher than its competitors, that will, like the iPhone, run a new version of its OSX operating system, and will be similarly tied to an iPhone-esque App Store and iTunes for third-party software downloads and system upgrades.

His reasoning is sound…

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Vudu set-top box no longer a one trick pony, adds support for YouTube, Flickr and more

My biggest beef with the Vudu set-top movie box is that it’s always been a one trick pony, and an expensive one at that. Focusing on paid-for movies (rentals and to-own), Vudu’s sole proposition was that you purchased one of its set-top boxes, starting at $299, so that you could begin purchasing content. Essentially paying to enter the store.

That changed today, with the company announcing support for a range of free online video from YouTube, MSNBC, CNN, MTV, PBS, and National Geographic, as well as images from photo sharing sites Flickr and Picasso. “The new content will be available via a free firmware update that should hit all Vudu boxes over the next 24 hours”, reports Cnet. And best of all there’s plenty more to come.

See also: AppleTV 2 breaks free from the PC, remains under Apple’s lock and key

That’s because Vudu isn’t providing access to said content through formal licensing agreements but is instead pulling in content through those sites’ own APIs or freely available web feeds. Better still, Vudu is going to open up this feature to third-party developers in the first half of 2009 who’ll be able to add support for more online content.

In other words, Vudu looks like it might be slowly morphing, to some extent at least, into the open Apple TV I’ve been long calling for.

HP Magic Giveaway on last100 – your chance to win $6000 worth of gear

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Note: the contest is now closed. Winner to be announced shortly.

Today it’s our turn to share some magic courtesy of HP and Microsoft. We’re giving away $6,000 worth of gear, including four computers (a 25 inch touchscreen desktop, two laptops and HP’s newest Netbook), a media extender, printer and a bunch of software/DVDs.

That’s a lot of kit for even for the most hardened geek, so we’re encouraging the winner to also share the magic by giving some of the prize away.

For your chance to win, I’m going to keep it relatively simple. Here’s how to enter, along with a few basic rules.

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