Weekly wrapup, 28 Apr – 2 May 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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Internet TV news on last100

The WB is reborn as an online video site offering original programming and “reruns”

First up, Warner television group is bringing back The WB brand not as a television network but an online video site, writes Dan Langendorf. The new WB (thewb.com) will feature original short-form content developed by talent like director/producer McG (“Terminator 4” and the “Charlie’s Angels” movies) and writer/producer Josh Schwartz (“Gossip Girl”). Additionally, the new WB will provide “reruns” of shows which ran on the network from its birth in 1995 to 2006, when it merged with the UPN network to form The CW for the 2006-2007 TV season.

Report: Blockbuster in talks to join Hollywood Video-On-Demand joint venture

The latest rumor is that the company best known for its ‘bricks and mortar’ video rental business wants to join the recently announced Hollywood joint venture, led by Viacom, to create a new premium TV channel and Video-On-Demand (VOD) service. The other existing partners are Paramount, MGM and Lionsgate. In return for investing, Blockbuster would get digital rights to the new channel’s programming, “people familiar with the situation” told the WSJ.

Yay! Legal loophole allows Zattoo to expand UK channel lineup

As of this week, Zattoo users located in Britain can access all five of the country’s “terrestrial” channels: BBC 1 & 2, ITV 1, Channel 4 and Channel 5, including the ability to opt-in to various regional versions. Because each channel carries a public service remit, under section 73 of the UK Copyright Act, cable operators can re-transmit broadcasts live and uninterrupted without first seeking permission. Zattoo is effectively piggybacking the existing cable television provision.

More to the story: Apple announces new movies available for purchase from all major studios

Apple have announced that new movie releases from major film studios are available for purchase on the iTunes Store the same day as their DVD release. The day before, Jeff Bewkes, the Time Warner chief executive, let slip on a conference call that Warner Brothers studio will now release movies for video-on-demand systems the same day they are released on DVD. Joining Warner Brothers are 20th Century Fox, The Walt Disney Studios, Paramount Pictures, Universal Studios Home Entertainment, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Lionsgate, Image Entertainment, and First Look Studios

Featured post on last100

Five companies that sold customers down the DRM-filled river

The news last week that Microsoft plans to turn off its verification servers for its now-defunct MSN Music store, is a stark reminder of the potential pitfalls customers face whenever they purchase content crippled by Digital Rights Management (DRM) software. Any digital store that sells or loans you content in a copy-protected format makes you a hostage to that store or format’s commercial success. The Microsoft example, however, is just one of many.

Win a HP Dragon notebook

“31 Days of the Dragon”, a super duper HP notebook giveaway

We’re pleased to announce that we’ve been selected to be one of thirty one blogs taking part in a super duper giveaway courtesy of HP. Dubbed “The 31 Days of the Dragon“, beginning this week 31 blogs that cover gadgets and the digital lifestyle will start giving away a HP HDX Dragon 20inch notebook each, loaded with “stuff”, every day for 31 days. The HP HDX dragon is a seriously high-end entertainment machine, and not for the feint hearted, sporting a 20.1″ display, Intel Core 2 Extreme x9000, 4GB of Ram, Blu-Ray drive and lots more including a good few games and Blu-Ray movies to get you started (total retail price approx $5,000).

Each participating blog will be running its own contest (with total freedom to set to the rules) that will be open for seven days with the first contest kicking off this Friday (May 2nd).

More importantly, last100 will open its giveaway on the 16th of May (a Friday), with the winner announced one week later. You’ll have to wait till then to find out how you can enter, but rest assured it should be fun and relatively painless 🙂

02 May – 09 May www.absolutevista.com
03 May – 10 May www.arstechnica.com
04 May – 11 May www.osnn.net
05 May – 12 May www.jkontherun.com
06 May – 13 May digitalmediaphile.wordpress.com

07 May – 14 May www.bostonpocketpc.com and www.techronical.com
08 May – 15 May www.the-gadgeteer.com
09 May – 16 May www.thedigitallifestyle.com

10 May – 17 May www.digitalhomethoughts.com
11 May – 18 May www.windows-now.com
12 May – 19 May www.windowsconnected.com
13 May – 20 May www.geekstogo.com
14 May – 21 May bink.nu

15 May – 22 May www.mediablab.com
16 May – 23 May www.last100.com

17 May – 24 May www.labnol.org
18 May – 25 May www.notebooks.com
19 May – 26 May www.slashdotreview.com
20 May – 27 May www.neowin.net
21 May – 28 May www.geek.com
22 May – 29 Mau www.lockergnome.com

23 May – 30 May www.planetx64.com
24 May – 31 May www.thegreenbutton.com
25 May – 01 Jun www.istartedsomething.com
26 May – 02 Jun www.bleepingcomputer.com
27 May – 03 Jun www.hardwaregeeks.com
28 May – 04 Jun www.geeknewscentral.com

29 May – 05 Jun www.geekzone.co.nz
30 May – 06 Jun www.thetabletpc.net
31 May – 07 Jun www.gearlive.com
01 Jun – 08 Jun www.gottabemobile.com

Note: each blog will run their own competition, so there will be different rules for each site. You should visit each site and look for more information there. If there is no competition information live yet, then please visit the sites again later between those dates listed above. It is recommended you subscribe to their RSS feeds to make sure you don’t miss any information about their contests.

This competition comes to you thanks to HP and BuzzCorps.

last100 is edited by Steve O'Hear. Aside from founding last100, Steve is co-founder and CEO of Beepl and a freelance journalist who has written for numerous publications, including TechCrunch, The Guardian, ZDNet, ReadWriteWeb and Macworld, and also wrote and directed the Silicon Valley documentary, In Search of the Valley. See his full profile and disclosure of his industry affiliations.

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