Archive for May, 2008

Weekly wrapup, 19-23 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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Congratulations to JuanE who is the winner of our HP Dragon giveaway!

Internet TV news

Roku delivers first Netflix set-top box

This week Netflix announced that Roku, best known for its line of networked audio players, has become the first company to offer a dedicated set-top box designed to bring Netflix’s ‘Watch Now’ Internet TV service to the television.

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HP HDX Dragon winner!

We now have a winner for our super duper giveaway. The HP HDX Dragon Entertainment Notebook and assorted goodies goes to JuanE from Mexico who named his five favorite digital lifestyle products and services as:

  1. iPod 30 GB 5.5G (Portable music and video player. Can’t leave the house without it.)
  2. Winamp (Faster and more customizable than iTunes.)
  3. Motorola SLVR L7 (Multimedia phone. A little dated, but still great.)
  4. Nintendo Wii (Great videogame console. Yes, I’m a Nintendo fanboy.)
  5. Windows Media Center (A very nice home-entertainment center. Wish there were more features for it in my country.)

Thanks to all the other entrants and don’t despair if you aren’t a winner as the following blogs are still running their own The 31 Days of the Dragon contests:

19 May – 26 May
20 May – 27 May
21 May – 28 May
22 May – 29 Mau
23 May – 30 May
24 May – 31 May
25 May – 01 Jun
26 May – 02 Jun
27 May – 03 Jun
28 May – 04 Jun
29 May – 05 Jun
30 May – 06 Jun
31 May – 07 Jun
01 Jun – 08 Jun

This competition comes to you thanks to HP and BuzzCorps.

Viacom seems to have cooled on Joost; is it headed to the Deadpool?

joost logoIt looks as though the once high-and-mighty Joost is running out of juice.

Joost, the peer-to-peer Internet TV service that once raised $45 million in 2006 from investors such as CBS, Viacom, and Sequoia Capital Index Ventures, is revamping its tech platform [last100] with a Web-based service that requires only a plug-in to play in browsers. It’s due sometime this summer.

Currently Joost requires a downloaded desktop client to play peer-to-peer content. It works with Microsoft operating systems XP and Vista and Apple’s OS X (but Intel processors only).

The Web plug-in is clearly a move to stay afloat and relative amid the success of an online streaming site like Hulu, but two of Joost’s biggest investors, CBS and Viacom, have little to say about the service these days.

Viacom CEO Philippe Dauman was less than enthusiastic about Joost in an interview with paidContent, which asked: “Is the service where he [Dauman] thought it would be?”

“We come at Joost or any other platforms from the point of view that we cannot predict — nor did we in that case or any other case — predict which ones are going to be hugely successful, moderately successful, which won’t work,” he said.

OK then.

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Forrester sees picture frames, clock radios, remote controls, and house calls in Apple's future

forresterThis is why the analysts make the big bucks. Predictions. Forecasts. Gazing into crystal balls to come up with . . .

  • Digital picture frames.
  • A clock radio.
  • A remote control.
  • A media server that’s not called a “server.”
  • House calls.

This is Apple’s future, according to Forrester analysts J.P. Gownder and James McQuivey [via Wall Street Journal].

Gownder and McQuivey predict that Apple, who brought us the OS X operating system, elegant computer products, the iPod line of digital music players, the iTunes store, and the iPhone in the past eight years, next will come up with products and services that will connect computers to content throughout the digital home by 2013 [Wired].

Forrester thinks that, judging by Apple’s performance under CEO guru Steve Jobs, the company is set for radical change over the next five years.

But a wall-mountable digital picture frame — even if it looked like a MacBook Air display? A clock radio that pipes music across a home network? An “AppleSound” universal remote control with a touch-sensitive screen? A media storage something-or-other that’s not a “server” because the word “server” scares the average person? And house-call technical assistance from mobile “Genius Bar” workers?

This is a joke, right?

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AT&T says its 3G network is nearing completion; we're not so sure

AT&T says that its rollout of a speedier 3G mobile network is nearing completion in the U.S.


AT&T says all it needs to do is add six more markets by the end of June and deployment of High Speed Uplink Packet Access technology — faster access to data networks for mobile phones, for those who could care less about tech speak — will reach more than 280 markets.

So? Will you get 3G speeds where you live or work?

A few miles away from me, in Southlake, Texas, there’s an Apple Store where bunches of people will wait in line, probably in near 100 degree heat, to secure the highly anticipated iPhone 2.0. If they live in the affluent Dallas and Fort Worth suburbs of Southlake or Colleyville or the more modest ‘burbs of Grapevine, Keller, the Mid Cities, Justin, Lewisville — the list goes on — the new iPhone may not receive 3G coverage.

And this is according to AT&T’s own coverage viewer list, which you can review here.

Click on a neighboring city and drill down by zip code, and AT&T’s coverage viewer shows 3G is in every nook and cranny whether a specific city or suburb is listed or not.

Which is it?

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Post-Hulu: to revamp video player

Having been the first out the gate among major U.S. broadcasters when it started streaming full-length episodes back in 2006, ABC is learning a thing or two from Hulu, the new video kid on the block backed by NBC and Fox.

This fall plans a major upgrade to its video offering by adding features including “full-screen viewing, closed captioning and the ability to send video links that can be embedded on blogs and social networks”, reports Hollywood Insider. In contrast, Hulu has offered users the option to embed videos elsewhere on the Web (albeit for a limited time period) and full screen viewing from Day One. Closed captions are also available for some of Hulu’s content — although not nearly enough.

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Finding streaming content for iPhone, iPod touch: There's a lot available

I just got finished organizing a Home Screen on my iPhone with a whole new subject area — streaming content. It’s one that, until now, I have completely ignored because I didn’t think it was for me.

I was wrong.

Having FlyTunes, AccuRadio, Revision 3, and others on a Home Screen opens up even more possibility for the iPhone (or iPod touch). What if I want to catch up with “Tekzilla” or “The GigaOm Show” and I’ve not downloaded them via iTunes, or I’m not sitting in front of my computer or the AppleTV?

Easy. Tap the Revision 3 icon on the iPhone, tap All Shows, and scroll through a listing of programs. I expect this to come in handy when I’m out and about with the wife and kid and they’re trying on clothes for three hours.

Om Malik to the rescue.

So like a kid with a new toy, I surveyed streaming content for the iPhone and was pleasantly surprised by what I found. I assembled the following list based on stuff I like, so if you have other favorites, please let us know in the comments.

I have a few spaces left on this Home Screen.

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Find out who shot Laura Palmer; CBS adds five classic TV shows for online viewing

Can’t remember who shot Laura Palmer?

Miss the wacky romantics on “The Love Boat?”

Despair no more. CBS has added select seasons for online viewing of five “classics” at and on the CBS Audience Network, which includes sites such as AOL, Joost, CNET, VideoEgg and bunches more. The shows include “Beverly Hills 90210”, “The Love Boat,” “Twin Peaks,” “Family Ties,” and “Perry Mason.”

In addition, CBS has also added seasons for three shows already available online: “MacGyver,” “The Twilight Zone,” and “Hawaii Five-O.”

So who did shoot Laura Palmer?

[Interested in watching vintage TV on the Web? Check out the last100 post “From ‘Alfred Hitchcock’ to the ‘A Team’”]

In just two months, Hulu becomes 10th largest online video streaming site

In just two months, Hulu becomes 10th largest online video streaming siteIn just over two months, Hulu has moved from private beta to the No. 10 online video streaming site.

In doing so, Hulu bests all of the major networks — NBC and Fox (Hulu’s parents), ABC, and CBS. It’s an impressive feat.

At the same time, Hulu is expanding its content footprint by adding seven partners, meaning its library of current and vintage TV shows will be more widely available. Hulu videos will be distributed on entertainment and social networking sites,, BuddyTV,,,, and

“While it is extremely early in terms of Hulu’s history of serving users, we’re quite excited to see such positive trends in Hulu’s growth and viewership,” Jason Kilar, Hulu’s chief executive officer, told Reuters.

In April, people watched 63.2 million videos on Hulu and its partners’ sites and spent on average 129.3 minutes per month, beating nearest rival (60.8 million videos, an average of 57.3 minutes).

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Napster: DRM is dead, long live DRM

As promised in January, Napster has relaunched its U.S.-only music download store, sans DRM.

As of today, all of Napsters’s 6 million tracks, comprising music from all four majors, are available to purchase as MP3s, playable on almost any digital music player including iPods. The company claims that it is now “the world’s largest and most comprehensive MP3 store”, beating both Apple’s iTunes Store and Amazon MP3 in terms of the number of songs on sale without copy-protection. For the most part, pricing for downloads will remain at 99 cents for single MP3 tracks and $9.95 for albums, according to the press release.

However, in many respects Napster wants to have its cake and eat it.

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