Weekly wrapup: HD Netbooks, PS3 streaming, Google Latitude, Spotify, Nokia, Facebook, and more

Here’s a summary of the last two 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

HD video coming to a Netbook near you

I may have jumped on the Netbook bandwagon a little early, as these low-cost mini-notebooks are about to get a whole lot better. Especially in terms of video playback.

Vudu’s latest price cut is a start, here’s what else they need to do

Any price cut is a welcome one and, slowly but surely, Vudu is getting closer to the ‘feels like free’ price point that I’ve argued is needed if the service is ever to go mass market. For that to happen, however, here’s what else Vudu needs to do.

The numbers say it all: why Netflix went exclusive with XBox 360

In a joint announcement, Microsoft and Netflix have put out some numbers on the success of Netflix’s ‘Watch Instantly’ Internet TV service on Microsoft’s XBox 360 games console.

Rivet 2.0, another Mac to PlayStation 3 streaming solution

To get the Mac to talk to the PlayStation I’ve been using Nullriver’s solution, MediaLink, which, aside from occasionally needing to restart the application, has worked a treat. However, as of this week, Nullriver has some competition. Cynical Peak Software have updated their Mac to XBox 360 offering with support for the PS3.


Should Nokia get into bed with Facebook? Err, yes

There would of course be internal questions about how much to prop up a potential competitor, but in the social networking game, network effects (number of users) win out and Facebook has this in abundance.

Turn your iPhone into an Apple Remote

Another remote control application has hit the the iPhone’s App store. This time, “Rowmote” emulates Apple’s own remote control, the Apple Remote, which used to ship for ‘free’ with the company’s consumer Macs but now has to be purchased separately at an additional cost of $19.

Google Latitude shows what’s wrong with Nokia’s social location (SoLo) strategy

If the next frontier is mobile, a key battle ground is going to be location-based services. And, drilling down further, location-based social networking, such as the ability to share your current location with friends. Yesterday, Google went head-to-head with Nokia and a plethora of startups with such an application.

Digital Music

Spotify, a very compelling music streaming service

Spotify isn’t browser-based but instead offers a very nice desktop client (Mac and Windows) that has a distinctively iTunes look and feel to it. Since the service has licensing agreements with all four majors and a bunch of indies, one way to think of Spotify is as a massive jukebox in the sky.

A year after launch, free music service Qtrax has all four majors but questions remain

Twelve months ago, free ad-supported music download service Qtrax launched in a blaze of controversy, most notably claiming it had support from all four major record labels, which was news to them. Qtrax is going after the holy grail of music, free and legal downloads, and so it wasn’t surprising that the company faced a licensing uphill battle. A year later and all the “t”s have been crossed and the “i”s dotted: EMI, Warner, Sony BMG and Universal Music are on board, and a relaunch is planned for next month.

That’s a wrap! Thanks for reading.

– Steve

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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