Archive for the ‘Social’ Category

PlayStation 3 games can now offer YouTube uploads

PlayStation 3 games can now offer YouTube uploadsIt’s no secret that we’re fans of the PlayStation 3. And with the news that Sony’s next-generation console will now offer game developers an easy way to integrate YouTube uploads, we’re gushing once again.

By taking advantage of YouTube’s recently updated API and tools, Sony has added support for the video sharing site to its Software Development Kit to allow developers “to create games that enable direct upload of in-game video captures to YouTube”. While a few titles on both Sony’s PlayStation 3 and Microsoft’s XBox 360 already offer the ability to save game replays and share them over the Web, it’s the first time that a games console has offered YouTube support as a built-in and officially supported developer feature.

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Where do you get your recommendations on the Web? From a service like The Filter? Or from friends?

It’s hard to fault Peter Gabriel’s logic: We are overwhelmed by the amount of information and choice we have on the Web. But is his solution — a recommendation engine called The Filter — really the answer?

Of course Gabriel, the genius behind the British rock band Genesis and the solo artist who gave us such tunes as “Solsbury Hill,” “Exposure,” and “Games Without Frontiers,” thinks so as he and England’s Eden Ventures have invested $8 million in The Filter. They believe people are overwhelmed by the Web and can’t find good content because it’s buried out of sight.

“When you drown people in an ocean of information, you’ve got to give them navigation tools,” Gabriel told “I know that there is better stuff out there than what I generally am exposed to . . . So if I have a sort of intelligent ally working with me 24 hours a day, I think I have a much better chance of getting stuff that will entertain, excite, and inspire me.”

The Filter, originally launched as a music recommendation service about a year ago in Europe, re-launched today in private beta as a more complete solution. It will be available to the public sometime in May.

But there’s something about The Filter that bugs me. What separates The Filter from any of the other algorithm-based recommendation engines out there, whether a human is a part of the process or not — Amazon, iTunes, lastFM, Netflix, Imeem, Digg, Pandora, and many more?

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Nokia introduces new N-Gage, hints at what's to come

n-gage screenNo matter how much we talk about Apple’s elegant iPhone or Google’s mobile initiatives, Nokia just plods along undaunted, doing its own thing. With the introduction today of N-Gage and Ovi, it sure feels like Nokia is on to something before anybody else.

Nokia, the world’s No. 1 handset manufacturer, has begun rolling out its N-Gage gaming service and the “Share on Ovi” media sharing site in limited form. N-Gage is the resurrection of the ill-fated phone/gaming device that debuted in late 2003, only this time N-Gage is software that is downloaded to Nokia phones. The application is essentially a portal, allowing users access to games and community features like Ovi.

N-Gage is currently available for N81 models, but it will also work on N95 and other Nokia devices through hacks. (Details are at all about symbian.)

N-Gage is the first version of Nokia’s new mobile gaming platform, and it offers a glimpse of how Nokia envisions mobile game play and, to a larger extent, how it views the future of entertainment.

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Bill Gates at CES: No web fridges, but you can watch TV on your Xbox 360

One of the highlights of CES (Consumer Electronics Show) each year is Bill Gates’ keynote speech, available here as a webcast. This year there were a slew of products and partnerships announced. It was less futuristic vision and more beta products and what’s coming in 2008. In other words, it was much less about Internet-connected fridges, and more about what you can do now on your Xbox 360.

By now everybody is familiar with Microsoft’s strengths: Windows, devices, ‘rich’ user interfaces, partnerships with big media and electronics companies. Over the past few years we’ve seen Microsoft morph into a ‘Services’ company too, where services are delivered over the Internet. Although the branding as Windows Live has been clumsy and confusing, Microsoft has still been able to slot its Services vision into the Windows and devices foundation. Hence Gates’ talk of “Services-connected devices running on the Web” and the “huge amounts of storage” that Microsoft is able to provide.

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TiVo points to AppleTV's future

TiVo points to AppleTV's futureAside from supporting YouTube, the AppleTV is about as Internet-connected as a first generation iPod. This despite the device sporting an Ethernet connection, high speed WiFi, and running Mac OSX under the hood.

In comparison, TiVo’s Linux-based line of “broadband-connected” DVRs play host to a growing range of web services, which, as of today, now includes the photo-sharing sites, Fox Interactive Media-owned Photobucket and Google’s Picasa. TiVo previously offered support for the now defunct Yahoo! Photos, and many had expected the company to add support for Yahoo-owned Flickr as a direct replacement, so it’s with some surprise that they’ve chosen to partner with two competitors instead.

With the new update, TiVo subscribers can access their own digital photos hosted on Photobucket or Picasa, as well as those shared by friends and family, through their broadband-connected TiVo boxes. “Photos will be displayed at the highest possible resolution on each TiVo box, meaning TiVo Series3 and TiVo HD subscribers can see their memories in full high definition”, according to the press release.

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Xbox Live five years on – what's next?

Xbox Live five years on - what's next?Microsoft’s Xbox Live has come a long way since it launched in November of 2002. Xbox Live started out as a multiplayer gaming network, but today the 8 million users with Live accounts do much more than just play games. Users can download movies and television shows, chat with friends, and more. Even Microsoft now describes the service as a “comprehensive unified online entertainment network”. Marketing-speak at its finest, but it’s true – Xbox Live is a key component of Microsoft’s connected entertainment vision. In this post we look at the state of Xbox Live today, and explore some of the ways Microsoft will likely enhance it in the future.

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Zune 2: five things Microsoft did right

Zune 2: five things Microsoft did rightThe unveiling of Microsoft’s generation 2 Zunes has largely been met with a lukewarm reception from analysts and pundits alike. And while it’s true that the new Zune lineup is at best evolutionary rather than revolutionary, especially when compared to the User Interface innovations found in Apple’s iPhone and iPod Touch, Microsoft has made some significant improvements — and, dare I say it, done a few things from which even Apple might learn a thing or two.

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Social media boosts TV ratings

This is a guest post by Guinevere Orvis. Guinevere is a Web Producer in Toronto, Canada working both freelance and in the broadcast industry for Alliance Atlantis, CTVglobemedia and currently CBC. She has 10 years experience in the online space and specializes in social media, online marketing and content production.

Social media boosts TV ratingsGuess what television? You may not love the internet, but the internet loves you. Stop sending us takedown notices!

Broadcasters have a dirty little secret. I work in broadcast and I’m gonna let you in on this secret, only because I love the internet and I’m tired of hearing it get blamed for TV’s woes.

While we’re unleashing our lawyers on social networks with slips of paper with big words like “copyright infringement”, we’re also taking in huge new audiences on air and online — social media is actually helping our bottom line. How much? In one major broadcaster’s case, an additional 200,000 viewers in just one month. That company even let their growth secret out of the bag, “YouTube has brought a significant new audience of viewers to each broadcast.” Naughty CBS! They shouldn’t go running their mouths like that.

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FoxHiLites is latest site/service dedicated to high school athletics

foxhilites screenIt’s about time. Traditional media has discovered the new media potential of high school sports.

The most recent media outlet to the — pardon the pun — tailgate party is the Fox Television Stations, which has just launched as a platform for sharing video and commentary of high school athletics and athletes. The service/site is available in 23 Fox markets, including Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, Boston, Dallas, Washington, D.C., and New York.

FoxHiLites is like YouTube for high school sports. FoxHiLites encourages producers, athletes, fans, parents, and coaches to upload video, which may appear on one of the Fox stations. And it’s not just about football, basketball, and baseball: FoxHiLites is looking for contributions in band, softball, boxing and the martial arts, cheerleading and dance, hockey, soccer, skateboarding, swimming and diving, tennis, track and field and cross country, volleyball, wrestling, and other miscellaneous activities.

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"Facebook Diaries" debut on Comcast's VOD

facebook diariesNewTeeVee notes that “Facebook Diaries” launches tonight at about 9 p.m. on Comcast’s video on demand service. I am intrigued by user-generated content mixed together by a professional producer to create a television show unlike any we’ve seen so far.

The Web component for the eight-episode, weekly series is already in place as the pilot episode, “Who Am I,” is available on Facebook and on Comcast’s video sharing site Ziddio. The project was announced earlier this year and has Facebook users recording and submitting clips of their lives based on topics such as who am I, heartbreak, road trip, wild nights, and my memory.

The user clips are taken by R.J. Cutler of Actual Reality Pictures and weaved, with motion graphics and music, into a half-hour show based on a theme. Cutler is an Oscar-nominated, Emmy-winning producer of TV shows, including “American High” and “30 Days,” and his touch will be crucial to the success and future of the “Facebook Diaries.”

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