Slash News

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Google Offers Prime-Time Video Streamcasts

Search engine leader Google Inc. is delving deeper into an unconventional business, offering an Internet streamcast of last week's television premiere of Chris Rock's new comedy.

Other online outlets have made network prime-time shows available before, but "Everybody Hates Chris" marks Google's most high-profile video offering so far. It comes as Google increasingly ventures beyond its search roots as it battles the likes of Yahoo Inc. and Microsoft Corp.

"We're constantly exploring new ideas on how to deliver content to users," said Peter Chane, senior business product manager for Google's video team. He described the Rock offering as a test of "how many users want to watch the show on the Internet if they didn't watch it on television."

The series premiere — 21 minutes long after removing commercials — is being offered through Google's servers Monday through Thursday, when the new episode broadcasts on UPN.

For UPN, the offering is an opportunity to reach viewers, particularly younger ones, who might have missed the premiere on broadcast TV. To prevent further distribution, the video is available as an on-demand stream rather than a download, which could be stored on a computer and copied.

For Google, it is a chance to demonstrate that its Google Video service, still in a "beta" test phase, is more than a collection of home videos, which users are encouraged to upload.

Through Google Video, professionals and amateurs alike may submit video that is indexed and then displayed through a browser-based video player. All the currently available videos are free, but Google hopes to eventually charge for some of material in partnership with the content providers.

Google also has been recording television shows off the air, but largely because of copyright restrictions it is displaying only still images and portions of transcripts from those shows.

Earlier this year, the WB debuted its new series "Supernatural" on Yahoo before airing it on television, and last year it showed "Jack & Bobby" on America Online first.

Yahoo also streamed the pilot of Kirstie Alley's "Fat Actress" at the same time it debuted on Showtime.

The BBC also is experimenting with video online and plans to eventually let Web users watch its programs up to a week after they have aired.

On the Net:

Monday, September 26, 2005

Palm Treo on Windows

Palm today introduced a new smartphone "The Palm Treo 700w (Treo 670)" powered by "Windows Mobile 5.0" in place of "Palm OS". The "Treo running on Windows" will be available for sale in early 2006. Other specification details were limited to "an Intel processor" and pricing was indicated to be "slightly higher" than current Treo products. The executives however revealed that the new device will distributed exclusively through Verizon Wireless to take advantage of the carrier's 400-700 kbps 3G EVDO network and it will run a modified version of Windows Mobile 5.0 for a Palm OS-like feel.

In addition to the Windows OS, the smartphone will offer Wi-Fi and Bluetooth capabilities, 1 megapixel camera and will run on Verizon's high-speed EV-DO data network. It can synchronize with the popular Microsoft Outlook messaging and scheduling software. It allows to link users to multiple email accounts and display Powerpoint Presentations as well. Also featuring Plug-and-play and an SD Wi-Fi card for getting online.

``It's a very big deal because Palm, for many, many years, has relied on its homegrown operating system,'' said Richard Doherty, an analyst at the Envisioneering Group, a market research firm. Use of Windows Mobile Operating System will give a boost to the Microsoft's Mobile OS.

The three Companies will combine their marketing strategies to take on established "smartphone" devices using BlackBerry platform developed by Canada's Research in Motion.

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Nintendo Gaming Remote Control

This Friday, Nintendo revolutionised the Gaming Industry by launching an unconventional Game controller aptly named "Revolution" console. Nintendo President Satoru Iwata launched it at the Tokyo Game Show. The controller is similar to a conventional TV Remote Controller, that has a Motion detection Sensors, allowing players to move and swing it around like an actual Sword, Gun, Steering Wheel or a Baseball Bat and more depending upon the game.

The Nintendo launch was the biggest buzz at the Game Show, and is expected to attract 150,000 people. The Revolution is available in bright red, black, silver, white and green colors. It can also be fitted with a joystick add-on. Also, people can use it with much ease, just like a TV Remote, so gamers can adapt to use quickly.

The Virtual Reality that it creates in the minds of players while holding the controller in hands is the biggest advantage. Players can handle it like an actual handheld during their games. It adds a lot more real experience to the game and extends the effect to near reality. Nintendo calls this motion sensor based technology as a "direct pointing device".

Nintendo is dominating the market for the handheld game machines with its Game Boy, while Sony leads the home game consoles with the PlayStation. Nintendo has sold 66.79 million units worldwide, while Sony has sold 91 million PlayStation2 consoles worldwide over the last five years, 21 million of them in Asia, although more than 100 million of the original PlayStations have been sold worldwide.

Further, Nintendo snatched the limelight from Microsoft XBox 360, scheduled to be launched in November. Microsoft is strongly pushing XBox360, learning from the past failure of the original XBox. Microsoft sold 21.9 million XBox consoles worldwide during 3 years, but it failed miserably in Asia, including Japan, where Sony PlayStation dominates strongly.

Microsoft is trying hard to appeal Japanese consumers by signing on designers popular here to make games exclusive for XBox 360, such as "Final Fantasy XL" and "Ninety-Nine Nights". Microsoft has partnered up with all the industry's leading games developers -- including Electronic Arts, Activision and Ubisoft -- and plans to develop games specifically for Japan.
But Sony is confident that the PlayStation3 will be a hit. The PS3 will be equipped with the world's most advanced Cell processor, which is 35 times as powerful as the PlayStation2. None of the "Revolution" and "PlayStation 3" are expected to arrive before XBox 360, so Microsoft needs to play really safe to dominate the market and stand competition when Nintendo and Sony start selling their products.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Yahoo's New Web Mail Service(Beta)

Yahoo Inc. told to upgrade its Yahoo Mail service, the most popular Web-Based Email Service, making it more efficient and fast like a desktop application. The New Web Interface is a look-alike of Microsoft Outlook program and provides features like drang-n-drop, autocomplete, right-click menus that are generally available on desktop programs.

Yahoo Mail upgrade has quickly followed AOL Mail's improvements meant to make its e-mail service quicker and easier to use. The new Interface is based on advanced technologies like DHTML, XML and SOAP and AJAX eliminating the need to refresh the browser to load new page/data. It sounds similar to the Interface that is currently provided by Gmail.

The Yahoo Mail upgrade was expected after Yahoo acquired Oddpost Inc. (a company that provides Web-based e-mail applications) in 2004. And after the war of storage capacities, that Google started with Gmail, now, the fight is turing for the best Interface of these Email services.

Further details can be found at

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Oracle To Buy Siebel

It seems all big companies are on a shopping spree. Continuing the trend, Oracle has bought Siebel to become the number one CRM applications company in the world," as told by Larry Ellison, the Oracle chief executive. The deal comes after nine months of Oracle's PeopleSoft acquisition, one that took nearly two years to be completed amid a flurry of lawsuits and anti-trust investigations.

Oracle is offering $10.66 per Siebel share, 16.8% more than Siebel's closing share price on Friday. While Oracle shares rose 1.6 percent to 13.49 on the news while Siebel shot up 12.7 percent to 10.29.

After the acquisition of Siebel, Oracle has got a leg up with its rival SAP, the German Software Giant in the business management applications field. The purchase of Siebel is likely to help Oracle achieve its stated goal of 20% long-term annual earnings growth. Also, Oracle is now the second largest software group in the world after Microsoft.

Monday, September 12, 2005

eBay To Buy Skype For $2.6 Billion

eBay Inc. is buying Skype - the Internet Telephony Company in a $2.6 bn deal.
Skype, founded by the creators of Kazaa, the file-sharing program that riled the music business gives away software that allows people talk for free over the Internet using computers and microphones . A paid version, SkypeOut, allows those calls to be connected to regular phones. Similarly, SkypeIn is a real phone number your friends can call and you pick in Skype.

eBay is buying Skype to speed up the communication between the buyers and sellers instead of the current method of exchanging messages.

Skype has 53 million registered users, including more than 2 million who pay for its premium services. In 2004, Skype generated about $7 million in revenue, which it projects will snowball to $60 million this year. eBay said it would pay an additional $1.5bn to Skype over the next three years , bringing the total size of the deal to $4bn.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

iPod nano

Apple Computer Inc. today introduces "iPod nano", the pencil-thin incredibly small music player. Soon after the launch of the iTunes mobile phone Rokr, the company has introduced iPod nano.

Steve Jobs, CEO intoduced the iPod nano at a concert calling nano as "the biggest revolution since the original iPod". Surely, as nano is extremely thin, less than a pencil, almost one third of iPod size, a completely new design and posesses an elegant look(hmm...Apple is eying ladies to buy

iPod nano is available in 2 models as of now, a 4 GB model that can store around 1000 songs and a 2GB model with a half-capacity of storing 500 songs are available at $249 and $199 respectively. The player is based on flash memory instead of hard drive and has a color screen that shows photos. Usage of flash memory also made the player lighweight at 1.5 ounces approximately.

It holds up to three days' worth of music. It plays for up to 14 hours between battery charges.
It displays the color album art for the song you're listening to right now. It carries your photos(25000), podcasts and audiobooks(11000).

There are host of other features: Click Wheel, Calendar and Contacts, World Clock, Customizable menus, PC Sync with iTunes - Automatic Transmission, addons with iPod accessories (Armband, Lanyard Headphones, Tubes, In-Ear Headphones, Dock).