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posted September 23, 2008 01:56 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for indiedan   Click Here to Email indiedan     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
GE To Merge TV/Internet In One Unit

23 September 2008 10:30 AM, PDT

GE announced today (Tuesday) that it plans to produce (with Taiwan's Tatung) and market a new type of high-definition television set that will allow users to access the Internet over a broadband connection without a computer. In addition it said that it plans to develop content with NBC Universal that will allow "Internet engagement" that will appeal to viewers. In a statement the company said that viewers will be able to watch high-definition video featured on websites and access interactive content. Darren Feher, who oversees NBC's technology division, said that the aid is to produce a "cutting edge product that responds to consumer desire for a seamless union" of television and the Internet.

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posted September 24, 2008 12:57 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for fred   Click Here to Email fred     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
VCs shovel another $28.7 million into Digg

By MICHAEL LIEDTKE, AP Technology Writer2 hours, 56 minutes ago

Digg Inc., an Internet startup that specializes in rating news stories, is making a little news of its own with a $28.7 million round of financing. The investment announced Wednesday should squelch recurring rumors of a sale to Google Inc. or Microsoft Corp.

"That's part of the message. We want to be independent," said Jay Adelson, Digg's chief executive. "We have only completed about 15 percent of all the ideas that we have. I don't think anyone could offer us a better deal than us going alone."

The money provides Digg with the means to pursue an international expansion and a hiring spree that is supposed to double its work force to 150 employees by the end of next year. Digg also plans to move into larger digs in San Francisco early next year and promote its brand more aggressively.

Highland Capital Partners and three previous Digg investors — Greylock Partners, Omidyar Network and SVB Capital — are providing the latest infusion. All told, Digg has raised $40 million since Kevin Rose started the service four years ago.

Rumors that Digg hoped to sell for $200 million to $300 million began circulating last year, with the buzz building in recent months amid unsubstantiated reports that the company was talking to both Google and Microsoft.

Digg would hold some appeal for both.

For instance, Google has experimented with a system that lets people vote on the quality of its Internet search results. If Google were to embrace the concept, Digg's methods for identifying the Web's highly rated stories and photos could become invaluable tools.

And Microsoft already has financial ties to Digg. The software maker sells online ads for Digg under a three-year deal that expires in 2010.

Although he declined to specifically discuss the Google and Microsoft rumors, Adelson acknowledged there had been some "sniffing around" at Digg during the past year.

Privately held Digg doesn't disclose its financial results, but Adelson said its revenue has tripled during the past year. Digg remains unprofitable, but Adelson said it didn't need the additional financing to survive.

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posted July 13, 2009 08:11 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for fred   Click Here to Email fred     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Note by 'teenage scribbler' causes sensation

By Andrew Edgecliffe-Johnson in New York

Published: July 12 2009 23:32 | Last updated: July 12 2009 23:32

A research note written by a 15-year-old, who was not born when former UK chancellor Nigel Lawson dismissed London analysts as “teenage scribblers”, has become the talk of middle-aged media executives and investors.

Morgan Stanley’s European media analysts asked Matthew Robson, one of the bank’s interns from a London school, to describe his friends’ media habits. His report proved to be “one of the clearest and most thought-provoking insights we have seen. So we published it,” said Edward Hill-Wood, head of the team.

The response was enormous. “We’ve had dozens and dozens of fund managers, and several CEOs, e-mailing and calling all day,” said Mr Hill-Wood, 35, estimating that the note had generated five or six times more feedback than the team’s usual reports.

However, he made no claims for its statistical rigour.

As elderly media moguls gathered at the Allen & Co conference in Sun Valley, Idaho, to fawn over Twitter and fret over their business models, Mr Robson set out a sobering case that tomorrow’s consumers are using more and more media but are unwilling to pay for it.

“Teenagers do not use Twitter,” he pronounced. Updating the micro-blogging service from mobile phones costs valuable credit, he wrote, and “they realise that no one is viewing their profile, so their tweets are pointless”.

His peers find it hard to make time for regular television, and would rather listen to advert-free music on websites such as than tune into traditional radio. Even online, teens find advertising “extremely annoying and pointless”.

Their time and money is spent instead on cinema, concerts and video game consoles which, he said, now double as a more attractive vehicle for chatting with friends than the phone.

Mr Robson had little comfort for struggling print publishers, saying no teenager he knew regularly reads a newspaper since most “cannot be bothered to read pages and pages of text” rather than see summaries online or on television.

Executives and investors have grown fascinated by the opinions of teenagers. Rupert Murdoch, 78, has described himself as a “digital immigrant” and his young daughters as “digital natives”, while UBS pulled in an 18-year-old three years ago to demonstrate MySpace to portfolio managers.

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posted March 04, 2011 03:06 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for DavidChang   Click Here to Email DavidChang     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
SAN FRANCISCO — With retail video game sales smacked down by the rough economy and ever-growing competition in the crowded social and mobile game marketplace, it seemed like attendees at this week's annual Game Developers Conference were more frustrated than birds catapulted at pigs.

Game designers, programmers and executives from around the world converged at the Moscone Convention Center in hopes of figuring out how to become the next "Angry Birds," the silly top-selling mobile game that pits birds against pigs. Yet many attendees dismissed the mobile platform as The Next Big Thing, noting that selling 99-cent games isn't a dependable way to generate revenue.

"Downloadable games are the future, which is what I keep telling my team when they ask why we don't make any money," joked "Psychonauts" and "Brutal Legend" developer Tim Schafer while hosting the Game Developers Choice Awards on Wednesday. "Just kidding. I blame marketing."

Nintendo president Satoru Iwata said in the conference's keynote speech Wednesday morning that "game development is drowning" because of the rise of cheaply made and priced mobile and social games. He expressed concern that those platforms have "no motivation to maintain the value of gaming" and that they lower gamemakers' ability to make a living.

"We invest a tremendous amount in technology, engineering and in the staff that create these games to maintain that high level of value, so that consumers want this content," said Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime in an interview afterward. "It's not disposable, and it's something that consumers can enjoy over long periods of time."

Iwata and Fils-Aime also used the speech as a chance to reveal that the Nintendo 3DS, the glasses-free hand-held 3-D gaming device set for release in the U.S. on March 27, would be able to stream Netflix movies and freely connect to more than 10,000 AT&T wi-fi hotspots. Iwata also teased that Nintendo is working on a new "Super Mario" title in 3-D.

Coincidentally, Iwata made his declaration the same day that Apple head honcho Steve Jobs stepped onto a different stage within the massive Moscone Convention Center for the unveiling of the iPad 2, the latest Apple doodad that can – among other things – be used to play games. However, Apple's iPad 2 announcement wasn't related to the conference.

The convergence of the gaming and mobile realms was also on display during the U.S. debut of the Xperia Play, Sony Ericsson's gaming-centric smart phone, which features a 4-inch touch-screen and a slide-out controller reminiscent of Sony's PlayStation Portable controls. Instead of dual analog joysticks, it features a pair of sleek round touch-pads.

The smart phone will be available later this month and have about 50 games at launch designed to use the unique controls from such publishers as Electronic Arts, Glu Mobile and Gameloft. The titles include the fighter "Bruce Lee Dragon Warrior" and role-playing game "Dungeon Defenders," as well as a few editions of original PlayStation games.

"It is a smart phone first," said Xperia Play product manager Aaron Duke. "But we wanted to make sure gamers could get the most out of the device. We wanted them to be able to beat it up and treat it like a true game controller. We really feel like we've built a platform where developers can bring real console-quality games to a mobile device."

There were regular ol' console titles on display at the conference, too. Electronic Arts previewed the multiplayer mode for military shooter "Battlefield 3." Sony showcased the superheroric "inFamous 2" and the sci-fi blaster "Resistance 3." Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment unleashed the sprawling Dark Knight sequel "Batman: Arkham City."

THQ hyped its shooter "Homefront," which imagines a North Korean invasion of America, by handing out free food from a Korean-themed food truck and hosting a phony political rally Wednesday, which featured the release of thousands of red balloons in the air. Environmental groups complained about the stunt, but THQ said the balloons were biodegradable.

"Console games are not going anywhere," noted Game Developers Conference director Meggan Scavio. "There will always be a place for hardcore gamers and blockbuster titles, just like movies. This conference started as the Computer Game Developers Conference, and it has evolved over the years. We dropped the word computer because of the rise of consoles."



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posted March 21, 2012 04:08 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for DavidChang   Click Here to Email DavidChang     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Apple movie cloud service launches, but without two major studios (lat)
Apple Inc. is putting movies in the cloud, providing a boost to Hollywood film studios' small but growing digital business. Movies purchased through Apple's iTunes Store from five studios -- Paramount Pictures, Sony Pictures, Walt Disney Studios, Warner Bros. and Lionsgate -- will be accessible via the technology giant's iCloud service from any of its devices, including the Apple TV, iPad and iPhone. Apple announced its plans, which have been in the works since last year, at a Tuesday news conference, where the company also unveiled new versions of the iPad and Apple TV, an Internet-connected device that displays the movies and TV shows from iTunes and other services on televisions. 20th Century Fox and Universal Pictures are not part of the iCloud movies launch. That's because of restrictions in their distribution deals with pay cable channel HBO, said people close to the situation not authorized to speak publicly because of the privacy of negotiations. But both studios are negotiating with HBO and expect to add their films to iCloud soon, those sources added. In addition to new purchases, the iCloud service will store any movies that users have already bought from iTunes. Previously, Apple customers had to store movies they bought on the hard drive of their computer or other device. The news is significant for Hollywood because Apple accounts for approximately 75% of all movies bought online, according to one person involved in the digital distribution business but not authorized to share the data. However, the percentage of iTunes movie transactions that are purchased has fallen in the last year, that person said, from nearly 50% to about 33% -- the rest being movie rentals. Studios are eager to reverse that trend because movie purchases, which typically cost between $15 and $20, are significantly more profitable than rentals for $4 to $5. Another potential boost to digital movie sales comes from the new version of Apple TV. While the previous Apple TV only allowed movie rentals because it did not have a large hard drive for storage, consumers will be able to buy films on the new version that are stored in the cloud. Movies in iCloud will likely prove a formidable competitor to UltraViolet, the digital movie technology backed by every Hollywood studio, save Disney, and most major electronics manufacturers, except Apple. Backers have been aggressively trying to grow UltraViolet since it launched last October and expect a big boost next week when Wal-Mart will announce it is supporting the technology in stores and online. However, the studios apparently concluded that their top priority was growing the digital movie business with Apple on board, rather than only supporting UltraViolet.

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