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Archive: May 2007

When Worlds Collide: Gates and Jobs on the Same Stage

Newsweek's Steven Levy filed the following dispatch from the All Things Digital Conference: Nobody knew quite what to expect when, in a rare joint meeting on Wednesday, Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates and Apple CEO Steve Jobs sat down together for a joint interview at the fifth annual All Things Digital...

By washingtonpost.com Editors | May 31, 2007; 6:13 PM ET | Comments (15)

Mobile Quake Warnings

I've often joked with folks on the East Coast that, as a native Californian who recently transplanted to D.C., I'd rather not know when a natural disaster is heading my way. It's like the moment right before a car accident - you tense up and try to prepare yourself but...

By Sam Diaz | May 31, 2007; 11:54 AM ET | Comments (0)

The Other End of the Spectrum

In a letter he sent to the Federal Communications Commission yesterday, former Senator John Edwards encouraged Chairman Kevin Martin to use upcoming auction of the 700 megahertz broadband spectrum to "make the Internet more affordable and accessible to all Americans." The FCC is taking this part of the spectrum away...

By Kim Hart | May 31, 2007; 6:22 AM ET | Comments (0)

Facebook Traffic Jam

Apparently, the highway out to the beach wasn't the only big traffic jam this weekend - a number of companies who developed new applications for Facebook Platform, which was announced late last week and got quite a lot of coverage, also got slammed with users wanting to download and install...

By Sam Diaz | May 29, 2007; 3:17 PM ET | Comments (0)

Verizon's "Fergalicious" at Fair Oaks

Pop singer Fergie will give a short performance and sign autographs today at 3 p.m. at the Verizon Experience Store in the Fair Oaks Mall in Fairfax. It adds to the list of celebrities Verizon is hosting at the store, which opened in December. The store is meant to showcase...

By Kim Hart | May 29, 2007; 1:00 PM ET | Comments (0)

Robert Florio: Advocate for "Accessible" Video Games

In case you missed it, please check out this cool video that washingtonpost.com put together about a disabled gamer in Glen Burnie named Robert Florio. Florio was mentioned in a column I wrote on Sunday about soldiers recovering at Walter Reed who get together regularly to play video games. Florio...

By Mike Musgrove | May 29, 2007; 11:46 AM ET | Comments (0)

A Rough May for XM Radio

May was a pretty rough month for XM Satellite Radio, given the reasons it was put under the spotlight. Of course, there's the proposed merger with Sirius and the scrutiny that Congress is putting on it. This week, Sen. Herb Kohl (D-Wis), who heads the Senate Judiciary antitrust subcommittee, urged...

By Sam Diaz | May 25, 2007; 5:30 PM ET | Comments (0)

Tech Tip Of The Day: Don't Drop Stuff

This morning I wrote about a little phenomenon called "e-mail bankruptcy," in which beleaguered e-mailers send a note to everyone in their inbox saying they've given up on trying to tackle to their backlog of e-mail. The story runs at sort of a funny time for me, because just this...

By Mike Musgrove | May 25, 2007; 10:38 AM ET | Comments (0)

Sitting on Go--Almost

Four of the biggest telecom companies spent close to three years preparing their bids for the Networx contract, the most sweeping--and most expensive--overhaul of the guts of the federal government's communication systems in history. The contract is estimated to be worth $20 billion, but could grow to as much as...

By Kim Hart | May 24, 2007; 5:39 PM ET | Comments (0)

American Idol + FOX + TiVo = Rage

FURIOUS is the only way to express how my wife felt at the end of last night's "American Idol" - and it had nothing to do with who won and who lost. She sat down to watch the show on our DirecTV TiVo DVR last night - not when the...

By Sam Diaz | May 24, 2007; 2:03 PM ET | Comments (0)

Ask.com, the Search Underdog

Ask.com's chief executive Jim Lanzone stopped by The Post yesterday to give us an update on his search site. A year ago, Ask ditched its well-known butler mascot, Jeeves, remade its site and started running commercials with some kind of animal--I think monkeys. Ask.com CEO Jim Lanzone and The Post's...

By Sara Goo | May 24, 2007; 7:00 AM ET | Comments (0)

The New Technorati

Technorati, which made a name for itself as the Google of the blogosphere, introduced a new look today. Why? As Technorati founder and CEO Dave Sifry noted on his own blog entry this morning, "The world has changed." It used to be that we'd go to a sites like Technorati...

By Sam Diaz | May 23, 2007; 2:30 PM ET | Comments (1)

IP in Thailand: Who's the Real Pirate?

Once an epicenter of the AIDS epidemic, Thailand won international acclaim in recent years for its aggressive health campaign to address HIV, reducing the prevalence of infections and improving treatment for those with the virus. But when Thailand announced last year that it was seeking to cut the cost...

By Alan Sipress | May 23, 2007; 12:19 PM ET | Comments (8)

Internet in the Boonies

I wrote an article yesterday about some planned communities in Loudoun County that signed exclusive, long-term contracts with telecom companies to provide Internet, cable and phone service. The communities were built several years ago, when broadband services stopped short of the outer suburbs. So developers hired companies to build a...

By Kim Hart | May 22, 2007; 5:00 PM ET | Comments (14)

Hey, XM. Problem Solved Yet?

Like many of you, I found an e-mail from XM Radio in my inbox this morning. The company wanted to tell me - the subscriber, not the reporter at the Post - that there were some problems with service. Um, yeah, thanks. I already knew that... Here's what I know...

By Sam Diaz | May 22, 2007; 11:55 AM ET | Comments (28)

Software Piracy Hits the Jackpot

With all the debate swirling around intellectual property issues recently, I sat down last week with a local firm that specializes in protecting software from being hacked and pirated. Arxan, of Bethesda, is funded by the National Security Agency to secure all kinds of classified items like military warheads and...

By Kim Hart | May 21, 2007; 7:32 AM ET | Comments (2)

Who's to Blame - XM or O&A?

Radio shock jocks Opie & Anthony could have left well enough alone when they apologized for making inappropriate comments about Queen Elizabeth II, First Lady Laura Bush and Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice on their XM Satellite Radio show last week. XM, after all, is a satellite radio service that...

By Sam Diaz | May 18, 2007; 5:52 PM ET | Comments (0)

Special Envoy to the Dictionary Wars

Over the last decade, the number of lawsuits over contested patents has doubled. These court battles can cost a mint to fight and even more to lose. They deprive the company holding the patent of the certainty it needs to make productive use of the invention. Often, the dispute comes...

By Alan Sipress | May 17, 2007; 2:51 PM ET | Comments (2)

Halo 3 Beta Delay for Crackdown Owners

There are a lot of grumpy Xbox 360 owners out there. A downloadable, beta version of Microsoft's next entry in the Halo game franchise was supposed to be available yesterday to people who had purchased the game Crackdown earlier this year. So hotly anticipated is Halo 3 that more than...

By Mike Musgrove | May 17, 2007; 2:04 PM ET | Comments (1)

Video-Game Trade Group ESA Gets New President

The video game industry's main trade group announced a new president: Michael D. Gallagher, who has served as chief telecommunications and policy advisor to the Bush Administration. In a call with reporters, Gallagher didn't give up much detail on what topics he think will be the most important or the...

By Mike Musgrove | May 17, 2007; 11:10 AM ET | Comments (0)

Technology on a Nano-Scale

Research and work with nanotechnology is stretching across the United States, with the highest concentration of institutions located in California, Massachusetts, New York and Texas, according to a new report, which also identified 138 government laboratories and universities studying this field. In an effort to educate the public about nanotechnology...

By washingtonpost.com Editors | May 17, 2007; 10:00 AM ET | Comments (2)

Amazon to Sell DRM-Free Music

Amazon this morning announced plans to launch an online music store filled with mp3 tracks that are free of anti-piracy software. The store won't launch until later this year and, as of now, it looks as if only one of the big record labels - EMI - will make its...

By Sam Diaz | May 16, 2007; 12:34 PM ET | Comments (0)

Cuban Wants Your HD Ideas. But Just the Good Ones.

Billionaire entrepreneur Mark Cuban wants your ideas for a new HD show - just don't let them have anything to do with poker, sports or reality talent shows, a la American Idol. The founder of HDNet (and owner of the Dallas Mavericks) said on his blog yesterday that he's tired...

By Sam Diaz | May 15, 2007; 2:44 PM ET | Comments (0)

Customer Service Woes

When it comes to customer service, wireless and cable companies still have a lot to learn. At least, that's what new data released today by the American Customer Satisfaction Index suggests. Satisfaction among subscribers of cable and satellite TV dropped during the first quarter, once again earning the lowest level...

By Kim Hart | May 15, 2007; 11:40 AM ET | Comments (0)

Driving While Texting Crackdown

Who among us hasn't hammered out a quick "stuck in traffic, be there asap" on the BlackBerry or cell phone while sitting behind the wheel? In Washington state, that's a $101 DWT - Driving While Texting - starting Jan. 1. The state's governor signed the ban into law on Friday,...

By Sam Diaz | May 14, 2007; 12:04 PM ET | Comments (0)

Clothing for the Gadget Era

These days, we all lug around more devices than we can keep up with: phones, iPods, headsets and BlackBerrys. A number of firms are trying to push tech clothing to try to take advantage of it all. A company in Idaho claims to have solved "the daily challenge of carrying...

By Kim Hart | May 14, 2007; 7:31 AM ET | Comments (0)

The Web Radio Debate Continues

When it comes to Internet radio, everyone agrees on one point - the idea has grown quite a bit in recent years. An estimated 52 million people listened to Internet radio at least once a month in 2006 and it's predicted that that number will double within three years and...

By Sam Diaz | May 11, 2007; 10:45 AM ET | Comments (0)

Hill-icon Valley

Some of the hottest companies in Silicon Valley made the trek up to Capitol Hill this morning to tell the members of the House subcommittee on Telecommunications and the Internet about what they're doing with cutting-edge technology and where they see the future. The hearing was a fifth in a...

By Sam Diaz | May 10, 2007; 2:22 PM ET | Comments (0)

Yahoo Sheds Some Baggage

Within the last week, Yahoo has announced it's retiring a pair of its offerings: Yahoo Auctions in the United States and Canada and the Yahoo Photos service. Both had fallen far behind other choices on the Web. The auction site has failed to make inroads against eBay, which has...

By Alan Sipress | May 10, 2007; 10:12 AM ET | Comments (1)

Corporate Blogs May Actually Pay Off

It's no secret that big corporations have joined the blogosphere to get feedback from customers and test new ideas, but some are defintely more successful than others. I caught up with local blogging-guru Geoff Livingston yesterday who told me about an interesting conversation he'd had with Brian Lusk, who runs...

By Kim Hart | May 9, 2007; 11:48 AM ET | Comments (7)

Bethesda Softworks Hires Liam Neeson for Upcoming Game

Rockville-based game developer Bethesda Softorks announced this morning that it will use the voice of actor Liam Neeson in its upcoming game Fallout 3. Neeson will appear as the voice of the player's father in the game, a prominent character in the upcoming post-apocalyptic adventure title, the company says. The...

By Mike Musgrove | May 8, 2007; 10:29 AM ET | Comments (1)

Protect Kids or Protect Identities?

Here's the dilemma: In a virtual world, where a 14-year-old can pretend to be 40 or, worse yet, a 40-year-old can pretend to be 14, how do you protect the innocent? That's an issue that could be facing Second Life, the popular adults-only virtual world that has a growing number...

By Sam Diaz | May 7, 2007; 6:40 PM ET | Comments (6)

Xbox, Lunchbox Redux

I wrote in this morning's paper about a few companies where video games are played in the break room. Here's one tidbit that didn't really belong in the article, but I feel inclined to confess here in the blog, for the prupose of full disclosure: The guys at Platinum Solutions...

By Mike Musgrove | May 7, 2007; 10:53 AM ET | Comments (1)

Farewell Yahoo Photos

Yahoo has announced that it will be closing its Yahoo Photo service, opting to devote its resources to the Web 2.0-ish photo-sharing site Flickr instead, which the company acquired two years ago. From a business perspective, the numbers make sense - Yahoo Photos has seen a steady decline in usage...

By Sam Diaz | May 4, 2007; 10:05 AM ET | Comments (14)

Chatting Less; Texting More

A study by a British research company released this week found that the number of calls being placed on mobile phones is down, according to London's Daily Mail. At the same time, the number of text messages and emails being sent by mobile phone are up. The study found that...

By Sam Diaz | May 3, 2007; 11:30 AM ET | Comments (1)

A Call to Robotic Arms

Microsoft's quarterly earnings released last week were so robust they surprised even Wall Street analysts. Company executives attributed the success to strong early sales of Vista, the new version of Microsoft's marquee Windows operating system. Yet this news did not quiet the incessant questions: Can the software giant keep...

By Alan Sipress | May 3, 2007; 7:00 AM ET | Comments (1)

Miles Gilburne and Web 2.0

Miles Gilburne has been on many sides of the technology industry. He's best known for his leaderhip during the heady days of AOL, but his former lives also include stints as a high-tech lawyer, a venture capitalist, and a member of Time Warner's board of directors. He's now returning to...

By Kim Hart | May 2, 2007; 3:15 PM ET | Comments (0)

The HD-DVD Digg revolt

News aggregate site Digg had a bit of a meltdown yesterday over whether users could post a 16-digit code that can be used to crack the anti-copying technology on HD-DVDs. The group behind the HD-DVD format's digital rights management technology have been sending around "cease and desist" letters from its...

By Mike Musgrove | May 2, 2007; 11:41 AM ET | Comments (48)

A Race to Personalize the Web

Google quietly put an "i" in front of its personalized home page yesterday, a subtle little move that sparked a buzz in the blogosphere. This, of course, is not to be confused with the clean and simple Google home page - which remains a simple design. This was a change...

By Sam Diaz | May 1, 2007; 1:17 PM ET | Comments (9)

 

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