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Archive: July 2007

FCC to Decide on Auction Rules Today

The Federal Communications Commission is scheduled to vote this morning on the rules governing the January auction of valuable airwaves. These airwaves are coveted by phone, cable and Internet companies of all sizes because they are ideal for carrying wireless signals. The biggest debate has been over whether the FCC...

By Kim Hart | July 31, 2007; 9:30 AM ET | Comments (5)

Investing In Twitter's Future

Last month, I wrote about Twitter, a Web start-up company that allows users to post an answer to the question "What Are You Doing" across the Internet in 140 characters or less. It was a tough story to write because it's still somewhat unclear what the exact business model is...

By Sam Diaz | July 31, 2007; 7:25 AM ET | Comments (0)

SunRocket Sells Assets

The company handling the "wind-down" of SunRocket said last night that TeleBlend, a small Internet-phone service company based in Maine, has entered an agreement to acquire certain strategic assets of the Vienna company that went out of business last week. TeleBlend is backed by a company called USA Telephone whose...

By Kim Hart | July 27, 2007; 9:34 AM ET | Comments (11)

Sprint Partners With Google on WiMax

Sprint Nextel announced today that it will be working with Google to bring web search, interactive communications and social networking tools to Sprint's WiMax Mobile Internet customers. Together, the companies plan to create a new mobile portal to use with the technology. Sprint announced last week that it entered a...

By Kim Hart | July 26, 2007; 9:59 AM ET | Comments (0)

File-Sharing: A National Security Threat?

The makers of peer-to-peer file sharing software such as Limewire are no strangers to controversy. Hollywood has been battling file-sharing over the Internet for years as a way to curb music and video piracy. But now, Congress is back in the debate, alleging that P2P software can pose a "national...

By Sam Diaz | July 25, 2007; 12:35 PM ET | Comments (16)

Sparks Still Flying Over SunRocket

More than a week after SunRocket went belly up, I'm still receiving phone calls and e-mails from angry customers who were left in the lurch. SunRocket, the Vienna-based Internet-phone service provider that was was once a darling of the local venture capital community (it received $80 million in private investment...

By Kim Hart | July 25, 2007; 7:09 AM ET | Comments (33)

XM-Sirius Announce a la carte Pricing - Pending Merger Approval

It's the one thing that Federal Communications Commission Chairman Kevin Martin has been sweet on: a la carte pricing to give the consumers ultimate control over what they pay for. The cable companies have resisted - but Sirius chief executive Mel Karmazin has announced intentions to offer a la carte...

By Sam Diaz | July 23, 2007; 10:52 AM ET | Comments (53)

Wal-Mart Expands Online Features

Starting today, Wal-Mart is allowing users to enter customer reviews and ratings on its Web site following strong shopper demand. The company began testing the program in June in several categories, including electronics, home and garden, media and baby. The site received double the user response it expected, Wal-Mart officials...

By Sara Goo | July 19, 2007; 2:46 PM ET | Comments (0)

Trying to Save A Magazine Through Facebook

Can the power of online social networking save a magazine from the history books? The fast growing membership of a Facebook group called "I read Business 2.0 - and I want to keep reading" is trying to send a message to parent company Time Inc., which is considering halting publication...

By Sam Diaz | July 19, 2007; 12:35 PM ET | Comments (0)

Has Anyone Heard From Sony Lately?

As a tech geek, I love killing time in electronics stores or even just the electronics department at a Target or Wal-Mart. Knowing this, my wife offered to duck into the Sony Style store at Tysons Corner Center over the weekend, as we killed time waiting for a movie. Imagine...

By Sam Diaz | July 18, 2007; 6:47 PM ET | Comments (0)

Xbox Exec Moves to EA

Surprising bit of executive-shuffling news from the video game world yesterday: Peter Moore of Microsoft is leaving that company to be the head of the sports division of game-publishing-giant Electronic Arts. For years Moore, as vice president of interactive entertainment at Microsoft, has been the face of Xbox to the...

By Mike Musgrove | July 18, 2007; 6:44 AM ET | Comments (0)

Avoiding the Beltway on Online Maps

I love stumbling upon new features on the Web, especially when they're enhancements to online services I already use regularly - like online maps. I had been mapping out a route for my wife to from our home in Montgomery County to downtown Washington. But all of the routes were...

By Sam Diaz | July 17, 2007; 10:53 AM ET | Comments (0)

Newspapering in the 21st Century

The Washington Post today launched Loudounextra.com. My colleague Frank Ahrens wrote about it, quoting washingtonpost.com publisher Caroline Little, who called it part of the Post's online hyperlocal journalism. The site will be a combination of traditional and new-age news reporting, including blogging, video storytelling and extensive databases on community institutions...

By Sam Diaz | July 16, 2007; 11:38 AM ET | Comments (0)

The End of E3 as We Knew It

The final day of the new E3 Media Summit literally ended with a funeral. Independent game publisher Gamecock, which set up shop at The Hotel California, an unofficial E3 hotel, held a funeral procession that began on the beach of Santa Monica and ended in Venice Beach about 30 minutes...

By washingtonpost.com Editors | July 14, 2007; 10:17 AM ET | Comments (3)

New Gaming Trends Widen Market

Parents and politicians will be impressed at two new themes the game industry is embracing. The first is the rise of the exercise game. Konami launched this revolution in Japan years ago with Dance Dance Revolution and had two new games on display at its bungalow outside of the Fairmont...

By washingtonpost.com Editors | July 14, 2007; 10:02 AM ET | Comments (0)

Web Radio: 48 Hours to Black Sunday

I must admit that I'm kind of anxious to know what's going to happen to my favorite Internet radio streams on Sunday. Yesterday, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals refused to halt an increase in royalty and broadcasting fees that are scheduled to take effect on Sunday. The buzz among...

By Sam Diaz | July 13, 2007; 1:32 PM ET | Comments (22)

E3 After Dark

When the E3 Media Summit officially closes down hotel suites at 6pm, the show still goes on. Many game publishers use this time to entice journalists and analysts to their booths, courtyards or restaurants with free drinks and food, as well as games. Sony Online Entertainment and Capcom kept its...

By Sara Goo | July 13, 2007; 11:35 AM ET | Comments (0)

The E3 Grind Continues

SANTA MONICA--For the third straight day, Santa Monica was overtaken yesterday by about 5,000 videogame journalists, analysts and game makers. The Fairmont Hotel was home to another full day of press conferences, which began at 8 a.m. with Take-Two Interactive showing its line-up of 2K Games, 2K Sports and Rockstar...

By Sara Goo | July 13, 2007; 9:09 AM ET | Comments (0)

Xbox for Families

The Xbox 360 is trying to break outside the realm of the hardcore gamers this year, with trivia games and Disney movies available for download. Jeff Bell, Microsoft's vice president of marketing, is hoping that the latest batch of family-friendly titles will promote "family date night" among Xbox-owning families. Microsoft's...

By Mike Musgrove | July 13, 2007; 6:55 AM ET | Comments (2)

What Nintendo Wants

"A year ago, people were still advocating that we get out of the hardware business," says George Harrison, Nintendo of America's vice president of marketing. Nintendo's George Harrison. It's been a good year for Nintendo, as we've already noted in today's article, but Harrison admits there's one thing he'd like...

By Mike Musgrove | July 12, 2007; 6:10 PM ET | Comments (1)

Is the iPhone Really a Threat?

I stumbled upon the headline, "iPhone a True Threat to Windows Mobile" on the blogosphere the other day and couldn't help but chuckle a bit. How can the iPhone be a threat when millions of us can't even use it because we're not AT&T Wireless customers? Personally, I'm not in...

By Sam Diaz | July 12, 2007; 5:00 PM ET | Comments (34)

Testing Nintendo's New Controller

To show off its games for the E3 trade show this week, Microsoft has rented out an entire hotel, the Viceroy, and decorated this ritzy place with throw pillows emblazoned with an outline of the Xbox 360's controller. Mike Musgrove tries one of the new Wii controllers. This is the...

By Mike Musgrove | July 12, 2007; 3:36 PM ET | Comments (1)

Sega's Next Horror Game

Now that the Sony, Nintendo, and Microsoft press conferences are over, it's finally time to get a look at some video games and talk to the game makers out at the E3 trade show. My first meeting of the show was with Sega vice president of marketing Scott Steinberg, because...

By Mike Musgrove | July 12, 2007; 11:48 AM ET | Comments (0)

E3's Red Carpet

The E3s of old were all about flash and sound over substance. But in this scaled-back version of the summit, less of that is taking place. An eclectic mix of Hollywood, however, is still making it into the show. Microsoft enlisted running back Reggie Bush to show up to promote...

By washingtonpost.com Editors | July 12, 2007; 9:04 AM ET | Comments (0)

More on E3's Microsoft Opener

The new, scaled-down version of the E3 trade show began last night as Microsoft threw a press conference to promote upcoming games for the Xbox 360 and Windows. "This holiday will be unlike anything that's come before it," for video game fans, said Microsoft vice president Peter Moore. Peter Moore...

By Mike Musgrove | July 11, 2007; 10:02 AM ET | Comments (1)

The New E3

Gone are the huge booths, blaring music, and the never-ending plasma screens filled with digital imagery. There are also no billboards or posters advertising Sony, Microsoft or Nintendo on hotel walls and buses. The new E3 Media Summit, reduced from 60,000 people-plus to about 5,000 people, and relocated from the...

By washingtonpost.com Editors | July 11, 2007; 9:35 AM ET | Comments (0)

Championship Gaming Series Kicks Off E3 Week

Editor's Note: In the next few days, Post I.T. will become home to E3 coverage. @play columnist Mike Musgrove and guest blogger John Gaudiosi will file updates from the show in Los Angeles. DirecTV unofficially launched the E3 Media Summit festivities with the first-ever live broadcast of a professional video...

By washingtonpost.com Editors | July 10, 2007; 3:44 PM ET | Comments (1)

The Future of Television Has Arrived

The news this morning that TiVo and Amazon have teamed to allow a direct download of Amazon Unbox movies to TiVo units - eliminating the computer as part of the transaction - marks a step toward the future of television. The days of a signal coming in to the living...

By Sam Diaz | July 10, 2007; 10:09 AM ET | Comments (9)

Facebook Popularity Soars

Facebook is all the rage, according to Web traffic numbers that were released by Comscore this week. The number of unique visitors rose 89 percent in May, compared to the same month a year earlier, a result largely attributed to the opening of the site to anyone, not just students,...

By Sam Diaz | July 6, 2007; 1:47 PM ET | Comments (4)

Microsoft Extends Xbox 360 Warranty

Microsoft announced today it will extend the warranty on Xbox 360 video game consoles to three years, and said too many have succumbed to hardware failure. Microsoft's corporate vice president of interactive entertainment, Peter Moore, has posted something of a mea culpa at the company's Xbox Web site. "Good service...

By Mike Musgrove | July 5, 2007; 6:01 PM ET | Comments (0)

Is Your Boss A Pirate?

The Business Software Alliance, an organization representing the nation's software manufacturers, is calling on employees to turn in employers who are using unlicensed software. They're even dangling a $1 million reward as an incentive. The alliance launched its rewards program back in the fall of 2005 and said it has...

By Sam Diaz | July 5, 2007; 2:18 PM ET | Comments (0)

iPhone. Worth It or Not?

OK - I know you're probably growing tired of iPhone coverage. But I just had to share the news. I finally had a few minutes to play with one. Ooooh. Our own technology columnist Rob Pegoraro brought his demo unit into the office this week that he used to hammer...

By Sam Diaz | July 5, 2007; 9:15 AM ET | Comments (0)

Taking Care Of That iPhone--Even If It's Fake

Over the last couple of weeks, a whole slew of companies were trying to ride the wave of iPhone hype--and it's still going. I got an amusing e-mail pitch about a new game launched today by Cellufun, a mobile content provider that mostly offers ad-supported games for cellphones. It's latest...

By Kim Hart | July 3, 2007; 12:06 PM ET | Comments (1)

Teen Cell Phone Usage Soars in Summer

Hey parents, be sure to keep a close eye on your cellphone bills this summer. A Disney Mobile "Cell and Tell" survey released this week found that cellphone usage among 10-17 year-olds jumps by more than an hour a day in the summer, to more than three hours and 45...

By Sam Diaz | July 2, 2007; 2:26 PM ET | Comments (0)

 

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