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Archive: February 2008

What Has Craig Newmark Been Up To?

Craig Newmark seems pretty content with his business, the hugely successful craigslist.org. He hasn't accepted any outside funding, has declined offers to buy the site, and he doesn't have any big plans to change its formats or features. So why was Newmark one of the keynote speakers this morning at...

By Kim Hart | February 28, 2008; 1:54 PM ET | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Moves: FCC General Counsel Feder Leaves for Law Firm

Samuel Feder, the general counsel of the Federal Communications Commission, is leaving his post of about three years to become a partner at law firm Jenner & Block. Feder, who has worked closely with Chairman Kevin Martin since coming to the FCC in 2001, will be replaced by Matthew Berry,...

By Cecilia Kang | February 28, 2008; 1:48 PM ET | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

The Debate Over Digital Lockers

It's tough to last long in the music industry these days without being involved in some type of law suit, it seems. The lawyers got pretty riled up when they discussed (or argued bitterly) about how best to tweak the copyright laws. (At one point, a panel moderator actually threatened...

By Kim Hart | February 28, 2008; 12:47 PM ET | Comments (4) | TrackBack (1)

Sprint Enters Price Wars, Creating Full-Fledged Battle for Customers

It's on. Sprint---which today announced it swung to a loss---said it will enter the flat-fee wireless price war initiated by Verizon Wireless last week and followed soon after by AT&T and T-Mobile. Unable to stay out of the battle to lure customers with flat monthly fees for wireless services, Sprint...

By Cecilia Kang | February 28, 2008; 9:57 AM ET | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)

Stream vs. Download

Do you listen to music that is streaming to your computer, or do you download it as a permanent addition to your digital library? That question was asked several times at the Digital Music Forum. Many new online Web sites and services are banking on the fact that you'd rather...

By Kim Hart | February 28, 2008; 9:33 AM ET | Comments (2) | TrackBack (1)

eMusic CEO on DRM and iTunes

David Pakman, CEO of eMusic, was quite proud of the recent move by book publisher Random House to remove digital rights management software from its audio book selection. Speaking at the Digital Music Forum in New York, Pakman cited it as yet one more victory for DRM-free music that, he...

By Kim Hart | February 28, 2008; 7:03 AM ET | Comments (0) | TrackBack (1)

Lessig's Bid for Congress Ends As Quickly As Begins

Never mind! Days after publicly mulling a bid for Congress on his Web site, Stanford law professor, Lawrence Lessig, said he won't be making the bid after all. Lessig, a Silicon Valley icon and champion of open Internet policies, had contemplated last week running for the seat vacated by the...

By Cecilia Kang | February 27, 2008; 2:34 PM ET | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Is Breaking The Law the Secret to Success in Digital Music?

As you might expect, piracy is one of the hottest topics of debate here at the Digital Music Forum in New York. Can companies distribute music legally while still attracting a large enough audience to be successful? A rather heated exchange over this very question occurred onstage during one of...

By Kim Hart | February 27, 2008; 11:09 AM ET | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

TSA blog

The Transportation Security Administration is really listening -- and responding -- to travelers' online gripes. The agency's new blog, Evolution of Security, went up on Jan. 30. and was almost immediately flooded by angry rants in the comments section. And TSA bloggers, to the surprise of some readers, are weighing...

By Sara Goo | February 27, 2008; 7:11 AM ET | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

A Happy Cellphone Customer, Even Without Analog Service

After getting lots of emails from disgruntled cellphone users unhappy about losing analog service this month, I was surprised to hear this story from a local Verizon Wireless customer. Gabriel Goldberg of Falls Church said he and his wife have never upgraded from using analog phone service because it was...

By Kim Hart | February 26, 2008; 1:02 PM ET | Comments (0) | TrackBack (1)

Microsoft's Message to Employees

In an email to employees this afternoon, Kevin Johnson, the president of Microsoft's Platforms and Services Division, appeared optimistic about eventually striking a deal with Yahoo and answered questions about the process going forward. "While Yahoo! has issued a press release rejecting our proposal, we continue to believe we have...

By Kim Hart | February 22, 2008; 4:55 PM ET | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Stanford's Lessig, Open Internet Crusader, Mulls Run for Congress

Lawrence Lessig, the Stanford law professor and open Internet crusader, announced on his blog that he is mulling a run for the House of Representatives. The potential run is part of his new crusade to change Washington, by reducing the power of lobbyists and their influence on lawmakers. Lessig, a...

By Cecilia Kang | February 21, 2008; 6:04 PM ET | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

The Top Cities With TVs At Risk of Going Dark

Consumers Union used data from Nielsen Company to get a better idea of the markets that will be most affected by the digital transition coming in a little less than a year. Here are the top five cities with the most homes that rely exclusively on over-the-air broadcasts: 1. Salt...

By Kim Hart | February 21, 2008; 4:10 PM ET | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Microsoft Opens Up Popular Software Programs

Microsoft announced this morning that it's giving outside developers greater access to high-profile programs such as its Windows and Office suites. The company said it will let the programs work better with competing products and publish to the Web more than 30,000 pages of Windows documentation that had previously been...

By Kim Hart | February 21, 2008; 2:21 PM ET | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Readers Chime in on Photo Privacy

In today's paper, I wrote a story about a Washington mom and her mishap with the private settings on Flickr -- photos of her children skinny-dipping, which she thought were private, turned out not to be. Of course when it comes to the Internet, nothing is sacred. In college...

By Sara Goo | February 21, 2008; 1:02 PM ET | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

T-Mobile Enters Wireless Price War

The wireless price battle just intensified with T-Mobile joining in, announcing a competing $99 flat-rate plan for its wireless phone service, this time with unlmiited text, picture and instant messaging included in the $99 monthly fee....

By Cecilia Kang | February 19, 2008; 4:29 PM ET | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Verizon and AT&T Ignite Price War

AT&T and Verizon Wireless today announced flat-rate subscription plans that would give customers unlimited calling time for $99 a month to anywhere in the nation. The plans, announced first by Verizon and then matched by AT&T hours later, has ignited a pricing war that will likely pressure struggling Sprint Nextel...

By Cecilia Kang | February 19, 2008; 3:09 PM ET | Comments (4) | TrackBack (0)

Goodbye, Analog Cellphone

The country's biggest wireless carriers, AT&T and Verizon, are planned to start shuting off their analog service yesterday. Most cellphone users stopped using analog service long ago, relying on digital networks to make calls, check email and send text messages. Maintaining both an analog and digital network became an expensive...

By Kim Hart | February 19, 2008; 1:17 PM ET | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Wal-Mart Chooses Blu-Ray

It looks like yet another blow to HD-DVDs in the high-definition format war. Wal-Mart and Sam's Clubs stores--all 4,000 of them--will phase out HD-DVDs in their inventory and will soon only carry Blu-Ray discs and Blu-Ray players, in addition to standard DVD players and up-converters. This will happen over the...

By Kim Hart | February 15, 2008; 3:22 PM ET | Comments (4) | TrackBack (1)

Women Want TV, Men Want YouTube

Online video producers are scrambling to figure out how to measure their Internet audiences in order to attract advertisers. Nielsen Online today released its first findings from VideoCensus, its Web-video measurement service. Just in time for Valentine's Day, Nielsen outlined the differences in online video watching habits between women and...

By Kim Hart | February 15, 2008; 7:15 AM ET | Comments (5) | TrackBack (1)

How Real Is Your Love?

Genevieve Grossmann is a prolific secret admirer. So much so that she anonymously sends dozens of virtual gifts to her Facebook friends simply to see their reactions. And with so many Valentine's Day gifts to choose from -- roses, kisses, flowers, chocolates -- the gifter plans to be busy today....

By Kim Hart | February 13, 2008; 7:24 PM ET | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Taking a Closer Look at How Google Works

With all the speculation about how much Yahoo is worth to Microsoft, or how much Yahoo would be worth if it outsourced its search-advertising platform to Google, it seems like a good opportunity to clarify how Google's system works. After all, it is Google's search and advertising empire that analysts...

By Kim Hart | February 13, 2008; 7:09 AM ET | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Blackberry Interruption Due to Tech Upgrade

A major disruption to the BlackBerry email service Monday afternoon was caused by an internal data routing problem related to a recent technological upgrade, BlackBerry maker Research In Motion said today. The Waterloo, Ontario-based company said the upgrade was a long-term technology investment made to deal with increasing demand for...

By Cecilia Kang | February 12, 2008; 5:48 PM ET | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Digital Transition Could Affect Some Local News Stations

Another aspect about the transition to digital television that hasn't been talked about much is how it will affect some of the smaller stations that often provide local news over analog signals. Full-powered stations, like the major networks that get picked up by cable and satellite operators, are required to...

By Kim Hart | February 8, 2008; 5:39 PM ET | Comments (11) | TrackBack (1)

FCC Chair To Push for Liberty Deal with News Corp.

The chairman of the Federal Communications Commission said today he will propose that the agency approve Liberty Media's acquisition of News Corp's stake in DirecTV. In a meeting with reporters, Kevin Martin said commissioners may vote on the deal on or before the agency's meeting scheduled meeting on Feb. 26....

By Cecilia Kang | February 8, 2008; 4:13 PM ET | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

A View of the Local Tech Scene

Starting today, Post reporter Zach Goldfarb, who follows the local technology community here in Washington, is bringing the area's coolest tech happenings to the WashBiz Blog. He'll be writing about all aspects of the scene, taking a look at venture capital trends, tech culture and start-ups. He'll also have discussions...

By Kim Hart | February 8, 2008; 2:38 PM ET | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Digital Transition Countdown Begins

In 376 days, broadcasters will stop airing programs using analog signals. That means that anyone who does not have a digital television set and still gets over-the-air programming using rabbit-ears antenna, will need to get a special converter box in order to keep receiving TV signals. You won't be affected...

By Kim Hart | February 7, 2008; 4:43 PM ET | Comments (20) | TrackBack (1)

Dead Heads For Obama

Tonight a last-minute fund-raising concert for Democratic presidential hopeful Barack Obama reunites three members of The Grateful Dead for the first time in four years. And it gives two online video companies a chance to appeal to a wider audience. At San Francisco's Warfield Theatre at 7:30 tonight--that's 10:30 EST...

By Kim Hart | February 4, 2008; 5:48 PM ET | Comments (11) | TrackBack (1)

FCC Roundup - 2009 Budget and Auction Update

The Federal Communications Commission today proposed a fiscal year budget for 2009 of $338.9 million, up from $313 million in 2008. Large chunks of spending would go to educating consumers on the conversion of analog television to digital television and better oversight of its Universal Service Fund. The budget includes...

By Cecilia Kang | February 4, 2008; 5:32 PM ET | Comments (0) | TrackBack (1)

 

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