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Archive: March 2008

Lots of Questions About the Digital Transition

Every time I write about the transition to digital TV, my email inbox gets flooded with questions covering every aspect of the conversion, including ones I had never even thought of. "How do I get a converter box for my TV?", " Will I need a new VCR?", " How...

By Kim Hart | March 31, 2008; 4:47 PM ET | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Cellphones as Friend Radars

For some time now, there's been a lot of buzz around the possibilities for location-based services on cellphones. Sure, it can help a rescue squad find you if you're lost in the woods, and it can help you navigate your way through a strange city. But to many, the coolest...

By Kim Hart | March 28, 2008; 5:21 PM ET | Comments (22) | TrackBack (2)

Find Your Friends' Favorites on Facebook

Today, two former AOL execs are launching a new application for Facebook that lets you take advantage of your friends' first-hand knowledge of local businesses. The local search engine, called Loladex, helps you find hot new restaurants or reliable mechanics in your neighborhood by tapping into the recommendations of the...

By Kim Hart | March 26, 2008; 9:58 AM ET | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

OpenSocial Launches Foundation

The social media world now has its own non-profit foundation. Yahoo, MySpace and Google today announced that they have created a group to support the OpenSocial initiative that Google kicked off last fall as a way to standardize the development of applications for social-networking sites. The OpenSocial Foundation was formed...

By Kim Hart | March 25, 2008; 2:09 PM ET | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Clarification on Warner Music's Position

In the previous blog post about Warner Music Group's licensing deal with social network imeem, I included a comment by Michael Nash, the label's executive vice president of digital strategy and business development, that it's fair to assume Warner is in discussions to make its content available to other big...

By Kim Hart | March 24, 2008; 2:17 PM ET | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Playlists Are the New Albums

"The playlist is the new album. Consumers love to customize and express themselves through playlists, which are a tremendous driver of discovery." That's Michael Nash, Warner Music Group's executive vice president of digital strategy and business development. He was telling me about the record label's decision to href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/03/20/AR2008032003729.html">strike a licensing...

By Kim Hart | March 21, 2008; 2:01 PM ET | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Lessig & Zittrain talk at Google Washington

It was a geek double-header at Google's Washington offices yesterday afternoon, where Professor Jonathan Zittrain of Oxford University and Professor Larry Lessig of Stanford Law School showed up to share some of their thoughts about the future of the Web. Zittrain's talk was based around his new book, "The Future...

By Mike Musgrove | March 21, 2008; 9:58 AM ET | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Red Octane Comes to Washington

If you're going to get beat by anybody at Guitar Hero, it might as well be by one of the guys who invented the game. Red Octane founders Charles and Kai Huang were in Washington on Friday. If you've ever picked up a habit for one of the Guitar Hero...

By Mike Musgrove | March 19, 2008; 11:45 AM ET | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

MMOvie Goes Online

This past October, I wrote a column about a group of friends and filmakers trying to put together an original movie filmed entirely in the online virtual world of the game World of Warcraft. This week, the first installment of "MMOvie" is online. MMOvie is an ambitious work of "machinima,"...

By Mike Musgrove | March 18, 2008; 11:59 AM ET | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Likely Rebate Check Purchases: PCs, TVs and Cellphones

What do you plan to do with the tax rebate check from the government? According to the Economic Stimulus Act of 2008, most individuals will receive $600, with the average household receiving around $965 when the checks start getting mailed out in May. Of the $112 billion going to U.S....

By Kim Hart | March 17, 2008; 4:16 PM ET | Comments (31) | TrackBack (5)

Would You Pay a Fee for Legal Music File Sharing?

CD sales are at record lows. People continue to illegally download songs over the Internet. Record labels file law suit after law suit to make sure they, and the artists the represent, get their fair share of royalties. The debate over the best way to distribute music on the Web...

By Kim Hart | March 17, 2008; 12:41 PM ET | Comments (21) | TrackBack (1)

Red Blog, Blue Blog

What kinds of news stories stir up liberals? What kind thrill the conservatives? Those questions likely won't be definitively answered soon, at least not by humans. But a team of Microsoft researchers, specialists in natural language processing and machine learning, has been trying to resolve them using the Web. The...

By Peter Whoriskey | March 14, 2008; 9:46 AM ET | Comments (0) | TrackBack (2)

Bill Gates' Vision for the Future

Speaking to a packed room of Northern Virginia technology executives, this morning Bill Gates reiterated some of the messages he's said in the past, including how powerful research investment can be and how important a role software continues to play in how we use technology. I shot some video from...

By Kim Hart | March 13, 2008; 1:49 PM ET | Comments (14) | TrackBack (2)

YouTube Works On Higher Quality Imaging

While YouTube.com has garnered millions of users around the world, not everyone has been thrilled about the picture quality. Sometimes it's grainy, or dark, or blurry. Some advertisers have shied away. And some film-makers have protested. But the quality is changing. Quietly this week, the company began experimenting - on...

By Peter Whoriskey | March 13, 2008; 10:17 AM ET | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Gates Discusses U.S. Competitiveness--and Parenting in the Internet Age

Today Bill Gates testified before Congress for what may have been the last time as he transitions away from Microsoft to spend more time with his foundation. He appeared before the House Committee on Science and Technology to commemorate the panel's 50th anniversary. (It was founded following the launch of...

By Kim Hart | March 12, 2008; 4:42 PM ET | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

At Electronic Arts, Art Tries to Imitate Horror

The phrase that stays with me is "strategic dismemberment." It was meant in a good way. We're talking about a video game here, not human rights violations, and Alex Charlow, a youngish marketer for mega game-maker Electronic Arts, was describing a feature of a yet-to-be-released game known as "Dead Space"....

By Peter Whoriskey | March 11, 2008; 5:05 PM ET | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

The 411 on Text Msg Spam

With so many text messages flying around these days, they've become fertile territory for spammers trying to expand their reach. Estimates vary greatly as to just how much of a problem spam text messaging has become. Cloudmark, a San Francisco company that makes anti-spam software for carriers, expects the amount...

By Kim Hart | March 10, 2008; 10:23 AM ET | Comments (0) | TrackBack (1)

FCC Auction Nears End, but Questions Abound

The Federal Communication Commission's auction of valuable 700 mhz radio spectrum is entering the final stretch. As bids trickle in for the five blocks of spectrum, a couple things are certain: The auction has raised $20 billion, double what the FCC expected to raise from the auction. And the block...

By Cecilia Kang | March 7, 2008; 2:46 PM ET | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)

VC Kleiner Perkins Gives iPhone $100 Mln Boost

Apple's iPhone just got a big iBoost from Silicon Valley venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, which said it has set up a $100 million fund for investments in companies focused on developing applications and services just for the iPhone and iPod. John Doerr, the pioneering partner of...

By Cecilia Kang | March 6, 2008; 5:32 PM ET | Comments (1) | TrackBack (2)

New Head of NTIA

The door at the National Telecommunications and Information Administration keeps on revolving. Yesterday, President Bush nominated Vice President Cheney's head of policy, Neil Suryakant Patel, to be Acting Secretary for Communications and Information at the Department of Commerce. Patel will replace Merideth Attwell Baker, the interim head since last November,...

By Cecilia Kang | March 6, 2008; 5:01 PM ET | Comments (0) | TrackBack (1)

Your Schedule In The Cloud

In another instance of Web-based applications replacing traditional software programs, Google last night announced a product that syncs your Outlook calendar directly to your Google calendar. If you visit Google Calendar, click on the What's New link in the upper right-hand corner to see get the feature. Many Blackberry users...

By Kim Hart | March 6, 2008; 4:32 PM ET | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Social Media Hotbed

I didn't quite know what to expect when I showed up to a networking event put on last night by Mashable, the blog that covers social media, and Ogilvy here in downtown DC. But within five minutes, I was amazed by the number of social media start-ups operating under the...

By Kim Hart | March 6, 2008; 10:17 AM ET | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

A New Face At Facebook

Two days after the formal announcement, the blogosphere is still buzzing about Facebook's most recent hire. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has lured Sheryl Sandberg, a top Google executive, to the social networking company. It's surely a sign that Facebook is growing fast--perhaps faster than its young leaders can keep up...

By Kim Hart | March 5, 2008; 10:15 AM ET | Comments (0) | TrackBack (1)

 

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