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Archive: December 2008

Amazon, Netflix Top Retail Sites This Holiday Season

Your email inbox has surely been flooded with messages about super sales happening at nearly every online retailer's Web site. All sale merchandise 30 percent off! All Holiday Inventory Must Go! Best Deals on the Internet! But which e-commerce sites made your holiday shopping frenzy easy? Which ones made you...

By Kim Hart | December 30, 2008; 12:30 PM ET | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Ready for the DTV Transition? Better Order Your Converter Box Coupons Soon. Really Soon.

Are you ready for the big switch? If not, you'd better pick up the pace. In about six weeks, analog broadcasts will cease to exist, and TV stations will only transmit digital signals. That means older analog TVs without digital tuners will need a converter box in order to keep...

By Kim Hart | December 30, 2008; 10:05 AM ET | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Yahoo Changes Data-Retention Policy

Yahoo said today that it plans to shorten the length of time it retains data about its users' online behavior to three months from 13 months. After three months, the Internet company will anonymize that data to remove any personally identifiable information about users. Anne Toth, vice president of policy...

By Kim Hart | December 17, 2008; 1:50 PM ET | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Hasbro Drops Suit Against Scrabble-like Facebook Game

It appears that board game maker Hasbro has quietly dropped a lawsuit it had filed against the makers of a popular Facebook game called Scrabulous. Scrabulous, designed by a pair of brothers in India, was strikingly similar to Scrabble and was for a while the most popular application on Facebook....

By Mike Musgrove | December 16, 2008; 2:48 PM ET | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Lawmakers Push FCC To Focus on DTV and Delay Other Votes

The soon-departing chairman of the Federal Communications Commission is trying to cram several complex and controversial policies through in his remaining weeks. This week, lawmakers and the Bush administration have been telling him to cool it. Today, two key lawmakers told Kevin J. Martin to focus on the digital television...

By Cecilia Kang | December 12, 2008; 5:16 PM ET | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

DC Leads Nation In HDTV Uptake

Check it out: According to some fresh research from Nielson, the Washington area has the largest percentage of high definition TV sets in our homes than any other metro area in the country. HDTV sets are in 31.1 percent of Washington area homes, compared to a national average of 23.2...

By Mike Musgrove | December 12, 2008; 4:30 PM ET | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Coming Soon: More 3D Flicks

Looks like Hollywood is hoping that a new wave of 3D movies will help bring film-goers to the theater this coming year. Dreamworks Animation CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg came to town today to show off an early look at Monsters vs. Aliens, a kid-friendly animated feature coming out in March. Pay...

By Mike Musgrove | December 12, 2008; 2:36 PM ET | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Sony Launches PS3 "Home" For The Holidays

Sony announced today that it is launching an open beta test of a new virtual world it has developed for the PlayStation 3 called "Home". PS3 owners will be able to download and check out the new service starting tomorrow. Home is free to Web-connected owners of the game console,...

By Mike Musgrove | December 10, 2008; 12:30 PM ET | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

Video: Vint Cerf's Views on Obama's Top Tech Job

Google hosted an open house yesterday morning at the company's new office in Reston Town Center. Google employees there are focusing on repackaging Google's search, mapping and other tools and selling it to the government. I wrote about Google's goals with the federal government earlier this fall. Google announced partnerships...

By Kim Hart | December 10, 2008; 11:20 AM ET | Comments (0) | TrackBack (1)

House Probe of FCC Finds "Egregious Abuses of Power"

A year-long Congressional investigation of Federal Communications Commission Chairman Kevin J. Martin found "egregious abuses of power," though it was unclear whether the nation's top telecommunications regulator broke any rules or laws during his leadership. The report released today on the probe, titled "Deception and Distrust" and led by Reps....

By Cecilia Kang | December 9, 2008; 11:03 AM ET | Comments (19) | TrackBack (0)

Commission Wants Cybersecurity Chief in White House

A committee of cybersecurity experts today released a 96-page report detailing recommendations for the next administration on how to combat the growing number of criminal attacks aimed at government networks. Creating a National Office for Cybersecurity within the White House is chief among the report's recommendations. A top cybersecurity official...

By Kim Hart | December 8, 2008; 5:55 PM ET | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

New Research: Adults & Videogames

In September, Pew internet & American Life revealed some research about kids and videogames. Now the non-profit research organization is revealing some figures about how many grown-ups participate in the pastime. Perhaps not too surprisingly, it turns out that younger people are more likely to play videogames than older people....

By Mike Musgrove | December 7, 2008; 4:00 PM ET | Comments (7) | TrackBack (0)

CSPAN: ESA Head Talks Shop

I'm appearing on a C-SPAN show called The Communicators this afternoon with Michael Gallagher, the head of the Washington-based videogame trade group Entertainment Software Association. I've written about Gallagher and his tenure at ESA twice, once when he took the reigns at ESA last year and once this past summer,...

By Mike Musgrove | December 5, 2008; 7:00 AM ET | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Does Obama Use A Zune?

Maybe it only seems like we are living in an iPod world. According to the Philadelphia City Paper, President Elect Barack Obama was spotted listening to a Zune music player during a morning workout this week. If so, he could do for the oft-forgotten Zune, what Jackie Kennedy did for...

By Peter Whoriskey | December 4, 2008; 11:15 AM ET | Comments (5) | TrackBack (0)

No More Facebook Friends for Ted Leonsis

Ted Leonsis is one popular guy. So popular that he's inching precariously close to the 5,000-friend limit on Facebook. As of this afternoon, he had 4,995. Better scramble to get those last few slots in his digital Rolodex. He said on his blog late last month that he will have...

By Kim Hart | December 3, 2008; 5:30 PM ET | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

Carlyle's Hawaiian Telecom Bet Goes Belly Up

When private equity giant Carlyle Group announced its purchase of Hawaiian Telecom for $1.65 billion, its resident telecom guru and former Federal Communications Commission Chairman Bill Kennard called it an "exciting opportunity" that was expected to add many new jobs. Fast forward four years and the troubled telecommunications firm, saddled...

By Cecilia Kang | December 1, 2008; 6:30 PM ET | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

FCC To Propose Free, No-Porn Internet Network

In the remaining weeks of his tenure, Federal Communications Commission Chairman Kevin J. Martin will push for a free, no-porn wireless Internet network across the nation, according to the agency. Martin is expected to put his proposal for the free Internet network on the agency's Dec. 18 meeting agenda despite...

By Cecilia Kang | December 1, 2008; 5:30 PM ET | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Washington TV Stations To Simulate DTV Transition

If you rely on over-the-air signals to watch TV, you'll get a glimpse on Tuesday of what will happen when broadcasters shut off analog signals Feb. 17. On Tuesday, Dec. 2, at 5:28 p.m., nearly a dozen TV stations in the Washington market will stage a soft shut-down of their...

By Kim Hart | December 1, 2008; 3:45 PM ET | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)


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