Archives For mari

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Dave and I are having a disagreement about the plot twist in the season finale of Battlestar Galactica (I liked it; he didn’t). Fortunately, BSG now has something of a choose-your-own-adventure option. Fans are being encouraged to create their own BSG video clips online. The Sci Fi Channel site gives you visual effects, sounds and music clips to use in your own video masterpiece. You put the whole thing together and submit it by June 1st for a chance to have your clip aired during an upcoming episode. (“Upcoming” means 2008, which is when BSG actually continues…)

Personally, I think the Sci Fi Channel should provide actual footage of the BSG actors for fans to use. Watermark them or make them low-resolution, but don’t make people rely on the bad acting of their friends.

Mochila Adds Video

Mari Silbey —  April 19, 2007

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No, it’s not a new Starbucks flavor. Mochila is a multimedia syndication service that just launched its video player and video content today. It’s an interesting business model and I got a full briefing on it from the CEO earlier in the week. Unfortunately, time has been running shorter than usual and I haven’t had a chance to do a write-up from that briefing. More info to come. In the meantime, check out the company site if you want to learn more.

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Time Warner Cable quietly launched PhotoShowTV in Staten Island last week. I say quietly because it appears there was very little press coverage. Granted the service was already operating in Hawaii, but this is the first time PhotoShowTV has been available on the mainland, so to speak. And it’s a very cool service.

SimpleStar’s PhotoShow has been around for quite a while as a simple tool for creating photo slideshows with music, graphics and even some animations. (Comcast subscribers can download the Deluxe version on Comcast.net) The TV part comes in with the combination of PhotoShow and Time Warner’s VOD service. Staten Island TWC subscribers can now create PhotoShows online and then submit them for public viewing on a local VOD station. In other words, what you create in your living room can be watched on Grandma’s TV screen across town. Continue Reading…

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I’ve written before about my love for Pandora and about the Copyright Royalty Board’s (CRB) attempt to kill it and other Internet radio services. Now Pandora, as part of a coalition called SaveNetRadio, is fighting back.

The SaveNetRadio group (including listeners, artists, labels and webcasters) started a campaign yesterday with a petition to Congress protesting the CRB’s new licensing rate scheme. The goal is to bring attention to the issue now and then follow up by introducing a bill that would make the CRB’s recent decision to slap unfair royalty fees on Internet radio sites illegal.

With all of the things that have been done wrong in the music industry, Internet radio is one shining example of what’s been (generally) done right. Please help save Pandora! Sign the petition and pass on the URL: http://capwiz.com/saveinternetradio/issues/alert/?alertid=9631541

Drool-Worthy Camera?

Mari Silbey —  April 16, 2007

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A press release crossed my inbox today with the announcement of a new camera by DXG USA. Now I have a great digital camera, but this release promised multimedia nirvana in one little device, all for just $199.

Before I get to the catch, here are some of the features of the DXG-589V. It’s a combination 5 megapixel camera, VGA camcorder, video game player, digital music player and video recorder that takes input from TVs and DVD players. Video is MPEG-4 with 30 frames per second at a 640×480 resolution. For gaming, the device has a flip screen and 20 built-in, full-color games. Not particularly exciting for a real gamer, but for someone like me who just likes to have something handy to do while waiting in line, it sounds great.

So why the second thoughts?

Continue Reading…

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Wondering what kind of foundation is beneath your favorite gadgets and gizmos? Look no farther than the start of earnings season. Among this week’s contenders in the great earnings game are Yahoo, Motorola (my employer), and Google. Followed by Apple, Comcast and Microsoft next week, and Verizon and Time Warner the following.

Recent news that may impact these financial events includes:

It’s Fandango-tastic!

Mari Silbey —  April 12, 2007

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A million years ago, and for a very brief period of time, I did some public relations work with the Comcast High-Speed Internet division. At the time, Comcast was pushing its Comcast.net portal as a destination site for news, video, entertainment and applications like photo sharing and shopping. Unfortunately, only Comcast subscribers could access everything on the site, so it wasn’t a very attractive story to the consumer media.

Anyway, today Comcast announced that it’s adding Fandango to its online portal (for $200 million?). Not Comcast.net, but the upcoming Fancast.com. Apparently Fancast will offer search and organizing functionality for video across a number of different devices and channels. (TV, computers, DVDs, etc.) Kind of a modern-day TV Guide.

Om Malik wondered who would own the new TV Guide space, and Broadband Daily has an article today (subscription only) about how Comcast is trying to compete with Yahoo and Google portals.

My question is: do we really need a portal site anymore? I love widgets and would rather get just the content and applications I want in widget form. Sure, I’ll still need a guide to find good content on the Web and on the TV, but why get it on a portal? Widgets are wonderful. Can Fancast.com be anything more than Fandango-tastic?