Amazon.com unbox – watch now: Instant video streaming is coming to PC and Mac

watch nowAmazon.com has opened up the second round of the beta phase for its unbox instand video streaming service called “watch now”. The unbox service enables you to rent and buy movies and TV shows from amazon through a download to your PC without the need to get the DVD shipped to you, or going to a DVD rental store. The amazon-unbox watch now feature is an additional way from amazon-unbox to make the service more attractive, allowing you to start watching instantly (the video gets streamed to your computer). You will need at least a 0.5Mbps DSL (down stream) connection to be able to use the service.

As of this morning they are still alowing new sign ups, but space is limited. Just go to the Amazon.com unbox page and on the upper, right hand side you’ll find the link (picture to the left) to sign up for the test.

I’ll be testing the service and will post an update on my findings.I am very curious to see how it will work on PC AND (!) Mac, as it was PC, Tivo, Xbox only before. You need the latest Flash version (v9) for your computer to be able to use the new watch now feature. The good news is that you also be able to continue to download movies (e.g. after buying them, not only renting them for a day…) and store them locally on your harddrive (this remains a PC & Tivo only feature).

Check out the new amazon unbox service and watch now!

Have you been using the Amazon unbox service before, in the incarnation of a video download service?

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iPhone: Refurbished Device Reveals Customer Data

You always wonder what will happen with your device if you have to return it.

Even more so if the device is an iPhone with a lot of your personal data on it (contacts, documents, web browser data still left in its cache, etc.).

Just found an older post about what the owner of a refurbished iPhone discovered and the data he was able to reconstruct, on zdziarski.com titled

May 16, 2008: Refurbished iPhone Reveals Customer Data“:

[Photo from Wikipedia. This work is licensed under the
Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 License.]

A few days ago, I posted a discovery in that personal data remains intact (in deleted portions of the file system) following a full iPhone restore. As it turns out, Apple themselves may not have been aware of this. Thank goodness, otherwise identity theft might actually be, like, hard. A detective from the Oregon State Police, whom I’ve verified, notified me this afterrnoon that an out-of-the-box refurbished iPhone he purchased directly from Apple contained recoverable personal data. This included email, personal photos, and even financial information that he was able to recover using my forensic toolkit. Needless to say, the original owner was quite surprised. He informed me that the device had been returned to Apple under a warranty exchange only a few months ago, suggesting that Apple has been using an insecure refurbishing process for the past year.

This shows that you have to treat your iPhone like a desktop computer in case you sell or return it, as the mobile phone more and more gets part of your (digital) lifestyle and holds a lot of valuable data!

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Nintendo Introduces Wii MotionPlus

Nintendo Wii MotionPlusSweeeeeeet! ūüôā

Here is a picture of the MotionPlus, and what Nintendo says about it:

Nintendo’s upcoming Wii MotionPlus accessory for the revolutionary Wii Remote controller again redefines game control, by more quickly and accurately reflecting motions in a 3-D space. The Wii MotionPlus accessory attaches to the end of the Wii Remote and, combined with the accelerometer and the sensor bar, allows for more comprehensive tracking of a player‚Äôs arm position and orientation, providing players with an unmatched level of precision and immersion.

I really love Nintendo for innovating in the field of interface design in gaming and technology. Looking forward to checking this out and all the new possibilities this is opening up, to further spur game design.

Games publishers: Bring ’em on!

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Radiohead Part 2: IN RAINBOWS FROM THE BASEMENT – Live Video Recordings

Radiohead pic After Radiohead released their Album on this (inrainbows.com) site, full album download available for an amount of your choice (from free – x), they are now making Live video recordings available as well. You will got them on iTunes first but the live recordings also aired on VH1.
It will be bery interesting where they want to take it from here.

Below you’ll find the full email from them:

RADIOHEAD IN RAINBOWS FROM THE BASEMENT

Exclusive Live Videos Set Available on iTunes June 24th
Radiohead are releasing ten live performance videos recorded at The
Hospital studio in Covent Garden, with the team from the band’s
longtime producer Nigel Godrich’s ‘From the Basement’ TV show
(http://www.fromthebasement.tv/).

The collection will debut exclusively through iTunes beginning today,
June 24th. The videos feature live renditions of songs from ‘In
Rainbows’ and its bonus CD included in its deluxe discbox edition.
The full track listing of video performances is:
.
Bodysnatchers
House of Cards
Nude
Weird Fishes/Arpeggi
15 Step
Reckoner
Go Slowly
Videotape
Bangers & Mash
All I Need

Captured in a day, with direction by David Barnard and sound by Nigel
Godrich, the videos represent the best recorded representation of
Radiohead’s live performance to date.¬†

The recordings were also aired on VH1 and the videos are available on the site here: Radiohead – In Rainbows – From the basement
More great artists and recordings (White Stripes, Beck, Sonic Youth, etc.) are available at From the Basement as well. Check ’em out.

What I find very interesting is the fact that they chose iTunes to publish their recordings and did not make them available on their original site, were they also released the album. What do you think of all this?

—- Update —

And they are now featured on Google Code with their video / making of: RA DIOHEA_D / HOU SE OF_C ARDS

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US Blogosphere = Big Business

The blogosphere in the USs is growing into “big biz” says eMarketer in its recent article called: Who doesn‚Äôt read a blog now and then?

US Bloggers 2007 - 2012

So, we would have 16% of the internet users in the US “producing” content! A really significant number which needs to be reflected even more in marketing campaigns in 2012 than what we see today.

Let’s look at the numbers on the “consuming” side of the blogospere:

US Blog Readers 2007 - 2012

We’ll reach 70% of “blog readers” of all Internet users in the US. This underlines the important role blogs will inhabit by 2012 and how important it is for brands to “play nice” with the still young “communication channel”.

Next: What money will be spent on advertising on the pages of blogs in the US 2007-2012?

US Blogs Ad Spending 2007 - 2012

From the eMarketer article:

“A big factor driving the increases is the niche orientation of the blogosphere,” says Mr. Verna.¬†

“Once a haven for techies to communicate with each other in their own lingo, blogs have long since shed this mantle and tapped into the zeitgeist of American culture,” says Paul Verna, eMarketer senior analyst and author of the new report, The Blogosphere: A Mass Movement from Grass Roots. “There are blogs for virtually everything under the sun, from celebrity gossip to political commentary to the most mundane personal minutiae.”

Are you writing your own blog or contribute to one?

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Google Friend Connect to be announced at Campfire One

 UH!

Google Friend Connect

Techcrunch says:

Friend Connect is a new data portability initiative for spreading social connections around the web. It’s the third of such announcements to be made in less than a week; MySpace Data Availability and Facebook Connect are the other two.

To find out more check out the live coverage over at techcrunch. You’ll find a live videostream broadcasting from the event.

Update: Techcrunch shows now the recorded stream from the event.

A blog post by Forrester’s Charlene Li fits quiet well to this announcement from Google. She writes on her blog:

The future of social networks: Social networks will be like air

“I thought about my grade-school kids, who in 10 years will be in the midst of social network engagement. I believe they (and we) will look back to 2008 and think it archaic and quaint that we had to go to a destination like Facebook or LinkedIn to ‘be social.’

This gets interesting now ūüôā

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More Ads to appear in Online Comcercial Breaks at abc.com

Looks like we might need to watch through more ads Online, too. Online viewing moving close to the “TV model”?

MarketingVOX: ABC to Pump More Ads into Online Commercial Breaks

Starting this week, ABC will insert multiple commercials into ad breaks within shows streamed online. Each break typically serves one :15 or :30 commercial.

Because the medium is new, the standard for streaming TV shows is one spot per break. Some sites, like Hulu, give users the option of watching a single two-minute trailer at the beginning of a show, in exchange for an otherwise uninterrupted experience.

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AdAge: Adults Spend 1/2 Their Media Hours With TV & Advertisers Loosing Confidence in TV

Is this a loosing battle for the TV industry in its “traditional definition”? Time to move your media to the Internet and build a new business model? Or not yet?

From AdAge.com: Adults Spend 1/2 Their Media Hours With TV

NEW YORK (AdAge.com) — It seems marketers and TV executives are having a half-full, half-empty kind of argument over TV’s prowess. The results of a survey on consumer media habits commissioned by the Television Bureau of Advertising show that adult consumers spend a little over half of their media hours with TV. Meanwhile, a recent survey of marketers and advertisers by the Association of National Advertisers found many were losing confidence in TV as a medium.

From AdAge.com: Marketers Losing Confidence in TV

NEW YORK (AdAge.com) — Whether traditional TV advertising has truly lost its power, marketers and advertisers are already eager to find alternatives. The Association of National Advertisers and Forrester Research’s fourth biennial TV and Technology survey shows a dramatic loss of confidence in the medium as the industry gears up to explore new ad formats and forms of video commercials.

Indeed, two thirds of the C-level-executive respondents said they are watching the medium closely, up from just half two years ago, and 87% of respondents said they were going to be spending more on web ads in the coming year. The study was conducted in January and is based on a survey of 78 leading advertisers across all major industries and categories. 

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Free film music: Moby makes (some) songs available for free

Moby_com site screenshot

In a recent blog post, Moby is offering some of his music to be used in films for free!
All you need to do is to go to his site and register. This shows another move from a well-known artist to make his music (or at least parts of it) available for film makers. I want to advocate the use of this broadminded offer from Moby to everyone out there working on a non-comercial (short-)film!

Below you find the excerpt from his site:

hi,
i’ll keep this brief.
this portion of moby.com, ‘film music’, is for independent and non-profit filmmakers, film students, and anyone in need of free music for their independent, non-profit film, video, or short.
to use the site you log in(or on?) and are then given a password. you can then listen to the available music and download whatever you want to use in your film or video or short.
the music is free as long as it’s being used in a non-commercial or non-profit film, video, or short.
if you want to use it in a commercial film or short then you can apply for an easy license, with any money that’s generated being given to the humane society.
i hope that you find what you’re looking for,
moby

Check out the website here
http://www.mobygratis.com/film-music.html

BTW: His main site is worth a visit for sure: www.moby.com! A really funny front page. I love it!

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Video Twitter (?): Seesmic

Only a short post as they are still in alpha. Check out : Seesmic – “The dashboard for your videos”. You find a longer review on techcrunch: “Loic Le Meur‚Äôs New Startup Launches: Seesmic“.

The service can be described as a video based Twitter, although it is also much more than that. The grand vision behind Seesmic is for it to become a very open online video/television service where people are constantly interacting around both user generated and professional content.

The¬†startup¬†is¬†co-founded¬†by¬†Lo√Įc Le Meur¬†(Organizer¬†of¬†LeWeb3 – Dec 11-12 ’07, in Paris, France)¬†who¬†recently¬†re-located¬†to¬†San¬†Francisco.¬†Stay¬†tuned!

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