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What Starbucks Can Learn From the Movie Palace


Coffee with Wifi - at a priceStarbucks became the most visible Wi-Fi-equipped national chain in the US when it began offering the service in 2002. Now, at more than 5,100 stores, Starbucks offers Internet access "from the comfort of your favorite cozy chair."

Before you pop open your laptop, however, you need to pull out your credit card. Starbucks and its partner, T-Mobile, charge $6 an hour for the "pay as you go" plan.


Apple unveils iPhone, merging phone, web and iPod

apple4 "Today, we're introducing three revolutionary new products. The first one is a widescreen ipod with touch controls. The second is a revolutinoary new mobile phone. And the third is a breakthrough internet communications device. An iPod, a phone, an internet mobile communicator... these are NOT three separate devices! And we are calling it iPhone!"

During the 2007 MacWorld Keynote Address, Apple chief Steve Jobs unveiled a new handheld computer and communications device: the iPhone. After announcing details of the new Apple iTV product, Jobs went on to say that this 'is a day I've been looking forward to for two and a half years.' Comparing it to the launch of the Mac in 1984 and the iPod in 2001, Jobs described it as Apple's third revolutionary product. The so called iPhone is buttonless, runs OS X, and uses a touch screen with no stylus.


EA UK Announces Sims Shorts to offer Machinima Outlet in 58 cinemas

The winner of a new Machinima competion - The Sims Shorts - will have their 2 ½ minute film shown throughout December in 58 Vue cinema screens across the UK alongside some of the big Christmas  blockbusters. The winner will also get a cash prize of £1000 and have their short available for download on


Disney Co-Chair recognises 'piracy is a business model'

"Pirates compete the same way we do - through quality, price and availability."

Giving the Keynote address at Mipcom, Disney co-chair Anne Sweeney has broken with studio convention and recognised piracy as a business model to compete with, as opposed to simply an illegal threat to be battled. Sweeney's pragmatic conversion came after seing - within 15 minutes of the ABC network premiere of Despearate Housewives - a high-quality, ad-free version that had appeared on P2P networks.

“We understand now that piracy is a business model,” said Sweeney, twice voted Hollywood's most powerful woman by the Hollywood Reporter. “It exists to serve a need in the market for consumers who want TV content on demand. Pirates compete the same way we do - through quality, price and availability. We we don’t like the model but we realise it’s competitive enough to make it a major competitor going forward.”

In the year since the iTunes deal was first done with Apple, Disney has sold 12.8 million episodes via iTunes and 51 of the 272 TV series available on the service are Disney products.


Google Picks up You Tube for $1.65bn

googtubeHaving previously turned down MySpace, Google has paid more than three times the amount of money NewsCorp paid for that community to pick up the video sharing social network YouTube. Conceived in February 2005 by three ex PayPal employees and with only $11.5m in venture capital funding to date, the 67-employee company boasted over 100 million films watched per day, dwarfing the audience share of many major TV stations. YouTube was one of the last remaining independent massively-popular rich-media social networks; the merger brings around 57% of web video under the code of a single corporation, according to Hitwise. 

The deal, announced late on Monday evening, came after a day of announcements from YouTube about new content deals signed with Sony  BMG, Universal Music and CBS about the use of copyrighted content. The partnerships allow for YouTube to post music videos and allow users to deploy certain copyrighted songs in their work, but at the same time has the potential to prevent users from uploading mashups or films with a backing of commercial music from these labels through a new YouTube technology. Google also unveiled a content deal with Sony BMG and Warner Music leaving the UK's EMI the only music label not partnering with either website.

The all stock $1.65bn 'merger' is expected to be completed by the end of the year and will see YouTube existing as a separate branded operation with its own offices. A merry message from YouTube founders Chad and Steve follows:



Peter Jackson bored with movies, moves to Xbox

peter jacksonAfter returning from Mordor and battling Kong, Peter Jackson has just signed with Microsoft to develop 'a new form of interactive entertainment' for the Xbox 360. The Oscar winnner, soon to begin production on a film version of the video game Halo is set to create a series based on the Bungie Studios shoot-em-up franchise.


Neuros launch Open Source TV box - users get paid to develop it

neurosA technology company has released a TV-stereo-computer interfacing device that fully embraces the open source idealogy by encouraging end users to modify and produce its core software. Unlike most consumer hardware where the manufacturer does everything in its power to prevent users from 'climbing under the hood' the Neuros OSD will actually pay end users for their hacks, including $1000 for creating a YouTube or GoogleVideo browser, $600 for a Flickr photo viewer and $400 for getting VoIP running on the system. 



Goodbye broadcasting? Apple to launch "iTV" wireless set-top box in early 2007


iTunes Movie Store also unveiled 

At a special media event today, Apple CEO Steve Jobs previewed a wireless set top box to be available from the first quarter of 2007. The much rumoured device, provisionally called iTV ('we need to get a better name' said Steve) will allow people to manage their music and media collections from the living room and access select quantites of content. In the US it will cost $299.

By previewing the hardware months ahead of release - something that's very rarely happened since Jobs returned to Apple - the company no doubt hopes to lure more of the film majors across to its iTunes service for launch.


UK Government Jumps On YouTube


UK Government Have Posted Two Videos on YouTube - for all the world to enjoy.

Sharing From Westminster - on YouTubeSenior executives at the UK Cabinet Office have posted their first two short films - 'Transformational Government' and 'Sharing the leadership challenge', a slightly longer clip concerning Whitehall plans to save money by consolidating service departments and the leadership challenges this poses for managers.