On Gear Live: Exclusive: I used Microsoft’s Surface watch

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Okay guys, we are sitting in the auditorium, primed and ready to take in the keynote of Google Larry Page. We just got a peek at the TelePrompter, which an employee shut off when he noticed me trying to grab an image. Anyway, we can confirm that Google will be announcing a paid video download service -  the rumors are true. The service will offer a wide range of entertainment, sports and news programming. Users will need to download a Google video player to take advantage of the service. We will have more from the keynote when it starts.


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Microsoft and MTV UrgeLook out y’all, yet another digital audio download service is on the horizon, this it is a result of a joint venture between Microsoft and MTV. The service, dubbed “Urge,” will likely be integrated into the next release of Windows Media Player, and will offer over 2 million songs from major and independent artists, as well as original MTV content in both audio and video form. No word on pricing just yet.


Read More | Reuters


iTunes Video DownloadsApple has just added eleven new and classic television shows from NBC, the Sci-Fi Network, and the USA Network to the iTunes Music Store. Shows making their iTunes debut include Alfred Hitchcock Presents, Battlestar Galactica, Monk, Surface, Late Night with Conan O’Brien, The Tonight Show With Jay Leno, Dragnet, Law & Order, The Office, Adam 12, and Knight Rider. The video download area on iTunes has been a nice success, garnering almost three million individual downloads since it opened up. Apple is still working with FOX and CBS to get their content on board, and if it happens, Apple will once again have a nice lead ahead of their competition. Pricing for each 320x240 video is still $1.99, and all are FairPlay encrypted. Conan O’Brien has a couple of hour long specials that are selling for $9.99, which some people are getting up in arms over. However, these aren’t the standard nightly episodes of the show, but rather features that have been released on DVD. Yes, they will only play on your iPod and PC - however, buying a Sony UMD movie can be twice the price, and that is only playable on the PSP.


Read More | iTunes Videos


AOL PicturesAOL has just launched AOL Pictures, a digital photo solution for consumers who want an easy way to view, share, store, print and protect all of their favorite images. The free photo sharing website offers consumers unlimited online digital photo storage in original resolution, tools that make it easier to create photo albums, and all the other standard photo sharing fare. According to a new AOL survey, Americans expect to take more than 137,000 photos in their lifetime with three-quarters sending photos to friends and family over the holidays. That being said, AOL Pictures is offering consumers 100 free 4x6 glossy or matte prints.


Read More | AOL Pictures


Nokia IntellisyncNokia and Intellisync announced they signed a definitive agreement for Nokia to acquire Intellisync, a leader in platform-independent wireless messaging and applications for mobile devices. By acquiring Intellisync, Nokia is positioned to deliver the industry’s most complete offering for the development, deployment and management of mobility in the enterprise. Intellisync makes wireless e-mail, synchronisation and device management software and the company supports a wide range of mobile devices. The acquisition may also provide an opening for Nokia to sell to CDMA operators. Nokia’s strongest customer base comes from the GSM community but Intellisync has customers, including Verizon Wireless, in the CDMA market. Read on for the full press release.

Click to continue reading Nokia Acquires IntelliSync


AOLWhat in the…? Is AOL seriously doing things so horribly wrong that t heir subscribers are turning away in droves? Or is this a case of customers finally having an easy way to get out of their AOL membership since AOL’s recent revamp of their cancellation procedures?

As of September 30, the AOL service totaled 20.1 million U.S. members, a decline of 678,000 from the prior quarter and 2.6 million from the year-ago quarter. In Europe, the AOL service had 6.1 million members, a decrease of 98,000 from the previous quarter and a decline of 170,000 from last year’s quarter.

Now, average that out, and you find that AOL lost 300 members every hour in that three month period. Wow.


Read More | Light Reading


Xbox 360

There is a ton of information that has been made public over the past couple of days on the Xbox 360 front. First, Microsoft has finally released the official list of 18 games that will be available on or before the November 22 launch date. Furthermore, the company has also let us know which current generation games will be compatible with the Xbox 360. Finally, PlayFeed has a few images of Hanger 703 in Palmdale, California. This is the spot where Microsoft will be holding the Xbox 360 Zero Hour launch event. As you can see in the images, construction is steadily under way.


SingularityYou heard me right. Microsoft is working on a new operating system dubbed Singularity. Built from scratch using a new language, it aims to be very dependable. Apparently Microsoft is willing to sacrifice some performance for stability. Could this be an attempt to quiet the *nix VS. Windows stability debate? Here is the technical report (PDF) from Microsoft.  For those less into tech jargon or who don’t want to sift through the document, Dark Side Programming has a nice overview.


Read More | Microsoft


One Million iTunes Videos soldYesterday, Apple announced that they have sold more than one million videos via the iTunes music store in the brief time since they began selling them.  For the moment, Apple has proven the doubters wrong once again.  This is interesting news, but it begs further discussion.  Will Apple begin selling higher quality content for a broader audience?

We believe that they will.  Apple helped legitimize legal music downloading and they seem poised to do the same for television and movies.  With more and more people going to broadband and tapping into things like BitTorrent, content providers have to start think about solutions that will continue to generate revenue.  Apple has mindshare right now and they also have a successful infrastructure in place.  They have already shown that even with a small video library that they have a viable business model. 

One thing is clear though.  To continue being a trailblazer in this area, Apple has to greatly increase the size of its offerings; both in quantity and in quality.  What remains unclear is whether or not the industry will follow Apple’s lead.  With the the way the music executives are chomping at the bit, it is far from certain if their counterparts will be so eager to get into bed with Apple.  What do you think?


Read More | Apple


Google Base
Click image for larger view

Okay, it looks like Google is set to unleash yet another viral service on us. Google Base seems to be a database where anyone can add any type of content, but I bet people are going to be all over this thing as if it was the new, national Craigslist. Think about this for a moment, with Google Base being a free service, and with Google set to launch the Google Wallet online payment service, we might have a free version of eBay/Paypal with Craigslist functionality on our hands - completely ad-supported. In fact, Google even states:

...based on the relevance of your items, they may also be included in the main Google search index and other Google products like Froogle and Google Local.

So I can put up an item for sale, and have it potentially show up when someone searches for that item under Google Local? Sign us up.


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