Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Blackberry again in jeopardy

RICHMOND, Va. Nov 30, 2005 — A federal judge ruled Wednesday that a $450 million settlement between a small patent holding firm and the maker of BlackBerry e-mail devices, Research in Motion Ltd., is not valid.

The ruling by U.S. District Judge James R. Spencer is a victory for NTP Inc., an Arlington company that has argued the technology behind the popular BlackBerry infringes on its patents.

Canada's RIM had sought to uphold an agreement reached earlier this year, though NTP said it was never finalized.
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Spencer could next consider reissuing an injunction that threatens to shut down U.S. BlackBerry service. However, analysts and industry observers expect RIM will be backed in a corner and forced to settle for a sum as high as $1 billion.

The Nasdaq market had halted trading of BlackBerry's shares about 10:45 a.m. pending an important announcement.

Service offers free Internet Television

Veoh is an Internet Television Network that is able to reach anyone with a broadband Internet connection and a PC or a Mac. All you need to watch is download and install the Veoh software (~ 5MB, installs in under one minute).

Veoh allows anyone to create and broadcast their own TV show or a Channel full of shows. Not small streaming videos, but FULL-Screen, TV-Quality video. Veoh does not transcode the content, but rather offers it in it’s native encoding, and does not limit the file sizes/length of video. Veoh’s goal is to become the platform for producers of all sizes (from individuals to studios and everyone in between) to have a democratized TV broadcasting system.

Veoh is unregulated so it is a true FREE SPEECH television network, politically unbiased and unaffiliated.

Show publishers can publish an unlimited number of shows , with unlimited length, and reach an unlimited number of people, without paying a cent in storage or bandwidth charges . Veoh utilizes a homegrown P2P network (similar to Bit Torrent, but built with content security features and better at penetrating firewalls) to dissipate the costs of delivering these large files. Veoh will make money through advertising and sale of premium content.

Veoh provides a social network around the content, making it easy for the audience to interact with the publishers and with each other. You can link directly to your Veoh show from MySpace , any other social network, or from your own website or blog. You can also forward shows to your friends , and get shows forwarded to you.

Veoh has over 10,000 shows available for immediate consumption. If you’re worried about being exposed to Adult content, Veoh has a built-in family filter that is on by default. You can choose what rating not to go above.

Veoh integrates with the Video iPod allowing users to watch their Veoh videos on the iPod. In fact, Veoh has over 3,000 free videos for the iPod (enough to fill one up completely), and more videos being added hourly. Other portable video devices will be supported shortly.

Firefox 1.5 available for download

Firefox 1.5 came out earlier today. I've been using it for an hour now, and boy is it nice. If you're still using Microsoft's Explorer or Safari, now's a great time to switch -- better ad-blocking, better usability, better security, and better standards-compliance. And it's free! Link

Monday, November 28, 2005

Samsung unveils largest flexible LCD

Samsung Electronics has created a flexible LCD screen that measures 7 inches diagonally, another technology that may one day be used in products such as e-books.

The display is functionally similar to the LCD (liquid crystal display) panels used inside TVs and notebooks, but with a crucial difference. Instead of containing glass substrates, the screen features a substrate of flexible plastic, allowing the display to bend. The plastic will not break when flexed, according to Samsung, and its pliancy paves the way for flexible color screens.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

iT is a compact, ultra-simple, portable desk top computer complete with everything necessary to connect to the Internet, home entertainment devices, printer, USB card reader for reading the memory cards of digital cameras and many other USB peripherals.

It has been developed, designed and manufactured to be distributed free in order to enhance the lives of the millions of people in the world who - for economic reasons - are not connected to the Internet. A way to move them out of the digital underclass.

Why free, you may ask? There are 14 "hotkeys" on the keyboard, and every time you press one, you'll be directed to a different sponsor's website.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

EDUCAUSE study on students and IT

The EDUCAUSE Center for Applied Research (ECAR) has made available its 2005 study on students and information technology. Here's the link to the PDF.

The title is: ECAR Study of Students and Information Technology: Convenience, Connection, Control and Learning.

Library of Congress plans world digital library

Library of Congress plans world digital library: "The Library of Congress is kicking off a campaign on Tuesday to work with other nation's libraries to build a World Digital Library, starting with a $3 million donation from Google Inc."

Monday, November 21, 2005

RSS to SMS just went in to beta with their online service that allows you to subscribe to RSS feeds and receive pings to the Instant Messanger of your choice.

While most content might not be important enough to warrant subscribing to an RSS-to-SMS tool, getting to IM just might be more relevant, especially when you don't have the time to regularly check your RSS reader, but want to be notified when something of top importance happens. works with all major IM carriers including MSN Messenger, Yahoo Messenger, Google Talk, Jabber, and AIM/ICQ.

Use to be notified instantly when:

* news on a certain topic is posted
* your competitor does something of interest
* something interesting happens with a favorite sports team
* your name or company is written about
* you receive new email

Thomson Gale adds Podcasts

Thomson has announced the addition of podcasts to various Gale InfoTrac databases.

To enable them to jump on the podcasting trend, Thomson is using the more liberal interpretation of the concept of "podcast" - meaning any online audio, as opposed to the stricter initial conception of the term, which is defined as a technology that allows users to subscribe to a set of feeds to listen to regularly updated syndicated audio Web content (pcwebopedia).

Podcast feeds are being added to the General Reference Center, Student Resource Center, Opposing Viewpoints Resource Center, History Resource Center, and more. Weekly presidential radio addresses by George W. Bush from January 2005 to the present will be podcast beginning November 8, 2005. New presidential radio addresses will be added weekly.

While this addition marks the first podcast ever loaded to Thomson Gale reference databases, the company says it will add more podcasts in the coming months.

TiVo to offer TV recordings transfer to iPod and PSP

TiVo today announced an enhancement to its current TiVoToGo feature that will allow TiVo subscribers to easily transfer recorded television programming to their iPod or PSP devices. The enhancement will include exclusive capabilities such as TiVo auto-sync that will allow subscribers to choose if they want new recordings of their favorite programs easily transferred to their portable devices via their PC. Every morning the devices can be loaded with new programs recorded the night before. TiVo said it plans to make the feature available to its entire standalone TiVo Series2 subscriber base as early as the first quarter of next year. Subscribers will need to purchase certain low-cost software to facilitate the transfer of content from the PC to these portable devices.

Map of Public Libraries affected by Hurricanes

This map presents information on the libraries that were substantially damaged by hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Libraries with minor damage are not included. The Map

Friday, November 18, 2005

It's Good To Be An RFID Vendor

As this article from Internet News indicates, it’s good to be in the RFID business these days. Beginning on New Year’s Day, Wal-Mart is requiring that their suppliers must tag their goods before they hit their stores. And of course, those suppliers will be seeking out vendors to help them tag these goods. In addition, the Department of Defense is requiring the tagging of all supplies (except liquids) bound for Iraq. Again, vendors have a major business opportunity here. Simply put, RFID technology has been gathering steam and should be a major technology to follow in 2006.

Google Blog tracks Google development and more


also check out Google Weblog

Thursday, November 17, 2005

First album to be released in flash memory format only

As flash memory falls in price and as we all become more accustomed to buying music in digital format, Barenaked Ladies is releasing BARENAKED ON A STICK! ... a USB flash memory drive containing songs, videos, and exclusive content from the Barenaked Ladies, and will go on sale November 22, 2005! Essential for any BNL fan's collection, the 128mg USB flash memory drive (about the size of your pinky finger) is a fast and easy way to share music, videos, pictures and other data. It is PC/Mac compatible, re-usable and incredibly low priced at $29.98 (close to the same cost of the device on its own with no special content). It will be available on and (Nettwerk's online merchandise store), and will also be sold at all BNL shows this winter.

Can audiobooks and other digital content be far behind?

Sherlock Holmes serialized as originally published in The Strand

Stanford is republishing several of the Sherlock Holmes stories in serial installments as they originally appeared printed and illustrated in "The Strand" magazine. You can subscribe to get them either as paper copies or electronically, and either way is completely free. It starts in January, but you signups are open now. Here is the site.

Monday, November 14, 2005

AOL unveils free Web TV

Time Warner Inc.'s AOL said on Monday it planned to launch a free Internet television service by early 2006, in one of the technology and media industry's most ambitious designs to reach TV viewers online.

Yahoo and Google threaten to bypass traditional media outlets by linking computer users with TV shows online, striking partnerships with programmers or creating content. What they lack AOL now possess in abundance -- the shows themselves.

In its first year, in an exclusive deal, the advertising-supported service, In2TV, will feature approximately 3,400 hours of programming from 4,800 episodes spanning 100 series of Warner Bros.-produced shows from the past.

They include past prime time hits "Welcome Back Kotter," "Growing Pains" and "Kung Fu" organized under six channels divided by comedy, drama, animation, action, classic and superhero/villain genres. Two more channels may launch in 2006.

Over time, Warner Bros. could add up to 14,000 episodes from 300 series it has cleared with rights holders, executives said. AOL is also in talks with "every major provider" to offer shows not owned by Time Warner, Kevin Conroy, executive vice president of AOL media networks said in an interview.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Study: teenagers favor IM to e-mail

Instant messaging is emerging as a favorite communication tool among teenagers and young adults, with a good number of them sending more IMs than e-mails, a new survey says.

Nearly 66 percent of 13- to 21-year-olds say they send more IMs than e-mails, compared with 49 percent last year, according to an America Online-commissioned study of instant messaging trends.

Overall, 38 percent of users say they send as many or more IMs than e-mails.

IM is getting popular at work as well, with 58 percent of people using it to communicate with colleagues; 49 percent for getting answers and making business decisions. And some are also using it to deal with clients or "to avoid a difficult in-person conversation." A majority of users at work, 77 percent, feel instant messaging has had a positive effect on their work lives. About 13 percent say they have their IM screen name printed on their business card.

Full Article

Load Content into iPod without a Computer

From Gizmodo:
Aren't we all past the point where we need to rip our CDs? The whole "Rip, Mix, Burn" era peaked in 2002 and anyone with CDs at this point should probably just keep listening to the Technics 100-disk changer and give it up. Anyway, the iLoad is a little thingie that rips CDs to your iPod. I'm thinking this is a proof-of-concept patent thing for future lawsuits—"PATENT 1,100,033,032,095 - A device that removes data from compact disks and transfers it to a portable music player"— but we'll see what comes of it. No specs or info yet, just a "Spam me" link.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

From:"It's All Good"

Amazon Shorts are short literary works available for purchase--49 cents!--from well-known authors that have never been published anywhere else--and won't be for at least 6 months according to the FAQ. Amazon made a foray into original content a year or so ago when they showed made-for-Amazon short films over a period of weeks. With Amazon Shorts, the line between content seller and publisher just got a lot fuzzier.

In the FAQ:
What types of material can I list as an Amazon Short?
Any previously unpublished short-form work (2,000 - 10,000 words, fiction or nonfiction) you've created that your readers would find interesting. An Amazon Short could be a single short story, an update on a well-loved character, a compelling speech, additional material that enriches your published works, or even your commentary on your work or other subjects. Some authors have chosen to treat this as a "laboratory" for experimentation with new genres, themes, etc. We are open to creative ideas for new work.

This will drive collection development librarians nuts...

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

CBS, NBC To Launch 99-Cent On-Demand TV

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - A pair of separate deals announced Monday between CBS and Comcast, as well as NBC Universal and DirecTV, soon will allow viewers to pay to watch current primetime broadcast hits just hours after they air for free.

CBS and NBC will be charging 99 cents per episode to access such series as "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation" and the "Law & Order" spinoffs putting a twist on the traditional TV business model that will have untold implications for industry sectors ranging from affiliates to advertisers for years to come.

While unprecedented in the multichannel world, the new window became a hot commodity once Apple Computer Inc. and Walt Disney Co. made series programming like "Lost" available on video iPods last month. Having missed the first wave in the sea change transforming how viewers watch TV, Monday's deals are probably just the first of many that will put programming on as many different screens as possible, including mobile phones.

"As with the Disney iPod deal, I think this deal is symbolic of the new age," said Leslie Moonves, co-president and chief operating officer of Viacom Inc. and chairman of CBS.

Monday, November 07, 2005

Author John Fowles dead

BRITISH novelist John Fowles, author of The French Lieutenant's Woman and The Magus, has died aged 79, his publisher said overnight.

"He died at the weekend. He had been ill for some time," said a spokeswoman at his publishers, Jonathan Cape.

Fowles, a novelist for more than 40 years, won international acclaim with publication in 1969 of The French Lieutenant's Woman, a vivid Victorian pastiche that was later turned into a critically acclaimed film with Meryl Streep and Jeremy Irons.

Fowles worked as a teacher before turning to writing full-time.

His first novel in 1963 was The Collector about a young butterfly collector who kidnaps a young woman.

Among his other successful books was the 1960s cult novel The Magus, a complex and disturbing tale set on a Greek island.

Penguin Books begin PodCasting

Welcome to the first ever Penguin podcast, with extracts, news and information from the best authors and books around.

In this issue we'll bring you Jamie Oliver chewing over the history of English cuisine, the authors of Freakonomics on how to choose (or how not to choose!) your baby's name, an extract of Zadie Smith's new bestseller On Beauty and music from Penguin Remixed.

Yahoo, TiVo to connect services

Starting today, consumers will be able to schedule recordings of TV shows on their TiVo box from a special Yahoo portal, the companies have announced. Subscribers would need a valid Yahoo account with a e-mail address as well as a valid TiVo user account.

Additional content sharing between Yahoo and TiVo, such as traffic, weather and user photos, is almost assured before the year is out, according to Associated Press reports.

Microsoft and Amazon join book digitization movement

Microsoft To Digitize 100,000 Books: "Software giant Microsoft Corp. said Friday it has signed a deal to scan and put online 100,000 books from the British Library."

Amazon to sell chapters of books: "Online retailer has unveiled 'two innovative programmes' to allow readers to access parts of books rather than buying the complete work."

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Writeboard is an on-line tool that lets you create web-based text documents, save every edit, roll back to any version and easily compare changes. You can use Writeboard alone or collaboratively. The cool part is that it creates an RSS feed for each document and then delivers document changes to your RSS Reader, thus giving you great control over document versioning.