Daily Marauder

TECHNOLOGY by Marauder


Two still mythical tablet devices, the Microsoft Courier and the Apple Tablet, are probably the hottest and most coveted devices that do not yet officially exist. To further fuel the anticipatory gadget lust, Gizmodo has scored an in-depth look at the former’s user interface and overall design. (Mashable 11/4)


While DVD sales and rentals have slowed, entertainment-industry executives are turning to the Blu-ray format as the saving grace for home entertainment in the near-term. Sales of Blu-ray players have spiked 112% this year, and consumer-electronics giant Best Buy expects to sell 18.6 million Blu-ray players next year. Variety (11/3)

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1,000 phones using 53 separate ringtones created Tchaikovsky’s 1812 overture. Simply brilliant. In essence, musician/producer Jol Mulholland recorded different sections (strings, percussion, etc) as separate ringtones on separate phones and then banded them back together. Pretty genius sh-t…  The video was created as part of Vodafone NZ’s marketing efforts.

The Making Of Video

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MOBILE by Marauder


Sportswear giant Nike has a nifty application in the App Store that allows you to create custom sneakers and order them straight away, with just a couple of taps. The app is in fact a mobile extension NIKEid, a program that allows customer to order personalized Nike shoes straight from the manufacturer. And an excellent extension it is. (Mobilecrunch10/22)

LG Electronics reported a stronger-than-expected quarter thanks to solid business of mobile phones and TV sets, but the world’s third-largest handset maker is eyeing a downbeat fourth quarter because of currency issues, increased marketing costs and pricing pressure. Handset sales in the third quarter reached 31.6 million units, which was up from 29.8 million in the previous three-month period, but profit margins fell from 11% to 8.8% for its phones because of competition and marketing costs. Reuters (10/21)

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TECHNOLOGY by Marauder


SoundLink, the too-expensive, yet pretty OK looking wireless music system by the “too expensive, yet pretty OK looking” consumer electronics people over at Bose, has gone from rumor to reality as of today. Expect to pay $599.90 for the whole McGillicuddy or — if you’ve already bought into the Bose Wave thing — pick up that SoundLink upgrade kit featuring a USB Bluetooth dongle for a mere $149.95. (Engadget10/22)


Amazon has just made their new Kindle for PC available for pre-order online, a move that turns almost any PC in the entire world into a fully-fledged ereader. The software comes on the heels of all of the big Win7 announcements today evens up the playing fields when it comes to PC-based ereaders. (Crunchgear10/22)

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TECHNOLOGY by Marauder


Amazon revealed its third Kindle today at a jam-packed press conference in New York City. The new Kindle, which Techcrunch first caught wind of last year, is expected to have a larger screen to be used for reading newspapers, magazines, and textbooks. (http://www.techcrunch.com/2009/05/06/the-big-kindle-revealed-liveblog/ 5/6)

Old Kindle vs. the new Kindle.


Looking to add to its subscriber base, Vudu will begin offering its collection of movies to Entone, a company that supplies set-top boxes and DVRs to regional TV providers. Vudu’s library includes more than 14,000 movies and TV programs. CED Magazine (5/2009) , xchange (5/5)

Sales of “connected” consumer-electronics products — including TVs, set-top boxes, servers, consoles and Blu-ray players — will reach 100 million units by 2013, according to a new study by Parks Associates. Kurt Scherf of Parks said the trend toward connected CE systems was fueled by consumers who wanted “whole-home access” to content as well as the ability to bring Web content to their TVs. Dealerscope (5/6) , CEPro.com (5/5)

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TECHNOLOGY by Marauder


Best Buy, the country’s leading consumer-electronics retail chain, is preparing to pump up its use of private-label brands. But, according to this article, the move can be a two-edged sword if products offered up under the company’s private labels do not meet the high-quality expectations that Best Buy has worked hard to cultivate. The Wall Street Journal (4/27)


Revenue from home-video rentals was up just under 1%, to $1.7 billion, in the first three months of the year, according to Rentrak. Revenue from video purchases, however, was not as strong: That category was down 11%, to $3.1 billion, according to Video Business research. Total spending on DVD and Blu-ray sales and rentals fell 7% during the period. Variety (4/26)

The overwhelming majority of teens are worried about the economy and are cutting back spending by about 14%, research shows. While they’re spending less on clothing, beauty, food and trips to movie theaters and concerts, video game, music and DVD sales have been less affected. Advertising Age (4/27)

A U.S. District judge in San Francisco will hear arguments in the MPAA’s lawsuit against RealNetworksRealDVD software this week in a case that could determine whether consumers get to legally copy movie discs. The RealDVD software, which enables users to copy DVDs to a computer hard drive, came under fire from the Hollywood industry group, which said it bypasses DVD copy protection and violates the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. CNET (4/24)

The newest telecom device on the market — home media phones such as Verizon‘s Hub and AT&T’s HomeManager — could grow from 1.4 million units shipped this year to 14.3 million by 2013 if carriers continue to subsidize their costs to consumers, according to research company In-Stat. “The media phone represents a new category of broadband multimedia device that has the potential to become the fourth screen in the home, complementing the PC, TV and mobile handset,” In-Stat predicted. TWICE (4/24)

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TECHNOLOGY by Marauder


Amazon’s Kindle 2, which first shipped in late February, is selling at roughly double the rate of the first generation device, says a source close to Amazon. Approximately 300,000 of the Kindle 2s have been shipped to date, suggesting Amazon has made over $100 million in revenue from sales of the $359 device alone this year. (http://www.techcrunch.com/2009/04/16/300000-kindle-2s-sold-to-date 4/16)


Looks like Sun Microsystems is open to renewing acquisition talks with International Business Machines (IBM) if the latter makes a stronger commitment to actually closing the deal, according to Bloomberg sources. (http://www.techcrunch.com/2009/04/16/sun-ready-to-renew-acquisition-talks-with-ibm-if-they-promise-to-walk-the-walk 4/16)


Sony Corp.’s new Webbie HD digital camcorder is squarely aimed at the U.S. market, has all the traditional features without lots of bells and whistles and retails for less than $200. According to this report, the Webbie also is emblematic of a new trend at the consumer-electronics giant toward affordable, easy-to-use products. The Wall Street Journal (4/16)


A new report from IDC said worldwide shipments of PCs fell 7.1% in the first quarter, but that the U.S. market performed better than expected by slipping only 3.1%. “The U.S. was surprisingly strong, it outperformed our forecast,” said Bob O’Donnell, vice president of IDC. “The fact that the U.S. outperformed the worldwide totals is, I think, somewhat hopeful.” Reuters (4/15) , The New York Times/Bits blog (4/15)

A study of 10,000 consumers found that they expect to spend at least as much in 2009 on digital-music downloads, CDs and video games as they did last year, according to The NPD Group. Three out of four respondents plan to spend as much on digital-music downloads and 65% will spend at least as much on video games, while 60% said they would spend a similar amount on music CDs. TWICE (4/15)

Cisco Systems has come out with the Linksys Wireless Music System, a four-component kit that enables listeners to customize their sound experience in innovative ways. And, according to this review, the system’s ease of use and flexibility make it a good fit for just about any home. ElectronicHouse.com/Audioholics.com. (4/15)

Verizon Communications plans to broaden the market for its new Hub phone by opening the device to new applications, removing restrictions that required purchasers to be Verizon Wireless customers and eyeing multitouch controls for future versions. However, analysts still see marketing challenges ahead for the Hub as a home phone that sells for $199 plus $34.99 per month in service fees. Reuters (4/15)

Intel on Tuesday reported that first-quarter revenue fell 26% to $7.1 billion, and that profits receded 55% to $647 million. But the Silicon Valley firm also said the quarter was not as bad as it had expected and that there is a growing feeling that the PC market has hit bottom, indicating that better financial times could be ahead. ClipSyndicate/Bloomberg (4/15) , The Wall Street Journal (4/15) , CRN/ChannelWeb (4/14)

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