Daily Marauder

GAMING by Marauder
March 13, 2009, 7:06 AM
Filed under: GAMING | Tags: , , , , , , ,


Nintendo Wii may do more than deliver games in the future, according to Lionsgate President Curt Marvis, who said the Wii offered opportunities to movie studios. For the Japanese market, Nintendo already has a video-on-demand service in development for the Wii. The New York Times/VentureBeat (3/13)

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Epix — the pay-per-view movie channel created by Viacom, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and Lions Gate Entertainment — initially will launch on a subscription-only broadband Web site in May, according to Mark Greenberg, chief executive officer of the joint venture. Greenberg said Epix executives were negotiating distribution deals with cable and satellite providers as well and hoped to bring the channel to television sets in October. The Wall Street Journal (subscription required) (1/28) , Los Angeles Times (free registration) (1/27)

The Epix channel will provide an outlet for flicks such as ‘The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.’

Pssst.  Epix, there already is a subscription-only broadband product on the market.  It’s called Netflix and they additionally send you DVD’s if that’s the way you want to watch something.  Don’t worry, I won’t tell anyone…


NBC is attempting to lure younger viewers to Heroes by building a presence on teen-focused virtual site Habbo.com. NBC.com will extend its popular Heroes’ Evolutions offshoot offering fans the ability to interact with a new avatar Hero through a variety of in-game activities. Habbos participating in a weeklong quest will discover their own “special powers” and will be recruited as new heroes. (Cynopsis 1/28)

AOL will cut its work force by 10 percent today, laying off approximately 700 employees, as a result of the struggling economy and a decrease in advertising revenue, we’ve confirmed with the company. (http://www.techcrunch.com/2009/01/28/aol-axing-700-employees 1/28)


17.1% of all clickthroughs on web advertising are the result of click fraud – the act of clicking on a web ad to artificially increase its click-through rate – according to the latest report from Click Forensics class=”snap_preview_icon”> , a company that specializes in monitoring and preventing internet crime. (http://www.techcrunch.com/2009/01/27/report-click-fraud-at-record-high 1/27)

In honor of Jackson Pollack’s birthday, Google changed their logo today to the artwork below.  If you click on the logo, you will search for Jackson Pollack.  Witty.


The preroll unit, one of five being tested by the Pool, a joint effort by marketers and online publishers to determine a standard Web video format, has been gaining currency with marketers but has its limits in terms of creativity and flexibility, according to this article. “On the one hand, you want to standardize for the simplicity of doing business and the ability to do more business,” said Randall Rothenberg, chief executive officer of the Interactive Advertising Bureau. “On the other hand, you have a medium that allows for infinite customization.” BusinessWeek (1/27)

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MISC by Marauder


Digital Cinema Implementation Partners (DCIP) agreement with Twentieth Century Fox, Walt Disney Motion Pictures, Paramount Pictures, Universal Studios and Lionsgate Films is a done deal. The studios will fund the deployment of digital projection systems to nearly 20,000 movie theatre screens across North America, including the AMC, Cinemark and Regal theatre chains. (Cynopsis 10/2)

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Amazon will launch a new streaming video service to select customers on Thursday called Amazon Video on Demand. The service is different from its year-and-a-half old Unbox download service, which offers downloads of movies and TV to rent and buy, but only works on Windows machines. (http://www.techcrunch.com/2008/07/17/amazon-to-debut-streaming-movietv-service-today 7/17)

Still not launched as of this post.  Can’t wait to see it.  40,000 movies and TV shows is a whole lot more than Netflix has available to watch instantly (10,000).

TiVo’s YouTube player that was announced back in March is finally going live today and will allow streaming, yes streaming, of all H.264 YouTube videos. It’s a major part of the 9.4 Summer Update that is hitting all boxes by the end of this month. Even though all boxes are receiving this update only Series 3 and HD TiVos will be able to see the YouTube feature. (http://gizmodo.com/5026092/tivo-getting-youtube-streaming-today 7/17)

Google’s YouTube is partnering with Lions Gate Entertainment to run the studio’s film clips on the video-sharing site. Viewers will be allowed to upload scenes of Lions Gate movies, accompanied with ads. The deal is in sharp contrast to Viacom’s $1-billion YouTube lawsuit. (Iwantmedia 7/17, http://www.reuters.com/article/industryNews/idUSN1645137220080717 7/17)

Sibley Verbeck is moving past Second Life. The CEO of the Electric Sheep Company has made a lot of money creating virtual islands in Second Life for big brands such as CBS, Showtime, and Intel. But now he is ready to bring those virtual worlds to the Web in regular browsers. Today, he is releasing WebFlock, a Flash-based 3-D virtual world application he is offering as a hosted software service. (http://www.techcrunch.com/2008/07/17/more-browser-based-virtual-worlds-the-electric-sheep-company-releases-webflock 7/17)

Had the chance to demo Webflock a few weeks ago and it really impressed me.  I am the first to diss virtual worlds.  I don’t know how to fly in Second Life but frankly, I have no interest to.  I think this opinion mirrors user engagement in world which Second Life has particularly struggled with.  Here are some differences between WebFlock and Second Life that leave me interested:

  • It’s a streaming environment accessible by a browser. No download.  This appeals to a more casual user.  Second Life has had a bitch of a time getting people to come back to their world after signing up.  This helps.
  • On that note, this virtual world was developed with the casual user in mind giving them only basic functionality.  Even I couldn’t figure out how to “fly” in Second Life nor did I particularly want to.
  • These worlds can be embedded on any site: Showtime.com, ABC.com, SNBC.com, etc etc  allowing multiple sources of entry rather than just the downloaded program which could be stuffed away somewhere deep in someone’s operating system.

The video above shows a user interface being bucket tested by Google to select (probably randomly determined) users. Earlier today we showed a screen shot of the interface and a video of the search history, recorded by Adrian Pike, the CTO of startup Tatango. This new video, however (also recorded by Pike), shows the full Google search experience with a very Digg-like interface. Users vote search results up or down – a down vote makes it dissapear with a “poof,” an up vote moves the result to the first page. (http://www.techcrunch.com/2008/07/16/is-this-the-future-of-search 7/16)

This freaks me out.  I don’t want Google to be Digg or vice versa.  Just give me the straight up algorithm and I’m happy.  The Wikipedia of search results is definitely not want I’m down for.

Google’s ability to raise the price of Internet financial-services advertising may help the search company overcome a U.S. economic slump, analysts say. Google’s business model is not “bulletproof,” but the Internet giant “has got better armor than other advertising vehicles.” (Iwantmedia 7/17, http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=aRClEuK9MVUk 7/17)

Time Warner may struggle to clinch an agreement to sell AOL to Microsoft by Aug. 1, when the software giant’s fight to acquire Yahoo comes to a head. Analysts see the likelihood of a deal before the shareholder meeting as “fairly low” since there is “so much to be ironed out.” (Iwantmedia 7/17, http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=abol73WcBcIk 7/17)

CBSSports.com is also providing live and on demand coverage of the British Open beginning this morning. Coverage includes live action from holes 16, 17 and 18 during the first two rounds as well as on demand video of course flyovers, ’07 reviews, ’08 previews and highlights during all four rounds. (Cynopsis 7/17)

So it turns out that at least a couple of the women bloggers featured in a recent Playboy article that asked “Who’s the web’s hottest bloggers? Vote now and we’ll ask her to pose for Playboy.com!” aren’t very happy about the feedback they’re getting. In particular, they aren’t happy that Playboy says they’ll invite the winner to pose nude for the magazine, or that they are being compared to the other bloggers via a poll to determine who’s most attractive. (http://www.techcrunch.com/2008/07/16/bloggers-want-out-of-playboy-poll-but-that-bed-was-made 7/16)

The first installment of Josh Whedon and his brothers’ web musical Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along-Blog was supposed to go live on Tuesday, but too many requests overloaded the server. There was a silver lining to this for the show’s producers. Act 1 downloads of the 14-minute satire were available on iTunes for $1.99, which many fans were forced to pay for. (Dr. Horrible hovered around the top spot on most of the day on Tuesday and Wednesday.) Look for Act 2 today and the final Act 3 on Saturday. (Cynopsis 7/17)

Love Neil Patrick Harris but this is just aight.  Got a little bored one minute in and it takes far too long to get to the singing sections which are also just aight.

Former AOL-ers Ted Leonsis, Steve Case and Miles Gilburne are launching SnagFilms.com, targeting the social-networking crowd with a site that offers full-length documentaries that can be shared on blogs and personal pages on Facebook and MySpace. The new site will be ad-supported. (Iwantmedia 7/17, http://www.usatoday.com/money/media/2008-07-16-leonsis-snagfilms-indie-documentaries_N.htm 7/16)

Video Search engine Blinkx is trying out a new strategy, transitioning from being a portal to more of private label video search engine that will power larger destinations such as MSN UK, Brazil’s Elo and Russia’s Rambler.ru. Blinkx sells text ads and video overlays against the search engine, splitting revenue with distributors. Interested sites can embed the Blinkx search engine for free. The white label business has always been a sidelight for Blinkx, which also powers video search for Ask.com and Real Networks. (Cynopsis 7/17)Blinkx Video Search Engine

Since it began extending its reach to other areas besides tech news, content discovery site Digg has been successful in directing traffic to mainstream entertainment sites, according to a new Hitwise analysis. Visits from Digg to news and media websites were up 16% year-on-year in June. The print sub-category received the largest share of visits to News and Media sites from Digg, receiving 9% of Digg’s traffic, up 47% year on year. YouTube and Flicker have benefited in particular, according to Hitwise analyst Heather Hopkins. (Cynopsis 7/17)

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