Daily Marauder


TECHNOLOGY by Marauder
October 23, 2009, 3:51 PM
Filed under: TECHNOLOGY | Tags: , , , , , , ,

TECHNOLOGY

Microsoft announced another down quarter this morning. Revenues in the September quarter were down 14 percent to $12.92 billion, and net profits declined even further to $3.57 billion, or $0.40 a share. The consensus estimate was $0.32, so Wall Street is happy and the shares are rallying (up 10 percent in early-morning trading). (Techcrunch10/23)

Microsoft

With expanded distribution options and a big jump in its subscriber count, Netflix reported a third-quarter profit of $30.1 million, a 48% increase over the year-earlier period. Netflix now has 11.1 million subscribers, the company said, and its streaming service now is available via TiVo DVRs, Xbox Live and Web-capable Blu-ray players. Bloomberg (10/22) , PaidContent.org(10/22)

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TECHNOLOGY by Marauder
May 28, 2009, 3:11 PM
Filed under: TECHNOLOGY | Tags: , , , , , , ,

TECHNOLOGY

In early 2010, Plastic Logic is hoping to introduce a new e-reader that will challenge the dominance of Amazon’s Kindle. Plastic Logic’s entry into the field would be marketed to business professionals and feature an E Ink reading screen with touch capabilities, a very thin body and Wi-Fi and 3G connectivity. The New York Times/Bits blog (5/27)

Pkast

Despite the economic conditions, Apple is setting out on an aggressive strategy to remodel 100 of its existing stores this year and open new ones in New York City, Paris, Italy and Germany, according to Ron Johnson, senior vice president of retail for the company. “We know that a lot of people are cutting back, but we’re doing the opposite,” he said. “We’re investing in the downturn.” USA TODAY (5/27)

Comcast will tap TiVo as the primary DVR option for subscribers in a yet-to-be-announced tru2way market in the near future, according to Tom Rogers, president and chief executive officer of TiVo. Comcast this summer also is expected to allow TiVo users in its New England service area to record programs from any Internet connection. Multichannel News (5/27)

Hitachi Home Electronics rolled out new LCD HDTV models in its UltraVision and Alpha series. The features-heavy UltraVision tops out with a 55-inch model that retails at a suggested price of $1,800, while the value-priced Alpha line has a 32-inch version for $500. TWICE (5/27)

Samsung and SanDisk have agreed to a patent licensing deal in an effort to avoid litigation and forge a new partnership in the crowded memory chip market. Although financial details of the agreement were not revealed, the pact is expected to keep the two companies out of the courtroom. ClipSyndicate/Bloomberg (5/27) , The Wall Street Journal (5/28)

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TECHNOLOGY by Marauder

TECHNOLOGY

Microsoft just announced earnings for its third fiscal quarter. Revenues were down 6 percent to $13.65 billion, and net income was down a whopping 32 percent to $2.98 billion or $0.33 EPS. Analysts consensus was closer to $14 billion for revenues and $0.39 for non-GAAP EPS, which Microsoft met thanks to its cost-cutting measures. Still, this counts as a miss for Microsoft. (http://www.techcrunch.com/2009/04/23/microsoft-reports-a-massive-miss-with-net-earnings-down-32-percent 4/23)

microsoft-earninga

DVR maker TiVo is ramping up its efforts to thwart the very trend that it created: ad-zapping. The company now is offering advertisers ways to keep their ads static while viewers are fast-forwarding through commercial pods or interactive ads that appear in small text boxes when a show is paused. The New York Times (4/22)

tivo-new

Consumer demand for DVDs is forecast to fall further over the next five years as the maturing market transitions to digital distribution. Bankers say these trends could hamper future film financing at the major Hollywood studios. “It’s a different era from four years ago.” (Iwantmedia 4/23, http://www.reuters.com/article/industryNews/idUSTRE53L6L920090422 4/22)

dvds

Amazon.com’s Kindle 2, an electronic book reader available from the online retailer since late February, retails for almost double what it costs to build the device, according to iSuppli. Its analysis service says the Kindle 2 retails for $359 but only costs $185.49 to build. (Iwantmedia 4/23, http://www.newsfactor.com/story.xhtml?story_id=11300AFR6KBF&full_skip=1 4/22)

More than 50% of U.S. consumers say they take environmental considerations into account when shopping for an LCD TV, according to survey results from iSuppli, which found that 27.5% called green factors an important influence on their decision and 23.1% said they looked for such features when buying a TV. Dealerscope (4/23) , TWICE (4/22)

Panasonic has announced that some of its current and future HDTVs with the Viera Cast feature also will be compatible with Amazon Video on Demand. Amazon currently offers about 40,000 movies and TV shows through the VOD offering, and about 500 of those titles are in high definition. PCWorld (4/22) , Pocket-lint.co.uk (4/23)

Sony has demonstrated some of the new capabilities of its BD-Live high-definition format. The advances primarily dealt with being more user-friendly, but Sony home-entertainment chief David Bishop apparently still feels the technology has a ways to go. “I like to say we’re just at the ‘Pong’ stage of BD-Live, if you were to compare it to the video game industry,” he said. The Hollywood Reporter (4/22)

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TECHNOLOGY by Marauder

TECHNOLOGY

For the first time ever, worldwide sales of portable computers this year will surpass those of desktops, according to a new study by IDC. Acer is indicative of the trend: It expects to ship 5% to 10% fewer desktops in 2009 but increase notebook shipments by 35% to 40%. The New York Times (4/18)

idc

Adobe Systems is expected to announce it is expanding its Flash technology beyond computer screens and into set-top boxes and television, a move TV executives believe will pave the way for watching more Web-based video on TV. Bud Albers, the chief technology officer of the Disney Interactive Media Group, said bringing Flash to TV screens will enable viewers to watch what they want, when they want and on just about any device they want. “This gets us where we want to go,” he said. The New York Times (4/20)

Photo Credit: Adobe Systems

Adobe’s concept of how Flash video could look on the TV.

adobe-flash

Sony has introduced a prototype of a 21-inch OLED TV display that would feature resolutions of 1366×758, a contrast ratio of 1,000,000:1 and a superslim package that’s just four-tenths of an inch thick. The company also said it planned to put its new 4K 3-D digital projectors in more than 4,500 AMC North American theaters. Electronista (4/17)

TiVo will challenge Nielsen, whose audience ratings provide the basis for most ad sales, with a service that will provide year-round, second-by-second information about the shows and commercials watched by people who have one of the company’s digital video recorders. (http://www.usatoday.com/money/media/2009-04-20-tivo-data-new-plan_N.htm 4/20)

tivo

As the nation’s chief technology officer, Aneesh Chopra will be charged with finding ways to use technology to improve security, lower costs and make the government more efficient, President Barack Obama said. Tech industry heavyweights welcomed the appointment. “Aneesh is an inspired appointment. His smarts and experience in technology, health care and investing will serve us well,” said one venture capital leader. The Wall Street Journal/Digits blog (4/18)

Nine execs from tech companies including Twitter, Google, and YouTube are in Iraq to meet with the local government and private groups to see how technology can help rebuild the country. (http://www.techcrunch.com/2009/04/20/can-silicon-valley-help-save-iraq/ 4/20)

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GOT SLINGBOX?: DISH USERS DO by Marauder
January 11, 2009, 1:49 AM
Filed under: Feature | Tags: , , , , , , ,

GOT SLINGBOX?: DISH USERS DO

sling-dish

Announced this week, DISH is the first cable/satellite provider to offer subscribers the holy grail of placeshifting: Slingbox.  For those of you unaware of the benefits of Slingbox, this little gem gives you the power of watching your television on a laptop or mobile screen.  Watch video, change channels, or program your TiVo anywhere you have an internet connection.  Slingbox originally was a nifty little commodity but a nice-to-have at the end of the day.  I’ve had a Slingbox for 2 years and can count on one hand the number of times I’ve used it, which predominantly included airport moments when I had some time to kill or wanted to show a stranger something nifty.  At the end of the day, it’s an extra box and an additional charge.

This week, with the announcement of the iPhone and BlackBerry app and this latest inclusion of Slingbox technology in the newest HD DVR box from DISH, placeshifting has taken one momentous step forward.  As of Q3 2008, DISH was rockin’ 13.78 subscribers down from previous quarters but still strong.  Now, I know all subscribers wouldn’t have this new HD DVR upon release in the spring, but this is to say that Slingbox will undoubtedly have access to a new audience.  The other missing link is pricing, which wasn’t included in this announcement.

In addition to the hardware, DISH and Slingbox are announcing the Sling Guide.  Click on the image above for a demo video of how the guide would work.  In essence, SlingGuide enables users to program their DVR from anywhere accessible via internet.  In addition, the guide allows for easier searching of content.  Want to see how many times Jon Stewart brings the awesome town on The Daily Show?  Sling Guide.  Want to see how many times MTV will re-run The City this week?  Sling Guide.  The Sling Guide is available on this new box (ViP 922) as well as these additional boxes at launch:

  • ViP 722K
  • ViP 722
  • ViP 622

They just need to be hooked up to a broadband connection to work.  I think the announcement of the Sling Guide along with the Slingloaded HD DVR box is a little confusing only because the Sling Guide without the Slingloaded box won’t allow video playback.  Confused yet?  Yah, I thought so.

Here’s all you need to know.

sling21dishme2

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TECHNOLOGY by Marauder
December 10, 2008, 1:42 PM
Filed under: TECHNOLOGY | Tags: , , , , , , ,

TECHNOLOGY

Netflix Chief Financial Officer Barry McCarthy says that the DVD-by-mail business now has 9 million subscribers and that its online video-streaming success is proof that consumers are becoming increasingly comfortable watching TV shows and movies via the Internet. Netflix has fueled growth this year, in part, by cementing deals with content providers such as Starz Entertainment and distribution partners such as Microsoft and TiVo. OneTRAK (12/9)

netflix2

Sony announced it will shut plants, curb R&D investment by 30% and cut 8,000 full-time jobs worldwide or 5% of its workforce in addition to another 8,000 contract or temporary staff. Sony slashed its operating profit forecast by 47% in Oct. as demand for TVs, electronics, computers and other goods began to wane. (Cynopsis 12/10)

The home video industry is pinning many of its hopes and dreams on the yesterday’s release of The Dark Knight to give the Blu-Ray format in particular a shot in the arm. Collectors will have their hands full as Warner Bros. released 4 different editions of the release:

  • A single-disc DVD in standard or widescreen format ($15)
  • A two-disc DVD special edition ($21-$23)
  • A Blu ray two-disc special edition ($24-$27)
  • A Blu ray two-disc limited edition with a model of the wide-tired batpod ($47-$60)
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WIRELESS by Marauder
November 25, 2008, 10:36 PM
Filed under: WIRELESS | Tags: , , , , , , ,

WIRELESS

TiVo is introducing a mobile site at m.tivo.com (warning: link may not be live yet) that will let subscribers with Internet-connected DVRs schedule their TiVo’s remotely from their phones, just like they can today via their laptops. (http://www.mobilecrunch.com/2008/11/24/program-your-tivo-from-your-cell-phone 11/24)

m-tivo

Samsung Electronics has reached an accord with InterDigital over the latter’s patent for 3G-network technology for which the company has earned a total of $1.5 billion in licensing fees from companies including Apple and Research in Motion. The agreement, which came just as the International Trade Commission was set to decide whether Samsung should be allowed to import its Instinct and Blackjack II 3G-equipped cell phones, means that Nokia remains the only major phone maker without a licensing deal with InterDigital. The Wall Street Journal (11/25)

Apple’s iPhone infringes on a patent EMG Technology holds for navigating the Web over cell phones, EMG claims in a suit filed in a Texas federal court Monday. EMG argues that its patent refers to an “apparatus and method of manipulating a region on a wireless device screen for viewing, zooming and scrolling Internet content,” and includes 76 individual claims. Macworld (11/24)

Online video network Blip.tv added support for the iPhone enabling users to view blip videos directly from their phones. Blip.tv’s new embed code now allows show creators to utilize the same embeddable player code they use for delivering videos to desktop PCs. This opens up the hottest new video platform for independent producers who go reach beyond bite size clips. Outside of Apple’s integration with YouTube, distributing web video shows to the iPhone has been impossible because the platform still doesn’t support Adobe’s Flash format.  (Cynopsis 11/25)

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