BestBuy’s Movie Download Service Ready To Launch

BestBuy will provide the service under the brand name CinemaNow. The service will allow users to download latest movies to their connected TV sets, Blue-Ray players and computers at a pay-per-download price. The service is expected to launch by the end of the month and will be powered by Sonic Solutions.  Rentals for new movies will be around $2-$4 while complete purchase would be somewhere between $10 to $20 depending on the title.

Unlike Netflix, the service will not offer any subscription based plans. The website by Sonic that currently already offers movie downloads will also be relaunched under the new ownership with a much more user-friendly interface.  This will put BestBuy in direct competition with Netflix, YouTube, and Hulu, fighting out a market which hasn’t been able to bring in much money yet. Walmart tried a similar thing recently by acquiring Vudu but hasn’t been able to make a big impact in the industry yet.

The only two things that can help BestBuy take over this market is offering latest titles and providing the service on a wide array of devices. Theoretically, BestBuy shouldn’t have a problem with either of these factors and if BestBuy can offer the service on a large number of devices that would make it different than services like Netflix and Hulu that only work on a limited number of devices.

Sony Ericsson Releases A Minor Update For X10

Sony Ericsson has released a minor update for Xperia X10. Unfortunately, it is not the update which fixes the battery issue, but it is supposed to release by the end of this month.Sony-Ericsson-Xperia-X10

However, this minor update has reportedly improved performance, especially in Timescape and Mediascape. The update is R1FB001 and baseband version 1.0.21. For now, the update is only available for phones running the Nordic and American firmware.

For the rest of the world it is not available yet. I tried in India and found no new updates. I will give an update on this within sometime. It is good to see Sony Ericsson taking seriously their Xperia X10 users.


Acer NOT To Launch A Chrome OS Based Netbook At The Upcoming Computex

Acer has just confirmed that it won’t be launching a Chrome OS based Device at the upcoming Computex. Acer made a press release about this on their website stating-:Acer

Acer will not launch a Chrome OS netbook at Computex

Manno, 17 May 2010 Despite recent rumours in the press regarding the launch of Chrome OS based netbooks at Computex, Acer today confirms that it has no short-term plans for such a product.

Acer believes that Google Chrome OS is without doubt an exciting product announcement and deserves it’s full attention as well as an in-depth study of its potential from a consumers perspective.

Acer is naturally interested in any product or service that enhances the overall experience of its products and will of course be following the development and progress of Google Chrome and the evolution of Google’s overall product strategy very closely.

This is definitely sad news for users who were eagerly waiting for the launch of a Chrome OS based device. The Computex is just two weeks away now. The event is scheduled to start from May 31st and continue until June 5th. Even though Acer won’t be launching a Chrome OS based netbook at the Computex, we can expect them to announce an Android based tablet at the event.

Apple Unveils A Refreshed Entry-Level MacBook; Still costs $999

It was just a month ago, that Apple had refreshed their MacBook Pro line-up. Today, Apple has officially unveiled a new entry-level MacBook. The new MacBook now runs on a 2.4 GHz Core 2 Duo processor. The 2GB of DDR3 RAM and 250 GB of storage space remain unchanged from the previous generation MacBook.Apple MacBook

The NVIDIA GeForce 320M integrated graphics card handles the graphics department of the new MacBook. The Apple notebook also features a large glass trackpad with multi-touch support. The battery life of the new MacBook has also been increased to a mind blowing 10 hours.

The specification of the new MacBook is similar to that of the entry level MacBook Pro, except for the lack of a backlit keyboard, an inbuilt SD card reader, unibody aluminium build   and Firewire 800 port.

There has been no change in the pricing of the new MacBook. It still costs the same $999.

Set Up Windows Live Hotmail On Nokia And Win an Xbox 360 Arcade Console

Microsoft is busy revamping the UI for Windows Live Hotmail, however, they also have other plans to increase the usage of the world’s most used email service on mobile phones too.

In a new giveaway, Microsoft Windows Live have tied up with Nokia Messaging and are giving away a free Xbox 360 Arcade Console to users who set up Hotmail on the Nokia messaging app.

Windows Live Hotmail & Nokia Xbox 360 Arcade Giveaway

In order to participate and be eligible to win an Xbox 360 Arcade Console, users will have to complete the following steps.

You will find more information about the contest at the official Nokia Message page.


H.264 Videos Increased by 160% Since January

According to a recent study by video search site MeFeedia, there has been a 160% increase in the usage of H.264 videos over the Internet in the last few months, starting January this year.

The driving factor behind this adoption seems to be the ever rising dislike of Flash by accelerated by Apple. You can see the report findings at this page.

An important update from this report says,

Although 26% doesn’t seem like a lot, only 10% of our video index was HTML5-compatible at the beginning of 2010.  We have seen rapid adoption of the new standard this year and that is now moving even faster with the recent release of Apple’s iPad.

This puts Apple iPad as an influential gadget behind the adoption of H.264. With this, Google has to deliver with its recently acquired On2 technology else, it will have a huge H.264 market to convert soon.

According to the report, most of the new content being put on the web is being encoded in H.264. This puts all these videos compatible across various kinds of devices from the iPhone and the iPad to Android devices and more.
(Via: ars technica)

Tata Indicom Offers Andhra Pradesh SSC Results Through SMS

Hyderabad: May 18, 2010: TATA Indicom, the CDMA brand of Tata Teleservices Limited, announced that its customers can now avail the benefit of knowing Andhra Pradesh SSC Board Exam results on SMS. The customers can simply follow a few instructions to instantly get the results on their Tata Indicom mobile phones, conveniently.

To check the results, customers need to dial 505101096 and provide the students’ Roll Number. Further more Tata Indicom also offers a unique feature of Pre-registration, wherein customers can register their Roll Numbers by dialing 505101096 and they will be notified through an SMS as soon as the results are announced. As a second option customers can also have a choice of getting the result by sending an SMS to 58282. Ex: SMS RESULT to 58282.

Tata Indicom has ensured that the customers can easily know the Andhra Pradesh SSC Board Exam (10th Class Examination) Results going to be announced on May 19, 2010. Each SMS service will be charged at Rs. 3 per SMS and for IVR at Rs. 6 per minute.

LG To Bring The First Windows Phone 7

We have seen many leaked pictures of devices running Windows Phone 7, but none had a brand name written on it. Finally, a leaked picture of a LG phone appears with Windows Phone 7 running on it. The picture was posted on Flickr by a French Microsoft employee. The model name is LG Panther.lg-wp7_2

The pictures shows the three hardware button, which seems like back, Start and search from left to right, respectively. In terms of hardware, the phone is expected to have a WVGA or more resolution capacitive screen. The camera is expected to be 5MP or more with HD video recording capabilities. It will also have a sliding QWERTY keyboard. The processor is expected to have a clock speed of 1GHZ or more.

The specification is not official, it is only assumptions. However, the homescreen looks extremely good. I don’t think it will take much long to get an official confirmation of this phone.


Google Acquires Global IP Solutions Holding: A VOIP Engine, For $68.2m

Google, on Tuesday announced the acquisition of VOIP solution provider Global IP Solutions Holding. The acquisition announced on Tuesday is estimated at $68.2 million.

This puts all the voice and VOIP communications provided by major IM services like Yahoo,  AOL, WebEx and Lotus at Google’s mercy. Though, Google has lesser plans to put this technology in their IM. That puts these services in a safe position.

Emerick Woods, the CEO of Global IP Solutions (GIPS) remarked on this development saying,

This is an exciting milestone for GIPS as we join Google with a shared vision to transform and accelerate IP communications. With Google’s global reach, scale and widely recognized leadership, we are confident that our existing customers will continue to be fully supported while we continue to enhance and extend our products and technology at Google.

Just last month, GIPS announced that it was introducing a new technology that would allow Android app developers to integrate video and audio chat options into their products. With this acquisition, Google becomes the owner of two VOIP solution providers, the other one being Gizmo5 acquired in November last year.
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