All the iTunes You Can Eat? Color Me Skeptical

By  |  Wednesday, August 20, 2008 at 5:30 pm

Some Apple rumors make the T-List because they sound plausible. Others make it because they don’t. Item #1 today would be fall into that second category–which doesn’t mean it’s not true, of course…

Flat-Rate iTunes Rumors Resurface
Apple sites TUAW and MacDailyNews have both received tips that Apple will launch something called iTunes Unlimited in September. For a flat rate of $130 a year, subscribers will get all the music that can listen to on their Macs, PCs, iPods, and iPhones. It’s not that the basic idea sounds like fantasy, but the tipster says that only half the music in the iTunes catalog will be available this way, which sounds like it would make for a spectacularly unsatisfying experience. It’s also unclear what Apple would do to make the subscription idea more appealing to the world than services such as Napster and Rhapsody have managed to do, other than finally make it work with an iPod. Bottom line: I’m not discounting the posibility of iTunes subscriptions, but I wouldn’t bet the farm on this one being true (or spend $130 for the deal it describes).

Intel and Yahoo Make TV Webby and Widgety
Ever since the days of WebTV, tech companies have being trying to, well, put the Web on TV. But there’s never been much evidence that consumers want it there, at least in the forms that anyone’s come up with so far. At the Intel Developer Conference today, Intel and Yahoo announced they’re partnering on something called the Widget Channel. The name is lousy, but the screenshots I’ve seen, with bite-sized chunks of information and entertainment such as weather and photos superimposed on TV, look okay. For now, though, there’s one form of TV-Web integration that lots of people seem to like: surfing with a laptop while watching a big-screen TV.
Read more at: VentureBeat, NewTeeVee

Comcast Plays Traffic Cop
Earlier this month, Comcast got in trouble with the FTC for throttling the bandwidth of customers who used their cable modems for file-sharing applications such as BitTorrent. It’s come up with a new way to manage the load on its system: Delays for heavy users that can last up to twenty minutes, regardless of what applications they’re using. What do you the chances are that all those Comcast ads bragging about rip-roaring download speeds will add the disclaimer “…except when you use all the bandwidth we made available and we decide to punish you for twenty minutes”?
Read more at: CNET, Bloomberg

Wii Are Sued
If you’ve ever used the ring-shaped remote control invented by Hillcrest Labs–hey, don’t they make bacon, too?–your response has probably been the same as mine: It’s an awful lot like Nintendo’s Wii remote. According to Hillcrest, though, we all had it reversed. It’s the Wii remote that resembles its remote, and which violates Hillcrest patents. The company is hauling Nintendo into court–I have no opinion on the validity of its claim, but I do hope that nothing happens that makes it even harder to snag a Wii.
Read more at: Crave, GigaOM

Sorry, Emily
Computer graphics company Image Metrics has released a video demo involving a woman named Emily talking about its technology, which maps performances of real live actors onto computer-generated faces. The demo seems to divvy those who see it into two camps: Those who are dazzled by its realism, and those who still see how far computer animation has to go before it’s indistinguishable from live action. Emily looks a little creepy, like a body snatcher who’s not quite convincing as a human, Me, I’m okay if computer animation never achieves true realism: My favorite animated characters tend to be ones like Bugs Bunny, Bullwinkle, and Homer Simpson. Who needs reality when you’ve got animation that’s better, funnier, and more lovable?
Read more at: Gimzodo

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  1. thehumanyawn Says:

    The “Widget Channel” sounds like something you would find on the Wii