I've always preferred prognostication to nostalgia, so rather than replay the best of 2007, I'll use these late December doldrums to make 10 predictions for the coming year. Some editors will warn you that this kind of list is suicide--it's too easy for everybody to look back a year later and see where you were wrong--but it hasn't hurt Cringely, so here goes. In no particular order.
A new study from Nokia predicts that by 2012, a quarter of all entertainment will be created, edited, and shared within peer groups rather than being generated by traditional media.
Jointly conducted with the trend research firm The Future Laboratory, Nokia's study asked trend-setting consumers from 17 countries about their digital behaviors and lifestyles. The company also used information gathered from its 900 million customers as well as views of leading industry analysts.
"From our research we predict that up to a quarter of the entertainment being consumed in five years will be what we call 'circular.' The … Read more
I woke up this morning to news that France's Vivendi has agreed to buy a controlling interest in Activision, perhaps creating the world's-largest independent video game company.
The new entity will be known as Activision Blizzard--a suitable name based on the fact that Activision has the best-known video game brand in the new company, but that Vivendi's Blizzard Entertainment unit also produces World of Warcraft, one of the most successful massively multiplayer online games of all time.
But what is not clear is whether the new company will be able to achieve something that is clearly part … Read more
I'm somewhat biased in this - after all, my understanding of IP came of age under the tutelage of Larry Lessig in law school - but I believe the desire to extend copyright interminably bodes ill for both consumers and creators of intellectual property. That is, provided we actually policed it, which we fortunately don't (or don't strictly) [PDF].
As Keegan points out, and which I've noted before, we don't really have a "respect for IP" problem that goads us into extending copyright. It's just that our producers are still tweaking business models for a digital age that recognize the ease of copying and capitalize on this, rather than fear or shun it:… Read more
Sony Computer Entertainment America announced on Thursday a full list of the games and hardware bundles that it will be launching for its PlayStation systems--PlayStation 3, PlayStation 2, and PlayStation portable (PSP)--for the fast-approaching holiday season.
The games, both first- and third-party, range from "enthusiast" titles geared toward the traditional young-male "gamer demographic," to more casual and social games "This holiday season we are offering our largest line up of quality software and hardware products to meet every taste, lifestyle and budget," said Scott A. Steinberg, vice president of product marketing for SCEA, said in a statement.
Sony is pitching the older PlayStation 2 console as an affordable hub for casual games, like SingStar and Buzz: The Mega Quiz. The PS2 is also "getting a social makeover with limited edition ceramic white hardware" and a new price of $149.99--perhaps as Sony's answer to that other white gaming console, you know, the one from Nintendo.
Among the more highly anticipated Sony titles are EA's Rock Band and The Orange Box; Activision's Guitar Hero III; and The Eye of Judgment, a trading card-based game that Sony developed in conjunction with Hasbro's Wizards of the Coast subsidiary.
A full list, below the jump:… Read more
Shortly after the nascent Stephen Colbert '08 presidential campaign filed to run on the Democratic ballot in South Carolina's primary, the state party voted on Thursday to kick the colorful comedian out of the race. According to the Associated Press, party officials met for approximately 40 minutes and then voted 13-3 to remove Colbert from the ballot.
Meanwhile, many members of the "1,000,000 Strong for Stephen T Colbert" group on Facebook, which currently hovers around 1,300,000 in membership, refuse to give up.
"I think it's stupid that they are trying to … Read more
Key features include your choice of a 19-inch or 22-inch WSXGA+ LCD display, optional dual TV tuners, high-definition audio and room for two terabyte hard drives. The whole system runs on Core 2 Duo E series or Extreme Edition series processor, with your choice of integrated Intel GMA 950 graphics or a 256MB Nvidia GeForce Go 7600 graphics card. There's also a … Read more
If you haven't managed to snag one of the free beta tokens from another Joost user, today is your lucky day, because the service has launched version 1.0, and is free and open to anyone who wants to use it. The once invite-only video content program is one of the few services we've seen since Google's Gmail to successfully use beta access to both intentionally control the scale of its user base and build up hype. It also doesn't hurt when it's created by the same duo that made Skype and Kazaa.
If you've been a loyal Joost user since the company rolled out its private beta last year, version 1.0 isn't a whole lot different from the latest build, however the newer "plastic" menus are much better looking than the contrastacular ones of yore. There's also a ton of content, which Joost pits somewhere above 150,000 shows, spanned across 250 or so "channels," including one with entire episodes of the original Transformers series.… Read more
If you haven't managed to snag one of the free beta tokens from another Joost user, today is your lucky day, because the service has launched version 1.0, and is free and open to anyone who wants to use it. The once-invite-only video content program is one of the few services we've seen since Google's Gmail to successfully use beta access to both intentionally control the scale of its user base and build up hype. It also doesn't hurt when it's created by the same duo that made Skype and Kazaa.
If you've … Read more
Blog network Sugar Publishing, which operates a popular array of pastel-hued women's lifestyle and entertainment titles, has agreed to acquire social shopping start-up ShopStyle.com for an undisclosed amount.
ShopStyle, which competes with sites like ThisNext and StyleHive, aims to make it easier to search multiple retail sites at once and lets members create personal "look books" and network with other digital shopaholics.
In addition, the San Francisco-based blog network has officially changed its name from Sugar Publishing to Sugar Inc. "to better reflect its growing reach and expansion over the past year." Presumably, that'… Read more