Archive for the ‘Tech News’ Category

YouTube adds movies on demand

Video service YouTube is adding more than 400 full-length films and starting a new movie category that it ‘hopes will grow in time’

YouTube has added a new section for on-demand movies

More than 400 movies will be available on YouTube for viewers to watch in full for free, the website has announced. Titles on youtube.com/movies will include a range that “brings together a library of film ranging from past mainstream hits to cult classics and beyond, and YouTube hopes the Movies section will grow in time”, the company said.

YouTube has also announced a new partnership with http://www.blinkbox.com, the British online film and TV aggregator. The site will be making 165 films available as part of the new Movies section, with titles including The Addiction, which was nominated for Best Film at the Berlin International Film Festival, Dark Side Of The Sun, starring Brad Pitt and Death Train, starring Pierce Brosnan.

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Facebook now ‘worth $33 billion’

Facebook is now worth as much as $33.7 billion, after investors have paid up to $76 for a share in the company ahead of its much-hyped flotation on the stock market, according to a report.

The Financial Times has said that the implied valuation means that Facebook is now has a higher valuation than technology giants such as eBay and Yahoo!, which have capped market values of $30.1 billion and $18.3 billion respectively.

David Gelles, a reporter for The Financial Times wrote: “Common stock in Facebook is trading as high as $76 a share as investors scramble to get a piece of the company before it files for an initial public offering, which analysts say could be the biggest technology IPO since Google’s $1.67bn flotation in 2004.

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New Amazon Kindle sells out

Amazon‘s new eReader has sold out before it has even shipped to the public, according the retailer’s website

Amazon’s Kindle eReader has sold out before it was supposed to ship to the public tomorrow. The £109 device, which can store up to 3,500 books and access the internet via an “experimental” browser, will not now arrive with new customers until the middle of next month.

A statement on Amazon.co.uk said “Due to strong customer demand, Kindle is temporarily sold out. Order now to reserve your place in the queue. Orders are prioritised on a first-come, first-served basis. Orders placed today are expected to dispatch on or before September 17.” The device is also sold out on the company’s US website.

The company haD announced that two new, lighter and smaller versions of the Kindle would ship on August 27, retailing at £109 for a Wi-Fi only version and £149 for a 3G wireless version. The long-awaited launch follows the American launch of the original Kindle in November 2007. The ebook reader has subsequently been the top selling product on Amazon.com for the past two years.

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YouTube launches new mobile site

New YouTube mobile site offers faster browsing, better quality videos and is built on HTML5

Google has launched a new mobile version of its video-sharing site, YouTube. The refreshed site is designed to offer a better video experience across mobile devices, and deliver better quality videos to viewers, faster.

The new site, which is built on the HTML5 standard and accessed through the phone’s web browser, will offer an even better user experience than native mobile applications, claims Google. There are also enhanced social networking features to make it easier to share video links on Twitter, Facebook and Google Buzz.

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Facebook Places ‘boring’ says Foursquare chief

Dennis Crowley, the co-founder of Foursquare, a location-based social network, has called Places, Facebook’s new check-in tool, “boring” and “unexciting”.

Crowley, said he had now had time to play around with Facebook’s new location tool, which directly rivals his own product by allowing people to share their location with their network, through checking into bars, clubs and restaurants on their mobile phone.

He said: “I have now had a chance to play around with Facebook Places and it’s not that great or interesting. It’s a pretty boring service, with barely any incentives for users to keep coming back and telling their friends where they are.

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Social media: do we need new rules?

As Google CEO Eric Schmidt suggests young people may need to change their names to escape their online past, web users are coming to terms with how careful they need to be online

Eric Schmidt, Google’s chief executive, is developing a reputation for making bold and often controversial statements about privacy online. Last year he said baldly: “If you have something that you don’t want anyone to know, maybe you shouldn’t be doing it in the first place.” Then at the weekend he suggested to the Wall Street Journal that young people might change their names when they come of age in order to distance themselves from their embarrassing online past. Neither of those ideas will calm the growing number of consumers and pressure groups who express concern at Google’s power.

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Facebook Places: social network adds location check-ins

Facebook has launched Facebook Places, a new tool which allows its members to automatically share their location with each other. 

The social network, which has over 500 million members, has launched the new mobile phone tool in the US-only, with plans for a global roll-out “soon”, according to the Facebook’s blog post. It is not yet known when the service, which allows users to check-in to restaurants, bars and shops, will launch in the UK. It is currently live via the Facebook iPhone app in the US and on an advanced version of its mobile site.

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