• Pudding Media Raises $8 Million To Serve Ads Against Phone Conversations

    Placing ads based on what people say in phone conversations is going to be controversial, but Pudding Media just raised $8 million in an A round led by Opus Capital and BRM Capital to prove the concept. Pudding Media already operates The Pudding, a Website we covered in September. As we reported back then:
    ThePudding provides free, PC-based phone calls to anywhere in the US or Canada. The… Read More

  • Ding, Dong, The Music DRM Witch Is Dead

    Sony BMG, the company that championed DRM music through rootkits is about to drop DRM, according to a report by Businessweek. Sony BMG will become the last of the big four record companies to offer music without the handicap of digital rights management, effectively putting the final nail into the music DRM coffin. Justin Timberlake’s latest song is expected to be the first release by… Read More

  • The Long Decline of the Music Album Continues

    The music industry can’t stop the hemorrhaging, even with the help of digital music sales. Despite a nearly 45 percent surge in digital music sales last year, overall album sales in the U.S. still declined 9.5 percent, according to Nielsen SoundScan. (It counts ten digital tracks as an album). Some stats: There were 500 million CDs and other physical albums sold last year, and… Read More

  • GeekBrief.TV #285

    Brief 285 gets us back full force into gadgety goodness. I start with the TearDrop iPod Water Resistant Speaker. It comes in blue, orange or white, but I’m not sure if it floats. The Powramid power center from Kreative Power gives you plenty of room for bulky power adaptors. HP is announcing that all of their TVs will come with MediaSmart technology to stream photos, video and music… Read More

  • Google Lodges Patent For Reading Text In Images And Video

    A patent application lodged by Google in July 2007 but recently made public seeks to patent a method where by robots (computers) can read and understand text in images and video. The extension of the application would be that images and video indexed by Google would be searchable by the text located within the image or video itself, a big step forward in indexing that has not previously… Read More

  • New Version of gOS To Be Launched At CES Complete With Google Gears

    Linux distro gOS, the web focused OS we first wrote about when it went on sale with a $199 PC at Wal-mart November 1, is about to launch a new version at CES in Las Vegas next week. Before you ask (as some have previously) why TechCrunch would write about a Linux distro, gOS is different. This is the first major OS to come standard with a focus on web apps, and as I wrote in November last year… Read More

  • Europe Wants To Force DRM Interoperability

    The European Union wants to standardize content distribution as well as DRM standards, according to statements from EU Commissioner Viviane Reding. Under the proposals, the EU would regulate the market by creating a single, European market for online music, films, and video games. According to Ars Technica, DRM would also be required to remain transparent to consumers with an aim of… Read More

  • Daily Crunch: Listening Party Edition

    Coming soon to iPhone: Copy and Paste
    Belkin’s RockStar allows 5 hipsters to listen to LCD Soundsystem simultaneously
    Skull shaped floppy disk
    Hackers detonate fake nuke on live news; Czech Republic is so not amused
    Stay warm while contracting incurable cancer this winter Read More

  • Facebook Invited To Join The DataPortability Work Group

    You have to hand it to internet memes, the last 24 hours have been rich with debate, and some of it was even worth while. It started around this time yesterday when Robert Scoble was banned from Facebook. As Michael noted later in the day, Scoble was testing a new Plaxo feature that exported friend data from Facebook into Plaxo. Scoble has since had his account reinstated, but not before… Read More

  • The Xbox team speaks out about the outage

    Here it is, folks. What we’ve been waiting for from the Xbox team. Dear Xbox LIVE Members: During this past holiday season you helped us break a number of Xbox LIVE records. This included our largest sign-up of new members to Xbox LIVE in our 5 year history and just yesterday you broke the record for the single biggest day of concurrent members ever on the service. As a result of… Read More

  • Betnow wins Balderton funds for text-to-bet. Addicts beware.

    Betnow, a London-based mobile gambling service, has won a healthy first round of funding (specific amount undisclosed) from Balderton Capital and angel investors. Betnow allows users to text SMS messages to 89808 and place bets on football, golf, horse racing, dog racing and tennis matches in plain English. The bet is interpreted by a natural language engine, while most mobile gambling portals… Read More

  • Gentlemen, start your nüvis. Garmin's new GPS line-up looks smashing

    There’s something for everybody from Garmin this year at CES. It’s hard to compare the feature sets and sizes from the descriptions at Garmin’s site, but the different devices have pretty distinct personalities. Of course there’s the flagship, the 880, which probably costs an arm and a leg but has extremely robust capabilities, many of which however are shared by… Read More

  • Meraki Networks Raises $20 Million, Expands Free WiFi in San Francisco, Where Google Failed

    The dream of free municipal WiFi refuses to die. Meraki Networks is picking up the ball that Google and Earthlink dropped, expanding its free WiFi network to cover all of San Francisco. The service will be ad-supported (ads appear in your toolbar when you are browsing through a Meraki WiFi router), and the build-out will be paid for out of a $20 million series B round the startup just… Read More

  • Wow: Sub-Macbook + iMac thing is just plain interesting

    It’s not a docking station, really. It’s an external monitor and hub that happens to fit a super-small sub-Macbook computer, just like the one we’ve been hearing about that should hit during Macworld in a week and a half. Giz dug up the specs on the US Patent Office website, and it looks pretty amazing, and it looks pretty real. But it’s not totally from out of left field. Read More

  • Tickets to the Crunchies Available Now. Come See Richter Scales Live

    Tickets for the Crunchies startup awards ceremony and party, which will be held on January 18 in San Francisco, are available now for purchase. The event will be held at the Herbst Theatre at 7:30 p.m. and will be followed by a party. This event is being produced by Read/WriteWeb, Venture Beat, GigaOm and TechCrunch. We’ve got a number of surprises that we’ll be announcing over… Read More

  • China To Crack Down On Video Hosting Sites

    China has moved to censor and control online video websites under new measures that could block YouTube and other services in China. Under the new regulations that will be in place starting January 31, sites that provide video programming or allow users to upload video must have a permit and be either state-owned or state-controlled. Permits for video hosting sites will be subject to renewal… Read More

  • Skull shaped floppy disk

    I have a weird obsession with skulls. I don’t quite understand it nor do I wish to understand it. I like them and that’s that. Here we have a floppy disk shaped into a skull. 213. Floppy Skull v2.0 [Skulladay] Read More

  • Corsair's nigh-invulnerable thumb drives hit 32GB

    Corsair, memory extraordinaire, has made me very happy. Their newest USB flash drives are available in sizes up to 32GB, and with the ruggedized, water-resistant Survivor series, you’ve got yourself a little data safe that is shock resistant, holds an entire bootable OS, and can be taken in the shower. They’ll run you about $250, though. Warning: these devices are NOT lava-proof. Read More

  • Microsoft can now quite literally feel your pain when using Vista

    I was going to somehow write up this post without being a smartass, and then I realized the jokes are way, way to easy and I’d just point out the obvious irony and let you, the reader, make the jokes in the comments. Microsoft has patented a bio-feedback system that monitors computer users and can detect when the software they’re using has made them frustrated. Wait, what!? Now… Read More

  • Garmin Forerunner 405: And I just bought the 205 (!!)

    Dag nabbit! Garmin just launched the Forerunner 405, a sexier, sultrier GPS watch that doesn’t look like a domino is trying to rape your wrist. It can be used indoors and outdoors and measure heart rate. There’s also a Virtual Partner feature that will challenge you during your runs. Umm… and there’s no damn dongle. It’s all wireless. And you can rub the bezel… Read More

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