• Universal, Paramount prepared to drop HD DVD support

    [photopress:vhddvd.jpg,full,center] HD DVD? What’s that? Universal has ended its HD DVD exclusivity arrangement and Paramount’s HD DVD contract has an escape clause. Should Paramount exercise that clause, and there’s no reason not to at this point, Blu-ray would have thoroughly won this silly “format war.” Now we can get back to the important business of arguing… Read More

  • Color Document Scanning from scanR

    If you have used the scanR application to turn your mobile phone camera into a digital scanner, now you can do so in color. In the past all document pages sent to scanR were converted into black and white. Now if you send photos of magazines, newspapers, books or other color pages to scanR, it will convert the images into digital full-color copies. You can try the new scanR feature for free… Read More

  • Sony BMG to sell DRM-free MP3s on AmazonMP3

    [photopress:sonybmgamazon.jpg,full,center] Sony BMG will sell its music DRM-free on the AmazonMP3 store by the end of the month. This is the second move for Sony BMG in the DRM-free MP3 business. Last week, it announced that it would be selling DRM-free MP3s at retail stores (for largely the same price as CDs). More validation for that rumor, then. There’s two winners here. The first… Read More

  • 'Pixel Qi' spins off from OLPC to pursue $75 laptop

    Mary Lou Jepsen, former chief technology officer of the One Laptop Per Child project, has spun off a company called Pixel Qi in the hopes of creating a $75 laptop. Jepsen was the brains behind the OLPC’s sunlight-readable display and had a hand in the development of various power saving features. Pixel Qi and the OLPC project will work amicably, as Pixel Qi has offered to “give… Read More

  • The Swedes Come Down Hard On The Pirate Bay

    Nearly two years after Swedish police raided the offices of The Pirate Bay, the popular BitTorrent search engine, prosecutors in that country are finally ready to bring the site’s founders to court. But the Pirate Bay founders don’t seem particularly worried. They are not even hiring their own lawyers. Instead, they are letting the Swedish government pay their legal fees… Read More

  • AniBoom's Animation-Studio Ambitions

    Uri Shinar is looking for a hit. But the CEO of animation website aniBoom (see earlier TechCrunch coverage here) thinks he can find one by creating a platform for talented, aspiring animators worldwide. A former Israeli-TV bigwig, Shinar is credited with helping to establish Israel’s No. 1 commercial TV station. Now he is trying to lay the foundations for a Web-based animation studio… Read More

  • Benchmark Bets on Ruby on Rails With $3.5 Million Investment in Engine Yard

    Is Ruby on Rails the next Java? Benchmark Capital thinks so. It just invested $3.5 million in Engine Yard, taking its entire series A round. Ruby on Rails is an increasingly popular Web application programming environment because it is dead-simple, open-source and very fast to develop on. The downside is that it is not always as robust as more mature frameworks such as Java. In fact, Ruby… Read More

  • Facebook To Allow Users To Hide Apps From Profile

    Facebook has announced that due to complaints about the over abundance of apps of user profile pages they will soon allow users to hide their apps. The “profile clean-up” tool is compared to how a “computer’s desktop will remind you to get rid of unused icons” (note here, Facebook is comparing themselves to Windows) that will allow users to move profile boxes to… Read More

  • No Holiday Cheer For Google Apps Premier Edition

    Google trends now tracks sales of any product being sold by Google Checkout, and Google Apps Premier Edition is sold exclusively using Google Checkout: The chart shows a step drop in sales for Google Apps Premier Edition starting in mid December and not picking up in the new year. As noted by Google Blogscoped (who also spotted the chart), other products show a decline around this time… Read More

  • Daily Crunch: Rainbow Road Redux

    Saddest CES Meatball/Hush Puppy Name Award goes to…
    Radiohead’s In Rainbows is week’s best selling album, music industry must be thrilled
    Tata Nano, the world’s least expensive car
    CES 2008: Cooler Master’s VW case is crunchy, should stay on the shelf
    Amazing article explores iPhone’s history, development: totally worth the read Read More

  • Dear startups: Please fill out this form

    Well, it’s been the first week in a new year here at TCUK Towers. The office still has bits of stray tinsel doggedly hanging onto the ceiling, while the interns are padding around sheepishly after that riotous Christmas party. But luckily I can ignore the drudgery of office life as my secretary has just popped in to tell me that it’s time to get stuck in to a pile of startups. To… Read More

  • Facebook – Why Not Let Sleeping Dogs Lie?

    Just as the press was getting bored with talking about the problems with Facebook’s new advertising platform, Beacon (first mentioned here on November 2), founder Mark Zuckerberg goes on 60 Minutes to stir everything back up again (the show will be on air this Sunday). Beacon is interesting, as Zuckerberg puts it, because “What would you rather see? A banner ad from… Read More

  • New Beta Site Pushes AOL Finance To Top Spot

    AOL released a much needed improvement to their Finance site last November at beta.finance.aol.com. At the time, the site was the third largest money and finance site after Yahoo Finance and MSN Money. December Comscore data is now available, and it shows a steep rise in traffic for AOL Finance. They’ve passed both Yahoo and Microsoft to take the top spot in terms of unique visitors. Read More

  • Voting On Crunchies Ends at Midnight Tonight

    Reader voting on the Crunchies awards ends at midnight tonight PST, about an hour and a half from now. We’ve had over 100,000 votes, but some of the races are very, very close. The winners will be announced next week at the Crunchies event. The first two batches of tickets sold out right away. The third set goes on sale tomorrow at 11 am PST. This might be the last group of tickets for… Read More

  • Bebo's Platform Now Open for All Developers

    Almost a month ago to the day, social network Bebo announced its developer platform. Or rather, a clone of Facebook’s developer platform. The idea was to copy Facebook’s platform so that developers wouldn’t have to relearn a new one and rebuild their applications (Bebo’s platform still requires tweaks to port an application over from Facebook, however). Bebo chose to… Read More

  • CES 2008: It's done and we're tired, thanks for tuning in!

    CES 2008 is done, and while it was a blast, I’m glad it only happens once a year. My legs feel like Jell-O, my feet look like the pulled pork special I had last night, and I think my liver booked an earlier flight, because I can’t seem to find it. We saw some pretty amazing stuff, hung out with some cool people, made some tasteless jokes, and made up the word Blounge™. This has… Read More

  • Flip Fails. Condé Nast Reverses Strategy.

    If you can’t beat ’em, turn into a widget and join ’em. Condé Nast is changing strategies on Flip, its young-teen women social network that launched last February. They announced today that Flip will be “reshaped as a flexible web application designed to live on social networking platform, starting with Facebook.” Translation: “We give up.” Comscore… Read More

  • CES 2008: Belkin gets it right

    We get a lot of schwag at conferences like CES, some better than others. My favorites, though, came from Belkin, who’s understated schwag bag was brimming with simple Belkin-branded goodies, like these Belkin mints and this Belkin lip balm. Sure, there was a really cool USB hub and other stuff, but the point is they’re smart enough to include useful stuff with their logo. Read More

  • Sources at Intel tell us about Macworld

    Apparently I should be speaking with friends back in Oregon more often. I always knew my friends or their parents worked at Intel, but haven’t thought about ever asking them which groups they work in. Yeah, I know, it’s pretty lame of me. So I did some poking and prodding and promised some things I probably shouldn’t have to get this info, but I think it’s worth it in… Read More

  • NewsGator adopts free software model

    The very-excellent FeedDemon RSS desktop software from NewsGator has gone from $30 to free. I find Google Reader to be a great RSS reader but when I need to really dig in and catch news items as soon as they’re published, nothing beats a good standalone client like FeedDemon. NewsGator has also decided to give away its Mac client NewsNetWire, its mobile client NewsGator Go!, and its… Read More

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