Tuesday, January 26, 2010
Thursday, January 21, 2010
YouTube Debuts Movie Rentals
The Google-owned video site debuted online movie rentals today on a very limited basis, allowing users to rent five different flicks from the Sundance Film Festival using their Google Checkout accounts. The company says “a small collection of rental videos from other U.S. partners across different industries, including health and education, will be made available in the weeks ahead.”
Last year, it was reported that YouTube was in talks with movie studios to offer rentals of major motion pictures, creating what would be dubbed an instant Netflix killer. This is far from that, but represents what could become a massively important part of YouTube’s future. Don’t forget — the site is also continuing to push ahead with HD and making its content big screen-friendly.
Slowly, but surely, we expect YouTube () to continue in this direction, and other moves like introducing live sports and streaming full-length films offer just a hint of what’s to come from the video site over the next few years. For more on that, see: YouTube Is the Top Social Media Innovation of the Decade.
Wednesday, January 20, 2010
Will Forte, Ryan Phillippe and Val Kilmer in MacGruber Trailer
Posted by: Brad Sturdivant
I had no idea how they were going to make a feature-length movie of the SNL character MacGruber, but if the trailer is any indication, they just might have found a way. I have to say I laughed more in this two minute trailer than I did in any of the skits or the horrible commercials. I was afraid they’d try too hard to make it a complete MacGyver spoof, but aside from the outfit and hair, I didn’t get that indication from the trailer. If you were hesitant about the film, check out the trailer and I think you might be surprised.
Joining Will Forte in the film are Ryan Phillippe (ed note: where has he been?), Val Kilmer, Kristen Wiig and Bill Hader. It’s directed by Jorma Taccone and will hit theaters April 23rd. Be forewarned that the trailer does contain foul language.
Friday, January 15, 2010
Thursday, January 7, 2010
Nexus One vs iPhone, Droid & Palm Pre - Total Cost of OwnershipJanuary 5, 2010File under Tags: droid, google phone, infographics, iphone 3gs, nexus one, palm pre, smartphones, total cost of ownership
Today is Nexus One launch day and we decided in typical BillShrink fashion, we would take a look at the overall total cost of ownership of the Nexus One vs. iPhone vs. Droid vs. Palm Pre. This is the first time that any phone has been available for purchase unlocked and available for purchase at a discounted rate with a TMobile Contract.
So, here is what you’ve been waiting for, our total cost of ownerships comparison of the Nexus One up against the rest!
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Find the best cell phone plans and more graphics at BillShrink.com
Editor’s Note: We’re aware that there are a few discrepancy in the graphic above and we appreciate readers pointing them out, we’ll be making updates to the graphic ASAP to clarify the information, specifically with regards to plan pricing and features (e.g., whether or not data plans are really unlimited or just claims to be unlimited). With regards to plan pricing and choice, you should note that on average, 80% of Americans overpays for their cell phone service — and this is why we’re here too ;) In our future graphics that compares total costs, we’ll try to include minimum pricing plans so you can have an even better understanding of the price difference between carriers and smartphones. Lastly, we do know that there’s a 32 GB version of the iPhone, the 16 GB version was chosen as its more comparable in retail price point to the other smartphones.
Monday, January 4, 2010
Are they kidding me with the Taco Bell diet?
Subway had great success using Jared to paint its subs as a healthier alternative to fast food that makes you incredibly fat. Taco Bell is trying to get into the act with the "Drive-Thru Diet" campaign (from Draftfcb and R/GA) to coincide with the New Year's resolution season. The TV spot above shows a woman named Christine Dougherty, who apparently dropped 54 pounds by eating low-fat offerings from Taco Bell's "fresco" menu. When I first saw it, I thought it was a Saturday Night Live parody. The woman says she wanted to diet but "didn't want to cut out my fast food." Digest that for a moment. It's like saying you want to get a handle on your drinking problem so long as you don't have to cut out the whiskey. Dieticians are divided about the campaign, but most consumers seem to be laughing about it. Perhaps Taco Bell knows most people won't take it seriously, since the microsite features Christine's story told through infomercials—not exactly a style that builds trust. In Taco Bell's defense, its claims are technically true. You can swing by and pick up some low-fat tacos. If, like Christine, you keep yourself to 1,250 calories a day, you'll probably lose weight. The problem is, most Taco Bell items are far from healthy and often highly caloric. Its menu is filled with items seemingly designed to raise cholesterol levels and blood pressure. Taco Bell even promotes its food as a "fourthmeal," between dinner and breakfast. As Jezebel points out, that makes this ploy as a weight-loss solution particularly cynical.
In February Adidas will launch five sneakers that will activate a virtual world through augmented reality.
As explained on Wired, all users have to do is go to the Adidas site and hold up their sneaker, which has a code embedded in its tongue, in front of their computer webcam. A virtual world then pops out in front of them and they can navigate it using their sneaker as a controller.
It is surely a marketing gimmick, and the world in a sneaker reminds me of Onitsuka Tiger but, still, it's a pretty cool initiative that will generate some buzz online, at least among us, geek bloggers :-)
Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.) is no longer alone her quest to bring down the volume of loud TV commercials. Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) has joined in the crusade to keep ads from blasting us out of our living rooms every 10 minutes.
The bills--both called the Commercial Advertisement Loudness Mitigation (or CALM) Act--are crowd pleasers. Eshoo has 62 co-sponsors. The bill easily passed the House Subcommittee on Communications, Technology and the Internet in October and then by the full Commerce Committee last month. The bill is expected to hit the House floor today.
Whitehouse introduced the bill along with Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY). No word yet on when the Senate will have time on its schedule to take up the bill.
Silencing annoying TV ads is an easy target for Members looking to win some support from constituents, many of whom are used to turning the volume down a notch or 10 during commerial breaks. I know I wouldn't mind commercials that don't blare.
But is it a valuable use of Congress' time? Not the mention the FCC's--which would have to come up with volume standards at the same time it is trying to craft a comprehensive broadband plan and net neutrality regulations. Both could end up shifting how we all receive TV shows in the first place.
In five years, maybe Eshoo and Whitehouse will come to our rescue again to save us from those pesky, noisy, seconds-long ads we have to endure before watching our online video clips.