Here's one that's good for back-to-school season. The Web has made it possible for media niches that normally would get squeezed out of newspaper margins or TV time slots to find a way to be heard, and high school sports are no exception. We've already seen Takkle (earlier coverage here) fall into this sector, and now media giant Hearst-Argyle Television has launched a competitor--High School Playbook, which aims to go for a cross-platform strategy of TV, Internet, and mobile content. Sponsored by Canon, the site has launched in beta for a select number of sports-obsessed metro … Read more
Update: Representatives from Netflix have let us know these lower-priced plans are part of a test for selected Netflix subscribers, and the current prices that were lowered last month remain for new and existing customers.
Netflix is cutting the price of two of its most popular plans by $1 today, less than a month after its last cut in July. The pricing hasn't been changed on Netflix's rates page, but the company has been sending out rounds of e-mails to its customers about the change since last night, and made an announcement about it earlier this morning. The … Read more
Bolt.com, best known as a video sharing site that didn't really catch on, has filed for bankruptcy and shut down. The site had been in acquisition talks with GoFish, which would have been able to cover the $10 million settlement in a copyright infringement case with Universal Music. Earlier this month, the acquisition fell through, and Bolt was essentially doomed.
But it was really MySpace, not YouTube or copyright woes, that struck the first blow to Bolt. Before it shifted its focus to video, Bolt was a teen-oriented social networking site in the days when Facebook founder Mark … Read more
When Apple started putting iSight cameras on the top of its iMac desktops and portable notebooks, one of the fun apps that came along was Photo Booth. This tiny program emulates the experience of good old-fashioned photo booths, the kind you run into in malls and amusement parks. Seenly, which launched yesterday, is a fun service that does nearly everything Apple's Photo Booth does, except it runs in your browser, and as a result works on PCs too.
There are 10 presets to play with, from a simple mirroring mode to a timed nine-exposure shot that will snap nine … Read more
For DIY nuts out there, the Web is a source of plentiful project ideas and guides. It's also the home of a handful of paper craft projects, the kind you can print out and put together with a little bit of glue and ingenuity. A new, and really neat one got sent our way this weekend. It's called Paper Critters, and it's a Web-based creation tool for making your own desk art in the form of a boxlike creature. You can edit all five sides of it using a simple drag-and-drop editor with a variety of stamps and drawing tools. There's also a custom stamp that lets you use an image from your hard drive.
When finished putting everything together, there are several ways to share you work, including a printout feature that comes complete with step-by-step instructions. There's an e-mail tool and a permalink to send to others on your usual e-mail client, or via IM. My favorite is the embed code, which lets you drop it into a blog or Web site.
Once a critter has been shared, it goes into a group collective called "The Colony." From there, anyone can give it a look and add it to their favorites list. There's also a section for user comments. The real killer application is being able to edit other peoples' work and customize it. While this won't be reflected on their original, if you see something someone else has made, you can print it out yourself, or make alterations.
I've embedded an example of a 3-D Paper Critter. I've also been told by creator JR Fabito that a Facebook Application could be on the way. If you're into these kinds of projects, there are countless blogs dedicated to chronicling Web-syndicated paper crafts. Two of my favorites are Paper Forest and PaperKraft.net--both offer some serious eye candy and links to other projects.
Disclosure: Paper Critters creator JR Fabito is an ex-CNET employee and one of the designers of Webware.com.
Trust me--I know procrastination. But this one really takes the cake.
JibJab, as you probably know already, made a name for itself by creating corny (yet socially relevant) musical skits that superimposed the heads of politicians and celebrities onto cartoon bodies. Now that user-generated content is nothing new, it almost seems overdue that JibJab would introduce a "make your own" feature. But now, at long last, here it is: "JibJab Starring You!"
The concept, at least according to the creators, is to JibJab yourself by uploading a photo, easily crop it with the Flash-based tools … Read more
Flickr updated its Web uploader yesterday, adding a slew of improvements to what for many is their primary way of adding photos to the popular hosting service. The biggest update is that the upload cap of six photos at a time has been lifted. I was able to send off about 40 high-resolution shots (at about 3MB a pop), all at once, and without a hitch. Also new is a status bar for each photo, as well as a "master" bar to show you how far along you are on the entire upload--these were things you previously needed … Read more
When I wrote our Newbie's Guide for Facebook last week, there were several things worth including that just couldn't make the cut. These seven features aren't often advertised or well-known among most newbies, but can be quite helpful, and in some cases great time-wasters.
1. Feed tweaks: Dial it up. Did you know the Friends' feed you see on the Facebook home page doesn't contain every little piece of information about what people are doing on the network? While everyone can tweak what they want published to the news feed, you too have control of what … Read more
I guess it's physically impossible for you to get Dance Dance Revolution for your iPod, but this might be as close as you can get. It's Musika, a pseudo-psychedelic new game from PaRappa the Rapper creator Masaya Matsuura of the Japanese gaming company NanaOn-Sha, and it's just been released for 5th-generation iPods in conjunction with Sony BMG Music Entertainment. You can buy it in the iTunes Store's game section.
It's a "visualization game," so you can either watch the pretty patterns that synchronize with your iPod's current tunes, or you can use … Read more
At the AlwaysOn Stanford Summit 07, the virtual world was under scrutiny. Virtual reality pioneer Jaron Lanier led a panel with Philip Rosedale, CEO of Linden Labs (Second Life); Irving Wladawksy-Berger of IBM; Chris Sherman, CEO of Gaia Online and Chris Melissinos, chief gaming officer at Sun.
The big question was whether virtual worlds would be a real business. "Meetings, learning and training may be killer apps of virtual world. Don't underestimate any technologies that help us do that in a more human way," said Wladawsky-Berger.