End of an era for Encyclopedia BritannicaBillboard looks to streaming services to find popular songs, Walmart offers a new way to watch the DVDs you own, and Encyclopedia Britannica drops its print edition after 244 venerable years.
It's Wednesday, March 14th 2012. I'm Bridget Carrie in cnet.com and it's time to get loaded. After 244 years of printing volumes of books, Encylopaedia Brittanica will now only be accessed by computer. The publisher announced they will focus on its online encyclopedias and educational curriculum for schools. The 2010 edition is the last print edition of the encyclopedia and has more than 4,000 contributors. The set costs about $1400 and sold about 8 thousand copies. The encyclopedia saw its best sales just before the internet boom back in 1990 but now the online database is much larger than what can be fitted into print. It's also available through an Apple on the iPad, iPhone or iPod Touch and if you like to check it out, Britannica Online will be entirely free for the next several days. Another information database is getting a digital twist. Known by the industry as the music bible, the Billboard Hot 100 songs now calculates the popularity of a song based on data from streaming and subscription music services like Spotify, Rap City and RDO. The streaming data supplements the ratings already being collected for radio airplay and digital downloads. Pinterest is getting a few updates. The site which is a virtual pin board of interesting finds and ideas from around the web will redesign user profiles and users will be able to pin videos from sites like Vimeo, Hulu and Netflix. The Pinterest CEO also announced the company is working on creating an iPad app. Walmart introduced a new service that let's customers purchase a digital copy of their DVD movie and then view it on any internet connected device. A customer brings in the DVD they already own to a local Walmart and then they can get streaming access to that movie on Walmart's cloud service for $2. To get that movie in high definition though, it'll cost $5. Walmart is the first big box retailer to use this platform called Ultraviolet. It's aiming to solve the problem of wanting a digital copy of a movie even though you already own the physical disc. And don't expect any software updates to AOL Instant Messenger anytime soon. The New York Times reports that AOL has laid off 40 employees and it only left some support staff left to look over the instant message service. Next on the chopping block is the company's patch.com news unit which might lose 100 employees. And if you're planning on standing in line for the new iPad this Friday, Apple announced that its retail store doors will open at 8:00 AM to sell the tablet. In the US, the new iPad will also be in sale at Best Buy, Radio Shack, Sam's Club, Target and Walmart. Those are your headlines for today. I'm Bridget Carrie for cnet.com and you've just been loaded.