>> YouTube pulls music videos in the U.K, the Venezuelan government wants to be a cell phone carrier and earbuds in Japan will let you control your MP3 player with your facial expressions. It's Tuesday, March 10, I'm Natali Del Conte and it's time for a very international episode of Loaded.
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>> YouTubers in the U.K won't be able to watch music videos for awhile. That's because the site has failed to reach a negotiation with the performing Rights Society which is the organization that collects licensing fees for artists and labels. Google said that YouTube just can't afford the fees that the PRS wants. A statement from the company said the cost are simply prohibitive for us. Under PRS' proposed terms we would lose significant amount of money with every playback. In addition PRS is unwilling to tell us what songs are included in the license that they can provide, so that we can identify those works on YouTube. That's like asking a consumer to buy a blank CD without knowing what musicians are on it. Sounds very RIAA-like. In respons, the PRS said that they are "Outraged on behalf of consumers and songwriters that Google has chosen to close down access to music videos on YouTube in the U.K. Google has told us that they are taking the step because they wish to pay significantly less than at present to the writers of the music on which their service relies, despite the massive increase in YouTube viewing."
Looks like Samsung has a new batch of touchscreen phones on the way. The S5600 and the S5230 have Samsung's TouchWiz, which is their customizable interface. Both have microSD slots that support up to 8-gigs, a 3-megapixel camera with smile recognition, a full browser and both are quad-band. The S5600 has a smaller screen at 2.8-inches while the S5230 has a 3-inch screen. Pricing isn't available yet.
Amazon is reportedly testing high definition video on demand on TiVo. This is a big fat rumor and all we have to substantiate it is a few highly questionable photos from Gizmodo. Still, it isn't at all unlikely that something like this is just around the corner.
Another rumor in the mill is that Apple is working on a touchscreen netbook. Win Tech is supposed to be supplying touch panels to a Quanta Computer, which will be Apple's long awaited entry into the netbook category. We can expect the release in the middle of this year -- maybe. Again these are rumors, but rumors I could get excited about.
The Venezuelan government is releasing a $14 cell phone called "El Vergatario." It will have an MP3 player, FM radio and a camera and it will launch in May. Mobile Crunch points out that such a cheap phone will probably not be very eco-friendly. Also, I wouldn't want a cell phone made by the government. I'd be too afraid it would come complete with wiretapping and location tracking.
A German supermarket is going to start selling cars online. Lidl or Lidl is a supermarket chain that sells discount groceries and household goods -- kind of like Target or Wall Mart. The company is going to use its popularity to expand to online car sales starting with an Opel Corsa for just under $14,000 and a Volkswagen Cross Polo for $17,700. Germany is in a recession just like the rest of us, but Lidl or Lidl thinks cheap and easy car buying maybe a winner. Who knows, but would you buy a car from Target? Ring in at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This news is a few days old, but I want to make sure to mention quickly that Barnes and Noble will be getting into the e-book game soon, seen as they paid $15.7 million for fictionwise.com. The bookstore says that they'll launch an e-book store later this year even though they have already tried that once before with Microsoft and it didn't go over so well, but the market is ready for that now. So, we'll wait and see if the second time is a charm.
You can now control your iPod with your facial expressions although I'm not so sure you're going to want to. A researcher at Osaka University created the Mini Switch, which means ear switch. It's a set up earphones with infrared sensors. When it detects tiny movements inside the ear caused by a facial expression, it will change the track, play, pause or go back. Different expressions can be programmed to do different functions. Just don't sneeze, burp or get the hiccups.
Those are all your headlines for today, but I will see you tomorrow with more. Thank you for watching. I'm Natali Del Conte with CNET TV and you've just been Loaded.
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