>> Google takes some of the fun out of Street View, Amazon and iTunes go high-def and Playboy let's you check out centerfolds from way back when. It's Monday, March 23, I'm Natali Del Conte and it's time to get Loaded.
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>> Skype wants be your new office phone. The company launched a new service today that lets companies use their IP-enabled corporate phone system to make Skype calls using just office handsets rather than plugging in to a computer. This service is called Skype for SIP, which stands for Session Initiation Protocol. The calls are routed over the internet, so your phone would have to be IP-enabled that the calls could bypass your computer altogether. You can purchase dial-in and out phone numbers in 20 countries. Skype was finding that 30% of the calls on their network were for business purposes. They're touting this as a way for businesses to save money. Skype for SIP is in Beta as of today and will be rolled out commercially later this year.
If you are in love with AT&T like I am not you can now get an iPhone without to 2-year contract. Apple said that they would do this a long time ago, but it sure did take them awhile. You can buy an iPhone for $599 and $699 for either of the two versions and you will not be locked in to a contract. It's not an unlocked phone though, so you can't take it to other carriers. The contract-less phones go on sale this Thursday.
You can now take the red eye out of your MySpace photos. The company launched a web based image editor called Fotoflexer that let's you edit your photos while they're on the site. As Caroline McCarthy from CNET NEWS.com points out, it's no Photoshop, but it will let you make your photos a little prettier. You can't take 10 pounds off or change your hair color, but you can do basic editing as well as distortion, color effects, decoration and something called bling which is what MySpace is all about anyway.
NewTeeVee is reporting that Amazon's digital download store will start selling HD TV shows sooner rather than later. Amazon's website already has links to HD versions of the shows, but the actual shows aren't for sale in high-def, yet. When they do go on sale they'll be $2.99 per episode and as much as $53 for entire seasons of various shows which seems like way too much to me. Surely this content will be available on the Roku soon.
iTunes has gone high-def too. The company announced HD movie downloads late last week. You can buy them for 19.99 or rent them for 4.99. The ability to rent HD movies has been around for awhile, but not to actually own them. $19.99 may seem like a lot for a digital product, but not when you consider how much Blu-ray movies are sold for. You can pre-order movies such as Quantum of Solace, Twilight, and Transporter 3. To follow upcoming releases go to iTunes.com/movie/HD.
Another company that wants to sell you movies is Samsung. The company launched a mobile movie store for customers to buy or rent movies or TV series on their mobile phones. They don't have too many titles, about 500 to start from Warner, Paramount and Universal. They say they'll double that number by the end of the year. The store is called Samsung Movies and it will launch in Britain and Germany to start and other European markets later this year, but there's no talk of launching in the US just yet. Samsung does say that they want to roll the movie store out to notebooks, media players and TVs as well.
Some of the fun is now gone from Google Street View. The company had to clean up its act and blur out some of the more controversial images, such as people leaving adult toy shops, people throwing up in the street from inebriation and people relieving themselves in public. They did this because they were receiving privacy complaints most likely from the offenders. Oh well, it's good while it lasted.
If you're in to the March Madness you can find streamed games on YouTube now. Google added a live feed from CBS, which of course is our parent company. This is a big deal from CBS. This weekend alone the site saw 2.7 million unique visitors, which is up 56% from last year. And all those users have watched 2.8 million hours of video. Don't you people work?
If you're looking for some vintage Marilyn Monroe nudity, you can now go to playboyarchive.com and view back issues of the magazine dating back to 1954. Playboy launched this free site this weekend in partnership with Bondi Digital Publishing and Microsoft. The site runs Microsoft's Silver Light Viewer and I'll bet the Silver Light team never had it so good. The issues will appear as they did in the print issues, so advertising, articles, and all because you look through a Playboy for the articles, right?
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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