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Loaded: The Kindle 2 and moreWe compare Amazon's Kindle 2 to other book readers on the market, there's plenty of news about online video, and how to get Rotten Tomatoes on your TV.
>> We have the new Kindle 2; there's also a lot of news about online video today and how to get rotten tomatoes on your TV. It's Tuesday, February 24th, I'm Natali Del Conte and it's time to get loaded. ^M00:00:11 [ Music ] ^M00:00:17 >> Behold the Amazon Kindle 2. Amazon lent us this new book reader this morning for the CBS Early Show and we compared it to other book readers on the market. Take a look. >> And here, do-do-do-do-do-do-do-do-do--The New Kindle. >> Right. >> How different is the new Kindle? >> It's a lot different; it's a lot thinner, it holds a lot more books--1500 on this one as opposed to just 150 on this one. >> 1500 books? Oh my gosh. >> It also uses a 3G network so we downloaded a few books this morning in less than a minute. A full book--this is The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell; it took us literally one minute. >> Wow. >> Right and there's some kind of design things that are nicer. I hold this one a lot and as I'm holding it I usually accidentally hit this big page button. >> Oh that's the big page turner that's--people have complained about that. >> Which is kind of annoying--right so they made it a lot smaller so I won't inadvertently change the page which is nice. >> Right. There you go. I'm going to just pick it up. This is crazy. >> I am going to say the Kindle is a bit expensive; it's $359 which you know in this economy who really wants to spend that. >> Except people have been waiting, people have been waiting like crazy. >> The books are cheaper right? >> Yeah the books are cheaper, they're $9.99 about that or less sometimes and it's just so convenient; it's so great to have it with me but if you don't want to spend $359 Sony has a version here. This is the Sony Reader that's $299 but it doesn't download the books wirelessly. You have to have a software on your PC to sync it. >> It's a plug in? You have to literally plug in? What's that? >> This is my iPod touch. There are a lot of free book readers that you can get for your mobile phone. We have E-Reader going on here or Stanza. This is the last of the Mohicans and you just page across here. There are so many free books. >> Free? >> And so if you just look for E-Reader software on your mobile phone, a lot of mobile phones use it, then you can use it, then you can do that for free but if you have $359 you can use on your Kindle. In an attempt to shore up their public image, Microsoft has decided to let overpaid laid off employees keep the additional cash. Yesterday we reported that Microsoft had asked a number of recently laid off employees to repay the company after it overpaid them in their severance packages. The company acknowledged that this is a unique time in history and the extra bit of cash was simply not worth the PR blender. Vudu, a competitor to the Apple TV is launching HD and what they're calling HD-X video purchases on its media center box. HD-X is a high bit rate format. Initially Vudu was an on-demand video service but users can now purchase to own titles in 1080P. The initial roster will consist of over 50 movies including Trans Siberian and Man on Wire. Bebo is getting some new features which will be rolled out slowly but surely. The first one is called Life Story which is a chronological player of the activity in your account--it's kind of fancy and fun, looks a little like Plerk but more useful. There are also some new privacy controls, one in particular called Social Slider that let's you tag every element on the network as appropriate for friends, family, lovers or whatever other groups you have in your network. It's also getting integration with AIM profiles as the instant messaging platform. There's also something called Stories that's sort of a group blogging platform that lets you blog about a certain event with other people who want to share an experience about that event. This is supposed to be released in March. These are all really cool features but I'm not so sure they're the thing that will push Bebo over Facebook; but you never know and I certainly applaud the effort. Rotten Tomatoes is coming to the small screen. The popular movie review site is getting its own cable show on current TV. The show will encourage user-generated feedback by asking people to send in their own reviews or thoughts through video or text and it will have three-word user reviews which sound kind of twitterish to me. I like Rotten Tomatoes and I think it will be interesting to see how a website-based show will translate to TV. You can find it starting March 5th on current TV. I can't really wrap my head around the purpose of the Chumby. At CES they made it clear that they don't want to make little computing whatevers they also want to be a real content portal. Now they are announcing that they will bring their widget system to HD-TV's set top boxes and Blu Ray players. So you'll get Chumby Widget like weather, stock, social network updates, et cetera on electronics that are not the Chumby; which is fine because most people don't even know what the Chumby is and also Yahoo is going to get into the widget on your TV space so they're up against that. So I'm not uber-optimistic that this is the business model of the future but we'll watch and see. Comcast has announced it will offer a new online video streaming service tentatively called OnDemand Online, real creative right there. The service will be similar to Hulu and TV.com and that it will allow users to stream full episodes online but the major difference is that Comcast service will stream content from cable networks rather than the big broadcast networks. While it will be free to Comcast subscribers the company hasn't ruled on a pay-per-view model and no the service will not be exempt from Comcast 250 gig download limit, so I'm guessing only the lightest of broadband users will really be able to enjoy this. Those are your headlines for today but I will be back tomorrow with more. Thank you for watching. I'm Natali Del Conte with CNET TV and you've just been Loaded.