>> YouTube wants to share your viewing habits with the world. Comcast wants to be like Hulu. And we have another Twitter book on our hands. It's Thursday, April 23rd. I'm Natali Del Conte, and it's time to get loaded.
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Comcast is trying to stay relevant in the world of Hulu and TV.com. The company will soon offer a service called FanCast, which we reported here a few months ago. Details are starting to come together about the service. With a user name and password, you'll be able to watch premium content, like HBO and Showtime on a laptop or a computer whenever you want. The company is also working with Adobe to incorporate Flash into their set-top boxes and is exploring the possibility of apps in an apps store. They say the iPhone App Store is a great model of how companies can maintain quality and control. I don't like that word "control" coming from an ISP, but okay.
Panasonic is trying to eliminate another box from your home entertainment system. VieraCast enabled HDTVs will soon be able to offer Amazon Video on Demand.
>> Now, with VieraCast, providing a built in web menu that lets you enjoy great web entertainment.
>> Support for the Amazon VOD will also extend to the company's Blu-ray players as well. This is in addition to YouTube, Picasa, Bloomberg, and the weather. It will cost two dollars for a TV episode. Up to 15 dollars for a movie and more for full TV seasons.
Everybody and their grandmother seems to be getting into the video portal business. PBS announced a new site containing clips and full-length episodes of many of its programs. The news hour with Jim Lehr, Nova, and numerous other educational programs about culture, history, and science will be made available. There aren't commercial interruptions like Hulu or TV.com, but each video does start with a corporate sponsor. The site allows you to share videos on Facebook and Digg, but there's no embedding. PBS aims to offer content from its affiliate local stations in the near future. Each program will have a "buy it" link next to it so that if you find something cool, you can support public TV.
Looks like Amazon is making a pretty decent profit on the Kindle 2. According to a breakdown report from iSupply, it costs the company roughly $185.49 to build the Kindle 2, or half the retail price of $360.00. Of course, this doesn't include marketing, research, and development and other shipping costs. It also doesn't include the fee that Amazon pays to Sprint for the wireless download functions. According to our own David Carnoy, he guesses that the company makes a cool $100.00 off of each unit sold. Not too shabby, but do not expect a $99.00 Kindle 2 anytime soon.
A company called "Polar Rose" is offering face recognition to Flickr. Users will be able to import their photos from Flickr into the service, which will group faces together once the user has identified each face. The labels get sent back to Flickr, so that all your photos will be appropriately tagged. We don't know how well this feature works just yet.
Katie Couric, the Evening News anchor at our parent network, CBS, is trying to integrate Facebook into her broadcasts.
>> Hi there, Facebookers. First of all, I'd like to thank all of you who have friended me.
>> In a video on her fan page, she asked viewers to ring in on the first 100 days of President Barack Obama's presidency. She wants you to send in a 20-second video on what the president has done either right or wrong. The best ones will be featured on a live telecast on CBS News.com on April 29th at 7:00 PM Eastern. You can find her on Facebook by searching for Katie Couric. She's also on Twitter.
Google began testing a service in YouTube called YouTube real time that lets you and your friends share exactly what you're doing on the website. Do I really need to know this, or do you want to know this about me? The feature is only open to a few people who get invites, but I don't know that I'll be volunteering to share the fact that I sometimes start my morning with Shakira videos.
Bluetooth 3.0 is official. This is the new Bluetooth protocol that's supposed to be faster and provide increased through put of data transfer. It does this over 802.11 Wi-Fi, which is useful if you want to transfer files over Bluetooth such as photos, music, or videos. It also has a built in power control that will help you save battery on your devices because everyone knows that Bluetooth typically drains your batteries. It will be backwards compatible, so it will work with older Bluetooth protocols. We expect to see it in new products within the next nine to twelve months.
David Pogue, technology columnist for the New York Times, is working on a book about Twitter. It's not a scandalous tell all about murder, sex, and greed in the company's creation. Instead, it taps into the wisdom of the crowds to offer advice and information. He has 200,000 Twitter followers who he will be asking questions on a daily basis. He'll then aggregate the responses and put the best ones in the book. If your response gets in, you get a free copy. This sounds all fun and cute, but doesn't an entire book about a service which limits you to 140 characters, seem antithetical?
Those are all your headlines for today, and that wraps up your week of getting Loaded. Before I go, I want to wish a happy birthday to Ian, Eli, Jonathan, Cheryl, Arthur, and Rachel. I'll see you all next week or later today and tomorrow on Buzz Out Loud. Thank you for watching. I'm Natali Del Conte with CNET TV, and you've just been Loaded.
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