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Google Digital Subscription Service Aims High By Shooting Lower Than Apple

posted Friday Feb 18, 2011 by Jon Wurm

Google Digital Subscription Service Aims High By Shooting Lower Than Apple

Apple's new iTunes based subscription service barely made it off the tree before Google stepped in to try and steal their sunshine with their new digital subscription service called One Pass. The service will consist of the usual suspects, e-books, newspapers, and magazines but there are some distinct differences between One Pass and Apple's service that Google CEO Eric Schmidt made light of in Barcelona. A significant decrease in the cut Google takes from publishers and a less strict policy about relinquishing user info to them could help Google stick it to Apple in a different way than at the grocery store.

Satisfy your thirst for details by hitting the break.

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US Government Seizes Websites for Child Porn

posted Thursday Feb 17, 2011 by Scott Ertz

US Government Seizes Websites for Child Porn

Ever since the FCC considered taking over the Internet, the government has been taking more of a role in managing the Internet. We have seen several instances of the federal government seizing control of websites, primarily over copyright issues. This week we had an interesting seizure - 84,000 domains in regard to child pornography. The only problem? They were seized on accident.

In an attempt to remove a single site, mooo.com, the Department of Justice's "Operation Save Our Children" wrongfully shutdown 84,000 domains all hosted through the same DNS, FreeDNS. Last Friday, if you had visited any one of the personal or small business sites hosted through FreeDNS.afraid.org, they were greeted with this image:

For more information on the sites shut down and their response, hit the break.

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Apple Subscribes to the Death of Subscriptions

posted Thursday Feb 17, 2011 by Scott Ertz

Apple Subscribes to the Death of Subscriptions

Apple this week announced a new subscription service for the iTunes library, wherein you can subscribe to services like News Corp.'s The Daily, the first and currently only iOS-based newspaper. This announcement, however, certainly paves the way for other publications to come behind and be successful. From the press release,

Subscriptions purchased from within the App Store will be sold using the same App Store billing system that has been used to buy billions of apps and In-App Purchases. Publishers set the price and length of subscription (weekly, monthly, bi-monthly, quarterly, bi-yearly or yearly). Then with one-click, customers pick the length of subscription and are automatically charged based on their chosen length of commitment (weekly, monthly, etc.). Customers can review and manage all of their subscriptions from their personal account page, including canceling the automatic renewal of a subscription. Apple processes all payments, keeping the same 30 percent share that it does today for other In-App Purchases.

This sounds like a great idea, except for the publishers. Let's take into consideration Pandora. This is, generally, a free service. They do, however, offer a subscription service that allows for no advertisements, more skips, etc. Their margins are probably in the 5% range when you consider the service they offer and the cost they offer it for. Under this new subscription package, they will lose money on each subscription they sell - by quite a lot. Now, let's look at a magazine subscription through Amazon Kindle. There might be 10% margin on that, but they will also lose money under this new plan.

Why would Apple setup a subscription product that will bankrupt the subscription services? Hit the break to find out.

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'PlayStation Certified' S1 Tablet Come At Us!

posted Wednesday Feb 16, 2011 by Jon Wurm

'PlayStation Certified' S1 Tablet Come At Us!

It seems Sony is finally coming out from behind the curve with the announcement of the PSP2 and the Xperia Play smartphone. Of course, it only seems that way because Sony never intends to be a first mover in the industry which could work to their advantage if they spent more of their time addressing some fundamental issues instead of just cramming more and more power into their devices.

In the effort of fairness, Sony is getting rid of the XCrossMediaBar user interface that has been around forever and the thumb sticks on the PSP2 have been reported to be much more user friendly. Their adoption of Android has opened up some interesting possibilities for expansion of the PSP2 and Xperia Play devices to include things like social games thanks to the PlayStation Suite. It has also opened up the possibility of a Sony tablet running Android 3.0, which has been recently confirmed by inside sources with engadget.

To find out what Sony has in store for the new tablet, hit the break.

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Spotify Inches Closer to Being Spotted in the US

posted Sunday Feb 13, 2011 by Nicholas DiMeo

Spotify Inches Closer to Being Spotted in the US

Everybody should care about Spotify. Not only for the reason that it's an awesome service that's slowly creeping its way to the US very soon but also because I'm talking about it! Just a couple of weeks ago we talked about the European-based music streaming service inking a deal with Sony. It turns out that there may be more hints of the service touching down on American soil sooner than we thought.

Some Americans have been given free Premium access to Spotify early; VIPs, music industry analysts, record label heads and press. That select group of individuals received an email from Spotify this week hinting at a launch of the service in the "coming months" and that they're gonna have to be paying soon.

To see the letter and find out more, click that break!

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Catholic Church Likes Digital Confessions

posted Sunday Feb 13, 2011 by Scott Ertz

Catholic Church Likes Digital Confessions

Everyone likes being pardoned for their sins, but who has the time to go to a church and sit down with a priest to do it? Well, the Catholic church has, assumedly in an attempt to get back some of those kids they scared off, approved a new iPhone app that helps Catholics through the process of absolution.

The app, Confession: A Roman Catholic app, is the first ever to be officially sanctioned by a church authority. The creators, Little iApps, said,

Taking to heart Pope Benedict XVI's message from last years' World Communications Address, our goal with this project is to offer a digital application that is truly 'new media at the service of the word... Our desire is to invite Catholics to engage in their faith through digital technology.

Of course, an app designed to bring people to the faith will be an outreach ministry, right? Wrong. It sells for $1.99 in the iTunes App Store. At least paying for salvation here is cheaper than a Papal Blessing.

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