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Posted in RSS,Services by Darrin Olson on June 21st, 2008

Subscribe to SlipperyBrick.comIt’s been brought to our a attention that a few of our visitors who enjoy reading about the latest in technology and gadgets at the ‘Brick aren’t all that familiar with our available feed and email subscription. Due to this we thought we’d take a moment to answer a few of the questions we’ve received regarding feed and email subscriptions for SlipperyBrick.com.

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Flickr adds video to photo-sharing site

Posted in Services by Darrin Olson on April 9th, 2008

Flickr adds video sharing to its popular photo sharing web siteFlickr announced on Tuesday that it is has added video sharing to its popular photo-sharing online community. The new video sharing feature allows any pro members of the Flickr community to upload and share video clips with others using the same scope restrictions currently available for photo sharing.

The video clips can be taken with just about any device and can be up to 90 seconds in length or have a maximum size of 150MB. Even though only pro members can upload the video, all visitors will be able to view them depending on the share level given to the video. Flicker currently has about 42 million monthly visitors to the popular photo sharing site and hosts around 2 billion photos from around the world. Adding video content is a logical next step in further growing the sites popularity and may entice many people to upload videos with some sharing restrictions which might not have done with sites like YouTube where they are almost instantly public. The site will also have the ability to tag and geotag the videos and the ability to upload straight from a camera phone.

Amazon MP3 announces plans for global takeover

Posted in music,Services by Reuben Drake on January 27th, 2008

Amazon announces plans to roll out globally with Amazon MP3 music serviceAmazon today announced plans for an international rollout of the Amazon MP3 music download service to take place sometime yet this year. This announcement is probably the biggest threat to Apple’s mammoth iTunes to date as it likely to cause the reining media download leader to make some changes in coming months to keep up with the competition.

Once Sony BMG came onboard Amazon became the only online retailer to offer downloadable MP3’s from all of the four most major music labels that are all also DRM-free. Amazon MP3 now boasts over 3.3 million songs available with no restrictions on what player or computer the songs can run on, and no restrictions of how many places users can copy it to.

Vudu drops price to keep up with Apple

Posted in Apple TV,Digital Video,Services,VUDU by Darrin Olson on January 24th, 2008

Vudu on demand video box drops price to keep up with rival Apple TVIt just keeps getting better for consumers looking for on-demand set top boxes. In response to the new firmware upgrade and price drop announced by Jobs for the Apple TV, Vudu has given its own demand box a 25 percent discount. This brings the price of the Vudu system down to $295 from $399.

Apple recently discounted the Apple TV with prices as low as $229 for the 40GB model and they’ve also are scheduled to move into a space where Vudu had an upper hand – movie downloads without a PC. Apple TV not only is going to match that point of service but can also bring in YouTube videos AND content from your computer into your living room, which Vudu cannot.

Last.fm adding on-demand to free internet radio

Posted in News,Radio,Services by Darrin Olson on January 24th, 2008

Felix Miller of Last.fm along with CBS will offer internet radio with advertising and song selectionCBS announced on Wednesday that its Last.fm internet radio service will be adding a new feature that will allow users to listen to any song they would like, whenever they would like for free, up to three times per song.

Up until now Last.fm’s model has been similar to many other internet radio services. The 20 million currently active users can select a genre “station” to listen to and hear the music in the order that the service streamed it out, along with advertising in between. CBS and Last.fm is building on this model since the service is free to users and paid for by the advertising, much like tradition radio. This new option gives users the change to select a particular song and listen to it as many as three times, on-demand.

HBO trying out online video download service

Posted in Digital Video,News,Services by Darrin Olson on January 21st, 2008

HBO on Broadband trial bring HBO video to the internet for downloadStarting Tuesday Time Warner’s HBO will begin HBO On Broadband, a trial of a new online video download service bringing HBO content to subscribers’ computers much like HBO On Demand does but with much more content. The new service will offer 400 hours of video content including 130 movie titles that can all be downloaded and viewed through a computer.

Before you get too excited about getting the Sapranos downloaded you’ll want to note that this is starting out as a limited area trial and has some requirements. The HBO On Broadband service will initial launch only in the Wisconsin areas of Green Bay and Milwaukee with plans of expanding to other areas at a later time. Those residing in the eligible areas must also be subscribers to HBO’s pay-cable network and must use their cable company as their internet provider, making the bundled services from the cable providers a more attractive prospect. The service is also limited to Windows systems.

In-flight internet access coming to airlines

Posted in News,Services,Wi-Fi by Darrin Olson on December 8th, 2007

Airlines such as JetBlue and American Airlines to get in-flight internet accessJetBlue recently announced that they along with Yahoo and RIM will be offering internet access through Wi-Fi connections during their flights. The airline is currently going to run a trial of the service giving passengers free, in-flight access to their Yahoo email and IM services and allowing Blackberry users access to email and IM as well, but phone calls using the mobile devices are still prohibited. If the trial goes well JetBlue expects to give full Wi-Fi access to passengers, making those long trips much more tolerable and productive for many business travelers. Even though cell-phone use is still not allowed passengers could possibly make VoIP calls through services like Skype.

Since JetBlue made their announcement other airlines have also now announced plans to offer Wi-Fi internet access to passengers during flights. American Airlines (AA) has released information of their intent to partner with AirCell to provide broadband speed internet through Wi-Fi connections to its passengers. Testing has already began and the service would start on some transcontinental flights and eventually spread to all AA flights if the trials work out. AA says they will offer the Wi-Fi service for $10 fee as apposed to a free service as JetBlue is planning, but for many business travelers the amount of work that could be accomplished on long flights would far outweigh the small fee. They hope to have access available to all passengers as soon as 2008.


Google using cell towers in lieu of GPS for mapping

Posted in Google,News,Services by Darrin Olson on November 28th, 2007

Google using cellular towers to map the location of mobile phone users without GPSToday Google launched a new beta application that is a small twist on Google Mobile Maps called Google Maps with My Location. The new service runs on Java and is designed for use in mobile devices that may or may not have GPS capabilities to help map the current location of the mobile user.

When launching the new location service application, it can use the phones GPS if available to find your location and mark it on the map with a solid blue dot. If GPS is not available on the mobile device or its maybe being used in a location that cannot receive the GPS signal the service will use the information of the cellular tower that the phone is connected in order to find the general location of the user.

Marvel puts its comic books online

Posted in Services,Toys by Chetz on November 13th, 2007

Marvel putting comic books onlineIs this a sign that print is going to indeed die? The mighty publisher of Spider-Man, Thor, Captain America and the X-Men is moving online to distribute hundreds of its comic books as downloads. Marvel Comics has launched a new digital comics section on its website to entice kids and grown-ups to read old and new stories featuring their favorite superheroes. While movies based on Marvel superheroes are making billions of dollars as movies the medium that begat them isn’t as good as it used to be. Citing a loss of readership to video games and the internet, Marvel is hoping to bring back some of its old guard and maybe new fans as well by offering their comics database by either an annual subscription ($59.88) or a monthly fee ($9.99). When you pay up Marvel promises that you will get to read online the entire run of “X-Men” and the first 100 issues of “Amazing Spider-Man” and “Fantastic Four” as well as dozens of other new series. About 20 new comics will be placed online each week and about six months after they were offered for sale at the newsstand. The company is using a special browser which lets you read the comic book instantly and without having to download it.

Turn in your old iPod or bricked iPhone for cash

Posted in iPhone,iPod,News,Services by Conner Flynn on November 7th, 2007

Turn in your old iPod or bricked iPhone for cash

Do you need cash and have a broken iPod or iPhone? Ebay is not the only option anymore. BuyMyBrokeniPod.com is offering a new service that is quick and environmentally friendly. Best of all you’ll get a return on your old useless device that is just gathering dust. Beginning next week, they will even take gaming consoles.

They will take your old iPhone or iPod regardless of it’s physical condition. Yes, even if it is completely dead. So, do your part and make sure that it does not end up in a landfill somewhere. Give them a proper “burial”. After all, they served you well during their short lives, didn’t they?

Google Maps coming to gas pumps next month

Posted in Google,News,Services by Darrin Olson on November 7th, 2007

Google gas pumps coming that have printable Google mapsGoogle has recently made an announcement that they will be making their way into your mobile devices and while your out driving around, starting next month you may start seeing Google Maps at your local gas station.

The internet search giant is expected to make an announcement tomorrow that they will be working with Gilbarco Veeder-Root, a gas pump maker based in Greensboro, N.C., to provide pumps at gas stations that have an internet connection and have interactive maps from Google on them. The maps will allow motorists using the pumps to scroll through a list of local landmarks and print out directions to them, all the while holding up the guy behind them a little longer while they fiddle with the new feature.


Google’s OpenSocial off to a running start, Facebook unaware

Posted in Google,News,Services by Darrin Olson on November 3rd, 2007

Google OpenSocial already off to a running start with MySpace but Facebook left with its head spinningOnly on Thursday Google had made the announcement about its new OpenSocial platform and already news in cropping up of developers taking advantage of this open, common platform. In their announcement we knew there were going to be a number of social networking sites that were already onboard with the new API’s, including Salesforce.com, Hi5, LinkedIn, Ning, and of course Google’s Orkut but we weren’t expecting the giants like MySpace or Facebook.

As it turned out MySpace actually is going to take advantage of OpenSocial along with Bebo, another large social networking site. The one clearly left out of this picture was Facebook, in which this launch echoed a mighty blow to with many of the more significant social network sites in the world taking part in a common platform without them. According to Wired, Facebook representatives maintained that they had “still not been briefed on OpenSocial” despite Google stating that they had, and Facebook employees showing up at Google’s developer sandbox event.

Google to introduce OpenSocial API

Posted in Google,News,Services by Darrin Olson on November 1st, 2007

Google to launch Open Social APIs as a common platform for social networking sitesTonight Google is planning to unveil OpenSocial, a new set of API‘s which make up a common programming platform specifically built to use on popular social networking sites. The development platform will allow application developers to create third party programs to run on these sites without them having to learn a new platform and rewrite their components for each one.

Not only will the new common platform work on Google’s own Orkut, but has also already seen support from as many as a dozen other popular companies and social networking sites including Oracle, Salesforce.com, Hi5, iLike, LinkedIn, Slide, Ning, Friendster and Plaxo. Flixster, iLike and RockYou already have developers in the onboard. The very popular Facebook, who recently accepted a bid to go with Microsoft over Google and who “opened up” its own platform for 3rd party widgets, is not in the list of sites supporting the API’s, and neither is MySpace.

Hulu shakes it up with free ad-supported videos

Posted in Digital Video,News,Services by Darrin Olson on October 29th, 2007

Hulu online video service launches a private betaAs a joint venture between NBC and News Corp., Monday brought the beta launch of Hulu, a new online video service offering television sitcoms and movies to users for free, provided they don’t mind watching some ads along with it. Although most people might first think of YouTube as competition when discussing online video, the service offered by Hulu will be more likely to cause trouble for those that are making money by selling similar content such as iTunes video downloads or cable companies that offer paid on-demand services.

Hulu is currently in beta and only available by invitation and offers television shows and feature films from places like Fox, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios, MGM, Sony Pictures, Bravo, E! Entertainment, FX, Sci Fi, USA and of course NBC who just recently pulled their content from YouTube. NBC had also removed content from iTunes last month in a highly publicized spat over pricing and now iTunes is the company that could be threatened the most by Hulu. Unlike video sharing sites that hold video clips uploaded by users, iTunes and Hulu both offer full movies and television sitcoms for sale, although in Hulu’s model some of these are free due to the included advertisements in the video similar to what viewers would see on television.

Walgreens to start burning DVDs

Posted in Burner,DVD,News,Services by Chetz on October 29th, 2007

Walgreens to start burning DVDsBeginning next year the Walgreens drugstore giant will begin putting DVD burning kiosks in its 6,000 retail stores nationwide. The move is designed to deliver an improved selection of entertainment titles that the company offers to its consumers while reducing the potential for piracy. The kiosk will be located in the photo departments of the store. Once a customer has made their selection as to what movie they want to purchase the machine will begin burning the title. About 15 minutes later the buyer will have their DVD ready for viewing.