Tag Archives: rumour

Nano Feature

Apple to launch full-length movie download feature onto the Nano any day now?

According to analysts at American Technology Research (ATR), Apple has announced a special event next Tuesday promising “fun new products”, which they have interpreted as full length film downloads. ATR has said in a research note to clients that it sees a “greater than 50% chance” that Apple will launch a movie download service on Tuesday, with the increasingly media-centric computer company having just reached 1 billion downloads via iTunes. The three year old service is now on track to reach the 1.5 billion milestone by the end of the year.

Apple is attempting to drive the video on demand market by offering firstly music video content followed by the world’s first legal TV download service last year.

Story via MediaTel.

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Glorious Rumour of the Week/Decade

Pete Doherty a fraud perpetuated by KLF – really a Buddy Holly impersonator.

Technorati Chart
First, a graph showing the number of blog posts that contain the words "Pete Doherty" + KLF per day for the last 30 days.

There are LOTS of people out there willing this to be true and we always had our suspicions.

The story goes:

From tomorrow’s Dagenham Evening Chronicle:

The Samaritans have today recruited 600 extra staff to deal with an expected surge in calls as troubled fans come to terms with today’s revelations about rocker and teen icon Pete Doherty. In a surprise press conference today, the men behind Doherty’s career reveled themselves – and admitted that the Libertines, Babyshambles, the tales of drug use, the armed robberies and the affair with supermodel Kate Moss have all been part of one of the largest hoaxes in British history.

The men behind the scandal – Bill Drummond and Jimmy Cauty, who were themselves infamous popstars under the name The KLF – admitted how they plucked a young Buddy Holly impersonator Doherty from obscurity and made him a media darling. “It was a meant to be a quick stunt to show the frailties of our celbrity-obsessed culture,” said Cauty, adding, “there are too many people who are famous despite their lack of talent, usefulness and basic intelligence. We wanted to do something that held a mirror up to that.” Mr Drummond called Britain’s pop-culture “sick” and said that although he regretted the hurt caused to Doherty’s many fans, he hoped “this incident taught us all some important things”.

In a prepared statement, the two men – famous for many other pop pranks, including the famous burning of GBP1million on a remote Scottish island – detailed how they manipulated the British Press into making Doherty an icon. Doherty – whose real name has now been revealed to be Trevor McDermott – was making a living as a part-time Buddy Holly impersonator in the Cornwall holiday circuit. He began a short-lived affair with the singer of a well known 80’s rock band, and was introduced to Drummond and Cauty at a backstage party in London’s West End. The men described how a drunken McDermott amused them with his slurred singing and frenetic dance movements, and how they then realised that this would be the perfect “dupe” for a plan they had been hatching for some time.

“The plan involved proving three theories we have about current British society,” reads the statement. “The first is that in the so-called “alternative” scene, everybody is too scared of missing The Next Big Thing to worry about anything else.” To prove this, some session musicians were provided to compose the rest of the “band”, The Libertines, and rumours of exposive gigs were leaked to the media. “The gigs in question never actually took place, but we didn’t have to worry about that. Soon the buzz around The Libertines was so frenetic, journalists were falling over themselves to claim to have been at the front of every single fictional gig.” Within weeks, The Libertines were appearing on magazines and receiving record offers. Gigs sold out in minutes, while their first album “Up The Bracket” flew off shelves.

Feeling that their first point had been proved, Drummond and Cauty moved to their second theory: “We feel that our culture has become an enormous soap opera. We don’t care what a person thinks, or creates, or contributes. We just care about what they do in their normal lives. Especially when it’s something they shouldn’t be doing.”

To demonstrate this, the men co-ordinated a number of scandals. First was a robbery staged in the house of one of the band members. When this took place, McDermott (aka Doherty) was unknown outside of the alternative music scene. An incident of this calibre was sufficient, however, to catapult McDermott onto the front page of every major national tabloid. “One day we has just another singer, the next day he was ‘Disgraced Celebrity Rocker’, and he hasn’t been out of the papers since”. Further revelations about drug abuse and violence kept McDermott and The Libertines on the front pages for months.

One thing that took even Drummond and Cauty by surprise was the affair with model Kate Moss. “That was not something that we planned or had any involvement. Whether she knew about the hoax is something we are not party to. We have never had any contact with Miss Moss.” However, this was the boost their project needed – where the drugs and crime had made McDermott a media sensation, the relationship with one of fashion’s most famous women catapulted him into the world of true celebrity. “While we had not planned this, it certainly proved our point. There are many superior artists in the country today, but they never appear in Heat or The Sun, because they don’t have the words ‘boyfriend of Kate Moss’ after their name.”

Despite this boost, the project began running into a major setback for Drummond and Cauty. Just as they were preparing to enter the final phase of their scheme, Doherty decided that he wanted to part company with them, the fake band, and begin seriously recording music. He stopped all contact with the men, and threatened legal actions if any details were leaked to the press. “We were upset at the apparent failure of our grand project, and also at the monster we had created in Pete Doherty. Our third theorem – that ‘If enough people say that a piece of s*** is a bar of gold, we’ll believe it’s a bar of gold’ – seemed to have been beyond salvation. Fortunately, at that point Pete released the first Babyshambles album.”

In the time since then, Drummond and Cauty have been locked in a vicious legal battle, which was eventually settled out of court by the discovery of a videotape showing McDermott singing “Peggy Sue” at a Butlin’s in Devon. Publicly, McDermott still strongly denies all charges. How this affects the future career of Pete Doherty remains to be seen.

Whatever the truth (it seems to have originated here)… it’s a glorious idea. We can hear the Babyshambles/KLF mash ups already…

Via Gawker, Debaser, Heckler Spray etc etc.

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Google Sings

Rumours abound that Google is about to launch a rival to Apple’s iTunes.

A posting on Slashdot flags a Forbes report in which an analyst predicts that Google may be making a move into online music distribution:

Robert Peck speculated that it makes sense for Google to create a rival for the popular iTunes service by Apple Computer, given the explosive growth of unique visitors to the iTunes’ Web site. Further, ‘Nielsen indicates that iTunes users form a distinct target audience with brand preferences along autos, alcohol beverages, magazines, and television,’ he added.

Things that make you go hmmm.

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Google to take a piece of AOL?

There have a been a number of reports over the weekend that Google is after a stake in Time Warner’s family friendly online service.

CNN, amongst others, reports that Time Warner Inc. is in exclusive talks with Google Inc. about broadening a partnership with Time Warner’s AOL online service. Microsoft Corp., once considered the front-runner for a deal with AOL, is believed to be out of the running.

The Google-AOL talks would expand on a relationship which analysts estimate account for 2 percent to 4 percent of Google’s revenue on a net basis. AOL uses Google’s search engine, and Microsoft had been negotiating to get AOL to use its search technology instead.

AOL is seen as a critical swing factor on search technology traffic among Internet media rivals Google, Microsoft and Yahoo Inc., just as it once was with online advertising, a category it practically invented in the early 1990s. According to the Time Warner owned CNN, “AOL made surfing the Internet and chatting online a household phenomenon. But it has been a drag on Time Warner’s stock as it has lost millions of dialup Internet subscribers since the merger of America Online and Time Warner in 2001. Since then, the Dulles, Virginia-based unit has focused on providing free programming and services to boost online advertising revenue.”

TheAOL/Time Warner merger is considered by many to have been one of the more disastrous follies of the dotcom era. AOL founder Steve Case last week backed calls for AOL to be split from Time Warner. He told the Washington Post that “Time Warner has proven to be too big, too complex, too conflicted and too slow-moving – in other words, too much like a classic conglomerate – to seize new opportunities.”

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Apple to launch ‘TiVo-Killer’

Sod buying TiVo, are Apple going to launch their own PVR?

Think Secret ‘reveals’ today that Apple’s Mac mini will be reborn with an Intel processor and PVR-like functionality. Code named ‘Kaleidoscope’, the machine will be ready for roll out at Macworld Expo San Francisco in January.

The new ‘do it all’ Mac mini is also said to have a built-in iPod dock, a feature removed from the Mac mini Apple first introduced a year ago. According to the report, sources with knowledge of the project have called the PVR aspect a ‘TiVo Killer’.

Via PVRBlog.

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Google to launch a PVR?

Blog rumour of the week: Google may be creating their own branded digital television DVR / satellite service.

Ray writes: A DVR that lets you “Log In” with your Google Account before you begin your television watching would allow Google to serve up relevant ads based on: the program you are watching, your search history, the type of emails you have received in the past 24 hours (excluding spam hopefully), or anything else Google can track. Imagine the possibilities… You are watching Google Satellite TV through your “internet ready” Google DVR.

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EBay to Buy Skype?

Mediaguardian reports that eBay may be about to swallow up the leading Voice Over Internet company Skype.

The Guardian site picked up the story from the Wall Street Journal with neither eBay nor Skype agreeing to comment on the rumours.

The paper claims that eBay is offering between $2bn and $3bn for the company. Skype is the market leader in internet telephony and has attracted interest from companies such as Microsoft and News Corporation. The firm offers free calls to other Skype software users and charges as little as 1.1p a minute to fixed line phones in the UK. It says that an extraordinary 51 million people use its free service, while two million have signed up to pay for connections to traditional phones. Its nearest rival, Vonage, which recently launched in the UK, claims to have 700,000 customers and charges £9.99 a month for unlimited national calls, with additional charges for international and calls to mobiles.

Skype’s founders are certainly channelling the Dotcom Days in their Vanity Fair feature this month. Janus Friis and Niklas Zennstrom are pictured in what looks like a Lear Jet (sadly just the interior of the Kingly Club, London). EBay had better start counting its pennies.

See also previous post: Google Talks.

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Google Talks

Is there anything that Google can’t do? This week the ultimate net entrepreneurs launched their own VoIP service: Google Talks.

This Wednesday it was reported that Google would be launching an internet telephony and messaging service. Last week’s announcement that Google was flogging off more shares sparked speculation that it was planning more acquisitions such as VoIP market leader Skype. This launch suggests that Google is confident enough in the strength of its brand to go it alone. It will also make its service an open platform for voice calls and instant messaging – this would challenge the ‘closed’ instant messaging networks run by Yahoo!, AOL and MSN.

Google took its first step into the communications business last year with the launch of Gmail – the invitation-only email that has already trounced hotmail as the address to have. Google Talk, a free service that lets two computer users talk or exchange messages, will be available only to people who already use Gmail. Google has now opened up Gmail to anyone in the US provided they give a mobile telephone number as a confirmation of their identity – this will eventually be available to people in other countries.

Google also launched on Monday an upgrade to its Desktop – the free software that allows users to launch programs on their computers. The move is yet another encroachment on Microsoft’s domination of PC desktops as the upgrade mirrors many Windows features.

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Apple to Launch vPod?

The wires are alive with rumours that Apple is about to launch a video-capable version of its iPod music player.

If it happens, movies will become another portable entertainment medium. It could also speed the growth of vlogging – possibly the ugliest moniker of the year.

“It’s absolutely possible to create a video podcast,” says Derrick Oien, president of the Association of Music Podcasters. If Apple came out with a video iPod, “you chould see a big boom in video blogging.”

On July 18th a Wall Street Journal article reported that Apple was in talks with music labels and other companies to license music videos for the new ‘vPod’ (my guess). According to the article, Apple claimed it would be announcing the device by September. Then, on August 2nd, the blog Macrumors noticed that the trademark for Apple’s iPod had been changed on June 18th, so that it now read, “portable and handheld digital electronic devices for recording, organizing, transmitting, manipulating, and reviewing text, data, audio, image and video files.”

Eric Hellweg points out in Technology Review, “If Apple does launch a video iPod in the near future (a company spokesperson declined to comment on the trademark change or the possibility of a video iPod), it would arrive into a far different world than did the first audio iPod in 2001. Since then, the concept of participatory media has exploded, most notably in the form of blogs, wikis (user-modifiable websites), and podcasts, in which an individual can create and disseminate his or her own ‘show’ over the Internet. (The term ‘podcast’ is itself derived from the iPod, despite having no connection to it — a telling tribute to the Apple product.)”

The vlogging community (ouch) is making positive noises. Jay Dedman hosts around 600 videoblogs on his site, AntisnotTV.com and says that number would explode if Apple releases a video iPod. “Audio is boring. It’s boring to make a radio show,”Dedman says, “The reason [videoblogging] is not that hot yet is because we don’t have a device to shift the video on to. If Apple does it, it will be pretty big.”

On August 9, the online music activist group Downhill Battle will launch its “Participatory Culture” player and website, which will make it easier to distribute video and audio content on the Internet. One of its directors, Nicholas Reville, says that a video iPod “can only have a really strong, positive effect…It would bring a level of credibility– the same thing Apple brought to MP3 players and audio podcasting.”

The support and established behaviour for podcasting is already there. When Apple announced its support for audio podcasting in June and began listing the mostly amateur radio segments within its iTunes Music Store, podcasting saw its biggest boost to date. Just two days after podcasts were made available, more than one million people subscribed.

Story and quotes courtesy of Technology Review.

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Apple to buy TiVo (maybe)

Could the company that owns the mp3 player market be about to go into PVRs?

There are rumours this week that Apple is about to make a bid for the original Personal Video Recorder (PVR/DVR) manufacturer TiVo

The financial markets seem to be taking the news seriously as TiVo shares increased by 17 percent

See article from computer review business online here

An open letter from Forrester analysts Josh Bernoff and Chris Charron pleading with Steve Jobs to Do the Decent Thing is here

The really interesting point is this:

The brands are compatible. Apple’s and TiVo’s customers both love their products–in our DVR survey last year, 19 percent of respondents used the word “love” to describe their DVRs, with TiVo users leading in satisfaction. Why? Because TiVo, like Apple, creates products with insanely great design.

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