The recent federal takedown of notorious file-sharing service Megaupload was initially seen as a huge victory for owners of copyrighted music and movies, but new research shows this may not be the case. Federal prosecutors successfully shuttered the service last month and arrested seven men associated with Megaupload including site founder Kim Dotcom, who is said to have earned $42 million from the site in 2010 alone. What was initially thought to be a victory for movie studios and record labels is turning out to be an empty win, however, as Megaupload’s closure has had almost no impact on file-sharing. Read on for more. More →
With great power comes great responsibility — and a flurry of advertising campaigns that target your wares. Samsung tried to make its name a verb in a recent round of anti-Apple ads where senseless iPhone owners got “Samsunged,” and the South Korea-based vendor’s campaign culminated with a $10 million extravaganza that aired during the Super Bowl. Amazon is next up to the plate, and the company’s recent commercial takes aim at Apple’s iPad. A woman sunbathing and reading a book on her Kindle is approached by a passing iPad owner who is intrigued by the fact that she can read in the sunlight. When the man mentions the Kindle’s inability to play movies, she points to a cabana where her two children are sitting, each with a Kindle Fire tablet. As a final jab, the woman points out that her three Kindles — one $79 eReader and two $199 tablets — are still cheaper than a single iPad. Amazon’s full commercial can be viewed below. More →
The debut season of Netflix’s first original series “Lilyhammer” is now available on demand to all Netflix “Watch Instantly” subscribers. All eight episodes of the series’ first season can be streamed beginning Tuesday, and the show is available in high definition. Lilyhammer is the first in a string of original content Netflix is working on in an effort to create an all-inclusive online-only network that will truly pose a real threat to traditional pay TV networks. The show features Steven Van Zandt of “The Sopranos” fame, who stars as a relocated New York City gangster trying to make a new life for himself in a small town in Norway. Netflix is working on more original content that will launch this year, including a new season of “Arrested Development” and “House of Cards,” starring Kevin Spacey. More →
As the world champion New York Giants fought to hold New England scoreless in the fourth quarter of Super Bowl XLVI, another battle was raging off the field — Samsung’s string of anti-Apple commercials culminated with a 90-second TV advertisement that cost the South Korea-based vendor more than $10 million for the airtime alone. Following a series of ads that depict Samsung smartphones as the cool alternative to Apple’s iPhone, Samsung’s new commercial showcases the vendor’s new supersized Galaxy Note, due to launch later this month on AT&T. In this latest spot, a dreary scene of iPhone fans waiting in line for the launch of Apple’s latest handset erupts into a massive block party when Samsung Galaxy Notes begin falling from the sky to the tune of The Darkness’s 2003 single, “I Believe in a Thing Called Love.” The full 90-second commercial can be viewed below. More →
Research In Motion released the first set of commercials from its new “Be Bold” advertising campaign on Thursday and while the ads feature new faces, they are nearly identical to the campaign RIM has been running for months. The Waterloo, Ontario-based smartphone vendor was quick to point out that the team of four awkward superheroes that starred in an infographic RIM recently posted were not part of its upcoming advertising blitz, but perhaps they should have been. RIM’s new ads feature BlackBerry devices in real-world situations and they do a good job of showcasing key features like BBM. What the ads are not, however, is different or memorable. RIM’s new CEO Thorsten Heins named the company’s marketing strategy as one of the first orders of business he plans to address in his new role. With an exciting new breed of devices like the BlackBerry London on the horizon, marketing and advertising will be more important than ever for RIM as the company continues struggling to maintain its footing in key markets. A pair of Be Bold ads can be viewed after the break. More →
HTC’s upcoming smartphone code-named the HTC Ville just stared in a leaked video ahead of an official announcement, which is expected to come at next month’s Mobile World Congress trade show in Barcelona, Spain. BGR exclusively reported this past November that HTC will unveil the Ville at MWC. We said the device would be thinner than Apple’s latest iPhone and would feature Android 4.0, Sense 4.0, a 4.3-inch qHD Super AMOLED display, a 1.5GHz dual-core Snapdragon Series 4 processor, an 8-megapixel display, HSPA+ and a 1,650 mAh battery. This new video confirms much of our report — HTC Hub’s footage shows Android 4.0.1 Ice Cream Sandwich and Sense 4.0 running on a sleek and slender smartphone with a gorgeous display. HTC is also expected to announce the quad-core flagship HTC Edge at the show next month according to our sources. The HTC Ville video can be viewed after the break. More →
Sling Media has been the go-to provider for video placeshifting solutions for nearly seven years now. The California-based company launched its first Slingbox in 2005, enabling users to watch live television exactly as it was being broadcast to their homes on any Internet-connected PC. The company rolled out its first SlingPlayer Mobile application the following year and it hasn’t looked back, continuing to expand its mobile offering to support a wide range of popular platforms and devices. Sling Media will launch the latest addition to its mobile app lineup on Tuesday when it releases SlingPlayer Mobile for Amazon’s popular tablet, and we spent much of our weekend enjoying placeshifted live television on our Kindle Fire to test the new app. Check out a small gallery of screenshots below and hit the break for our early impressions of SlingPlayer Mobile for the Amazon Kindle Fire.
While smartphone users in general may eventually be caught in the crossfire brought about by Apple and Samsung’s patent battles, a very specific group of smartphone users has become collateral damage in Samsung’s new anti-iPhone advertising campaign: baristas. Samsung’s first run in its new campaign included a quick poke at a creative barista, but now the men and women who serve up hot coffee on a daily basis are the focus of Samsung’s playful attack. Dubbed “Urban Camping,” the company’s new ad kicks off with a pair of Galaxy S II users mockingly admiring an iPhone-toting barista’s latte art. When the barista’s friends enter the coffee shop excited to go camping, one Galaxy S II user harnesses the phone’s 4G speed to instantly reserve a camp site for everyone to use. The simple-minded iPhone owners become disheartened, clarifying that they’re simply camping out on line while waiting for the new iPhone to be released. Hipsters in general were addressed in Samsung’s earlier ads, but the company appears to now be “Samsunging” more specific groups of consumers it deems likely to own iPhones. With Super Bowl XLVI coming up on February 5th and Samsung having lined up a pricey ad spot, baristas may want to avert their eyes and hide their coffees during commercial breaks this year. The new Galaxy S II ad can be watched in full below.
After months of investors unrest, Research In Motion on Sunday announced that Jim Balsillie and Mike Lazaridis were stepping down from their roles as co-CEO and co-Chairmen. Barbara Stymiest was named RIM’s new chairperson of the board, in line with rumors, and former Ericsson executive Thorsten Heins was named president and CEO. Heins and Stymiest hosted a conference call Monday morning, with Heins leading the show, and the company took its first steps in a long climb toward regaining shareholder confidence and customer confidence. Read on for more. More →
Not long ago we published a story about Raspberry Pi, a $35 Linux-based single board computer that is still in development. Now, a Model B version of the device is being demoed and it shows off the small computer’s AirPlay streaming capabilities. The video shows one of Raspberry Pi’s developers using an iPad to stream a video clip to the Raspberry Pi Model B device using AirPlay without a hitch. The developers behind the tiny and affordable computer have said they hope the gadget will eventually be used in schools, although it’s still unclear when the company will begin shipping devices to consumers. A video of Model B working seamlessly with AirPlay follows after the break. More →
Following Samsung’s recent run of television advertisements depicting iPhone users as mindless hipster sheep, the company’s ad firm is back with another spot that again takes aim at Apple fans. The new ad shows iPhone 4 owners camped outside an Apple Store waiting for the latest iPhone model to finally go on sale. As people in line watch the first iPhone 4S unboxing video from London, they’re disappointed to learn that the phone “looks like last year’s phone.” Then when a Galaxy S II user comes by to bring his roommate a charger, two iPhone users admire the voice-guided navigation the man used to find his way to the Apple Store. When they find out that the navigation service is free on the Galaxy S II and not part of a paid app, they apparently get “Samsunged.” The full ad can be viewed after the break. More →
We recently sat down with Sony Ericsson President of North America Paul Hamnett to discuss the company’s future as a wholly-owned division of Sony Corporation, its upcoming smartphones and strategy pertaining to the U.S. market, Sony Electronics’ “four screen” opportunity, and much more. Check out the full video interview after the break. More →
We had a chance to sit down with Nokia CEO Stephen Elop a few weeks ago in New York City to get a the skinny on Nokia’s strategy straight from the top. We covered the company’s upcoming push (and hopefully valiant return) in the United States, Nokia’s latest smartphones, potential new Nokia tablets and of course the company’s new Lumia 710 and Lumia 800 Windows Phones. Catch the full video interview after the break. More →