Yesterday, Nokia announced a new initiative, Comes With Music, that will offer "free" music to purchasers of certain cellphones. It's the first outgrowth of Nokia's Ovi brand, which the company announced earlier this year. It also seems to be the first implementation of Universal's Total Music plan, in which device makers bundle a music subscription on new devices and add the cost to the price of the device, rather than forcing consumers to pay the monthly fee.
Among last week's digital music news was the item that seminal hard rock band AC/DC has taken a tentative step on the information highway (as opposed to that other highway). AC/DC's deal with Verizon was notable because the band chose to bypass industry leader iTunes, and because the band is selling only complete albums (for $12 apiece--higher than the current price of their CDs on Amazon!) rather than individual singles. Another oddity: most of AC/DC's catalog will be not be downloadable over-the-air to Verizon phones; instead, users will have to download the albums to … Read more
When Microsoft released its Zune player-store-software combination, it effectively drove a stake into the heart of PlaysForSure, the company's logo program that identifies Windows Media-based online stores and the players that work with those stores. Sure, Microsoft still claims that it's equally committed to both initiatives, but PlaysForSure partners have a right to be concerned that their technology partner is competing directly against them.
Samsung was one of Microsoft's most steadfast digital media partners: it released one of the earliest Portable Media Centers (portable audio-video devices based on Windows Mobile software, which beat the video iPod to … Read more
DaimlerChrysler's itty-bitty Smart ForTwo has been in the news recently, primarily because it's going to be made available to U.S. markets next year. The defining feature of the ForTwo is pretty much just the fact that it's about as small as a car can get without being designed for circus midgets, and it's more or less useless outside cities since it can't go all that fast, but that hasn't stopped one Greek auto enthusiast from turning it into an off-road vehicle.
Taking a hint from the design and functionality of Daimler-Chrysler's off-road … Read more