When Cover Flow for iTunes was first introduced, I was initially pretty excited. After all, who wouldn't want to browse through their music and movies by flipping through covers? It's almost like flipping through records or CDs at a music store. But once I got Cover Flow up on screen with iTunes, I was faced with something I'm sure a lot of people experienced--there were so few album covers associated with my music library, Cover Flow was almost useless. I've been able to add many covers to my library since, but I still had gaping sections … Read more
If you lined up the boxes of the 100 million units of The Sims products that have sold since Electronic Arts' monster-hit franchise first launched in 2000, they would stretch from New York to Moscow.
Forgetting for the moment that many of those boxes would become awfully soggy if lined up like that, it's worth giving a curtsy of respect and admiration to EA and The Sims franchise for reaching the 100 million units sold mark, which EA announced Wednesday.
Originally, The Sims was a not-well-loved stepchild of Will Wright's hit games, Sim City and its brethren. But … Read more
Before the emergence of digital music, album covers were an integral part of music buying.
As people thumbed through record racks, eye-catching album art could prove to be a deciding factor on whether people bought. The cover could convey something about the music inside or whether the act was creative or cool.
Jimi Hendrix's Axis: Bold as Love, Led Zepplin's Houses of the Holy, Peter Gabriel 3, The Rolling Stones Let It Bleed and The Beatles Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band are just a few classic works.
But in the digital age, people hunt for music … Read more
For anyone familiar with The Sims Online, the poorly-received virtual world launched by Electronic Arts in 2002, take note: EA is relaunching it under a new name and for a new price: free.
This is a rather momentous move by EA, since it means it is bringing back from the dead--at least as far as perception goes--a game that, while it never really got off the ground, was extremely important in the overall development curve of 3D social virtual worlds with economies.
And while TSO, as it came … Read more
Drawing has never been my strength. I love looking at art and can certainly appreciate an artist's skill and patience with creating something pleasing to the eye. But when it comes to putting a pen or brush to paper, I simply don't have the talent. I always admired my friends who had the gift of being able to draw, but it was a gift I never received. I'm sure there are many of us who have thought it would be nice to be able to draw at one time or another.
Fortunately artists (or maybe even just … Read more
Even at the ripe old age of 26, MTV is still determined to make its way into your home one way or another: It may just not be on a television set. Instead, the network is literally leaving its stamp on various forms of electronics and computing gear by co-branding designs.
Recently, for example, it partnered with HP to sponsor a global design competition for an "Artist Edition" of the Pavilion laptop. And it's latest offering is a limited-edition "multi-room box" produced in collaboration with U.K.-based Sky TV, which had already been coming … Read more
For the first time, iStockphoto has revealed how much money it pulled in by licensing large numbers of photos, videos, and other imagery for relatively small fees, and how much it paid out to the producers of that content.
In a forum posting Tuesday, iStockphoto head honcho Bruce Livingstone said the Getty Images subsidiary had 2007 revenue of $71.9 million, and it paid $20.9 million to those who contributed the imagery it licenses.
That's a pretty interesting illustration of what user-generated content can sell for, at least in one context.
"We are now selling an image … Read more
When a company finds itself in court defending against a patent lawsuit, it will usually assert two major defenses. First, the company will say "I don't practice (or produce) what is claimed in this patent." Second, a defendant in a patent lawsuit will also attempt to "invalidate" the claims of the patent by showing that "prior art" described the claims in the patent prior to the application date of the patent. While this defense can take multiple forms (see, for example, 35 U.S.C. ? 102 ), a defendant must often show that the prior art relied upon was in fact publicly known or publicly used. So now its time for a pop quiz--which one of three options would you consider not being "publicly accessible" for the purposes of United States patent law:
A: The use of a centrifuge in a secure laboratory at the National Institute for Health;
B: The posting of a paper on an unsecured FTP server; or
C: Indexing a dissertation in a paper file and placing it on a shelf...in Germany.
I know what I'm getting Major League Baseball's all-time leading home run hitter for his birthday this year.
A big, fat asterisk.
I know, I know. I'm the most generous Dodgers' fan ever, right? Besides being eminently appropriate, and just plain awesome-looking, this asterisk is actually useful. Especially if Barry has, say, a MacBook Air.
This asterisk is a four-port USB hub created by industrial designer Joel Escalona. It's also bright red, and very sleek.
(Note: depending on where your sports loyalties lie, this gift can also work for Roger Clemens, Bill Belichick, or any member of the New England Patriots.) … Read more
Dear Take-Two and Electronic Arts: I'm not an arbitrator. And neither are my colleagues who cover video games.
I know it's nothing new in the fast-paced world of hostile takeovers, tender offers and other forms of mergers and acquisitions, but it's beyond obvious that both Take-Two and EA are using the press--and our outreach to the public--to try to negotiate the best terms in whatever marriage the two eventually end up in.