MySpace quietly launched Trailer Park this morning, a new area showcasing trailers for upcoming movies. All videos are played on the in-house MySpace player and can be embedded on member pages. Trailer Park is launching with five trailers from Lionsgate, Warner Bros., Independent, and Buena Vista Pictures.
The page is designed to feel like a member's profile, with forums, a friends list, and a comment board. The dearth of actual content about a movie (actors, ratings, and so on) can be found at the movie's marketing site, which gets its own link alongside the trailer.
Unfortunately, from the … Read more
File this one under "cute, but not there yet." One of the new Web sites that was showcased at Tuesday's New York New Tech Meetup was PictureDots, which falls under one of my favorite categories of Web 2.0: borderline useless time-wasters. Basically, with PictureDots you can create your own connect-the-dots puzzles, share them with your friends online, or print them out for your favorite kids (of any age). Kind of a cool idea, especially when you think of the procrastination opportunities.
But there's a downside. It's cute, but it's not particularly efficient. You … Read more
Among the networks, ABC.com has been one of the most aggressive in terms of streaming full versions of its shows online after they've aired on TV. During those quieter moments at work--some call them smoking breaks without the smoking--you can watch episodes of Lost, Grey's Anatomy, Ugly Betty, and more, right on your computer screen. Until a few days ago, however, the picture was rather small. Now ABC.com has launched a new full-screen "HD-quality" video player, and the "broadcast" looks shockingly good.
Meanwhile, NBC also has spruced up its online video player, … Read more
"Nerds!" --Ogre, Revenge of the Nerds
Since the dawn of time (or at least the 1980s), avid computer users have been ridiculed for lacking social skills and an ability to party.
Nerds do party. They just party efficiently. That's why these drink-deal locators exist: to help us find cheap drinks between here and the nearest library.
We got the tip today about a brand new service called Bubble Guru. Its goal is simple: to give your blog or Web site visitors a short pop-up video message that runs and closes without any user interaction required. You can also record and send message to friends via e-mail. For viewers, there's no escape--the talking bubble will follow them as they scroll down the page.
The service is by no means a full-fledged video blogging tool; it falls into a strange subcategory between video messaging and a pop-up advertisement. It's also a little early in development, offering no way to save and track the messages you've created. For now the service is free, but a paid subscription version is on the way for about $10 a month.
We thought long and hard about the usefulness of this for the casual user. In truth, video embedding services from YouTube or Viddler is much more user friendly. Users can turn those videos on and off at their discretion and pass any interesting ones along to a friend. That, however, isn't the point of Bubble Guru. This service is all about grabbing your attention, which it does very well. We've embedded one for you: to see what it looks like, click "read more" below.… Read more
Microsoft announced Deepfish , a new mobile browsing technology from itslabs group. Deepfish is a small, downloadable application for Windows Smartphone users. The app presents Web content the same way you'd see it on your computer's Web browser. If you've seen the mobile version of Apple's Safari on the upcoming iPhone, then you have an idea of how Deepfish works.
Deepfish is designed like an array of photo thumbnails. To zoom into a section you want to see in more detail, you just select it with a "magnify box" controlled by your phone's directional pad or pointer. If you want to zoom back out, the original version of the page will still be loaded in your phone's memory cache--which should save a considerable amount of time (and data usage).
In our brief hands-on with it today, we noticed a few quirks.… Read more
An amusing entry in the Google Docs and Spreadsheets Blog highlights a neat use for the online app: word-find puzzles. The idea came to Jonathan Rochelle (a Google Spreadsheets product manager) when his son came home pining to create his own puzzle like the one his teacher had given his class at school. Rochelle's solution? Google Spreadsheets, of course.
You won't get complex auto-creation and custom publishing tools like you'll find in standalone software apps. You could also achieve similar results using Excel. What makes Google Spreadsheets neat is the ability to embed for sharing. Your embed … Read more
Since Adobe bought Macromedia nearly two years ago, rumors have flown about what mutant offspring might emerge from this marriage of software makers.
Although a leak on a blog revealed bits of this closely guarded secret about a day early, Adobe has officially taken the wraps off the pricing and packaging of its Creative Suite 3--most of which will work on Intel-based or PowerPC Macs, as well as with Windows Vista and XP. (See our coverage of the CS3 Master Collection to start.).
The six flavors of CS3 are built for different types of digital designers. So far, we've … Read more
We saw a lot of work and business tools for conferencing and collaboration come out of Under the Radar last week, but what about when you want to have fun? YouCams is a slick little embeddable video, voice, and text-chatting tool that's a mix of fun and business. The entire app runs in Flash, and users can jump in and join a discussion without the need for registration. The tool is aimed at social network users (mainly the MySpace crowd) as a way to communicate and interact with one another. Something that will likely get them blocked from the service, like what happened to competitor Stickam.
If you've used Stickam before, the Webcam functionality is a little similar. And by a little I'm being generous, because YouCams is much more full featured. There are two tiers of service, both free and paid. Basic registration is fairly generous, giving you voice, text, and video broadcasting privileges. Upgrading to the premium level turns YouCams into a full-on conferencing tool, allowing you to video chat with three other users at the same time, and own a personalized URL with the option to host your own conferencing room.
An interesting addition to YouCams is integration with YouTube, and a large variety of widgets. These float around on the interface, and require no extra installation. It feels a little bit like YourMinis. The Space Invaders widget in particular nearly kept me from finishing this post. Likewise the YouTube integration is well done. Video links pop up in a conversation bubble, and won't start until you click on them. Like the widgets, they float around and can be resized on an ad-hoc basis.
There's also a social networking component integrated in the service. Users trade 'stars,' which act as credits to buy into various features. It's an interesting take on user involvement, although I'm not sure it'll catch on until users have a real reason to get involved. Maybe giving them access to premium content like music or movie downloads would be a good hook. In the meantime, casual chatters will likely get a kick out of YouCams for its slick interface and ease of use.
I've embedded a YouCams module after the jump. It might not run if you're using Firefox. We've been in contact with the YouCams team about this, and they're on it.… Read more