iTunes claims 66 percent of digital music market

Posted by Harshad

iTunes claims 66 percent of digital music market

iTunes claims 66 percent of digital music market

Posted: 17 Dec 2010 08:40 PM PST

iTunes claims 66 percent of digital music marketApple's iTunes Music Store has increased its share of the digital music market to over 66 percent despite increasing competition from Amazon and others.

The NPD Group issued figures on the digital music market based on music sales this year. It puts Apple's iTunes music store clearly at the very top again. Its share of the market jumped from 63.2 percent to 66.2 percent. Rival Amazon witnessed a growth in its market share from 11 percent to 13.3 percent.

Amazon has attempted to lure customers away from iTunes by offering "daily deals" where albums are sold for as little as $3.99. In order to offer such a price cut, Amazon needs to take a loss on the sales, reportedly paying the wholesale price of the album despite the discount to customers.

Record label executives hinted to the Wall Street Journal that the situation may be worse for Amazon, since it often only maintains between 6 percent and 10 percent of the market on any given week, while iTunes approaches 90 percent on a regular basis.

Amazon has also sold at a loss to maintain an edge in the e-book market. Reported suggest that Amazon can make a loss of up to $4.50 on the sale of certain e-book titles in order to maintain its dominant position in the market.

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EA CEO pushes Wii price cut to $99

Posted: 17 Dec 2010 08:40 PM PST

EA CEO pushes Wii price cut to $99Electronic Arts CEO John Riccitiello has said in an interview that Nintendo could consider cutting the price of a Wii console in half to boost demand.

Riccitiello believes that a recent slump in sales of Nintendo Wii consoles could be avoided again by cutting the console's price in half to just $99. Additionally, he suggested that Nintendo should do more to promote third-party titles than focusing so much on its in-house titles.

Recent launches of PlayStation Move for the PS3 and Kinect for Xbox 360 means that the Wii can no longer cling to motion control features to differentiate it from its competitors.

"I would say they did exceptionally well in '07 and '08, started tapering in '09 and '10, and... I think if they were to price down to $99, they would explode," Riccitiello said. "If they were to find ways to promote third-party content better, as opposed to first-party content, and would hit pricing, I think the platform would see new life."

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Blockbuster kiosks must also wait 28 days for Warner releases

Posted: 17 Dec 2010 08:40 PM PST

Blockbuster kiosks must also wait 28 days for Warner releasesBlockbuster's Express movie-rental kiosks will have to wait 28 days before offering new releases from Warner Bros. for rental, putting it in the same boat as Netflix and Redbox.

The company agreed to the 28 day window in order to maintain a close relationship with Warner. It had tested same-day launches as recently as just weeks ago, including the title Knight and Day from Fox. The rental chain also cited lower distribution costs and a healthier supply for agreeing to the 28 day window.

It already had similar agreements with Fox and Universal in place. Blockbuster recently filed for bankruptcy in part as it shed popularity in the face of cheaper and more convenient alternatives.

Netflix agreed to a 28 day window to guarantee it access to major titles both for its physical rentals, and also for its popular movie streaming services.

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Google refuses to comply with Connecticut information request

Posted: 17 Dec 2010 07:54 PM PST

Google refuses to comply with Connecticut information requestGoogle has informed the Connecticut attorney general that it will not comply with an information request related to the interception of wireless payload data by its Street View cars.

Attorney General Richard Blumenthal has issued a civil investigative demand to determine exactly what content Google's Street View cars had accidentally captures from unsecured wireless networks while photographing streets for its online services.

The privacy breach occurred in over 30 different countries. "I am disappointed by Google's failure to comply with my information demands," Blumenthal said in a statement. "We will review any information we receive and consider whether additional enforcement steps -- including possible legal action -- are warranted."

Initially Google played down the incident, saying that only useless fragments of data were captured from unsecured networks and that the wireless equipment automatically changed channels about five times a second. However, Google later conceded that independent investigations of the data in affected areas turned up full e-mails and passwords that were captured.

A Google representative contacted Blumenthal's office and informed it that the company does not intend to comply with the information request. An investigation into the incident by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) was closed, while an FCC investigation remains open.

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EU regulators to clear News Corp. takeover of BSkyB

Posted: 17 Dec 2010 07:54 PM PST

EU regulators to clear News Corp. takeover of BSkyBReports suggest that Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. may get the go ahead to acquire full control over BSkyB without the need for concessions.

News Corp. is seeking to buy a 61 percent share of BSkyB that it doesn't already own, giving it complete control over the company. The deal is estimated to be worth about £7.8 billion (over $12 billion). Next week, the European Comission will back the deal, sources familiar with the situation told Reuters.

The European Commission will report that the deal does not have any significant anticompetitive impact. The communication's regulator in Britain is also reviewing the deal to determine if it would give News Corp. too much control over UK media, where it already owns The Sun, News of the World, the Times and the Sunday Times newspapers.

The European Commission set a December 22 deadline for its decision in the case.

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Google search results warn about hacked websites

Posted: 17 Dec 2010 07:54 PM PST

Google search results warn about hacked websitesGoogle's popular search engine service now warns users about possibly hacked or otherwise dangerous websites that make it into its search results.

The new warning system was announced on Google's Official Blog on Friday. If Google's system detects any signs that a website has been compromised by hackers, spammed or defaced in some way that may make it a threat to the searcher, it will add a small message reading, "This site may be compromised" directly under the search result.

"We use a variety of automated tools to detect common signs of hacking as quickly as possible," wrote Google director of product management Mike Cassidy. "In addition to protecting users, these notices will also help webmasters more quickly discover when someone is abusing their sites."

Once the problem has been fixed at the suspicious website, the warning message will be automatically removed from the search results, according to Google. The company also announced the addition of new languages and domains to its Instant search feature, and made several upgrades to the Google Translate system.

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Android Kindle update makes buying magazines, newspapers possible

Posted: 17 Dec 2010 07:54 PM PST

Android Kindle update makes buying magazines, newspapers possibleAn update to Kindle for Android will now allow users to either buy single issues of magazines or newspapers, or subscribe to them.

Users that opt to subscribe to a particular magazine or newspaper will have it automatically delivered to their Android device. Other news features added with the update are the ability to share reading progress through social networking sites and zoom closer to images.

"We want to give customers the freedom and flexibility to buy their newspapers and magazines once, and read them everywhere across the devices and platforms they chose—just like they do with Kindle books today," said Russ Grandinetti, Vice President, Amazon Kindle.

"Kindle for Android is our fastest-growing application, and we're excited to launch over 100 newspapers and magazines for our Android customers."

See a full list of magazines and newspapers available with Kindle for Android at: http://www.amazon.com/...

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MasterCard will cut off piracy websites

Posted: 17 Dec 2010 07:54 PM PST

MasterCard will cut off piracy websitesMasterCard has said it will cease processing payments to websites that offer illegal copies of movies, music and other content for download.

The credit card company supports the proposed Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act, which authorizes the Department of Justice (DoJ) to shut down domain names of U.S.-based websites that are offering pirated content.

As for websites located overseas, the bill grants the DoJ the power to force ISPs, payment processors like MasterCard or online advertising networks from doing business with them.

"MasterCard in particular deserves credit for its proactive approach to addressing rogue Web sites that dupe consumers," Mitch Glazier, Recording Industry Association of America exec, told CNET. "They have reached out to us and others in the entertainment community to forge what we think will be a productive and effective partnership."

Hollywood has been shifting away from targeting individual file sharers with lawsuits as a means to tackle Internet piracy and more toward targeting the sources of income that keep websites going. Some sites charge fees for use of the service (or for premium use), while others rely on advertisements.

Earlier this month, Google said it would do more to make sure that piracy websites are kept off of its Adsense platform. The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB), whose members account for more than 86 percent of U.S. advertising online, also said it will work with entertainment companies to cut off piracy websites.

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PSJailbreak ruled legal in Spain

Posted: 16 Dec 2010 11:56 PM PST

PSJailbreak ruled legal in SpainSony's efforts to obliterate the PSJailbreak USB dongle that enables homebrew code to be launched on some PS3 consoles have been dealt a blow in Spain.

After already scoring some victories against PSJailbreak, including a notable victory in Australia, Sony's efforts have been impacted by a court in Spain.

Sony's decision to kill the OtherOS functionality in the PlayStation 3 (PS3) console may have hurt it badly in this case. The feature had originally been killed off due to concerns about the system's security, which remained strong at the time with the known information.

However, the court No 8 Mercantil de Barcelona noted that Sony originally was selling the PS3 console with the ability to run an operating system that would support some level of homebrew software. More importantly however, the court seems to have been of the opinion that if you buy a games console or similar piece of equipment, then you own it and should be free to do what you like with it, including modify it.

To add insult to injury, Sony has also reportedly been ordered to pay damages to stores that had products seized and suffered a loss in sales as result of the ongoing case.

Documents from the court are available online in Spanish or with the use of Google Translate, in rough English.

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Trend Micro advises users to avoid wikileaks.info

Posted: 16 Dec 2010 11:37 PM PST

Trend Micro advises users to avoid wikileaks.infoTrend Micro's TrendLabs blog has posted some information on a website that is redirected to from Wikileaks.org.

At present, the Wikileaks.org domain domain redirects to mirror.wikileaks.info, which is hosted on IP address This IP address is registered to Heihachi Ltd, and this is where TrendLabs has put up a flag and felt the need to write about it.

While the site doesn't contain any malware, the TrendLabs blog regards the presence of the WikiLeaks mirror in this neighborhood as disturbing.

Heihachi Ltd. is known as a bulletproof, blackhat-hosting provider in Russia that is a safe haven for criminals and fraudsters. It hosts a long list of criminally related domains. Among these domains are banking fraud domains, carders' (criminals who trade stolen credit card information) websites, malware sites, and phishing sites. No matter what your political view is, this is rather disturbing.

Due to the provider that the Wikileaks mirror has, Trend Micro's Smart Protection Network automatically assigns a very low reputation score to the domain name wikileaks.info. This is not in protest to the content that Wikileaks is hosting, rather it is an automatic response to the provider which TrendLabs alleges also hosts sites like paypal-securitycenter.com, carders.kz, idchecking.ir (phishing), and postbank-sicherung.com.

We don't know whether wikileaks.org has perhaps been compromised or whether WikiLeaks is knowingly getting services from a blackhat provider. Either way, we assess the wikileaks.info domain as highly risky and we do not recommend visiting this site as long as it is hosted by Heihachi Ltd.

Source: TrendLabs Malware Blog

UPDATE: Wikileaks.info has responded to similar warnings made by Spamhaus with the following statement...

Spamhaus' False Allegations Against wikileaks.info

Published 15-Dec-2010, 8:00 AM GMT

On Tuesday, 14-Dec-2010 Spamhaus has issued a statement wherein it labels wikileaks.info as "unsafe", as they consider our hosting company as a malware facilitator:


We find it very disturbing that Spamhaus labels a site as dangerous without even checking if there is any malware on it. We monitor the wikileaks.info site and we can guarantee that there is no malware on it. We do not know who else is hosted with Heihachi Ltd and it is none of our business. They provide reliable hosting to us. That's it.

While we are in favour of "Blacklists", be it for mail servers or web sites, they have to be compiled with care. Just listing whole IP blocks as "bad" may be quick and easy for the blacklist editors, but will harm hosters and web site users.

Wikileaks has been pulled from big hosters like Amazon. That's why we are using a "bulletproof" hoster that does not just kick a site when it gets a letter from government or a big company. Our hoster is giving home to many political sites like castor-schottern.org and should not be blocked just because they might have hosted some malware sites.

Fortunately, more responsible blacklists, like stopbadware.org (which protects the Firefox browser, for example), don't list us. We do hope that Spamhaus hasn't issued this statement due to political pressure.

Wikileaks.info will always be safe and clean. Promised:

Google Safe Browsing Check for wikileaks.info

Update (15-Dec-2010 17:00 PM GMT): Spamhaus has updated their statement to say that they don't blacklist us.

The wikileaks.info Team

Source: http://wikileaks.info/press/spamhaus-false-allegations-against-wikileaks.html

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CoD: Black Ops developers promise fixes for bugs

Posted: 16 Dec 2010 11:14 PM PST

CoD: Black Ops developers promise fixes for bugsDespite the release of at least one fix to address reported problems, users of Call of Duty: Black Ops are still reporting serious problems with online play.

Gamers have complained about connection error messages in the middle of online gaming sessions that appear to be limited to the PC and PlayStation 3 (PS3) versions of the game. Other users report crashes, glitches and lags in the gameplay that can be very frustrating.

Treyarch says it is working hard on a fix and already released an update aimed at the reported issues two days ago. "People buy this game mainly for multiplayer features. The main feature being unplayable makes this nothing but an overpriced paperweight," said gamer "Ian" on the BBC's Newsbeat Facebook page.

Treyarch has acknowledged in a post on its forums that many gamers are experiencing connectivity and other issues with the popular title.

"We've already updated the game with one 'hot fix' since Tuesday's release that has improved many of those connectivity problems, and we've got more coming, so stay tuned. We're committed to doing everything we can to support the best online experience, and we're working quickly to resolve this issue."

Within 24 hours of going on sale, the title sold more than 7 million copies, 5.6 million in the U.S. and 1.4 million in the U.K.

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