Content and publishing

Can Silverlight hit this one outta the park?

Baseball fans will want to keep an eye on this promise. Microsoft's Silverlight could be used to bring live Major League Baseball to your mobile phone. The MLB folks were on stage at MIX in Las Vegas, showing off the next generation of baseball video services. Their capper was a live game on a Windows-enabled cell phone. We've embedded MLB's presentation to the left.

Related: This is Netflix on Silverlight Live at Mix '07: Ray Ozzie

eBay does MySpace-compatible widgets

eBay has a neat new way to promote your items for free. Users can take any item listed on the auction service and widgetize it using a really simple editor. There are three options to choose from: single item, multiple item, and search. The multiple items widget has a scrolling display of item images, and is good for Powersellers, or anyone who is selling a few things at a time. What's great is that you don't even need to sign in to eBay to make one, just an item number.

When you're done creating a widget, you … Read more

BBC's iPlayer relaunching soon

The BBC's iPlayer, the downloadable app for watching BBC content on PCs is relaunching soon, following the successful beta test that garnered more than 10,000 users in the U.K. The player will give users a few ways to access BBC programming, including downloading single episodes or watching entire series the month after it goes off the air. The move enables viewers to catch missed content before it makes the long jump to DVD, and potentially catch up on shows they might have missed without resorting to seeking out pirated content. It's also one of the few … Read more

Live at Mix '07: Ray Ozzie

Microsoft is rolling out Silverlight, its competitor to Adobe's Flash technology, today at the Mix '07 event in Las Vegas. I'm sitting in the audience waiting for the keynote to start and will report on interesting developments as they happen.

For a news preview, see Martin LaMonica's story on, Microsoft opens up on Web strategy at Mix '07.

Ray Ozzie on stage now, saying that the "pendulum is swinging once more," in the Web vs PC world. The "vs." is the Web, openness and "creepy behavioral analytics," vs. freedom … Read more

SplashCast launches MyPodcastNetwork

This morning, SplashCast, the media syndication service, is launching MyPodcastNetwork, a new feature that lets users create a single player to aggregate and play audio and video content via RSS feeds. If you're a podcast listener, you might already be using an aggregation service such as iTunes or Odeo to pull in your favorite shows. What's neat about doing this on SplashCast is that you can mix it in with other audio, video, and pictures in one big mashup, then share your creation with others by embedding it on blogs or social networking profiles.

To find podcast or … Read more

Pikspot launches, joins media mashup fray

Pikspot is a new social network for groups to upload and share media. Each group can create its own themed page and add various pieces of content such as audio, video clips, and images. It's not a P2P network per se, consider it a media-hosting site like SplashCast with extended group features. Will it be the next big thing in media distribution? I'm not so sure about that, but it is launching with a lineup of content from several TechTV notables who have formed a channel called UndoTV. For any Webware readers who have watched CNET TV's new call-in help show CNET Live, this might be right up your alley.

Adding media to Pikspot channels is fairly simple. There's a batch uploader for photos and plenty of options to tag and credit content. Channel owners can also opt to let subscribers (registered users who have added the channel to their subscription list) add their own content. To sort through it all, there's a simple search. You're also able to browse through tagged content in a cloud, which is pretty neat looking.

Any Pikspot channel or piece of content can be embedded off-site on blogs or social networks. Like some of the embeds we've seen recently with SplashCast and (hands-on), Pikspot lets users browse through the channel's entire content catalog and interact with other community members via comments without leaving the embedded player.

To customize a Pikspot channel, owners can select from a large selection of templates, or make their own using a fairly full-featured editor that gives complete control over the color scheme and branding. Any site still retains a small banner at the top of the page to bring you back to Pikspot, like you get on Blogger, Ning, and other networks.

The Pikspot experience is fairly slick, but I do have my nits to pick, mainly the upload speed for adding media to the service, which I found to be really slow. I'd like to see the inclusion of a live chat for each channel, as I had a lot of fun with this feature using recently. That being said, the commenting system is really simple and includes a Digg-like way to vote on which comments are (and aren't) worth reading.

I'm very interested to see which other content providers stick their work on Pikspot. Since anyone can upload content, we're bound to see some copyrighted items on there. If it's anything like Joost, with the right people in charge, we'll see more partnerships and content provider-sponsored channels fairly soon.

I've embedded a Pikspot player below.… Read more

Beta watch: SideReel opens new video wiki

SideReel is a new video fan site. I talked to the site's co-founder, Bart Myers, at the SF Beta mixer last night, and he convinced me to check it out. What I found is, at its heart, a wiki. There are a few major video categories (Television, Movies, and "Video" for everything else) as well as a catchall category for nonvideo entries, such as actors. Pages for the video assets, like TV shows, have special fields. For example, each show has a "Watch it now" box, where you should be able to find links to … Read more

Idio: 'Rolling Stone' 2.0

Idio is an online music magazine that launched late last year. Idio looks and feels like a paper magazine, with turning pages and some pretty slick-looking layouts. What's neat is that Idio isn't just made up of text and photos, there are also music and video clips embedded right into the pages. Users get content fed to them by an algorithm that selects articles or clips (it thinks) you might be interested in based on your favorite bands. Content comes from all over, either from blogs or music news feeds.

To drill down into your musical tastes a … Read more

30 Boxes: Calendar meets social network

I covered the 30 Boxes online calendar briefly last September (see story). But the world's changed a bit since then, and 30 Boxes has as well, so I recently took another look at this interesting (and experimental) app.

The easy part first: 30 Boxes is a nice little online calendar. It's got a special trick, in that instead of clicking on days and times to enter appointments, you can type in its single entry box something like, "Lunch, noon Friday with Frank," and it will create the appointment based on that. (Related: Stikkit.)

But 30 Boxes is more than an events calendar with a rudimentary understanding of scheduling grammar. It's also an aggregation service for time-based updates from your social sites and for those of your friends. For example, 30 Boxes will put your blog updates, Twitter messages, calendar items, and Flickr photos on your calendar, as well as those from your friends. Facebook integration is coming soon. 30 Boxes reminds me Jaiku (review), another personal feed aggregator, except it's oriented around the calendar scheme rather than the discussion-based scheme Jaiku is based on.

Everyone who uses 30 Boxes, and everyone who is added into a 30 Boxes stream, gets their own profile page (here's mine). All you need to know is a person's e-mail address to add them in to your calendar. The system will find their updates on Twitter and other services, and add them to your calendar. They'll also get an invitation to join 30 Boxes, of course, and if they do they can have more control over what information that's associated with their e-mail address.

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AOL Beta launches, blatant rip-off of Yahoo [UPDATE]

So we've seen copycats and similarities floating around the internets before. Missing vowels in site names (understandable, domain names are getting pricey), reflections, gradient backgrounds, rounded corners. You name it we've seen it. What we haven't seen in a while is a copycat page design on this scale. AOL's new Beta page looks mighty familiar. So familiar, one of our readers sent us a tip, pointing out that it looks dangerously like Yahoo's home page. The real question here, is how does a company with so much money to throw around skimp on something as … Read more