Feedly enhances your Google Reader experience

Essentially, Feedly wraps your Google Reader (download) in a neat, feature-rich package. It's much easier on the eyes than the bare-bones Google Reader app, and it plays nicely with a whole lot more third-party services.

When you first launch the Feedly app, it opens up directly to featured content. That's because it comes preloaded with RSS feeds from many of the Web's most popular sites. These preloaded "Essentials" cover a number of verticals such as technology, design, and business. This means that even without syncing with your Google Reader account, you can enjoy RSS feeds … Read more

Illegal downloads of Fox TV shows rise after delay

Illegal downloads of some Fox Networks TV shows have increased since the company established an eight-day delay before its TV shows are made available on Hulu and, according to TorrentFreak.

The torrent news Web site tracked several popular Fox shows--including Hell's Kitchen and MasterChef--on BitTorrent over the last week to see if there had been an increase in illegal download activity. The results are alarming.

"During the first five days, the number of downloads from the U.S. for the latest episode of Hell's Kitchen increased by 114 percent compared to the previous three episodes,&… Read more

Fox Network to limit Web access to its shows

Fox Network announced late today that it will begin delaying Web access to many of its popular TV shows to give cable and satellite TV providers greater exclusivity with programming, essentially putting up a de facto pay wall around its content.

Beginning August 15, only those people who subscribe to a participating video distributor will be able to view TV shows on an Internet portal the day after shows air on the network, the company said in a press release. All other viewers who are used to seeing episodes of "The Simpsons," "Bones," and "Glee&… Read more

NYTimes: Consumer pay wall response 'positive'

The controversial New York Times pay wall has been a success, the company said today in its second-quarter financial filing.

"The second quarter was a historic one for our company, as we successfully launched The New York Times digital subscriptions and began to see the early effect on our overall financial performance," Janet L. Robinson, president and chief executive officer of The New York Times Company, said in a statement. "The positive consumer response to the digital subscription packages is a strong indication of the value that users place on our high-quality news, analysis, and commentary.

"Our digital model exemplifies our growing ability to capitalize on secular trends that show consumer willingness to pay for content across multiple digital platforms," she said.

The New York Times launched its digital subscriptions in March. At the time, the company was charging customers who wanted access to the paper's Web site and smartphone app $15 every four weeks, and $20 for each four-week span of access to its site and tablet app. Unlimited digital access cost $35 per four weeks.

However, since then, the Times has been somewhat lenient on its subscriptions. The paper is currently offering an introductory price of 99 cents for the first four weeks across all three categories. After that, it's charging the original rates.

The Times allows readers to access up to 20 stories per month at no charge. Anyone who wants to read more stories than that will need a subscription.… Read more

Zinio for all (Android devices)

Zinio, the popular magazine reader application for mobile devices, is now available to all Android users running OS version 2.2+. Previously only compatible with Honeycomb-outfitted tablets, Zinio at last gives the rest of the Android community access to its enormous library of full-color digital magazines.

If you haven't heard of Zinio, it takes magazines off the shelves and puts them into your mobile device, letting you buy single issues of or subscriptions to some of your favorite titles. Issues are available either in full color or in text-only mode, and some even include interactive rich media features. Unless … Read more

Five ways Netflix still needs to improve itself

While everyone's been in an uproar about Netflix pricing, few are discussing Netflix itself--and what's still broken about it. Netflix needs its pricing model problems fixed, but Netflix also could use some improvements to how its service works, too--particularly on mobile devices.

Related links • How Netflix could get out of its pricing mess • Social media backlash over Netflix pricing • Netflix alternatives

As a service, Netflix is at a crossroads. Is it streaming? Is it a DVD delivery service? Is it best as both? For myself, even though I subscribe to the DVD/streaming combo plan, I find myself rarely playing the DVDs I order. They sit on a shelf and collect dust. That's because I'm not a big living-room TV watcher: I cut the cable cord over a year and a half ago, and prefer to use my iPad, iPhone, or laptop to easily stream video. So, to me, Netflix is a streaming-video service.

Therefore, let me address Netflix's faults on those terms: as a streaming-video entertainment service. While we're venting our frustrations over paying more for what Netflix offers, there's no better time to cast an eye on what still doesn't work well on Netflix to begin with. Fix what's broken with Netflix, and maybe, if the service improves, it just might be worth a higher subscription price after all.… Read more

Hands-on with Spotify

You know something is good when it feels illegal. Such is the case with Spotify, the on-demand music-streaming service that seems too good to be true--or, certainly, too good to be free. Yet, here it is, the "celestial jukebox" we've been dreaming of since the days of illegal gorging on the original Napster. It's called Spotify, it's finally available in the U.S., and music fans have reason to cheer.

What it does What Spotify does is so simple and seemingly harmless, it's actually a sad comment on humanity that it counts as a … Read more

Unlimited movie-going with MoviePass

For a cool $50-a-month subscription fee, MoviePass gets you into the movies whenever you want, as often as you want. Think of it like a Netflix for theaters. Following up on our coverage earlier today, CNET had a chance to get on the phone with MoviePass co-founder, Hamet Watt, to get some of the nuts and bolts of the all-you-can-watch service.

Officially launching to private beta June 29, MoviePass will only work at select theaters in the San Francisco Bay Area at first. However, with more than 43 percent of movie theaters already signed on, the company is set to roll out to additional select markets throughout the summer and launch nationally in the fall.

So how's it work? First, use your phone to reserve your seat at any of the supported theaters. Then, when you get to your selected theater, just flash your screen at the box office and receive a ticket, just as though you had paid. You don't have to print anything out at home, and you can use it as much as you want, as long as you pay the monthly subscription fee. For now, that's a simple $50-per-month, but according to the folks behind MoviePass, the company is experimenting with additional pricing tiers as well as a surcharge for IMAX and 3D titles.… Read more

Spotify signs Universal Music, may get to U.S. after all


Spotify has signed an American distribution deal with Universal Music Group, the world's largest music label. The pact means that the streaming music company now has U.S. deals in place with three of the four largest labels, making it likely that the company will finally be able move across the Atlantic this summer.

The service still doesn't have a pact signed with Warner Music Group, but people familiar with discussions say the two sides are closer than they have been in the past, and are optimistic a deal will get done. It's possible that Spotify could … Read more

Buzz Out Loud 1486: Franken-mouse and up-skirting Roombas (Podcast)

On today's show, scientists discover that shocking tiny artificial brains with electricity produces the equivalent of short-term memory. Apocalypse nigh. Also, the Supreme Court rules against Microsoft in the i4i patent case, Apple goes Calvinball with a NEW RULE that says they won't take a cut of in-app subscriptions. Plus, Citibank got hacked ... a month ago. Thanks for the heads up, guys.

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