June, 2011

3D still a gimmick

3D In the 1950s, 3D cinema was supposed to save moviegoing from the ravages of newfangled television techology. But it turned out to be a classic gimmick: a technological response to what was really a market problem. Consumers weren’t choosing TV over the movies because movies lacked spectacle; they chose it because it filled the need for casual entertainment in the convenience of their living room. […]

When you’re GeoHot, you’re hot; when you’re Howard Stringer, you’re not

Hackers What a striking contrast in the fortunes of Sony chairman and CEO Sir Howard Stringer, and those of George Hotz, the hacker formerly known as GeoHot, who was sued by Sony earlier this year for cracking the PS3 security system. Facing frustrated, and at times hostile, shareholders at Sony’s annual meeting Tuesday, Stringer acknowledged that the lawsuit against Hotz triggered a backlash from hacker groups […]

Netflix looks for new friends on Facebook

Deals Netflix obviously wasn’t kidding when it announced earlier this year that a “major” integration with Facebook was in the works. Last Thursday, the two companies announced the Netflix CEO Reed Hastings will join the Facebook board of directors, about as close an integration as you can get without a formal merger. Oddly, the announcement didn’t actually tell us much about how Netflix actually plans to […]

The limits of unlimited movies

Box Office Lots of buzz this morning about MoviePass, a start-up hoping to bring Netflix-style all-you-can-eat subscriptions to the big screen. For $50 a month, MoviePass subscribers will be able to see unlimited movies in theaters using their smartphones as a ticket. Using the MoviePass web app (native iOS and Android apps are in the works), subscribers can search for movies and showtimes at participating theaters, […]

Site-blocking battle going global

Copyright From virtually a standing start in the U.S. last year the debate over blocking access to so-called rogue web sites that host copyright infringing content has escalated rapidly into a worldwide battle. Last week, a group of leading technology investors and venture capitalists sent a letter to members of the U.S. Congress warning that the Protect IP Act (PIPA), which was approved by the Senate […]