TiVo Teams Up With Amazon To Provide Shopping With The Remote

TiVo subscribers can now use their remote control to buy products seen on TV shows. TiVo announced that they have teamed up with Amazon to enable TV viewers to purchase products on the TV ads or related to their favorite TV shows without leaving their couch.

Scott Merlino, senior manager of business development at Amazon.com, said, “Teaming up with TiVo enables TV advertisers to break free of traditional shopping channel limitations and reach a specific, targeted audience regardless of which network or show they are watching. Now, a record label can merchandise and sell a new artist’s CD on a show where the music is featured, or a publisher can merchandise an author’s book during a talk show when the author appears as a guest”

TiVo’s Universal Swivel Search allows users to search in Amazon for targeted products for their favorite shows. Users can purchase the product immediately or add it to their Amazon shopping cart for later checkout. Purchases will be secured with a PIN associated with the user’s Amazon account.

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A Look At Facebook Redesign

Facebook has begun rolling out a major redesign of its social networking site this week with a cleaner and less cluttered user interface. The new design will gradually become available to Facebook’s more than 80 million users over few days.

In the new design, Facebook removed the leftmost column that contains the ‘Search’ and ‘Applications’, and moved the search box and applications menu to the main menu on the top. The site content width has also being expanded by about an inch. These two design changes give a less boxed-up feel to the whole site.

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Watch YouTube On Your Tivo

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You can now watch YouTube videos on Tivo digital video recorder (DVR). Available for users of broadband-connected TiVo HD and Tivo Series3 DVR models, the service allows Tivo subscribers to search for YouTube videos by keyword or browse videos by filters such as ‘Featured’, ‘Most recent’, ‘Top favorites’, ‘Most viewed’ and ‘Top rated’.

YouTube videos are streamed on-demand to the Tivo DVR, they are not stored on DVR, do not use any available recording space and do not appear on the Now Playing List. For mature contents on YouTube, Tivo advised subscribers to restrict the access using TiVo DVR’s built-in KidZone feature.

Tivo has posted a detailed instructions and videos on How to browse YouTube videos on your TiVo DVR.

Google Tweaks Automatic Contact Adding For GMail

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Google posted in its GMail blog that an update to GMail this week will give users more control over the contact list auto-added feature. This is in response to users’ complains that auto-added contacts by Gmail, which can not be turned off, clutter their contact list.

Previously, GMail automatically added all new e-mail addresses to your main contact list, designed so that email address can be auto-complete as you type when composing a new message, saving times from needing to look up in the contact list.

Google has now created a new “Suggested Contacts” list in addition to “My Contacts”. Any e-mail address which you sent out will appear under the “Suggested Contacts” list. If the address has been e-mailed five or more times, GMail’s default setting will automatically add the address to the “My Contacts” list. You however have the option to turn off this count based auto-added feature.

By having this tweaks, Google has managed to help the users reduce their contact list clutter, and at the same times preserve the auto-complete feature.

Via The Official GMail Blog

Apple Apologizes For MobileMe Launch Problems, Extends Free 30-Days Subscription

Apple, in an email to all MobileMe subscribers, apologizes for the many snags users encountered since the launch last week. In it, Apple mentioned they ‘have worked through those problems and the web apps are now up and running’. Apple is giving all subscribers a 30-day extension to their MobileMe subscription free of charge.

We have recently completed the transition from .Mac to MobileMe. Unfortunately, it was a lot rockier than we had hoped.

Although core services such as Mail, iDisk, Sync, Back to My Mac, and Gallery went relatively smoothly, the new MobileMe web applications had lots of problems initially. Fortunately we have worked through those problems and the web apps are now up and running.

Another snag we have run into is our use of the word “push” in describing everything under the MobileMe umbrella. While all email, contact or calendar changes on the iPhone and the web apps are immediately synced to and from the MobileMe “cloud,” changes made on a PC or Mac take up to 15 minutes to sync with the cloud and your other devices. So even though things are indeed instantly pushed to and from your iPhone and the web apps today, we are going to stop using the word “push” until it is near-instant on PCs and Macs, too.

We want to apologize to our loyal customers and express our appreciation for their patience by giving all current subscribers an automatic 30-day extension to their MobileMe subscription free of charge. Your extension will be reflected in your account settings within the next few weeks.

We hope you enjoy your new suite of web applications at me.com, in addition to keeping your iPhone and iPod touch wirelessly in sync with these new web applications and your Mac or PC.

Thank you,

The MobileMe Team

Apple MobileMe Now Live

Apple’s MobileMe service is now live at Me.com, an online service that offers web-based email, calendar, address book and online storage, with push services that will sync the MobileMe content to native applications on iPhone, iPod touch, Macs and PCs.

MobileMe replaces the .Mac service. Apple provides a ‘MobileMe Updater for Mac OS X’ that will convert the “.Mac” references in OS X to “MobileMe”. You can obtain this software via Software Update. If you do not find the update, go to System Preferences -> .Mac -> Account Details, and system will prompt you to go to Software Update that shows the MobileMe Updater program.

The Mac OS X Update For MobileMe is recommended for users running Mac OS X Leopard 10.5.4 and includes general system fixes that enhance your Mac for MobileMe.

Apple is banking on MobileMe’s push model to drive up the subscription, which is priced at $99 per year with 20G of storage. Push email service such as Blackberry has been very successful in the enterprise space.

More details about MobileMe: http://www.apple.com/mobileme/

Apple To Launch MobileMe On Wednesday July 9

apple-to-launch-mobile-me-wednesday-july-09Apple will launch its MobileMe service this Wednesday July 9 sometime between 6pm and 12am PST, according to a notice posted in the ‘system status’ column on the .Mac support site.

Apple announced the .Mac revamp in June during Apple Worldwide Developers Conference and rebranded it MobileMe. The new MobileMe retains many .Mac features, such as mail, calendar, contacts and online storage, with a new emphasis on push services to sync MobileMe contents with your computer and iPhone. .Mac features dropped from MobileMe include web access to bookmarks, slides, iCards and sync with OS X 10.3.
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Google Releases New Version Of Google Talk For iPhone And iPod Touch

google-releases-new-version-of-google-talk-for-iphone-and-ipod-touchGoogle has released a new version of Google Talk instant messaging application for iPhone and iPod Touch. Google Talk runs entirely under the Safari browser of iPhone and iPod Touch and there is no software to download or install. Just point your iPhone or iPod Touch browser to www.google.com/talk.

Announced the release yesterday in Google Mobile Blog, Google Talk for iPhone does not provide the same always on experience as the desktop version due to its web application nature:

There are some differences from using Google Talk on your computer. For instance, in order to receive instant messages with Google Talk on your iPhone, the application needs to be open in your Safari browser. When you navigate away to another browser window or application, your status will be changed to “unavailable” and your Google Talk session will be restarted when you return.

It is great to see more instant messaging platform release on iPhone, providing alternative to traditional SMS text messaging available on mobile phone. With AOL AIM Client confirmed for iPhone, let’s hope we get MSN/Windows Live Messenger and Yahoo! Messenger on board soon. Market share estimate that AIM has about 50 percent of the instant messaging market, followed by MSN/Windows Live Messenger and Yahoo! Messenger. Google Talk has about 2.5 percent of the market, according to Nielsen Online.