• "We Know You Are Frustrated": Sony Restores Network, But Will Trust Follow?
    Almost a month after taking down its own gaming and entertainment network to deal with a security breach, Sony Online Entertainment and the Playstation Network announced over the weekend that after an earlier false start, services were being restored.
  • Univision Launches Web and App-First Comedy Soap, 'No Me Hallo'
    While many Web publishers keep looking for that one Webisode hit, Univision has been building a nice little trove of regular digital video content at NovelasySeries.com. Generally the site aggregates updates and clips, blogs and interactive material for the many soap operas and other dramatic series on the network. But it is also becoming a place where viewers get to see digital-only fare. In one of the more ambitious projects to date, Univision will launch on Monday the comedy series "No Me Hallo" (Finding Myself) across both the Web and mobile apps.
  • Howie Mandel Blows the Lid Off That Pizza Guy Tipping Scam
    Have you thought about the cost of that delivered pizza? No, really? There is the cost of the pie itself. Ka-ching. Then there is that tip. Ka-ching. And then there is...well, there is that tip. Targeting the massive fraud surrounding the real price of ordering a pizza, Red Baron Pan Pizza launched a series of video exposés yesterday on Facebook starring "Deal or No Deal" star and comedian Howie Mandel. With video cameras apparently planted everywhere, Mandel appear to invade a series of everyday American families to demonstrate the superiority of baking your own pizza instead of ordering.
  • Stay With Me: Test Driving Google's Netflix/Amazon/Apple Wannabe
    It is a good thing Google has synchronized the its recently upgraded movie rental service across the YouTube and Android brands. It was easy to get confused this week. Early in the week Google announced that it was adding 3,000 top tier releases to its heretofore-minor collection of online rentals. A day later the same movies are at the Android Marketplace.
  • 'I'm a Mac, and I'm a PC': The Collectors' Edition
    One of the most successful branding campaigns of the last decade paired nerdy looking John Hodgman and laidback, too-hip-to-seem-hip Justin Long in Apple's now-iconic PC vs. Mac series of ads that harpooned all of the Windows platform familiar weaknesses. From its basic unhipness to its notorious restarts, and even to the Vista debacle, Apple was merciless in its targeting of the rival, dominant operating system. The beauty of the campaign is that unlike other brand-on-brand hit jobs the ads rarely seemed mean. The haplessness of Hodgman's persona and the familiarity of the anti-PC complaints somehow insulated Apple from looking unfair. …
  • Grandma Shoots a Rat... And Other Pick Your Own Land Rover Adventures
    Land Rover certainly knew its youthful target market's cultural history when it designed a truly novel online campaign for the upcoming Evoque compact car line. Most of these urban-dwelling late twenty-somethings and thirty-somethings surely recall the enormously popular "Choose Your Own Adventure" series of books that let kids pick endings and paths through a story line. The Being Henry interactive movie at HelloEvoque.com/beinghenry puts that format to the service of introducing the highly customizable new car. Dubbing itself "An Interactive Action-Love-Fantasy-Comedy-Adventure About Choices," the ploy ends up being effective and absorbing despite the overtly manipulative tone of the premise.
  • Thanks, Amazon for That Low-Def Rebate
    How many years has it been since we all settled on standardized WiFi protocols? For all of the progress we have made in compatibility, WiFi remains the most inscrutable, consumer-unfriendly and ultimately unreliable piece of the connected home. When my Apple TV HD trailers take forever to buffer and play I still don't know who to blame: my WiFi connection, ISP, Apple's pokey iTunes servers, or the fact that my cat passing across the living room may have disrupted the bouncing "N" radio waves. And so I was pleasantly surprised that at least one content provider recognized the issue and …
  • Demand Media Looking to Become More Than It's 'Cracked' Up to Be
    Any American kid with half an ounce of good old native wiseassism in him was reared on Mad magazine. And somewhere on the edge of most of our consciousness was this pale echo of Mad, Cracked magazine. Always feeling that Cracked was an obvious wannabe Mad, I have to admit I rarely ventured into its pages. Only in adulthood did I discover that many of the writers and artists who graced Mad also came in and out of Cracked's stables since its inception in 1958. So imagine my surprise when I happened upon the now defunct humor mag online at …
  • Video News is Good News: 85% of Media Sites Now Use Video
    The explosion in syndicated content, easily embeddable code, and the torrents of clips coming to the Web are paying off in streaming media pretty much everywhere. According to the third annual survey of web media companies by D S Simon, 85% of them now carry video, representing an increase of a third from last year. Television media was already at peak penetration, with 96% of venues carrying clips, but the 2011 Web Influencers Study found that virtually every other category of news, especially newspapers and radio, now make video de rigueur.
  • We Want Our Playstation Network Back: Sony Offers Make Goods on Massive Outage
    The takedown of the Sony Playstation Network is big news for gamers, but it probably should be a chilling cautionary tale that deserved greater attention outside the realm of Portal 2 junkies. For those not up to speed, the network that serves tens of millions of PS3 (50 million sold) and PSP owners worldwide got breached last week by intruders, which exposed personal information from millions of members to some hackers out there. It is still unclear to Sony or anyone but the intruders whether credit card information was taken. But the breach prompted Sony to take down and reengineer …
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