TV on Demand From NBC, CBS — But Not For IPod

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Two more TV networks will begin offering primetime shows on demand for a buck a pop, but not through iTunes online store, reports Reuters, because of fears of digital piracy.

“NBC and CBS unveiled separate plans on Monday to make some of their hottest prime-time shows available for viewers to watch at their leisure — without commercials — for 99 cents an episode, throwing open the door to “on-demand” television,” the Reuters report says.

NBC will offer “Law & Order SVU” and “Criminal Intent,” “The Office,” and the cable show “Battlestar Galactica” to viewers with a DirecTV Plus DVR.

Likewise, CBS will offers four hit shows on demand — “CSI,” “NCIS,” “Survivor” and “The Amazing Race” — to Comcast digital cable customers in various cities.

Both platforms are pretty well locked down, with no easy way for owners to get video off the settop boxes and onto file-sharing networks.

In a seperate Reuters report, NBC said it will offer movies and hit shows online only when watertight copy-protection mechanisms are in place.

“We can’t provide them (Google, yahoo and presumably Apple) with content unless they can adequately protect it,” said NBC Universal Chairman Bob Wright.

The Burgeoning Business of Podcasting

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BusinessWeek looks at the rapid commercialization of podcasting:

“In February, Volvo agreed to pay $60,000 for a six-month sponsorship of the monthly podcast of Weblog Inc.’s Autoblog, as well as advertising on the site itself. Over that period, the show was downloaded 150,000 times.

Because the number of listeners is changing fast, a flat-rate sponsorship can end up being a bargain or a bust. KCRW, the public radio station in Santa Monica, cut a deal with Southern California Lexus Dealers for a sponsorship this summer, when the station was getting 20,000 downloads a week. Since then the number spiked to 100,000. When the Lexus deal ends, KCRW plans to charge $25 per thousand listeners. “Once we get out of this sweetheart deal, our goal is to cast our net as wide as possible,” says Jacki K. Weber, KCRW’s development director.

The rates podcasters are getting are attracting attention. Although there aren’t reliable figures for the whole field, the $25 per thousand listeners that KCRW plans to charge seems to be about average for popular podcasts. That’s pretty lofty, considering a New York City morning radio show charges between $12 and $15.

…Podcasters are experimenting with ways of pulling in money without advertising. This Week In Tech, an indie podcast with over 200,000 listeners, asks for $2 donations per month and rakes in around $10,000 a month.”

‘One More Thing…’ Special Event Not About PowerBooks, Power Macs

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The big flaw in ThinkSecret’s fun-spoiling story that next week’s special event will about PowerBooks and Power Macs, is that Apple doesn’t hold special media events for these kind of upgrades.

Incremental upgrades of existing products are usually ushered in with a press release, or a Macworld mention at best.

Oh, and now ThinkSecret’s saying it is about the iPod, but not the video iPod. New iPod–but not video–on next week’s itinerary.

Sorry, but I’m not convinced.

CherryOS Trial Version Rereleased

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A trial version of the CherryOS Mac emulator is once again available for download from the Maui X-Stream website.

The $50 Windows software purportedly emulates a G4 processor, allowing a Windows XP machine to run Mac OS X.

The CherryOS was a source of some controversy last year.

It’s initial release last October was greeted with a mixture of excitement and skepticism, given the claims of its supposed developer, programmer Arben Kryeziu.

Kryeziu claimed to have written the complex application from scratch in just four months, and that it performed almost as fast as the host processor — two pretty unlikely claims.

Then programmers discovered CherryOS contained unacknowledged code from a similar open source project, PearPC. Under the rules of PearPC’s license, any borrowed code should be acknowledged.

Kryeziu denied using PearPC code and promised the software would be rereleased in Q1 2005. It seems he kept his promise — at least part of it.

The CherryOS still contains PearPC code, according to a report at BetaNews:

“CherryOS boots up in the exact same manner as PearPC, and its error messages and source files are nearly identical. The emulator also includes MacOnLinuxVideo, which is the same driver used by PearPC to speed up graphics. The CherryOS configuration file also closely mirrors that used by PearPC.

According to tests by BetaNews, CherryOS launches a second process and covers the window within its own display. Thus, when CherryOS is running, a second taskbar entry appears without icon.”