Google Debuts "Near me now" Mobile Location Feature

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Mountain View,
Calif.
– Google (NASD: GOOG) has integrated a
new location-based feature into the version of its Google.com website used on
an iPhone or Android-based mobile phone. Visitors to the site can click on a
new "Near me now" button, and receive results for nearby restaurants,
coffee shops, bars, banks and more. If the location provided by the phone is
accurate within a city block, another "Explore right here" feature
appears, which lists businesses within that block radius.


 

Related Links:
http://snipurl.com/u0m2h

(Google blog)

http://news.cnet.com/8301-13577_3-10430000-36.html

Mobile Content Firm Thumbplay Launches Music Service

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Las Vegas
– Thumbplay, a mobile entertainment distributor, this week launched a beta of
its unlimited streaming music application, which is initially available for
BlackBerry and as an Adobe Air desktop application. The company has licensed
"millions" of songs from all four major labels, as well as from CD
Baby, INgrooves, IODA, The Orchard and others for the service. Songs can be
cached locally on a user’s phone, so listening is possible without a network or
Wi-Fi connection. After a three-day free trial, Thumbplay Music will cost
subscribers $9.99 per month.


 

Related Links:
http://snipurl.com/u0m4q

Slacker Adds Local Song Caching to Mobile Radio Service

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Las Vegas
– Slacker, the provider of a music streaming service, on Friday announced new
versions of its mobile applications for iPhone, Android and BlackBerry that
allow songs to be cached locally on the phone for listening without a network
or Wi-Fi connection. The company also released a free Slacker Radio mobile application
for Palm’s Pre and Pixi smartphones, and said it added ABC News to its radio
offering.


 

Related Links:
http://snipurl.com/u0m85

Spring Design's Alex eReader to Feature Borders eBook Store

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Fremont,
Calif.
– Spring Design, maker of
the new Alex eReader e-book reader device, said this week that it has signed a
deal to feature the Borders eBook store powered by Kobo on its devices later
this year. Retail store chain Borders (NYSE: BGP) recently announced plans to launch a new
e-book store on Borders.com, offering more than 2 million titles, as well as
Borders-branded e-book applications powered by Kobo. The Alex eReader is
expected to ship on Feb. 22 with a $359 price tag.


 

Related Links:
http://snipurl.com/u0m78

http://www.springdesign.com

http://www.kobobooks.com

http://www.borders.com

Rovi Adds Content Partners to TotalGuide Web Program Guide

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Las Vegas – Rovi (NASD:  ROVI) (formerly Macrovision) this week announced
that it has added a number of content partners to its TotalGuide media guide,
which aims to provide a full listing of movies, TV shows and other content
available online for those with televisions with some form of Web access. The
company said that Showtime Networks, ZillionTV and Rhapsody, as well as 15
European content providers, will now provide content to TotalGuide, joining
existing partners like Blockbuster and CBS.

Related Links:
http://snipurl.com/u0m8p

http://www.rovicorp.com

Swiss File-Swapper, Age 18, Gets 2-Year Suspended Sentence

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Los Angeles
– An 18-year-old Swiss woman has been found guilty of copyright infringement in
connection with operating a file-sharing site, and given a two-year suspended
jail sentence and pay a fine, TorrentFreak reported.

Record label trade group
IFPI’s branch in Switzerland
produced evidence that the unnamed woman was making available 4,200 songs and
270 movies on a file-sharing network.

If the woman fails to pay the fine — a
sum not mentioned in the article — she will instead have to spend 30 days in
jail.

TorrentFreak noted that in a previous case in Switzerland, the administrator of
an eDonkey file-sharing network site was found guilty of copyright
infringement, but the penalty in that case was a fine of just $4,200.

 

Related Links:
http://snipurl.com/u0lsg

(TorrentFreak)

BMI Lawsuit Alleges T-Mobile Ringback Tones Unlicensed

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Los Angeles
– Performing rights organization BMI has filed a copyright infringement lawsuit
against wireless network operator T-Mobile USA (NYSE: DT), alleging the carrier has not properly
licensed music used on its ringback tone service, The Register reported.

In the
lawsuit, filed on Dec. 19 in federal court in Los Angeles, BMI alleges that T-Mobile has
infringed on over 50 titles from its repertoire.

"Despite extensive BMI
efforts spanning several years, T-Mobile has not signed a license agreement,"
BMI told The Register in a statement.

 

Related Links:
http://www.theregister.co.uk/2010/01/07/bmi_sues_t_mobile/

http://www.t-mobile.com

http://www.bmi.com

Venture-Backed Liquidity Stages Comeback in Fourth Quarter

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New York – Following three
quarters of sagging liquidity levels, U.S. venture-backed companies
staged a comeback in the private markets during the fourth quarter, according
to new figures from Dow Jones VentureSource.

During the quarter, 86 companies
were acquired for $7.3 billion, while three others raised $220 million through
initial public offerings (IPOs).

All told, 44% of the year’s total liquidity
was generated in the quarter.

"The fourth quarter has set the stage for an
active year in M&As in 2010," said Jessica Canning, the director of
global research for Dow Jones VentureSource.

"As the economy improves,
acquirers are gaining confidence in their own financial situation and returning
to strategic acquisitions. At the same time, the steady trickle of public offerings
is teasing investors who expect the IPO window will re-open in the coming
year."

 

Related Links:
http://www.fis.dowjones.com/VS/4QUSLiquidity.html

Report: Broadband Adoption Expected to Slow in 2010

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Silver Spring, Md. – Approximately 4 million U.S. households will become new
high-speed Internet customers this year, down 10% from 2009, according to a new
forecast by Pike & Fischer.

The firm estimates that about 65% of U.S. households
will be broadband-connect by year’s end.

Telephone companies are expected to
face a particularly difficult year, as they continue to lose DSL customers,
which still account for the bulk of their subscribers.

Newer wireless services,
however, should see an uptick in adoption, with Clearwire’s WiMax leading the
way.

 

Related Links:
http://www.marketwire.com/press-release/Pike-and-Fischer-1098917.html

http://www.broadbandadvisoryservices.com

Private Equity Fund-Raising Suffers Worst Year Since 2003

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New York – Last year, U.S. private
equity fund-raising suffered its worst year since 2003, according to new
figures from Dow Jones LP Source.

In 2009, 331 funds raised $95.8 billion, down
68.1% from the amount raised the prior year.

It marked the first time since
2003 that private equity firms raised less than $100 billion, and with the lone
exception of secondary funds, every sector experienced sharp slowdowns.

Among
the few bright spots were a new $8.8 billion fund for Hellman & Friedman,
as well as oversubscribed funds for Charles River Ventures and Matrix Partners.

 

Related Links:
http://fis.dowjones.com/products/lpsource.html