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Google eyes pay television: report
by Staff Writers
San Francisco (AFP) Nov 3, 2011

Google is thinking of getting into the pay television business as modern lifestyles increasingly turn to the Internet for entertainment, The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday.

The Journal cited unnamed sources as disclosing that Google is considering adding cable-style television programming as well as telephone features to a high-speed Internet project in Kansas City, Missouri.

Google has discussed the idea with major television firms but no deals have been made, according to the Journal.

The company declined to comment on what it referred to as speculation.

The unconfirmed news came as Google set out to breathe new life into its moribund Internet television platform with the roll-out of second-generation Google TV software.

Google is among technology firms betting that the future of home entertainment is films, television shows and other video content streamed on demand over the Internet.

The California Internet titan last year launched Google TV, which is powered by Android software and Chrome Web browser and can be accessed using Sony TVs or set-top boxes from Logitech that route Web content to existing television sets.

Sony and Logitech have both slashed prices on Google TV offerings in the face of disappointing sales.

Updated Google TV software seeks to make it easier and more intuitive for viewers to find online video.

"The Internet marks a new chapter for television," Google said in a blog post.

"This chapter is not about replacing broadcast or cable TV; it's not about replicating what's on TV to the Web.

"It's about bringing millions of new channels to your TV from the next generation of creators, application developers and networks."

Google owned online video venue YouTube is adding about 100 channels of original programming to the globally popular online venue for video sharing.

YouTube's dive into original content includes deals with celebrity partners such as pop music star Madonna and actor Ashton Kutcher.

"Even more talented creators and original entertainment will soon join YouTube's existing channel lineup," YouTube global head of content partnerships Robert Kyncl said in a blog post last week.

Google reportedly laid out more than $100 million to establish the partnerships, which come as it tries to become a preferred source of content for Internet-linked televisions.

"These channels will have something for everyone, whether you're a mom, a comedy fan, a sports nut, a music lover or a pop-culture maven," Kyncl said.

The first of the original channels will appear on YouTube this month with more added through the coming year.

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Kodak fate could hinge on selling patents
San Francisco (AFP) Nov 3, 2011 - Iconic US camera maker Kodak Eastman on revealed Thursday that surviving another year could hinge on selling patents or borrowing money.

The warning was filed with US regulators on the same day that Kodak reported it lost $222 million in the quarter ending September 30 despite an encouraging 44 percent increase in its inkjet printer business.

Overall revenue in the quarter sank 17 percent to $1.462 billion when compared to the same period a year earlier.

The New York State company said in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing that the ability to continue operations in the coming 12 months depended on an infusion of cash from selling patents or taking on debt.

The 131-year-old company said it could seek as much as $500 million in financing. Kodak noted in the filing that it can not assure either method of raising cash will work.

Kodak chief executive Antonio Perez said during an earnings conference call that he was pleased with the interest expressed in a batch of patents the company targeted for the auction block about four months ago.

"These required statements shouldn't be misunderstood in any way as a dampening of my optimism in our ability to complete the sale of our digital-imaging patent portfolio, which is very high," Perez said.

The company, which has hired a law firm for advice on a possible restructuring, said in late July that "exploring strategic alternatives" for its patents for digital imaging.

Kodak lowered its revenue forecast for the year and raised its expected operating loss to somewhere between $400 and $600 million.

The company's stock price slid more than six percent to $1.12 per share in after hours trading that followed the release of the earnings report.


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Amazon opens lending library for Kindle readers
San Francisco (AFP) Nov 3, 2011
Internet retail giant Amazon.com on Thursday opened a lending library of digital books available free to owners of its popular Kindle electronic readers. To borrow from the Kindle online library people must be members of Prime, a premium Amazon service that provides free two-day shipping on all items purchased and unlimited streaming of online films and television shows. The annual subsc ... read more

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