Dec 4, 2009

Apple Has Acquired Lala


Earlier today we covered rumors that Apple was in talks to acquire streaming music service Lala. Now New York Times tech reporter Brad Stone has tweeted that it's a done deal. He writes, "Apple has acquired digital music startup Lala. Now updating our story". You can find the NYT story here.


This could be bad news for Lala users. It's unlikely that the innovative deals negotiated by Lala will survive through the acquisition. For over a year, Lala users have been purchasing the rights to stream their music an unlimited number of times for ten cents per song. If the deals with the music labels go up in smoke, Lala may lose the right to stream those songs. In other words, all the money users have been spending on web songs may go down the drain. If the deals are nullified, hopefully Apple will renegotiate them to at least cover existing purchases until it releases its own streaming music service. We've reached out to Lala but have yet to hear back.



Earlier today we covered rumors that Apple was in talks to acquire streaming music service Lala. Now New York Times tech reporter Brad Stone has tweeted that it’s a done deal. He writes, “Apple has acquired digital music startup Lala. Now updating our story”. You can find the NYT story here.


This could be bad news for Lala users. It’s unlikely that the innovative deals negotiated by Lala will survive through the acquisition. For over a year, Lala users have been purchasing the rights to stream their music an unlimited number of times for ten cents per song. If the deals with the music labels go up in smoke, Lala may lose the right to stream those songs. In other words, all the money users have been spending on web songs may go down the drain. If the deals are nullified, hopefully Apple will renegotiate them to at least cover existing purchases until it releases its own streaming music service. We’ve reached out to Lala but have yet to hear back.


Likewise, this may well affect the Lala music gifts that have been recently offered by Facebook, and it could also harm the Music OneBox service Google recently launched (though Google can still rely on MySpace/iLike for its song streams).


Stone writes that Apple is interested in Lala because of its engineering talent and technology, and that it was Lala that initiated the discussions. From the Times:


One person with knowledge of the deal, but who was not authorized to discuss it, said that the negotiations originated when Lala executives concluded that their prospects for turning a profit in the short term were dim and initiated discussions with Eddy Cue, Apple’s vice president in charge of iTunes.


This person said Apple would primarily be buying Lala’s engineers, including its energetic co-founder Bill Nguyen, and their experience with cloud-based music services.


The deal makes sense. It seems inevitable that Apple will eventually launch its own cloud-based streaming music service. And that’s exactly what Lala is — an iTunes in the cloud, with some interesting pricing mechanics.


A few other interesting things to note. This acquisition comes a little more than a month after Lala was integrated into Google’s OneBox and Facebook’s gift store. Lala may well have been viewing these launches as last-chance efforts to find a path to profitability. Given these reports that Lala’s “prospects for turning a profit in the short term were dim”, it looks like those launches may not have gone as well as Lala hoped.


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SGN’s Skies Of Glory For iPhone Looks Pretty Damn Fun


We've had a chance to play SGN's Skies Of Glory WWI person-to-person dogfighting game for the iPhone. But now they've released this trailer for the game to really show off what they've built. Look for a launch date shortly.

Video is below.



We’ve had a chance to play SGN’s Skies Of Glory WWI person-to-person dogfighting game for the iPhone. But now they’ve released this trailer for the game to really show off what they’ve built. Look for a launch date shortly.


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Man Promotes Band In The Middle Of Nowhere On Google Street View




We've heard of people getting upset when their picture shows up on Google Street View (the street-level picture you can zoom into from Google Maps). For this reason, Google blurs out people's faces for privacy. Others have protested Google coming down their street to photograph their house (cough, Paul McCartney). But can Google Street View also be used as a marketing vehicle?

Nate Heagy thinks so. He went to great lengths to follow a Google Street View vehicle and anticipate its movements so that he could set up a sign in its path and start playing a guitar so that he could promote his band, Fearless Salesman. Well, he is now on Google Street View. Heagy explains how he executed his bold plan:



We’ve heard of people getting upset when their picture shows up on Google Street View (the street-level picture you can zoom into from Google Maps). For this reason, Google blurs out people’s faces for privacy. Others have protested Google coming down their street to photograph their house (cough, Paul McCartney). But can Google Street View also be used as a marketing vehicle?


Nate Heagy thinks so. He went to great lengths to follow a Google Street View vehicle and anticipate its movements so that he could set up a sign in its path and start playing a guitar so that he could promote his band, Fearless Salesman. Well, he is now on Google Street View. Heagy explains how he executed his bold plan:


Last spring, . . . I hatched a plan to promote my indie band. After making a sign and keeping it in the trunk of my car for about a month I finally chanced across the google street view car. Then I had to follow it until I figured out its pattern, then get ahead of it with time to set up.


There is only one problem. His picture was taken in the middle of nowhere. Not only is it in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan (which is in Canada, for all you geography majors out there). It is on a random residential street in Saskatoon that maybe five people will ever look up. Until now, I guess. Damn you, Heagy!


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Dear FDA, Gimme My iMac


Today was supposed to be a joyous day in my apartment. As of yesterday, my new Apple iMac was to be delivered at some point this afternoon. But alas, it was not to be. But the reason why is a truly great WTF moment. Apparently, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has to approve its delivery to me.

Well, to be more specific, either the FDA or the Department of AG/PPQ has to approve it, according to UPS. Seeing as the FDA having anything to say about my computer makes no sense, I decided to check what the latter department was. Apparently, it's the Department of Agriculture. Again, WTF?


Screen shot 2009-12-04 at 11.49.33 AMToday was supposed to be a joyous day in my apartment. As of yesterday, my new Apple iMac was to be delivered at some point this afternoon. But alas, it was not to be. But the reason why is a truly great WTF moment. Apparently, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has to approve its delivery to me.


Well, to be more specific, either the FDA or the Department of AG/PPQ has to approve it, according to UPS. Seeing as the FDA having anything to say about my computer makes no sense, I decided to check what the latter department was. Apparently, it’s the Department of Agriculture. Again, WTF?


I don’t want to believe that either UPS or the U.S. Government are so stupid as to think that my Apple computer is actually an apple, but I can’t come up with any other explanation (and neither can people on Twitter). On my UPS tracking shipment screen right now all I see is “Exception” followed by a note that my iMac was held up in in Louisville, Kentucky because, “UPS HAS OBTAINED DOCUMENTATION AND SUBMITTED TO FOOD & DRUG ADMINISTRATION AND/OR DEPARTMENT OF AG/PPQ;AWAITING RESPONSE”


Sigh.


Those who follow me on Twitter may know that this is just the latest headache in obtaining this damn machine. I actually received the new iMac a few weeks ago (with no FDA problems — apparently FedEx is more on top of things), but it had one tiny problem: A crack in the massive 27″ screen. I’m not alone in this. So I sent it back.


And apparently all I’m getting in return is a lousy fruit basket. Or so the FDA thinks.


wtfapple


notaf


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Confirmed: Google Acquires AppJet, The Maker Of EtherPad


That didn't take long. Less than half an hour ago we broke the news that Google was in the process of acquiring AppJet, the startup behind the powerful real-time document editor EtherPad. The official EtherPad blog has just been updated confirming the news.

As we reported earlier, we're hearing that the acquisition price was in the low eight figures. The EtherPad post also says that they will be joining the Google Wave team, which is based out of Australia. CEO Aaron Iba, President & Chief Scientist David Greenspan, CTO J.D. Zamfirescu, and COO Daniel Clemens are all making the trip down under.


That didn’t take long. Less than half an hour ago we broke the news that Google was in the process of acquiring AppJet, the startup behind the powerful real-time document editor EtherPad. The official EtherPad blog has just been updated confirming the news.


As we reported earlier, we’re hearing that the acquisition price was in the low eight figures. The EtherPad post also says that they will be joining the Google Wave team, which is based out of Australia. CEO Aaron Iba, President & Chief Scientist David Greenspan, CTO J.D. Zamfirescu, and COO Daniel Clemens are all making the trip down under.


If you’re an EtherPad user, you’ll want to check out the company’s blog post for instructions on exporting your data. The service will continue to operate through March 2010, but no new free public pads can be created, and the company isn’t allowing new customers to sign up, either.


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