YouTube Teams With IGN To Broadcast E3, Continues To Ramp Up Live Streaming

Next week, the world’s leading video game makers and throngs of fans and press will unite for E3, which is generally regarded as the most prominent annual gaming-focused news event. And this year, fans will be able to watch live, thanks to a live stream that’s being broadcast through a partnership between YouTube and gaming portal IGN.

YouTube will be live streaming the main press conferences (Sony, Microsoft, Nintendo, EA, Ubisoft) and content from IGN’s E3 booth which will include game demos and interviews. All of this will be available on the channel

IGN has of course been covering E3 for as long as I can remember. But this is new territory for YouTube, which has been gradually ramping up its live streaming efforts in the last year or so. YouTube live streams used to primarily focus on political events, but it’s since streamed a handful of concerts, the Tiger Woods press conference, and the Indian Premier League’s cricket tournament.

We also recently found evidence of a live stream button available on some YouTube accounts, though the shot in question was of CitizenTube which regularly broadcasts livestreams. Still, Max Haot, the CEO of Livestream, felt that the button was “strong evidence” that YouTube was planning to launch a live streaming feature.

I’ll be surprised if YouTube launches a live streaming option for individuals in the near future (it would be a huge liability). But clearly the site isn’t afraid of working with trusted partners, and I expect we’ll continue to see more deals like this one.

Update: It’s also worth pointing out that Ustream will be broadcasting content from E3 through partnerships with G4 and 1UP. Their channel is

You Know Where Else It’s Hard To Delete Your Account? Mahalo

With regard to his recent spat with Facebook we don’t exactly see eye-to-eye with Mahalo CEO Jason Calacanis. But this morning, we did when an incident showed just how hard it is to delete your Facebook profile. But after reading that post, someone brought up a very good point. You know where else it’s hard to delete your account? Mahalo.

Seriously, try to figure it out. You won’t be able to because apparently there is no option to do it on the site itself. In fact, according to these two pages you have to email someone at Mahalo to do it. At least Facebook has a (albeit hidden) button!

You know what else you apparently can’t do from Mahalo? Get your data out. This is another thing Calacanis has been bitching about nonstop for the past several weeks. Though it’s undoubtedly much more complicated than he makes it out to be on Facebook, it shouldn’t be nearly as hard to get your social data out of Mahalo. And yet, unless I’m missing it, there is no big export button (which he has called for Facebook to create) there either.

While we’re on the subject, what’s with all the Facebook integration on Mahalo? There’s a giant Facebook Connect login at the top of every page — and each page features one-button sharing to Facebook. If Calacanis is so against it, shouldn’t he put his startup where his mouth is?

Weekend Giveaway: An HTC Incredible from Skyfire

You know you want it. You know you need it: A Droid Incredible running on Verizon of your very own. How can you get one? Well, our friends at Skyfire totally want to give you one. Click through for more information.

Skyfire, the company that released the first Flash-video enabled Android browser last month want to celebrate the browsers success in style, watching some of their favorite videos on a mobile device. And, they’ll let you do the same thing, even for one lucky TechCrunch reader who might not be incredible enough to have an Android.

This is an international contest, so get cracking.

Read more…

Dogster And Catster Go To The Groomer, Come Out With Freshly Curated Fur

When it comes to social sites on the Internet, Dogster and Catster have to be doing something right — they’ve been profitable for the past three years. But that doesn’t mean they should just sit back and not tweak the sites at all to offer a better user experience, and they know it. That’s why both sites have undergone a complete refresh. In what CEO Ted Rheingold is calling basically a “full reboot,” the logo, layout, taglines, and even the services have all been revamped.

For those unaware of the obvious, Dogster is a social network for dog owners, while Catster is a social network for cat owners. But Rheingold started realizing that people weren’t just coming for the social aspects of the sites, they were coming for information and services. So this revamp puts an emphasis in those areas. It’s a mixture of community created content and professional content.

Community services are great for adding tons of content, but not for organizing it,” Rheingold says. And with so many people coming to the site from search engines, they often get confused when they get there. So the two sites are now much more curated. Those running the sites look for the best information provided from the community and mix it with the best professional information they have to put up. Rheingold feels this mixture is the best way to do it because, “people don’t like trusting what they read on the internet from other people — often, they like experts. But experts usually have an angle though so people don’t always trust them either.” In fact, he thinks this mixture will be the future of all community content sites.

On top of the refresh, Dogster and Catster have a few new partnerships they’ve entered into. The first is a long-term strategic partnership with You can now search for and bookmark adoptable dogs and cats via the adoption areas on Dogster and Catster. And those that decide to adopt will be pointed to Dogster and Catster as a way to keep getting information about their new pets.

Another relationship involves Yext, which allows Dogster and Catster members to find the best vets in their area. Rheingold notes that Yext does such a good job with services like this that it just made much more sense to partner with them rather than try to do their own thing.

Finally, Dogster and Catster are some of the first partners to use Hunch’s new decision-making widgets. “The goal here is to present the lowest barrier to engagement for a persone with questions while still offering someone customized help,” Rheingold says, noting that even users without profiles can get access to great information this way.

Another new thing Dogster and Catster are trying is engagement emails. Rheingold realizes that a lot of people visit sites but then don’t go back for whatever reason, so this is a way to keep them involved with information they may care about. For example, if Dogster/Catster knows you got a puppy or kitten six months ago, they might now send you an email to give you some information that you should know for animals that age. Rheingold notes that they have a million registered users but advertisers don’t care so much about that — they just care about engagement. And this is a way to keep people engaged.

Rheingold also notes that Dogster and Catster are seeing about 4 percent of all of their traffic coming from the iPhone now. That’s much more than he ever expected, and that was another reason why they wanted to redesign the site. Everything is much better suited for a smaller screen now, he notes. Mule Design were the ones who worked on the redesign.

Information provided by CrunchBase

Google Voice Desktop App Launch Delayed, May Be Scrapped

When Google acquired Gizmo5, a Skype competitor, in November Google Voice users rejoiced – presumably they’d be getting a much needed soft phone on the desktop for users to make and receive calls through Google Voice.

We confirmed that the application had been rewritten and was being tested internally at Google in April. Some Google employees continue to use the app, we’ve confirmed.

But don’t expect it to launch publicly any time soon, we’ve heard from multiple sources. Why? an internal religious debate about desktop software.

Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin don’t want Google to be in the business of creating software outside of the browser, say our sources. And that’s consistent with Google’s product launches over the last several years.

Of course it ignores the efforts that Google is putting into developing their own Chrome browser, Chrome operating system and Android operating system, as well as a variety of mobile apps – all are software that installs on computers or mobile devices.

But there may be a hard line when it comes to pure desktop apps like Google Voice. So the team has been sent back to the drawing board to try to make a workable soft phone that will work entirely within the browser using HTML 5.

Possible? Nope, not today, and not at scale, say our sources. Skype tried for years to create a browser based version of the service and never launched. The biggest problem is around proper integration with the microphone, it’s just really hard to get good sound quality with HTML 5 today.

In a year or two that may change. But users don’t want to wait a year. For now they can get a Skype phone number for €50/year and forward Google Voice to that. But you can’t call out of Skype using your Google Voice phone number (Update: strike that, see comments below – you can set Skype called ID to your Google Voice number), and that cost is fairly expensive for a soft phone.

I say rules are made to be broken, and this is one of them. Release the client, Google. We want it.

Rdio Silence: Apple Delays iPhone App Update For Reasons Unknown

Last week at the D8 conference, and again at Apple’s WWDC event, chief exec Steve Jobs said there was nothing inherently wrong with Apple’s review procedures for new and updated iPhone applications.

Specifically, Jobs stated several times on both occasions that 95% of all incoming apps get approved for the App Store in seven days. Those that don’t, he added, tend to violate some ground rules: crashing often, using unpublished APIs, defaming real people, or by advertising an app differently than what it actually does.

That may well be, but it makes the isolated cases where all those exceptions don’t apply stick out like a sore thumb. We hear Apple’s review process is actually getting slower again for some developers.

Cases in point: Appsfire, which we wrote about yesterday, Reeder (which has a great iPad version of its iPhone app waiting to get approved) and now, freshly launched music subscription service Rdio.

Rdio, with backing from well known European entrepreneurs Janus Friis and Niklas Zennstrom of Skype, Kazaa and Joost fame, was soft-launched in the United States last week to much fanfare. But as we noted in December 2009, their iPhone app has been in the App Store for much longer than that (though unusable for most anyone).

I’ve been trying out the service and the iPhone app since last week’s launch, and expect to do a full review real soon. In short, I think it’s phenomenal.  It stacks up against Spotify any day, and I think we’ll be hearing a lot about this startup in the coming years.

Only problem so far is, their iPhone app doesn’t really function all that well, and the company has acknowledged this on their Twitter feed in the past.

I’ve spoken to a number of people close to the company about this, and from what I can gather they submitted an updated app with a couple of bug fixes weeks ago, but Apple is making the review process a long-winded road for them with little or no communication.

No one from Rdio will officially confirm this to me (yet), but from what I understand there’s a sneaking suspicion that what is holding Apple back isn’t actually the app, but the music service that it channels.

Of course, we haven’t yet seen what Apple is going to do with its iTunes-in-the-cloud service (rest assured that it’s coming, though) so this is all speculation. But what if they don’t really like what Rdio is doing because they see it as direct competition? Does that mean Rdio for iPhone, and by extension other jukebox-in-the-cloud services like Spotify and Rhapsody stand a chance of being “Google Voice’d” out of the App Store because the functionality is similar to a service Apple will provide in-house?  That would certainly explain the delay.

2011 Ford Mustang: A Driver’s Perspective

Let’s not call this article a review. I’m not going to drone on about interior creature comforts or available options. I’ll just state up front that they are on par for a $22k+ car and besides, other outlets have covered those items extensively.

No, what follows is a description of what the 2011 V6 Mustang feels like to drive. This car is something special. It’s a rare amalgam of real power, affordable price and driving excitement that hits you hard and makes you beg for more.

YC-Funded FanPulse Launches Web App In Time For The World Cup, Scores Deal With The NHL

Back in February we wrote about a new startup called FanPulse that takes the check-in gaming mechanic popularized by Foursquare and applies it exclusively to sporting events. The premise is simple — checking in at a game lets you quickly connect with other sports fans, and also makes it easy to get real-time stat updates and even sports-related discounts (you can check it from your living room or the stadium itself). Today, just in time for the World Cup, FanPulse has some news to share: it’s forged deals with major professional sports organizations including the NHL and Golden State Warrors, it’s launched a new website to compliment its iPhone application, and it’s disclosing that it is part of the latest batch of companies to come out of the the Y Combinator program.

When FanPulse, which is headquartered at San Francisco’s Dogpatch Labs, launched in February, it was available only as a free iPhone application. Now it has a web presence that includes the same functionality available on the iPhone; co-founder Vishwas Prabhakara says that both a mobile webapp and support for Android are on the way this summer. The FanPulse homepage features a stream of current sports events that lets you quickly catch up on scores from whatever league you’re interested in (in light of the World Cup you’ll notice that soccer matches are currently most prominently displayed, but the site also features today’s MLB games).

Clicking on a current game gives you an option to ‘Check-in’ there, which immediately lets you start interacting with other fans that are watching or attending the same event. As with Foursquare, you can earn badges and points by checking into these games, and there’s a leaderboard that is reset once a week. You can engage with other fans using the ‘shout’ feature (which is effectively a forum created for each game) and by making predictions. So far, the site has been drawing strong engagement numbers, with each registered user spending 18 minutes on an average visit.

FanPulse also recently launched a new ‘Pro Account’ option that will appeal to quite a few sports fans. The biggest draw is an alerts system that will send you an iPhone push notification whenever there’s a in an-game event that you’ve deemed to be especially interesting (for example, a baseball game in the bottom of the 9th with the bases loaded, or a soccer game that’s gone to a shootout). ‘Pro’ users also have access to special badges and animated emoticons that they can use in their ‘Shouts’ (the messages users post in a game’s chat room).

Finally, the company has been busy at work signing partnerships with various professional sports teams and leagues. It signed a deal with the National Hockey League last season that would reward fans checking into a hockey game with a special badge that would give them discounts at NHL shops. It also did a deal with the Golden State Warriors that would offer any fan to check into a game a discount code for tickets to a Warriors homegame. This turned out to be very effective, drawing a 8.3% conversion rate. Prabhakara says that the company is currently in talks with several organizations and is hoping to further expand their partnerships next season.

There are quite a few other companies looking to combine social networking with sports. In fact, Y Combinator has invested in at least two of them: FanChatter, which helps sports teams boost engagement during and after games, and 140bets, which is a platform used for interacting with sports and other events in real-time.


Information provided by CrunchBase

Just When He Thought He Was Out, Facebook Pulls Calacanis Back In

This morning, we got a tip that despite all the hubbub about Jason Calacanis deleting his Facebook profile, it was still active. Sure enough, it was. So what gives?

We emailed Calacanis to find out what the deal was — was he just bluffing about deleting his account? It’s hard to believe that was the case considering just how vocal he’s been against Facebook, and he even has video proof of him deleting the account. But as the video shows, there’s actually a 14-day wait period before you can actually delete your account. In those 14-days, your profile is simply “deactivated.” But as of this morning (way more than 14 days after that video was shot), Calacanis’ account wasn’t deleted, nor was it even inactive, it was there in full glory (complete with a cute “Facebook Ghost” picture).

It turns out that a few third party sites may have been keeping his profile alive without him realizing it. For example, his YouTube favorites were getting imported into his stream automatically, and he had to sever that connection to make sure his account remained inactive over the 14 days so Facebook could delete it. We’ve come out in support of Facebook during some of this press backlash, but this is pretty ridiculous if true.

Flat out: it should not be this hard and complicated to delete your account if you want to. If you hit the “delete” button (after making sure you really want to do that, of course), it should automatically sever any ties third-party sites have into your profile and delete the account.

Update: Calacanis writes to us to clarify one bit: “the third party sites didn’t turn it back on… i needed to login to a 3rd party site that i used FB connect on (i think last week)… might have been an iphone app, i can’t remember. so then my account goes back on and all the connected services start flooding it.” He then continues, “but who knows… the stuff is so confusing!

We’ve reached out to Facebook for comment on this and will update when we hear back. Meanwhile, below find an email Calacanis sent to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, COO Sheryl Sandberg (his wink & smile partner), and TechCrunch editor Michael Arrington (who emailed him about why his account was still active). He’s given us permission to print this email in full. Obviously, he’s pissed off. And Facebook just a few minutes ago did actually remove his account.

Subject: Re: did you ever actually delete your fb page?

(cc zuck/sandberg)

Seems my personal Facebook got turned back on by a 3rd party service
that logged into it… which shows the lock in Facebook has. you
signup for a 3rd party service with Facebook connect, then delete your
facebook page and then can’t get into that service! Then when it goes
back on, Youtube starts posting your youtube favorites again… so i
have to go to youtube and turn that feature off.

There is no way to delete your page from the Facebook global
navigation–you have to do a google search to find Facebook’s hidden
delete page! insane.

Then if you want to delete your page it takes a half-dozen steps AND
they still don’t delete it… they leave it on for ANOTHER TWO weeks
in case you change your mind.

Zuck/Sheryl: you should have one click delete from the Account
settings page. This is the kind of little details that makes Facebook
look heavy handed.

Zuck2/Sheryl2: Would it kill you to put an “export all” feature on
Facebook? Just doing that would make Facebook look so magnanemous and
it would get the Government to stop looking at you guys as their big
target. You could then say “you can delete everything with one click
and you can export everything with one click.”

The lock in on Facebook is absurd….

If you guys made these two simple changes the folks upset at Facebook
could say “wow… facebook is changing their ways and listening to

Would it kill you guys to have an export feature like every other
major service on the planet?!?! 🙂

best j

And here’s the follow-up email he sent to us:

You have my permission to print entire email….

my only goal is to see Facebook treat users better. to use your metaphor, they are pissing in our flowerbed. the flowerbed being internet users.

i don’t have anything personal against mark… in fact, after the D conference i feel sympathy for him. he obviously doesn’t feel good about the reaction to his service.

paradoxically, they are the most talented product team in the internet space and yet they don’t add export features or data portability or open standards for things like Like. they could build them in a day or two–certainly a week or two–and the world would love them EVEN MORE.

Update: And now Facebook is effectively saying Calacanis is lying.

SCO/Novell Lawsuit Is Over, SCO Loses

It is over. The SCO’s long-running lawsuit against Novell over a number of patents involved around Unix copyright. In short, SCO claimed to own Unix even after Novell bought it back near the turn of the century. SCO’s patent-trolling has been shameless. The once great company reduced itself to a lawsuit machine and essentially attacked IBM and Novell for years. You can read all about the mess here, but trust me, this has been one of the nastiest patent wars in recent history.

The judge’s final decision was based on a number of false claims by SCO as well as “financial interest in the litigation.”

Read more…

The End Of An Era: Hotmail Ditches The Taglines

“Hotmail: Free, trusted and rich email service. Get it now.”

When Hotmail launched in 1996 it grew fast. Very fast. It was one of the first free webmail providers, and they had a killer marketing idea – add a tagline at the end of every single email sent from hotmail to promote the service. Every time you sent an email you were spreading a marketing message virally.

That led to a $400 million acquisition by Microsoft and the beginning of the “viral” age on the Internet. There wasn’t a business plan put in front of a venture capitalist for years that didn’t have a slide or two on how their product would spread virally via its users.

Today Hotmail will finally kill off the tagline. “We want to start respecting the inbox” Brian Hall, Microsoft’s general manager of the Windows Live Business Group, told me yesterday. He says it’s still a great way to get new users. “But some people don’t think it’s professional,” he says.

Hall also says that Microsoft will cut back on the number of marketing messages they send to Hotmail users. In fact, if users aren’t opening those emails, Hall says they’ll stop sending them entirely. Users can also choose to have all emails stopped as well. When asked why they send them at all, he said that some users actually seem to like them and use them to discover new products and services at Microsoft

Exit To Nowhere: The Conundrum Of Being An Independent Mobile Ad Network Under Apple’s Rules

A look at Apple’s new developer licensing agreement a few days ago revealed that the Cupertino-based company may have just completely blocked Google’s AdMob from serving ads on the iPhone and iPad. According to the new terms of the agreement, only “independent” ad-serving companies will be able to serve ads. AdMob, because it’s “an advertising service provider owned by or affiliated with a developer or distributor of mobile devices, mobile operating systems or development environments other than Apple” (i.e. Google), would be restricted from serving ads on apps for the iPhone. AdMob CEO Omar Hamoui confirmed this on Wednesday in an official response from AdMob. Apple has yet to issue a public statement on this issue, but the true winners in terms of ad networks appear to be independent ad networks such as Millennial Media, Greystripe, Medialets and others who can all continue to serve ads on the immensely popular mobile platform.

Some independent networks have been quick to commend Apple. Yesterday, Greystripe issued a statement on its blog expressing its pleasure at the turn of events. “We are pleased that Apple’s new terms and conditions explicitly allow independent ad networks, like Greystripe, to operate on the iPhone and iPad platforms,” writes marketing director Dane Holewinski. “It confirms the value of 3rd party ad networks that enable developers to earn great revenue with their applications.” Greystripe CEO Michael Chang commented to us, “the new terms and conditions provide an advantage for independent mobile ad networks to secure their share of the rapidly expanding market.”

In the long run, however, the picture may not be all rosy for these independent ad networks. Following Google’s whopping $750 million acquisition of competitor AdMob and Apple’s $275 million pickup of Quattro Wireless, Greystripe, Millennial, Jumptap and others must have been salivating at the thought of similarly huge exits.

But the new terms put these networks in an awkward position. If they are acquired by a company, the acquirer can’t be a developer or distributor of mobile devices, mobile operating systems or development environments other than Apple. So that rules out Microsoft, any telecommunications company (AT&T, Sprint, Verizon), Nokia, HP (because of the Palm acquisition), and RIM. So what does this leave? Yahoo, AOL and media companies, including News Corp, Comcast and others. The clause essentially limits the pool of giants who can actually buy one of the remaining mobile ad networks and still serve ads on iPhones, iPods, and iPads.

This is all assuming that Apple enforces the rules uniformly and makes no exceptions. Ultimately Apple can decide to let whoever they want serve ads on their devices. But if they do make an exception, the likelihood that Apple would allow a Microsoft-owned company to serve ads is small if Google isn’t allowed to do the same.

Microsoft could very well buy an independent network, and sacrifice the ability to advertise on the iPhone. Similar to Google, Microsoft has their own OS, and can work to build up that product and serve ads. But Ad networks also have to consider the financial risk of being excluded from the ad ecosystem for iPhone apps. In terms of usage, Apple has about 28 percent of the U.S. smartphone market, according to recent stats from Nielsen. While Android ad impressions are on the rise, the Apple OS is the dominant platform. According to Millennial’s April stats, the Apple OS took a 62% share of Smartphone impressions. And the mobile advertising market is a billion dollar market and is only expected to grow by leaps and bounds over the next few years.

The other twist to this is the FTC’s rumored interest in the debacle. Apple’s policy seems to block specifically Google-AdMob, but of course the excluded list could grow longer if Microsoft or another tech company bought an independent ad network.

In the end, it looks like Apple’s policy could hurt both Google and the independent ad networks at the same time.

Photo credit/Flickr/Brian Hillegras

Adobe’s Lightroom 3 Lets Amateur Photographers Edit Like Pros

Product: Lightroom 3

Manufacturer: Adobe

Wired Rating: 8

Remember when managing your photos used to involve dropping them into a folder and forgetting about them? Those days are over. Now, practically everyone from soccer moms to CEOs have ditched amateur hour handouts like iPhoto and Windows Live Photo Gallery for more capable, grown-up image-editing software.

One such piece of software is Lightroom, Adobe’s flagship kit for processing and organizing RAW image files — the unfiltered, uncompressed image data generated by your camera’s sensors. And its newest iteration, Lightroom 3, is reworked from the ground up to create a fast, proficient and generally awesome photo editing experience.

Adobe rewrote much of the underlying code for Lightroom 3 and it shows the minute you fire it up. In Lightroom 2, large image libraries frequently meant blurry, pixelated previews that took a few seconds to resolve into sharp thumbnails. At times it felt like using a prehistoric, web-based editor. Not Lightroom the Third. Thumbnail previews remain sharp even when you’re scrolling through massive image libraries (we loaded up a collection with 35,000 RAW images). Common tasks like switching from Library view to Develop view and exporting images to Photoshop are noticeably snappier. Essentially, everything about Lightroom 3 is really freaking fast when compared to Lightroom numero dos.

Also improved in Lightroom 3 is the new Import dialog, which has been rejiggered to resemble the rest of the app. The Import panel also has a few nifty tricks like the ability to zoom before you import. That means no more importing, then weeding out the blurry shots. Also kicked up a notch are the new set of sharpening and noise-reduction tools, which make it simple to get rid of noise in high-ISO images. The upgraded algorithm Adobe uses to weed out noise does an excellent job and manages to preserve the details of your image.

If you’ve got a RAW-capable point-and-shoot camera that is capable of high ISO settings, Lightroom 3 is worth the money for the noise reduction alone. While stand-alone noise-removal tools, like Noise Ninja, offer more fine-grained controls, Lightroom 3’s built-in tools are good enough that we’ve largely cast Noise Ninja aside.

Unfortunately, we can’t say the same for the new chromatic-aberration tools. Chromatic aberration refers to the unnatural fringes you sometimes see in the borders between dark and bright parts of a digital image (it often manifests as a purple halo). We were disappointed to find that Lightroom 3’s new tools failed to correct anything more than very light chromatic aberration. That’s not a problem for newer DSLRs, which generally don’t produce much distortion, but if you’re looking to patch up some heavy distortion, look elsewhere.

If you frequently use a wide-angle lens with significant barrel distortion, the new lens-correction tools can make fixing those distortions a one-click process — provided your lens is one of the supported Nikon, Canon or Sigma lenses.

Of course sometimes the lens distortion is exactly the effect you want, so Lightroom has separate controls for each type of distortion — for example you can correct barrel distortion, while leaving a natural vignette.

For those who use lenses without profiles, Adobe Labs offers a separate app, Adobe Lens Profile Creator, which you can use to make your profiles. Unfortunately, if you’ve got one of the new Micro 4/3 cameras, like Panasonic’s slick GF1, you’re basically screwed, there is currently no way to create a profile for Micro 4/3 cameras.

Lightroom 3 has also gone social, integrating with Flickr so you can upload, view comments and interact with your Flickr stream. Keep in mind that you’ll only see Flickr images published from Lightroom, there is no two-way sync. However, if you’ve got a Flickr Pro account you can edit and update images you’ve already uploaded from Lightroom.

Curiously, Lightroom does not currently offer any integration with Photoshop Mobile, Adobe’s own online storage and editing service.

The new Publish panel, which is where you’ll find the Flickr tools, does have a second option to publish to somewhere on your hard drive. As a bonus feature, the new publish tool means that you can now use Lightroom to manage your iPhone photos — just publish your Lightroom images to a folder and tell iTunes to sync photos from that folder.

While it’s not without it’s shortcomings, Adobe Lightroom 3 secures Lightroom’s place as the Cadillac of RAW editors and is more than worth the modest upgrade price.

WIRED Faster, sleeker, sexier upgrade from Lightroom 2. Greatly improved noise reduction and lens correction. Thumbnail preview is sharper than a Mensa meeting. Flickr integration. Finally.

TIRED Chromatic-aberration tools are straight up janky when compared to other improvements. Some might call it pricey when there’s so much freeware floating around out there. No integration with Photoshop Mobile is a bit baffling.

product image

Media General To Sell Yahoo Display Advertising At TV Stations

Media General this morning announced that it plans to extend part of its Yahoo advertising sales partnership to all of its network-affiliated television stations by the end of 2010, thus self-reportedly becoming the first member of the Yahoo Newspaper Consortium to do so.

The move comes after completion of a pilot program in four of Media General’s television markets.

Media General said it will expand the program to eight additional television stations later this month and will continue in the four pilot markets: Birmingham, Ala., Columbus, Ohio, Mobile, Ala. and Greenville/Spartanburg and S.C./Ashville, N.C.

Media General has been selling Yahoo Display advertising in five markets, including newspapers and TV stations, since 2007. The company says it generated $7 million in Yahoo revenues at its newspapers in 2009, and that it estimates that amount will grow to approximately $10 million this year.

The sale of Yahoo! Display advertising by the company’s television stations is expected to increase Media General’s total Yahoo! Display revenues by approximately 50 percent on an annualized basis.

(Via press release)

Motorola And RIM Make Peace, End All Outstanding Litigation Worldwide

Is it Christmas?

Motorola and BlackBerry maker Research In Motion have just jointly announced that they have entered into a settlement and licensing agreement that ends all outstanding worldwide litigation between the two companies.

The financial terms of the agreement include an up-front payment and ongoing royalties to Motorola. Further terms and conditions of the agreement will remain confidential.

According to the press release, Motorola and RIM will “benefit from a long-term, intellectual property cross-licensing arrangement” going forward. The agreement involves all parties receiving cross-licenses of various patent rights, including patent rights relating to certain industry standards and certain technologies, such as 2G, 3G, 4G, 802.11 and wireless email.

In addition, the parties will transfer certain patents to each other.

Motorola sued RIM in the beginning of this year, accusing the company of illegally using Motorola’s patented technology since 2007, after expiry of the agreed licence period.

The issues related to a proprietary wireless technology owned by Motorola pertaining to Wi-Fi access, user interface and power management.

Motorola had gone to the US International Trade Commission to try to get imports of RIM devices banned, in addition to a lawsuit filed in a federal court in Texas. Motorola was seeking an injunction banning RIM products in the United States.

Just 3 weeks ago, RIM also settled a patent dispute with Prism Technologies over authentication software used in BlackBerry devices for an undisclosed amount of money.

Next up, Kodak? (which has also charged RIM with patent infringement)