YouTube filters estimated to be 75-85% effective

About a year ago, Google implemented video filtering on YouTube in an effort to prevent the uploading of unauthorized content and to aid in the monetization of videos. ZDNet reflects on this anniversary with a 15 page PDF (available only to registered users), in which Rick Cotton, NBC Universal Chief Counsel, discusses the filters on YouTube. Cotton states that monthly the filters are improving and are now capable of capturing 75-80% of all of the uploads that are not legal.

YouTube to offer full length movies

In its seemingly never ending quest to make YouTube profitable, it appears that Google has landed a deal to start offering feature films on the site. According to an executive at a major entertainment company, we could see movies appearing within the next months.

Microsoft counts on Gears of War 2 as Xbox 360 blockbuster

Microsoft seems to have a real good handle on introducing critical features and content for the Xbox 360 when it counts. Gears of War 2 will be released to 20,000 retailers this week and should also have a positive impact on Xbox 360 and should help jumpstart Christmas sales.

Steam takes off into the cloud

Entertainment is going to make its first careful steps in cloud computing as Half-Life creator Valve is rolling out a free cloud-based extension to its Steam network that will enable players to store their game settings and controller configurations online.

Netflix opens Silverlight streaming beta

Chicago (IL) - Netflix has begun the first phase of what appears to be a carefully orchestrated roll-out of a major movies streaming service called “Watch Instantly”. Paired with Microsoft's Silverlight technology, Netflix aims to deliver a next-gen platform for HD video rentals over the Internet. If it succeeds, it may give Apple's iTunes a serious run for its money.   

Netflix and Tivo teaming up for movie partnership

Netflix appears to be unstoppable these days: Following recent additions of Netflix streaming to Blu-ray players, Mac Computers and the Xbox 360, the company is expected to announce a long awaited partnership with Tivo today.

Beatles songs to return to stage in new video game

Apple Corps is not quite ready to release the song catalog of The Beatles as digital downloads as we had hoped for yesterday, but announced a significant step into this direction nevertheless: MTV and Rock Band developer Harmonix are working on a new music video game title that intends to leverage “the entire span” of Beatles songs ranging from the first album Please, Please me, released in 1963, to Abbey Road, released in 1969.

MTV and Apple Corps to launch global music ‘project’

Viacom’s MTV Networks as well as Apple Corps, a company formed by The Beatles in 1968, will unveil a global music “project” on Thursday, the two companies announced today.

Xbox 360 to stream Netflix movies in HD

Starting November 19, Microsoft will be coming a lot closer to its goal to turn the Xbox 360 into the universal home entertainment most of us will ever need. Microsoft’s deal will open up the Xbox 360 to an all-you-can-eat video streaming fest that covers more than 10,000 movies and TV shows. What is unique about the Xbox-Netflix relationship is the fact that the console will get HD content, which not only pitches it against Apple’s hobby project Apple TV, but also against Blu-ray.

World of Warcraft population grows to more than 11 million

Blizzard said that the subscriber base of its massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) World of Warcraft has surpassed the 11 million mark, which is about the same as the population of New York City and Chicago combined, the population of Ohio – or more than the entire population of Greece.

New Wal-Mart MP3 store challenges iTunes with lower prices

Wal-Mart relaunched its MP3 store with more than 3 million DRM-free songs in a much cleaner layout and new store navigation features. As Wal-Mart’s overall music sales are falling behind Apple’s iTunes, the company knows it will not be able to compete in terms of content selection. Conceivably, pricing will be the next battlefield – an area where Apple is vulnerable and possibly the only opportunity for one Wal-Mart to score wins in the near future.

Silverlight opens Netflix to Macs

When Netflix rolled out the “Watch Instantly” functionality to its subscribers, Apple users were left out in the cold. Now, utilizing Microsoft’s Silverlight, Netflix plans to roll out online TV streaming to all of its users by the end of the year.

Battle of the Bands: Rock Band set list vs. Guitar Hero sequel

They have been two of the biggest video game franchises launched in recent years - and both Rock Band and Guitar Hero are in the news again: The former with a new set list and the latter with a new sequel.

Microsoft to delay Xbox Live Primetime

When Microsoft announced at E3 2008 that it would be introducing Xbox Live Primetime for the Xbox 360, the company suggested that it would launch in the fall along with the revamped Xbox Live service. But according to a report by Forbes, Microsoft will delay the launch in order to ensure a smooth launch for the new user interface.

Lala's music service tries one more time

Tonight, LaLa will go live offering individuals a fresh new way to not only expand, but also easily manage their personal music collections: the new service will allow users to stream music they store on their home PC to any other device they own, as long as it is connected to the Internet.  

Hands-on SlotMusic: How not to introduce a new music format

Review – Sandisk has been capturing headlines with a new music format called SlotMusic, pitched as a microSD card-based replacement for audio CDs. I have been patiently waiting for the first SlotMusic and today found it at a local BestBuy. I had no reason to believe that it would not work just like any other digital music, but I was wondering how far the “No DRM” promise goes. Read my first impressions here.

Wii, Xbox 360 leave the PS3 behind

Market research NPD firm released its latest game console shipment estimate for the U.S. Both the Nintendo Wii and Microsoft Xbox 360 showed sharp upticks, while the PS3 gained significantly less – and has not gained any ground on Microsoft Xbox 360 since its launch almost two years ago. Extra: CHARTS and SLIDESHOW

iTunes receives a truck load of HD shows

Following several content deals that significantly expanded the iTunes movie and TV catalog, Apple said it is now offering popular television shows from all four major networks in HD. The company accelerates its efforts to move Tunes Store video content to HD to push its broader living room initiative centered around its Apple TV set-top box.

EA says 99.8% of gamers don’t care about Spore DRM

EA Games CEO John Riccitiello, speaking in a Q&A session at the Dow Jones/Nielsen Media and Money Conference, noted that 99.8% of gamers really don’t care about DRM. 

Sandisk announces $15 SlotMusic albums, $20 player

Sandisk today revealed more details about the upcoming SlotMusic, which appears to be an attempt to replace the traditional audio CD as a physical music storage format. Stored on 1 GB microSD cards without DRM, SlotMusic is an option for those who do not want to download their music, but purchase entire albums and play them in devices such as cellphones.