Six Free Online Storage Services
Don't want to spend money and installation hassles on new storage hardware for your precious media? Whether it's for sharing memories in the form of digital photos and videos over the web—or just practical documents you want to protect against that all-too-common hard disk crash, these six services offer secure, and often free, ways to back up your files and get access to them anywhere. The services also provide a way to share your data with others without sending huge email attachments or FTPing or hosting them yourself. Most of them offer drag-and-drop for easy uploading. Though there are scores of online storage services, we focused on ones with free plans and interesting features: box.net, DropBoks, eSnips, MediaMax, OmniDrive, openomy
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Microsoft, BT launch mashup contest
Microsoft and BT have launched a mashup competition, offering prizes of up to $25,000 (£12,700) to the winning developers.
The companies are looking for entries that combine today's Internet and telecommunications applications to create something new and useful. The competition will be part of Microsoft's Connected Services Sandbox--an environment where developers can create and test new mashups --which launched two months ago.
Mashups are applications that take data from several Web services to create a new offering. They were one of the hot topics of 2006, on the back of the excitement of Web 2.0.
BT hopes that the competition will help it deliver unified offerings to small-business customers.
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Apple Inc. Wins Control of 'Apple' Brand From Beatles' Apple Corps
iPod maker Apple (AAPL) said Monday it settled long-simmering trademark issues with The Beatles' Apple Corps Ltd. company about the use of the name "Apple" and apple logos.
The new settlement replaces the companies' 1991 agreement, and gives Apple Inc. ownership of all the trademarks related to "Apple."
In addition, Apple Inc. will license certain of those trademarks back to Apple Corps for its continued use.
Click here to view the 1991 agreement between Apple Computer and Apple Corps.
This settlement ends the ongoing trademark lawsuit between the companies, with each paying its own legal costs, and Apple Inc. will continue using its name and logos on iTunes.
Further terms weren't disclosed.
Wal-Mart launches movie download store
Wal-Mart Stores Inc. has launched its long-awaited online movie download store, entering a market that has yet to catch on with consumers but is expected to grow rapidly.
A "beta" version of the online video store, which debuted Tuesday, sells digital versions of about 3,000 films and television episodes from all the major studios and some TV networks, including Fox Broadcasting. Wal-Mart will not initially offer content from ABC, CBS or NBC, although the company said it hopes to add shows from those networks.
The nation's largest retailer is using its buying power to beat the prices charged by other download services in many cases, offering films from $12.88 to $19.88 and individual TV episodes for $1.96 — 4 cents less than Apple Inc.'s iTunes store.
Apple charges less for some films sold on iTunes — $12.99 when pre-ordered and during the first week of sale, or $14.99 afterward. But it only carries films from two studios, The Walt Disney Co. and Viacom Inc.'s Paramount Studios.
Most studios have resisted signing deals with iTunes in part because of Apple\'s desire to sell movies at one price. Studios prefer variable pricing such as Wal-Mart is offering.
Apple's pricing has also caused scuffles between studios and major retailers, including Wal-Mart and Target Corp. The retailers don't want studios to sell digital copies of films cheaper than the wholesale price of physical DVDs.
Wal-Mart's online store will sell older titles starting at $7.50, compared with the $9.99 charged by iTunes.
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