Archive for November, 2008

PostHeaderIcon Apple iPhone advert banned for ‘exaggerating’ its speed

Apple iPhone

An Apple iPhone advert has been banned by the advertising standards watchdog for exaggerating the phone’s speed.

The advert boasted the new 3G model was “really fast” and showed it loading internet pages in under a second.

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) upheld complaints by 17 people who said the TV advert had mislead them as to its speed.

Apple UK said it was comparing the 3G model with its 2G predecessor and its claims were “relative not absolute”.

The advert repeatedly stated that the phone was “really fast” and showed news pages and the Google maps service taking just fractions of a second to appear.

Text on the screen said: “Network performance will vary by location.”

After upholding the viewers’ complaints, the ASA said the advert must not appear again in the same form.

It said the advert was likely to lead viewers to believe that the device actually operated at or near to the speeds shown in the advert.

The watchdog concluded: “Because we understood that it did not, we concluded that the ad was likely to mislead.”

Apple said its claims were “relative rather than absolute in nature” – implying the 3G iPhone was “really fast” in comparison to the previous generation – and therefore the advert was not misleading.

The company also said the average consumer would realise the phone’s performance would vary – a point they said was made clear by the text stating “network performance will vary by location”.<p

This article is from the BBC News website. © British Broadcasting Corporation

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PostHeaderIcon Jerry Yang to quit as Yahoo boss

Maggie Shiels
Technology reporter, BBC News, Silicon Valley

Jerry Yang

Jerry Yang, the co-founder of Yahoo, is to stand down as the internet portal’s chief executive officer.

His departure follows lengthy criticism of his stewardship of the company, which has seen its share price collapse to about $10.

Earlier in the year he fought off a hostile takeover bid from Microsoft which offered $33 a share.

Mr Yang also told the workforce that he would be participating in the search for his successor.

“I will always do what is right for this great company,” Mr Yang wrote in an e-mail to employees.

The BBC was told that Mr Yang made the decision to leave as chief executive officer last month. No names were given as to who will succeed him.

The company, based in Sunnyvale, California, said it is interviewing candidates inside and outside Yahoo in a search led by chairman Roy Bostock.

“Jerry and the board have had an ongoing dialogue about succession timing, and we all agree that now is the right time to make the transition to a new CEO who can take the company to the next level,” said Mr Bostock.

low shares

Earlier this month at the recent Web 2.0 Summit in San Francisco, Mr Yang surprised the industry when he told conference attendees that Microsoft should still buy the company.

“I don’t think it’s a bad idea at all, at the right price whatever that price is. We’re willing to sell the company,” he told a packed audience.

The declaration came hours after Google had pulled out of an internet advertising deal with Yahoo amid increasing scrutiny from the Department of Justice.

Mr Yang said he was “disappointed” Google had pulled out of the partnership.

Mr Yang’s e-mail to employees ended with the words: “All of you know that I have always and will always bleed purple” – in reference to the predominant colour on the company’s logo.

Yahoo’s shares closed on Monday at $10.63, giving the company a valuation of only $14.7bn

This article is from the BBC News website. © British Broadcasting Corporation

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PostHeaderIcon Full-length MGM films on YouTube

By Maggie Shiels
Technology reporter, BBC News, Silicon Valley

Reese Witherspoon in Legally Blonde

YouTube, the largest video-sharing website, will show full-length films from Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer’s archives.

The partnership is aimed boosting advertising revenue for both YouTube and the Hollywood studio.

It will result in the launch of a video-on-demand channel called Impact, dedicated exclusively to action films, TV shows and clips.

“I think it will grow into a nice little business,” said Jim Packer, co-president of MGM Worldwide Television.

He told the BBC that YouTube made an ideal partner because of its 280 million monthly users.

“I think YouTube has something that a lot of sites don’t have.

“They have a lot of people walking through their front door everyday. And if they are smart in how they grow this, YouTube should have a successful business also,” said Mr Packer.

The videos will cost users nothing to download but will contain advertising.

Initially they will only be available in the US. But there are plans to open the service elsewhere once rights issues have been cleared.

‘Entertainment destination’

Google, which bought YouTube two years ago for $1.65bn, has been searching for ways to make money out of the site without driving away its huge fan base.

The site has been facing competition from other video-sharing services such as Hulu, which offers programming from NBC Universal and News Corp’s Fox as well as MGM.

Cast of Star Trek

Under an agreement YouTube has already signed with CBS, users can download classic TV shows such as Star Trek, MacGyver, and Beverly Hills 90210.

It has other arrangements in place with companies like the BBC, Sony, Lionsgate and Oprah.

YouTube said that striking a deal with MGM made sense given their commitment to deliver premium content online.

“YouTube is committed to helping our community of fans discover new content and reconnect with their all time favourite TV shows and movies,” said Jordan Hoffner, director of content partnerships for the company.

“By partnering with MGM, YouTube is strengthening its position as an entertainment destination where Hollywood studios can reach a global audience.”

‘Growing forum’

The YouTube Impact channel will feature clips from MGM classics such as Rocky, Ronin, Legally Blonde, and The Magnificent Seven.

The films on show include Lone Wolfe McQuade and Bulletproof Monk, as well as those starring the actor Chuck Norris.Daniel Craig

“It’s safe to say you won’t see those blockbuster theatricals shortly after their release or after their TV window,” admitted Mr Packer.

Neither will users see any of the James Bond films playing on YouTube.

“They do very nicely on their own under existing licences and we are very protective of that content,” Mr Packer said, adding: “There are plenty of other films we would like to expose.”

He told the BBC that he did not expect to be the only studio to make these kinds of deals.

Mr Packer also said there were plans to launch another five to 10 channels.

One will showcase episodes from the popular programme American Gladiators from the 1980s and 1990s. Another would be aimed at female viewers.

“We are in the process of figuring out a female-skewed brand,” explained Mr Packer.

“We could put up a number of say romantic clips from shows like Moonstruck and put up a number of key feature films and create a female targeted site that would get a much higher advertising rate.”

MGM said it hoped new channels would be launched within the next 18 months

This article is from the BBC News website. © British Broadcasting Corporation

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