Apple Debuts App Store in Advance of iPhone 3G

Apple’s App Store has arrived. Apple launched its App Store Thursday which features third-party applications for the iPhone 3G one day in advance of the much anticipated iPhone 3G which goes on sale Friday. The App Store became available this morning when Apple released its 7.7 version of the iTunes software. The App Store will also be available directly from the iPhone 3G’s software.

To access the App Store you need the latest version of iTunes. As of 8:30am ET iTunes was only available via download through Apple’s iTunes download page – not through the iTunes automatic update service. The App Store is also not on the iTunes Store homepage, so click here (ONLY after you update to iTunes 7.7) to check out all the iPhone goodies. The apps can be downloaded now, but you won’t be able to use them until tomorrow when the new iPhone 3G and the iPhone software upgrade come out.

MySpace Launches ‘Krofft Kwikies’

 

MySpaceTV has launched “The World of Sid & Marty Krofft,” a channel that will draw from the duo’s library of quirky children’s skeins of the 1970s and ’80s.

The channel, which the social network will operate on revenue-sharing basis, will feature “Krofft Kwikies,” streamlined versions of skeins such as “H.R. Pufnstuf,” “Land of the Lost” and “Lidsville.” The Kroffts will regularly update videoblogs based on their iconic properties, several of which are being developed for the bigscreen. Universal’s “Land of the Lost,” for example, is scheduled for a July 17, 2009, release.

You can check out the channel here. (From Variety)

New Minisodes for The Office to Air On July 10th

 

NBC.com announced that The Office webisodes will go live on Thursday, July 10th at 3pm (ET) on NBC.com.


In “Kevin’s Loan,” the second series of The Office webisodes, Kevin (Brian Baumgartner) pursues a unique solution in an effort to pay back his looming gambling debts. This installment also stars Oscar Nunez, Leslie David Baker and Craig Robinson.

A Christmas Story: Ultimate Collector’s Edition DVD

Warner Home Video has announced A Christmas Story: Ultimate Collector’s Edition for release on the 4th November. Extras will include commentary with Peter Billingsley and director/ co-writer Bob Clark, Original readings by Jean Shepard, author and voice narrator of A Christmas Story, 2 featurettes (“Get a Leg Up”, “A History of the Daisy Red Ryder”), a Another Christmas Story documentary, Triple Dog Dare Interactive Trivia, Decoder Match Challenge, Hidden “Presents”, and the original theatrical trailer. All will be festively packaged in a collectible retro holiday cookie tin, along with five collectible cookie cutters in iconic Christmas Story shapes; a 48-page cook book filled with recipes inspired by the film; photos and quotes and a custom-designed chef’s apron. Suggested retail is $39.99.

 

 

 

All Star Batman and Robin, The Boy Wonder Volume 1 Hardcover

One of the most talked-about Batman stories ever — conceived by modern master Frank Miller (Batman: Year One, The Dark Knight Returns) and artists extraordinaire Jim Lee and Scott Williams is collected in hardcover for the first time! Lee and Miller join forces to tell a new version of Dick Grayson’s origin in a high-octane tale that unfolds with guest appearances by Superman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, Black Canary, and more! This volume collects issues #1-9 of the acclaimed series.

The 240 page edition was released this week and can be ordered here.

BMW Kinetic Sculpture

One particularly stunning highlight from the 125 exhibits packed into the newly-renovated BMW Welt in Munich is a mechatronic installation by ART+COM, the Berlin-based interactive media company. The project uses 714 metal balls that are individually suspended one barely visible strings, creating an seemingly weightless, amorphous mass. Each ball lowers and retracts independently, which allows them to approximate almost any form.

 

The installation moves through a cycle of classic and contemporary BMW car shapes from throughout the company’s 90-year history. In between cars, it goes through some impressive routines, showing the creation’s versatility. Take a look at one visitor’s video below.

 

Maghound

 

Magazine buying may get an Internet-era makeover in September when Time Inc. launches Maghound, a service that promises to blend the convenience of subscriptions with the flexibility of newsstand sales.

 

Customers will pay a monthly fee for home delivery of the publications they want. But unlike with subscriptions, which typically run for fixed terms, users can go online and swap one title for another whenever they want.

 

“The magazine industry is a little challenged now” in circulation and ad sales, says Maghound Enterprises President Dave Ventresca. “It needs some innovation. And this is our best swing at it.”

 

He will begin with 300 consumer magazines. They’ll include Time’s most popular titles, including People, Sports Illustrated and Fortune. Although he won’t name others, he expects to have deals with Hearst, Hachette, Rodale, Condé Nast, Meredith, Source Interlink, Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, Reader’s Digest Association and Wenner Media.

 

“It’s a great concept,” says Patrick Taylor, spokesman for Meredith, which publishes Better Homes and Gardens and Ladies’ Home Journal. “We’re always looking for innovative ways to test our magazines with readers.”

 

Users will pay about $5 a month for three magazines, $8 for five, $10 for seven and $1 for each additional. About 10% of titles, including some weeklies, will cost more.

Consumers in tests liked the freedom to have titles match their changing tastes, he says. Someone who loves the outdoors could read about skiing in the winter and golf in the summer.

 

Swaps may not take effect immediately. But Ventresca says that customers will be able to see online when they can expect to see the last issue of a current choice and the first issue of a new one.

 

“We hear consumers say all the time, ‘I just signed up for this regular subscription, and I’m already receiving notices to renew,’ ” he says. “And, ‘I don’t know when my subscription is going to expire.’ And, ‘The publisher wants me to pay $18 next year, and I don’t know what I paid last year.’ Those headaches go away with Maghound.”

 

That’s an encouraging pitch at a time when investment bank Veronis Suhler Stevenson forecasts that consumer spending on magazines will decline through 2011 and advertisers are retreating.

 

“The economy as a whole is so bad, everything is getting clobbered,” says Steve Cohn, editor-in-chief of trade publication Media Industry Newsletter.

 

It may take awhile for advertisers and publishers to figure out how to account for the sales to Maghound customers. They will be reported as single-copy sales. So Maghound users won’t see Internet material that magazines reserve for subscribers.

 

Publishers get customers’ names but can’t barrage them with appeals to subscribe or sell the names to third parties. Time, though, may have the right to do so. “You never know what marketing partnerships we’ll want to do,” Ventresca says. (Reprinted from USA Today)

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