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Feed Techdirt: NBC Direct: Why Designing Consumer Entertainment Services By Committee Is A Dumb (

Even as NBC is working with Fox on their "Hulu" online video effort, the company, which has shown a stunning lack of understanding of the trends and economics it faces, has launched its NBC Direct video download offering that is noteworthy only for the amount of scorn being heaped upon it from almost every reviewer out there. It appears to have made every single mistake in the book. Limited only to Windows users with IE, draconian DRM, bizarre policies that make the content expire quickly and, of course, clunky software that's difficult to set up and use. Excellent work. Perhaps if NBC spent a little less time worrying about poor corn farmers and a little more on actually providing a product that people wanted, it would get somewhere. Instead, it seems pretty clear that Jeff Nolan is exactly right in describing what happened here. NBC Direct was designed by committee. A bunch of different groups had their say and wanted to make sure this or that "feature" (i.e., "restriction") got added, so as not to interfere with some other plan. None of those people were concerned about the overall product or (gasp!) the customer experience. So what you get is a totally unusable (and, really, who would want to?) service that was a total waste of time and effort by NBC. And, this is the company that's blaming Apple for destroying the entertainment business? Compare NBC's approach to how Apple designs its products, with a strict focus on how it will be used by the consumer. For all the blame NBC is throwing at Apple, it might want to take a look at itself first.

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Feed Engadget: Garmin's GPSMAP 5x15 and 4x10 units do GPS up large (

Filed under: Displays, GPS

With these two screens it's more about potential than actual application: Garmin built these GPSMAP displays to tie in to the "Garmin Marine Network" and provide a large display to show GPS, radar, autopilot, weather, sonar and other miscellaneous boating info on an easy to read screen. The GPSMAP 5015 and 5215 (pictured) feature a 15-inch XGA touchscreen, while the 4010 and 4210 sport a 10.4-inch SVGA screen with a keypad and a set of soft keys for using all your onboard gizmos. Unfortunately, none of this will do you much good out of the water, but we've had it with these 7-inch nav units the industry keeps foisting upon us -- we're ready to do it up boat style.

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Office Depot Featured Gadget: Xbox 360 Platinum System Packs the power to bring games to life!


Russian Hacker Gang Vanishes Again 64

Arashtamere writes "The shadowy hacker and malware hosting network that only recently fled Russia to set up operations in China has now pulled the plug there and vanished yet again. An analyst at VeriSign's iDefense Labs unit said iDefense had tracked RBN's migration earlier in the week from servers based in Russia to ones running in China, after obtaining at least seven net blocks of Chinese IP addresses. As of Wednesday, RBN controlled 5,120 IP addresses assigned to Chinese service providers; known RBN clients were even seen using those addresses that day. But with its China move putting the spotlights of the media and the security community on the organization, RBN suddenly went offline on Thursday. 'They severed connections to six of the seven net blocks on November 8,' the analyst said. RBN as a single organization may be dead and gone; it may even now be breaking up into smaller pieces farmed out to multiple countries' Internet infrastructures."
Media (Apple)

Submission + - Zune 1 vs Zune 2 vs iPod (

Bruce writes: "Zune is an iPod killer? How does Microsoft Zune player stack up against Apple's latest video iPods? According to iPod's and Zune's comparison, let's compare them side by side."
It's funny.  Laugh.

Submission + - Why You Feel Like Less of a Man Once You Marry

theodp writes: "Just in case you haven't picked up this month's Current Anthropology, it's official — getting married saps your testosterone. After measuring testosterone in 205 Ariaal men in Kenya, researchers found that those with one wife had lower levels of the hormone than unmarried men, and men with more than one wife had the lowest levels of all. 'Testosterone levels are lower among married men probably because they are investing less in mating effort,' said Peter Gray of the UNLV. Ball Finder, anyone?"

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