Tech news from around the web:

Yahoo‘s new chief executive Scott Thompson has a long to-do list waiting for him at the troubled internet company, according to several reports. Bloomberg suggests that Yahoo is interested in acquiring the Weather Channel, WebMD and, according to an anonymous source, as part of a “tax-efficient asset swap” with Alibaba and Softbank. Read more

When the National Football League yesterday struck a trio of eye-popping deals with big TV networks, the focus was rightly on just how valuable live sports have become to broadcasters today.

But buried in the press releases heralding the agreements (which will bring the NFL $24bn over nine years) was some rather revolutionary news: the TV networks also secured the digital rights to the most popular sport on television.  Read more

Tech news from around the web:

Black Friday – the day after Thanksgiving – saw $816m spent online sales, according to research and monitoring group Comscore, making it the heaviest online spending day so far in  2011 and representing a 26%  increase against Black Friday 2010. Thanksgiving Day, achieved a  18%  increase to $479m, Comscore reports. Read more

Tech news from around the web:

Sony Music, the recently acquired EMI, and Universal Music are all expected to offer MP3 downloads on Google’s music service, which the online search group is scheduled to unveil on Wednesday, Billboard reports. A person with knowledge of the negotiations leading up to the launch of Google Music told Billboard that Warner Music Group is still in talks to join the service. Read more

Tech stories from around the web:

Research In Motion is facing a possible class action lawsuit in Canada over the global outage that struck BlackBerry customers last month, Cnet reports. RIM said it would not comment on the suit, which was filed yesterday in Quebec Superior Court. Read more

It is a chastened Reed Hastings who has just decided to ditch his disastrous plan to split Netflix into two businesses – Netflix and “Qwikster” – and stick with what his customers liked in the first place.

Mr Hastings is right to back down – if nothing else, his bold experiment with “disruptive innovation” has mainly disrupted his own company. Its shares have not recovered since he raised prices and announced his plan to turn his DVD rental business into Qwikster while keeping the Netflix name for video streaming.

 Read more

Tech news from around the web – including a round-up of the latest news and speculation surrounding Tuesday’s launch by Apple:

Sprint, theUS mobile telecoms company, has made a multibillion-dollar committment to gain access to the latest iPhone models from Apple, The Wall Street Journal reports. Sprint has committed to buy at least 30.5m iPhones, even though – according to the WSJ -  it is likely to lose money on the deal until 2014.

Ahead of today’s launch, Vodafone Germany has started offering memory options of 16GB, 32GB and 64GB on the iPhone 4, TNW says. The move has fuelled rumours that Apple will not debut the iPhone 5 today – instead unveiling a low-cost iPhone 4 model and new iPhone 4S models. Read more

Tech news from around the web:

Online music streaming group Spotify is to open up its nascent US service, chief executive Daniel Ek told TechCrunch. Spotify in the US will no longer be invite-only and essentially be free for a user’s first six months of using the service. Read more

At first glance, the apology by Reed Hastings, chief executive of the US video service Netflix, for raising the base price of his video service by 60 per cent looks sincere and heartfelt – the kind of plain-speaking that is too rare in chief executives.

“I messed up. I owe everyone an explanation.”

 Read more

Tech news from around the web:

Netflix CEO Rex Hastings has announced that the online movie rental company is to separate the DVD and video streaming services, CNN reports. The DVD-by-mail service will now be called Qwikster, and the streaming service will maintain the Netflix brand. Customers can still subscribe to both, but the two sites will no longer be integrated.

Google Wallet, the online company’s mobile payment and daily deals service, is set to be launched on Monday, according to TechCrunch. The service was first unveiled in May and will allow users to load credit cards onto its app and tap a mobile phone equipped with Near Field Communication to a special reader at a till to make a purchase. Read more

Media streaming has become a staple of our daily digital consumption. So much so that this week music lovers in the US finally welcomed the arrival of Europe’s music-streaming subscription service Spotify, while angry Netflix customers turned to social networking sites to vent their rage over subscription fee increases. Read more

Netflix has always been an interesting case study in how to manage a digital transition – moving its customers gradually over from DVDs delivered by mail to the efficiencies of movies being streamed to TVs and a variety of web-connected devices. The transition became something of a schism on Tuesday as customers were faced with a stark choice of a DVD-only or streaming-only service to avoid a substantial hike in monthly subscriptions that combined both. Read more

Tech news from around the web:

Cloud storage service Dropbox is looking to raise between $200m-$300m in a new round of fundraising, according to TechCrunch. This gives the company a valuation of approximately $5bn, TechCrunch estimates. Read more

When Zediva’s founders briefed me pre-launch on their innovative new online DVD rental service last week, my main concern was whether it could “scale” robustly to cope with thousands of users. Despite their assurances, it seems the answer is it can’t, at least for now. The site was closed to new users within a few hours of its launch on Wednesday and existing users like me are having problems accessing the movie rentals. Read more

UPDATED - with Roku Netflix announcement.

Netflix has made its official movie debut on a media player device with the launch of Seagate’s GoFlex TV HD media player on Tuesday.

The player is part of a complete refresh of Seagate’s FreeAgent Go line of products, which Paul Taylor will look at in depth in his Friday personal technology column. Read more

With streaming Netflix movies now available on TV screens through the Xbox, PlayStation 3, Tivo, several Blu-ray players and LG HDTVs, the little Roku set-top box, which became one of the first Netflix streamers 18 months ago, is in need of some differentiation.

That came today with the launch of 10 free channels on the box, which sells for as little as $80.
Pandora radio, Facebook and Flickr photos, FrameChannel feeds, MobileTribe social networking and video from Blip.TV, Mediafly, Motionbox, Revision 3 and TWiT make up the lineup.

(This review was first published on November 23 2009) Read more

  • IBM took its offer to buy Sun Microsystems off the table when the onetime Silicon Valley powerhouse asked for more money, and said it wanted to talk with other potential buyers when IBM balked. People familiar with the negotiations said everything might still be worked out, since no other suitors are expected and the financial difference between the two sides isn’t vast.
  • The Associated Press is hoping to stanch what it claims is the rampant unauthorised republication of its content across the web. Websites – including Google News – will have to seek permission to use the work of the AP or its member newspapers, and may face legal action if they don’t comply.

 Read more

Amazon has found itself another route to the television and Roku another use for its set-top box under a partnership announced today.

The internet retailer has been exploring ways to widen access to its Video on Demand service beyond the computer and has already made it available through Tivo digital video recorders and Sony Bravia TVs. Read more