Google, Yahoo And Others Sued By Microsoft Co-Founder

Paul Allen has filed a lawsuit naming AOL, Apple, eBay, Facebook, Google, Netflix, Office Depot, OfficeMax, Staples, Yahoo and YouTube. The co-founder of Microsoft alleges that they have violated his patents for search, multimedia, screen pop-ups and database management.

Allen’s company, Interval Licensing, holds patents originally produced by Interval Research, a company founded in 1992 by Allen and David Little. The patents produced by Interval in research information systems, communications and computer science formed some of the foundations of the Web as we know it, at least according to the release by Interval.

Valve Exploring Movie Making

Half-Life 2 is often referred to as the magnum opus of Valve and sometimes of gaming in general. While Half-Life would seem like a natural choice for a movie studio, Valve s CEO and co-founder Gabe Newell says that’s probably never going to happen.

“As a WoW player, I would much rather that the WoW team made the movie, right? Than anybody else. I like Sam Raimi, I’ve been a fan ever since Evil Dead came out, but I would rather see Blizzard making the movie,” said Newell. “We think that customers are like, OK, we re kind of sick and tired of the way you guys are slicing and dicing the experience of being a fan of Harry Potter, or Half-Life, or The Incredibles, and you need to fix it. And the people that fix it will be rewarded, and the people that don t will be on the rubbish heap of history, or whatever the phrase is.”

“Where we got into this direction was after Half-Life 1 had shipped,” explained Newell. “There was a whole bunch of meetings with people from Hollywood. Directors down there wanted to make a Half-Life movie and stuff, so they d bring in a writer or some talent agency would bring in writers, and they would pitch us on their story. And their stories were just so bad. I mean, brutally, the worst. Not understanding what made the game a good game, or what made the property an interesting thing for people to be a fan of.’

‘That’s when we started saying ‘Wow, the best thing we could ever do is to just not do this as a movie, or we’d have to make it ourselves.’ And I was like, ‘Make it ourselves?’ Well that s impossible. But the Team Fortress 2 thing, the Meet The Team shorts, is us trying to explore that,” he added.

Source: PC Gamer

3D TVs Don’t Interest Brits – Survey

A survey by Deloitte says that only two percent of British consumers are looking to buy a 3D TV in the next year – not a great sign for 3D gaming. Users also showed little inclination towards Internet-enabled televisions and cable/satellite PVRs, a tendency that increased the older the respondent got.

“It is remarkable how conservative people’s predictions for their own technology spending habits over the coming year were,” Deloitte media director Paul Lee said. “They didn t have to commit to buying anything during the research and yet still predicted very little spend on TV products moving forward. Belts have tightened after the economic downturn and with little understanding of what lies ahead, consumers are still being cautious.”

Apple Reportedly Working On 99 Cent TV Show Downloads

Apple is reportedly in talks with various television networks. The company would like to create a rental service on iTunes that would let users rent TV shows for just $0.99.

ABC and Fox in particular are being courted for this idea. This could also give a boost to the settop box iTV digital media service set to launch in the Fall, which could be Apple’s last chance to challenge the growing multimedia capabilities of the PS3 and Xbox 360.

Source: Information Week

Capcom Ups The Ante On Dead Rising 2 Special Edition

Today, Capcom announced the Dead Rising 2: High Stakes edition. Available excluslvely through the Capcom Store, this very limited edition will include a game, high-impact case, poker chips, playing cards, green dice, a Fortune City Visitor Map, Terror is Reality XVII admission ticket for unique DLC and a “Golden”  Terror Is Reality XVII admission ticket, which is redeemable for a six- foot Dead Rising 2 zombie replica. [Correction: We’ve been informed that only one HSE will include the ‘Golden’ ticket.]

Anything Dead Rising you could possibly want and more!

Source: Capcom-Unity.com

Apple Mulling Cloud Music Service

According to inside sources, Apple may be looking to unveil a new cloud based music service. While negotiations are apparently ongoing with the four major record labels, there still could be an announcement about a data hub.

“The company has indicated that the data center is on track to be completed by the end of CY10 and it will begin using it then,” wrote Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster. “We believe an announcement at the September event is likely, but the service may not begin until late in CY10. With Apple’s growing family of connected devices (iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, Apple TV and Macs) it only makes sense that Apple would deliver a cloud-based media service to leverage its competitive advantage in the space.”

Some think that the focus of the September 1 event will merely be the unveiling of the new iPod Nano and perhaps some Apple TV announcements. “It’ll be about the iPod,” said Gleacher & Co. analyst Brian Marshall. “Apple TV, that’s still chugging along. They will likely introduce [an Apple TV] in a sleeker case with more storage, but that’s not going to be a big deal.”

Still, announcing the service was in the works could get consumers happy and deflate recent streaming music services like MOG and Rdio. Apple likes to announce products and services and immediately make them available, so we’ll have to wait and see.

Source: Ad Week {link no longer active}

Rock Band PR Firm Settles With FTC

Reverb Communications has settled a lawsuit with the Federal Trade Commission. The FTC was contending that Reverb posted consumer reviews on the iTunes App Store, which would classify as deceptive advertising practices.

“Companies, including public relations firms involved in online marketing need to abide by long-held principles of truth in advertising,” said Mary Engle, Director of the FTC s Division of Advertising Practices. “Advertisers should not pass themselves off as ordinary consumers touting a product, and endorsers should make it clear when they have financial connections to sellers.”

Reverb will remove the offending reviews from the App Store and will be required to disclose all professional links before making more endorsements. Notably, Reverb serves as the PR agency for Harmonix and the Rock Band franchise.