September 4, 2008

Microsoft’s Xbox 360 to Strwam Netflix Movies



Microsoft's Xbox 360 to stream Netflix movies: Microsoft's Xbox 360 video game console will be able to stream thousands of movies over the Internet, thanks to a deal with Netflix. The arrangement Microsoft Corp. announced Monday at the E3 Media & Business Summit in Los Angeles will give Netflix's 8 million subscribers another way to stream movies on a TV instead of a computer. A Netflix-backed startup called Roku already sells a small streaming device that connects to TVs. The Netflix streaming service -- which operates in addition to its DVD-by-mail program -- offers 10,000 movies and TV shows. Microsoft's Xbox had movies available before, but not nearly as many. This expansion is key in helping Microsoft compete with Sony Corp.'s PlayStation 3, because gaming consoles are becoming entertainment hubs with movies, videos and music.

---The associated press

Viacom plans September release of 'Rock Band' sequel: Viacom Inc.'s Harmonix game studio and Electronic Arts Inc. said "Rock Band 2" will be introduced on Microsoft Corp.'s Xbox 360 console in September and in other formats later this year. "Rock Band 2" will include online competition between groups and the ability to export music from original discs, the companies said today in an e-mailed statement. The first "Rock Band" sold three million copies from its November 2007 release through March 2008, the company said in May, and formed the basis of Viacom's new games division. The New York- based company also sold 10 million songs that players use with the game's toy instruments to pretend to be rock stars.

---Bloomberg News


Jet-fuel premium collapse coming: Jet fuel's 100 percent rise over the past year to a record $4.36 a gallon is setting the stage for its decline in the next six months. AMR Corp.'s American Airlines Inc. and UAL Corp.'s United Air Lines Inc. are among carriers readying their biggest cutback in fuel use since 1991 because of the price. The U.S. airline industry plans to ground 413 aircraft, eliminating 8.8 percent of seating capacity, as increasing fuel costs spur losses of as much as $13 billion, the Air Transport Association says. Fuel demand will fall 7.5 percent this year, or 95,000 barrels a day, and 104,000 barrels a day in 2009, according to the U.S. Energy Department. That will spur as much as a 90 percent decline in the fuel's premium to heating oil futures, said Mike Busby, manager of oil and refined-products trading for Northville Industries Corp. in Melville, N.Y.

---Bloomberg News


EBay beats Tiffany in court case over trademarks: EBay Inc. scored an important victory in court Monday, as a federal judge said companies such as jeweler Tiffany & Co. are responsible for policing their trademarks online, not auction platforms like eBay. Tiffany had sued eBay in 2004, arguing that most items listed for sale as genuine Tiffany products on eBay's sites were fakes. But U.S. District Judge Richard J. Sullivan in New York ruled that eBay can't be held liable for trademark infringement "based solely on their generalized knowledge that trademark infringement might be occurring on their Web sites." The judge said that when Tiffany notified eBay of suspected counterfeit goods, eBay "immediately removed those listings." Although the online auction company refused to go further, by preemptively taking down suspicious listings for Tiffany jewelry, the judge said eBay didn't have to make such a move. The Tiffany ruling was a welcome twist for eBay, which recently lost a different case stemming from counterfeit luxury goods.

---The Associated Press

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