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Sony Seeks Personal Information from Twitter, YouTube Users In PlayStation 3 Hack Case

The notorious 21-year old computer programmer from New Jersey, George Hotz, best known for being the first to crack Apple’s iOS iPhone to run homebrewed applications, is facing legal troubles after releasing a hack variation for Sony’s PlayStation 3 gaming system.

At first believed to be un-crackable, programmers were finally able to crack the firmware of the four-year-old gaming console, allowing gamers to play pirated games, and to run homebrewed third party applications.

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Two top-level Google executives, including YouTube CEO, to leave their positions

In the last few days alone, two top-level executives at the world’s largest online search company, Google, announced they would be stepping down from their posts due to personal reasons.

Chad Hurley, now 33 years old, was the first executive to announce he would step down from his position as the chief executive officer at YouTube, the same company he founded which was later acquired by the search giant for $1.65-billion in an all cash deal.

Mr. Hurley founded YouTube along with co-founders Steve Chen and Jawed Karim, who also had positions at Google but later left the company.

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YouTube set to broadly roll out live streaming service

The world’s largest online video sharing website, YouTube, started a two-day pilot project that has brought live video streaming to YouTube Channels for select accounts, set to end tomorrow.

The company says it has teamed up with four current content partners, including: Howcast, Next New Networks, Rocketboom and Young Hollywood.

The pilot project comes as the company tests the service and systems as part of a broader plan to expand the service for every one.

Producers simply need a video camera connected to their computer to begin broadcasting live content.

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YouTube first to add support for 4k resolution videos

YouTube today became the first online video sharing website to add support for videos captured in beyond high definition resolutions.

The company more recently added 1080p support, but today said it can now support videos up to 4096×3072 resolution, which is more than four times more than 1080p HD video.

YouTube said it can also support videos more than 1080p and less than 4096px, meaning it can support intermediate resolutions between those numbers.

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YouTube turns 5, serves 2bn daily pageviews

The popular online video sharing service, YouTube, owned by Google, today turned five years old.

The company says YouTube now has up to 2-billion daily pageviews (with 45-million homepage impressions), and more than 24-hours of video time being uploaded to the site by users every single minute.

YouTube now also supports high-definition video formats, and even 3D videos.

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YouTube to launch paid movie rentals service

Google has announced that YouTube will make popular movies from the Sundance Film Festival available for rental through its website starting January 22 until the end of the month for $3.99 each movie accessible for 48-hours. Movies include “Homewrecker”, “One Too Many Mornings”, among other popular films.

This marks the first time YouTube offering paid movie rentals. Google plans to expand the program, making more movies available, especially from smaller scale filmmakers.

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YouTube to add 1080p high definition support

YouTube has announced via a blog posting that it will start supporting the 1080p high definition format.

The company says if you have already uploaded videos in 1080p, they will be converted automatically in the coming days.

The highly requested feature will fully launch by the end of next week.

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Sony Pictures to bring full films to YouTube

Sources familiar with a new deal in the works between YouTube and Sony Pictures told CNet the partnership will bring full-length films such as Spider-Man to YouTube.

The news comes as YouTube, the leader in online video sharing, faces intensifying competition from newer rivals such as Hulu (News Corp, NBC joint venture) who provide excellent quality full-length shows. Rival NetFlix also provides a very extensive online film library but requires a reasonably priced monthly subscription fee. Despite YouTube holding the top spot (by a significant margin) as top video sharing site, the company must continously innovate as new competitors with superior products launch.

In related news, Walt Disney last week announced it had licensed content to YouTube as well.

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YouTube launches EDU, adds Twitter share button, Twitter SMS now free on Vodafone UK

twitter-trafficTwitter is continuing to gain more and more traction as more people than ever are now joining the social network. A very big important milestone was reached today, a Twitter share button has now been added on all YouTube video pages in the top share list alongside with MySpace, Facebook, and now, Twitter.

You can now easily tweet a video with the video title and URL included in the tweet automatically. However, the URL is currently not shortened, but YouTube will be changing this in the near future. It is also rumored YouTube may create its own URL shortening feature to accommodate the change.

Although growing quickly, Twitter’s hasn’t really established its business model yet. Twitter founder Biz Stone recently told the WSJ that premium services are under development and will be available by the end of 2009. Stone also said that Twitter has hired a product manager to oversee the development and monetization of commercial accounts. He went on to say that all existing features will remain free of charge for everyone, including for companies, but other premium features could be added for a fee. Twitter has yet to disclose any premium features under development.

The most recent VC round of investment valued the company at $255 million.

In more Twitter news, the company has now confirmed it will start offering free SMS usage for Vodafone customers in the UK.

In more YouTube news, the social video-sharing site today launched YouTube EDU, an educational section of the site focused on helping you find and watch educational content that is uploaded by educational institutions such as MIT. Videos include lectures to events, among an assortment of other videos. YouTube is set to officially launch YouTube EDU tomorrow.

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Telus Announces $500M Infrastructure Investment, Did not block YouTube on Older BlackBerry Handsets

telusThe second largest telecom in Canada, Telus, has announced plans today to invest up to $500 million in expanding infrastructure in British Columbia and parts of Alberta. The company also outlined plans to build a more eco-friendly datacenter likely to be located in BC.

Telus said, “This investment is expected to ensure a smooth transition to long-term evolution technology, the emerging worldwide standard for 4G wireless networks.” Read the full story

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