Guardian opens its content to the world, launches API

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The Guardian, a British newspaper, has today launched the Guardian Open Platform. “What’s that?”, you may ask. It’s an open API for all the Guardian’s web content. More simply, it’s a way for anyone to freely use Guardian content and data for whatever they want.

You may be wondering why on earth the paper would give its content away for free, given that it charges for it in paper form. Well, the answer is that the Guardian wants to be an all-pervasive source of knowledge on the web, rather than just a site that people have to go to to get that content.

Using the new system, anyone will be able to integrate Guardian data into web applications. The Guardian, in return, gets ad revenues. For the moment, it’s limited to just 5000 queries a day, and it’s all still in beta, but with any luck the Guardian can use their strong trusted position to become the default content provider for many sites on the net.

Guardian Open Platform (via TechCrunch)

Norwegian Broadcasting Corp starts own bittorrent tracker

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Norway’s state broadcaster, NRK, has launched its own bittorrent tracker, following a number of successful tests in 2008. A tracker, if you’re unaware, is the ‘matchmaking’ part of the bittorrent protocol, acting as a signpost to help people who want content find people who’ve got that content.

The tracker, which will operate exactly like the Pirate Bay does, except with legitimate content. NRK is funded by a license fee, much like the BBC, and so they have a mandate to reach as wide an audience as possible with the best possible quality. The DRM-free downloads provided by this service will achieve that wonderfully.

Best of all, the bittorrent protocol gains strength as more people download something. The busier the service is, the faster it is for everyone. So when there’s a million people trying to download the latest episode of the Norwegian equivalent of Eastenders, everyone gets it fast. As long as the government themselves seeds at least one copy of every file on the network, then everyone will be able to get whatever they want.

A win for consumers, a win for the broadcaster, and a win for Norway. I hope you’re taking notice, BBC. The iPlayer is good and all, but a bittorrent tracker would be even better.

(via NRKbeta)

Mac Mini refresh finally announced

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There’s been rumours of a an upgrade of the Mac Mini for ages. First, back in December we thought it’d come at Macworld. Then, in Feb, we tracked down an image with a surfeit of USB ports and some basic specs. Then, yesterday, we thought the refresh would come at the end of this month.

Well, Apple has confounded all our expectations, and has announced a new Mac Mini, with the following specs:

  • 5x USB
  • 1x FireWire 800
  • 1x mini DVI
  • 1x Display poort
  • Nvidia chipset (like the newest MacBook)
  • starting at Intel Core 2 Duo 2.0 Ghz
  • 2 GB DDR3 memory (max 4 GB)
  • 120 GB hard disk (max 320 GB)

Not bad eh? Not face-meltingly good specs, but they’ll do. As with every Apple product announced ever, it’s available now, and costs £XXX.

Apple UK

YouTube inks deal with X-factor producers FremantleMedia

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YouTube’s content team are working overtime this week. Shortly after signing a deal with MGM, they’ve just managed to bag one with FremantleMedia too – the producers responsible for the X-Factor, the various ‘Idol’ shows, Britain (and America)’s Got Talent, Neighbors, and the Bill. Freemantle’s owners also own Channel 5.

Like MGM, it’s doubtful whether they’re suddenly going to start uploading every episode of Neighbors ever onto the service, but they might put up choice clips, complete with advertising. And again, it also means that they’ll probably be taking down a lot of “illegal” unofficial clips that fans have uploaded. Ah well, if you’re watching the Bill on YouTube then something’s a little bit wrong with you anyway.

ITProPortal)

Related posts: Google’s finally making money off YouTube, with longer-length videos now allowed | MGM to offer full-length films on YouTube

RUMOUR: Virgin Media 50Mbps cable in a few weeks?

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ThinkBroadband are reporting that a poster to their forums has leaked some info regarding a 50Mbps product from Virgin Media on their cable broadband network. The rollout is apparently due to start in “two weeks”, and should be completed by April 2009.

Price-wise the service won’t be cheap, with 50Mbps setting you back £52 a month. It’s purported to be a mandatory 12 month contract too, meaning you’ll be dropping £624 over the year on your extra-fast broadband, before any setup or connection fees…

The Pirate Bay has a new enemy – International Olympic Committee asks Swedish government to remove torrents

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Here’s another vague threat for The Pirate Bay to laugh in the face of – the International Olympic Committee wants the Swedish piracy-enabler to remove all copyrighted Olympic content from its comprehensive listings.

The IOC has requested assistance from the Swedish government, asking the Minister of Justice to help force the Bay…