Daily News Brief: MySpace Unveils Music Service

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New Online Music Service

MySpace, the leading social networking website, unveiled MySpace Music on Thursday. The joint venture with Sony BMG, Universal Music Group, and Warner Music Group is a free music internet service set to go toe-to-toe with iTunes. Revenue will come from selling digital music downloads free of DRM, ring tones for mobile phones, concert tickets, and even band merchandise. According to MySpace, the Music Channel is already visited by 30 million people each month, and puts the site in good position to compete with other similar services.

Firefox Makes Gains

Despite Firefox's following among the enthusiast community, Microsoft could still boast a dominating market share for its Internet Explorer. Those days just might be numbered. A Forrester Research survey of more than 50,000 large enterprise employees showed that in 2007, IE's market share in that segment dropped by 10 percent, while Firefox's share nearly doubled up from 9.8 to 18 percent. Interestingly, the survey also showed that 55.2 percent of companies are still using IE6, and only 23.4 percent are using IE7, which barely outpaces the growth and use of Firefox. For a more in depth analysis, see here .

Creepy Robot

MIT, the school that inspired the big screen hit 21 , has developed an advanced human-like robot that appears to be something out of a sci-fi flick. Nexi, as it's called, speaks and features complex hand movements and facial gestures, can lift 10 pounds, and sports a self balancing base. But it's the face that will turn heads. Nexi can display expressive eyebrows, gaze, eyelids, and mandible, and each eye has a color CCD camera. And for you open-source aficionados, Nexi comes with an embedded PC running Linux. Get creeped out here .

Windows XP Gets Extended Life Support

Not infatuated with Vista? Good news, if you own a budget laptop - Microsoft said it will keep selling a version of Windows XP for use on low-cost computers, like Intel's Classmate PC and Asus' Eee PC, at least through June 2010. Microsoft also promised to keep XP on the market for those PCs a year after Windows 7 ships, potentially extending the lifeline until 2011, or longer. Previously, XP was slated for retirement at the end of June 2008, with exceptions for small computer-building shops and PCs sold in developing countries. But demand from the latter segment has caused MS to extend the deadline.

Straight or Gay?

The U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled on Thursday that Roommates.com , a roommate-finding site (imagine that!), can't require users to disclose their sexual orientation. Judge Alex Kozinski wrote " If such screening is prohibited when practiced in person or by telephone, we see no reason why Congress would have wanted to make it lawful to profit from it online ." Three of the judges didn't agree, claiming the court was creating a dangerous precedent and future confusion for internet firms, saying Roommates.com " should be afforded no less protection than Google, Yahoo, or other search engines. " Read more here .

High-Tech Couch Potatoes

This month's Maximum PC features a round-up of TV and movie download services, and according to data from the Convergence Consulting Group, online TV viewing is on a rapid rise. In a new report, the consulting firm estimates that 9 percent of all full- episode TV viewing occurred online in 2007, a third more than in 2006. CCG expects this number to balloon to 23 percent by 2010. Lagging behind is TV advertising revenue. Read the full report here .

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