Beginning this spring, HP said it will start delivering the HP-branded player, as well as make Apple’s popular and easy-to-use iTunes digital music jukebox and online music store available to HP customers.
HP (HPQ) said that as part of an agreement with Apple (AAPL), announced at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, its consumer personal computers and notebook PCs will come preinstalled with iTunes and desktop icons to point users directly to the iTunes Music Store.
Carly Fiorina, HP’s chairman and chief executive, said in a statement that the company had explored other alternatives for a digital player and jukebox but ultimately “concluded Apple’s iPod music player and iTunes music service were the best by far.”
Implants unallowed: The FDA rejected Inamed’s bid to bring silicone gel breast implants back to the market, more than a decade after they were first banned amid fears they harmed women.
The FDA apparently heeded criticism that Inamed (IMDC) hadn’t studied the controversial implants thoroughly enough to settle questions about just how often they break apart in women’s bodies and the resulting health effects from leaking silicone.
In keeping the implants off the market for the time being, FDA took the highly unusual step of rejecting the recommendation of its own scientific advisers, who in October reluctantly agreed the implants should return despite some lingering questions about safety and durability.
Dialing for dates: Members in San Francisco and New York who pay an extra $14.95 a month can now arrange four-minute online phone “dates” with other members through Match.com’s SpeedMatching website.
SpeedMatching, available in 47 cities, allows members to meet each other in quick, face-to-face chat sessions, with as many as 25 such “dates” in one evening. The new service, Online SpeedMatching, will let users have similar dates, but in prescheduled sessions by phone.
During the phone conversations, the users will be able to look at photos of each other and read their online profiles. Afterwards, they will be able to “rate” each other according to three choices: “Yes — interested,” “No — not interested,” or “Maybe — it’s worth considering.” Online SpeedMatching will then monitor mutual interest and send e-mails encouraging future communication.
Sony joins music dog pile: Consumer electronics maker Sony said on Wednesday it would launch an online music service in the United States this year, offering 500,000 songs for downloading at about $1 per tune.
Sony (SNE) also unveiled a wireless video screen and a high capacity version of its Mini Disc format capable of recording up to 45 hours of music on a new one-gigabyte disc.
Sony said its Connect online music service would at first only work with Sony portable devices. It would set prices that are standard for rivals such as iTunes and Napster of $1 per downloaded song and entire albums for $10.
Games to go: Sony Ericsson launched a trial version of its own online gaming service for users of some of its phones, joining others in the bid to bring gaming to cell users.
But unlike Nokia, which released its much-hyped gaming deck N-Gage, Sony Ericsson’s service is usable on most of its higher end phones and doesn’t use Bluetooth to let gamers play each other head to head.
The games, the company said, are online, not stored in a multimedia card inserted into the phone. The first games available include a Rally racer (a four-player game) and RC Battle (an eight-player game).