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The Campus Tycoon: Pixelate 2.0, Facebook vs. Groupon, Paramount on BitTorrent

March 18, 2011

By Matt Schoenman

Editor’s Note: Matt Schoenman is the editor-in-chief of college lifestyle blog The Campus Socialite. Each Friday, they’ll guest post with a rundown of cool tech trends college students and young professionals should keep an eye on.

Pixelate 2.0

Pixelate 2.0 for the iPhone makes it easy to visualize how objects around you would look in a different shade.

Pixelate 2.0 for iPhone

Oh, you haven’t heard of Pixelate? Well it’s about time you got filled in: The iPhone app, which just released its second version, takes the hassle out of choosing colors. Confused? Let me give you an example. Imagine that you see a shirt you really like at the mall, but you hate the color. Snap a quick picture of it and open up Pixelate. From here, you can select the color you want to replace, and then choose which color you rather have from the color matrix. It may take a few repetitions of this process to completely change one color to another. After that, it’s all just a matter of finding the shirt in that shade. But don’t think that it’s just for clothes. Thinking about painting the walls of your apartment? Find that perfect color using Pixelate 2.0. Unfortunately, it’s only for the iPhone, but maybe we’ll see an Android version soon (I would hope for a Blackberry version too, but it seems highly unlikely).

Facebook Deals vs. Groupon Now

Facebook is beefing up its Deals feature to compete with Groupon.

Facebook vs. Groupon

Facebook is invading enemy territory, and group-buying giant Groupon is prepared to fight back. Facebook Deals, previously available only through Facebook’s Places app, is launching for subscribers online in five test markets: Atlanta, Dallas, San Diego, San Francisco and Austin. The service will offer location-based deals to subscribers in these areas.

Meanwhile, Groupon is launching Groupon Now, an app that is similar to Facebook’s Places and Deals. But the direct competition doesn’t end there. Groupon has just announced an exclusive deal with AdParlor, which will manage their spending on Facebook advertisements. The group-buying titan hopes to increase their spending on Facebook ads in an attempt to curb the potential of Facebook Deals.

Yikes … Groupon, I’d be careful. The gurus at Facebook are known for their cunning, and I wouldn’t put anything past them at this point.

Paramount's 'The Tunnel'

Paramount is pirating its own film with ads attached in an attempt to promote the DVD version.

Paramount and BitTorrent?

You know what they say: If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em. And that’s exactly what the traditionally anti-pirate Paramount Studios is doing. They’ve teamed up with the producers of the horror movie The Tunnel in an attempt to revolutionize how movies are shared and sold. The studio is purposely leaking the full-length version of the movie onto BitTorrent sites on the same day that the DVD is released. Why are they doing this? Well, the draw is supposed to be the loads of extra features and alternate endings that you can only get if you buy the DVD.

The producers are further monetizing the movie by selling off frames to those willing to pay $1 for each one, or in groups of 25 frames (1 second of the entire movie), 50 frames (2 seconds), and so on.

It’s an interesting strategy to say the least, and possibly a step in the right direction for Paramount, which has fought piracy for years to no avail. But who knows if it will work. We all know DVDs are a dying technology, since it’s so easy to get digital versions of all your favorite movies and TV shows. And actually buying a hard copy, especially of a straight-to-DVD horror movie, is even less likely. And who’s to say that someone won’t find a way to upload all of the extra features onto BitTorrent anyway? But a step in any direction is progress.

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