... worth noting 22/5/03



:: Third-generation network operator, 3, has signed a three-year deal with Playboy to provide users with videos and images taken from its vast library of mature content. The adult-orientated service has just gone live in the UK and the exclusive deal will extend to Hutchison's other territories in the future, subject to regional legislation and demand.

:: The music industry has launched a new Web site as part of its latest initiative to fight the spread of unauthorised music on the Internet. The Pro-Music.org Web site, which was created by the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) is designed to promote legitimate paid-for music sites, such as Pressplay, MusicNet, and Apple's recently launched iTunes Music Store. It also features viewpoints on the piracy debate from a cross-section of artists, the media and the public, and answers to frequently asked questions about copyright laws for online music.

:: Amazon.com is to announce a deal with Microsoft, to use the latest version of the software giant's digital media technology to stream music samples from its Web site. Amazon will use Microsoft's Windows Media Services 9 (WM9), with encoding services provided by digital media services provider LoudEye. The deal will also affect sample streams at Borders.com, CDNow.com and VirginMega.com, which outsource their e-commerce sites through Amazon.

:: UK Wi-Fi network The Cloud has announced the official launch of its wireless broadband service in 200 pubs throughout the UK. The service will be free for the next six weeks, by which time The Cloud is expecting to bring more new sites online. It aims to bring Wi-Fi services to more than 1,000 new locations throughout England, Scotland and Wales, by the beginning of July, and 3,000 sites by the end of the year.