23:08 PM

Newswatch 4.8.08: GOOG launches App Engine

Revving up App Engine. Google is launching a preview release of App Engine, a way for developers to run applications on Google's infrastructure, using the Google's own GFS and Bigtable. Google provides an environment including dynamic webserving, persistent storage, scaling and load balancing, APIs for authenticating users and a fully featured local environment. Act now: only 10,000 devs admitted for now. (Google App Engine Blog via Slashdot)

WiiBox 360? Microsoft, never one to let somebody else's good ideas unexploited, is set to release an imitation Wii remote for Xbox 360, sources say. An unidentified source says Microsoft's Rare studio will design the interface and look of the controller. This is marketing-driven MSFT development at its worst, MTV News' source says: "This is pure clusterfuck."

Above Europe, there is no peace. The EU has approved the use of cellphones on flights above Europe. Now imagine those all-important sales guys and product managers with their Blueteeth meeting away nonstop in coach. At least for Americans flying in Europe, there's a certain charm in the melange of Dutch, Italian, French, German. But one imagines that gets old fast, especially if you can understand the languages. In any case, the US won't following suit, the FAA says. (AP

Facebook ready to settle with ConnectU. Mark Zuckerberg's buddies at Harvard were mad when he left their ConnectU project -- possibly with code the hired him to write -- to go off and form Facebook. Last year they sued. Now it looks like Facebook and ConnectU are ready to settle the case, an anonymous source the Times.

Imeem buys Snocap. Snocap -- that was life after Napster for one Shawn Fanning. Now social/music net Imeem (which has a tendency to crash FF/Mac, btw) is snapping it up. Sounds like Imeem can use struggling Snocap's music registry technology to identify copyright-infringing media on its site and cut it down to a permitted 30-sec clip. Snocap also offers tools for artists to sell their music directly to fans. That could be a good fit with Imeem's music focus, as well. (LA Times)