Netflix spins off by-mail group as Qwikster

Some interesting news from Netflix this morning: They are spinning off their by mail group, which will also include video games and giving it a new name ‘Qwikster’.

While the video below and the announcement blog post set a conciliatory tone for the way the recent changes (price hikes) happened, those changes are still in place and will continue going forward.

In fact, it sounds like Netflix is set to spin off its old mailing business in the future even though in-house Qwikster now sells game rentals as well as movies and TV shows.

The future of video and gaming is clearly streaming and it appears that Netflix doesn’t want to be associated with that entity.

Apple, for what it is worth, has been shunning optical for years, refusing to put Blu-ray optical discs in its Macs or Apple TV products and instead pushing the streaming of media.

Lion USB sticks now available for $69 through AppleCare, free to some (Update: Debunk debunk)

Our good friends in Applecare alerted us to the fact that Lion USB keys were now available and in stock through AppleCare.  While officially they will cost a lofty $69, it appears, at least from the wording above, that some customers that aren’t able to use Lion’s recovery tools may be eligible to receive the USB drive at no cost.

We’ve detailled how to make a Lion recovery key from a Snow Leopard Key (automated or on your own, cheap) so don’t put Apple though the hassle, OK?

Update: We’ve been debunked by the new AOLEngadget!  Head below for details.

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Roxio releases Toast 11 for those who still like to burn

I remember when installing Toast was one of the first things I did when I got a new Macintosh.  Now, I don’t even have an optical disc reader on my main computer and I use optical less and less on the home Macs.

However, I know there are a lot of uses of optical still out there and for those folks that create it, Roxio today updated their Toast software to Toast 11 with some important updates.

For existing users, Toast 11 adds many requested features such as recording to multiple drives simultaneously, a streamlined product update mechanism, and the ability to save custom video profiles, which is very useful for those that are often converting video for a particular device. The latest version now also offers built-in features for directly uploading media to social networking sites such as YouTube, Vimeo, or Facebook and technology optimizations, dubbed VideoBoost, that help dramatically speed H.264 (high definition) video conversion or encoding.

New or exclusive-to-Toast features include: Internet audio recording; the ability to capture, save, and convert Web-based video content; disc spanning (automatically spreading a large amount of data or audio tracks across many discs); one-click backup of HD camcorder footage; dual-platform compatible disc creation; and TiVo-to-Go support.

The boxed package is $99, the Not-App Store download is $79 and a Toast 10 upgrade is $59.  Amazon has it as well.

Also launching today is Roxio Toast 11 Pro. Toast 11 Pro includes everything offered in Toast 11 Titanium as well as the Blu-ray Disc Plug-in and four award-winning digital media applications for making stunning video, photo, and audio projects…. Read more