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Originally published Monday, October 24, 2005 at 12:00 AM

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Interesting bits and bytes

Melodeo has its sights set on creating a full-track music-download service for mobile phones. But while it waits for the service to be picked...

Melodeo has its sights set on creating a full-track music-download service for mobile phones.

But while it waits for the service to be picked up by wireless carriers in the U.S., the Seattle company is getting Americans used to the idea of listening to music and other audio over phones by hyping free software to listen to podcasts.

The service, called Mobilcast, works by streaming content over airwaves. The software can be downloaded from Melodeo's Web site and loaded onto seven models of phones — the Motorola Razr and Rokr, Nokia 6620, 6630 and 6682, and the Sony Ericsson k700 and s710.

The folks at Melodeo aren't saying how many downloads they've had so far, but they are hardly quiet. Starting with Jim Billmaier, who became CEO in July, down to other employees, the company is busy promoting everything from podcasting in school to the convergence of platforms. Check out its blog at

DS burgers, please

Two great American pastimes — eating and playing video games — merged last week when Nintendo of America said it would partner with Wayport to make Internet access free to Nintendo DS owners at McDonald's restaurants.

That means DS owners can play "Mario Kart" online while snacking on French fries and burgers. The service, called the Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection, is set to launch Nov. 14.

Video future

The market for video content offered by subscription services on the Internet is expected to reach $2.6 billion by 2009.

Source: In-Stat

Maybe now instead of being labeled couch potatoes, Americans can be called booth burgers?

Aloha, Wikiman

How fitting that Ward Cunningham, creator of the "wiki" collaborative development concept (best known in the Wikipedia), recently quit Microsoft after two years to join the open-source Eclipse Foundation. Wiki, after all, is a Hawaiian word for quick. As in, that was a pretty wiki wiki trip through Redmond.

Online and aligned

We know a lot of people enjoy surfing the Internet, but a new Web site takes it to a whole new level.

After a five-minute test, users can find out how happy or depressed they are. From there, the Happiness Program works to increase a person's happiness index. According to the Web site, a majority of site members have a quantifiable increase in their happiness index, as well as a decrease in their overall depression — in as few as 15 days.

The Happiness Program is based on the work of Martin Seligman, a psychologist at the University of Pennsylvania.

What might not make you happy? The service costs $9.95 a month.

Download, a column of news bits, observations and miscellany, is gathered by the Seattle Times technology staff. Staff members can be reached at 206-464-2265 or

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