Mix: Tony Blair, Chocolate, iBrella, Digital releases

British Prime Minister Tony Blair traveled to California’s Silicon Valley this weekend to meet with tech leaders, including Apple CEO Steve Jobs. Blair was “on a mission to find out the secrets of the U.S. high-tech sector’s success and apply the lessons in Britain.”

Verizon Wireless and LG have launched a new music phone to compete with the iPod. The LG Chocolate phone features a touch-button interface, 1.3-megapixel camera, Bluetooth and a MicroSD card slot. Verizon is also eliminating the monthly $15 fee for its music download service.
The iBrella is a design concept that uses an umbrella to control an iPod. Gizmodo reports: “For example, opening up the umbrella will begin playing and spinning the umbrella left or right can skip tracks forward or backwards.”

Billboard reports: “Growing numbers of fans are protesting online when labels delay the digital release of hit radio singles. But these consumer complaints are doing little to stop record companies from deferring the availability of downloads.”

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