If recent moves by Los Angeles companies are any indication, personalized software is the way to go.

Stamps.com Inc., the custom Internet postage company, has integrated its stamps offering with Adobe Photoshop software packages. The upgrade will allow users to create and edit their stamps on a popular consumer application, printing legal U.S. postage using familiar editing tools. Customers used to have to create their stamps using the company's software on its Web site.

The company also announced the launch of PhotoStamps for businesses, offering high volume ordering rolls of up to 10,000 stamps. The business stamps program is the first time company logos and advertisements will be permitted on U.S. postage since the 1800s.

An altogether different customization software package is bouncing out of Santa Monica-based Boingo Wireless Inc. that will allow mobile devices to access wireless Internet at public Wi-Fi locations. Boingo is a network of 45,000 wireless "hot spots" around the world locations such as cafes, airports and hotels where subscribers can tap into wireless Internet. The Boingo Embedded Wi-Fi Toolkit is an open source software package that will allow developers to program Wi-Fi connectivity into hand-held devices such as mobile phones, portable game consoles, or voice-over-Internet-protocol (Voip) phones. Open source software means the software can be changed and customized to fit the needs of the particular user, and the modifications are then sent back out to the developer community for others to use.

Until now, Boingo users could access Wi-Fi hot spots using their laptops or in some cases their PDAs, but mobile phones and other portable devices were unable to connect.

'24' on MySpace
The benefits of News Corp.'s acquisition of social networking site MySpace.com for $580 million are starting to fall into place. News Corp.'s Fox Entertainment Group is now offering episodes of the TV series "24" for download to members of MySpace. It's a cross-promotional offer with Burger King. All parties are eager to get in with the young demographic on the irreverent social networking site. MySpace users will be able to download two episodes of "24" for free through the Burger King offer. Additionally, News Corp. said it will offer MySpacers the entire first and fifth seasons of "24" for download at just $1.99 per episode the going rate on Apples iTunes. The offer is part of Fox's master plan of offering a download-to-own video store on MySpace.

Power Play
The Los Angeles Convention Center has upgraded its data backbone to a one-gigabit fiber-optic network. That means that trade shows and other events will be able to transmit even more data, at higher speeds and higher bandwidth capacity. Translation: more video, faster audio, better voice over Internet protocol, faster wireless connections, and no more interference from nearby radios, motors or cables.

The convention center's previous system was a 100-megabit platform, so the center now has 10 times the power. The halls have 870,000 square-feet of exhibition space, nearly all of which were most recently used for the Electronic Entertainment Expo in May, which drew more than 60,000 attendees from the video game industry. The center had about 5,800 flat-screen video screens on the exhibition floor or suspended from the ceilings. About 850,000 pounds of electronics equipment powered the video game extravaganza. One can only imagine what 10 times the data capacity will bring next year.

Staff Reporter Hilary Potkewitz can be reached at (323) 549-5225, ext. 226, or at hpotkewitz@labusinessjournal.com .

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