— Twitter is responding to complaints from many celebrities in the sport and entertainment worlds about imposters using their name to start a Twitter account. The company said it will introduced a Verified Accounts program that will authenticate whether a certain Twitter feed is in fact owned by the person it’s registered under, and will be available at first only to public officials and famous artists, athletes and other celebrities. The move was prompted in part by a lawsuit from St. Louis Cardinals manager Tony La Russa over a Twitter account in his name that he did not originate or control. Usually, Twitter just deletes and/or transfers control of “fake” accounts to the actual owner, as it did in the La Russa case. (Twitter Blog)
— Tapulous, the developers of the popular iPhone music game Tap Tap Revenge, has partnered with Universal Music Group to create custom versions of the game for the major label’s artists. The first of this series is a Lady Gaga game, available now for $5, and a number of other artists will follow throughout the year. Additionally, the Universal partnership will allow users to buy new tracks for the game from the application itself in the next version of Tap Tap Revenge game. New tracks will cost 50-cents each. The feature takes advantage of a new feature in the iPhone 3.0 software that Apple introduced earlier this year that allows for in-app purchases. This will be one of the first live examples of that capability.
Finally, this fall, Tapulous and Universal will release an entirely new rhythm game for the iPhone based on one of the label’s artists. Details are slim at this point, but it will be a whole new game that draws in some way on the capabilities of Tap Tap Revenge. The two companies will work on additional games as well. Tap Tap Revenge has been downloaded 11 million times, and was the most popular application for the iPhone in April.
— Could Napster be developing an iPhone app for their new $5 monthly streaming service? Tech blog Gizmodo noticed a Craigslist job posting from Napster seeking a software engineer with Mac/iPhone experience. The new iPhone 3.0 software allows for monthly subscription charges, and music streaming services have proven very popular on the device. However it’s not clear whether Apple would allow a competitive music service on the device. (Gizmodo)
— Green Day says it will release music in some capacity through the “Rock Band” platform before the end of the year, according to comments Billie Joe Armstrong made on a radio show. He didn’t say whether that will be a downloadable track pack or an expansion disc a la AC/DC. (Joystiq)
— Got a new iPhone app coming out? Launch it on a Friday. Data shows that iPhone users spend 50% more on weekends. (VentureBeat)
— Digital distributor the Orchard has signed an exclusive digital marketing, distribution, and services partnership with independent music and video distributor Traffic Entertainment. The alliance between The Orchard and Traffic Entertainment marks the first time The Orchard will allow another distributor to tap Orchard’s advanced marketing and promotion capabilities. (The Orchard)
Additional item by Cortney Harding.