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Apple TV May Finally Grab the Spotlight
August 31, 2015
The next version of the Apple TV set-top box could be ready for prime time in October, priced at either $149 or $199, based on rumors circulating Monday. The current version goes for $99. With the higher price could come a seriously upgraded device: It will include support for Siri, a new touchscreen remote control, and a new and more intuitive interface.
Come September, Apple TV Will Outshine the iPhone
August 29, 2015
About Apple's September event... Apple's annual September media event is an oxymoron -- it's become almost entirely predictable. One year it introduces a major new iPhone redesign and the next it offers incremental iPhone improvements. And make no mistake about it, despite last year's Apple Watch debut, at the core of the September event is the critically important iPhone.
YouTube Opens Video Game Floodgates
August 27, 2015
It's alive! YouTube Gaming, a hub that's home to over 25,000 video game pages, on Wednesday began broadcasting live and on-demand streams, let's play videos and the like. The gaming hub is accessible on desktop PCs, and on Android and iOS devices. YouTube's new hub is likely to offer a serious challenge to Twitch, the video game streaming service Amazon bought last year.
Wii U to Become Pokken Tournament Playing Field
August 25, 2015
Nintendo and The Pokemon Company last week announced that Pokken Tournament -- the Pokemon fighting game developed by Namco Bandai -- will expand from arcades in Japan to a worldwide launch on the Wii U in the spring of 2016. Instead of just issuing commands to use special attacks, players of the fighting game can direct the blows their Pokemon deliver.
Intel: Putting Innovation Back in the Hands of the Innovators
August 24, 2015
We are living in an amazing time, but many of us seem to take it for granted. We have private spaceships. Self-driving cars are on the road, even though we can't buy them yet, and there are plans for a 12-mile-high inflatable building. Granted, a number of us are convinced it will end up looking like a giant version of the inflatable fan blown stick man often seen outside of car dealerships.
Spotify's 'Sorry' Fails to Cut Through Confusion
August 22, 2015
Spotify CEO Daniel Ek on Friday issued a public apology for poor communications regarding the company's new privacy policy. The new policy, which took effect Wednesday, immediately triggered alarm. Several tech publications railed against the terms, and Minecraft creator Markus Persson engaged Spotify CEO Daniel Ek in a Twitter debate that ended with Persson and others quitting the music service.
Everybody Can Run - Not Walk - to the Rapture
August 12, 2015
With the post-apocalyptic adventure game Everybody's Gone to the Rapture, Sony may have a cult classic on its hands. The PlayStation 4 exclusive became available Tuesday. The Chinese Room, a game development studio that previously worked exclusively on PC and Mac titles, developed Everybody's Gone to the Rapture with the support of Sony and SCE's Santa Monica Studio.
Why Jon Stewart Failed
August 10, 2015
Like a lot of folks, I'm starting to go through withdrawals because The Daily Show with Jon Stewart dropped off the air last week. It is kind of amazing that it was how a massive number of us actually kept up on the news, given it wasn't a real news program. However, while the show was a commercial success, it appeared that wasn't its only goal.
Teens Find Real Friends in the Online Jungle
August 7, 2015
Teens have been using digital media to create bonds that extend well beyond playing games or tweeting, according to a study Pew Research released Thursday. Along with likes and shares and tags and retweets have come beefing, berating, trolling and blocking. Although a lot of social activity appears superficial, that's not always the case. Some long-term friendships have been forged online.
The Transformational AT&T, DirecTV Merger
August 6, 2015
AT&T's acquisition of DirecTV is more than a merger -- it is a transformational event that could change the entire television space. It has the potential to create such intense competition that it very well could transform the entire television space -- meaning cable TV, satellite TV and IPTV -- and blend it with wireless. It means more choice and more innovation.
Bring On the New Apple TV - Streaming Service or Not
August 5, 2015
I've been waiting for a new Apple TV from Apple for years, and I've been disappointed each time a major Apple event came and went without one. Plus, I've been waiting for Apple to come along and disrupt the cable/satellite TV bundling status quo with some sort of a la carte streaming service, also to no avail. Now I don't think that second wish matters much at all.
Microsoft Aims to Meet Gamers' Great Expectations
August 5, 2015
Microsoft on Tuesday launched the Rare Replay collection -- the best games lineup in Xbox History, according to Xbox Chief Phil Spencer -- at Gamescom in Cologne, Germany. Even some loyal Xbox fans might disagree with that proclamation, but Microsoft attempted to back up its assertion with a content-rich presentation bedazzled with exclusive games.
Autodesk's Stingray Gets Into Video Game Guts
August 4, 2015
Tired of serving as just a pretty face, Autodesk on Monday announced that it's putting its muscle into the business of making video games. The new Stingray engine, introduced at the Game Developers Conference, pulls together Autodesk's efforts in the games space. Stringray is a cross-platform engine that supports Xbox One, PlayStation 4, the Oculus Rift, Windows, Android and iOS.
AT&T to DirecTV Customers: Let's Stick Together
August 3, 2015
AT&T on Monday announced its first-ever nationwide package of TV and wireless services. The new bundle, which is being offered for US$200 per month, will be available beginning Aug. 10. It will include HD and DVR service for up to four TV receivers, along with unlimited talk and text for four wireless lines. Subscribers to the plan will get 10 GB of shareable wireless data.
Angry Birds 2: Freemium Clips Its Wings
July 31, 2015
Angry Birds 2 -- the 13th installment of Angry Birds and the original game's first proper sequel -- on Thursday became available for iOS and Android. The free-to-play model is a call to players beyond its base. However, those new players may slip through developer Rovio's fingers if the game's features fail to motivate them to play with real money
The Great and Tragic Lives of OTT Video Service Providers
July 23, 2015
Being on the cutting edge is exciting... so long as you are not the one getting cut. The global expansion of over-the-top video services has been rapid and extensive, but not always successful. Besides Netflix, Amazon and Hulu, three of the top OTT video players in the world, many new service providers have entered the market, particularly over the past six to nine months.
A New Challenger Pounds the Street Fighter V Pavement
July 21, 2015
Capcom has introduced a new character for its upcoming Street Fighter V, as it continued a reveal that promises a more connected, less confusing experience for players of the next installment in the decades-old series. Whether in a dark alley or a sunny park, any encounter with Necalli would trigger the run-and-hide side of the fight or flight response.
Angry Birds 2 Set for Late July Landing
July 20, 2015
Six years and more than a dozen spinoffs after Angry Birds first took flight, the game finally will receive a proper sequel on July 30, Rovio announced last week. The details are scant, but Angry Birds 2 apparently will be "bigger, badder and birdier," going by a tweet from Rovio. It's likely that Angry Birds 2 will launch on both Android and iOS.
Comcast Needs to Do More Than Stream
July 16, 2015
Comcast -- and in fact, the entire cable television industry -- is going through a time of incredible change. Cable companies used to grow year after year because there was no competition. However, today they are losing market share, so to help plug the hole, Comcast just introduced Stream, a new subscription streaming service. It offers Xfinity customers more choices for content consumption.
Nintendo CEO Satoru Iwata Leaves Legacy of Charm
July 14, 2015
After more than a decade of shaping fan-forward Nintendo philosophies, President Satoru Iwata died Saturday at 55. Iwata had been struggling with cancer for about a year. The one-time programmer and long-time video game enthusiast worked his way through the Nintendo ranks. He succeeded Hiroshi Yamauchi in 2002, becoming the first Nintendo president who wasn't a member of the Yamauchi family.
Tech Tools to Make Your Next Move Less Painful
July 13, 2015
My wife and I just completed a move from California to Oregon, and it was far less painful than it could have been, thanks to technology. It used to be incredibly painful to move. While a lot of the pain is still there, technology has advanced a lot since we last moved -- about 18 years ago -- and at least some parts of the process now are far easier.
Microsoft's New Groove
July 12, 2015
Microsoft's Music app, formerly known as "Xbox Music," will sport a makeover when it arrives rebranded in Windows 10 as "Groove," the company announced earlier this week. Groove's dancing partner will be the all-new Movies & TV app. "Groove Music Pass" will replace "Xbox Music Pass" as the name of the $10-a-month premium streaming service. The apps will be a go on July 29.
Microsoft Anchors Minecraft Strategy to Education
July 5, 2015
Microsoft wants to find ways to assist the pioneering teachers who have taught pupils through the sandbox construction game Minecraft. The company earlier this week launched its Minecraft in Education initiative to turn the pioneers into pillars. There was puzzlement over Microsoft's end game last September, when it purchased Mojang, the studio behind the multiplatform hit.
Reviewers Sing Apple Music's Praises
July 1, 2015
Apple rolled out its new subscription music streaming service Tuesday, and it has been getting mostly raves from reviewers. "Apple has built a handsome, robust app and service that goes well beyond just offering a huge catalog of music by providing many ways to discover and group music for a very wide range of tastes and moods," wrote Walt Mossberg for Re/code.

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