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Apps Lineup Promises Xbox One Entertainment Edge
November 08, 2013
Microsoft on Friday announced the first wave of entertainment apps for its upcoming Xbox One video game console, which will arrive in stores Nov. 22. In the United States, the announced apps for the Xbox One include streaming-video offerings from Amazon Instant Video, ESPN, Fox Now, Hulu Plus, Machinima, Netflix, Redbox Instant by Verizon, the NFL on Xbox One, and VUDU, among others.
Dish Swings Blockbuster Wrecking Ball
November 07, 2013
Dish Network on Wednesday announced that it will close its 300 remaining Blockbuster stores by early January and will end its Blockbuster By Mail service by mid-December. The company cited increased competition from digital and on-demand entertainment. Dish acquired Blockbuster in April 2011 for $320 million. At the time, it announced that it would keep 90 percent of the stores in operation.
RagTag Army Fights to Rescue America in New Call of Duty
November 05, 2013
Activision on Tuesday released Call of Duty: Ghosts for the Sony PlayStation 3, Microsoft Xbox 360, Nintendo Wii U and PC. The game will be released later this month for the upcoming PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. Ghosts is the latest arrival in the popular first-person franchise, which has generated billions of dollars in sales and has been an annual hit for the company.
Niantic Opens Ingress to AR Gamers Hot to Trot for Exotic Matter
November 05, 2013
Google's Niantic Labs on Monday announced that it was lifting the invitation-only restriction on its augmented reality game Ingress. The game launched in beta about a year ago, and interested players needed an invitation code to participate. Now all Android users can download the free massively multiplayer game from Google Play. The game will officially exit beta status on Dec. 14.
Tomahawk Music Player Takes Listening to a New High
October 31, 2013
The trick to designing an all-purpose music player is to make it work the way you want. The Tomahawk Music Player performs that trick very well. It could well be a better listening choice than any other cross-platform music player application. It runs on a variety of Linux distros, Microsoft Windows and the Apple OS platforms. This flexibility is important to me as a user because I work on all three.
New Disney Kids' Show to Get 1st Run on Tablets
October 30, 2013
Disney is giving one of its new children's shows a home on mobile devices before it broadcasts the program via its TV networks. Sheriff Callie's Wild West, the first Western for 2-to-7-year-olds, according to the company, will make its debut on Disney's Watch Disney Junior App on Nov. 24. It will also be available online to viewers who subscribe to certain TV providers' services.
Netflix Mulls Silver-Screen Debut
October 29, 2013
Netflix has already produced original content including Emmy-nominated House of Cards, but now it looks like the over-the-top streaming service may be interested in producing feature films destined for the silver screen as well. Specifically, instead of making made-for-TV features, Netflix hopes to make movies for theaters and show them on its service at the same time.
TiVo to Roamio Users: Roam if You Want To
October 24, 2013
TiVo was one of the first to enable consumers to time-shift their TV viewing via DVRs, and now it is targeting place-shifting capabilities as well with out-of-home streaming via the TiVo Roamio Pro and TiVo Roamio Plus DVRs. The two devices were launched earlier this year, but on Thursday the company announced that the functionality to stream to a mobile device is now available.
Netflix Takes Stomach-Churning Dive
October 22, 2013
Netflix beat expectations with Q3 revenue of $1.11 billion -- up from $905 million in the same quarter a year ago. At first, investors seemed energized -- they sent the stock soaring to a daily high of $389.16 on Tuesday. Going into Tuesday afternoon, though, the stock cooled, dropping 9 percent to close at 322.52. BofA analysts said the company's valuation was "difficult to justify."
Sony Gets Its Videogame Mojo Working
October 21, 2013
Sony's PlayStation 3 video game console showed in September that it still was able to pack a bit of a punch, dethroning Microsoft's Xbox 360, according to the NPD Group. The Xbox 360 had been the top-selling video console for 32 straight months since January 2011. The Xbox 360 also passed a significant milestone, though, with more than 80 million systems sold worldwide.
Facebook Gives Teens a Longer Leash
October 18, 2013
Facebook on Thursday made two seemingly contradictory changes to its settings for teen users. On one hand, it narrowed the audience that can see teens' posts by default; at the same time, however, it made it possible for the first time for teens to open up their posts to the public at large. Until now, the default audience for posts made by kids aged 13 through 17 was "friends of friends."
Netflix Is Thinking Inside the Cable Box
October 14, 2013
Netflix may be angling to provide streaming content to cable subscribers. It apparently is exploring deals with Comcast and Suddenlink Communications to launch an app for set-top boxes. Netflix streams its content through Web-connected TVs; media players such as Apple TV and Roku; video game consoles from Microsoft, Nintendo and Sony; and many Blu-ray players.
Unu Plays 3 Ways to the Android Gaming Crowd
October 12, 2013
The Android gaming market is becoming increasingly crowded, but on Thursday Sunflex announced a fresh contender: the Unu, a combination console, tablet and home entertainment device that will arrive at retail next month. The Unu offers the promise of bringing virtually any game from Google Play to the living room TV via a TV-connected dock.
Aereo Flies Higher on Court Ruling, App News
October 11, 2013
Aereo, the upstart TV streaming company that's giving the broadcasting industry dyspepsia, has won yet another court case against broadcasters. Judge Nathaniel M. Gorton of the U.S. District Court for the district of Massachusetts ruled this week denying the motion of Hearst Stations, doing business as WCVB-TV, for a preliminary injunction against Aereo.
Lenovo's Android Laptop Will Bend Over Backwards
October 11, 2013
Manuals from Lenovo that were leaked onto the Internet indicate that the company is working on a laptop running Android. Not only were two manuals for the IdeaPad A10 discovered this week on the Web -- one dated July and the other dated August -- but Lenovo has reportedly since confirmed the upcoming product. Android will come preinstalled on the device.
Comcast Recruits Twitter to Connect Viewers With Shows
October 10, 2013
Comcast is teaming up with Twitter to launch a new feature that will allow Twitter users to tune into live TV shows via the social network, making the site a go-to spot for television conversations and viewing. Dubbed "See It," the feature unveiled Wednesday allows Twitter users to control their set-top viewing with the click of a button marked "See It" that will be displayed on the tweet about the show.
Multipath Router: Everybody Gets to Stream!
October 09, 2013
The Multipath Router -- a project seeking crowdfunding on Indiegogo -- could change the way we connect to the Internet. Remember when Internet service was delivered to the home and workplace through copper voice phone lines terminating in a squeaking analog modem? Speeds using that clunky old system were restricted to a lethargic 56,000 baud, or 56 kbps -- slow, in other words.
Nielsen Sets Its Sights on Tweets About TV
October 08, 2013
Nielsen on Monday rolled out Nielsen Twitter TV Ratings, a service it says is the first-ever measure of the total activity and reach of TV-related conversation on Twitter. Nielsen Twitter TV Ratings measure not only "authors" -- or the number of people tweeting about TV programs -- but also the much larger audience of people who actually view those tweets.
Instagram Takes Cautious Step Into the Ad World
October 05, 2013
Over the next couple of months Instagram will begin incorporating the "occasional ad" in U.S. users' feeds, the company announced on Thursday. The ads will include high-quality photos and videos from a few brands that are part of the Instagram community, the company explained. Users will have control over the ads, including hiding the ones they don't like and providing feedback as to why.
Why Did Jeff Bezos Buy The Washington Post?
October 03, 2013
To one who has been predicting the demise of print media for over five years, it might seem odd that such a techie as Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos would buy The Washington Post. Why, even this past November, Bezos said in an interview, "one thing I'm certain about: There won't be printed newspapers in 20 years." Yet, I see nothing strange about his purchase.

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