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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.
Facebook to TV Nets: Take Our Data - Please!
October 03, 2013
Facebook reportedly will begin providing TV broadcasters with data about the chatter their shows are inspiring on the site. Facebook is in fierce competition with Twitter to become the primary destination for second-screen users to post their reactions and engage with others while watching TV series, sporting events, and special-occasion broadcasts like the Emmys.
Game Like It's 1995 With Web-Based Hover
October 02, 2013
There's little doubt Microsoft has its gaming sights set primarily on the future with the approaching launch of its next generation Xbox One video game console next month, but on Wednesday the company took an old school turn and launched an updated version of the classic Windows 95 game Hover. Hover originally arrived as an Easter Egg -- a hidden piece of software -- in Windows 95 installation CD-ROMs.
AOL Winds Up for Gathr Marketing Blitz
October 02, 2013
AOL has launched a limited version of Gathr, which aggregates online services for subscription at discounts of up to 60 percent of what they would cost on their own. Monthly subscriptions to prebundled packages start at $15, and some come with a bonus $10 Amazon gift card. Alternatively, consumers can create their own bundles, aggregating any three of the available services for $15 a month.
Roadblocks Stymie GTA's Online Launch
October 01, 2013
The launch of Grand Theft Auto V last month was a success by any measure, but Tuesday's debut of GTA Online wasn't quite as smooth. Rockstar Games itself predicted a buggy arrival for its game's online counterpart and said it bought new servers ahead of time to support the predicted demand, but on Tuesday players looking to commit online break-ins and heists were all but locked out.
If You're a Cinephile, You'll Love Mubi - if Not, It May Make You One
September 30, 2013
MUBI is an app for classic and independent movie lovers: Each day, the MUBI team hand picks an international, independent or classic film. MUBI subscribers can then view that film for up to 30 days, and effectively, this means that you can watch 30 or so movies each month for $4.99, or less per month if you sign up for six months or a year. The MUBI app is fantastic.
SpoilerFoiler Protects Breaking Bad Fans From Telling Tweets
September 24, 2013
Netflix unveiled its SpoilerFoiler app Monday, a tool designed for Breaking Bad fans who want to scan their Twitter feeds without encountering any show spoilers. Twitter users who log in via SpoilerFoiler get a normal view of their Twitter news feed, except that any tweet containing words about the Breaking Bad series finale will be blacked out.
Valve's SteamOS Arms Linux Gaming for Living Room Wars
September 24, 2013
After bringing its Steam gaming service to Linux earlier this year, Valve on Tuesday unveiled SteamOS, a new, Linux-based operating system that is designed to deliver PC entertainment in the living room. The new OS will connect with the Steam gaming service, offering all of the features PC-based Steam users are accustomed to, and yet is designed with the big screen in mind, Valve said.
Sony Predicts Gangbuster PS4 Sales
September 20, 2013
Sony on Thursday went on a media blitz in Tokyo, disclosing more details and outlining ambitious sales targets for its upcoming PlayStation 4. The gaming device is due to arrive on shelves in the United States Nov. 15, and Sony aims to sell 5 million PS4s by March 31, it reportedly said at the Tokyo Game Show. As of August, 1 million PS4s had been preordered online.
The Connected TV Device Landscape
September 16, 2013
Almost all entertainment devices entering the home now have connectivity capabilities. These connected TV devices include smart TVs, gaming consoles, streaming video media devices such as a Roku or Apple TV, and Blu-ray players. Currently, more than 50 percent of U.S. broadband households have at least one consumer electronics home entertainment device that streams video and is connected to the Internet.
E-Media Continue to Erode Print Media
September 13, 2013
Whatever happened to that venerable weekly magazine we all knew as Newsweek? The magazine was published in the United States from 1933 to Dec. 31, 2012. The cause of its demise was the continued and ever-growing encroachment of e-media into its readership base. Many of us saw this coming.
Wireless Aside, Cr OS Linux Delivers the Best of Two Worlds
September 11, 2013
The Cr OS Linux distribution is an interesting blend of the Cinnamon desktop with a special edition of the Chromium Web browser. The approach Cr OS Linux takes gives you a taste of Linux Mint with a chaser of a not-quick pure Google Chrome OS. Cr OS is a fully functional Linux distro. It has its own repository and package manager to provide software updates.
China Targets Online Rumor Mill With Threat of Jail
September 10, 2013
China's Supreme Court announced new guidelines for Internet use, including years-long jail stints for people who author "online rumors" that are viewed more than 5,000 times or reposted 500 times. Such a post would qualify as defamation, which in China carries a max sentence of three years in jail. Should a post "seriously endanger social order and national interests," more serious charges could be pursued.
Oyster Takes a Crack at E-Book Subscriptions
September 07, 2013
The subscription model has already proven its mettle when it comes to music and movies, but this week Oyster unveiled a new service that applies the concept to books instead. Specifically, the startup on Thursday launched an invitation-only preview of an e-book rental service that's widely being described as the "Netflix of books."
Hold the iPhone - Apple TV May Get Update as Well
September 06, 2013
Sept. 10 has already been the focus of frenzied attention among those anticipating the next iPhone, but in the last few days another rumor has popped up as well. Specifically, Apple might also use its widely hyped event to announce an update to its Apple TV set-top box product, the rumors suggest. It all started when Apple received a shipment called "Set Top Box with Communication Function" last month.
MS Powers Up Xbox One for Nov. 22 Blast-Off
September 04, 2013
Microsoft will launch its Xbox One video game console on Nov. 22 in 13 countries, the company announced on Wednesday. Among the first nations to receive the widely anticipated device are Australia, Austria, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Mexico, New Zealand, Spain, the UK and the United States. Other markets will follow in early 2014.
Ministry of Sound Sues Spotify Over Copycat Compilations
September 04, 2013
Ministry of Sound, a London night club and dance music brand, is suing music streaming service Spotify for copyright infringement. Ministry of Sound claims that Spotify has refused to delete users' playlists that copy Ministry of Sound compilation albums, some of which contain "Ministry of Sound" in their titles. The brand is thus seeking damages and costs as well as an injunction.
Yahoo China's Days May Be Numbered
September 03, 2013
Yahoo China ceased providing news and community services Sunday, a move experts say signals that Yahoo is pulling the plug on its Chinese service. People attempting to access Yahoo China are now automatically redirected to now.taobao.com, a public welfare site run by China-based Alibaba Group, which operated Yahoo China and used to own a large stake in Yahoo.
Nintendo 2DS: It's a Flat World After All
August 29, 2013
With an eye toward the upcoming holiday season, Nintendo on Wednesday announced a $50 price cut on its Wii U gaming platform and rolled out a brand-new portable gaming system priced at just $129.99. Slated for release on Oct. 12 in red or blue, the new Nintendo 2DS is an entry-level gaming system that plays all Nintendo 3DS and Nintendo DS games in 2D.
Face Plus Gives Digital Characters Heart and Soul
August 29, 2013
Mixamo on Wednesday launched Face Plus, a new tool that lets developers and filmmakers convert human facial expressions recorded by a webcam into high-fidelity 3D animation to enliven their digital characters. Face Plus works with any ordinary webcam, making it possible to produce short scenes, commercials or games that feature animated characters without having to bring actors into a studio.

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