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Qplay Puts a Personal Spin on Internet TV
February 26, 2014
TiVo cofounders Mike Ramsay and James Barton on Tuesday launched Qplay, a brand-new company that aims to bring a new level of personalization to Internet TV. Comprised of an iPad app, a TV adapter and a dedicated cloud service, Qplay is designed to let users curate Internet video from across the Web and create "Qs," the company's name for personalized and shareable streams of content.
Candy Crush Maker Wants Wall St. to Pour a Little Sugar on It
February 18, 2014
King Digital Entertainment, creator of the blockbuster social game Candy Crush Saga, is planning to go public. The company filed its initial public offering paperwork with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission this week. The company's revenue soared by more than tenfold in 2013, rising to $1.88 billion from $164 million the previous year, the filing reveals.
Old Discs Get a Chance to Spin Again
February 18, 2014
One of the UK's go-to spots for selling entertainment products online, Entertainment Magpie is now setting its sights on the U.S. with the launch of Decluttr.com. In this podcast, we chat with CEO Steve Oliver about how the digital revolution affects a business model predicated on physical entertainment media.
Content Providers: Consumers Have Gone Mobile, Ready or Not
February 13, 2014
Americans are living in an increasingly digital and mobile world, according to "The Digital Consumer," the latest study published by research firm Nielsen. The report determined that Americans now own an average of four digital devices, with average per-person content consumption of 60 hours per week across devices. Consumers have more options than ever for when and how they access content.
10 New Pilots Sweeten Amazon's Prime Proposition
February 07, 2014
Amazon has announced the launch of Amazon Studios' brand-new pilot season of original comedy, drama and kid-oriented content. New to this year's lineup are dramas from the creators of The X-Files and Harry Bosch, plus comedies from Oscar-nominated Roman Coppola and Tony-nominated writer and director Alex Timbers. In all, there are five prime-time pilots and five aimed at kids.
Managing Big Data: Audience Measurement and Ad Targeting
February 03, 2014
The interaction of connected consumer electronics and digital media is creating vast and limitless amounts of user data, now commonly coined "Big Data." Many new business models are forming around these data, but for advertising, data have always been at the core of its business. Data of all varieties and volumes enable stakeholders to invest proportionally to the value of their media assets.
Glyph Mobile Theater Takes Kickstarter by Storm
January 24, 2014
Avegant's Glyph, which combines high-quality headphones with a retinal display for an all-in-one audiovisual device, has far surpassed its $250,000 Kickstarter goal since its Wednesday launch. The Glyph blew past its target within four hours, and by mid-day Friday had drawn $608,002 from 1,264 contributors. Backers who donate $499 or more earn a fully functional prototype of the device.
Apple TV: From High Hopes to Has-Been
January 24, 2014
When it comes to TV, Apple is starting to recede into the dark corners of my mind. Its relevance -- and even potential relevance -- is waning. A fancypants Apple-made big-screen HDTV device that seems to float in the air and function like a delightful work of art... . It not only seems unlikely any time soon, but also unlikely to really matter to anyone but rich Apple enthusiasts.
Crowdfunders Send Jamaican Bobsled Team to Sochi
January 21, 2014
The Jamaican bobsled team, which qualified for the Olympics for the first time since 2002, is heading to the Sochi Olympics, thanks in large part to a group of supporters who raised more than $25,000 worth of "Dogecoins," an Internet currency. The team needed about $40,000 total, and after the Internet came through with $25K, Jamaica's Olympic committee picked up the difference.
Free Streaming: Rdio, Spotify Duke It Out
January 17, 2014
Rdio announced Thursday that its Web users will have free, unlimited access to content, an update that came on the heels of similar news from Spotify. Spotify started offering free streaming music for iOS and Android mobile devices last month, and on Wednesday announced that it was eliminating time limits for all of its Web users. Less than a day after Spotify's update, Rdio followed suit.
InAiR Gives TV a Breath of Fresh AR
January 14, 2014
Forget second-screen TV viewing with a tablet or phone -- so-called second screens are a kludgy, old-school method of extending a show. What's new? SeeSpace InAiR: The World's 1st Augmented Television. InAiR is a Kickstarter project that intercepts your TV content stream, analyzes it, then reaches out to the Internet to grab relevant content, which it then displays in navigable layers on your HDTV screen.
Eye-Controlled Gaming May Be Closer Than It Appears
January 04, 2014
One of the biggest bugbears for gamers has long been the need to use a joystick to both track a target and control the motion of their avatar or weapons, but at International CES 2014 next week, Tobii Technology will demonstrate a new solution. Tobii has teamed up with SteelSeries, the companies announced Friday, to produce what they claim will be the first mass-market eye tracking peripheral for gamers.
There's a New Fair Use Law in Town
December 16, 2013
More than eight years ago, the Authors Guild filed a class action against Google on behalf of thousands of authors, claiming that Google infringed the authors' copyrights. The Authors Guild recently lost its case based on the fair use doctrine that's generally reserved for nonprofit use by academic institutions, libraries and the press.
All Things Appy: 5 Best Chrome Apps for Book Lovers
December 13, 2013
Books in a multimedia environment bring certain advantages not available on paper alone or via classic audiobooks. Among those advantages are audio accompaniment for text and cloud syncing of notes and highlights. Add to that the lower distribution costs of multimedia over paper and the browser becomes a good tool for books. You don't need an e-reader or a tablet.
Xbox One Edges Ahead in US Black Friday Sales
December 02, 2013
Sony's PlayStation 4 may have had a weeklong head start in building sales momentum, but on Black Friday, Microsoft's competing Xbox One appears to have edged out its rival -- at least in the United States. The new Xbox One -- along with the previous-generation Xbox 360 -- together accounted for 61 percent of console sales on Black Friday, compared with 30 percent for Sony's PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4.
LG Promises to Shut Down TV Spy Ops
November 21, 2013
LG Electronics on Thursday said it is preparing a firmware update to address concerns over the discovery that some of its smart TVs have been monitoring users' viewing habits and sending the information back to the company without owners' consent. The issue was discovered when UK-based IT consultant Jason Huntley found that his LG smart TV had logged the channels he was watching and sent that data back to the company.
Xbox One Party's On
November 20, 2013
Just one week after its biggest rival hit the market, Microsoft's new console, the Xbox One, will go on sale with a series of splashy events to mark the launch. From the stroke of midnight on Nov. 22, a new war will be under way. While Sony is focusing on game play with the PlayStation 4, Microsoft is pitching the Xbox One as a home entertainment hub.
PlayStation 4 Launch Dampened by Dearth of Hot Games
November 15, 2013
Sony's first new console in seven years, the PlayStation 4, hit the market Friday, but the launch was not without its glitches. Among the reported hardware problems were some complete failures. Less catastrophic, some systems would not output a signal through HDMI. Some issues cropped up following installation of the Day 1 patch, intended to offer additional functionality.
New Netflix TV Look Clears Out the Clutter
November 13, 2013
Netflix has refreshed its user interface for game consoles, smart TVs, set-top boxes and Blu-ray players, striving toward a unified user experience across all devices. The company, which has more than 40 million subscribers, created the new look specifically for larger screens. The interface presents browsers with three large images for each movie and TV show, along with a snappy description.
Countdown Begins to PS4 Launch
November 13, 2013
After months of buildup, the launch of Sony's PlayStation 4 video game console is now just a day away. The $399 console will go on sale at 12 a.m. on Friday, and Sony predicts that sales will exceed 3 million by the end of the year. While preorders will likely dominate the first day transactions, Sony has announced that it is ready with a steady stream of systems to arrive at retail through the holidays.
Netflix, YouTube Hog Half the Internet
November 11, 2013
Netflix and YouTube together now account for more than half of all North American fixed network data traffic during peak hours, according to a Sandvine Internet traffic trends report published Monday. Netflix now accounts for 31.6 percent of downstream traffic in North America, while YouTube accounts for another 18.6 percent. Peer-to-peer file-sharing now accounts for less than 10 percent of total daily traffic.
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.

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