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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.
Amazon Seeks a Piece of Every Online-Payment Pie
October 11, 2013
Much the way PayPal is working to extend its reach into the bricks-and-mortar world, so is looking farther afield across the rest of the Web. The online purveyor this week launched Login and Pay with Amazon, a new program that allows online businesses to set up login and payment credentials through Amazon to ease the registration and payment process.
Foxconn in Trouble Again Over PS4
October 10, 2013
Taiwanese manufacturer Foxconn, one of the world's most vilified workers-rights violators, confirmed reports that it is manufacturing Sony's upcoming PlayStation 4 on the backs of university interns. Chinese media broke the story, asserting that thousands of students from an engineering program at the Xi'an Institute of Technology are being forced to work at Foxconn's Yantai plant.
Tech Titans Take On Global Digital Divide
October 08, 2013
A coalition of organizations has launched the Alliance for Affordable Internet Access to create the conditions for open, competitive and innovative broadband markets in developing nations. The alliance "will undertake a blend of international advocacy and research, coupled with on-the-ground work," in three pioneer countries, said A4AI Executive Director Sonia Jorge.
France Trying to Cut Down Amazon
October 04, 2013
In France, members of parliament unanimously supported a bill designed to restrict Amazon's ability to discount books. In particular, the lawmakers want to prohibit Amazon's practice of packaging a 5 percent discount with free delivery, a deal so tantalizingly awesome that France is worried about the livelihood of independent bookstores. The vote brought together right-wing and left-wing parliamentarians.
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.
Judge Cuts Google No Slack in Gmail Wiretap Case
September 27, 2013
Google may have breached federal and California wiretapping laws by machine-scanning Gmail messages in order to deliver targeted advertising, U.S. District Judge Lucy H. Koh ruled on Thursday. As a result of the ruling, a class-action suit against Google over the issue can now proceed. The suit contends that non-Gmail users were also subject to illegal interception when they sent email to Gmail users.
Twitter Alerts: One Emergency System to Aggregate Them All?
September 26, 2013
Twitter on Wednesday launched Twitter Alerts, a new emergency notification service. The feature "brings us one step closer to helping users get important and accurate information from credible organizations during emergencies, natural disasters or moments when other communications services aren't accessible," explained Gaby Peņa, a product manager with the company.
Google Makes It Official With Same-Day Delivery Debut
September 26, 2013
Google announced Wednesday that it is opening its Google Shopping Express service to shoppers in the entire San Francisco Bay Area, marking the official launch and first big expansion of the company's same-day delivery service. Google began testing the retail delivery service earlier this year among a limited set of invited consumers in a few areas within the Bay Area.
RealNetworks Banks on Cloud for Video-Sharing Comeback
September 25, 2013
RealNetworks on Tuesday announced RealPlayer Cloud, a new service that allows users to upload video files to the company's servers and then view and share them across devices. Billed by the company as the first integrated video player and cloud service, RealPlayer Cloud automatically transforms video formats in the cloud to give viewers the highest-quality experience possible, RealNetworks said.
Netflix Gives Itself a Personality Makeover
September 17, 2013
Netflix on Monday updated its "long-term view" of the industry to include a far wider range of competitive factors than it has ever had in the past. The company also adjusted its competitive focus accordingly, taking into account a number of players that it had previously ignored. In a nutshell, the company said it expects that Internet TV will replace linear TV over the coming decades.
A Satellite's-Eye View on Mobile Payments
September 17, 2013
Turn-by-turn directions have become a common technological enhancement to the automotive world thanks to a set of satellites dedicated to the task. To date, these radio positioning signals have been supplied to consumers primarily by the U.S. military through a satellite constellation called "GPS," or Global Positioning System. Essentially, receivers on the ground interpret the signals and tell you where you are.
Investors All Atwitter Over IPO News
September 13, 2013
Twitter is moving forward with its long-awaited initial public offering, and it announced the news in a particularly fitting manner: "We've confidentially submitted an S-1 to the SEC for a planned IPO," it said in a tweet sent on Thursday. For more details, stay tuned. Normally that's not quite the way it works in securities filings, but Twitter qualifies as an "emerging growth company."
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.
NSA Comments Put Zuckerberg's Political Clout to the Test
September 12, 2013
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg did not pull any punches Wednesday in describing the U.S. government's communications approach to revelations that the National Security Agency has been accessing digital conversations around the world -- and using tech companies such as Facebook in the process. "Frankly, I think the government blew it," Zuckerberg told the audience at the TechCrunch Disrupt conference.
Net Neutrality Wrecking Ball May Be in Motion
September 12, 2013
A federal court this week heard oral arguments in Verizon's battle with the FCC over Net neutrality. The FCC's position is that the Internet depends on openness, which has driven jobs and innovation, and that prior to its issuing the Open Internet rules, several broadband access providers had blocked or degraded service, threatening the engine that drives investment in broadband facilities.
Walmart Jumps on Smartphone Trade-In Bandwagon
September 10, 2013
Hard on the heels of the recent announcement of Apple's iPhone trade-in program, Walmart on Tuesday announced a smartphone trade-in program of its own with up to $300 in-store credit for the old devices turned in. Specifically, consumers can get an immediate credit of between $50 and $300 for more than 100 mobile devices. An Apple iPhone 5, for example, can earn $300.
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."
CBS, Time Warner Bury Hatchets
September 03, 2013
Viewers in New York, Los Angeles and Dallas will be able to watch the US Open tennis tournament and the final episodes of the hit serial-killer drama Dexter on Showtime this week thanks to a new agreement between CBS and Time Warner Cable that ends a monthlong blackout. CBS programming, which includes Showtime Anytime and video-on-demand services, resumed on Monday at 6 p.m. ET.
Amazon Gives Devs 1-Click to Woo Them All
August 27, 2013
Amazon on Tuesday released the Mobile Associates API, new software that allows app developers to create ads for Amazon products with one-click purchasing. The new release is an extension of Amazon Associates, an affiliate program created by the online retailer in 1996. Under the mobile guidelines, developers can set up ads with specific Amazon products or categories that fit into the context of the app.

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