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How to Watch TV on Your Laptop
April 03, 2014
The big TV news this week is about hardware, with Amazon launching its Fire TV to rival Roku, Apple TV and Chromecast. Speculation had been hot and heavy that Amazon would launch its own pay-TV service, but that hasn't happened... yet. That's what the real TV wars likely will be fought over, though -- how content reaches consumers. A major battle will kick off this month in the Supreme Court.
Amazon Sets TV on Fire
April 02, 2014
Amazon on Wednesday put paid to the buzz circulating around its plans for a set-top box, announcing Amazon Fire TV at a New York event. The size of a CD box and just over half an inch thick, Fire TV takes on set-top boxes, the iPod, Apple TV and game consoles. It plugs into users' HDTVs to provide instant access to Netflix, Prime Instant Video, Hulu Plus, WatchESPN, Showtime and Amazon videos.
Amazon: And Now for Something Completely Different
April 02, 2014
Amazon is widely expected to reveal a new set-top video streaming device on Wednesday. It likely will introduce either a streaming stick like the HDMI Google Chromecast or a set-top box like the Apple Apple TV. Or, the company might produce both options -- like Roku's new Streaming Stick or more traditional Roku box. Like the Kindle Fire, Amazon's operating system will be Android-based.
Nvidia's ECS: Some Amazing Little Companies to Watch
March 31, 2014
Nvidia's Emerging Companies Summit, a place to check out some of the firms that could become the next breakout company, didn't disappoint this year. Among the highlights: A firm that could redefine advertising connected to Web pictures and videos; a company that could put your entire desktop and gaming experience in the cloud; and one that could help you actually hear that TV you see at a bar.
Disney Snaps Up Maker to Court Millennials
March 26, 2014
Disney this week announced it would acquire Maker Studios, a provider of short-form videos, for at least $500 million -- a number that could go up if Maker meets performance targets. Maker's videos account for more than 5.5 billion monthly views on YouTube -- it has 380 million subscribers. Among its more than 55,000 YouTube channels are the popular Epic Rap Battles of History.
Billion-Dollar YouTube Suit Ends With a Whimper
March 18, 2014
Google and Viacom have settled a long-running copyright suit, after a federal judge twice threw out the case. "This settlement reflects the growing collaborative dialogue between our two companies on important opportunities, and we look forward to working more closely together," the two said in a brief joint statement. Terms were not disclosed, but reportedly, no money changed hands.
All Hacks on Deck: Japan Invites Hackers to Go At Government
March 18, 2014
Japan invited hackers -- nice ones, that is -- to go to town on the nation's government departments Tuesday. The move is designed to expose weaknesses in cyberdefenses and bolster national security ahead of the 2020 Olympics. Japan enlisted 50 cyberdefense specialists to gather at an emergency response center in Tokyo; an additional 100-plus were stationed offsite.
Super Joey Makes Dish Hopper a TV Junkie's Delight
March 14, 2014
How do you make Dish Network's Hopper HD-DVR system even better? Easy -- you supersize it. Introduced earlier this year at CES, Super Joey has officially arrived, and for TV fans it more than lives up to its "super" moniker. Utilizing the same Hopper and Sling technology as previous versions, it now increases the recording power. The Joey units are basically room extenders to the Dish set-top box.
Amazon Hits Up Prime Members for Another 20 Bucks
March 13, 2014
Amazon is hiking the price of the Amazon Prime subscription service for the first time since it launched nine years ago. Members will have to pay $99 for their subscription instead of $79. Amazon Student members will pay $49 for the service. Those who subscribe to Amazon Prime get unlimited two-day shipping on eligible items, as well as streaming video and book-borrowing privileges.
All Things Appy: Top 5 Artistic Apps for Chrome
March 13, 2014
Photography, film, music and fine art are all noble pursuits. In this installment of All Things Appy, we take a look at the five best free artistic apps for the Chrome Web browser. Geared toward image showcasing and display across the Chrome ecosystem, our first choice, the 500px app, lets you browse and search for 500px photography. No work involved -- it's for viewing.
Fed Ruling May Bring Flocks of Buzzing Drones to US Skies
March 07, 2014
The use of commercial drones in U.S. airspace is essentially legal, at least for the time being. National Transportation Safety Board Judge Patrick Geraghty this week nixed the Federal Aviation Administration's attempt to levy a $10,000 against Raphael Pirker for using a remote-controlled glider to capture video footage for an ad.
Roku Sticks It to Google With Streaming Device
March 05, 2014
oku has announced a new HDMI dongle for televisions. The Streaming Stick is a compact Roku player that plugs inconspicuously into an HDMI port, offering a streamlined look that Roku suggests is suited to wall-mounted TVs. It is paired with a remote control that can be used to navigate the Roku interface. The device offers shortcuts to movies, TV series, news, search and more.
College Student's Facebook Folly Could Cost $80K
March 03, 2014
A student at Boston College may have cost her family $80,000 -- and herself a trip to Europe. The student, Dana Snay, posted a Facebook status update boasting of her father's victory in an age discrimination case. The father, 69, was the headmaster of a school for years, but his contract was not renewed in 2010. This prompted a lawsuit, which was settled for $80,000 in late 2011.
Appeasing Consumers' Insatiable Appetite for Online Video
March 03, 2014
At nearly 30 hours per week, video consumption in the average U.S. broadband household has increased approximately 29 percent since 2010. Although the TV set remains the most popular platform, its usage rates have remained relatively constant. Eighty-three percent of U.S. broadband households participating in a recent survey reported having watched video on a television in the past 30 days.
Bear Witness: Street View Heads North for Polar Bears
February 27, 2014
Google's Street View team has captured images of polar bears in northern Canada, a successful end to its first-ever wildlife-specific quest. Google Street View has long been in the business of capturing things other than streets, including, for example, the world's tallest mountains and Antarctica. These photo-mapping quests aren't always without incident.
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.
Apple Gets Litigious in China
February 26, 2014
Apple is suing China's State Intellectual Property Office and domestic company Zhizhen Network Technology over patent issues related to Siri, Apple's voice recognition software. The State Intellectual Property Office is responsible for patents rights protection in China, while Zhizhen developed software similar to Siri. Zhizhen patented its own voice recognition software, "Xiao i Robot," in 2004.
Google Gives Teleconferencing a Chromebox Sheen
February 07, 2014
Google is moving into a new market with the launch of its teleconferencing system, Chromebox for Business. The system uses the Chrome operating system and is built on Chrome's core tenets of simplicity, speed and security. It marries Google+ Hangouts and Google Apps to allow meeting participants to hold high-definition video meetings with document collaboration options.
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.
Lightworks Video Editor Pulls Plenty of Weight
February 06, 2014
Lightworks is a professional-grade nonlinear video editor now available for Linux. It is a cross-platform editor from a well-known player in the media market, so this first-time Linux release could be a big thing. Lightworks version 11.5 for Linux was released late last month, following three years of development. Linux users now can download a free version or pay for a Pro version.

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