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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.
Mac Birthday Video Stars iPhone
February 04, 2014
Unlike in 1984, when the Macintosh was introduced, there weren't any Apple ads at the Super Bowl this year. Instead, on the day after the Massacre in the Meadowlands, the company raised the curtain on a 127-second video celebrating the 30th anniversary of the Mac -- on YouTube. Video for the project was shot entirely with iPhones over a 36-hour period on Jan. 24, the 30th birthday of the Mac.
Aussie Prime Minister's YouTube Video Blocked as 'Spam'
February 03, 2014
A YouTube video posted by Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott was blocked after what national media described as "mischievous" spam reports. The video, "Delivering on our Promises," was replaced with a boilerplate YouTube message saying that the video had been removed because of "a violation of YouTube's policy against spam, scams and commercially deceptive content."
Horizon Keeps iPhone Video Shooting on the Level
January 23, 2014
Even if you've never been guilty of sharing one of those annoying vertical videos, you may have run into a situation where you've been filming and moving around at the same time -- and because you were scrambling over a rock or playfully wrestling while recording, your fun little video perspective spun vertical on you. Once you start shooting vertically, you're stuck.
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.
Russian Spacewalkers to Install Videocams Providing ISS-View of Earth
December 27, 2013
Two Russian cosmonauts on Friday began a spacewalk outside the International Space Station to install camera equipment from UrtheCast, which soon could provide near real-time streaming images to viewers on Earth. Canada-based UrtheCast partnered with the Russian Federal Space Agency to launch two cameras, one high- and one medium-resolution, into space last month.
Facebook Gently Shoves Silent Video Ads in Users' Faces
December 19, 2013
Facebook this week announced the rollout of video ads in the mobile and desktop News Feeds of some of its members. The video will begin playing in silent mode when it appears onscreen. Clicking or tapping on it will turn on the sound. Users who don't want to watch the videos can scroll or swipe past them. Facebook is pushing this to advertisers as a richer storytelling format.
Remote Video Security Is Mydlink+'s Weak Link
December 13, 2013
As a smartphone app reviewer, I often like to include a bit of explanation for why I choose to review the apps that I do. It adds a bit of human interest, and can make for a more enjoyable read. This week, the story is especially exciting. This is a review of D-Link's Mydlink+ remote security camera Android app add-on, and I can explain the reason for the review in one word: goats.
Instagram Hitches Wagon to Private Messaging
December 12, 2013
Instagram has dipped its toes into private-photo and video messaging waters. Instagram Direct allows the community's more than 150 million monthly active users to send photos and videos within a group. The process of sending a private message works just like posting a photo or video publicly: Take a new photo or upload an existing one, slap on a filter and effects, and add a caption and tags.
Shoot Super Widescreen Films With an iPhone? Seriously?
December 04, 2013
Budget filmmakers, here's one for you: Scott Cahall, a lens designer at Moondog Labs, has invented a 1.33x anamorphic adapter lens for the iPhone 5 and 5s and is offering it through a Kickstarter project. What's anamorphic? An anamorphic lens let you capture expansive panoramic images and film in gorgeous widescreen. It introduces organic lens flares and distortion that add character and depth.
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.
UK Gets Google, Microsoft to Step Up Online Child Porn Fight
November 18, 2013
Google and Microsoft have ramped up their efforts to fight online child porn following months of pressure by the office of UK Prime Minister James Cameron. The two have created a blacklist of search terms for which results will be blocked. When Cameron asked Google and Microsoft to create such a system in July, the companies told him blocking search results could not and should not be done.
Roku Thinks Out of the Box With AOL News
November 14, 2013
Video streaming service Roku has added an integrated news service powered by AOL to its home screen, the company announced Thursday, giving users quick access to news content. "News is among the fastest growing categories on the Roku platform, and this partnership with AOL makes it even easier for customers to find and start watching a variety of news videos," said Roku's Steve Shannon.
Wiggly Takes the Jiggle Out of iPhone Moviemaking
November 13, 2013
I was far up on the St. Joe Rive in Idaho one September, fly fishing with a buddy. We were filming some of the action because we were having such a great time. I spotted a big cutthroat trout and handed my friend the camera. Everything went perfectly: The trout rose and took my fly; I hooked it and fought the wild fish in a fun and spunky battle. Then I returned home and saw the footage.
FB Jockeys for Inside Track in Wireless Industry
November 12, 2013
Facebook has reportedly joined the GSM Association, making plain its heightened interest in mobile and wireless. GSMA is a group made up of mobile operators and other technology companies interested in standardizing and promoting the GSM cellular system. Nearly 800 of the world's mobile operators are members, as are more than 200 companies in the broader mobile ecosystem.
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.
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.

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