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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.
Discharged Female Cadet Sues Aussie Gov't for Sexual Harassment
November 04, 2013
An Australian woman formerly in the Australian Defense Force said that she plans to sue the nation's federal government for grievances stemming from a sordid saga in which a fellow cadet filmed the two of them having sex and then streamed it via Skype. The woman, known in the media as "Kate," said she will file suit against the defense department in the Australian Human Rights Commission.
Stop Motion Studio Brings Out the LEGO Moviemaking Geek in All of Us
November 04, 2013
Stop Motion Studio is an app that lets you take photos and string them together to create a stop-motion video. It's super easy, and the results are naturally sort of dorky in an undeniably fun way. The app is free, but before I pulled the trigger on the in-app extras, I saw Stop Motion Studio Pro for $4.99. I promptly deleted the free version and bought the paid Pro version.
Measuring the Expanding Video Data Universe
November 04, 2013
Visible Measures measures via a massive analytics capability an ocean of video at some impressively high scales. By creating very deep census data of everything that's happened in the video space, Visible Measures uses unique statistical processes to figure out exactly what patterns emerge within video usage at high speed and massive scale and granularity.
When Film Distribution Fails, Piracy Wins
November 02, 2013
Last month, researchers at George Mason University's Mercatus Center launched a website, PiracyData.org, to determine whether or not there are legal alternatives for viewing the world's most pirated movies. The researchers will quantify the validity -- or invalidity -- of copyright holders' claims that pirates are thieving material that is indeed available elsewhere.
Social Media's Winning Educational Ways
October 30, 2013
Social media is changing the way teachers teach and students learn. When students from the Montclair Kimberley Academy visited Ireland a few years ago, they blogged on Wordpress, posted photos on Flickr, uploaded videos to YouTube, and tweeted. That social media engagement contributed to their education in new and profound ways, said their teacher, William Stites.
Netflix Mulls Silver-Screen Debut
October 29, 2013
Netflix has already produced original content including Emmy-nominated House of Cards, but now it looks like the over-the-top streaming service may be interested in producing feature films destined for the silver screen as well. Specifically, instead of making made-for-TV features, Netflix hopes to make movies for theaters and show them on its service at the same time.
Making Short Spark Videos Is No Fuss, No Muss
October 28, 2013
Yet another video camera app? What gives? Can it really be that cool? To find out what Spark Camera brings to the world, I bought it -- and I was pleasantly surprised. First, the interface is super simple, clean and effective. To start recording, you just put any finger or thumb on the screen and hello, you're recording. Take your finger off the screen, and you stop recording.
TiVo to Roamio Users: Roam if You Want To
October 24, 2013
TiVo was one of the first to enable consumers to time-shift their TV viewing via DVRs, and now it is targeting place-shifting capabilities as well with out-of-home streaming via the TiVo Roamio Pro and TiVo Roamio Plus DVRs. The two devices were launched earlier this year, but on Thursday the company announced that the functionality to stream to a mobile device is now available.
Swedish Judge Not Very Perturbed by Teen's Porn-sploitation Stunt
October 23, 2013
A Swedish court reduced the fine for a teenage boy who uploaded a pornographic video of his unwitting then-girlfriend. The original fine was going to be about US$20,000 but was reduced to less than $4,000 after the ruling. Notably, the court justified its decision by asserting that young people are "so open" about their sexual behavior that such a large fine was unjustified.
Xnoise Makes Sweet Music - Once You Get It Installed
October 17, 2013
Xnoise is a new Linux Media Player for GTK+ environments that just keeps getting better. Perhaps the last thing that the Linux world needs is yet another media player, but Xnoise bridges the gap in this overcrowded software category. It has an intuitive user interface, speed and essential features. The latest version, 0.2.19, was released Sept. 17, 2013, and is not yet well-circulated.
Unu Plays 3 Ways to the Android Gaming Crowd
October 12, 2013
The Android gaming market is becoming increasingly crowded, but on Thursday Sunflex announced a fresh contender: the Unu, a combination console, tablet and home entertainment device that will arrive at retail next month. The Unu offers the promise of bringing virtually any game from Google Play to the living room TV via a TV-connected dock.
Aereo Flies Higher on Court Ruling, App News
October 11, 2013
Aereo, the upstart TV streaming company that's giving the broadcasting industry dyspepsia, has won yet another court case against broadcasters. Judge Nathaniel M. Gorton of the U.S. District Court for the district of Massachusetts ruled this week denying the motion of Hearst Stations, doing business as WCVB-TV, for a preliminary injunction against Aereo.
Kdenlive Delivers Near-Pro Video Editing - If You Have the Right Stuff
October 03, 2013
Kdenlive is a multitrack, nonlinear video-editing suite packed with some of the most recent video technologies. This application can be a great tool if you have serious video work to do, but you need to fully test it before attempting any mission-critical editing tasks. Kdenlive takes some effort to learn. That's especially the case if you have little experience with other video-editing software.
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.
Iran Briefly Loses Grip on Social Media
September 17, 2013
Facebook and Twitter were widely available to Iranian netizens on Monday. Come Tuesday, however, things were back to normal: The sites were blocked. Faulty Internet filters reportedly caused the sites to become available -- not some newfound progressive streak in Tehran. Western-born social media sites were blocked during protests over former president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's election victory in 2009.
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.

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