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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.
Early China Launch Heads Off iPhone Smugglers at the Pass
September 11, 2013
Smugglers who have long taken advantage of delays in Apple product releases in China will have a harder go of it when the company launches its newest iPhone models. The devices, the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c, will be launched almost simultaneously in the U.S. and China. This will complicate the practice of smuggling products into mainland China from Hong Kong.
MS Win in Moto Patent Case Could Mean Big Money
September 06, 2013
A federal court in Seattle this week upheld Microsoft's claim that Motorola Mobility refused to license its standard essential patents at a fair and reasonable cost, resulting in an award to Microsoft of $14.5 million in damages. Microsoft claimed that the license fees Motorola Mobility initially demanded for its patents were exorbitant.
Hold the iPhone - Apple TV May Get Update as Well
September 06, 2013
Sept. 10 has already been the focus of frenzied attention among those anticipating the next iPhone, but in the last few days another rumor has popped up as well. Specifically, Apple might also use its widely hyped event to announce an update to its Apple TV set-top box product, the rumors suggest. It all started when Apple received a shipment called "Set Top Box with Communication Function" last month.
Webcam Maker Takes FTC's Heat for Internet-of-Things Security Failure
September 05, 2013
The FTC on Wednesday announced a settlement with Trendnet over its lax security practices. The action stemmed from privacy invasions that occurred in January 2012, when hackers posted live feeds to the Web from nearly 700 cameras made by the company. "Right now, we're doing enforcement, as you can see from the Trendnet case," said FTC spokesperson Peter Kaplan.
Acer's Liquid S2 Phablet Arrives Early at 4K Party
September 03, 2013
Against the backdrop of the IFA 2013 trade show in Berlin on Monday, Acer introduced its new Liquid S2 smartphone, a 6-inch full HD handset capable of capturing 4K video. The Liquid S2 has the distinction of being the first smartphone with officially announced 4K Ultra HD recording capability. Its 6-inch screen offers full HD with IPS technology and 1080p resolution.
Face Plus Gives Digital Characters Heart and Soul
August 29, 2013
Mixamo on Wednesday launched Face Plus, a new tool that lets developers and filmmakers convert human facial expressions recorded by a webcam into high-fidelity 3D animation to enliven their digital characters. Face Plus works with any ordinary webcam, making it possible to produce short scenes, commercials or games that feature animated characters without having to bring actors into a studio.
Chromecast Update Snuffs Unauthorized Content
August 26, 2013
Google's Chromecast dongle may be built primarily to stream content from the likes of Netflix and YouTube, but that hasn't stopped app developers from expanding its reach. On Sunday, however, one such developer said that a recent Chromecast update had blocked his Android application. "Google's latest Chromecast update intentionally breaks AllCast," wrote Koushik Dutta, the app's developer.
By Hook or by Crook: B&N Bets on Apps to Buoy Nook
August 19, 2013
Barnes & Noble on Monday announced a suite of free video apps that will let users watch Nook Video movies and TV shows on a range of devices, including tablets that compete with its own Nook. This comes just a month after the retailer announced that it would cease designing and selling its color tablets. Also in July, William Lynch was replaced as CEO and director.
Google to Microsoft: No HTML5, No YouTube App
August 16, 2013
The war of the words between tech giants Microsoft and Google heated up considerably this week when Google blocked a relaunched YouTube app for Windows Phone, causing Microsoft to lash out and question the validity of Google's complaints. "It seems to us that Google's reasons for blocking our app are manufactured," wrote Microsoft's David Howard.
Nice Systems Gives Customers Face Time With CSRs
August 12, 2013
Nice Systems has introduced a Contact Center Video Recording platform to its Nice Interaction Management suite. While not in great demand yet, this feature surely will draw more interest if customer service and regulatory trends continue on their current trajectory. The feature allows organizations to monitor and track customer service that is provided via video-enabled contact centers.
YouTube Guys Give Video Editors a Brand New Playground
August 08, 2013
It appears YouTube cofounders Chad Hurley and Steve Chen want to mix it up with Vine and Instagram. Their video-editing app, MixBit, made its iOS debut on Thursday. An Android version is coming soon. MixBit works much like Vine and Instagram, allowing users to shoot and share short-form videos of up to 16 seconds. However, MixBit goes a big step further, letting users stitch clips together.
Jackie Chan Pummeled on Chinese Social Media
August 07, 2013
Movie star Jackie Chan, the Chinese kung fu aficionado who has appeared in more than 150 films, is taking loads of flak for posts on Chinese social media. Chan first riled Chinese netizens when he posted a photo of a picturesque Beijing skyline with the caption, "I took the picture myself. Who says Beijing doesn't have blue sky? Look how blue the sky is and how green the land is."
Chromecast: Big Threats Come in Small Packages?
July 26, 2013
Google shook up the streaming video world Wednesday when it introduced a $35 HDMI dongle that allows content to be airmailed from a smartphone, tablet or laptop to a TV. Called "Chromecast," the unit is already being hailed as a potential streaming set-top box killer. "It could make the set-top box obsolete," said tech analyst Rob Enderle. "It makes the set-top box redundant."
Google Sticks It to the Home Entertainment Market
July 24, 2013
Google on Wednesday unveiled a new Nexus 7 as part of its latest assault on the market for the connected living room. Another prong of that attack is Chromecast, a streaming content stick that plugs into a TV set's HDMI socket and lets users stream videos and other content seamlessly between the TV and any connected device, ranging from smartphones to tablets to laptops.
Netflix Hits a Triple - Investors Whine for Home Run
July 23, 2013
Netfllix added 630,000 U.S. streaming customers and achieved profit of $29 million, or 49 cents a share, in the second quarter of 2013, it reported on Monday.Those profits represent a dramatic increase from the same period a year ago. The company's revenue, meanwhile, rose 20 percent year-on-year to $1.07 billion. Netflix's stock price has climbed by close to 200 percent this year.
Netflix Plays Its Cards Right
July 19, 2013
Netflix joined the ranks of Emmy nominees for the first time Thursday, scoring 14 nods for three of its online TV shows. The streaming service picked up nine nominations for House of Cards, its original political thriller series, three for its reboot of the popular comedy Arrested Development, and a final two for its original horror thriller Hemlock Grove.
Google Wants Its Web TV
July 17, 2013
Google is considering the possibility of launching an Internet-based TV service, according to numerous media reports. Specifically, the company has approached several media companies about the possibility licensing of content for an Internet-based TV service that would stream traditional TV programming. Google has reportedly also talked with programmers about the initiative.
Kaltura's Zohar Babin: Video Power to the People
July 09, 2013
In a world of mostly proprietary video platform developers, success for an open source startup requires very sharp cutting-edge technology. For Kaltura, part of the secret has been making sure that competitive edge is never dulled by settling for being just good enough. Adding a dual-license option often makes the difference between a free download and real sale.
New Canon DSLR Focuses on Smooth Video
July 03, 2013
Canon took a step forward Tuesday in solving a problem that's been plaguing DSLR videographers for a long time: maintaining smooth video with a camera's autofocusing system. With Canon's new 20.2 megapixel EOS 70D, photographers will be able to shoot video close to the quality of video shot with a camcorder, according to the company. The secret is the 70D's newly designed CMOS sensor.

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