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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.
Firefox 22: Look Ma, No Plug-ins!
June 26, 2013
Firefox 22, launched by the Mozilla Foundation on Tuesday, supports voice calling, video chat and peer-to-peer file sharing through the browser without plug-ins, thanks to full support for the WebRTC application programming interface. Firefox and Google Chrome support WebRTC, but currently Microsoft's Internet Explorer and Apple's Safari browser do not.
Instagram Video Comes Out to Play
June 20, 2013
Facebook's Instagram on Thursday launched a video app, as had been widely expected. Instagram video is available now in the iTunes App Store and on Google Play for iOS 4.0 and Android 4.0 respectively. "130 million people from day one are going to have access to video the way they have access on photographs," said Instagram cofounder Kevin Systrom.
Instagram Video Could Be Facebook's Mobile Ace in the Hole
June 18, 2013
Buzz is building over Facebook's rumored plan to launch a mobile video app for Instagram at an event on Thursday. Video functionality in Instagram, the company Facebook purchased for $1 billion in April of last year, would be a direct challenge to Twitter's Vine app. Vine lets users take 6-second videos on iOS or Android devices and share them on Vine's own network, Twitter or Facebook.
Netflix, DreamWorks Team in Huge Original Content Deal
June 17, 2013
Video streaming service Netflix on Monday announced a new, multiyear partnership with DreamWorks Animation whereby it will bring many of the studio's beloved characters to the TV market via a branded collection of shows. Marking the largest deal for original first-run content in Netflix's history, the partnership will include more than 300 hours of new programming.
iRobot Remotely Goes Where You Want to Go, Sees What You Want to See
June 10, 2013
iRobot has announced the Ava 500, a robot that lets users conduct video conferences while on the move. The device was developed and will be marketed in close alliance with Cisco. It consists of a Cisco personal telepresence system -- essentially a two-way videoconference screen with associated technology -- mounted on a smart pedestal from iRobot that stands at about 5 feet 5 inches.
Twitter's Vine Climbs Over to Android
June 04, 2013
Twitter's Vine has sprouted on Android, allowing users to post 6-second videos with tweets. Vine became available for Apple's iOS months ago, but until now, Android users have been left out of the fun. Now they can get into the thick of it as well. "Android owners: Welcome to Vine," said Android engineer Sara Haider. "Starting today, you can begin to shoot, share and watch short looping videos."
Make Your Kids Stars With a Little Disney Movie Magic
June 03, 2013
If you're a parent, there's a great chance that your iPhone will house a whole series of photos and videos featuring your kids following a road trip, a visit to the beach, a hike or a soccer game. Enter Story, a free app from Disney for the iPhone. Story accesses the photos and video stored on your iPhone and -- using the metadata -- combines them into a story. There are some limited editing options, but not enough to overwhelm.
Galaxy S4's Camera Wins Shootout With iPhones
May 25, 2013
The Samsung Galaxy S4's rear-facing camera beats those in the iPhone 5 and 4S as well as other Samsung smartphones, according to a report from digital image specialists DxO Lab. The 13 MP GS4 camera tallied an overall DxOMark score of 75, while the iPhone 5, iPhone 4S, Galaxy Note II and Galaxy S III all scored 72. First place was taken by the Nokia 808 PureView.

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