TV Ratings Consistently Declining as Consumers Go Mobile

Media consumers are spending more time on mobile devices and less time watching television, and ratings from the past couple of years suggest that cable TV is on the decline. Since 2010, about 5 million people have ended their cable and broadband subscriptions. And for the first time ever, less than half of major broadband companies’ subscribers pay for cable TV. Broadcast and cable TV ratings have been heading downward since the end of 2011. Continue reading TV Ratings Consistently Declining as Consumers Go Mobile

3D Systems Portable Handheld Sense Scanner Now Available

The Sense 3D scanner is now available, with a $400 price tag and scanning abilities for objects up to 10 x 10 feet. The handheld device can even digitize a person, and within the next few years, it is expected to become a mainstream consumer product. Sense reviewers are enthusiastic about the scanner, praising its attention to detail and ease of use, although there is a minor learning curve and some have questioned the need for a USB cord. Continue reading 3D Systems Portable Handheld Sense Scanner Now Available

Popularity of Video Game Livestreaming Grows, Rivaling TV

Video game playing is becoming a new form of spectator sport as livestreaming popularity continues to soar. More and more, game companies are encouraging players to share clips of their gameplay highlights and stream them live. Jayson Love is the host of “MANvsGAME” — a popular Web show in which he broadcasts his gaming to Twitch — and between advertisers and subscribers, he’s poised to earn $100,000 next year just by playing games. Continue reading Popularity of Video Game Livestreaming Grows, Rivaling TV

New Animation Technology to Save Production Time and Cost

A team from Disney Research Zürich led by Wojciech Jarosz has developed a new rendering technique that is expected to save animators significant time in the editing process of feature films. The new computational algorithm, which is being presented at this week’s ACM SIGGRAPH Asia conference in Hong Kong, can reduce rendering times for scenes that are affected by light — like those with water and smoke — by a factor of up to 1,000. Continue reading New Animation Technology to Save Production Time and Cost

Bravo Uses New Facebook API to Enhance User Engagement

Bravo is one of the first networks to make use of Facebook’s new Keyword Insights API. Scanning private posts of the social networking site’s 100 million-plus users, Bravo is taking advantage of the feature — introduced in September — by running keyword searches during new episodes of the “Real Housewives” TV shows and using the data for social engagement during reruns. The reruns are referred to as the “social edition” versions, which include tweets and comments from the stars. Continue reading Bravo Uses New Facebook API to Enhance User Engagement

Fake Twitter Accounts Boost Individuals and Trending Topics

Twitter estimates the percentage of its accounts that are fake is less than 5 percent, but some independent researchers think that number is closer to 9 percent. Fake accounts are a big market for those looking to boost their popularity and influence on Twitter, despite efforts by the social networking site to weed out the imposters. One man who manages 10,000 robot accounts for roughly 50 clients offers a glimpse into the market. Continue reading Fake Twitter Accounts Boost Individuals and Trending Topics

Patent Battle: Samsung to Pay Apple $930 Million in Damages

A 15-month smartphone patent dispute between Apple and Samsung came to an end when a federal jury in California ordered Samsung to pay Apple $290 million in damages for infringing on five of Apple’s patents with 13 of its own devices. The ruling was part of a retrial of the patent dispute. In addition to the $640 million already owed by Samsung to Apple from the original award, the company now owes a total of $930 million. Continue reading Patent Battle: Samsung to Pay Apple $930 Million in Damages

Is Ink-Jet Printing the Solution for Next-Gen OLED Displays?

Organic light-emitting diode (OLED) displays may soon replace LCD displays if the manufacturing kinks can be worked out. These energy-efficient, flexible, vibrant displays can now be produced more easily and economically on giant ink-jet printers. Though mass production still faces challenges, equipment maker Kateeva says it has a solution that curbs the amount of wasted material and unwanted defect-causing particles that are common to the traditional vacuum chamber approach. Continue reading Is Ink-Jet Printing the Solution for Next-Gen OLED Displays?

New Internet Era: Devices Emerging That Predict User Needs

The “mind-reading” keyboard app SwiftKey is what some tech writers say is part of a growing movement of devices and apps that will predict users’ needs and deliver them without having to be asked. Between the decline of computing costs and the ease of collecting data through apps, calendar appointments and more, companies like Google and Apple are rushing to deliver the best technology to anticipate what information or reminders users need. Continue reading New Internet Era: Devices Emerging That Predict User Needs

Twitter Providing TV Suggestions Based on its User Activity

Twitter is intent on becoming like a social TV guide for its users, and the newest phase of that strategy can be seen in the platform’s latest app update. Now, in the corner of the screen, Twitter promotes television shows to users based on how active those users are. The idea is to drive traffic to TV programs. Down the line this kind of marketing will likely be monetized, but it needs to be done in a way that current and new users understand and do not find annoying. Continue reading Twitter Providing TV Suggestions Based on its User Activity

Neptune Pine Smartwatch is Just as Capable as a Smartphone

The world’s most powerful smartwatch will soon be released, and it wasn’t created by Apple or Google, but a 19-year-old college dropout. The Kickstarter-funded product, named Neptune Pine, will be able to ship as soon as it has FCC approval and the Kickstarter funds are delivered for mass production. The project’s video depicts a working prototype with a 2.6-inch frame, front- and rear-facing cameras, and Web browsing, among countless other features. Continue reading Neptune Pine Smartwatch is Just as Capable as a Smartphone

Google Unveils New Prepaid Debit Card Using Google Wallet

Google is now offering a prepaid debit card that can be used in stores and at ATMs. Using Google Wallet, consumers will be able to access funds just like they would with a regular debit card. The Wallet Card will be accepted wherever MasterCard is accepted, and is free without any monthly fees. The card will also provide Google with consumer information like what was purchased and for how much — even the name and address of the consumer would be recorded. Continue reading Google Unveils New Prepaid Debit Card Using Google Wallet

Discovery Programming to be Available via Online Streaming

Time Warner Cable and Discovery Communications have reached an agreement that will allow the cable company’s subscribers to watch shows from the Discovery Channel and Animal Planet online. Discovery had previously been holding out on letting its shows be streamed because it wanted better ratings measurement for viewers on mobile devices. Now that Nielsen will soon make that data available, Discovery says it is on board. Continue reading Discovery Programming to be Available via Online Streaming

Apple Rumored to be Acquiring 3D Sensor Firm PrimeSense

Rumors are swirling that Apple is close to reaching an acquisition deal with 3D sensor technology company PrimeSense to the tune of $345 million. But if it is true, the deal has not yet gone through, and PrimeSense’s only statement on the matter is vague. If it does happen, however, Apple would potentially be able to use PrimeSense’s motion sensing technology for current or future Apple products, including wearable devices. Continue reading Apple Rumored to be Acquiring 3D Sensor Firm PrimeSense

Engineers Defaulting to Encrypted Browsing for the Internet

The engineers behind the Internet Engineering Task Force are responding to public outcry over Internet surveillance by encrypting Web traffic with plans for a revamped system by the end of next year. In light of National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden’s exposure of the agency’s mass Internet surveillance, the effort will introduce the default of encryption in Internet browsing, intended to reduce the ease of snooping. Continue reading Engineers Defaulting to Encrypted Browsing for the Internet

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