Apple TV Remote Also Offers Features for Home Automation

Apple just came out with a new Apple TV remote with integrated Touch ID, which utilizes fingerprint sensors to authorize and block users. In addition to TV-centric capabilities, the new remote offers the ability to enter a channel without punching in a password and to allow authorized people to make iTunes purchases. What makes this TV remote truly different is its ability to control in-home electronics. Over the years, rumors have been rife that Apple’s end game for Apple TV was as a home automation hub. Continue reading Apple TV Remote Also Offers Features for Home Automation

YouTube’s 360-Degree Video Now Available for TrueView Ads

YouTube just added 360-degree functionality to its TrueView ads, and Budweiser tried out the new feature for its “Whatever USA” campaign. The 360-degree feature enables users to watch a video from any chosen angle by dragging the mouse along directional arrows to change the view. YouTube first debuted the 360-degree videos in March; now advertisers can bring that experience to TrueView ads, with the intent of fully engaging mobile consumers. Over half of YouTube’s views are now accessed from mobile devices. Continue reading YouTube’s 360-Degree Video Now Available for TrueView Ads

Sony Enters Drone Market in Venture with Tokyo Startup ZMP

Sony is opening a drone company, called Aerosense, in partnership with Tokyo startup ZMP, Inc. The drone business, which will focus on business clients, will be half-owned by the two companies. ZMP’s expertise is in autopilot technology and the Aerosense devices will feature Sony image sensors, which are also used in Apple’s iPhone and Samsung’s Galaxy smartphones. Sony plans to market drone services rather than the drones themselves. Aerosense faces tremendous competition in the burgeoning drone marketplace. Continue reading Sony Enters Drone Market in Venture with Tokyo Startup ZMP

Security Experts Remotely Control Jeep’s Steering and Braking

Security researchers Charlie Miller and Chris Valasek were able to hack into a Jeep on the highway and remotely control its radio, windshield wipers, navigation system and, finally, the brakes and steering. Miller and Valasek have been working for the last two years to hack various cars, with the aim of controlling them remotely. Their ability to hack the Jeep highlights one of the potential dangers inherent in the Internet of Things, as an increasing number of interconnected devices hit the market. Continue reading Security Experts Remotely Control Jeep’s Steering and Braking

Google Debuts Cloud Foundation and New Container Standard

Google simultaneously launched the Cloud Native Computing Foundation, with other technology companies, and its first version of Kubernetes, a method of dynamically scheduling a massive amount of application containers on a large scale. Together, the Foundation and Google’s Kubernetes would service large-scale enterprises, putting the Silicon Valley company and its foundation partners in direct competition with Amazon Web Services and Facebook. Last year, AWS released its own container management services. Continue reading Google Debuts Cloud Foundation and New Container Standard

Apple Stock Declines on News of 38 Percent Growth in Profits

Apple reported a 38 percent increase in profits — which equals $10.7 billion — from a year ago. Revenue rocketed 33 percent to $49.6 billion, and the iPhone, the company’s biggest source of revenue and profit, jumped up 35 percent to 47.5 million units. Still, on hearing the news, Apple’s stock plummeted. Why? Investors and Wall Street analysts expected Apple to wildly exceed its projections. Instead, when stratospheric sales of iPhones and Apple Watches didn’t materialize, Apple fans and shareholders were disappointed. Continue reading Apple Stock Declines on News of 38 Percent Growth in Profits

Shred Video Debuts GoPro Editing, GoPro’s Version to Follow

Shred Video, a startup out of Y Combinator, now offers an easy way to turn hours of GoPro video into a 90-second clip with music. Users simply match GoPro footage with songs from their iTunes library, and Shred Video does the rest. The new app identifies moments of action from any acceleration-based sport (think surfing, skateboarding, snowboarding) and highlights video with the beat-drop of the song. Not to be outdone, GoPro plans to release its own mobile editing software by the end of summer. Continue reading Shred Video Debuts GoPro Editing, GoPro’s Version to Follow

Facebook Writes and Open Sources Mac OS Security Software

It is a Windows-centric world, but not at Facebook where the company has many more Mac laptops than those running Windows. With a lack of Mac OS X-based security network appliances, Facebook began, 18 months ago, to write its own security software. The result, Osquery, enables its security team to monitor, in real-time, the current state of those laptops’ operating systems. Facebook also made the tools freely available as an open source project, bringing outside security expertise to bear. Continue reading Facebook Writes and Open Sources Mac OS Security Software

Internet of Things Moves From Hype to Huge Potential Value

With over 10 billion interconnected smart devices, the Internet of Things is rapidly moving from hype to reality. Over the next ten years, the number of interconnected smart devices is expected to explode to tens of billions, and continue an upward trajectory for decades to come. What does this mean in terms of economic value of the IoT? With the seemingly limitless potential of monetizing interconnected devices, McKinsey & Co. tackled that topic, made more complex since the Internet of Things is still in its nascent stages. Continue reading Internet of Things Moves From Hype to Huge Potential Value

Online Marketplace Jet.com, Valued at $300M, Opens to Public

After months of anticipation, Jet.com, the online marketplace that hopes to challenge Amazon and eBay, has opened to the public. The members-only site offers tremendous discounts to its customers, under-cutting both retail and Amazon prices. Since a trial run began in March, however, the company has seen nothing but red ink. But the clamor hasn’t died down, and more investors are eager to add more capital to the Hoboken, New Jersey-based company, and its valuation climbs even as its revenues dip below the black line. Continue reading Online Marketplace Jet.com, Valued at $300M, Opens to Public

Judge: FilmOn Entitled to Compulsory License of Programming

Less than a year after the Supreme Court shut down Aereo for delivering OTA TV signals to Internet subscribers, a U.S. District Court in California granted FilmOn, an Internet video streaming site, a compulsory license to retransmit TV station programming online. The difference between the two cases, says the judge, was that the Supreme Court did not address whether Aereo was entitled to a compulsory license, but rather found that it violated copyright laws. Fox Broadcasting has said it will appeal the ruling favoring FilmOn. Continue reading Judge: FilmOn Entitled to Compulsory License of Programming

Facebook Steps Into Commerce, Building Shops Within Pages

Facebook has taken a leap into commerce by building out shops within Facebook Pages, allowing businesses with a Facebook Page a chance to sell directly to consumers. Although the new move into commerce is in its testing phase, some shops already sport a “buy” button, which keeps the consumer on the page from product browsing to purchase. The “buy” button was introduced last year, but Facebook’s new aim is to make the shopping experience more robust and integrated. Facebook currently does not take a percentage of sales. Continue reading Facebook Steps Into Commerce, Building Shops Within Pages

Apple, Samsung Tackle SIM Card Standardized for All Carriers

The SIM card, that bit of plastic in a mobile device that stores phone number and carrier information, is heading towards a standardization that will make it readable by all carriers. Apple and Samsung are working closely with mobile industry association GSMA, which represents 800 carriers globally, to do just that. The proposed new SIM card would make it easy for users to jump between carriers without changing hardware, and make phone purchases independent of carriers. Continue reading Apple, Samsung Tackle SIM Card Standardized for All Carriers

New Slingbox Set-Top Box Shifts Content From Mobile to TVs

Slingbox, a subsidiary of EchoStar, just released its M2 set-top box, priced at $199. The new set-top box enables viewers to watch live, pay TV and DVR content over the Internet, anywhere and from any device. The M2 adds functionalities not available in the M1, which debuted in 2014, including the ability to shift content from mobile devices to TVs via Apple TV, Chromecast, Fire TV or Roku. Users will also be able to download the Slingplayer app on each device for free; the trade-off is viewing short pre-roll ads. Continue reading New Slingbox Set-Top Box Shifts Content From Mobile to TVs

Oculus Acquires Technology That Enables Direct VR Interaction

With the acquisition of Pebbles Interfaces, Oculus VR is poised to replace its Touch controller with hand-sensing technology that allows users to interact directly with the virtual world. This is Oculus’ latest acquisition this year of companies offering expertise in tracking and 3D mapping. Pebbles’ technology, based on custom optics, sensor systems and algorithms, tracks hand movement in real space, with detailed mapping of where each hand is in relation to the other. The terms of the purchase were not announced. Continue reading Oculus Acquires Technology That Enables Direct VR Interaction