YouTube Updating its “Kids” App with Better Parental Controls

YouTube is updating its dedicated “Kids” app, first launched in February this year, in the wake of parent and consumer group complaints that its protections against inappropriate content were insufficient. YouTube Kids is divided into categories — Shows, Music, Learning, Explore — but also offers a search feature that can lead to videos outside of the curated lists. The newly updated app, which includes support for Chromecast and Apple TV as well as guest-curated playlists, is expected to be available in the next few weeks. Continue reading YouTube Updating its “Kids” App with Better Parental Controls

Rightscorp Signs Sony as Client, Continues to Combat Piracy

Rightscorp, a company that goes after people who illegally download songs, has just signed Sony/ATV Music Publishing as a client. The signing is a coup for the company, which despite having signed a few big clients, has been struggling on the verge of bankruptcy. In addition to Sony/ATV, Rightscorp also counts BMG and Warner Bros. among its clients. The company process is to scan the Internet for illegal downloads, using its proprietary algorithm to gather IP addresses, and then threaten those users with legal action. Continue reading Rightscorp Signs Sony as Client, Continues to Combat Piracy

There is Untapped Potential in Enhanced Online Video Search

We are used to very sophisticated search for text, but when it comes to online video, search tools are quite primitive. Netflix allows users to search by titles, people and genres; Hulu powers search for titles and people; and HBO Now restricts search to titles. The potential for exquisitely granular search — and potential new revenue streams — can be found in each TV show or movie’s rich metadata. But how to unlock it, and how to structure search is still open to question and experimentation. Continue reading There is Untapped Potential in Enhanced Online Video Search

Streaming Services, Artists Forge Ties Based on Data, Touring

The deep connection between streaming music services and ticket sales is becoming increasingly clear. Streaming not only introduces an artist’s music to potentially millions more listeners, but makes it easy for fans to learn about upcoming concerts. Some experts believe that in the not-so-distant future, fans will actually be able to purchase tickets to local concerts within the streaming music service. That’s good news for musicians who, although they get a small percentage of record sales, are making real money from touring. Continue reading Streaming Services, Artists Forge Ties Based on Data, Touring

Apple and GE: Future of Business is Personalized Technology

The Internet has revolutionized consumers’ lives, say Apple and General Electric, but the business world has yet to enjoy similar benefits. Both companies have stated that they see enterprise as the next frontier. Apple and GE are just starting to focus on this space but both have plans to empower enterprise with tools — with Apple focused on the mobile Internet and GE on sensors and predictive data analysis — that interact with people, track tools and mediate between people and machines. Continue reading Apple and GE: Future of Business is Personalized Technology

IMAX with Laser Debuts with “The Walk” to Positive Reviews

IMAX debuted its new IMAX with Laser digital projection system in London; Dubai; Los Angeles; Seattle; Reading, Massachusetts; and Chantilly, Virginia. The new projection system, which offers 4K resolution, Rec. 2020 color space and up to 60 fps, made use of 120 patents the company exclusively licensed from Kodak. IMAX says the contrast ratio is double that of IMAX 15/70mm film and higher than the 2500:1 contrast ratio of its Xenon lamp systems. The first movie to debut on the system is “The Walk” in 3D. Continue reading IMAX with Laser Debuts with “The Walk” to Positive Reviews

Vrse Envisions a Cinematic Future for Virtual Reality Content

Vrse, a virtual reality content company headquartered in Los Angeles, recently brought on former Rdio chief executive Drew Larner as its chief operating officer. The company has also drawn investment from Andreessen Horowitz, Live Nation, Vice Media and Annapurna Pictures. It’s all about creating content that goes beyond gaming, notes chief executive Chris Milk. To that end, the company plans to produce its own content, through Vrse Works, and distribute its own and others’ through the Vrse app for VR headsets. Continue reading Vrse Envisions a Cinematic Future for Virtual Reality Content

Ad-Blockers Improve Load Times, Battery Life and Phone Bills

While ethical questions can be raised in regards to ad-blocking, the advantages seem obvious. All those ads clutter up the page, slow down load times and eat up battery life, say proponents of ad-blocking software. Over four days, staffers from The New York Times tested ad-blocking apps Crystal, Purify and 1Blocker on their iPhones, and “measured how much the programs cut down on Web page data sizes and improved loading times, and also how much they increased the smartphone’s battery life.” The results favored ad-blockers for mobile devices. Continue reading Ad-Blockers Improve Load Times, Battery Life and Phone Bills

TV Metrics Space Heating Up Between Nielsen and comScore

Nielsen, long the dominant player in audience measurement data for media companies and advertisers, now has competition. Recently, comScore, which measures consumer Web activity, made an all-stock purchase of Rentrak, which monitors set-top box data for information on consumers’ TV viewing habits. Nielsen, however, countered with its “total audience measurement tool,” which is slated to roll out by the end of 2015. Nielsen has been criticized as being slow to address media consumed on digital platforms. Continue reading TV Metrics Space Heating Up Between Nielsen and comScore

Twitter May Lift 140-Character Limit, Aimed at Mainstream Use

In an effort to build its user base, Twitter is thinking about tweaking one of its signature features: the 140-character limit on tweets. Although the new feature is in the planning stages and no Twitter executive would comment on any new plan, the idea of going beyond 140 characters is no surprise, having been debated for many years. In June, the company overrode the 140-character limit on private messages, signaling an openness to new rules. Interim chief executive Jack Dorsey is seen as likely to endorse change. Continue reading Twitter May Lift 140-Character Limit, Aimed at Mainstream Use

Nvidia Introduces GeForce NOW On-Demand Gaming Service

Nvidia has unveiled GeForce NOW, a subscription service that streams PC games from the cloud to SHIELD devices. GeForce NOW was re-architected based on information gained from running the GRID beta, which is ending; SHIELD devices will update to replace the GRID app with GeForce NOW. The service offers two key differentiators: better image quality and instant access. The new cloud-based offering will stream games at up to 1080p resolution at 60 fps, and even massive titles can reportedly begin streaming in less than 30 seconds. Continue reading Nvidia Introduces GeForce NOW On-Demand Gaming Service

Sony to Build Community of 4K Creators with YouTube Channel

Sony Professional Solutions America launched a YouTube channel dedicated to its own 4K camera, the F55, and 4K productions using it. The “Sony 4K” channel — which currently has 177 followers — was introduced by its two creators: channel manager Brett Erlich and director of Sony’s Digital Motion Picture Center Dan Perry. The channel will feature 4K content in three categories: a curated playlist of 4K productions shot with the F55, “tips and tricks” from the filmmakers using the camera, and how-to videos. Continue reading Sony to Build Community of 4K Creators with YouTube Channel

YouTube to Promote Links Between User Videos and Retailers

YouTube is debuting shopping ads that expand the ability to link to retailer’s websites from user-generated videos. The Google-owned company has already let advertisers link from their YouTube videos to their own websites. But now, anyone who shoots a YouTube video can opt in to a program that will create links to retailer websites for products highlighted in videos. The new feature is a response to the growing trend of user-generated product reviews and tutorials, and also adds shopping to the video-centric site. Continue reading YouTube to Promote Links Between User Videos and Retailers

TiVo Introduces Bolt DVR, Ready for Ultra HD and Ad-Skipping

TiVo introduced its new Bolt DVR this week, with features that TiVo customers have requested for years. That includes a new SkipMode that improves the device’s ability to leap over commercials on recorded content, 4K Ultra HD capability, and, with a fall update, an iOS app that allows the creation of a customized “What to Watch” screen built by selecting categories based on hobbies and interests. The new TiVo also offers an iOS app with AirPlay so users can stream content to Apple TV, and the company says it’s working on an app for Amazon Fire TV. Continue reading TiVo Introduces Bolt DVR, Ready for Ultra HD and Ad-Skipping

FCC May Consider New Standard to Open Up Control of STBs

The Federal Communications Commission is deliberating whether cable and satellite TV companies should have exclusive control of the set-top box, an idea applauded by Google and TiVo and vigorously opposed by the cable/satellite TV industry. Increased competition would lower costs and drive improvements in functionality, say Google and TiVo. Among the supporters of this idea is the COMPTEL trade group, whose membership includes Amazon and Netflix. The cable industry, already suffering losses to cord cutting, strenuously opposes the move. Continue reading FCC May Consider New Standard to Open Up Control of STBs

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