Facebook Offers Video Suggestions to Keep Users Watching

The social network Facebook is experimenting again with video in its users’ News Feeds. This time, in the iOS app, Facebook users will now see a carousel of video suggestions after watching their friends’ video creations. This new feature makes it easy for users to watch a series of videos and has the potential to eventually become an advertising tool. Currently, the suggested video player only works with user content that is directly uploaded to Facebook. Continue reading Facebook Offers Video Suggestions to Keep Users Watching

Music Streaming Up 42 Percent While Digital Downloads Fall

Streaming is the new face of digital music consumption, according to Nielsen’s 2014 Mid-Year Music Industry Report. In the U.S., on-demand streaming was up 42 percent from last year with over 70 billion songs (audio and video) streamed in the first half of 2014. Digital track downloads fell 13 percent to 593.6 million, compared with 682.2 million last year. The entire music industry’s sales, including albums, streaming, and downloads, dropped 3.3 percent. Continue reading Music Streaming Up 42 Percent While Digital Downloads Fall

M-GO to Replace Samsung’s Video and Media Streaming Hub

Samsung is shifting away from direct media sales and ending its Video and Media hub, which directly sold and rented digital content to consumers. On July 31, Samsung’s video streaming service for Galaxy mobile devices and Samsung Smart TVs will no longer be available. On-demand streaming service M-GO will assume all Samsung Video accounts. Users who bought movies or TV shows through the Samsung Video and Media hub will be able to access their content through M-GO. Continue reading M-GO to Replace Samsung’s Video and Media Streaming Hub

Netflix Releases its Security Monkey as an Open-Source Tool

Netflix recently open-sourced one of its management tools designed to work with machines through Amazon’s cloud. Security Monkey is the latest open-source tool in a line of software known as the “Simian Army,” that was developed to help run Netflix’s massive online service. For companies using Amazon’s cloud computing services, Security Monkey can monitor configuration changes across several Amazon accounts and ensure that those changes avoid common security problems. Continue reading Netflix Releases its Security Monkey as an Open-Source Tool

E-Commerce: “Buy Now” Buttons Appear in Twitter Mobile App

One new feature suggests that Twitter may be experimenting with online shopping. “Buy Now” buttons began appearing in the mobile app this week in tweets from Fancy, an online retailer. The buttons previously took users to a checkout page, but the function is no longer active. If the function is restored, it will be the first time that Twitter allows users to pay for products from a tweet. Twitter has been expanding its e-commerce capabilities since the company went public. Continue reading E-Commerce: “Buy Now” Buttons Appear in Twitter Mobile App

Android Wear Is Promising Software for the Future of Watches

The first Android Wear smartwatches will enter the market next week. The Samsung Gear Live and the LG G Watch will both run Google’s Android Wear operating system, which requires an Android smartphone with the companion app to work. Users with an Android Wear smartwatch can check their smartphone’s notifications from a quick look at their wrist. The most notable feature of the new software is Google Now, an online personal assistant. Continue reading Android Wear Is Promising Software for the Future of Watches

IoT: Printable Electronics Will Make Everyday Items Smart

In a new approach to electronic design, companies such as Thinfilm and Ynvisible are developing cheap and disposable printable electronics that do not require an Internet connection or an IP address to make everyday items connected components of the Internet of Things. Thin, plastic printable electronics can be embedded in almost any item to transfer information to a smart device. For example, a bag of lettuce may be able to alert a smart fridge when it is past its expiration date. Continue reading IoT: Printable Electronics Will Make Everyday Items Smart

After Beta Success, Twitter Launches Mobile-App Install Ads

Twitter is augmenting its lineup of advertising options with new mobile-app install ads. These ads, which feature links directly to an app on Apple’s App Store or Google Play, have already been appearing in users’ Twitter feeds for a few months. The company says the beta tests were successful and it officially launched the new ad platform on Monday. Mobile-app install ads may help Twitter generate more revenue, most of which comes from advertising. Continue reading After Beta Success, Twitter Launches Mobile-App Install Ads

The Future of Google Search May Be Like a Virtual Assistant

Tech giant Google may be tweaking the search engine that launched its success. The search engine of the future will use software based on inventor and futurist Ray Kurzweil’s theory of intelligence. The software will be like a virtual assistant with the ability to understand questions and give fully developed answers, instead of a list of links. The search engine may even alert users when there are updates on a previous search query. Kurzweil joined Google 18 months ago to help develop the new software. Continue reading The Future of Google Search May Be Like a Virtual Assistant

Facebook Changes News Feed Results, Apologizes to Users

Earlier this week, Adam D. I. Kramer, the Facebook data scientist in charge of a study about the impact of news feed content, posted a public apology on his Facebook page for the anxiety caused by recent research. The study sparked a public outcry when users discovered that Facebook had manipulated the news feed results of over 500,000 randomly selected users. The company changed the number of positive and negative posts users saw to study how emotions are spread on social media. Continue reading Facebook Changes News Feed Results, Apologizes to Users

Google: Project Tango Tablet with 3D Camera in Development

Google’s Advanced Technology and Projects group (ATAP) has some notable new technologies in development, including a tablet with 3D scanning, a modular phone and digital storytelling. The tablet will feature Project Tango 3D technology to make games and images come to life. LG is planning to manufacture the tablets to debut in 2015. The digital storytelling content will be available on all Android phones later this year, but the modular phone will not hit the market for some time. Continue reading Google: Project Tango Tablet with 3D Camera in Development

Innovative Demos Engage Attendees at June’s VRLA Meetup

The most recent Virtual Reality Los Angeles (VRLA) meetup showcased several compelling techniques that researchers and game developers are using to create new content for consumer VR headsets, such as the Oculus Rift. One demo, for example, utilized the “change blindness” technique to make users feel as if they were walking through multiple rooms even though there was limited physical space. Some of the featured tech may soon be used for movies, military training and tourism. Continue reading Innovative Demos Engage Attendees at June’s VRLA Meetup

Apple Developing Hardware in Conjunction with New HomeKit

Last week, Apple introduced the new HomeKit platform that will give iOS 8 users the ability to control their house locks, lights, thermostats and more via their mobile devices. Now, the company is reportedly also building Smart Home hardware that will work with HomeKit. The newly assembled team at Apple may be looking to develop advanced speaker systems or control panels. Apple tried to sell a stereo system before, but the product was not very successful on the market. Continue reading Apple Developing Hardware in Conjunction with New HomeKit

ABC Video App Provides 24-Hour News for Apple TV Users

The ABC News video app, which launched yesterday on Apple TV, gives viewers access to 24-hour news coverage, from ABC News TV show segments to live video feeds from the International Space Station. This is the first time that ABC has offered 24-hour news because the news outlet does not have its own news-only channel. Apple TV users can browse video by topic or show, and the ABC News app even features content from local ABC-owned stations. Continue reading ABC Video App Provides 24-Hour News for Apple TV Users

Rovi Tech Personalizes Cable Guide with Recommendations

California-based Rovi is developing technology that will turn cable TV guides from endless grids to a more-personalized recommendation service. Its version of the TV guide tracks viewer habits to make recommendations based on what the viewer has watched before, at what time, and even in what room. It searches through the live line-up, on-demand content, and Netflix to make recommendations. Users can also search for movies and shows using voice commands. Continue reading Rovi Tech Personalizes Cable Guide with Recommendations

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