Apple’s Settlement in E-Book Case Will Likely Pay Consumers

Apple has ended its civil class-action lawsuit over the price of e-books with a settlement that is worth an estimated $100-$300 million. Last year, a federal judge ruled that Apple broke antitrust laws by driving up the prices of e-books in cooperation with five major U.S. publishers. If Apple’s appeal of last year’s case is unsuccessful, the tech giant may be paying out millions to e-book customers. The terms of the settlement also cancel a damages trial set for July. Continue reading Apple’s Settlement in E-Book Case Will Likely Pay Consumers

Samsung Unveils New Devices with Tizen Operating System

At Samsung’s Tizen Developer Conference in San Francisco last week, the world’s largest phone maker introduced two of the first products, a smartphone and a TV, to run on the company’s own Tizen operating system. Samsung is hoping that using the open-source Tizen, instead of Google’s Android system, will differentiate them from other electronics companies. The major challenge for the company is getting developers to create apps for the fledgling operating system. Continue reading Samsung Unveils New Devices with Tizen Operating System

Microsoft Has Developed 3D Audio to Augment Virtual Reality

Video games are about to get very realistic, and it’s not just because of virtual reality headsets. Microsoft researchers have developed the technology to make sounds seem as if they are coming from a specific point in space. The 3D audio technology is made possible by the software that builds a 3D model of a player’s head and shoulders and calculates a personal filter to trick the player into perceiving sound as coming from a specific location. Continue reading Microsoft Has Developed 3D Audio to Augment Virtual Reality

Kids Can Design 3D Printable Monsters via Modio iPad App

Modio, an iPad app by Icelandic entrepreneur Hilmar Gunnarsson, turns kids and adults alike into 3D designers. Users can build poseable models within the app by adding limbs and other features, and adjusting size and color with just a few taps. Then these constructed figures come to life through 3D printing. Limbs snap into place, similar to the way Legos function. The iPad app is impressive in its use of multi-touch technology, which allows users to collaborate on projects. Continue reading Kids Can Design 3D Printable Monsters via Modio iPad App

Intel’s PC-Tablet Hybrid is Powered by New Innovative Chips

At the Computex trade show in Taiwan, Intel is showing prototypes of convertible, “2-in-1” devices that have elements of both tablets and PCs. One design is an extremely thin PC-tablet with a 12.5-inch display that works both with or without a keyboard. The 7.2-millimeter thick device runs on Windows 8.1 software, and it is expected to go to market in time for this year’s holiday season. The compact design of the ultrathin PC-tablet is made possible by the small circuits in Intel’s Broadwell processing chips. Continue reading Intel’s PC-Tablet Hybrid is Powered by New Innovative Chips

Google Moves Further into Retail with New Overnight Delivery

The search engine Google is adding overnight delivery to its shipping options in Northern California. From San Francisco to Berkeley, and soon other cities, Google promises to deliver items purchased by 7:00 pm to doorsteps the next day. Unlike Amazon’s massive warehouses, Google’s system utilizes chain stores such as Target and Walgreens to help fill orders. This delivery service may entice customers to search for products on Google rather than Amazon. Continue reading Google Moves Further into Retail with New Overnight Delivery

Survey Finds Consumers Skeptical of Social Media Marketing

Consumers are bombarded with marketing schemes on their social media sites, and they are growing wary of fake reviews and Facebook likes. A new survey found that marketers are more relaxed about online marketing techniques than consumers are. About 67 percent of consumers believe that hiding negative search results of a business or product is unethical and 71 percent of consumers think it is misleading to create fake accounts to leave positive reviews for businesses. Continue reading Survey Finds Consumers Skeptical of Social Media Marketing

FAA Considers Allowing Entertainment Industry to Use Drones

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) may lift current restrictions that prohibit the use of drone aircraft for commercial purposes. Seven companies in the film industry filed requests with the help of the Motion Picture Association of America to be able to use small drones at a low altitude in a limited airspace for aerial photography. Drones have already been used in the movie industry despite the ban, but this step could lead to further relaxation of the FAA’s policy. Continue reading FAA Considers Allowing Entertainment Industry to Use Drones

Amazon to Sell Kid’s Show and Merchandise via Content Hub

Amazon and Hit Entertainment have teamed up to offer a “content hub,” which will allow preschoolers to watch episodes of a new children’s television show, “Fireman Sam,” alongside ads for related merchandise, such as toys and apparel. “Fireman Sam” episodes will be available exclusively on Amazon, starting with the first 13 episodes released yesterday. The content hub raises questions about children’s advertising, which is usually subject to regulation when it appears on TV. Continue reading Amazon to Sell Kid’s Show and Merchandise via Content Hub

Microsoft Has Plans to Bring More Internet Access to Africa

Unlike Google, Microsoft is not trying to connect the entire Earth by using drones or balloons. Instead, the company hopes to utilize television white space, an unused part of the broadcast spectrum, to provide more Internet access to people living in Africa. After running cost-effective pilot programs in the U.S. and Kenya, Microsoft has found that the challenge for Microsoft’s 4Afrika initiative is to persuade governments to lift regulations to allow them to utilize white space. Continue reading Microsoft Has Plans to Bring More Internet Access to Africa

Future of Entertainment: Hollywood Considers Virtual Reality

A growing number of Hollywood filmmakers, entertainment industry executives, and video game producers believe virtual reality will be the next big revolution in mass entertainment. Facebook, Sony, and other tech companies are developing the necessary technologies, while entertainment startups and major studios are developing the content. In addition to video games, entertainment professionals are also looking to use VR for marketing, social, and storytelling purposes. Continue reading Future of Entertainment: Hollywood Considers Virtual Reality

Google Rates Local Internet Providers on Streaming Quality

Google recently released an online tool that allows Internet users to see how well different Internet providers in their area are able to stream videos from YouTube. By detecting a user’s location and averaging video consumption rates over the last 30 days, Google’s Video Quality Report displays a graph that shows the percentage of videos streamed properly in high or standard definition and patterns in video consumption during different times of the day. Continue reading Google Rates Local Internet Providers on Streaming Quality

Consumers Will Be Able to 3D Print an Intel Robot This Year

Intel’s customizable, 3D printable robot known as Jimmy will go on the market later this year. The singing, walking, talking, tweeting and dancing robot can be constructed by anyone with access to a 3D printer, which will assemble the basic parts. The $1,600 kit for the open source robot includes the non-printable motors, wires, battery and processor. By downloading apps, consumers can program the robot to suit their own needs and interests. Continue reading Consumers Will Be Able to 3D Print an Intel Robot This Year

Is the Amazon-Hachette Dispute About More Than Book Sales?

Amazon is making books unavailable for pre-ordering and extending shipping times due to its dispute with one of the country’s largest publishers, Hachette Book Group. These tactics put pressure on Hachette as the two companies negotiate new terms of a deal for Amazon to sell the publisher’s books online. Amazon wants to increase its cut of the sales from Hachette books and e-books. In a statement Tuesday night, the online retailer said it does not expect the dispute to be resolved any time soon. Continue reading Is the Amazon-Hachette Dispute About More Than Book Sales?

Yahoo’s New Video Platform Plans to Compete with YouTube

After a few months of delays, Yahoo plans to launch its new video service this summer. Like YouTube, the service will allow users to post videos, create their own channels, and embed the Yahoo video player into other sites. Yahoo’s video service is different in its more generous revenue-sharing deals with video creators. Content producers with a Yahoo contract will also have the ability to publish their videos on Yahoo properties including the homepage and Tumblr. Continue reading Yahoo’s New Video Platform Plans to Compete with YouTube

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