SoundCloud Debuts New ‘Stations’ Feature for its Mobile Apps

Music streaming service SoundCloud intends to make music discovery easier through its new “Stations” feature for iOS and Android apps. Stations can create an endless playlist of music based on a search term or track. The new feature populates these stations with songs related to a user’s “Likes” on the streaming music platform. Users have long sought such a feature to make discovery easier. SoundCloud’s latest update makes it more comparable to paid streaming services like Pandora, Apple Music and Spotify. Continue reading SoundCloud Debuts New ‘Stations’ Feature for its Mobile Apps

Tablet Sales Declined in 2015, Detachable Devices Offer Hope

The overall tablet market shrank last year, but promising sales of detachable devices offer an opportunity for future tablet market growth. According to a report from the International Data Corporation (IDC), total shipments of tablets in 2015 were 206.8 million, 10 percent less than the 230.1 million shipments in 2014. Apple still maintains the lead in market share, but competitors such as Samsung, Amazon and Lenovo are catching up as more consumers opt for more affordable tablets. Continue reading Tablet Sales Declined in 2015, Detachable Devices Offer Hope

YouTube Creators Getting Frustrated Over Copyright Violations

A growing number of YouTube creators are becoming frustrated with copyright violation claims. Some have even posted videos about their headaches in dealing with the claims and they are urging YouTube to fix the system. Currently, the popular online video platform relies on a model established by the Digital Millennium Copyright Act in which user-generated flags can lead to the sudden takedown of a video. Some creators have even had the advertising or the uploading capabilities restricted on their channels. Continue reading YouTube Creators Getting Frustrated Over Copyright Violations

3D Touch Technology Could Heighten Interaction with Devices

Sensory technology could soon allow smartphones and other devices to interact with humans through touch. Apple’s 3D Touch on the iPhone 6s is one of the most recent developments to hit the market. It allows the iPhone 6S to detect how hard the user is pressing on the screen and send feedback to the user via vibrations. In the future, sensory technology could have a variety of applications such as adding another dimension to gaming, photos, social media and any kind of user interface. Continue reading 3D Touch Technology Could Heighten Interaction with Devices

Apple Steps Up Its VR Efforts with Acquisition of Flyby Media

While Facebook, Google and Microsoft have already invested significant resources in developing virtual reality and augmented reality, Apple is just getting started. The tech giant acquired an augmented reality startup called Flyby Media, which develops technology for image-recognition on smartphones. Flyby Media previously worked with Google on “Project Tango.” Apple also hired Doug Bowman, an expert in human-computer interaction and immersion in virtual environments. Continue reading Apple Steps Up Its VR Efforts with Acquisition of Flyby Media

Amazon Expands Its Audible Programming to Include Podcasts

Amazon is recruiting comedians, radio producers, engineers, marketers and lawyers for almost 100 positions in the company’s growing Audible division. Audible currently offers more than 250,000 audiobooks and plays, but the new hires suggest that Amazon is investing in more original programming. Prominent comedians like Maria Bamford and Jonathan Katz, as well as producers from NPR, WNYC and the radio show “Fresh Air,” have already joined the Audible team. Continue reading Amazon Expands Its Audible Programming to Include Podcasts

Online Retailers Follow Amazon Prime’s Lead in Fast Delivery

Online shoppers are now expecting their purchases to be delivered faster and cheaper, and online retailers are scrambling to meet the delivery demands of today’s consumers. According to a Deloitte survey, only 18 percent consider the standard five- to seven-day shipping “fast,” while more than 90 percent consider same-day to two-day delivery “fast.” Many shoppers aren’t willing to pay more for fast delivery either. Amazon Prime’s two-day shipping service set a new standard for retailers. Continue reading Online Retailers Follow Amazon Prime’s Lead in Fast Delivery

Baidu Joins the Race to Get Self-Driving Vehicles on the Road

Baidu, a Chinese company best known for its Internet search engine, has entered the competition with other Internet companies and automobile manufacturers to create an autonomous vehicle. The company has already invested heavily in artificial intelligence and developed software called the Baidu AutoBrain System, which automatically records 3D road data and recognizes objects and road lanes. This expertise may help Baidu gain an edge over Google, General Motors, Tesla and Ford. Continue reading Baidu Joins the Race to Get Self-Driving Vehicles on the Road

YouTube’s Fine Brothers Call On Fans to Make ‘React’ Videos

The Fine Brothers achieved YouTube stardom by recording people’s reactions to viral videos. Now, the duo is expanding its video series by granting licenses to other creators to make their own versions of “react” videos. All of those videos will be aggregated into a YouTube channel called “React World” that specifically features fan-produced content. This new channel intends to not only keep fans engaged, but also help Fine Brothers Entertainment further monetize its brand. Continue reading YouTube’s Fine Brothers Call On Fans to Make ‘React’ Videos

Google Pursues Bringing Machine Learning to Mobile Devices

Google is partnering with Movidius, a semiconductor startup, to begin developing technology that would allow mobile devices to do more heavy computing such as machine learning and image recognition. Movidius specializes in computer vision, so Google has licensed its MA2450 chip to help build image-recognition capabilities. The chip has 12 cores and was chosen for its low power consumption and hefty processing power. Image recognition could be used in all sorts of apps to identify objects and people. Continue reading Google Pursues Bringing Machine Learning to Mobile Devices

Code Reveals Potential Features for Snapchat Including Video

Developers have discovered code within the current version of Snapchat that may offer clues about new features coming to the popular messaging app. While Snapchat may not roll out the features, it does show that the company has been working on ways to ramp up competition with other messaging apps such as WeChat and FaceTime. The hidden code provides a framework for the integration of stickers to sell within the app and an enhanced video chatting system that works more like a phone call. Continue reading Code Reveals Potential Features for Snapchat Including Video

GoPro Partners with Periscope to Livestream Extreme Video

Periscope users can now live stream video from their GoPro Hero4 camera by toggling a button in Periscope’s iOS app. GoPro cameras are popular for drone videography and recording extreme sports, both of which might be able to draw new live streaming viewers. Many of those viewers are on Twitter, the social media platform that plays Periscope live streams directly in its timeline. This new partnership may bring new sales to GoPro and new users to Periscope and Twitter. Continue reading GoPro Partners with Periscope to Livestream Extreme Video

Oculus Rift the Most Popular VR Platform Among Developers

Today’s game developers are most interested in creating virtual reality projects for the Oculus Rift headset, according to a new survey from the Game Developers Conference. Nineteen percent of the 2,000 respondents said they were currently working on a new game for the device and 20 percent said their next VR project would be for the Oculus Rift. Only 8 percent of respondents said they were working on VR projects for Samsung’s Gear VR, the second most popular VR headset. Continue reading Oculus Rift the Most Popular VR Platform Among Developers

Data Analytics: AI Could Assist Coaches in Professional Sports

Football coaches are already using artificial intelligence to help them on the sidelines. Students at North Carolina State University built an AI that could predict whether an NFL team would pass or run the ball. The AI called the plays correctly 91.6 percent of the time during an NFL game. The technology may not yet be ready for a real-time game situation, but with more data and research into machine learning and game theory, AI could become a big league contender. Continue reading Data Analytics: AI Could Assist Coaches in Professional Sports

Amazon Plans to Expand Online Grocery Shopping in Europe

Amazon is looking to expand its services, particularly online grocery shopping and video streaming, in Europe this year. The company plans to add several thousand new jobs in Europe to help expand its operations. Amazon has already found success in its online grocery shopping and delivery service, Amazon Fresh, in the United Kingdom, and will likely use that model in other major cities. Amazon’s online sales continue to grow at the same pace as the online sales rate across the region. Continue reading Amazon Plans to Expand Online Grocery Shopping in Europe

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