Google’s Virtual Products Could Upend Traditional Ad Models

Google is building technologies that rely less on physical devices: Google Home and its virtual assistant; Project Jacquard, clothing with computing built into the yarn that responds to gestures and voice commands; and Project Soli, that allows gestures to control computers. Also new is Project Ara, a smartphone design that “surrounds” the user wherever she goes, which chief executive Sundar Pichai calls “ambient computing.” What’s unclear with the new paradigms, however, is how Google will generate revenue. Continue reading Google’s Virtual Products Could Upend Traditional Ad Models

As Data Surges to Zettabytes, Need for Better Storage Urgent

Storage is quickly becoming a crucial area of interest, as data grows exponentially. The world’s one billion cell phones already generate 18 exabytes (1 billion gigabytes) of data monthly and, as the Internet of Things places sensors in everything from automobiles to homes, the data output is estimated to soar into the zettabytes. Artificial intelligence and machine learning are a focus to find ways to help manage huge amounts of data. New ways to store data are imperative, and some practical advances are being made. Continue reading As Data Surges to Zettabytes, Need for Better Storage Urgent

Google Develops its Own Chip to Speed Up Machine Learning

Google has just built its own chip as part of its efforts to speed up artificial intelligence developments. The company revealed that this is just the first of many chips it plans to develop and build. At the same time, an increasing number of businesses are migrating to the cloud, lessening the need for servers that rely on chips to function. That’s led some to believe that Google and other Internet titans that follow its lead will impact the future of the chip industry, particularly such stalwarts as Intel and Nvidia. Continue reading Google Develops its Own Chip to Speed Up Machine Learning

Amazon Ramps Up its Google Rivalry with New Video Service

Amazon is taking on Google with the launch of its Video Direct ad-supported video service, which allows anyone to upload original or licensed video content, similar to the YouTube model. Amazon account holders will have the options of offering their content for free, to rent or own, via a subscription channel, or exclusively to Amazon Prime members. The move is another step in Amazon’s push into media as the company continues to invest in original programming and exclusive deals with the likes of HBO and Epix, while introducing a month-by-month subscription option to compete with Netflix. Continue reading Amazon Ramps Up its Google Rivalry with New Video Service

Researchers Warn That Smart Home Technology is Hackable

The security research community has warned that the Internet of Things, including home security systems, is hackable. Researchers at the University of Michigan and Microsoft have published an in-depth security analysis of Samsung’s SmartThings platform that allows control of home appliances via PC or smartphone. They were able to hack the system, setting off a smoke alarm and opening a digital lock with a “backdoor” PIN. Their findings will be presented at the IEEE Symposium on Security and Privacy later this month. Continue reading Researchers Warn That Smart Home Technology is Hackable

Hulu to Launch Pay TV Service, Joining Other Digital Players

Hulu is the latest platform to compete with traditional pay TV services. Separate from its current on-demand programming model, Hulu plans to launch a cable TV-style online service in Q1 2017, say those familiar with the company’s plans. Hulu co-owners 21st Century Fox and The Walt Disney Company are likely to strike agreements to license many of their channels. ABC, ESPN, Disney Channel, the Fox network, Fox News, FX and Fox national and regional sports channels are also anticipated to be part of the lineup. Continue reading Hulu to Launch Pay TV Service, Joining Other Digital Players

Amazon Profits from AWS, Doubles-Down on Original Content

Boosted by Amazon Web Services, Amazon just posted its most profitable quarter in its nearly 22-year history. The company’s revenue is often on a roller coaster; for Q1 2016, it showed net income of $513 million ($1.07 a share), compared to losses of $57 million (12 cents a share) in the same quarter last year. Revenue has bumped to $29.13 billion from $22.72 billion a year ago, with share prices rising more than 12 percent. This compares with less-than-stellar Q1 reports from Apple, Google, Microsoft and Intel. Continue reading Amazon Profits from AWS, Doubles-Down on Original Content

TV Globo Brazil Debuts OTT Simulcast, VOD, 4K in the Cloud

At NAB 2016, Globo Play TV program manager Marcos Rayol described that the Brazilian broadcaster’s OTT effort, Globo Play, offers simulcast, VOD and 4K in the cloud. Developing the concept was the most difficult part. “We spent a lot of time developing interfaces,” he said. “Once we began coding it, it was very straightforward.” Brazil has 115 million people with Internet access, 38 percent of whom have broadband connections. Of the 80 million with smartphones, only 34 percent accessed video in 2015. Continue reading TV Globo Brazil Debuts OTT Simulcast, VOD, 4K in the Cloud

ETC’s Virtual Reality Summit Dives Into the Business of VR

In a panel on the business of VR during ETC’s Virtual Reality Summit at NAB 2016, moderator Scott Lenet, president of Touchdown Ventures, asked panelists what will determine critical mass for VR. “All these new industries start with a lot of confusion over the right business model and technology,” said Reality Lab chief executive Halsey Minor, who is also chair/co-founder of Voxelus. “VR is right in the middle of that early confusing stage. But I do believe that this wave will move faster than any before it — by a longshot.” Continue reading ETC’s Virtual Reality Summit Dives Into the Business of VR

Cloud Conference: Moving From Local to Cloud Infrastructure

ConductorIO VP of business development and operations Monique Bradshaw talked about the paradigm change from local, on-premise infrastructure to the cloud. “The paradigm shift means a fundamental change in approach of underlying assumption,” she said during an ETC Cloud Innovation Conference keynote at NAB. “We’re seeing a big change in the ways that companies are looking at their rendering.” In five years, she noted, 90 percent of respondents to a survey think they’ll have at least some of their rendering in the cloud, up from close to 60 percent today. Continue reading Cloud Conference: Moving From Local to Cloud Infrastructure

Cloud Conference: Challenges to Rendering VFX in the Cloud

Visual effects and rendering in the cloud was the topic of an ETC Cloud Innovation Conference panel at NAB 2016, moderated by Google Cloud Platform senior product manager Srikanth Belwadi. The scope of the issue was made clear by the fact that “The Good Dinosaur” required 110 million compute hours and 300 TB of active data space. Panelists from Thinkbox, Shotgun, Rodeo FX, Avere Systems, and ConductorIO discussed the challenges to producing VFX in the cloud — but also its inevitability.
Continue reading Cloud Conference: Challenges to Rendering VFX in the Cloud

Google’s Daniel Alegre on Perils and Promise of the New TV

At NAB 2016, Google president of global partnerships Daniel Alegre gave the closing keynote on how television is transforming. “If you search for the term ‘TV is dead’, you’ll find 338 million results,” said Alegre. The TV set and viewing of our childhood, he explained, is gone, as the TV evolves to incorporate a computer and the hours of video viewership continue to climb. “A newer better TV is rising from the ashes, better than ever,” said Alegre, who noted mobile video is predicted to be responsible for 80 percent of all Internet traffic by 2018. Continue reading Google’s Daniel Alegre on Perils and Promise of the New TV

Cloud Keynote: Sony Exec Recommends Learning from Piracy

Sony DADC NMS (New Media Services) CTO and head of strategy Andy Shenkler keynoted ETC’s Cloud Innovation Conference at NAB 2016 in Las Vegas. Rather than talk pure technology about the cloud, Shenkler preferred a more unique angle: piracy. “The place I want to start is around competition in the OTT space specifically,” he said. “When we talk about OTT, the usual suspects are Hulu, Netflix, iTunes, Amazon, HBO GO, and so on. But we’re not really looking at the biggest competitor out there: piracy.” Continue reading Cloud Keynote: Sony Exec Recommends Learning from Piracy

Avid Chief Talks Third Party Apps at ETC Cloud Conference

At ETC’s Cloud Innovation Conference at NAB 2016, Variety editor David Cohen led a discussion with Avid chief executive/president Louis Hernandez Jr. “It’s been a remarkable journey,” Hernandez said. “With Avid Media Central, we wanted to connect people. We took our standalone applications and put them where they could be shared. Now you’re seeing a rapid expansion of the apps you can purchase: We have a record number of third party apps indexed on a common operating system. This is the direction that things are going.” Continue reading Avid Chief Talks Third Party Apps at ETC Cloud Conference

‘The Suitcase’: Unpacking Lessons in Cloud-Based Workflows

During the ETC Cloud Innovation Conference at NAB 2016, writer/director Abi Corbin discussed “The Suitcase,” a short film produced in the cloud, about a baggage handler who innocently steals a suitcase that contains terrorist plans. The film was a follow-up to “Luna,” a run-and-gun test on producing in the cloud. Daniel De La Rosa, director of film production technologies at Universal Pictures explained, “The goal was to test next-gen cloud-based workflows as well as the C4 framework which served as the glue.”
Continue reading ‘The Suitcase’: Unpacking Lessons in Cloud-Based Workflows

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