Rovi Acquires Fan TV to Take Video Discovery to the Cloud

Rovi, a company that powers video guides and recommendation systems, has announced the acquisition of Fanhattan, a startup specializing in video discovery through its Fan TV products. The acquisition is expected to bolster Rovi’s portfolio of cloud-based TV guides. Fanhattan could benefit from Rovi’s sales force, which may be able to distribute the Fan TV streaming set-top box to Charter and Dish customers. Fan TV integrates video from different sources into a single user-friendly interface. Continue reading Rovi Acquires Fan TV to Take Video Discovery to the Cloud

Digital Media Pipeline: Making Digital a Premium Experience

Panelists at the Entertainment Merchants Association’s Digital Media Pipeline 2014 conference last week considered what defines a premium experience for consumers and how to best deliver it. Execs from Inception, MovieLabs, The Orchard and Sony discussed today’s variety of platforms, ways to keep consumers connected to content, meeting consumer demands, the need for a universal specification that supports multiple platforms, using social tools for search and discovery, and more. Continue reading Digital Media Pipeline: Making Digital a Premium Experience

Amazon in Talks with Hollywood Studios to Join UltraViolet

Amazon is reportedly in talks with at least three Hollywood studios to join the UltraViolet digital locker consortium. According to people with knowledge of the matter, Amazon has been in talks with Sony Pictures Entertainment, Universal Pictures and Warner Bros. The retail giant is currently ranked No. 2 behind Apple in digital movie sales and rentals. If Amazon were to implement UltraViolet, it could help jumpstart efforts to expand the $2 billion online movie-sales business and make it a greater threat to Apple. Continue reading Amazon in Talks with Hollywood Studios to Join UltraViolet

Google Chromecast Now Most Popular Connected Device App

According to app analytics firm App Annie, Google’s $35 Chromecast dongle is now the most popular connected device in the U.S. Based on analysis of the top apps associated with connected devices across iTunes and Google Play, the Chromecast app experienced the most downloads, followed by Fitbit, DirecTV, HP ePrint, Kodak Kiosk Connect, Square Register, GoPro, AT&T U-verse, DISH Anywhere, and HP All In One Printer Remote. Gartner predicts 26 billion connected devices globally by 2020. Continue reading Google Chromecast Now Most Popular Connected Device App

HP to Split PC, Printer Ops from Corporate Hardware, Services

Hewlett-Packard reportedly plans to split its company into two parts, separating its personal computer and printer businesses from its corporate hardware and services operations. According to insiders, the company is expected to outline the plans today. A number of large companies have recently split, in an effort to better mange different growth profiles. The anticipated HP division could result in two publicly traded companies, with each entity worth in excess of $50 billion in annual revenue. Continue reading HP to Split PC, Printer Ops from Corporate Hardware, Services

End of an Era: Larry Ellison to Step Aside as Oracle’s Chief

Oracle announced yesterday afternoon that Larry Ellison has agreed to step down as chief executive officer, concluding what Businessweek described as “one of the most entertaining and profitable runs for a leader in business history.” Ellison, who turned 70 last month, has run the company since co-founding it in 1977. He will remain chairman of Oracle’s board and will become the chief technology officer. Oracle execs Safra Catz and Mark Hurd will share the CEO responsibilities. Continue reading End of an Era: Larry Ellison to Step Aside as Oracle’s Chief

Alibaba Raises $21.8 Billion in IPO: Ready to Take On Google

The Alibaba Group, China’s leading e-commerce operator, raised nearly $21.8 billion in its initial stock sale yesterday. While not the biggest initial public offering to-date, Alibaba did have one of the strongest stock sales on record, surpassing those for Facebook and General Motors. When it begins trading today on the New York Stock Exchange, it is poised to become one of the world’s most impressive Internet powerhouses, a compelling blend of Amazon, eBay, Google and other tech giants. Continue reading Alibaba Raises $21.8 Billion in IPO: Ready to Take On Google

Facebook’s TODO Project Aims to Steer Open Source Software

Facebook has launched the TODO project (“Talk Openly, Develop Openly”) to help streamline the process of executing open source software projects, a major concern in a new era of cloud and mobile computing. Since Monday’s announcement, more than 30 companies have joined the initiative including Google, GitHub, Dropbox and Twitter. The TODO project plans to streamline the process of releasing and updating software, as well as develop a common set of tools for these programs. Continue reading Facebook’s TODO Project Aims to Steer Open Source Software

Reddit Earns Significant Revenue During Celeb Photo Scandal

Social news and entertainment site Reddit was one of the most shared channels linking to controversial celebrity photographs reportedly hacked from iCloud accounts. In the six days prior to Reddit’s removal of the photos, the site earned enough revenue to run its servers for a month. This is based solely on Reddit Gold, and does not include ad revenue from the quarter billion page views. As Reddit seeks a new round of investments, the site’s belated removal of the page is not considered a coincidence. Continue reading Reddit Earns Significant Revenue During Celeb Photo Scandal

Microsoft to Pay $2.5 Billion for Mojang, Maker of ‘Minecraft’

Microsoft has agreed to purchase Mojang, the Swedish company responsible for developing the world-building computer game “Minecraft.” The $2.5 billion cash deal, expected to be completed later this year, will bring the immensely popular title — and the Stockholm-based Mojang team — to Microsoft Studios, which publishes blockbuster game series such as “Fable” and “Halo.” “Minecraft” is currently the most popular online game on Xbox, and the top paid app for iOS and Android in the U.S. Continue reading Microsoft to Pay $2.5 Billion for Mojang, Maker of ‘Minecraft’

QuickFire.TV Transcodes Broadcast Quality Video in Seconds

Startup QuickFire.TV helps news and sports broadcasters encode their videos for playback on 20 different platforms at lightning fast speeds, making it faster to distribute video content online. QuickFire claims its cloud-based solution transcodes video ten times faster than real-time, thanks to its complete stack infrastructure with Intel Core i7 processors. QuickFire also offers a set of APIs that allows video producers to create custom workflows and tools for uploading videos. Continue reading QuickFire.TV Transcodes Broadcast Quality Video in Seconds

Vidmind Debuts Next-Gen STB, TiVo Readies New 24TB DVR

Israel-based Vidmind plans to unveil the second generation of its Android set-top box this week at IBC in Amsterdam. The company hopes to attract cord cutters with an offering that combines over-the-air broadcast TV with live streaming and on-demand content. Meanwhile, TiVo has announced its 24TB TiVo Mega, slated for launch early next year. For $5,000 you can record six shows at once and store up to 4,000 hours of HD programming (or 26,000 hours of SD content). It also includes free TiVo service for life. Continue reading Vidmind Debuts Next-Gen STB, TiVo Readies New 24TB DVR

GhostTunes: Cloud-Based Digital Locker Alternative for Music

Country music entertainer Garth Brooks has launched a new online music store called GhostTunes. Brooks is one of the few artists that has rejected iTunes and other electronic commerce methods that rely largely on individual track sales. Through GhostTunes, artists can sell their albums the way they want to at prices similar to those of iTunes. While Brooks made his first digital bundle available for just $29.99, millions of other songs are available, from performers such as Coldplay and Eminem.  Continue reading GhostTunes: Cloud-Based Digital Locker Alternative for Music

Apple to Add Security Alerts Following Celebrity Photo Leaks

Apple CEO Tim Cook confirmed that the hackers responsible for recently leaking nude photos of celebrities were able to break into the celebrities’ iCloud accounts. The company plans to add additional security alerts to help prevent future security breaches. In the next two weeks, Apple users will start receiving notifications when someone tries to change an account password, restore iCloud data to a new device, or when a new device logs onto the account for the first time. Continue reading Apple to Add Security Alerts Following Celebrity Photo Leaks

Google For Work: Software, Cloud Services Target Enterprise

Google is competing with fellow tech giants Microsoft and Amazon to offer businesses the best options for their employees, from laptops to software to cloud services. The company’s Google Drive for Work is designed to help co-workers share files, even if they were created in a Microsoft or Lotus program. Also, the company’s new pitch to workplaces has featured its cloud services, which provides computing power, storage, application storage, and mobile support for businesses’ online presence. Continue reading Google For Work: Software, Cloud Services Target Enterprise

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