Growing Number of U.S. Adults Now Playing Video Games

According to “2019 Essential Facts About the Computer and Video Game Industry,” a new annual report from gaming industry trade group Entertainment Software Association, about 65 percent of adults now play video games in the United States. That adds up to more than 164 million people, and each year, the total grows. The report also indicates that three-fourths of U.S. adults have at least one gaming player at home, while 93 percent of those households own a smartphone on which half of them play video games.

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Skidmore Combines 360VR Experience with Acceptance Letter

Skidmore College, a liberal arts institution in Upstate New York, is sending its student candidates a new form of acceptance letter. Each package includes a cardboard VR viewer with a link to an immersive, 360-degree video that illustrates life at Skidmore. The 360VR makeover is an attempt to go beyond the traditional college tour or promo video. “This was a chance to answer one of the top questions accepted candidates ask, which is what is it like to be a Skidmore student when I’m not in class,” explained Luke Meyer, director of marketing and engagement. Continue reading Skidmore Combines 360VR Experience with Acceptance Letter

Microsoft Developing a Classroom Edition of ‘Minecraft’ Game

The building-block game “Minecraft” may make its way into classrooms next fall. Microsoft is planning to launch a classroom version of the game, which will allow teachers to create custom challenges and track students’ progress on their building projects. This new version of “Minecraft” would be based on “MinecraftEdu,” a spinoff of the original game that was sold to Microsoft last year. Microsoft plans to charge $5 per student annually for the classroom version of the game. Continue reading Microsoft Developing a Classroom Edition of ‘Minecraft’ Game

Amazon Partners with Universities to Deliver Student Savings

Amazon is looking to build a greater presence on college campuses by working with three universities to run co-branded websites and distribution centers for students on campus. The websites will sell textbooks, student apparel, food and just about anything else one could buy from Amazon. The universities that have agreed to partner with Amazon for the “Amazon Campus” initiative include Purdue University, the University of Massachusetts Amherst and the University of California Davis. Continue reading Amazon Partners with Universities to Deliver Student Savings

Target Introduces New Ad Campaign Featuring YouTube Stars

Target will feature YouTube stars Todrick Hall, Ann Le, Tiffany Garcia and Mikey Bolts in four online video shows to be aired on Target’s YouTube channel. Each personality will have four webisodes, offering students attending college in the LA area decorating tips using Target merchandise. The show will follow the same format as many HGTV series, with a before-and-after effect. In order to promote the campaign, Target will use #BestYearEver on other social media pages. Continue reading Target Introduces New Ad Campaign Featuring YouTube Stars

DirecTV Introduces NFL Sunday Ticket Free of TV Subscription

DirecTV announced that it will offer its NFL Sunday Ticket to certain consumers who do not have a satellite subscription. Sports fans can register via NFLSundayTicket.TV to access streaming of live games on laptops, smartphones, tablets or game consoles. To qualify, viewers must live in an apartment building where DirecTV is not available, attend one of the universities included in DirecTV’s list, or live in metropolitan New York, San Francisco or Philadelphia.  Continue reading DirecTV Introduces NFL Sunday Ticket Free of TV Subscription

Professor Develops Free DIY Online Image Verification Service

With the recent growth in citizen journalism via the Internet, questions have arisen regarding the authenticity of photographs, and whether there are ways to verify if an image is accurate or not. The rise of Photoshop and other digital tools has made it easy for people to edit images prior to sharing them on Facebook or Twitter. However, a computer science professor at Dartmouth College has developed a free online image verification service that quickly confirms whether an image is authentic or not. Continue reading Professor Develops Free DIY Online Image Verification Service

USC Planning to Offer Journalism Course Using Google Glass

While developers consider a number of industries for which Google Glass may have useful applications, some are considering the headset’s potential use in the news business. Professor Robert Hernandez of USC’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism is offering a course this fall on Glass Journalism. “The class will consist of teams (Journalist, Designer, Developer) working together to research and develop different types of news apps designed specifically for the Glass platform,” reads a Tumblr post about the course. Continue reading USC Planning to Offer Journalism Course Using Google Glass

NCAA Tournament Marks New Record for Live Video Streaming

Turner Sports announced that NCAA March Madness Live set a new record with 69.7 million live video streams collectively across platforms. The 2014 tournament’s live video streams were up 42 percent compared to the previous year. NCAA March Madness Live — in partnership between the NCAA, Turner Sports and CBS Sports — netted 15 million hours of live video consumed, which is also a new all-time record. Live streams via tablets and smartphones were up 71 percent this year. Continue reading NCAA Tournament Marks New Record for Live Video Streaming

TiVo Co-Founders Launch Qplay Web Video App and Service

TiVo co-founders Jim Barton and Mike Ramsay announced the launch of Qplay a little over a month ago. The service allows users to create personalized video streams called “Q’s” from various sources. Since the announcement, the app, service and TV adapter have only been available as an Early Adopter bundle for $49. Starting this week, the Qplay app is available for free for everyone (not including the TV adapter). The service has added video content from Reddit, College Humor, Funny or Die, The New York Times and Vanity FairContinue reading TiVo Co-Founders Launch Qplay Web Video App and Service

USC Cinematic Arts Professors Installed in New Endowed Chairs

In a ceremony at the Ray Stark Theater on USC’s Cinematic Arts campus last Thursday, Dean Elizabeth Daley joined George Lucas in welcoming three USC film professors to their new endowed chairs. Made possible by a generous gift from Lucas, the three new chairs — The Sergei Eisenstein Endowed Chair for Cinematic Design, the George Mélies Endowed Chair in Visual Effects, and the William Cameron Menzies Endowed Chair in Production Design — are now held by Bruce Block, Michael Funk, and Alex McDowell respectively. Continue reading USC Cinematic Arts Professors Installed in New Endowed Chairs

CeBIT 2014: Germany and Britain Plan to Develop 5G Broadband

Great Britain struck a major deal with Germany at the CeBIT 2014 trade fair to co-develop a 5G Internet service fast enough to download a movie in less than a second. German and British universities will work together on the project. Speaking at the tech summit in Hannover, Germany, British Prime Minister David Cameron said that his country risks being left behind if it does not develop ultra-fast broadband. He also announced a major investment in a grant fund and research and development for the Internet of Things. Continue reading CeBIT 2014: Germany and Britain Plan to Develop 5G Broadband

Social Network Attempts to Recapture Early Spirit of Facebook

In response to the evolving user base of popular social networks such as Facebook, a new venture called Blend hopes to return social media to a younger crowd with its app designed exclusively for undergraduate students. San Jose, CA-based Blend currently enables users to share photos and win gift cards, but has plans to become more of a social network with interactive features like commenting. Founded in May 2013, Blend has nine employees, including its three young co-founders. Continue reading Social Network Attempts to Recapture Early Spirit of Facebook

Hshtags Search Engine: The Google Search of Social Media

Hshtags is a new search engine from developer Kim Goulbourne that is designed to help users easily navigate the mass onslaught of hashtags, which have become a nearly ubiquitous utility of the social Web. The universal hashtag search client, launched in September, provides access to all the content posted with a specific hashtag from an array of social platforms including Facebook, Flickr, Instagram, Tumblr, Twitter, Vimeo and YouTube (support for Vine and Google+ is expected soon). Continue reading Hshtags Search Engine: The Google Search of Social Media

Broadband Adoption and How it Relates to Smartphone Usage

According to a new report from the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project, 70 percent of Americans 18 and older have high-speed broadband connections in their homes. Results of the survey, released yesterday, indicate that 20 percent of adults in the U.S. are still without broadband or smartphones for Internet access, while 3 percent are still using dial-up connections. Broadband adoption — still influenced by age, education, income, location and race — may also now be impacted by mobile substitution. Continue reading Broadband Adoption and How it Relates to Smartphone Usage

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