Wi-Fi Alliance Debuts Wi-Fi Aware for Quick Device Connection

After three years of research and development, the Wi-Fi Alliance released Wi-Fi Aware, which instantly connects Wi-Fi-enabled products with devices, applications or information without an Internet connection or mobile data. Wi-Fi Aware software works continuously in the background, sending out short messages that dramatically lessen power consumption. With a Wi-Fi Aware smartphone, a user could find nearby services, videogame players or anyone from a high school friend to a business colleague. Continue reading Wi-Fi Alliance Debuts Wi-Fi Aware for Quick Device Connection

New Emergency Patches for Flash Steps Up Calls for Its Demise

To patch two critical zero-day vulnerabilities, Adobe Systems issued an emergency update for its Flash media player. That’s in addition to a previously unknown vulnerability discovered over a week ago in a 400-gigabyte data dump published after hackers rooted the servers of Hacking Team. That bug allowed hackers to covertly install malware on end-user computers. Mozilla now blocks the hacker-susceptible Flash, and several industry leaders are calling for Adobe to pull the plug on the bug-infested media player. Continue reading New Emergency Patches for Flash Steps Up Calls for Its Demise

Pew Research: Facebook, Twitter Are Preferred News Sources

While social networks such as Facebook and Twitter prefer to describe themselves as content distribution platforms rather than content publishing platforms, denying any involvement in the editorial reshaping of what users see (despite their editorial ability to remove content from their sites), a recent study conducted by the Pew Research Center reveals that Facebook and Twitter users across multiple demographics in the United States are increasingly turning to the two services to access external news. Continue reading Pew Research: Facebook, Twitter Are Preferred News Sources

InMobi Launches Miip, a New Interactive Advertising Technology

India-based InMobi launched a new advertising technology this week called Miip (pronounced Meep), which features an animated monkey that follows users through apps and provides useful suggestions for products. The recommendations typically involve items that users may be interested in purchasing, and are suggested through a text bubble. Over time, InMobi hopes that users will become more inclined to click on a pop-up or even provide feedback if the monkey makes useful suggestions. Continue reading InMobi Launches Miip, a New Interactive Advertising Technology

Users Now Have More Control Over Their Facebook News Feeds

Facebook has announced a new set of features that provide users with more control over what they see in their news feeds. The new controls will include a “see first” list, comprised of the family, friends and followed pages that are important to a user and will show up at the top of his/her feed. Users can now access a single list to re-follow multiple people they’ve previously un-followed (ideal for temporarily muting spoilers of your favorite TV shows). Facebook has also added a feature to suggest pages for avid users who run out of fresh content in their feeds. Continue reading Users Now Have More Control Over Their Facebook News Feeds

Legit Creates Personalized Watchlist for Movies and TV Shows

An app called Legit is launching as a universal guide for finding movies and TV shows across streaming and other services. It is presently focusing on content available via Amazon, Hulu, iTunes, Netflix, YouTube and in theaters. Apps that track where shows can be found on various services already exist, but Legit’s distinguishing feature is that it provides more personal and relevant recommendations by comparing a user’s tastes with those of his/her Facebook friends, based on how they’ve rated different content. Continue reading Legit Creates Personalized Watchlist for Movies and TV Shows

Facebook Looking to Expand Media Offerings with Music Videos

Facebook has turned its attention to music videos in its latest move to offer more video content to its users. The social media company began moving into video in the last few years, now showing content from BuzzFeed, Vice and other publishers, in addition to its user-generated content. Music videos would continue the trend and up the competition between Facebook and YouTube. Facebook currently has 1.4 billion worldwide users, and adding video is likely to extend the time that viewers stay on the site. Continue reading Facebook Looking to Expand Media Offerings with Music Videos

Movie Trailers Popular on YouTube, Mobile Viewing on the Rise

According to an Ipsos study commissioned by Google, younger moviegoers are more inclined to watch movie trailers on YouTube than on television. While 54 percent of respondents age 13-24 indicated they are more likely to watch trailers via YouTube, an impressive 65 percent said that trailers they watch on YouTube will influence what films they end up seeing in theaters. In addition, a related study from Google and Millward Brown Digital found that 81 percent of moviegoers age 18-64 who watch movie trailers online turn to YouTube as well. Continue reading Movie Trailers Popular on YouTube, Mobile Viewing on the Rise

New Meerkat Feature Makes Real-Time Video More Interactive

Meerkat has launched a new real-time video feature called Cameo that allows users to invite friends on the mobile app to take over their live streams. The new feature could lead to an interesting opportunity for brands to work with celebrities and social influencers. For example, a company such as Red Bull could promote upcoming livestreams with their sponsored extreme-sports athletes. Fox, Hulu, MasterCard, Southwest Airlines and The Weather Channel are among those already signed up to use Cameo. Continue reading New Meerkat Feature Makes Real-Time Video More Interactive

Silicon Valley and Security Experts Face Off Over Encryption

A group of 14 preeminent international cryptographers and computer scientists reported that offering government access to encrypted communications puts the world’s confidential data and infrastructure at risk. The report is in response to demands by the U.S. and British governments that technology companies provide a digital key for encrypted data. Conflict has been heating up between privacy advocates and government agencies over encryption, and the report is the latest move by technologists to counter government demands. Continue reading Silicon Valley and Security Experts Face Off Over Encryption

Whipclip Attracts Media Partners and $40 Million Investment

Whipclip’s app, which allows users to immediately and legally share clips from TV shows and other media, raised an additional $40 million in Series C financing. Led by asset management firm Eminence Capital, other investors include Institutional Venture Partners, Rain Ventures and content partners A&E, ABC, CBS, Comedy Central, Fox, Lifetime, Sony Music and Universal Music Group. Whipclip CEO Rich Rosenblatt, previously co-founder of Demand Media, states that some clips have been viewed millions of times. Continue reading Whipclip Attracts Media Partners and $40 Million Investment

FCC Commissioner Says the Internet is Not a Human Right

Speaking before the Internet Innovation Alliance about the appropriate role of regulators in a growing broadband economy, FCC Commissioner Michael O’Rielly suggested that the Internet is not a necessity or human right, as many tech leaders have suggested. “It is important to note that Internet access is not a necessity in the day-to-day lives of Americans and doesn’t even come close to the threshold to be considered a basic human right,” he said. “I am not in any way trying to diminish the significance of the Internet in our daily lives.” Continue reading FCC Commissioner Says the Internet is Not a Human Right

Facebook Plans to Push More Videos and Share Ad Revenue

Videos on Facebook garner 4 billion views a day — 75 percent on smartphones — and the company is increasing its efforts to turn views into profits. Its newly unveiled strategy is to share ad revenue with video creators, both to attract better content and more ads. Facebook will keep 45 percent of the revenue, similar to YouTube’s revenue model, but the two differ in a significant way: Facebook will divide the creators’ 55 percent share of ad revenue among all the videos that appear adjacent to the ad, based on how long users watch each video. Continue reading Facebook Plans to Push More Videos and Share Ad Revenue

Shorts HD to Premiere Three Animated Movies on Facebook

Facebook will exclusively premiere three animated movies from Shorts International’s Shorts HD TV channel. The shorts will run, one week each, for free during July. Since Shorts HD could have turned to a variety of distribution platforms — including YouTube or its own website — the move may be either a vote of confidence, or a toe in the water, for Facebook’s new focus on video. The Shorts videos, however, will not be part of Facebook’s new Suggested Videos feature, which shares revenue with creators, in a move to attract better video content and more ads. Continue reading Shorts HD to Premiere Three Animated Movies on Facebook

Instagram Updates Put Users in the Middle of Current Events

About 70 million photos and videos are posted daily to Instagram. This week the Facebook-owned service began tapping into that content to provide its 300 million users with the feeling of being part of current events as they unfold live. An updated Explore button, working with the service’s algorithms, will take Instagram users to the most important and timely imagery in their regions and across the nation — from live sports and concerts to breaking news. Instagram has also made it easier to find images via its search function and will feature hand-selected collections for content discovery. Continue reading Instagram Updates Put Users in the Middle of Current Events

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