DARPA Converts Army Surveillance Drones into Mobile Hotspots

DARPA’s Mobile Hotspots program is converting retired RQ-7 Army drones into wireless hotspots to provide Wi-Fi to soldiers in remote areas. The drones will be able to transfer data at one gigabyte per second — about the same connectivity of a 4G smartphone — to give troops the same communication capabilities, including access to tactical operation centers and mission data, that others in more central conflict zones have. DARPA is retrofitting the drones with small Wi-Fi antennas. Continue reading DARPA Converts Army Surveillance Drones into Mobile Hotspots

TV Networks Consider Plan B Options if Court Sides with Aereo

Television broadcasters, which are suing for an injunction to shut down Aereo, are also said to be considering back-up plans in case the Supreme Court rules in favor of the video startup. Options being considered range from lobbying Congress for legislative solutions to possibly transitioning from broadcast to cable transmission. Broadcasters such as ABC, CBS, Fox and NBC contend that Aereo is violating copyright law by capturing over-the-air signals and streaming them via the Web to paying customers. Continue reading TV Networks Consider Plan B Options if Court Sides with Aereo

New Deal with VEVO Will Bring Music Content to Yahoo Screen

Yahoo and VEVO announced a new partnership to bring music videos, concerts, and other original music programming to video channel Yahoo Screen. The deal includes new financial incentives for Yahoo to promote VEVO videos, particularly on the Yahoo home page, mobile app, and Yahoo sites outside the U.S. It is all part of Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer’s strategy to focus on video to keep visitors on the site longer. VEVO, meanwhile, hopes to break its dependency on YouTube. Continue reading New Deal with VEVO Will Bring Music Content to Yahoo Screen

Internet Ad Revenues Surpass Broadcast TV for First Time

According to the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB), interactive advertising revenues for 2013 hit an all-time high of $42.8 billion in the U.S. The report indicates that the figure represents a 17 percent jump from the previous year’s landmark revenues of $36.6 billion. Notably, the 2013 total also marks the first time that Internet ad revenues exceeded those of broadcast television advertising ($40.1 billion). In addition, mobile experienced triple-digit growth for the third year in a row. Continue reading Internet Ad Revenues Surpass Broadcast TV for First Time

Bug Causes Scramble to Update Software and Change Passwords

Popular websites have been scrambling to update software and Internet users have been encouraged to change their passwords following the news of an encryption flaw known as the Heartbleed bug, which is already being categorized as one of the biggest security threats the Internet has ever experienced. The bug has affected a number of websites and services (although the extent is not clear), and may have exposed account info including passwords and credit card numbers going back two years. UPDATE: Cisco and Juniper said yesterday that some of their networking products contain the bug, which means sensitive info may have been obtained while moving across corporate networks, home networks and the Internet. Continue reading Bug Causes Scramble to Update Software and Change Passwords

Microsoft Announces Studio-Grade Skype TX for Broadcasters

Microsoft’s latest messaging tech, Skype TX, integrates high-quality Skype calls into broadcasting. The new product, which bypasses ads and notifications, is studio-grade software that offers improved video and audio quality. It features HD-SDI video output and input, balanced audio output and input, auto aspect ratio conversion, support for multiple calls and API integration. Microsoft envisions TV shows, news programs and live events using Skype TX to connect with people outside of the studio. Continue reading Microsoft Announces Studio-Grade Skype TX for Broadcasters

In 2013, 71 Million People Watched Online Computer Gameplay

Last year, more than 71 million people worldwide watched other people play computer games, according to a report from games research company SuperData. More than half of those people were in the United States and one in five American gamers either watch or participate in eSports, or organized video game competitions. At the League of Legends Season 3 World Championship last year, 32 million people watched the professional gamers battle it out. Continue reading In 2013, 71 Million People Watched Online Computer Gameplay

Pro Music Curators Create Specialized Playlists for Listeners

The access to millions of songs on Spotify, Pandora and other online music streaming services has music fans feeling overwhelmed. Some fans are now turning to professional music curators to help them identify the best songs for their specific mood. Professional playlist makers typically do not compile mixes based on broad genres or decades, but instead, they create mixes for specific occasions or emotional states, such as a family road trip or a sad break-up. Continue reading Pro Music Curators Create Specialized Playlists for Listeners

Gogo Plans Satellite In-Flight Internet Service with 70Mbps Link

Gogo recently announced it will add satellite to its ground-to-air service in the hopes of increasing speeds of its in-flight Internet networks. The satellite connectivity network will give more support for international flights, including Internet access while flying over the open ocean. The new service is called 2Ku, and plans to offer a 70Mbps downlink connection using a new high-gain antenna design. This is expected to make Gogo’s in-flight service excel at twice the performance of its competitors. Continue reading Gogo Plans Satellite In-Flight Internet Service with 70Mbps Link

New Software Lets Chat Apps Connect Phones Without Internet

The recently released FireChat mobile app stands out from competitors as the only messaging app that can be used without cell phone reception. FireChat makes use of Apple’s multipeer connectivity introduced in iOS 7, which enables phones to connect with each other directly via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi. FireChat users within 100 feet of one another can exchange messages without sending data through a cellular provider. A future of similar apps not reliant upon the Internet could open new possibilities and address privacy concerns. Continue reading New Software Lets Chat Apps Connect Phones Without Internet

SMPTE Tech Summit at NAB: The Trials of Global Distribution

The first day of SMPTE’s Technology Summit On Cinema at NAB featured a session called “From Camera to Consumer — the New Post Production.” Digital Studio GM for Walt Disney Studios, Leon Silverman, gave a funny and animated presentation during the session about the many versions of a movie that Disney must produce for international audiences. In the case of the animated feature “Planes,” not only did Disney create dozens of native language dubs and subtitled versions, but it also changed details in the animation to please the local audience. Continue reading SMPTE Tech Summit at NAB: The Trials of Global Distribution

Poll Suggests Consumers More Cautious Online Post Snowden

According to a new survey from Harris Interactive, a significant number of consumers are being more careful with online activities in the year since Edward Snowden revealed information about NSA phone and Internet surveillance. Among the poll’s findings, Harris learned that 33 percent of those 18 to 34 said they were doing less online shopping, 29 percent of people in the same age group said they had reduced online banking activity, and 24 percent of overall respondents explained they were “less inclined to use email.”

Continue reading Poll Suggests Consumers More Cautious Online Post Snowden

Amazon Fire TV to Feature Android Games Created In-House

Amazon’s new Fire TV will serve as a game console in addition to streaming movies and TV shows. To help distinguish itself from industry giants such as Xbox One or PlayStation 4, Amazon plans to develop some of its own Android games. While Amazon Game Studios has not released a full list, sci-fi shooter “Sev Zero” has the potential to be the most popular. Amazon recently acquired Double Helix Games, the company that made the Xbox One launch title “Killer Instinct.” Continue reading Amazon Fire TV to Feature Android Games Created In-House

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

Consortium Seeks Engineering Standards for Internet of Things

The Industrial Internet Consortium — which includes AT&T, Cisco, General Electric, IBM and Intel — said last week that it plans to develop engineering standards for the connection of objects, sensors and computing systems in large industrial assets, such as oil refineries, factories and harbors. The consortium aims to establish standards for how machines will share information and move data. The group also plans to publish case studies, conduct forums and cooperate on security practices. Continue reading Consortium Seeks Engineering Standards for Internet of Things

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