Bodyprint Scans Body Parts to Authenticate Smartphone Users

Yahoo Labs researchers have developed a new technology called Bodyprint that works as an alternative to the fingerprint scanners used in high-end smartphones to authenticate users. With Bodyprint, users can convert the screen on their smartphone to function as a biometric scanner capable of detecting users’ ears, fingers, fists and palms when pressed against the screen. The technology has reportedly produced impressive results in classifying body parts and identifying users. Continue reading Bodyprint Scans Body Parts to Authenticate Smartphone Users

Twitter Users Can Change Setting to Expand Direct Messaging

As promised, Twitter is moving forward with new changes to expand its private messaging feature that will allow users to receive private messages from any account. Twitter’s previous messaging policy forbid users from exchanging private messages, unless both users were following one another’s accounts. The new change, a setting option that will have to be manually enabled, may prompt more users to make use of Twitter’s Direct Messaging service, which has yet to gain significant traction. Continue reading Twitter Users Can Change Setting to Expand Direct Messaging

NAB 2015: ETC Conference Sessions Convene Cloud Leadership

The first day of the ETC’s special 2-day track on “Media Management in the Cloud: Advances in Content Reliability & Security” at the NAB Show kicked off with a keynote by Brian Stevens, VP cloud platforms at Google. Stevens highlighted advances in cloud technologies that enabled the great acceleration of work and innovation processes for both large and small media studios. Stevens also participated in the following discussion panel of key leaders from industry cloud tenants representing each phase of the media & entertainment content chain. Continue reading NAB 2015: ETC Conference Sessions Convene Cloud Leadership

Maelstrom: BitTorrent’s New Browser Built on P2P Architecture

BitTorrent’s peer-to-peer Web browser endeavor, Maelstrom, is now in beta. Since its limited alpha release back in December of last year, the browser has reportedly seen as many as 3,500 publishers and more than 10,000 developers sign up to work on its platform. The beta release will make the browser available to more people and help gauge interest in a torrent-based service built on a decentralized, P2P architecture. For now, the beta version of Maelstrom is only available for Windows users. Continue reading Maelstrom: BitTorrent’s New Browser Built on P2P Architecture

Popcorn Time Circumvents Apple App Store with iOS Installer

The anonymous developers behind Popcorn Time, one of the fastest growing torrent platforms in the world, have figured out a way to get their new app on iPhones and iPads without going through the Apple App Store. Apple’s security team will not approve apps that facilitate copyright infringement, so the developers have created a new software called iOS Installer for Windows. This software will allow people to download the Popcorn Time app without jailbreaking their phones. Continue reading Popcorn Time Circumvents Apple App Store with iOS Installer

Google Cloud Storage Nearline Presented at vNAB Conference

Anyone who has worked in the visual effects industry is familiar with the enormous volume of data involved in every production and the process of bringing shots on and offline to balance workloads. Jeff Kember, a cloud solutions architect at Google and a former computer graphics supervisor, introduced a new solution, Google’s Cloud Storage Nearline — a low-cost, fast-response storage service that enables quick data backup, retrieval and access — in his vNAB Cloud Conference presentation on Visual Effects Workflows in the Cloud. Continue reading Google Cloud Storage Nearline Presented at vNAB Conference

Behind Snapchat’s New Privacy Protection Efforts and Ad Sales

Snapchat is now valued at $15 billion, and as it continues to grow, the company is taking more steps to keep users’ data safe and generate revenue by selling video ads. For the first time, Snapchat released a transparency report to show how often government agencies ask for user content. Also, the company will pay coders to help identify security bugs and shut down third-party apps that compromise privacy. With the rollout of the Discover feature, Snapchat has also started selling video ads. Continue reading Behind Snapchat’s New Privacy Protection Efforts and Ad Sales

President Obama Approves Order Against Foreign Cyberattacks

A new executive order signed by President Obama earlier this week aims to warn off foreign online hackers from targeting the United States. The order authorizes severe consequences to the individual or foreign party determined to be involved with any attack that may compromise the security, foreign policy, economic health, and financial stability of the U.S. Any violations of the policy could result in both financial and travel sanctions as regulated by the federal government. Continue reading President Obama Approves Order Against Foreign Cyberattacks

AT&T and Verizon Track Customer Web Browsing, Sell The Data

Two of the largest Internet providers are making money by tracking customers’ Web browsing with supercookies and in-house traffic scanning. This allows AT&T and Verizon to sell a highly personalized ad-targeting program that will place ads in websites, email, and even snail mail. Verizon customers can now opt out and disable the supercookies for free, but AT&T customers seeking privacy will have to pay several fees that could tack on an additional $60 to their monthly bill. Continue reading AT&T and Verizon Track Customer Web Browsing, Sell The Data

Hollywood Ups its Security Measures with New Digital Services

In the wake of recent hacking incidents, Hollywood companies have become more concerned about protecting their communication and content. Hollywood is turning to various services from companies such as WatchDox, IntraLinks and Varonis to better monitor the activity involving work files being accessed by employees on their personal mobile phones. Using these new services, companies not only protect their most sensitive files, but also manage how to share them with others.  Continue reading Hollywood Ups its Security Measures with New Digital Services

Wendy Aylsworth of Warner Bros. to Receive Ken Mason Award

Warner Bros. exec Wendy Aylsworth has been selected by the Inter-Society for the Enhancement of Cinema Presentation to receive the prestigious Ken Mason Award, which recognizes those who have “made outstanding long-term contributions leading to the overall improvement of the motion picture experience.” Aylsworth, SVP of Technology for Warner Bros. Technical Operations, has been instrumental in steering industry standards for Digital Cinema. She will receive the award at an April 21st ceremony during CinemaCon in Las Vegas. Continue reading Wendy Aylsworth of Warner Bros. to Receive Ken Mason Award

vNab: Conference Videos Focus on Transport and Security

Videos from the second session of The Entertainment Technology Center @ USC “Virtual NAB Cloud Conference,” a 3-day extension of the Media Management in the Cloud track that ETC leads at the NAB Show, are now live for viewing on the ETCenterVideo YouTube channel. The 4 new videos focus on media transport and security with presentations by Equinix on Just in Time On Demand Production Infrastructure; Dolby on Global Media Exchange and the Work of the ETC; Sohonet on Rapid, Secure Workflows; and Independent Security Evaluators on Hackers, Attack Anatomy & Security Trends. Continue reading vNab: Conference Videos Focus on Transport and Security

Google Developing New Service for Paying Bills Within Gmail

Google is working on a project called “Pony Express,” which plans to enable Gmail users to receive and pay bills within their email. The service — whether it is named Pony Express or something else — is reportedly slated to launch in the fourth quarter. Google is working with vendors that provide billing services for insurance and telecom companies, utilities, etc. It is not clear whether the company plans to monetize the service, but it could provide Google with data for entering new industries and targeting advertisements. Continue reading Google Developing New Service for Paying Bills Within Gmail

First Videos from ETC’s vNAB Cloud Conference Now Online

Videos from the opening session of The Entertainment Technology Center @ USC “Virtual NAB Cloud Conference,” a 3-day extension of the Media Management in the Cloud track that ETC leads at the NAB Show, are now live for viewing on the ETCenterVideo YouTube channel. The Virtual Conference, recorded at YouTube Space LA on March 2, 3 & 4, featured 35 presenters and provided a forum for a deeper discussion of M&E (Media & Entertainment) and the Cloud. The entire program will be posted in advance of NAB in April to provide a lasting repository of perspectives and experiences in this rapidly evolving sector. Continue reading First Videos from ETC’s vNAB Cloud Conference Now Online

Hello Barbie: Mattel’s Web-Connected Doll Interacts with Kids

Mattel plans to release Hello Barbie, a Wi-Fi connected doll with voice recognition software that allows users to engage in basic conversations with the doll. The tech enabled Barbie, which will be available later this fall for $74.99, is connected to the cloud so that once it records a user’s dialogue, it transmits the information to a server, which then aggregates appropriate responses for the doll. Hello Barbie’s voice recognition software comes from San Francisco startup ToyTalk. Continue reading Hello Barbie: Mattel’s Web-Connected Doll Interacts with Kids

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