Facebook Testing New Emoji in Ireland, Spain for Wide Release

Facebook just announced something fans have been wanting for a long time: in addition to the ubiquitous “like” button, fans will have other icons to express emotions. The new emoji, designed after months of research to find expressions that would work globally, include surprise, anger, love, laughter, sadness and a supportive cheer. Although many users have lobbied for a “dislike” button, Facebook declined to add one. The tests in Spain and Ireland are just the first of a round before the emoji are widely released. Continue reading Facebook Testing New Emoji in Ireland, Spain for Wide Release

There is Untapped Potential in Enhanced Online Video Search

We are used to very sophisticated search for text, but when it comes to online video, search tools are quite primitive. Netflix allows users to search by titles, people and genres; Hulu powers search for titles and people; and HBO Now restricts search to titles. The potential for exquisitely granular search — and potential new revenue streams — can be found in each TV show or movie’s rich metadata. But how to unlock it, and how to structure search is still open to question and experimentation. Continue reading There is Untapped Potential in Enhanced Online Video Search

Apple and GE: Future of Business is Personalized Technology

The Internet has revolutionized consumers’ lives, say Apple and General Electric, but the business world has yet to enjoy similar benefits. Both companies have stated that they see enterprise as the next frontier. Apple and GE are just starting to focus on this space but both have plans to empower enterprise with tools — with Apple focused on the mobile Internet and GE on sensors and predictive data analysis — that interact with people, track tools and mediate between people and machines. Continue reading Apple and GE: Future of Business is Personalized Technology

Ad-Blockers Improve Load Times, Battery Life and Phone Bills

While ethical questions can be raised in regards to ad-blocking, the advantages seem obvious. All those ads clutter up the page, slow down load times and eat up battery life, say proponents of ad-blocking software. Over four days, staffers from The New York Times tested ad-blocking apps Crystal, Purify and 1Blocker on their iPhones, and “measured how much the programs cut down on Web page data sizes and improved loading times, and also how much they increased the smartphone’s battery life.” The results favored ad-blockers for mobile devices. Continue reading Ad-Blockers Improve Load Times, Battery Life and Phone Bills

Google Announces New Chromecast Devices for TV and Music

Google unveiled two new Chromecast streaming devices yesterday, in addition to a new tablet and a pair of Nexus phones. Google has already sold more than 20 million Chromecasts, which now offers access to thousands of apps, including HBO Now and Netflix. The $35 Chromecast extends the mobile apps already on our phones to our TV, whereas a competitor such as the $149 Apple TV is more a device for storing apps to run on television. One of Google’s new silver dollar-sized Chromecasts is available to work with your TV, while Chromecast Audio plugs into speakers to play music sent from your phone. Continue reading Google Announces New Chromecast Devices for TV and Music

Facebook Unveils Metrics to Lure Traditional TV Advertisers

On the first day of Advertising Week in Manhattan, Facebook and Google both introduced new tools that will allow advertisers to plan and buy ad campaigns on their digital platforms. Facebook unveiled its offering that gives advertisers a more familiar method of buying ads, with metrics and other tools to understand their purchases. Both digital behemoths are aiming to offer advertisers an easier and more powerful path to their platforms, while they benefit by capturing more digital advertising dollars. Continue reading Facebook Unveils Metrics to Lure Traditional TV Advertisers

Apple’s New iPhones Set a New First-Weekend Sales Record

Apple broke its first-weekend sales record, after selling 13 million iPhone 6s and 6s Plus phones since Friday. That figure bests the 10 million iPhone 6 and 6 Plus devices sold last year during the first weekend. The increase is likely the result of market selections; this year the new phones were made available in China, one of Apple’s biggest markets, but last year China was not included in the first weekend. The sales figures were in line with some analysts’ expectations. Daniel Ives at FBR Capital projected 13 million in sales, while Gene Munster of Piper Jaffray predicted 12 to 13 million. Continue reading Apple’s New iPhones Set a New First-Weekend Sales Record

YouTube Readies New Ad-Free Service for Monthly Subscription

Google-owned YouTube is reportedly readying the launch of its much anticipated online subscription service. Sources indicate a launch is likely by the end of October. Two offerings are expected: an updated version of its Music Key service (previously launched in beta) and a new service that offers access to all YouTube content without ads. Earlier reports suggest the bundled offering would be available for $10 per month. While YouTube has hinted in the past about an upcoming subscription service, it has yet to unveil firm plans or a timeline. Continue reading YouTube Readies New Ad-Free Service for Monthly Subscription

Users Embrace Live Mobile Video, Data Plan Overages Grow

Live mobile video has exploded in the last few months, with offerings from Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter and others. Mobile users have quickly caught on to how they can use live video, from concerts to personal rants. But the Achilles heel, however, is that live video uses a tremendous amount of data and, the immediacy of live video encourages users to go live without a Wi-Fi network handy. The result is that an increasing number of mobile users are going over their data plan, incurring extra charges. Continue reading Users Embrace Live Mobile Video, Data Plan Overages Grow

Facebook Betting On VR with New 360-Degree Video Feature

Facebook introduced a new 360-degree spherical video feature this week for the social platform’s newsfeed. At launch, users can roam an immersive trailer for “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” by dragging their mouse over the video in order to access different vantage points. Mobile users can change their angle within clips featuring NBC’s “Saturday Night Live” and workouts by NBA star LeBron James by simply tilting their smartphone or swiping their finger across the screen. Continue reading Facebook Betting On VR with New 360-Degree Video Feature

Simple.tv Plans to Debut ShowDrive Cloud DVR at Next CES

Simple.tv — the company that has been trying to reinvent the DVR since 2012 — is about to launch ShowDrive, which allows users to record and playback up to 1,000 hours of TV programming from the cloud to Internet-connected TVs, streaming devices and mobile phones. Unlike Aereo, whose live TV and time-shifted TV DVR was killed by a Supreme Court ruling that it didn’t substantially differ from a cable operator, Simple.tv’s technology is based on technology that has standing in past legal cases. Continue reading Simple.tv Plans to Debut ShowDrive Cloud DVR at Next CES

Apple’s Electric-Car Project, Titan, Gets Greenlight for 2019

Apple greenlit its early stage work on an electric car, changing its status internally to a committed project dubbed Titan, say insiders, with a target release date for 2019. The company has decided that its expertise in batteries, sensors and hardware-software integration — honed by developing the iPhone — can serve as a sufficient foundation for developing a car. During the year Apple researched the feasibility of its own electric car, company executives met with two groups of government officials in California. Continue reading Apple’s Electric-Car Project, Titan, Gets Greenlight for 2019

Google Rumored to Debut New Chromecast Hardware, Apps

If rumors are true, on September 29, Google plans to release new Chromecast hardware and Spotify support as well as an updated app for the streaming device. The company will also introduce Chromecast Audio, a second Chromecast device — codenamed Hendrix — to Wi-Fi-enabled speakers in the home. The new device is distinct from Google Cast for Audio, a platform for making speakers and other audio hardware Chromecast-compatible. The new Chromecast app offers “What’s On,” which allows users to browse content on Chromecast-supported apps. Continue reading Google Rumored to Debut New Chromecast Hardware, Apps

Malware Attacks Apple iOS App Store, Infects Over 300 Apps

For the first time, Apple’s iOS mobile operating system was targeted with a large-scale malware attack, infecting several popular Chinese apps and exposing vulnerability in Apple’s mobile platform. The origin of the hack was an unauthorized version of Apple’s developer tool kit, hosted on the Baidu Pan cloud, which was touted as taking much less time to download than the official toolkit, Xcode. An unknown number of apps were infected, but one Chinese security company, Qihoo 360 Technology, estimates 344. Continue reading Malware Attacks Apple iOS App Store, Infects Over 300 Apps

EyeEm Unveils New Tech for Auto-Scanning, Tagging Images

German startup EyeEm, which launched its photo-sharing app in 2011, unveiled new technology based on an advanced algorithm and machine learning to identify details of online photos. The technology, EyeVision, automatically scans images and tags them with specific keywords, making it useful for people searching for specific images. The technology, which has been in development for three years, comes at a time that companies like Amazon, Facebook and Google look for ways to provide images for online search queries. Continue reading EyeEm Unveils New Tech for Auto-Scanning, Tagging Images

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