Facebook’s New Videos Feed Poised to Compete with YouTube

Facebook continues to up its game with video, this time with a dedicated Videos tab, which, for now, is only being shown to a handful of users. Experts following Facebook aren’t surprised, since the social media site has been increasing its use of video over several years, currently placing up to 5 billion videos in users’ feeds, among other video-centric features. The increased use of video and its built-in user base may put Facebook on track to become a serious competitor with YouTube. Continue reading Facebook’s New Videos Feed Poised to Compete with YouTube

Publishing Giant Condé Nast Buys Niche Music Pub Pitchfork

Pitchfork, founded in 1995, made a big name as a small independent music website and quarterly magazine that was an outsized tastemaker in the arena it served. The site’s lengthy reviews took independent music and its practitioners seriously, making it the benchmark for fans, college radio stations and concert venues. Now, Pitchfork Media, the company behind the website and magazine, has been acquired by publishing behemoth Condé Nast for an undisclosed sum, effective immediately. Continue reading Publishing Giant Condé Nast Buys Niche Music Pub Pitchfork

Facebook Expands its Shopping Options with Dedicated Feed

Facebook is focusing full-bore on shopping with an array of new features. But the most prominent is a new Shopping feed that aggregates posts and photos from different retailers for specific products. The Shopping feed is being tested as a way to pull out all the products being showcased by retailers on their own Facebook pages. Facebook is also allowing retailers to host entire product catalogs on Facebook pages — what the company is calling “immersive ads” — as opposed to sending users to a mobile browser. Continue reading Facebook Expands its Shopping Options with Dedicated Feed

Israeli Startup Debuts Index-Finger Device to Replace Mouse

Israeli startup MUV Interactive unveiled Bird, a device the user wears on an index finger, to replace the mouse. The small plastic shell, covered with sensors, is on sale to the public for $150 for the first 15,000 units; the regular price is $250. With Bird, the user can move his or her hand as if controlling a touchscreen — but without any touch — for any TV or projector up to 300 inches. The device weighs about 20 grams (7/10th of an ounce). With plug-ins, Bird can control other devices, including a drone. Continue reading Israeli Startup Debuts Index-Finger Device to Replace Mouse

New Low-Light Pixel Could Have Wide Range of Applications

At Dartmouth’s Thayer School of Engineering, Professor Eric Fossum and doctoral student Jiaju Ma have developed a new pixel with dramatically improved low-light sensitivity. Fossum, who invented the CMOS image sensor used in most cellphones and digital cameras, worked with Ma for more than three years before publishing results of their new Quanta Image Sensor (QIS) in an IEEE publication. Among the applications for the new sensor are security cameras, astronomy and life science imaging. Continue reading New Low-Light Pixel Could Have Wide Range of Applications

WikiLeaks Releases IP Chapter of Trans-Pacific Partnership

WikiLeaks has released what it says is the complete intellectual property chapter of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal. With its release, some digital rights activists say their worst fears have been realized. They’re referring to one portion that says any of the 12 signatory countries can curtail legal proceedings to tamp down the public spread of embarrassing information, and a legal action from any signatory can force all signatories to block any online content/website rules to be infringing copyright. Continue reading WikiLeaks Releases IP Chapter of Trans-Pacific Partnership

Disney Accelerator Program Nurtures Data-Centric Solutions

Disney is carefully tracking and nurturing future technologies for children via an annual accelerator program it runs with partner Techstars. The program awards $120,000 to 10 startups, which also work with Disney executives for three months. The potential prize at the end is that Disney and Techstars may take a stake in one or more of the startups whose technologies are the most interesting and, one imagines, capable of commercialization. This year, approximately half of the companies chosen are involved in data. Continue reading Disney Accelerator Program Nurtures Data-Centric Solutions

Qualcomm to Challenge Intel in Growing Server Chip Market

Qualcomm, which dominates the mobile phone chip market, is preparing to launch a new chip containing 24 processing cores, designed for server computers that run corporate networks and are the backbone of the Internet. Up until now, Intel has been the leader in that arena, but Qualcomm, slated to report its first annual decline since 2009, is eager to seek out new areas of growth and believes that providing an alternative chip to the operators of data centers could be worth $15 billion by 2020. Continue reading Qualcomm to Challenge Intel in Growing Server Chip Market

DirecTV Launches First VR App to Promote Big Knockout Boxing

DirecTV just released its first virtual reality app, BKB VR, which stands for Big Knockout Boxing. Not for use with live games, BKB VR will display the event held on June 27 at Las Vegas’s Mandalay Bay, which was recorded in 360-degree video. Available for Google Cardboard and Samsung Gear VR headsets, BKB VR can be downloaded on Google Play for Android phones and the App Store for iPhones. The fight footage is also available via Samsung’s Milk VR service and the Oculus Store. Continue reading DirecTV Launches First VR App to Promote Big Knockout Boxing

Twitter Expands Video Ad Tools with Generous Revenue Share

Twitter hasn’t kept up with other social media platforms with advertising offerings, say some critics, but newly reappointed chief executive Jack Dorsey hopes to buoy the company’s fortunes with an array of new video advertising products. One of Twitter’s major advantages from the advertiser’s point of view is its emphasis on international, national and local live events. Whether Dorsey’s bid to curry favor among advertisers works to appease Wall Street, however, remains to be seen. Continue reading Twitter Expands Video Ad Tools with Generous Revenue Share

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

With Elemental Buy, Amazon May Be Planning Pay TV Service

According to several sources, Amazon is reportedly looking into the logistics and costs of creating an online pay TV service by talking with multiple content owners about carrying their channels. These talks — with CBS and Comcast’s NBCUniversal — have been going on for several months, say the sources. Amazon already offers content via its Prime Instant Video streaming service, as well as producing its own TV content. A live service would put it in direct competition with other pay TV providers such as Comcast and AT&T. Continue reading With Elemental Buy, Amazon May Be Planning Pay TV Service

Video-Sharing Site Vimeo Bankrolls First Original Productions

Vimeo, the IAC-owned video platform, is now investing in its first original programs. Since its launch, Vimeo has served as a platform for creatives to sell or rent content directly to fans. Vimeo is now funding three projects: the second season of “The Outs,” which debuted online in 2013; a stand-up comedy special featuring Bianca Del Rio, and a short film, “Darby Forever,” from “Saturday Night Live” cast member Aidy Bryant. Vimeo says the new model is also intended to encourage other creators to post content on the site. Continue reading Video-Sharing Site Vimeo Bankrolls First Original Productions

Pandora Buys Ticketfly, Boosting Ticket Sales for Live Events

Pandora just bought ticketing company Ticketfly, a move that furthers the company’s goal to improve relationships with the musicians whose music it plays. Ticketfly will enable artists to promote live events and sell tickets to local listeners. Pandora’s move will likely nudge other streaming music services to follow suit. The Ticketfly purchase comes on the heels of Pandora’s development of its Artist Marketing Platform, AMP, a portal for artists. Pandora currently has 80 million monthly listeners, almost all in the U.S. Continue reading Pandora Buys Ticketfly, Boosting Ticket Sales for Live Events

Roku 4 Media Player Delivers 4K Streaming, Discovery Updates

Roku officially revealed the Roku 4, priced at $129.99, which supports 4K/Ultra HD and HDTVs, and features a new operating system, faster processor, improved Wi-Fi and more memory. Roku OS 7 improves users’ ability to discover specific content among its 3,000+ apps and channels. The company also unveiled an updated mobile app, which offers a streamlined design for Search, the Roku Feed and remote control from the smartphone. The Roku 4 joins several upgraded connected players from Amazon, Apple, Google and TiVo. Continue reading Roku 4 Media Player Delivers 4K Streaming, Discovery Updates

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