Autodesk Stingray, Ideal Program for Mid-Small Sized Studios

Autodesk has launched Stingray, a game engine with design tools targeting for smaller studies that are looking for customization without the need for excessive programming. The engine is equipped with node-based scripting tools, however it also offers Stingray’s C++ source code for companies looking for more customization. Stingray provides quicker feedback, and will be bundled with Maya LT to provide artists with a modeling and animation app. It will arrive for Windows beginning mid-August for $30 a month. Continue reading Autodesk Stingray, Ideal Program for Mid-Small Sized Studios

Amazon Offers Echo Through Staples, But Exclusively Online

Amazon announced it will sell its Amazon Echo device with office supply chain Staples; however, it will only be available online. The Echo, a voice-activated speaker with the ability to answer questions, dim lights, and play music and more will be available for $179.99. The decision to sell the product through a third party has received mixed feedback, because the device still lacks a retail presence. While Staples carries Kindles, Fire TV and the Fire tablet, the Echo will not be showcased in stores. Continue reading Amazon Offers Echo Through Staples, But Exclusively Online

President Obama Signs Order for New Supercomputer Initiative

President Obama recently signed an executive order, the National Strategic Computing Initiative (NSCI), with the intention of creating the first exaflop supercomputer. This computer would be about 30 times faster than today’s fastest machine, and would be geared toward the development of ongoing scientific and defense research projects. Although the supercomputer would be useful for a vary of governmental projects, many see this initiative as a response to China’s 33.86 petaflop Tianhe-2, now the fastest supercomputer in the world. Continue reading President Obama Signs Order for New Supercomputer Initiative

App Offers New Approach to Fashion Discovery and Shopping

As an alternative to scanning barcodes, fashion-focused app Craves lets users take photos of clothing and perform searches of similar fashion items that can then be purchased via the app. Co-founder Scott Cormier was inspired to create the app after watching his wife snap photos of clothing she liked with her smartphone so she could research the items later on Pinterest and Google. Craves also features a social component that allows users to follow friends and influencers, track trending items, and receive sale notifications. Continue reading App Offers New Approach to Fashion Discovery and Shopping

JustWatch Goes Mobile with App to Track Movies, TV Shows

JustWatch launched in February as a free search engine to help cord cutters and others find where to legally watch their favorite TV shows and movies online. The app, which recently expanded to mobile and is available on iOS and Android, allows users to filter by streaming subscription services such as Netflix and Amazon Prime Instant Video in addition to tracking rental and purchase options via services including Google Play, iTunes and Vudu. The app alerts users when new content arrives on their preferred service. Continue reading JustWatch Goes Mobile with App to Track Movies, TV Shows

Podcasting Embraces Native Ads, Blends Story and Sponsors

As podcasts continue to grow in popularity, more journalists and major media brands are turning to the format. Behind much of the format’s growth is the embrace of native advertising — ads that reflect the tone of the podcast as hosts discuss products during their show or even report on brands as ad spots. Blurring the line between advertising and news has led to a clash between those coming from public radio and those coming from commercial radio. Regardless, evidence suggests that native advertisements are effective. Continue reading Podcasting Embraces Native Ads, Blends Story and Sponsors

ACSI: Customer Satisfaction of Facebook Users on Upswing

According to new data released by the American Customer Satisfaction Index, user satisfaction with social media platforms is on the rise, led by Facebook’s recent success with its mobile app and improved ad targeting. In terms of customer satisfaction, Facebook was ranked the lowest social media site in 2012, but has since worked its way up to the middle of the pack, behind Pinterest, Wikipedia, YouTube, Instagram and Google+ (in that order). ACSI currently has Facebook ranked ahead of Twitter, Tumblr and LinkedIn. Continue reading ACSI: Customer Satisfaction of Facebook Users on Upswing

IPO Plan Details Benefits of ACR Software in Vizio Smart TVs

Vizio has sold more than 15 million smart TVs as part of its $3 billion per year business and is now ready to go public. Its recent IPO filing reveals how its smart TVs are tracking what consumers are watching. Inscape software embedded in Vizio screens can track anything being played — including cable TV, streaming devices and game systems. The technology, based on Automatic Content Recognition (ACR) software, can pull 100 billion datapoints from its connected TVs daily. The data should prove valuable to advertisers and content providers. Continue reading IPO Plan Details Benefits of ACR Software in Vizio Smart TVs

Users of Google Apps and Services No Longer Need Google+

Google recently announced it would relocate features once accessible through Google+ to other Google services. For example, location-sharing will be moved to Google Hangouts and photo features have been moved to Google Photos. The most celebrated change appears to be Google’s removal of the requirement of a Google+ account to make comments on YouTube, a point of contention between users and the company for years. Moving forward, interested users will only need a Google account to log in to the company’s apps and services. Continue reading Users of Google Apps and Services No Longer Need Google+

AP, Movietone Launch Massive Video Collection on YouTube

The Associated Press and British Movietone are bringing more than one million minutes of digital film footage to YouTube to create a visual encyclopedia that provides viewers with a unique account of modern history. This will be the largest upload of historical content to a video platform ever recorded, and the YouTube channel will include more than 550,000 videos featuring content ranging from 1895 to present day. In addition to the archived content, the channel will be updated regularly with contemporary footage. Continue reading AP, Movietone Launch Massive Video Collection on YouTube

Spotify and SFX Announce Music and Video Distribution Deal

Spotify signed a music and video distribution deal with SFX Entertainment to bring new videos and curated playlists to the world’s largest on-demand music service. Spotify’s 75 million active users and 20 million paying subscribers will have access to exclusive content from SFX’s Beatport, an online music store that focuses on electronic dance music. In addition, Beatport will deliver programming from various music festivals produced by parent company SFX. The collaboration will focus on integrating video content as well as music. Continue reading Spotify and SFX Announce Music and Video Distribution Deal

NFL to Launch Game Pass for Apple TV and Xbox This Month

The NFL announced that a new version of its Game Pass service will be released on July 31 to a variety of different devices, including Apple TV and Xbox game consoles. NFL Game Pass will replace NFL Game Rewind, and will include access to preseason games, all 256 regular season games, and access to archived games. The service will also include new features for accessing a range of content. Game Pass does not include live regular season, playoff, and Super Bowl broadcasts; games will be available to watch once they have aired on television. Continue reading NFL to Launch Game Pass for Apple TV and Xbox This Month

Young Hollywood Targeting Millennials with Apple TV Channel

Young Hollywood, a company best known for producing celebrity interviews, recently launched a new linear TV network available exclusively as an Apple TV channel. The programmed network will be scheduled and operated much like a traditional television network. Young Hollywood has partnered with Subway, and plans to run Subway-branded content prior to each program. The company believes a programmed network on Apple TV is the best way to address the viewership trends of younger audiences. Continue reading Young Hollywood Targeting Millennials with Apple TV Channel

Tech Industry Fears Implications of Apple-Samsung Patent War

The patent war between Apple and Samsung resulted in Samsung turning over profits from Galaxy products to Apple based on patent infringements. The implications of the case motivated major tech companies including Dell, eBay, Facebook, Google, HP and others to form a coalition in a “friend of the court briefing” siding with Samsung, filed July 1 with a federal appeals court. The companies are concerned the ruling could subject the industry to more lawsuits, hinder future innovation, and limit customer choices across the entire tech sector. Continue reading Tech Industry Fears Implications of Apple-Samsung Patent War

GoPro Announces New Premium Video Content Licensing Portal

GoPro unveiled its new premium content portal that allows content creators to license videos to brands and media companies for a profit, similar to services available through photo communities such as Flickr and 500px. The new platform, designed with the professional in mind, requires that both the seller and buyer apply for content access. Once accepted, users can download files, preview videos, and search for specific content through the portal. Videos start at $1,000 each, and the terms of the license last six months. Continue reading GoPro Announces New Premium Video Content Licensing Portal

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