Victory for Hollywood Studios: Court Rules Against isoHunt

The Motion Picture Association of America announced that the file sharing search engine isoHunt is shutting down and will pay movie studios 110 million dollars in damages. The search engine has been fighting with studios since 2006, but is finally reaching its demise due to a court ruling that says it enables users to pirate copyrighted works. The site enables users to find files on peer-to-peer networks utilizing BitTorrent file sharing software.

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Vice Media Partners with BitTorrent for Music Video Bundles

Vice Media worked with Madonna to release a “Bundle” through BitTorrent called “Art for Freedom.” In a period of less than three weeks, the Bundle experienced more than 1.2 million downloads. The Bundle includes the 17-minute film “secretprojectrevolution” that Madonna co-directed with Steven Klein, in addition to special bonus features. The collaboration with Madonna has encouraged Vice Media to partner with BitTorrent to release a series of Bundles. Continue reading Vice Media Partners with BitTorrent for Music Video Bundles

Smule Nation: Aspiring Stars Turn to Social Music-Making Apps

San Francisco-based startup Smule has 125 million members worldwide who use its 18 social music-making apps. Users are able to record and share covers and originals, and even sing duets with people halfway across the globe. The apps have spawned online communities featuring music that ranges in quality from YouTube amateurs to artists on the radio. Earlier this month, the company unveiled Smule Nation, a revamped website that makes select performances accessible online by anyone. Continue reading Smule Nation: Aspiring Stars Turn to Social Music-Making Apps

The AMAZE Project: Space Agency Brings 3D Printing to Metal

The European Space Agency plans to apply 3D printing to metal in order to build parts for jets, spacecraft and fusion projects. ESA and the EU, together with industrial and academic partners, are developing the first large-scale 3D production methods to create metal parts that are lighter and more affordable than conventional parts. While 3D printing is already being used to produce plastic products, applying the process to metal parts for rockets and planes would save money and be more efficient. Continue reading The AMAZE Project: Space Agency Brings 3D Printing to Metal

Hollywood Taking Extreme Measures to Keep Scripts Secure

Enhanced security designed to protect scripts is becoming a standard procedure in Hollywood. Filmmakers do not simply worry about piracy, but also about a script being posted online for people to prematurely lambast, potentially compromising success. The strict security measures apply to everyone, and even Hollywood veterans are subject to intense scrutiny before they are permitted to read a script about a potential blockbuster or the sequel to a smash hit. Continue reading Hollywood Taking Extreme Measures to Keep Scripts Secure

Overlap Emerging Between Free-to-Play and Console Games

Although competition is fierce, developers of both free-to-play games and console games are trying to compromise and attract a wider range of gamers. Both sides see an opportunity to bridge the gap with a new generation of game consoles from Microsoft and Sony. Free-to-play games can attract a demographic of casual gamers to the console, while consoles provide a new gateway to loyal gamers with a tendency to spend heavily on video games. Continue reading Overlap Emerging Between Free-to-Play and Console Games

Tablet Review: Amazon Launches Kindle Fire HDX this Week

Amazon’s newest tablet, the Kindle Fire HDX, is a good color tablet with a few improvements, but isn’t as versatile as its current rivals, suggests Walt Mossberg. Its best feature could be the video chat-based tech support, activated by its Mayday button. The latest 7-inch screen version starts at $229. Mossberg describes the tablet as a “hardware gateway to buying digital content from Amazon.” The basic model includes ads, but a version without ads can be purchased for an additional $15. Continue reading Tablet Review: Amazon Launches Kindle Fire HDX this Week

Canadian Exhibitor Bundles Movie Admission and Home Video

Canadian movie exhibitor Cineplex launched its SuperTicket service this summer that bundles admission to a theater screening with a digital copy of the same film, delivered electronically months later. The package costs more than twice as much as a ticket to see the movie in a theater. The company experimented with SuperTicket deals for three films: “The Smurfs 2,” “Pacific Rim,” and “Kick-Ass 2.” While the approach could be a remedy for declining DVD sales, it remains unclear whether fans will pay in advance for a digital copy. Continue reading Canadian Exhibitor Bundles Movie Admission and Home Video

Fox Creates Innovative Studio to Deliver News as it Happens

“Shepard Smith Reporting” will debut on Monday afternoon featuring a new state-of-the-art “Fox News Deck” studio that Smith will also use to deliver breaking news updates during different programs. The concept is to deliver news updates during the day as they happen. Fox released a video of the studio, which includes giant touch screens and innovative software that will allow Smith and his team to efficiently track news stories on social media. Continue reading Fox Creates Innovative Studio to Deliver News as it Happens

Wireless: Startup Envisions Doubling Use of Radio Spectrum

Kumu Networks hopes to provide a solution to the increase of smartphone users and data demands on wireless networks. Kumu claims that its technology can double the capacity of cellular and Wi-Fi communications by challenging the idea that mobile devices cannot transmit and receive data on one frequency at the same time. The Stanford University startup first emerged in 2011 when the team wrote a paper claiming two-way traffic could be carried simultaneously through a specific chunk of radio spectrum.

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Amazon Plans to Release New Set-Top Box for Holiday Season

Amazon plans to release a video streaming device in time for the holiday shopping season. The set-top box, which will reportedly look similar to a Roku player, will feature a platform that runs apps and content from a variety of sources. Amazon has approached multiple app developers and cable TV providers with the hopes of attaining partnerships. The device will be a vehicle for Amazon’s expanding video streaming service that puts the company in competition with Netflix. Continue reading Amazon Plans to Release New Set-Top Box for Holiday Season

Chat Service Allows 10 People to Share Videos at Same Time

Spin is a new mobile video chat service that allows up to 10 parties per session. The app was created by a San Francisco company called Net Power & Light, known primarily for generating educational apps. Spin allows individuals to share photos and videos, and participants can simply swipe in and out of chats, known as “gatherings.” The app has been released for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch, with an Android version coming soon. Continue reading Chat Service Allows 10 People to Share Videos at Same Time

Democratic Congressman Proposes Free Market Royalty Act

Representative Melvin Watt (D – North Carolina) introduced the Free Market Royalty Act this week, which would allow record companies and artists to collect royalties when their songs are played on the radio. The bill would change licensing for broadcast radio and online services, and stations like Pandora would have to negotiate with rights holders. This bill has transformational potential, for while songwriters and music publishers receive compensation on the radio, the artists themselves do not. Continue reading Democratic Congressman Proposes Free Market Royalty Act

Neo3Do: New Android Tablet Offers Glasses-Free 3D Experience

Some consumers enjoy 3D, but don’t care much for the required glasses. The Neo3Do tablet offers users the 3D experience without the spectacles. The $349 Android tablet plays 3D videos and also converts standard video into 3D. However, the 3D effect is spotty, according to this review, and sometimes works well and other times far less so. In a demo featuring a clip from the Blu-ray 3D version of “Predator,” the 3D feature was highly impressive. It also worked well with games such as “Fruit Ninja.” Continue reading Neo3Do: New Android Tablet Offers Glasses-Free 3D Experience

First YouTube Music Awards to Feature Worldwide Performances

YouTube will be hosting its first ever YouTube Music Awards on Sunday, November 3 in New York. The event will feature notable performers including Eminem, Lady Gaga and Arcade Fire, among others. It will be modeled after such events as the MTV Video Music Awards, but winners will be chosen by YouTube’s online visitors. In addition to big name artists, YouTube performers such as dubstep violinist Lindsey Stirling and CDZA will be featured. Continue reading First YouTube Music Awards to Feature Worldwide Performances

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