Global Regulators Looking Into Facebook Privacy Practices

Regulators have reached a tipping point with Facebook after years of half-measures regarding the social media giant’s security-related missteps. Now, regulators across four continents are attempting to reign in Facebook’s behavior. In the United States, the Federal Trade Commission hasn’t come to a decisive conclusion regarding what constraints to implement, but the agency is looking to address a wide range of issues, including violations reported almost monthly, according to a source close to the investigation.

Continue reading Global Regulators Looking Into Facebook Privacy Practices

Europe Divides in Battle Between Privacy, Digital Decryption

As the issue of digital encryption versus privacy roiled in the U.S. over the FBI’s demand that Apple unlock the iPhone of a mass murderer in California, recent violence in Brussels and Paris has brought those same issues to the fore in Europe. Although privacy is enshrined as a basic right in much of Europe, lawmakers in some countries are considering proposals that would give greater powers to law enforcement to access personal digital data. But privacy advocates in those same countries are fighting back. Continue reading Europe Divides in Battle Between Privacy, Digital Decryption

Adele’s Latest Album Breaks Sales Records Without Streaming

With her latest album, “25,” Adele has erased any doubt about her preeminent position in the music world. The new album, which showcases her signature torch songs and ballads, had a record-breaking first week of sales — $3.38 million in the U.S. — despite the fact that Adele withholds her music from streaming sites and largely eschews a social media presence (although she did appear on “Saturday Night Live” and promotions for Target). Adele’s previous album, “21,” sold 30 million copies worldwide. Continue reading Adele’s Latest Album Breaks Sales Records Without Streaming

Yahoo News Digest Now Available Globally on iOS and Android

Last week, Yahoo announced the launch of its News Digest app for Android devices. The company has also made the iOS version available for all users worldwide by adding Canadian and International editions (it was originally only available to iOS device users based in the United States or United Kingdom). Using algorithmic and human curation, Yahoo News Digest provides news round-ups twice a day, each story presented with a collection of articles, maps, Wikipedia entries, videos and photos. Continue reading Yahoo News Digest Now Available Globally on iOS and Android

CeBIT 2014: Germany and Britain Plan to Develop 5G Broadband

Great Britain struck a major deal with Germany at the CeBIT 2014 trade fair to co-develop a 5G Internet service fast enough to download a movie in less than a second. German and British universities will work together on the project. Speaking at the tech summit in Hannover, Germany, British Prime Minister David Cameron said that his country risks being left behind if it does not develop ultra-fast broadband. He also announced a major investment in a grant fund and research and development for the Internet of Things. Continue reading CeBIT 2014: Germany and Britain Plan to Develop 5G Broadband

Threat Report Indicates Mobile Malware Increase for Android

Security firm F-Secure released a 40-page Threat Report this week for the second half of 2013, which shows that Android receives the most malware attacks. Mobile malware on the Android platform increased 18 percent from 2012 to 2013, from 79 percent to 97 percent. Three fourths of the malware detections came from Saudi Arabia (42 percent) and India (33 percent). The United States and Finland are next on the list at 5 percent each, followed by Germany, Great Britain and Hong Kong. Continue reading Threat Report Indicates Mobile Malware Increase for Android

VFX Industry Plans Oscar Demonstration to Protest Offshoring

PandoDaily and TheWrap are among those reporting that visual effects industry workers are planning a demonstration outside the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood during Sunday’s Academy Awards to protest ongoing efforts to send post-production work overseas. The group believes that offshoring has led to a slow collapse of the VFX industry in the U.S. While there was little the effects industry could do about this in the past, it may now be armed with a new weapon based on the MPAA’s attempts to combat Internet piracy. Continue reading VFX Industry Plans Oscar Demonstration to Protest Offshoring

Mobile Forecast: Will Phablets Outsell Small Tablets in 2014?

According to Bob O’Donnell, founder of TECHnalysis Research, demand for phablets (larger smartphones approaching tablet dimensions) is growing so quickly in parts of Asia, Europe and Brazil that the odd-sized devices are expected to outsell traditional smaller tablets in 2014. O’Donnell forecasts that 175 million phablets will be sold worldwide next year, as compared to an estimated 165 million smaller-sized tablets (featuring screens that are 8 inches or less). Continue reading Mobile Forecast: Will Phablets Outsell Small Tablets in 2014?

BBC iPlayer Peak Times Vary Between TV and Mobile Viewers

BBC’s iPlayer streaming service shows that Britain’s TV viewers have different consumption habits than Netflix customers here in the U.S. The iPlayer service, which offers live and on-demand shows for viewing, indicates viewership habits that reflect traditional TV viewing, with varying peak times. The majority of BBC’s viewers still watch traditional television, but the definition of “prime time” changes along with the shift to streaming. Continue reading BBC iPlayer Peak Times Vary Between TV and Mobile Viewers

Report: LSE Recommends More Collaborative Digital Culture

The London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) has released its “LSE Media Policy Project Brief” as a policy analysis of the digital media industry. It counters claims that media industries’ revenues are in overall decline, points to successful new businesses that are based on sharing, and questions copyright enforcement efforts. The brief also makes recommendations that the British government should halt the Digital Economy Act of 2010. Continue reading Report: LSE Recommends More Collaborative Digital Culture

Spoiler Foiler Blocks Unwanted Tweets About “Breaking Bad”

Netflix has launched a new website called Spoiler Foiler that enables users to read their Twitter feeds without running the risk of seeing spoilers related to AMC’s award-winning series “Breaking Bad.” For example, fans who access Twitter on Monday morning, but missed the show the night before, can now rest easy. Through an automatic filter, tweets that contain potential spoilers appear blacked out, providing users with the option to read them or not. Continue reading Spoiler Foiler Blocks Unwanted Tweets About “Breaking Bad”

Turness Appointed President of NBC News in Industry First

NBC News announced on Monday that Deborah Turness, formerly the editor of ITV News in the UK, will become the news division’s president beginning August 5, filling the seat vacated by Steve Capus in February. Turness will report to Pat Fili-Krushel, chairman of NBCUniversal News Group. The appointment marks the first time a female executive has been named network news division president in the United States. Continue reading Turness Appointed President of NBC News in Industry First

Innovative Concept: Sony Developing Subtitle Glasses for Moviegoers

  • Sony is developing special subtitle-enabled glasses that could be in UK movie theaters as early as next year.
  • According to the BBC, one in six people have some level of deafness and are not being served well by the movie industry. In fact, many film fans with hearing issues wait for films to be released on DVD when subtitles are available.
  • “What we do is put the closed captions or the subtitles onto the screen of the glasses so it’s super-imposed on the cinema screen, [making it look] like the actual subtitles are on the cinema screen,” explains Tim Potter of Sony.
  • “The good thing about them is that you’re not refocusing. It doesn’t feel like the words are really near and the screen is far away. It feels like they’re together,” said test subject Charlie Swinbourne, who is hard of hearing.
  • “It was a great experience,” he added. “I think it’s a massive opportunity to improve deaf people’s lives and I think there’s great hope that this would give us a cinema-going future.”
  • If the glasses prove popular in the UK, we should expect to see them in wider availability in the near future.

UK Intends to Make Legal Personal Copying of CDs and DVDs

  • The British Parliament signaled today that it intends to legalize the copying of CDs and DVDs onto digital devices for personal use. The new law will not allow people to share content over the Internet without permission of the copyright holder.
  • The move will update Britain’s 300-year-old copyright laws, making them comparable to laws adopted in other European nations.
  • The change was recommended by a government-requested report, carried out by a professor of digital economy at he Cardiff School of Journalism.
  • The report also recommended the creation of a central digital copyright exchange where rights could be bought and sold, but the government has not signaled its intention to act on that recommendation.

BBC iPlayer Expands Internationally with New iPad App

  • The BBC’s popular iPlayer is an on-demand broadband television and radio service that has been available in Great Britain for four years.
  • As of last week, the service is now available through an iPad app to 11 countries in western Europe (Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, Ireland, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain and Switzerland) — with plans to launch in the U.S., Canada and Australia by the end of the year as a pilot program.
  • The app will allow users to stream programs over 3G and Wi-Fi, with the option to download for later viewing offline. International users will have access to some content for free, while full access will be subscription-based.
  • Luke Bradley-Jones, managing director of BBC.com, describes iPlayer as a VOD service: “We will have content from the last month, but also the best from the catalog stretching back 50 to 60 years.” He added, “What we’re trying to test in the pilot is the ability to drive exploration and discovery through a programming approach rather than an algorithm-based approach. We’re not trying to compete against a Netflix or a Hulu. This has to be tailored and hand-crafted, so we can create a tone of voice.”

Page 1 of 212