Facebook Shares the Designs for its Custom Networking Gear

Facebook is designing its own custom hardware, including computer servers and networking switches — and other companies are following suit. The Facebook engines are being rebuilt so that they are more affordable, more efficient, and enable the company to easily expand its own networks. Other companies are taking a similar approach, creating a new market for custom networking gear and other hardware. Facebook shares its networking designs as part of the Open Compute Project. Continue reading Facebook Shares the Designs for its Custom Networking Gear

HPA Tech Retreat: Production, Distribution in Streaming Era

Netflix can be credited with bringing over-the-top (OTT) streaming services to the viewer’s attention, most notably with its 2013 debut of the acclaimed series, “House of Cards.” OTT content is growing by leaps and bounds and was the focus of an HPA Tech Retreat panel on “Post in the Era of Over-the-Top,” moderated by Entertainment Technology Consultants’ Loren Nielsen. The panel, which examined how companies are creating and finishing content in a new era of streaming and mobile, included Stephen Beres of HBO and Sara Duran-Singer of Netflix. Continue reading HPA Tech Retreat: Production, Distribution in Streaming Era

Photo/Video Sharing and Backup App Odysee to Join Google+

Google has confirmed that it is acquiring Odysee, an Android and iOS app created by Nimbuz Inc. that enables users to privately share smartphone and tablet photos and videos with select groups of people and automatically back up content on their home computers. Odysee also features an API for integration with other apps. The Odysee app will be shut down as of February 23, when its team joins Google+ and all the photos and videos that have passed through the service will become available as a downloadable archive. Continue reading Photo/Video Sharing and Backup App Odysee to Join Google+

Verizon Could Face Investigation Over Mobile Supercookies

Last week, we reported that Verizon would offer users the ability to opt out of the company’s mobile ad-targeting program, which tags customers with unique codes to track online activity. The move followed complaints from privacy advocates regarding the use of the alphanumerical customer codes known as “supercookies.” Now, three Democratic members of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation are calling for a formal investigation into Verizon’s tracking practices of its wireless subscribers. Continue reading Verizon Could Face Investigation Over Mobile Supercookies

YouTube Experiments with Multiple Camera Angles for Videos

In an effort to make a viewer’s video experiences more immersive and interactive, YouTube is testing a new feature that allows viewers to seamlessly switch between camera angles on the videos they are watching. As of now, the feature is only available on a music performance by indie artist and YouTube favorite Madilyn Bailey from a recent YouTube Music Night. However, YouTube is currently accepting inquiries from select YouTube users interested in creating a multi-angle video of their own.  Continue reading YouTube Experiments with Multiple Camera Angles for Videos

FCC Chairman Announces His Plan to Ensure an Open Internet

Tom Wheeler, chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, has been working to create new rules to help guarantee net neutrality. Over the last year, a debate has unfolded involving the cable television and telecommunications industries, amongst others, while critics and Internet service providers have pointed to concerns regarding a potential shift toward stronger regulation. Wheeler’s plan, which was revealed yesterday and calls for Internet service to be regulated as a public utility, went even further than some analysts expected. Continue reading FCC Chairman Announces His Plan to Ensure an Open Internet

ARM’s New Chip for Smartphones Increases Processing Power

ARM Holdings has unveiled a new chip that is expected to drastically improve graphics, finally making smartphones fit for high-definition games and videos. The company says that its Cortex-A72 will boost memory performance by 30 percent and graphics speed by 80 percent. With a more powerful chip, ARM is hoping to continue fostering growth in the smartphone industry. The company is also working on technology for the Internet of Things, including smart home devices and smart street lights. Continue reading ARM’s New Chip for Smartphones Increases Processing Power

Parks Research Predicts Early Adopters of HBO Online Service

HBO is expected to offer its Web-only subscription service this spring. According to Parks Associates, the move could have an impact on the pay TV business since 17 percent of homes with high-speed Internet indicate plans to subscribe to the OTT service. And while 88 million U.S. households currently have broadband, that percentage potentially represents nearly 15 million subscribers. Following a strong media reaction, Parks followed up by clarifying that the data is a measure of sentiment and placing numbers on potential cord cutters may be premature. Continue reading Parks Research Predicts Early Adopters of HBO Online Service

“This” Social Network Takes New Approach to Selective Sharing

The new invite-only social network “This” lets users share one link per day of a stand-out Internet post, such as a compelling article or a podcast episode or a video. Rather than inundating the community with a flood of posts (a common model of other social networks), users on This only get the best-of-the-best on the Web. As a result, tech types and news junkies are clamoring for an invite. The new social network is a project of Atlantic Media and Andrew Golis. It is less than three months old and currently has about 4,500 users. Continue reading “This” Social Network Takes New Approach to Selective Sharing

Building Tomorrow’s Search Engines to Sense as Humans Do

In the past decade and a half, there have been only minimal modifications to Google Search. The popular search engine functions as it always has; one enters a query into the type box and in return is given a list of instantaneous results based on the keywords. Although the search engine continues to be effective, Stefan Weitz, senior director of search at Microsoft’s Bing predicts the search engine of tomorrow will be much more advanced and proactive than anything we have today. Continue reading Building Tomorrow’s Search Engines to Sense as Humans Do

Google Continues Expansion of Ultrafast Fiber Internet Service

Google announced yesterday that it plans to deliver its Fiber Internet service with speeds of one gigabit per second (100 times faster than average U.S. broadband) to many of the neighborhoods in 18 cities of metro areas including Atlanta, Georgia; Charlotte and Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina; and Nashville, Tennessee. As with its initial three areas, the company will offer its one gigabit Internet service for $70 per month, while an Internet and TV package will cost $120-$130, depending on the location. Continue reading Google Continues Expansion of Ultrafast Fiber Internet Service

Cablevision and Google to Challenge Wireless Business Model

In a first time move for a U.S. cable operator, Cablevision announced it would launch a Wi-Fi-only mobile phone service dubbed Freewheel next month. For $9.95 per month, Freewheel will offer unlimited data, talk and text to Cablevision broadband Internet subscribers (the company also plans to offer a $29.95 service for non-customers). Meanwhile, Google is expected to launch its own wireless service this year through deals with Sprint and T-Mobile. Both services are expected to put pressure on the wireless industry, already at war over prices.  Continue reading Cablevision and Google to Challenge Wireless Business Model

Milestone: iHeartRadio Exceeds 60 Million Registered Users

Last week, iHeartRadio announced that it had reached over 60 million registered users. The streaming service is distinct from its competitors such as Pandora and Spotify in that it also allows users to access stations for free without the need to register. Only those who opt for listening to playlists and accessing more personalized features need to register with the service. This unique model makes it difficult to compare to Spotify’s 60 million active monthly users or Pandora’s registered 250 million users. Continue reading Milestone: iHeartRadio Exceeds 60 Million Registered Users

Samsung Sets High Goals for Future of Tizen-Powered TVs

Samsung has ambitious plans for its Tizen operating system, which the South Korean manufacturer is promoting as an alternative to Google’s Android. After launching an affordable mobile phone powered by Tizen in India, Samsung’s next goal is to equip half of all its TV sets with the Tizen operating system this year. At CES this month, Samsung said it aims to sell 60 millions TVs in 2015, 30 million of which would be powered by Tizen. The company hopes that by 2017, all of its Internet-connected TVs will be Tizen-enabled sets. Continue reading Samsung Sets High Goals for Future of Tizen-Powered TVs

Netflix Plans to Add Original Series, Expand to 200 Countries

Following news of record quarterly earnings, Netflix told Wall Street investors that it plans to expand its video service to 200 countries in the next two years. Netflix added 2.43 million international subscribers in the fourth quarter of 2014 after expanding to 50 countries and its stock jumped more than 20 percent. As part of its ambitious expansion plans, Netflix also wants to start producing 20 original scripted series per year, which could help the company become more successful in international markets. Continue reading Netflix Plans to Add Original Series, Expand to 200 Countries

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