Global Trade Group Proposes Universal Release Day for Albums

After several months of discussions, the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry has officially declared Fridays as the release day for all new music albums. In today’s digital era, music listeners want to have access to albums the moment they are available anywhere in the world. Rather than staggering the releases on different days in different countries, the universal release approach aims to combat piracy. There is no word yet on when this new distribution model will take effect. Continue reading Global Trade Group Proposes Universal Release Day for Albums

Younger Consumers Find Digital Video More Relevant Than TV

A recent study by Hunter Qualitative Research, commissioned by Defy Media, determined that millennials prefer video available via YouTube and other digital venues as compared to traditional television because they find the content to be more relevant and enjoyable. Digital content also feels more real to them. The study, conducted in the fall of 2014, found that consumers 13-24 years of age spend 11.3 hours watching free online video in a typical week. The same group watches a weekly average of 8.3 hours of regularly scheduled TV. Continue reading Younger Consumers Find Digital Video More Relevant Than TV

Google Implements New Ranking Signals for Mobile Web Results

Google recently announced that it plans to consider two new variables as ranking signals to help improve search results for mobile users of Google search. Google’s latest ranking signals will include a site’s mobile-friendliness and information from indexed mobile applications. The company is committed to helping website owners reconfigure their pages to be more mobile-friendly through various online guides and resources. The mobile-friendly ranking will take effect the third week of April. Continue reading Google Implements New Ranking Signals for Mobile Web Results

Zuckerberg Pushes Potential of Internet.org at Telecom Confab

At this week’s Mobile World Congress, Facebook chief exec Mark Zuckerberg explained to a packed crowd why he believes Internet.org will eventually help carriers convince consumers to increase spending on mobile content. The Facebook-backed service, currently available in countries such as Paraguay and Zambia, is designed to offer those in emerging markets free access to the social network and some other online applications. For many new users, this would represent their first time surfing the Internet. Continue reading Zuckerberg Pushes Potential of Internet.org at Telecom Confab

FCC Rules in Favor of Regulating Broadband Internet as Utility

The FCC voted 3 to 2 yesterday to approve regulation of broadband Internet service as a public utility. The new rules, recently proposed by FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler, are designed to ensure net neutrality by discouraging content blocking and the introduction of “fast lanes” for Internet and media companies and “slow lanes” for others. Wheeler said the FCC was using “all the tools in our toolbox to protect innovators and consumers.” He added that Internet access is “too important to let broadband providers be the ones making the rules.” Continue reading FCC Rules in Favor of Regulating Broadband Internet as Utility

Smart Projector Displays Content from Your Phone or Tablet

The Beam is part LED lightbulb and part projector. Users can screw it into a light socket or place it on a flat surface and project content anywhere. The small-scale device has an onboard computer to access content on the Web. It can also project games or movies from a smartphone or tablet. The smart projector has a corresponding iOS and Android app for operation and programming commands. Beam Labs Inc. is offering the $399 Beam device as part of its Kickstarter campaign that ends March 24. Continue reading Smart Projector Displays Content from Your Phone or Tablet

Europe Writes Internet Rules to Take Greater Role on the Web

The European Union drafted a new data-privacy policy that it hopes will be adopted around the world. The policy would require companies to include the “right to be forgotten” option so that people could ask for their links to be removed and to ask users for explicit consent to use their personal data. Europe is looking to have more influence on the Web, which is currently dominated by U.S. companies. Representatives from the EU are lobbying other countries to institute the policy. Continue reading Europe Writes Internet Rules to Take Greater Role on the Web

San Francisco to Get Fast Mobile Wireless Network This Year

San Francisco will be the first city to use a new wireless technology that is reportedly 35 times faster than current 4G LTE networks. Artemis Networks is leasing the wireless spectrum for two years from Dish Network. Artemis still needs regulatory approval before it can begin operating, but the company hopes to start serving customers by the fall of this year. The company’s pCell technology is super fast because the network is designed to utilize wireless interferences that usually slow most networks. Continue reading San Francisco to Get Fast Mobile Wireless Network This Year

Comcast Subscriber Shift Points to More Web Than TV Users

Comcast, the largest cable company in the U.S., could potentially soon have more Internet subscribers than television subscribers. During the last quarter, the company’s video users increased by only 6,000 to 22.4 million, while its broadband subscribers jumped by 375,000 to nearly 22 million. The diminishing gap could be a sign of the times, with an increasing number of consumers becoming more interested in services such as Amazon and Netflix, as opposed to traditional TV. As a result, Comcast is working to attract more broadband users. Continue reading Comcast Subscriber Shift Points to More Web Than TV Users

Tumblr Teams its Top ‘Creatrs’ with Brands for Sponsored Ads

Tumblr’s new Creatrs initiative aims to pair some of the site’s most popular artists with brands to create a more authentic approach to advertising. With about 420 million monthly viewers, Tumblr has become a popular avenue for brands to target consumers. The problem however, is that brands have yet to figure out how to effectively reach them. The launch of Creatrs is an attempt to educate brands about how to best promote and market themselves on unique social media sites like Tumblr. Continue reading Tumblr Teams its Top ‘Creatrs’ with Brands for Sponsored Ads

Security: Government Urges Removing Superfish from Laptops

Some Lenovo laptops that have shipped since August include a pre-installed adware program known as Visual Discovery by Superfish. While Superfish is designed to serve ads, it reportedly does so in a dangerous way that leaves users vulnerable to hackers. While Lenovo claims that it has investigated the tech and does “not find any evidence to substantiate security concerns,” Internet security analysts suggest a major problem still exists. The Department of Homeland Security warns that Superfish makes users vulnerable to SSL spoofing. Continue reading Security: Government Urges Removing Superfish from Laptops

AT&T GigaPower Service Offers Data Privacy for Monthly Fee

GigaPower by AT&T, the company’s 1 gigabit-per-second service, was introduced in 2013 in Austin, Texas — and this week it rolled out in Kansas City, Missouri. While customers can enjoy ultrafast fiber-optic Internet access for $70 per month, AT&T also tracks their online activities. Those who prefer to keep their browsing habits private can pay an additional $29 a month. Since opting out of sharing such data is typically offered free of charge, some are questioning whether AT&T’s model will discourage people from doing so. Continue reading AT&T GigaPower Service Offers Data Privacy for Monthly Fee

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+

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