FCC Chair Hints That Broadband is Likely To Be Reclassified

Speaking at CES, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler hinted that the agency could reclassify broadband as a public utility (telecommunications service). Those in opposition of such a move, fearing increased federal regulation, include the broadband industry as well as some Republican lawmakers and conservative groups. Wheeler also accused broadcasters of slowing plans for spectrum auctions. While he remains optimistic that auctions would still begin next year, he expressed disappointment “that the broadcasters have slowed things down by filing suit.” Continue reading FCC Chair Hints That Broadband is Likely To Be Reclassified

CES: Sony Tablet Platform MESH to Simplify Smart Projects

A group of Sony engineers have launched a platform called MESH (Make, Experience and Share) that allows people to create “smart projects” with the simplicity of a tablet and small wireless tags. The MESH group presented its DIY kit at CES this week alongside other startups in Eureka Park. The platform uses four Bluetooth-enabled devices that can be programmed using a simple drag-and-drop system on a tablet to remotely water plants, activate lights and sound, and handle a variety of creative applications. Continue reading CES: Sony Tablet Platform MESH to Simplify Smart Projects

Samsung Targets Google and Apple with Plans for Tizen TVs

Samsung Electronics plans to extend its Tizen operating system beyond mobile phones to its new smart TVs beginning next month. At CES, Samsung CEO BK Yoon announced that Tizen TVs would initially launch in the U.S. and Korea, followed by a rollout to additional international markets later in the year. Samsung, which has spent years developing Tizen as an alternative to Google’s Android mobile operating system, is looking to better compete in software and services with OS leaders Google and Apple. Continue reading Samsung Targets Google and Apple with Plans for Tizen TVs

Broadcasters Offered Final Approval of Auction of Aereo Assets

Aereo, the controversial startup that captured over-the-air cable TV without paying licensing fees and allowed subscribers to watch the content on multiple devices, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in November. A bankruptcy court in New York has approved the dismantling of the company, with its assets to be auctioned to the highest bidder. The auction is scheduled for February 24, and the broadcasters that initially complained about Aereo’s business model will have two weeks to decide whether they approve of any sales. Continue reading Broadcasters Offered Final Approval of Auction of Aereo Assets

SeaChange International Picks Up Timeline Labs in $22M Deal

Multiscreen video software company SeaChange International has acquired TV social media toolmaker Timeline Labs for $22 million in cash and shares, with additional stock payouts possible based on performance. Timeline’s software collects content on social media that targets a specific region, and allows broadcast or online clients to quickly and easily curate and display the stories via a localized video service. Clients have used the service to develop content based on local sports, news and entertainment. Continue reading SeaChange International Picks Up Timeline Labs in $22M Deal

Reddit to Thank Active Community Members with Equity Share

Reddit, the self-proclaimed “front page of the Internet,” wants to give something back to its millions of active contributors. In a blog post Friday, Reddit announced its plans to distribute 10 percent of its equity in the form of ‘reddit notes’ to approximately 950,000 users in the fall of 2015. The ‘currency’ can be used to tip, donate, or trade on the Reddit site, although specifics are still being worked out. Reddit plans to use a random lottery for distributing reddit notes to active user accounts. Continue reading Reddit to Thank Active Community Members with Equity Share

Google Developing a Standalone Android System for Vehicles

With its Android Auto software arriving in 2015, Google is already focusing on its next project, one that would allow drivers to make use of Android in their cars without a smartphone. As of now, the use of smartphone auto tech, including Android Auto, requires the presence of a smartphone inside the vehicle. For Google, part of the challenge moving forward will be in convincing automakers to adopt software that would potentially be an integral part of a car’s brand identity. Continue reading Google Developing a Standalone Android System for Vehicles

Comcast Launches Ultra HD VOD App for Samsung 4K TVs

Comcast is offering select television programming in Ultra HD, available for compatible 2014 Samsung 4K TVs. Comcast Xfinity customers will initially be able to stream NBC’s “Chicago Fire” and USA Network’s “Covert Affairs” and “Suits” to Samsung sets via the Internet. Comcast will expand its UHD offerings in 2015, including NBC’s “Parks and Recreation” in February. Amazon, DirecTV, M-GO, Netflix and Sony are among those that have also launched Ultra HD video services. Continue reading Comcast Launches Ultra HD VOD App for Samsung 4K TVs

YouTube Autoplay Could Change How We Watch Our Videos

YouTube has confirmed a new feature that will play suggested follow up videos at the end of a viewed video. The video autoplay is currently being tested among a small percentage of users. Autoplay could replace YouTube’s current suggested video grid that appears at the end of every video. If well received by its users, autoplay is a tool that YouTube plans to use to feed content to those casual users that do not necessarily know what they are looking for on the video site. Continue reading YouTube Autoplay Could Change How We Watch Our Videos

Nielsen: Streaming Impacts Theater Attendance Among Digitals

Nielsen’s 2014 report for movie theater attendance shows that moviegoers aged 12-24 are making fewer trips to the theater compared to previous years. This year’s summer box office was reportedly the weakest of any summer for the past eight years. Nielsen’s numbers also reveal that streaming movies and TV shows has become the preferred alternative for Hollywood’s most coveted demographic. Americans 12-24 told Nielsen they saw 15 percent fewer films in theaters compared to 2013. Continue reading Nielsen: Streaming Impacts Theater Attendance Among Digitals

Internet of Things: Google Makes a Call for Research Proposals

If the much-hyped “Internet of Things” is to reach its full envisioned potential, many believe there needs to be a recognized set of open standards that will enable technologists and developers to work together to connect devices and systems. To that end, Google announced it is establishing an open innovation and research program with plans to develop and formalize the research, standards, security, privacy and systems to help realize a fully “connected” society. Continue reading Internet of Things: Google Makes a Call for Research Proposals

Chromecast Numbers Surpass Apple TV, Roku Holds the Lead

A recent survey shows that Google’s Chromecast media dongle is now more popular among U.S. households than the Apple TV set-top box. The small Chromecast device simply plugs into a TV’s HDMI slot to play streaming media content from the Internet. At just $35, Chromecast continues to gain momentum with consumers looking for an affordable means of playing video on their TVs from services such as Hulu, Netflix and YouTube. Despite Chromecast’s new position in the rankings, it remains second to Roku. Continue reading Chromecast Numbers Surpass Apple TV, Roku Holds the Lead

OpenSensors.io Lets Anyone Share Data from Smart Devices

As the Internet of Things grows, the creators of OpenSensors.io believe that the public could benefit from sharing data from the many sensors that collect information around the world. OpenSensors is like a social network, where people can publish their data and subscribe to other people’s data. The software brings all of the info together, making it easier to route it to the appropriate locations. The open source nature of the data means anyone could use it for their own research or app. Continue reading OpenSensors.io Lets Anyone Share Data from Smart Devices

ITU Approves G.fast Standard, Should Benefit UHD Streaming

The International Telecommunication Union announced its approval of a new DSL standard that combines fiber and copper to transmit at gigabit speeds. The Broadband Forum industry consortium is testing interoperability of products and has scheduled a trial certification program. Following certification of chipsets and equipment, G.fast implementations are expected to hit the market next year. The standard is seen as a new way to deliver bandwidth intensive applications such as Ultra HD television. Continue reading ITU Approves G.fast Standard, Should Benefit UHD Streaming

Google Offers Special Deals to Keep Top Talent on YouTube

As Facebook’s video startup Vessel begins to take shape, the company has aggressively pursued some of YouTube’s most popular online stars. In response, Google has been structuring more lucrative deals for its stars to keep them from leaving. The company has gone as far as offering multiyear deals, performance-based bonuses and additional funding for video production. Although Vessel has yet to launch, it is reportedly looking to secure programming in advance of its debut.  Continue reading Google Offers Special Deals to Keep Top Talent on YouTube

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