Google Assistant Wins Top Spot in Loup Ventures IQ Test

In Loup Ventures’ 2019 Digital Assistant IQ Test, comprised of 800 questions, Google Assistant came in first, understanding 100 percent of the questions and answering 92.9 percent of them accurately. Last year, Google Assistant, also top-ranked, answered 85.5 percent correctly. Apple’s Siri also improved, understanding 99.8 percent of the questions (versus 2018’s 99 percent) and correctly answering 83.1 percent of the time (versus 2018’s 78.5 percent). Amazon’s Alexa came in third. Continue reading Google Assistant Wins Top Spot in Loup Ventures IQ Test

President Obama Calls for New Improvements to Cybersecurity

President Barack Obama proposed a series of new regulations that intend to help protect the country from cyberattacks. In the wake of a series of significant hacks last year, Obama is asking Congress to increase prosecution and toughen the penalties of people committing cybercrimes. He also wants companies to be able to share their information about hacks. In other news, President Obama wants to increase broadband competition by ending the laws in 19 states that limit municipal broadband. Continue reading President Obama Calls for New Improvements to Cybersecurity

Studies Show Listeners Still Turn to Radio for Music Discovery

Despite the rise of online streaming music services, the “local nature” of radio makes it the most popular platform for music discovery. According to Nielsen, some 243 million people still tune in to radio each week and 51 percent of listeners use radio to discover new music. That’s more than the number of people that find new music on services like YouTube or Spotify, but many music consumers use a combination of both traditional radio and online services to listen to their favorite tunes. Continue reading Studies Show Listeners Still Turn to Radio for Music Discovery

Foursquare’s Revamped Mobile App Now Personalizes Results

Foursquare has made dramatic changes in its smartphone app while rethinking its approach to local business recommendations. Since the company became popular in 2009 due to its check-in feature, Facebook and Instagram have taken much of that attention with their own check-in features. The revised app urges users to explore their surroundings while using Foursquare as their guide, with its database of 10,000 “tastes” to help users discover exactly what they want. Continue reading Foursquare’s Revamped Mobile App Now Personalizes Results

ABC Video App Provides 24-Hour News for Apple TV Users

The ABC News video app, which launched yesterday on Apple TV, gives viewers access to 24-hour news coverage, from ABC News TV show segments to live video feeds from the International Space Station. This is the first time that ABC has offered 24-hour news because the news outlet does not have its own news-only channel. Apple TV users can browse video by topic or show, and the ABC News app even features content from local ABC-owned stations. Continue reading ABC Video App Provides 24-Hour News for Apple TV Users

Carriers and Smartphone Makers Commit to Anti-Theft Tech

Last week, the five largest U.S. cellular carriers and leading smartphone makers announced a voluntary commitment to add new anti-theft tech to devices being released next year. Supporting companies include Apple, Google, HTC, Huawei, Microsoft, Motorola, Nokia and Samsung. The commitment means that devices sold after July 2015 will have the ability to allow users to wipe data remotely, and prevent the device from being reactivated without permission from the owner. Continue reading Carriers and Smartphone Makers Commit to Anti-Theft Tech

Ourscreen Helps Movie Fans Organize Their Own Screenings

Ourscreen is a service that allows groups of people to arrange private or public film screenings at their local cinema for movies that do not have a regular listing. It is similar to Groupon, in that a showing can be booked (by selecting a film, participating theater, and date/time), but is only confirmed once a certain number of people buy in. You can also search screenings that have been proposed by others and invite your friends. The larger the crowd for a given screening, the more affordable become the ticket prices. Continue reading Ourscreen Helps Movie Fans Organize Their Own Screenings

Small Theaters Face Challenges in Shift to Digital Distribution

As Hollywood studios are shifting from distributing movies on film to digital distribution via hard drives and satellite, many small theaters cannot afford $60,000 or more to upgrade and support the new technology. Theater owners are faced with the difficult decision between investing in new equipment or closing down their theaters. Meanwhile, most major U.S. cinema chains have already converted to digital cinema, many with the support of Wall Street-financed programs. Continue reading Small Theaters Face Challenges in Shift to Digital Distribution

TV Networks Consider Plan B Options if Court Sides with Aereo

Television broadcasters, which are suing for an injunction to shut down Aereo, are also said to be considering back-up plans in case the Supreme Court rules in favor of the video startup. Options being considered range from lobbying Congress for legislative solutions to possibly transitioning from broadcast to cable transmission. Broadcasters such as ABC, CBS, Fox and NBC contend that Aereo is violating copyright law by capturing over-the-air signals and streaming them via the Web to paying customers. Continue reading TV Networks Consider Plan B Options if Court Sides with Aereo

Yahoo and Yelp Partner in Hopes of Optimizing Local Search

In an effort to better compete with Google and Microsoft’s Bing, Yahoo has paired up with Yelp to optimize local search engine results. Yelp’s listings and reviews of local businesses will be integrated into Yahoo’s search functionality. The partnership follows in the footsteps of Microsoft’s recent deal with Foursquare, a mobile check-in software maker. As consumers become increasingly dependent on smartphones to navigate the world, data about local businesses in search engines has become more important. Continue reading Yahoo and Yelp Partner in Hopes of Optimizing Local Search

TV: Will 4K LED LCD Replace 1080p Plasma at CES in January?

In the wake of an eventful year for television technology, January’s Consumer Electronics Show is expected to feature a slew of new announcements, most notably, perhaps, involving a new wave of LED LCD sets possibly filling the void left by plasma. In October, Panasonic announced it would stop manufacturing plasma TVs. While LG and Samsung will likely introduce new plasma models in 2014, compelling features of affordable LED LCD models could possibly take center stage. Continue reading TV: Will 4K LED LCD Replace 1080p Plasma at CES in January?

Twitter Runs Location Sharing Experiment with Nearby Feature

Twitter is testing a new timeline for its mobile app based on location, called “Nearby,” which shows users recent tweets that originated in the user’s vicinity. The Nearby feature has occasionally appeared on the smartphones of users who allow the service to use their location (users can also opt out of location sharing). Twitter has yet to comment on the feature, which some suggest could be attractive to advertisers, but says it experiments regularly to provide a better user experience. Continue reading Twitter Runs Location Sharing Experiment with Nearby Feature

Time Warner Cable Offers $29.99 Bundle: HBO and 20 Channels

Time Warner Cable is marketing a stripped-down, low-cost bundle ($29.99 per month) that includes HBO and a limited number of broadcast TV channels. The new package is targeting viewers who are not interested in paying for a traditional tier of cable channels. The “Starter TV with HBO” package features about 20 channels including local broadcast networks. The special pricing is available for the first 12 months, but does not include set-top box fees or other charges. Continue reading Time Warner Cable Offers $29.99 Bundle: HBO and 20 Channels

Simple.TV’s DVR Delivers Live Streaming to Mobile Devices

Simple.TV’s streaming DVR will be coming to the U.S. on December 12th, with recording and live streaming available for local devices, as well as TV delivered to Android and iOS apps. The $250 DVR supports several browsers and Roku players, and may even offer a Windows Phone app down the road. With options for premium services, TV-loving consumers who like to catch up with shows on-the-go will appreciate the added features. Continue reading Simple.TV’s DVR Delivers Live Streaming to Mobile Devices

Amazon May Expand Same Day as Competitors Lower Prices

Amazon may be launching AmazonFresh, its same-day grocery and local product delivery service, into the New York City area. AmazonFresh is currently available in Los Angeles and Seattle. This potential move may be a first step toward extending same-day delivery and leveraging the company’s extensive distribution network for future expansion. But as the company grows its reach, brick-and-mortar retailers are challenging Amazon on prices, offering the same or even lower rates. Continue reading Amazon May Expand Same Day as Competitors Lower Prices

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