Hyperloop Projects Bring New Travel Tech Closer to Reality

Hyperloop technology — which relies on magnetic levitation, steel tubs and vacuum pumps — is one way that hopeful technologists promise to improve the travel experience. Most recently, a Missouri congressman proposed a hyperloop between Kansas City, Missouri and St. Louis, which would take 30 minutes to travel 250 miles. In Las Vegas, Nevada, Elon Musk’s The Boring Company (TBC) landed its first commercial contract, for $48.7 million, to build a “people mover” that would shuttle people around the city’s Convention Center, expected to be ready for CES 2021. Continue reading Hyperloop Projects Bring New Travel Tech Closer to Reality

U.S. Claims That Russian Hackers Were Behind Yahoo Attack

The Department of Justice officially charged four people yesterday in connection with Yahoo’s 2014 data breach that reportedly resulted in the theft of data from 500 million Yahoo accounts. According to the indictment, the Russian government used the data obtained by two intelligence officers (Dmitry Dokuchaev, Igor Sushchin) and two hackers (Alexsey Belan, Karim Baratov) to spy on White House and military officials, bank executives, cloud computing companies, a senior level airline official, a Nevada gaming regulator, as well as Russian journalists, business execs and government officials. Continue reading U.S. Claims That Russian Hackers Were Behind Yahoo Attack

Super Bowl Halftime Show Offers Glimpse into Future of UAVs

During Sunday’s Super Bowl halftime show, about 160 million viewers saw something never seen there before: an army of 300 synchronized drones that morphed from stars to a waving flag above the Houston skyline. That effect was courtesy of the Intel Shooting Star drone system, which also has more serious applications, in search-and-rescue and agriculture among other possibilities. The Shooting Star squad has also performed at Disney World and, last year, set a world record by simultaneously launching 500 UAVs into the sky above Sydney. Continue reading Super Bowl Halftime Show Offers Glimpse into Future of UAVs

The UK Is Winning the Race to Launch Legal Drone Deliveries

In North America and Europe, Amazon, DHL and UPS are all getting ready to launch fleets of drones to deliver packages. The United Kingdom most likely will be the first country to put unmanned vehicle technology into action because the country’s Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) can address issues without having to adhere to the schedule of an outside authority such as the U.S. Congress. Issues include allowing drones to safely fly out of an operator’s sight and managing multiple airborne drones. Continue reading The UK Is Winning the Race to Launch Legal Drone Deliveries

Elon Musk Wants to Power the World with New Battery System

Tesla recently unveiled its Tesla Energy system that will initially feature two products: the Powerwall, designed to power homes, and the Powerpack, for businesses and possibly public utilities. The Powerwall rechargeable lithium-ion battery will be available in 7 kWh and 10 kWh models, while the Powerpack will come in 100 kWh battery blocks with a reach of 10 Mwh and higher. Powerwalls have already been available to select customers, and Powerpacks will become available once Tesla’s Gigafactory goes online. Continue reading Elon Musk Wants to Power the World with New Battery System

Twitch Game Streaming Service Adds Online Poker Broadcasts

Twitch, the videogame-streaming site that Amazon acquired for nearly $1 billion last year, is now broadcasting online poker players. Twitch reportedly draws in about 100 million users each month, a number that is expected to increase with an additional wave of viewers tuning in for the poker channels. As with most videos on Twitch, the poker games are interactive, with a chat function that allows viewers to post comments and ask players questions about the strategies taken during gameplay. Continue reading Twitch Game Streaming Service Adds Online Poker Broadcasts

Senate Majority Leader Offers Support for Open Internet Rules

Senate Majority Leader and Nevada Democrat Harry Reid explained in a letter Monday that he would support “any Open Internet rules” passed by federal regulators. FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler proposed rules that would allow companies such as AT&T, Comcast and Verizon to charge more for faster Internet access. Meanwhile, opponents view such arrangements as a direct threat to net neutrality. Reid’s letter could help provide cover for the FCC in regulating Web services similar to a utility. Continue reading Senate Majority Leader Offers Support for Open Internet Rules

Warner Bros. Exec Discusses Moving Studio Archive to the Cloud

As part of the “Media Management in the Cloud” conference running at the NAB Show in Las Vegas this week, Brian McKay, executive vice president of production operations at Warner Bros., discussed the challenges and opportunities of moving the studio’s archive into the cloud. In one of the final sessions of the conference, which concluded late Wednesday, McKay appeared onstage with David Cohen, senior editor at Variety, for a one-on-one conversation. Continue reading Warner Bros. Exec Discusses Moving Studio Archive to the Cloud

NAB Cloud Conference Opens to a Packed House in Las Vegas

Day one of Media Management in the Cloud, a two-day conference co-produced by NAB and the ETC, opened Tuesday morning to a standing-room only crowd in the Convention Center’s South Hall. After a brief welcome by ETC CEO Ken Williams, ETC’s Erik Weaver began the day’s events, noting that almost everything happening at NAB this year seems to have some connection to the cloud. Day one presentations and panels focused on key areas related to cloud services, such as cost, scalability, security, production and storage. Continue reading NAB Cloud Conference Opens to a Packed House in Las Vegas

SPROCKIT Startup Enables Companies to Leverage Fan Content

Chute helps clients take the best content created by a brand’s most loyal customers, people who create content that features their brand, and use it in marketing and ad campaigns with the customers’ permission. Chute scours the Web for user generated content of all types — text, photo, music, video — that celebrates a client’s brand. Using both online metrics and human screening, they select the best examples of content: selfies holding a favorite drink, a post about a store experience, a fake commercial for a favorite car, etc. Continue reading SPROCKIT Startup Enables Companies to Leverage Fan Content

NAB: DataFission Platform Aims to Search the Unsearchable

DataFission has developed generally applicable technology that can index, search and report on all forms of unstructured, metadata-free digital data. With deep roots in military research, this San Jose company has developed algorithms that can index files and streams of data, without human interaction, in one sweep. The system can index any type of data, including video, still images, music, audio tracks, text, software and metadata. According to its brochure, DataFission is “Solving the world’s problem of searching the unsearchable.” Continue reading NAB: DataFission Platform Aims to Search the Unsearchable

Cinemizer HMD Ideal for On-Set Shooting and VR Experiences

In one corner of the Zeiss NAB booth filled with video cameras and lenses, the latest model of the Zeiss Cinemizer head mounted display is plugged into a video camera. The Cinemizer features dual 870×500 pixel OLED displays. An optional soft-rubber Eye Shield blocks out all external light. Once plugged into the camera via a standard HDMI connector, the camera operator sees exactly what the camera sees. The camera controls can be overlain on the image, just as they can appear in the eye piece or screen on the camera itself.

Continue reading Cinemizer HMD Ideal for On-Set Shooting and VR Experiences

Tech Startup Offers Compelling New Way to Watch Audiences

During the NAB Show, thousands of companies descend on Las Vegas. Perhaps one of the smallest is a three-man startup called Eyeris, that aims to change the way we gather data about consumer preference. Featured by the SPROCKIT program, a new venue co-sponsored by NAB that aims to highlight nascent tech companies that may have a big impact on the entertainment industry, Eyeris tracks viewer response to motion picture content using clever software and the cameras already embedded in the the devices most of us carry. Continue reading Tech Startup Offers Compelling New Way to Watch Audiences

From the NAB SPROCKIT Stage: Creating Watch ABC Product

Ken Williams, executive director and CEO of ETC@USC, moderated a Disney/ABC Television Group panel at NAB called “Creating the Watch ABC Product.” From the SPROCKIT stage Monday in Las Vegas, the panel included Albert Cheng and Skarpi Hedinsson of the Disney/ABC Television Group, Ralf Jacob of upLynk and Doug Knopper of FreeWheel. The discussion focused on content creation, advertising, distribution workflow, technology integration and vendor relationships. Continue reading From the NAB SPROCKIT Stage: Creating Watch ABC Product

Startups From SPROCKIT Program Deliver Pitches During NAB

In partnership with the National Association of Broadcasters and the World Series of Startups, SPROCKIT is a program that shines a spotlight on interesting startups through the NAB Show and SPROCKIT Sync, the exclusive community of entertainment and media decision-makers that meets three times a year. The July 2014 meeting will take place at ETC@USC. The other meetings are October 2014 in conjunction with NY TV week, and January 2015 in Silicon Valley. Continue reading Startups From SPROCKIT Program Deliver Pitches During NAB

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