Yahoo Picks Up Natural Language Processing Startup SkyPhrase

Yahoo announced it has acquired SkyPhrase, a four-person startup that develops natural language processing technology. SkyPhrase will join the Yahoo Labs team in New York and will help with Yahoo’s efforts in content delivery for mobile users, who are becoming more accustomed to devices that respond to conversational queries. SkyPhrase’s NLP technology is expected to be used for fantasy sports and other areas that rely on queries involving complex data sets. Continue reading Yahoo Picks Up Natural Language Processing Startup SkyPhrase

New TNT Series “Mob City” Releases Script Via Twitter Cards

“Mob City,” a three-week event about mobsters in 1940s Los Angeles, premieres Wednesday night on TNT. In an effort to generate early social buzz, the script for the first episode is being released in its entirety (minus the surprise ending) as a stream of Twitter messages. The first episode was written by the show’s creator, Frank Darabont (“The Walking Dead,” “The Green Mile,” “The Shawshank Redemption”). The tweets began distribution yesterday using Twitter Cards. Continue reading New TNT Series “Mob City” Releases Script Via Twitter Cards

Macy’s is First Major Retailer to Use Apple’s iBeacon Tech

When Apple released iOS 7 in June, the company incorporated a proximity-based service called iBeacon that is now being used in retail stores. Mobile retail app developer Shopkick recently announced a service called ShopBeacon that uses iBeacon technology to track customers when they enter and move around the store, and allows the business itself to interact with the customers as they shop. ShopBeacon’s first official trial partner is Macy’s. Continue reading Macy’s is First Major Retailer to Use Apple’s iBeacon Tech

Barry Diller Predicts Increase in Number of Aereo Subscribers

Aereo-backer Barry Diller has stated that the online service may grow to the point that 35 percent of U.S. households subscribe. However, this is largely contingent upon the service’s ability to overcome the legal challenges it currently faces from broadcasters. Individuals in their mid- to late-twenties aren’t highly inclined to pay $100 per month for TV cable packages, rendering Aereo’s $8 package highly attractive, according to Diller. Continue reading Barry Diller Predicts Increase in Number of Aereo Subscribers

Hshtags Search Engine: The Google Search of Social Media

Hshtags is a new search engine from developer Kim Goulbourne that is designed to help users easily navigate the mass onslaught of hashtags, which have become a nearly ubiquitous utility of the social Web. The universal hashtag search client, launched in September, provides access to all the content posted with a specific hashtag from an array of social platforms including Facebook, Flickr, Instagram, Tumblr, Twitter, Vimeo and YouTube (support for Vine and Google+ is expected soon). Continue reading Hshtags Search Engine: The Google Search of Social Media

Wonderlabs: Google Promotes Devices in Pop-Up Showrooms

Google is opening temporary showrooms in six U.S. cities to display and promote its latest gadgets. Consumers can visit the holiday-themed pop-up stores, dubbed “Winter Wonderlabs,” to check out devices such as the Nexus 7 tablet, Google’s Chromebook laptops and the digital TV receiver Chromecast. The Winter Wonderlab in Canoga Park opened over the weekend. Additional locations include Chicago, New York City, Sacramento, Washington DC, and Paramus, NJ. Continue reading Wonderlabs: Google Promotes Devices in Pop-Up Showrooms

Facebook Plans to Compete with Twitter for TV Ad Business

At the Business Insider’s Ignition conference in New York this week, Facebook revealed more of its plans to develop social TV advertising products. Justin Osofsky, Facebook vice president of media partnerships, discussed deals with broadcast networks, which were initially announced along with hashtags and verified accounts back in September. The social platform is trying to prove it is just as valuable as Twitter in real-time TV discussions, if not more so. Continue reading Facebook Plans to Compete with Twitter for TV Ad Business

Twitter Numbers Skyrocket on New York Stock Exchange Debut

It seems that Wall Street loves Twitter. The company set an initial public offering price of $26 late Wednesday, only to see the stock close its first trading day up 73 percent at $44.90 a share, with a session high of over $50. The rocketing IPO set co-founder Evan Williams’ stock value at $2.9 billion and co-founder Jack Dorsey’s at $1.2 billion. CEO Dick Costolo’s stock is now worth $384 million. At about $45 per share, the company is valued at $24.4 billion. Continue reading Twitter Numbers Skyrocket on New York Stock Exchange Debut

Netflix Plans to Release Sundance Award-Winning Documentary

Netflix is making good on its promise to compete directly with movie theaters now that it’s in final negotiations for the exclusive rights to a Sundance Film Festival documentary. The film, “The Square,” is about the Egyptian revolution and will be released through Netflix. It could make Netflix an Oscar contender, just a short while after its success at the Emmys with “House of Cards.” According to one source, this will be the first of many films to be released first on Netflix. Continue reading Netflix Plans to Release Sundance Award-Winning Documentary

Live-Streamed YouTube Music Awards Disorganized But Fun

YouTube hosted its first-ever YouTube Music Awards Sunday at Pier 36 in New York City, and viewers around the world got to stream the event live from their computers. Actor Jason Schwartzman and comedian and musician Reggie Watts were the unscripted hosts, while Spike Jonze was the creative director. The show attracted around 220,000 viewers at its highest point, and the whole event felt like a spontaneous, often chaotic, and not-at-all traditional award show. Continue reading Live-Streamed YouTube Music Awards Disorganized But Fun

Sprint Delivers Increased Speed with New 4G LTE Networks

Sprint is bulking up with an enhanced LTE, promising “unprecedented speeds” for its mobile subscribers. The company announced the new 4G service Spark this week, as well as two new LTE networks, which offer a vast improvement upon current speeds. In a lab test, Sprint showed off an LTE link with 1Gbps, promising speeds would continue to go up. With multiple antennas and carrier aggregation, it’s using a full spectrum of frequencies that average 50 to 60Mbps. Continue reading Sprint Delivers Increased Speed with New 4G LTE Networks

Infiniti Launches Marketing Campaign with Responsive Video

Viewers have the ability to interact with characters in Infiniti’s Deja View video, created as part of an online campaign to promote the 2014 Infiniti Q50 sport sedan. The responsive video, produced by New York agency Campfire, uses voice recognition technology that allows viewers to interact with the video’s characters through toll-free phone calls. The story’s plot then responds dynamically based on the responses of each online viewer. Continue reading Infiniti Launches Marketing Campaign with Responsive Video

Cable Companies Consider Aereo-Like Services to Bypass Fees

In response to the ongoing legal battles involving startup Aereo and the potential disruption regarding pay TV, companies including DirecTV, Time Warner Cable and Charter Communications are reportedly considering the idea of capturing free broadcast TV signals to avoid paying significant retransmission fees, according to people with knowledge of the discussions. Major broadcasters have also stated they would consider a conversion to cable if Aereo stays in business. Continue reading Cable Companies Consider Aereo-Like Services to Bypass Fees

Musicians Using Pop-Up Stores to Generate Buzz for Albums

Musical acts looking to attract greater attention around the time of an album release are opening “pop-up” stores, which are temporary venues that seem to surface out of nowhere. They most often are constructed in an urban location, typically in an already existing retail store of some kind, and sometimes close after only 24 hours. Various artists, such as One Direction and Bob Dylan, have recently used pop-up stores to promote music and sell merchandise to fans. Continue reading Musicians Using Pop-Up Stores to Generate Buzz for Albums

Amazon Set-Top Box Launch Likely Delayed Past the Holidays

Amazon is the largest online retailer, bookstore, and Web hosting company in the world — among other things — and now it’s rushing the production of its newest device, a set-top box intended to compete with online video streaming devices for television such as Roku. But despite its efforts to get the new product out on shelves in time for the holiday shopping season, the device will now likely be delayed past then, missing out on potential holiday sales. Continue reading Amazon Set-Top Box Launch Likely Delayed Past the Holidays