Facebook Rolls Out Live Streaming Video Feature for Celebs

Facebook has been developing a tool that would enable public figures to broadcast live to their fans. The social network launched “Live” this week, as a feature in its Mentions app exclusively available to celebrities with verified Pages. The launch kicked off with streams from stars such as Luke Bryan, The Rock and Serena Williams. It is not known whether the feature will be made available to ordinary users to compete with the likes of Periscope and Meerkat, but the company plans to gather feedback from celebs and viewers to “evolve the product.” Continue reading Facebook Rolls Out Live Streaming Video Feature for Celebs

Google, Facebook Look to Expand Reach of Internet Access

Led by Greg Wyler, founder of O3b Networks, Google’s plans to increase Internet access through satellites surge forward. In order to reach unwired regions, Google plans to spend an estimated $1 billion to $3 billion on a fleet of satellites. The project is expected to begin with 180 small, high-capacity satellites orbiting the earth at lower altitudes than traditional satellites. Both Google and Facebook are looking to increase revenue and earnings, and have pinpointed users in these remote regions to do so. Continue reading Google, Facebook Look to Expand Reach of Internet Access

FedEx Responds to E-Commerce Boom with Increased Pricing

While FedEx has traditionally charged to ship packages based solely on weight, the company has changed its policy to also price packages according to size. The move is expected to increase the price of over a third of FedEx’s U.S. ground shipments, and dramatically impact e-commerce companies. The next question is whether or not UPS will follow FedEx’s lead and consider a new pricing strategy as well. In the past, UPS and FedEx have kept similar pricing, rather than use pricing as a competitive advantage. Continue reading FedEx Responds to E-Commerce Boom with Increased Pricing

New Twitter Redesign Emulates Facebook for Mainstream Appeal

Twitter profiles will receive a significant design overhaul in the coming weeks. Profile pages will include a large horizontal cover photo and a prominent profile picture, which are unmistakably similar to the look of Facebook profiles. The most popular tweets will also appear larger in the timeline and users can now pin a favorite tweet to the top of their page. Visitors to profiles will be able to filter timelines to include only tweets with photos, videos or replies. Continue reading New Twitter Redesign Emulates Facebook for Mainstream Appeal

SMPTE Tech Summit at NAB: The Trials of Global Distribution

The first day of SMPTE’s Technology Summit On Cinema at NAB featured a session called “From Camera to Consumer — the New Post Production.” Digital Studio GM for Walt Disney Studios, Leon Silverman, gave a funny and animated presentation during the session about the many versions of a movie that Disney must produce for international audiences. In the case of the animated feature “Planes,” not only did Disney create dozens of native language dubs and subtitled versions, but it also changed details in the animation to please the local audience. Continue reading SMPTE Tech Summit at NAB: The Trials of Global Distribution

Pluto.tv Creates Curated Channels Based on Online Videos

As online videos continue to become more popular, many viewers are faced with the challenge of navigating a flood of content. Pluto.tv has created topic-based video channels in the hopes of addressing this problem, and aims to give viewers the feeling of watching a 30-minute packaged television show compiled of a dozen or more short video clips. There are about 100 channels featuring categories such as Comedy, Music, Sports, Tech, Education and Kids. Pluto.tv has designed its interface to mimic a standard TV guide. Continue reading Pluto.tv Creates Curated Channels Based on Online Videos

Live Broadcasting Mobile App Possible Option for Google Glass

Journalist and ETCentric community member Adrian Pennington forwarded us some interesting news about a possible live broadcasting option for Google Glass. Users of the popular app “Hang w/” can stream live video clips from iOS devices to the Hang w/ site and share the content with friends via Facebook. While the clips are currently limited to streams of three, six, or nine minutes — the technology could possibly be used in the future by Google Glass users for longer broadcasts. Continue reading Live Broadcasting Mobile App Possible Option for Google Glass

Deep Learning: Google Plans to Acquire AI Startup DeepMind

In another deal involving “deep learning,” Google is purchasing London-based DeepMind Technologies, a somewhat secretive artifical intelligence startup. The move is viewed as a talent acquisition to bring CEO Dennis Hassabis to Google. The games prodigy and neuroscientist was named “probably the best games player in history” by the Mind Sports Olympiad. While it is unclear what DeepMind does exactly, its website describes building algorithms for games, e-commerce and simulations. Continue reading Deep Learning: Google Plans to Acquire AI Startup DeepMind

BuzzFeed: Consumers Reading Longer Stories on Their Phones

Although many have thought that phones are largely used to consume short form content, stats recently released by BuzzFeed suggest otherwise. More than 50 percent of BuzzFeed’s traffic now comes from mobile devices. Editor-in-Chief Ben Smith believes this is partly due to the form factor of mobile devices. They feature a simple singular screen that allows the reader to infinitely scroll through an article without any disruptions, similar to a regular page of a book.  Continue reading BuzzFeed: Consumers Reading Longer Stories on Their Phones

ComiXology: Sales of Digital Comics Pages Soar to 6 Billion

ComiXology, a digital comics platform that launched in 2009, sold 4 billion pages of comics through its iPad app last year, earning it the title of most profitable non-game app for the iPod for the third year in a row. That figure shows a drastic increase in sales since the launch of ComiXology, which has sold more than 6 billion pages of comics total. CEO David Steinberger says the considerable growth is due not only to long-time comics lovers moving over to digital versions, but new, first-time comics fans. Continue reading ComiXology: Sales of Digital Comics Pages Soar to 6 Billion

YouTube Expanding Live Streaming Capabilities to All Users

YouTube is expanding its live streaming capabilities to all YouTube channels and now includes the option to launch a Google+ Hangout On Air. The launch began with a test period of a handful of users and YouTube partners, followed by a period including users with a certain number of subscribers. Now users with a verified account in good standing will see this feature available in the next few weeks. Users should also expect to experience a boost to their Google+ pages. Continue reading YouTube Expanding Live Streaming Capabilities to All Users

Google Products Reflect a Renewed Spirit of Superior Design

Since Larry Page became CEO of Google, the company has been more focused on the elements of design and cohesiveness. Google has been pursuing aesthetic appeal in a way that may allow it to rival Apple, and although the process is gradual, Google products are beginning to show that the company has raised its standards. The change is obvious when examining Google’s mobile apps, its Chromebook Pixel laptop and Google Glass. Continue reading Google Products Reflect a Renewed Spirit of Superior Design

Google I/O: Chief Exec Calls for Technology Cooperation

As part of yesterday’s Google I/O keynote, the company’s CEO Larry Page made a surprise visit on stage to discuss his take on technological progress and answer questions from software developers in attendance. During his remarks, Page suggested that computer science has a marketing problem today, we should be doing more to encourage children’s pursuit of science, and technological progress has been hampered by needless competition among tech companies. Continue reading Google I/O: Chief Exec Calls for Technology Cooperation

Larry Page Talks Future of Search and Company Projects

  • Google CEO Larry Page, who rarely agrees to interviews, sat down with Fortune to discuss the future of search, clashes with Apple, the company’s numerous Google X projects, and more.
  • Page acknowledges the change in advertising models, but views disruption as a good thing. Google still devotes 70 percent of its effort into search and ads.
  • “The perfect search engine would really understand whatever your need is,” he says. “So one of my favorite examples I like to give is if you’re vacation planning. It would be really nice to have a system that could basically vacation plan for you. It would know your preferences, it would know the weather, it would know the prices of airline tickets, the hotel prices, understand logistics, combine all those things into one experience. And that’s kind of how we think about search.”
  • On Google’s competition with Apple, Amazon and others: “I’d like to see more cooperation on the user side. The Internet was made in universities and it was designed to interoperate. And as we’ve commercialized it, we’ve added more of an island-like approach to it, which I think is a somewhat a shame for users,” Page says.
  • “I think it would be nice if everybody would get along better and the users didn’t suffer as a result of other people’s activities. I try to model that. We try pretty hard to make our products be available as widely as we can. That’s our philosophy,” he notes.
  • The remaining effort at Google is split between apps (20 percent) and new projects (10). “I think investors always worry about this. You know, ‘Oh my God, they’re going to spend all their money on self-driving cars.’ I feel like no matter how hard I try, I can never make the 10 bigger, because it’s actually hard to get people to work on stuff that’s really ambitious. It’s easier to get people working on incremental things.”