Nokia Initiates Share-Exchange Offer in Alcatel-Lucent Merger

Initiating its planned merger with Alcatel-Lucent, first announced in April, Nokia began its share-exchange offer with that company’s shareholders in Paris and London. Nokia is paying €15.6 billion ($16.6 billion) for Alcatel-Lucent, with the idea that combining the two companies’ expertise in telecom and Internet gear will help it better compete in a global economy. Nokia not only faces competition from new players such as China’s Huawei Technologies but from Ericsson, which just struck an alliance with Cisco. Continue reading Nokia Initiates Share-Exchange Offer in Alcatel-Lucent Merger

U.K. Plans to Ban Advanced Encryption to Combat Terrorists

In response to Edward Snowden’s revelations of government surveillance of ordinary citizens, many Internet and social media companies responded by creating encryption so advanced that even they couldn’t read users’ communications. Now, many critics say, terrorists and other criminals are using those same platforms because their messages will be safely encrypted from prying eyes of intelligence and government authorities. Among the strongest critic is the U.K. government, which is proposing that such encryption be illegal. Continue reading U.K. Plans to Ban Advanced Encryption to Combat Terrorists

Publishing Giant Condé Nast Buys Niche Music Pub Pitchfork

Pitchfork, founded in 1995, made a big name as a small independent music website and quarterly magazine that was an outsized tastemaker in the arena it served. The site’s lengthy reviews took independent music and its practitioners seriously, making it the benchmark for fans, college radio stations and concert venues. Now, Pitchfork Media, the company behind the website and magazine, has been acquired by publishing behemoth Condé Nast for an undisclosed sum, effective immediately. Continue reading Publishing Giant Condé Nast Buys Niche Music Pub Pitchfork

New Cisco Chief Announces Sale of STB Unit to Technicolor

Technicolor plans to acquire Cisco’s television set-top business for about $450 million in cash and $150 million in Technicolor shares. Chuck Robbins, who replaces John Chambers as CEO of Cisco next week, said the sale represents the first in a series of planned changes. “We will continue to make decisions to prioritize our portfolio and our investments to accelerate our business,” he wrote, noting that internal efforts associated with cloud services and the Internet of Things would be more widely distributed across Cisco’s engineering, sales and services units. Continue reading New Cisco Chief Announces Sale of STB Unit to Technicolor

VideoStitch Raises $2.25 Million for Live 360-Degree VR Feed

French startup VideoStitch has the ability to output a live 360-degree feed, using multiple action cameras, making it ideal for virtual reality. The video-stitching solution attracted the attention, and $2.25 million, from Alven Capital. VideoStitch’s software can also be used to output 3D videos as well as a simple stitching solution for video feeds. The software supports any 360-degree camera configuration, is scalable and allows processing across multiple GPUs for real-time results. Continue reading VideoStitch Raises $2.25 Million for Live 360-Degree VR Feed

NAB 2015: VideoStitch Demos Solutions for Live VR Production

San Francisco-based VideoStitch is at the NAB Show in Las Vegas this week demonstrating its post-production and live streaming software for virtual reality and 360-degree video. The company has algorithms for live streaming and batch multi-camera VR rig stitching. Its software runs on Nvidia cards that work on both Macs and PCs. VideoStitch’s solution is being used by more than 1,000 production teams creating VR experiences for clients including Red Bull, Facebook, BAE Systems, ESPN, and Legendary Pictures. Continue reading NAB 2015: VideoStitch Demos Solutions for Live VR Production

CES: Melomind Aids Relaxation with Mind-Controlled Audio

Paris-based myBrain Technologies introduced its first product at CES this week — the audio-based stress reducer Melomind. The electroencephalograph (EEG)-measuring headset connects to your phone and gives an indication of your “stress level” recorded in real time. The accompanying app then chooses a selection of music composed by the team’s sound designers to improve and control the user’s mental state. The 15-minute relaxation sessions help teach the users how to relax by employing their brain activity to modulate the music. Continue reading CES: Melomind Aids Relaxation with Mind-Controlled Audio

YouTube Power Couple Produces Miniseries for Horror Movie

Producer Legendary Pictures and distributor Universal Pictures tapped YouTube stars Felix Kjellberg and Marzia Bisognin to develop a companion Web series for the horror movie, “As Above, So Below,” which opened in theaters this past weekend. PewDiePie and CutiePieMarzia, as the two are better known on YouTube, shot the series in the movie’s setting, the catacombs of Paris. The six-part Web series has generated about 20 million views, while the film’s trailer has been played 9.7 million times. Continue reading YouTube Power Couple Produces Miniseries for Horror Movie

Mario Batali to Kickstart New Dailymotion Original Programming

In an effort to attract more U.S. viewers, Paris-based online video site Dailymotion is pushing new original programming that it hopes will help the service compete with Google’s YouTube. Dailymotion plans to initially commit between $3 million and $4 million to produce up to six series this year that will include leading personalities from industries such as food, music and entertainment. The company is also courting U.S. firms as potential investors. Continue reading Mario Batali to Kickstart New Dailymotion Original Programming

Facebook Helps Companies Gauge Social Chatter About Media

Facebook is working on ways to give brands and media companies a better look at conversations happening on the social media service about TV, movies and media. Facebook recently launched new APIs allowing certain companies to read what people are saying about them online. The goal, of course, is to allow those companies to better engage with target audiences. But for now, the program is limited just to media brands and content producers. Continue reading Facebook Helps Companies Gauge Social Chatter About Media

Microsoft Ventures Program Plans to Steer Tech Startups

Microsoft plans to aid entrepreneurship with a new global effort that combines several of its programs to mentor and help fund technology startups. Microsoft Ventures aims to help startups build, innovate and grow. It combines and strengthens existing programs, such as BizSpark and Bing Fund, with plans for new programs involving the Microsoft Ventures Community. The initiative is also looking to provide guidance and market relationships for young B2B startups. Continue reading Microsoft Ventures Program Plans to Steer Tech Startups

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