Netflix-Style Video-On-Demand Service Debuts in North Korea

North Korea has launched its own Netflix-like streaming service called Manbang (“everywhere” or “every direction”), although the content and availability is limited. According to Digital Trends, Manbang offers “citizens in three cities, including the capital Pyongyang, access to five streamed channels alongside a selection of on-demand content.” The service’s set-top box also streams state-approved newspaper articles, documentaries about Kim Jong-un and the leadership, and English and Russian language lessons. The box enables “viewers to search for programs by typing in the title, or by browsing through categories, offering similar functionality to Netflix in the United States,” notes NK News. Continue reading Netflix-Style Video-On-Demand Service Debuts in North Korea

Twitter and Pepsi Ink Deal to Add Promoted Stickers to Photos

If you’re in the U.S., India, Russia, Canada or Mexico, the next time you want to tweet a photo, the top stickers will come from PepsiCo. The company, which has created almost 50 different stickers, is Twitter’s first partner in promoted stickers. Of those, only eight will be available to Twitter users, specific to 10 countries, including those listed above. In the U.S, Twitter users have the option of two Pepsi cans side by side, smiley emoji, a barbeque grill, and a ballet dancer’s feet clad in red pointe shoes. Continue reading Twitter and Pepsi Ink Deal to Add Promoted Stickers to Photos

Personal Credentials Leaked From Millions of Twitter Accounts

According to Twitter, the personal data of nearly 33 million of its users are presently at risk due to malware that may have trolled the information from users, not the company. Millions of usernames, emails and, in some cases, passwords are listed for sale on the dark web. Similar leaks in the past month have impacted users of LinkedIn, Myspace and some Russian-language sites. “The website that published the Twitter passwords, LeakedSource, says it has more than 1.8 billion records in its database,” reports The Wall Street Journal. “LeakedSource sells access to these records for a fee.” Twitter is encouraging its users to change their passwords. Continue reading Personal Credentials Leaked From Millions of Twitter Accounts

Gartner: Overall Spending on CE Devices Projected to Decline

Market research firm Gartner is forecasting a decline for CE device spending in 2016. While end-user sales are expected to inch up less than 2 percent this year, overall spending on devices like PCs, tablets and mobile devices will decline, according to the researcher. This decrease, the first since Gartner started tracking the market in 2010, is largely due to the falling price of phones. In markets like China, consumers are opting for basic models of smartphones rather than upgrading to higher-end devices. Continue reading Gartner: Overall Spending on CE Devices Projected to Decline

Whistleblower Edward Snowden Virtually Attends CES 2016

Edward Snowden, the former government contractor who famously leaked thousands of classified NSA documents, made an appearance at the Suitable Technologies booth during CES by way of a video chatting device on wheels. Snowden used a Beam telepresence device by Suitable to chat with founder of the Xprize Foundation Peter Diamandis about the future of technology and government surveillance. Snowden faces arrest if he returns the United States, so he touted the Beam technology as a way to stay connected. Continue reading Whistleblower Edward Snowden Virtually Attends CES 2016

CEO Launches Netflix in 130 Countries During CES Keynote

Netflix turned on the world, adding 130 new countries, during the time its CEO and co-founder Reed Hastings delivered the opening day keynote at CES in Las Vegas. The addition of these new markets grows Netflix’s global footprint from 60 to 190 territories as the company reimagines itself as a global television network. Hastings and chief content officer Ted Sarandos covered many of the technological, economic, business and creative innovations driving their success in a world where Hastings observed, “Tune in has been replaced by personal choice.” Continue reading CEO Launches Netflix in 130 Countries During CES Keynote

Discovery Acquires European Rights to Four Olympic Games

In a deal valued at 1.3 billion euros (about $1.45 billion), Discovery Communications has paid for exclusive rights to broadcast four Olympic Games across most of Europe from 2018 to 2024. The rights include broadcast and pay TV, the Internet and mobile. The deal, announced by Discovery yesterday, marks the first time that a single media company has paid for exclusive rights to broadcast the Olympics across Europe. Discovery plans to make at least 200 hours of the Summer Olympics and 100 hours of the Winter Games available on free-to-air television. Continue reading Discovery Acquires European Rights to Four Olympic Games

Study: More Streaming of Long-Form Video on Mobile Screens

The Interactive Advertising Bureau conducted a survey across 24 countries regarding smartphone video viewing. According to “Mobile Video Usage: A Global Perspective,” mobile screens are increasingly being used to stream longer-form video. Findings indicate that 36 percent of consumers watch videos daily that are 5 minutes or longer. Full movies and TV shows are also viewed on mobile screens, especially in China. Respondents (including 50 percent in the U.S.) indicate that their video viewing on smartphones has increased year-over-year. Continue reading Study: More Streaming of Long-Form Video on Mobile Screens

Data Balkanization: Google Updates Cloud-Based App Engine

Google has updated Google App Engine, its cloud-based app-building tool, so that the apps can now be taken to another cloud provider to run. The change is designed to help Google retain customers despite new cloud balkanization rules that limit where data can be stored. Developers will still be able to build their apps with App Engine and they can run the app through Google’s cloud service in North and South America or they can access other data centers through AppScale. Continue reading Data Balkanization: Google Updates Cloud-Based App Engine

President Obama Approves Order Against Foreign Cyberattacks

A new executive order signed by President Obama earlier this week aims to warn off foreign online hackers from targeting the United States. The order authorizes severe consequences to the individual or foreign party determined to be involved with any attack that may compromise the security, foreign policy, economic health, and financial stability of the U.S. Any violations of the policy could result in both financial and travel sanctions as regulated by the federal government. Continue reading President Obama Approves Order Against Foreign Cyberattacks

Nearly 90 Percent of World’s Cinema Screens are Now Digital

London-based IHS Cinema Intelligence reports that 89.8 percent of theatrical movie screens worldwide have completed the conversion to digital cinema. The global digital cinema footprint reached 127,688 screens in 2014, a 14.7 percent increase over the previous year. The largest increase was seen in the Asia Pacific region, followed by South and Central America. Additionally, digital penetration climbed to 96 percent in Western Europe, matching that of North America for the first time. Continue reading Nearly 90 Percent of World’s Cinema Screens are Now Digital

Samsung Sets High Goals for Future of Tizen-Powered TVs

Samsung has ambitious plans for its Tizen operating system, which the South Korean manufacturer is promoting as an alternative to Google’s Android. After launching an affordable mobile phone powered by Tizen in India, Samsung’s next goal is to equip half of all its TV sets with the Tizen operating system this year. At CES this month, Samsung said it aims to sell 60 millions TVs in 2015, 30 million of which would be powered by Tizen. The company hopes that by 2017, all of its Internet-connected TVs will be Tizen-enabled sets. Continue reading Samsung Sets High Goals for Future of Tizen-Powered TVs

Regin: Symantec Researchers Uncover Sophisticated Spy Tool

Security researchers at antivirus company Symantec recently discovered malware that has been used to target and spy on researchers, governments, businesses and telecommunications infrastructures across as many as ten different countries. The malware, called Regin, is being traced back to 2008 and is being identified as a highly sophisticated spying tool built to access a computer’s most sensitive information including secured files and documents, passwords and memory. Continue reading Regin: Symantec Researchers Uncover Sophisticated Spy Tool

Vidmind Debuts Next-Gen STB, TiVo Readies New 24TB DVR

Israel-based Vidmind plans to unveil the second generation of its Android set-top box this week at IBC in Amsterdam. The company hopes to attract cord cutters with an offering that combines over-the-air broadcast TV with live streaming and on-demand content. Meanwhile, TiVo has announced its 24TB TiVo Mega, slated for launch early next year. For $5,000 you can record six shows at once and store up to 4,000 hours of HD programming (or 26,000 hours of SD content). It also includes free TiVo service for life. Continue reading Vidmind Debuts Next-Gen STB, TiVo Readies New 24TB DVR

Apple: Strong iPhone and Declining iPad Sales, iWatch Rumors

As Apple gears up for the launch of its iPhone 6, with an anticipated initial run of 80 million units, the company has reported a 12.7 percent profit growth for its current model. However, the company also noted that iPad sales fell for the second straight quarter, with unit sales falling 9.2 percent after a 16 percent drop the previous quarter. With a significant jump in iPhone sales internationally, and a move toward bigger-screen models, some are questioning the future of Apple’s tablet. Continue reading Apple: Strong iPhone and Declining iPad Sales, iWatch Rumors

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