Mortar Data Makes it Easier to Build Recommendation Engines

Mortar Data, a New York-based company known for building and hosting custom big data applications, recently announced the launch of a recommendation engine platform that allows anyone to build their own system, and use it with their own data, for free. Recommendation systems are becoming increasingly popular, and have become a gold mine for big companies such as Pandora and Netflix, which use the services to make recommendations based on customer history. Continue reading Mortar Data Makes it Easier to Build Recommendation Engines

Professor Develops Free DIY Online Image Verification Service

With the recent growth in citizen journalism via the Internet, questions have arisen regarding the authenticity of photographs, and whether there are ways to verify if an image is accurate or not. The rise of Photoshop and other digital tools has made it easy for people to edit images prior to sharing them on Facebook or Twitter. However, a computer science professor at Dartmouth College has developed a free online image verification service that quickly confirms whether an image is authentic or not. Continue reading Professor Develops Free DIY Online Image Verification Service

LG Launches Open Source Connect SDK for App Developers

Rather than copying Chromecast to webOS, LG released an open source Connect SDK late last week that integrates media casting, making it easier for developers to bring their apps to connected devices such as Roku streaming boxes, Google’s Chromecast, Amazon’s Fire TV and LG’s own TV sets. By combining existing multiscreen and home sharing protocols such as Google’s Cast SDK, DLNA and DIAL, developers’ mobile apps only need one set of code to work on a variety of big screen devices. Continue reading LG Launches Open Source Connect SDK for App Developers

Google Releases Developer Kit for Project Ara Modular Phone

Google is working towards creating a build-it-yourself modular smartphone, one that will allow users to build the perfect smartphone based on their individual needs. The device is being developed through Project Ara, part of the Advanced Technology and Projects group at Google. The group is developing a smartphone that features an open-source hardware platform. Customers would start with a base hardware piece called Endo, and then add features through plug-and-play modules. Continue reading Google Releases Developer Kit for Project Ara Modular Phone

TiVo Co-Founders Launch Qplay Web Video App and Service

TiVo co-founders Jim Barton and Mike Ramsay announced the launch of Qplay a little over a month ago. The service allows users to create personalized video streams called “Q’s” from various sources. Since the announcement, the app, service and TV adapter have only been available as an Early Adopter bundle for $49. Starting this week, the Qplay app is available for free for everyone (not including the TV adapter). The service has added video content from Reddit, College Humor, Funny or Die, The New York Times and Vanity FairContinue reading TiVo Co-Founders Launch Qplay Web Video App and Service

Sonos Search Engine Can Play Any Song in Multiple Rooms

Wireless audio company Sonos has launched a redesign that will provide users with a universal search, essentially enabling them to play any song in the world. The innovation can pull songs from a user’s MP3 collection and from over two dozen streaming music services including Pandora, Spotify, and Beats Music, and play the music throughout multiple rooms. For the past decade Sonos has been making wireless multiroom audio systems, but previously they only functioned with Sonos software. Continue reading Sonos Search Engine Can Play Any Song in Multiple Rooms

Piracy Makes its Way to Smartphones, Industry Fights Back

Many smartphone owners use file-sharing apps or online storage sites to store their free music downloads and listen on their phones. According to a new study from researcher NPD Group, 21 million people in the United States downloaded at least one unauthorized song in the past year. Apps have made it even easier for people to access music for free, even though most of them provide users with the same free music that would be found through an Internet search. Continue reading Piracy Makes its Way to Smartphones, Industry Fights Back

President Appears on Funny or Die Web Show to Mixed Reviews

President Obama’s appearance on Zach Galifianakis’s Web series “Between Two Ferns” has sparked some controversy. Obama’s plan was to inform young adults about the Affordable Care Act. The video received over 3 million views within the first few hours after going live, and HealthCare.gov generated a 40 percent increase in visitors. However, some are unimpressed by the president’s appearance on unconventional media, and believe he should spend his time doing more important things. Continue reading President Appears on Funny or Die Web Show to Mixed Reviews

Production in the Cloud: ETC to Host OpenStack Event Next Week

The Entertainment Technology Center@USC will host “Eventually OpenStack” on Monday, March 17 in Santa Monica. The event, scheduled for 6:30-8:30 pm and open to all, will examine how open source and cloud technologies are impacting the media and entertainment industry. Presenters include Yahoo’s Sean Roberts (board director at The OpenStack Foundation), DigitalFilm Tree CTO Guillaume Aubuchon, and Steve Hallett of Symantec. For more information, contact Erik Weaver at ETC or visit the event’s registration page. Continue reading Production in the Cloud: ETC to Host OpenStack Event Next Week

Info Sharing: Companies on the Verge of Becoming More Open?

Lee Lanselle of Entertainment Development Group and AsiaParks Partners Limited forwarded us a write-up from The New York Times regarding how the information-sharing habits of open source software may soon become a standard in other parts of business. Many companies are discovering the benefits of exposing things once kept secret to a larger population. The pursuit of efficiency, speed and positive change may soon even lead to companies sharing information among competitors. Continue reading Info Sharing: Companies on the Verge of Becoming More Open?

New Samsung Smartwatch to Use Tizen Rather Than Android

Amidst the rapid growth of the wearables market, Samsung intends to bypass Google’s Android operating system in favor of the Tizen OS for its new version of the Samsung Gear smartwatch. Hoping to avoid giving Android the same boost it received in the smartphone and tablet markets, Samsung is aiming to develop more of its own software and services. Samsung is expected to unveil the updated Gear smartwatch along with a new HTML5 version of Tizen at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona next week.

Continue reading New Samsung Smartwatch to Use Tizen Rather Than Android