CES: Highlights from the 2022 CES Unveiled Pre-Show Event

ETC’s George Gerba visited the CES Unveiled show floor in Las Vegas Monday evening looking for companies and products that would be of interest to our members, illustrate emerging trends, or are simply unusual. Gerba discovered a range of compelling technologies across areas such as blockchain, non-fungible tokens, Li-Fi, wearables, large-scale video screens, the metaverse, remote work, cell signal boosters, health, batteries and more. Among the more interesting companies at CES Unveiled this year were Icecap, Oledcomm, Somalytics, VideowindoW, Toraru, SureCall, Biospectal, Prinker, Airxom and Nanotech Energy.  Continue reading CES: Highlights from the 2022 CES Unveiled Pre-Show Event

Amazon Profits Rise as Do Fake Reviews and Inflated Ratings

Since the COVID-19 pandemic struck, Amazon added 50 million Prime members and made $26+ billion in profits. Also surging, however, are fake reviews that bolster ratings for vendors but sow mistrust among shoppers. Amazon made it easier to leave a rating, such as one-tap ratings that allow the consumer to submit a star rating without accompanying text, but the attempt to instill confidence among consumers has largely backfired. Amazon’s one-day shipping has also made it much harder for small businesses to survive the transition to online sales. Continue reading Amazon Profits Rise as Do Fake Reviews and Inflated Ratings

Vocal Facebook Critics Form Their Own Rival Oversight Board

About 25 experts in various fields formed the Real Facebook Oversight Board, an alternative to the one Facebook has promised to launch soon. Hosted by Recode founder and The New York Times contributing opinion writer Kara Swisher, the Real Facebook Oversight Board will hold its first meeting — via Facebook Live — on October 1, to analyze the social media platform’s content moderation, policies and other issues as the 2020 presidential election looms. Meanwhile, Facebook’s board is expected to begin reviewing cases in October. Continue reading Vocal Facebook Critics Form Their Own Rival Oversight Board

Film/TV Restoration Costs Lead to Outsourcing, Say Experts

Thousands of film and TV titles from every decade require restoration, but the money isn’t there to fund much of it, and current restoration jobs are more likely to take place in China or Poland than Los Angeles. That was revealed at an event co-produced by SMPTE and the Visual Effects Society (VES) at the Academy’s Linwood Dunn Theater. Restoration executives and practitioners from the major studios gathered to discuss the technological, artistic and business challenges of bringing classic film and TV titles back to life. Continue reading Film/TV Restoration Costs Lead to Outsourcing, Say Experts

Silicon Beach Now the Main Tech Hub of Southern California

Silicon Beach has become home to a number of tech startups, publicly traded companies and business incubators. Recent years have seen a wave of talent, innovation and investors that have fostered compelling new companies and, in some cases, acquisitions by larger Silicon Valley tech leaders. However, a number of startups have opted to stay in Los Angeles, while larger companies such as Google, Microsoft and Yahoo are building a presence. While still early in its development, the LA tech scene now has the core ingredients that helped launch Silicon Valley. Continue reading Silicon Beach Now the Main Tech Hub of Southern California

Snapchat Adds ‘Our Campus Story’ Exclusively for Colleges

Snapchat’s popular “Our Story” montages from live events around the world are so popular that the company is adding a similar feature to share students’ college experiences. The “Our Campus Story” feature only allows people on campus to post and view the communal story. Like with “Our Story,” Snapchat will still approve all of the posts before they get added to the mix. The new feature launched last week at UCLA, the University of Southern California, Penn State, and UT Austin. Continue reading Snapchat Adds ‘Our Campus Story’ Exclusively for Colleges

Congress: Should the First Sale Rule Include Digital Goods?

This week, publishing executives, technology leaders, and public interest groups gave testimony regarding ownership of purchased digital goods. The “first sale” rule currently allows people to resell or lend out physical goods like music and books, while this law does not cover digital goods, such as those sold by Amazon and Apple. Post-testimony, the House Judiciary Committee remained skeptical that property rights of physical goods should extend to the digital world. Continue reading Congress: Should the First Sale Rule Include Digital Goods?

Digital Entertainment World Conference Debuts in Los Angeles

The first Digital Entertainment World conference proved to be an excellent opportunity for a quick dive into current key topics of interest to the entertainment industry. DEW was held at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza in Los Angeles February 18-20. Topics included the states of all major media verticals, issues related to reaching millennials, alternative revenue streams and payment options, current developments related to metadata and content discovery, and the technologies and costs associated with using cloud-based tools and resources. Continue reading Digital Entertainment World Conference Debuts in Los Angeles

Digital Hollywood: Content Strategies for Multiple Platforms

“Content without strategy is a home movie,” said David Tochterman, head of digital media for Innovative Artists, a bi-coastal talent agency. “And all of us on this panel are investing our time not just in good content, but the strategy to make it successful.” The panel he was referring to was a Digital Hollywood focus on how today’s multitude of media platforms has significantly changed the content game — from development and production to marketing and distribution. Continue reading Digital Hollywood: Content Strategies for Multiple Platforms

USC and AFI Lead THR Ranking of Top Film Schools for 2013

The Hollywood Reporter has released its third annual ranking of the Top 25 Film Schools. This year’s top spots went to USC, AFI, NYU, UCLA and CalArts. THR editors evaluated graduate and undergraduate programs nationwide, and consulted with industry insiders to rate the programs. More than 600 anonymous ballots were submitted by members of the Writers Guild of America West, American Cinema Editors and the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. Continue reading USC and AFI Lead THR Ranking of Top Film Schools for 2013

Google Unveils Glass Partnership with Notable Film Schools

Google has announced its plans for the Glass Creative Collective, a new partnership with film and design schools including USC, AFI, UCLA, CalArts and RISD. In an effort to help students and aspiring filmmakers become comfortable with Google Glass features such as the voice-activated interface and built-in video cameras, the company is loaning each of the schools three sets of the $1,500 Glass device for the upcoming semester. The goal is for students to start experimenting with more immersive forms of entertainment. Continue reading Google Unveils Glass Partnership with Notable Film Schools

Stretchable OLED: Roll Up your Tablet PC and Tuck it in Your Pocket

  • Engineers at UCLA have created the first fully stretchable organic light-emitting diode (OLED), taking the development of bendable devices to the next level.
  • “Stretchable electronics promise video displays that could be rolled up and tucked into a shirt pocket, or cell phones that could swell or shrink,” reports MIT’s Technology Review. “Electronic sheets that could be draped like cloth would be a boon for robotic skin and embedded medical devices.”
  • In order to create the stretchable OLED display, UCLA’s team “sandwiched two layers of the carbon nanotube electrode around a plastic that emits light when a current runs through it. The team used an office laminating device to press the final, layered device together tightly, pushing out any air bubbles and ensuring that the circuit would be complete when electricity was applied.” The result is a small polymer that can stretch up to 45 percent on one axis while emitting a colored light.
  • The two-centimeter square proof-of-concept unit is a ways off from making it into CE devices, but is a significant breakthrough. “We are still some ways off from having high-performance, really robust, intrinsically stretchable devices,” says Stanford professor of chemical engineering Zhenan Bao who works on stretchable solar cells, but “with this work and those from others, we are getting closer and closer to realizing this kind of sophisticated and multifunctional electronic skin.”