Blockbuster to Shutter U.S. Stores and DVD by Mail Services

DISH Network announced that its Blockbuster subsidiary will close approximately 300 remaining U.S.-based retail stores and its DVD by mail distribution operations by January 2014. The Blockbuster By Mail service will end mid-December. Blockbuster has recently divested itself of U.S. and international assets, including operations in the UK and Scandinavia. However, DISH plans to continue its support of Blockbuster’s domestic and international franchise operations. Continue reading Blockbuster to Shutter U.S. Stores and DVD by Mail Services

Roku Unveils New Simplified Models from Basic to Powerful

Roku has unveiled its new line of streaming players, offering a simplified means of distinguishing models based on features and power. The company has done away with product names like LT, HD and 2XD. Consumers now have a simple selection and can choose among the entry level Roku LT, the increasing features of the Roku 1 and Roku 2, or the most powerful, the Roku 3. The Roku 1, 2, and 3 will be available in the U.S. U.K., Ireland and Canada. Continue reading Roku Unveils New Simplified Models from Basic to Powerful

Deal Update: Vodafone and Verizon Agree on Financial Terms

Last week we reported that Verizon Communications had scheduled a board meeting to discuss the possible acquisition of Vodafone’s 45 percent stake in Verizon Wireless, a deal that would be the second-largest acquisition on record and potentially lead to additional mergers across the global telecom industry. Vodafone confirmed late yesterday that terms of the deal call for Verizon to pay $130 billion. If approved by both boards, the deal could be announced as early as this afternoon. Continue reading Deal Update: Vodafone and Verizon Agree on Financial Terms

Wearable Tech: NFC Ring Designed to Unlock New Possibilities

A Kickstarter-funded UK company led by app developer John McLear has created a piece of jewelry with built-in RFID technology that can be used to unlock doors and mobile phones, start a car, transfer information, link people and more. The NFC Ring, which never needs charging, provides users with the option of public and private inlays for secure information sharing. The Kickstarter campaign concluded last week and dramatically exceeded its target goal by raising about $380,000. Continue reading Wearable Tech: NFC Ring Designed to Unlock New Possibilities

Twitter Facing Free Speech Challenges in Global Markets

Twitter promotes itself as a protector of over 200 million people who publicly share their lives online. But increasingly, carefree tweets are conflicting with differing global laws and standards in new markets for the microblogger. The company’s hands-off approach is being tested as it enters markets in France, Germany, China and Brazil. As it is increasingly subject to local laws, Twitter is facing challenges regarding free speech and censorship. Continue reading Twitter Facing Free Speech Challenges in Global Markets

BBC Places 3D Pilot on Hold, Cites Lack of Public Interest

The BBC announced it will take a hiatus from developing 3D TV programming based on the public’s “lack of appetite” for the technology. Kim Shillinglaw, the BBC’s head of 3D, says that British television viewers have not taken to the format, despite the fact there are now an estimated 1.5 million UK households with 3D TVs. As a result, the BBC is planning a three-year break from its 3D project once the current two-year pilot comes to an end later this year. Continue reading BBC Places 3D Pilot on Hold, Cites Lack of Public Interest

Turness Appointed President of NBC News in Industry First

NBC News announced on Monday that Deborah Turness, formerly the editor of ITV News in the UK, will become the news division’s president beginning August 5, filling the seat vacated by Steve Capus in February. Turness will report to Pat Fili-Krushel, chairman of NBCUniversal News Group. The appointment marks the first time a female executive has been named network news division president in the United States. Continue reading Turness Appointed President of NBC News in Industry First

Twitter TV Book Examines Second Screen Tweeting in the UK

Twitter has released the Twitter TV Book, a breakdown of tweet-based analytics of second screen viewers in the United Kingdom. The analysis includes details regarding user demographics, devices used, television program genres and tweeting habits. Twitter says about 60 percent of the UK’s 10 million active users tweet while watching television. Continue reading Twitter TV Book Examines Second Screen Tweeting in the UK

Hollywood Victory: Judge Orders BT to Block Newzbin2 Filesharing Site

  • A British judge has ordered BT, the United Kingdom’s largest ISP, to block access to Newzbin2, a website that makes Hollywood content available to its users illegally. The order also made a provision for blocking access even if Newzbin2 moved to another IP address or URL.
  • “The judge backed the argument brought by a coalition of Hollywood studios, including Warner Bros, Paramount, Disney, Universal, Fox and Columbia, which have argued that Newzbin2 has made millions profiting from exploiting other people’s work,” reports The Guardian.
  • This order may set a precedent for blocking of other illegal filesharing websites in the UK.
  • “Securing the intervention of the ISPs was the only way to put the commercial pirates out of reach for the majority of consumers,” said Chris Marcich, president and managing director of MPA Europe. “This move means that we can invest more in our own digital offerings, delivering higher quality and more variety of products to the consumer.”

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