Dish Network Sets Shutdown Date for Sling Media’s Slingbox

Slingbox, the pioneering streaming device from Sling Media, will be permanently taken offline on November 9. The “place-shifting” technology that let people take pay-TV programming with them on mobile devices (and helped foster Internet streaming), is being shelved by parent Dish Network, which announced the shutdown in 2020. Sling Media was founded in 2004 and purchased by Dish parent EchoStar three years later for $380 million. Although the Slingbox was deemed “revolutionary,” it never achieved mass adoption, ultimately getting displaced by content-focused streamers like Netflix and YouTube. But some Sling tech continues to be used by the industry. Continue reading Dish Network Sets Shutdown Date for Sling Media’s Slingbox

Lenovo Introduces Wearable Display Glasses for Consumers

Lenovo is entering the consumer market for wearable displays after selling similar devices for business use for the past five years. The lightweight Lenovo Glasses T1 have micro OLED displays featuring 10,000:1 contrast and 1920×1080 pixels per eye, with an audio speaker at each temple. Capable of being powered by a Windows, Android, macOS or iOS device, they connect with USB-C. Lenovo likens the Glasses T1 to having “a personal monitor” in your pocket and says they allow wearers to experience content “well beyond the limited screen size of mobile devices.” Continue reading Lenovo Introduces Wearable Display Glasses for Consumers

Soft PC Sales, Currency Exchange Cloud Microsoft Earnings

Microsoft reported revenue up 14 percent year-over-year to $51.9 billion in its fiscal fourth quarter, which ended June 30. Net income was up 2 percent, to $16.7 billion for the quarter but down almost 19 percent for the year, to $61.3 billion for the 12 month period. Although the results fell short of expectations, Microsoft chairman and CEO Satya Nadella identified the Microsoft Cloud sector as a bright spot, pointing out that it “surpassed $25 billion in quarterly revenue for the first time, up 28 percent and 33 percent in constant currency,” despite the tough macroeconomic environment. Continue reading Soft PC Sales, Currency Exchange Cloud Microsoft Earnings

European Union Digital Markets Act Creates Cloud Concerns

Antitrust scrutiny under the European Union’s new Digital Markets Act is causing concern among U.S.-based cloud services providers. Cost-savings for clients who bundle services are not unusual in the cloud sector, and while some clients prefer using multiple cloud vendors, others want to take advantage of discounts. As enterprise continues to shift operations to the cloud, packages from Google Cloud Platform, Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Cloud find themselves subject to criticism in what some say is nothing less than a regulatory assault on vertical integration. Continue reading European Union Digital Markets Act Creates Cloud Concerns

Mozilla’s Firefox Browser Defaults to Total Cookie Protection

Mozilla has made Total Cookie Protection the default setting for Firefox worldwide, turning it into what the company calls “the most private and secure major browser available across Windows, Mac and Linux.” Total Cookie Protection works by “confining cookies to the sites where they were created, thus preventing tracking companies from using these cookies to track your browsing from site to site.” The feature — which Mozilla promises won’t negatively affect the browsing experience — creates a separate “cookie jar” for each website visited, limiting behavioral insights to that one site rather than letting trackers link behavior across multiple sites. Continue reading Mozilla’s Firefox Browser Defaults to Total Cookie Protection

Password Era Coming to End as Providers Support Passkeys

Weak and repeated passwords are a huge vulnerability when it comes to navigating one’s digital life, and it appears 2022 is the year online companies will make a concerted effort to navigate users away from passwords altogether. At the WWDC 2022 developer conference last week, Apple announced passwordless logins across iPhones, iPads, Macs and Apple TVs. Later this year, iOS 16 and macOS Ventura users will be invited to log into apps and websites using passkeys. Once a passkey is set up for an app or site, it gets stored on the device used to activate it. Tech giants Google and Microsoft are also backing the passkey protocol. Continue reading Password Era Coming to End as Providers Support Passkeys

Apple realityOS Headset Reportedly on Deck for 2023 Release

Buzz is heating up on Apple’s new mixed reality headset, with the company reportedly securing “Iron Man” director Jon Favreau to create content for the new platform that brings to life the dinosaurs from “Prehistoric Planet,” the Apple TV+ documentary on which he served as executive producer. The headset, anticipated for 2023 release, is expected to offer both virtual- and augmented-reality experiences, and will run realityOS, or rOS software. Details broke on the eve of Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference, June 6-10, but has not been announced during WWDC. The device will position Apple to compete with Meta, Microsoft and soon Google in the AR/VR space. Continue reading Apple realityOS Headset Reportedly on Deck for 2023 Release

Microsoft, Google, Apple Unite Behind Passwordless Logins

Apple, Google and Microsoft have joined forces in a rare intercorporate collaboration to create passwordless sign-in technology that relies on smartphones to sign-in. The tech giants announced last week that they are coordinating support for the passwordless sign-in standard, developed by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) and the FIDO (Fast Identity Online) Alliance. As a result, by the end of the year users of any of the three operating systems should be able to sign-in to any app or website when using supporting browsers from their nearby device. Continue reading Microsoft, Google, Apple Unite Behind Passwordless Logins

Zoom Debuts Gesture Recognition, Virtual Whiteboard, More

Zoom has added features including gesture recognition and a virtual whiteboard. The new Zoom IQ for Sales uses AI to analyze calls. Zoom Events has added Backstage to simulate the look and feel of an in-person event with “a persistent space for event panelists and staff to communicate behind the scenes before, during, and after a Zoom Events webinar session.” Management can now view “breakout rooms” from a main session to assess how participants are engaging, and a Central Library of Polls lets organizers more efficiently manage polling data, both in preparation and to share results. Continue reading Zoom Debuts Gesture Recognition, Virtual Whiteboard, More

Google Rolls Out New Features, Updates for Android Mobile

Google is debuting a host of new features for its Android mobile phone interface. Reactions between iPhone and Android users will now appear as emoji in text messages. Videos will be experienced by all recipients in the same resolution as when sent through Google Photos links in a conversation, a feature the company says will soon be available for photos, too. The Portrait Blur now available to Pixel users and Google One members through Google Photos is expanded to work on pets, plants and food, and will soon be rolled out to Android users. Continue reading Google Rolls Out New Features, Updates for Android Mobile

Apple’s M1 Ultra Is Power and Performance ‘Game Changer’

Apple says its new M1 Ultra chip will give Nvidia’s RTX 3090 — currently the fastest processor on the market — a run for its money. Introduced last week as the power inside the new Mac Studio desktop, the M1 Ultra has a unique architecture, dubbed UltraFusion, which connects two M1 Max chips for an SoC with 114 billion transistors, the most ever in a personal computer chip, according to the company. “M1 Ultra is another game-changer for Apple silicon that once again will shock the PC industry,” said Apple senior vice president of hardware technologies Johny Srouji. Continue reading Apple’s M1 Ultra Is Power and Performance ‘Game Changer’

Microsoft Takes Its Case for Activision Purchase to Capitol Hill

Microsoft has begun laying the groundwork to gain regulatory approval for its $68 billion Activision Blizzard bid, assuring D.C. decision-makers the purchase will not improperly advantage its own platforms and services. In an effort at transparency, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella and president Brad Smith say they’re “sharing where we’re going with members of Congress” and meeting with think tank representatives to compile a best-practices road map to ensure lawmakers and stakeholders the deal presents no threat. Microsoft says it wants Activision’s IP not to dominate existing markets but to help stake its claim in the emerging metaverse. Continue reading Microsoft Takes Its Case for Activision Purchase to Capitol Hill

CES: Google Pushes Cross-Platform Functionality for Android

Alphabet’s Google is making its Fast Pair Service and Chromecast capabilities more interoperable as well as improving functionality with third-party devices that use Google’s own Android OS, Wear OS or Chrome OS and third-party platforms such as Microsoft Windows, Amazon’s Matter smart home standard, and others. In 2021, the average household had 25 connected devices, up from 11 in 2019, and Google wants to free users “to pick and choose the devices that work best for you regardless of brand,” says Google vice president of multi-device experiences Erik Kay. Continue reading CES: Google Pushes Cross-Platform Functionality for Android

TikTok Reveals New Content Creation Tools, Tests Live Studio

TikTok is introducing new camera and editing tools, a collaboration with Giphy, and support for 1080p video. The platform is also taking on Twitch and YouTube with TikTok Live Studio. The Windows program is currently in a test phase, allowing creators who download it to their desktop to stream live from the host computer or a connected device such as a smartphone or game console. This could keep TikTok fans in-app for live streaming, eliminating the need for third-party broadcast software like Streamlabs or OBS Studio. Continue reading TikTok Reveals New Content Creation Tools, Tests Live Studio

Microsoft’s 22 Percent Q1 Growth Outperforms Expectations

Propelled by Azure cloud services, Microsoft reported $45.3 billion in revenue for its first quarter 2022, ending up 22 percent year-over-year for the period ending September 30. “We delivered a strong start to the fiscal year with our Microsoft Cloud generating $20.7 billion in revenue for the quarter, up 36 percent [YOY]”, Microsoft executive vice president and chief financial officer Amy Hood said regarding the announcement. Describing digital technology as “a deflationary force in an inflationary economy,” Microsoft chairman and CEO Satya Nadella opined that businesses, small and large, can improve productivity and affordability “by building tech intensity.” Continue reading Microsoft’s 22 Percent Q1 Growth Outperforms Expectations