Google’s Project Loon Advances, Balloons Are 10 Times Better

Google hopes to provide Internet access to unserved areas of the world using high-altitude balloons. When the company announced Project Loon a year ago many people were skeptical. Since then, Google announced that it has been able to extend balloon flight times and add mobile connectivity to the service. Recently, Loon has been providing as much as 22MB per second to a ground antenna and 5MB per second to a handset, success that suggests there will be ways to monetize the technology. Continue reading Google’s Project Loon Advances, Balloons Are 10 Times Better

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

Apple Leads Global PC Market, Lenovo Holds the No. 2 Spot

According to market researcher Canalys, Apple is maintaining a comfortable lead in the global PC market, despite a disappointing quarter for the iPad. In the worldwide market sector that includes tablets, laptops and desktops, Apple is the number one supplier, with Lenovo gaining ground. Apple sold about 20 million Macs and iPads in the first quarter. While the decline in iPads was the sharpest to date, Canalys believes Apple will continue to dominate the tablet market, due in large part to its robust ecosystem. Continue reading Apple Leads Global PC Market, Lenovo Holds the No. 2 Spot

Sony Confirms FIFA World Cup Final to Broadcast Live in 4K

Journalist and ETCentric contributor Adrian Pennington forwarded us exclusive confirmation that FIFA has signed broadcasters to go live with the Ultra HD signal of three World Cup matches from Brazil. The news has been confirmed by Sony, which serves as the production partner to FIFA and host broadcaster HBS. Previous announcements pointed to the 4K recording of the World Cup Final and two earlier matches for a FIFA Films 4K movie to be distributed online after the event, but now broadcasters also plan to take the feed live. Continue reading Sony Confirms FIFA World Cup Final to Broadcast Live in 4K

Yahoo No Longer Honoring ‘Do Not Track’ Requests by its Users

In a blog post this week, Yahoo announced that its privacy policy will no longer recognize when users activate “Do Not Track” signals in their browsers. Although users purposefully use this setting to indicate they do not want companies to monitor their online behavior, the tracking is necessary for Yahoo to create a more personalized experience for its users. The move is part of larger strategy by CEO Marissa Mayer to brand Yahoo as a “personalization company.” Continue reading Yahoo No Longer Honoring ‘Do Not Track’ Requests by its Users

LinkedIn Has 300 Million Registered Users, Mobile Use on Rise

LinkedIn recently announced that it now has more than 300 million registered users, about two-thirds of which are based outside the United States. While the company has not specified how many of the 300 million are active monthly users, it reported 139 million monthly unique visitors and 48 million Slideshare visitors for the fourth quarter of 2013. During that same period, LinkedIn noted that 41 percent of its traffic came from mobile devices, a percentage it expects to continue increasing. Continue reading LinkedIn Has 300 Million Registered Users, Mobile Use on Rise

In 2013, 71 Million People Watched Online Computer Gameplay

Last year, more than 71 million people worldwide watched other people play computer games, according to a report from games research company SuperData. More than half of those people were in the United States and one in five American gamers either watch or participate in eSports, or organized video game competitions. At the League of Legends Season 3 World Championship last year, 32 million people watched the professional gamers battle it out. Continue reading In 2013, 71 Million People Watched Online Computer Gameplay

Apple iAd Workbench Makes Campaign Creation Open to All

Apple just opened its iAd Workbench tool to the public, making mobile ad campaign creation and management accessible to anyone with an Apple ID. The Web-based platform — previously only available to registered mobile app developers — will allow users to launch, track and adjust their advertising campaigns. The ads can contain videos, and direct viewers to a separate website or promoted iTunes content, but only work for ads on an iOS phone or tablet. Continue reading Apple iAd Workbench Makes Campaign Creation Open to All

Oculus VR: Palmer Luckey Answers Angry Gamers on Reddit

Oculus Rift, the virtual technology headset created by 21-year old Palmer Luckey, has developed quite a loyal fan base in a short amount of time. When Oculus VR was acquired by Facebook for $2 billion this week, gamers and developers responded with mixed reviews, many disappointed and critical of the move. Luckey responded on Reddit by explaining that he was also skeptical of a Facebook deal at first, but now believes the social giant could help bring virtual reality to the masses. Continue reading Oculus VR: Palmer Luckey Answers Angry Gamers on Reddit

Future Internet Games: Disney Teams with Abertay University

Disney has launched the Future Internet Games Contest with Scotland’s Abertay University in an attempt to find games that blend physical and digital worlds. The contest revolves around three key areas. The first involves consumer products, which includes games based on fashion, toys, etc. The second area is location-based installations that intend to engage visitors with real world objects. The third is citywide games that encourage a large quantity of players to engage with the game in an urban environment. Continue reading Future Internet Games: Disney Teams with Abertay University

Fast Food Giants Follow GrubHub’s Lead with Ordering Apps

Starbucks and McDonalds are working towards implementing mobile ordering and digital payment systems. Besides the pizza industry, most fast food chains have been reluctant to adopt digital ordering systems, while small businesses have been quick to accept GrubHub, which allows customers to order food online or through a smartphone app. Since GrubHub recognizes that fast food chains will likely create their own apps, the company is focused on partnering with independent restaurants. Continue reading Fast Food Giants Follow GrubHub’s Lead with Ordering Apps

SXSW: Google on Chromecast Sales and SDK for Wearable Tech

During his SXSW keynote in Austin, Texas yesterday, Google SVP of Android, Apps and Chrome, Sundar Pichai said that the company has sold “millions” of its $35 HDMI Chromecast devices since the product’s launch last summer. Pichai’s comments mark the first time anyone from Google has publicly addressed Chromecast sales. Pichai also told the crowd that Chromecast will be available for “many more countries” in the coming weeks, and Google will release an Android SDK for wearable devices. Continue reading SXSW: Google on Chromecast Sales and SDK for Wearable Tech

LTE Advanced: Qualcomm Demos Blazing Download Speeds

At the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona this week, Qualcomm demonstrated the next generation of 4G LTE, called LTE Advanced Category 6, which produces download speeds of 300Mpbs. This technology will be integrated into Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 805 processor, which will be used in next-gen Android tablets. The technology is already being used for networks in South Korea, mainly due to interest from broadcasters who want to use it for delivering 4K TV. Continue reading LTE Advanced: Qualcomm Demos Blazing Download Speeds

Puzzle & Dragons: First Mobile Game to Top $1 Billion in Sales

Japanese game developer GungHo Online recently released its 2013 financials, revealing sales of $1.5 billion, 91 percent of which came from the game “Puzzle & Dragons.” This marks the first mobile game to officially earn over $1 billion. The company noted that $775 million of these sales were generated through Google Play, and $650 million through the Apple App Store. GungHo also announced that the game generated $155 million in January this year.  Continue reading Puzzle & Dragons: First Mobile Game to Top $1 Billion in Sales

Digital Music and File Sharing Addressed at DEW Conference

At Digital Entertainment World, Jake Katz and Amrit Singh of Revolt TV discussed how they are reaching their millennial peers. Curation is key, said Amrit. For news, his goal is to be first, right, and “identify the relevant narrative.” Although they call themselves a cable network, they have a large bicoastal (LA, NYC) staff working on Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr and other social media in real time during the broadcasts. Millennials prefer phones and tablets; 34 percent of the Revolt TV audience won’t watch a television screen. Continue reading Digital Music and File Sharing Addressed at DEW Conference

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