If emulation is the sincerest form of flattery, Spotify and Pandra should be blushing. By essentially copying what they do, MySpace might be in the process of reversing its fortunes as the once dominant social networking playground reportedly gets ready to announce a million new users over the past month. That's in stark contrast to losing 10 million users a month, which the site was bleeding as recently as March of last year.
A new report from the Wall Street Journal is shedding some light on recent rumors that Googlers have been testing a mysterious entertainment device in their homes. According to WSJ, we can expect a system that can wireless stream music throughout the home, and will be marketed under the Google name. This would be a completely consumer-oriented device built in-house, a first for Mountain View.
Hangover Monday has turned out to be a pretty momentous day for fans of digital television watching. But while pirates bemoan the death of BTJunkie.org and Redbox gears up for a new streaming service venture with Verizon, Netflix is entering a new phase of its own: content creator. Today, the company launched Lilyhammer, a mob drama starring Steven Van Zandt of Sopranos and Bruce Springsteen's E Street Band fame. It looks like Netflix knows where its binge-watching strengths lie, too; all 8 episodes are available for immediate viewing.
Telecommunications giant Verizon is partnering up with Coinstar's popular Redbox subsidiary to roll out an online streaming video service in the second half of 2012. It will be an "affordable" subscription-based service "that will allow all consumers across the U.S. to enjoy the new and popular entertainment they want, whenever they choose, using the media and devices they prefer," the two companies stated in a joint announcement.
Well, that didn’t take long. One of the largest streaming sites taken down by U.S. authorities yesterday is already back up and running on a new domain, and boy are they upset. While the Department of Homeland Security ICE division was happy to accept a pat on the back for a job well done, one of the owners of Firstrow, a sports streaming site, says he will not give up until a court shuts the site down.
The Department of Justice and Homeland Security ICE division are at it again, and have this time seized more than 300 domains in advance of the Super Bowl. The overwhelming majority of the domains shut down today were selling counterfeit NFL merchandise, but 16 were linking to copyrighted content or video streams. The proprietor of several of those sites had been arrested in Michigan.
Technology is transforming the humble idiot box into a powerful Internet appliance. Whether you call it “smart TV,” “connected TV,” or “Internet TV,” it has the potential to upend our boob tube experience, letting us watch our favorite shows whenever and wherever we want, and merging TV shows with online content in cunning, clever ways. Smart TV won’t prevent television from rotting your brain (it’s not that smart), but it should empower you to find, and get more from, all the content that’s available.
Hollywood studios and TV networks are finally waking up to the power of the Internet, thanks to pioneering efforts by the likes of Netflix, Hulu, and Vudu. And if you can wait for pay-TV services such as HBO and Showtime to release their original programming on DVD, you can seriously consider ditching your expensive cable or satellite subscription services, too.
In the following pages, we’ll solve all the mysteries of smart TV. We’ll explain every important service and device that falls under the smart TV rubric (omitting only the most obvious players, such as YouTube), and tie everything together into a neat and simple package. It’s time to turn on and tune in.
It's no secret Netflix would like to see its DVD-by-mail business go the way of the Dodo so it can focus its attention entirely on the streaming scene, and with streaming subscribers almost twice as profitable as DVD customers, who can blame 'em? Company CEO Reed Hastings jumped the gun when he attempted to put Netflix's DVD business out to pasture by spinning it off into a separate company (Qwikster), a move that sparked an intense backlash from its customers, but if he's patient, it will die off all on its own, and in fact that's exactly what he anticipates will happen.
The soon-to-be-released Raspberry Pi stretches the definition of a PC: the ARM/Linux board is credit card-sized, capable of performing basic computing tasks, and only costs $25 (or $35 for a 256MB model, doubling the RAM of the $25 offering). Oh yeah, it plays 1080p HD video over HDMI, too. It's that last bit that brings us today's news: with the Raspberry Pi's launch looming, the team just released a video showing the board running a fully-working version of XBMC. That's right; it's a $35 1080p HTPC. Not tempting enough? It also supports AirPlay, even sans XBMC.
Dish Network has revised the plans for its recently purchased Blockbuster video rental business. After originally saying that about 1500 stores would remain open, with 90% employee retention, the satellite provider is backtracking. The company CEO is now claiming that only profitable stores will remain open.