Verizon this week announced that it has added V CAST content to all of its Android smartphones, including the Motorola Droid, HTC Droid Eris, Motorola Devour, HTC Droid Incredible, and LG Ally.
"With V CAST Video, Android customers can now enjoy a wide variety of top-rated entertainment, news and sports programs on demand, whenever they want on the large screens on their smartphones," Verizon said. "V CAST Video recently added programming from AETN, including A&E, Lifetime and History, and Spanish-language content from V-me."
V CAST video features more than 230 full-length programs from over 40 leading providers, meaning you can stream shows like 24, 30 Rock, Grey's Anatomy, Bones, Family Guy, and a whole bunch more, including several sporting events. In addition, Univision Interactive Media will provide live streams of all 64 of its Spanish-language broadcasts of the 2010 FIFA World Cup soccer, so you can watch USA rock England this Saturday, albeit in Spanish.
V CAST runs $10/month in addition to a smartphone data plan, a requirement for all the above mentioned Android devices.
Back in March, the internet's favorite repository of anonymous leaks, Wikileaks, published a classified Army document that labeled the site a security threat. According to the U.S. military, the man responsible for passing along classified information to Wikileaks, which included the above mentioned document and a helicopter video kept classified for its ignominiously incriminating nature, is now in its custody in Kuwait. He is yet to be indicted as the military is still investigating the matter.
Specialist Bradley Manning, a 22-year old resident of Potomac, Maryland , was arrested two weeks ago from Forward Operating Base Hammer, about 40 miles east of Baghdad. According to a Wired report, he had his cover blown by an erstwhile computer hacker named Adrian Lamo. Apparently, Manning blithely identified himself as the source of some key leaks on Wikileaks during their online conversations.
The braggart took credit for four leaks, which included a video showing a U.S. Apache helicopter attacking a group of innocent Iraqi civilians after mistaking a cameraman's camera for a rocket-propelled grenade launcher. The helicopter attack, which included two Reuters employees among those killed, occurred in 2007.
Manning's task was rendered easier by inadequate security measures. “I would come in with music on a CD-RW labeled with something like ‘Lady Gaga,’ erase the music then write a compressed split file,” Manning told Lamo. “Weak servers, weak logging, weak physical security, weak counter-intelligence, inattentive signal analysis … a perfect storm.”
Intel no longer plans on pursuing discrete graphics, the chip maker announced in a blog post today titled "An Update On Our Graphics-related Programs."
"We will not bring a discrete graphics product to market, at least in the short-term," wrote Bill Kircos, Intel's Director of Product and Technology PR. "As we said in December, we missed som key product milestones."
Putting a positive spin on the announcement, Intel used the opportunity to talk up its mobile graphics strategy, though never really delved into any real detail about the company's future products.
"Our top priority continues to be around delivering an outstanding processor that addresses every day, general purpose computer needs and provides leadership visual computing experiences via processor graphics," Kircos explained. "We are further boosting funding and employee expertise here, and continue to champion the rapid shift to mobile wireless computing and HD video - we are laser-focused on these areas."
As for Larrabee, Kircos said Intel is executing on a business opportunity derived from the Larrabee program, but the project as you know it is dead, at least for the foreseeable future.
Your on-demand movie selection may be about to get a lot more interesting. According to some industry rumors, Disney, Fox, Paramount, Sony, Universal and Warner have agreed to consider releasing movies to video on-demand services provided by cable companies early. This may mean getting access to films a mere 30 days after wide release, but at a high cost. The figure being floated is $20-30. It could happen as early as Fall 2011.
Movie theaters are likely to feel threatened by this move. Much of the revenue from a film is generated after the initial release. Another potential victim is the plethora of digital video services like Netflix and iTunes. These services often find themselves dealing with long delays before they have access to movies as it is, this new VOD policy could hurt them further.
We also suspect this will be a time the studios will employ Selectable Output Control, as the FCC recently approved. Is this a service you'd be interested in? How much would you pay to see a film while it was still in theaters?
Unless you have some super-fancy configuration set up, odds are good that you--like most--default to Windows Media Player as your multimedia software of choice for playing just about anything that comes across your system. There's no shame in that. While a number of freeware tools support more codecs and/or file formats, and come bundled with other fun features and extensive customizations, it's alright to admit that you use Windows' built-in tool for the job.
In fact, you might very well have found yourself quite fond of your operating system's default media player. That's alright too. I'm not about to show or suggest third-party tools that might add confusion to your routine. Instead, you might want to check out a little chunk of software called Windows Media Player Plus! This app--really, a series of plugins--isn't a replacement for Windows Media Player. It simply builds free enhancements into Windows Media Player to give you even more options to tinker with and features to enjoy.
In May 2005, some former Paypal employees launched the first beta version of YouTube, an online video sharing site that would become so memorable for Rickrolling, the Leave Brittany Alone video, and many other, ahem, gems. In celebration of its fifth birthday, the Google owned company has launched the YouTube Five Year channel.
"There, you’ll find the 'My YouTube Story' project which features people from all over describing how YouTube has changed or shaped their lives," YouTube wrote in a blog post.
"The channel also hosts an interactive timeline containing some of the most important moments and memes in our short history. It was tough to pick -- and just scratches the surface of all the amazing things that have happened on YouTube over the years. What else? We’ve asked a handful of luminaries like Conan O’Brien, Vint Cerf and Katie Couric to curate playlists showcasing their favorite videos on the subjects they know best. You can also check out our Infographic here; it contains lots of neat facts and figures."
Users are invited to add their own story the mix, which can be uploaded here and possibly selected to appear on the channel's video wall or map.
Automated technology to detect pirated content has been tried before, but the results are usually a mess of false positives and misses. NEC claims their new video identification system can succeed where the others have failed. According to NEC, the technology has a detection rate of 96% and a suspiciously good false positive rate of 1 in 5 million.
The NEC detection system works by creating a digital fingerprint from the original content. The files are 76 bytes in size per frame, making storage of many fingerprints doable. The system can work with scenes as short as two seconds; say goodbye to fair use. NEC is also claiming it can detect content that has been altered by converting it from digital to analog, or filming in a theater. It is unclear if a video can be manipulated sufficiently to evade the filter.
The technology is on its way to being integrated into the upcoming MPEG-7 media standard. We'll be interested to see if NEC is promising more than it can deliver here. It sounds like Star Trek level tech to us.
Intel hasn't had much to say about their Light Peak technology since it was first shown off at last year's Intel Developer's Forum. But now they've produced a demo laptop with the new data interconnect standard built in. In the demo, Intel fitted a standard USB cable with the Light Peak optical cables, and ran 2 HD video streams through it. The technology uses a 12mm chip at each end of the connection that converts light into computer bits.
Intel hopes that Light Peak will eventually replace USB, DisplayPort, DVI, eSATA, and HDMI. The first generation of the technology should be capable of 10Gb/sec bidirectional data transfers. The current USB 3.0 standard is capable of only 4.8Gb/sec. "We expect to increase that speed dramatically. You'll see multiple displays being served by a single Light Peak connection." said Intel's Justin Rattner.
Intel has delayed the integration of USB 3.0 technology in their chipsets until sometime next year, and many feel this is a ploy to weaken USB, making Light Peak a stronger competitor. According to Intel, Light Peak will be available to manufacturers by the end of the year. Would you be ready to jump to Light Peak for your devices?
It appears YouTube's little experiment with video rentals may not be long for this world, not at the current pace anyway. Google's online video service continues to put the pieces in place to attract customers, including beefing up its catalog with critically acclaimed hits (3:10 to Yuma, for example) and adding titles from Lionsgate, but none of it seems to be working so far.
YouTube has stopped displaying the play count of rentals on its site, and with good reason. NewTeeVee.com claims they were able to obtain numbers for many of YouTube's rental titles, such as the above mentioned 3:10 to Yuma, which was only streamed a miserable 53 times in the course of a week.
Unfortunately for YouTube, 3:10 to Yuma's performance wasn't an aberration, but par for course. Saw, for example, only saw 40 rentals in the same time span, while Tarantino's Reservoir Dogs was only viewed 101 times even though it's being streamed for $1.99 versus the regular price of $3.99. The most popular title in YouTube's rental store -- Precious -- was only streamed 1,421 times, while the tenth most popular title -- Air Guitar Nation -- was viewed 235 times.
"It's going really well so far," said Anna Richardson, YouTube's Communications Manager
Richardson points out that this is still just an early beta of YouTube's rental program there hasn't been much effort to advertise the service, so these numbers aren't necessarily disappointing. Time will tell if she's right or not.
It doesn't matter whether you blame Apple or Adobe for the lack of Flash support on the iPad and other iPhone OS devices, the end result is that consumers ultimately pay the price. It's unfortunate, but Facebook wasn't about to let the Apple/Adobe tiff put a damper on the social networking experience, no matter which device you're rocking.
As such, it appeared as though Facebook had jumped on the HTML5 bandwagon, at least for its newest videos. Apple iPad owners who tap on a newer Facebook video are no longer greeted with a "Flash Player upgrade required" message, and instead the videos now launch in full-screen. HTML5 all the way, right?
Not so fast. While that was the initial conclusion, Facebook hasn't actually made the switch to HTML5 compliance, and instead is linking out to the actual video transcoded to MP4 when it detects the Safari browser on the iPad. MacStories.net claims to have "confirmed this by uploading a video file to Facebook in WMV format (a non-iPad compatible video format) and then attempting to play it on the iPad. It played as an MP4 file."