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Amazon Cuts Deal to Buy MGM for $8.45B
May 26, 2021
A definitive merger agreement has been announced for Amazon to acquire MGM for $8.45 billion. MGM will bring to Amazon's table more than 4,000 movies and 17,000 TV shows. All totaled, MGM productions over the years won more than 180 Oscars and 100 Emmy awards. MGM will continue to operate as a label under the Amazon brand.
Nvidia and the End of Movies as We Know Them
April 19, 2021
GTC21, this year's Nvidia GPU Technology Conference, was terrific as always. The alleged focus was on AI and autonomous cars. But, as I watched presentation after presentation from folks out of the entertainment industry, I realized that if you started putting some of these various elements together, they effectively predicted the end of movies as stand-alone, costly entertainment.
Hacker Recycles Data on Half a Billion Facebook Users
April 6, 2021
A rich cache of data on some 533 million Facebook users was posted to a hacker forum over the weekend and is available to download for practically free. In a statement provided to TechNewsWorld by Facebook, the company said it is confident the posted information is old data that originated from a weakness in its contact importer feature that was discovered and fixed in August 2019.
Arts and Culture's Virtual Survival Story: The Show Must Go On
March 23, 2021
The arts have seen a shift in the last year away from in-person gatherings, but that doesn't mean that performances, showings, and other creative activities have stopped. Rather, they've been transformed, becoming increasingly virtual and digital. We spoke with experts in the arts, design, and marketing to see how these fields have changed and might continue to evolve.
Creating an Immersive, Tailored Media Experience Through RDK-V
March 12, 2021
For multichannel video programming distributors to stay competitive, they need to offer multichannel video programming solutions that are not only innovative but user friendly. Smart TV manufacturers need to reduce time to market and provide flexible services. Each can bridge the gap by leveraging RDK-V, as it enables various technology platform choices while still allowing an easily customizable UI with a host of tangible benefits.
VR Consumer Spending Growth Driven by Headsets: Report
December 1, 2020
For years the consumer virtual reality market has failed to fulfill the hype surrounding it, but that's going to change according to Omdia. The market analysis firm has released a report that predicts the value of the virtual reality hardware and software market to reach $10 billion by 2025, up from $3.2 billion in 2020. Standalone headsets appear to be leading the growth curve for VR.
Zoom's Got Game for Poker Players
October 6, 2020
Welcome to the new phenomenon of playing Zoom poker. It is a novel idea that is catching on as the pandemic continues. The video platform has become a popular solution for friends who miss their regular in-person poker games. It adds the missing element of banter and social interactions that playing cards and other table games alone on a computer just cannot provide.
HP Takes Us One Step Closer to a Virtual Tomorrow
October 5, 2020
We're moving at an impressive rate to create virtual worlds, but we have missed several critical elements. Now HP has taken a considerable step to usher us to a future where we really can mostly exist in a virtual, rather than real, office environment; and not only get more done, but be safer as well.
Virtual Travel Marketing's Cure for Wanderlust
September 25, 2020
While many people have been stuck at home during the pandemic, virtual travel marketing has emerged to help fill the void felt by those who yearn for faraway places. The E-Commerce Times caught up with some virtual travel experts to discover how they're using various technologies to give folks the opportunity to explore the world without leaving their homes.
TikTok Enlists Oracle to Evade Trump's Executive Order
September 14, 2020
A proposal to avoid the banning of the popular social media app TikTok was submitted to the U.S. Treasury Department over the weekend. The plan submitted by ByteDance, which owns TikTok, calls for the company to enlist Oracle as a "trusted technology provider" in order to address national security concerns raised about the video-sharing software by the Trump administration.
Apple, Microsoft, Facebook Rumble Over Game Streaming Apps
August 11, 2020
Apple's "Walled Garden" was built to protect consumers from malicious applications, but it can also protect the company from competition, as Microsoft and Facebook discovered recently. Late last week, Apple refused to allow Microsoft to offer its xCloud streaming gaming app for iOS and iPadOS at the Apple App Store. At the same time, it approved a scaled-down version of Facebook's gaming app, sans streaming gaming, into the store.
Fun Seekers Revel at Virtual Parties
August 6, 2020
Though initially isolating, the coronavirus pandemic has spawned a whole new world of digital parties and get-togethers. People stuck at home are finding innovative ways to socialize, participating in everything from virtual beer tastings to online book club meetings. While the event landscape has been permanently altered by this shift, people and businesses continue to develop new ways of having fun.
US Cloud Gaming Subscriptions Target $3B
July 22, 2020
Consumer interest in cloud gaming could boost annual subscription revenues to nearly US$3 billion, according to Parks Associates. There is renewed interest, the research firm's report noted, in gaming services that can stream over the Internet and deliver games to multiple platforms without downloads and without taxing local processing power.
XRSpace Headset Opens Door to New Virtual World
May 27, 2020
A new virtual reality headset designed for mobility will serve as an entry point into a new virtual world. The $599 Mova headset from XRSpace, founded by former HTC chief Peter Chou, will support 5G and be the exclusive on-ramp to Manova, a social reality platform that aims to defy the boundaries of space and time to bring people together. Users can roam Manova as full-body avatars.
Oculus Quest Production Stymied by Pandemic
May 6, 2020
The next generation of Oculus Quest virtual reality headsets is in the works, but pandemic-related product development and supply chain problems may delay market arrival. Oculus reportedly has multiple potential Quest successors on the drawing board. Smaller, lighter versions with a faster image refresh rate for more realistic rendering are in the advanced testing stage.
Facebook Gaming Powers Ahead With Live Streaming
April 21, 2020
Facebook has launched a free standalone app for creating and watching live video game play on Android devices. Some 700 million users already engage in gaming on the platform, but with its dedicated app Facebook is locking horns with the leaders in the market -- Amazon, Google and Microsoft. "Live streaming was a growth opportunity before the pandemic," noted Strategy Analytics' Michael Goodman.
Cosmos: Possible Worlds Fires Up Hopes and Dreams
April 20, 2020
Humans may be wanderers by nature, but in the year 2020, with planet Earth overrun by a pandemic, most human activity has come to a shocking halt. Perhaps one of the best things for a wandering race stuck at home is an opportunity to look outward -- to thought-travel into the boundless universe and dream of grand and sweeping possibilities. That's what Cosmos: Possible Worlds offers.
Living in the COVID-19 World: TV Hosts Struggle at Home
March 30, 2020
While stuck at home, many of us are burning through online content very rapidly. One of the things that's become painfully apparent is that TV shows that typically have live audiences suddenly have become almost unwatchable. In the context of the COVID-19 virus and our sudden need to view events remotely, coming up with ways to make audiences feel engaged has never been more critical.
Concerns Grow That COVID-19 Could Take Down the Internet
March 24, 2020
It may not be a question of if but when the Internet will reach the breaking point under the strain of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Internet is fast becoming a potential victim of the coronavirus assault. With an estimated billion people staying home, remote working, or just watching shows online all day, concerns are mounting that the Internet will break under the strain.
Microsoft Releases 'Mind Blowing' Xbox Specs
February 25, 2020
Microsoft whetted demand for its Xbox Series X product line with the revelation of some impressive specs for its next-generation gaming console. "It's really going to be a kick in the pants for the industry," said Mark N. Vena, senior analyst at Moor Insights and Strategy. "It should provide quite a bit of adrenalin because the specs are really mind blowing."
Could Ads Become Potent Weapons Against Streaming Piracy?
January 24, 2020
Though it no longer grabs many headlines, video piracy remains a major issue for pay-TV services, according to consumer research firm Parks Associates. If just 10 percent of pay-TV subscribers should discontinue paying for services by 2023, the loss in revenue to operators could approach $6 billion, according to the firm's report, "Video Piracy: Ecosystem, Risks, and Impact."
Cosmos: Possible Worlds - A Lavish, Hopeful Journey
January 22, 2020
We agree to suspend our disbelief, and they agree to entertain us. Perhaps it inspires us by communicating some kernel of wisdom about human nature. Its story may touch our emotions deeply, but we know it's the product of imagination and artistry. Cosmos: Possible Worlds delivers everything a great science fiction movie delivers, except the fiction.
Few Households Have Taken the Gigabit Broadband Leap
January 7, 2020
Increasing numbers of connected devices in the home and greater consumption of streaming media are driving consumer demand for faster broadband speeds. In recent years providers have introduced greater service speeds, bundles and pricing models to address widespread consumer churn. The service speed average among U.S. broadband households has increased steadily over the last four years.
Your Smart TV Could Give Hackers a Window on Your World
December 6, 2019
Cybercriminals have discovered ways to compromise smart TVs, the FBI recently warned. Smart TV owners should do their due diligence to secure the devices, the bureau urged. Smart TVs are just as accessible to unauthorized parties as computers or other Internet-connected devices. Because many TVs now feature microphones and cameras, predators could commit serious privacy intrusions.
Disney+ Is a Wonderful World for Tykes and Geeks
November 21, 2019
Disney+ has made its official debut, with a few minor hiccups. It is widely available via a plethora of devices, offers a breadth of content, and serves quick and seamless downloads to mobile devices. However, with a heavy focus on Disney animated films, Marvel superhero movies and Star Wars, this service might not be quite the Netflix killer that the Walt Disney Company claims it is.
Early Reviews Suggest Google Stadia Needs More Time in the Oven
November 20, 2019
Google just raised the curtain on its Stadia streaming gaming platform, and the early reviews are mixed at best. For $129, gamers can get the hardware they need to take the service for a spin -- a Stadia controller, and a Chromecast Ultra for playing games on a TV. The package includes access to one game and a three-month subscription to Stadia Pro, which supports 4K 60 frames-a-second gaming.
Disney+ Launches New Era of Streaming, With a Few Hiccups
November 14, 2019
The much-anticipated Disney+ streaming service has arrived. In the first 24 hours, the app was downloaded 3.2 million times. Demand for the new over-the-top streaming service prompted the company to announced that it had exceeded its highest expectations -- but with problematic results. Many users were unable to launch the app on its huge opening day.
Hello Streaming Services, Move Over Cable TV
November 7, 2019
Streaming services -- like HBO Max from AT&T's WarnerMedia, Peacock from Comcast's NBCUniversal, Apple TV+, Disney+ and many others -- are clear examples of the change to a short-attention-span world. What does that mean for investors, workers and consumers? Short-attention-span content seems new, with the arrival of streaming services, but there has been movement in this direction for decades.
Active Noise Cancellation a Big Draw in New Apple AirPods
October 30, 2019
Active Noise Cancellation is just one of the hot new features in the latest generation of Apple's AirPods. The new AirPods Pro, which go on sale Wednesday for $249, combine earbud microphones with software to remove background noise and improve a user's listening experience. An outward-facing mic on the bud collects environmental sound for analysis.
Nvidia's New Shield TV Models Add Dolby Vision, Atmos
October 29, 2019
Nvidia has introduced two new versions of its Android TV-based Shield streaming product. Shield TV and Shield TV Pro are replacements for the last generation of Shield video streamers, which Nvidia introduced in 2017. The Shield TV Pro retains the form factor of its predecessors -- the box-like form favored by the industry generally -- while the lower priced Shield TV is cylinder-shaped.
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Would you license your personal data to advertising platforms if you were paid directly for it?
Yes -- So much of my personal data is already in the hands of advertisers anyhow; I may as well be paid for it.
Possibly -- It depends how much I would be compensated and how the data I authorize to share would be used and protected.
No -- I would not sell my personal data at any price.
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