YouTube Channel Comes to Roku!

Hi everyone, and an special hi to video streamers fans out there!

The YouTube channel (aka app) is now available on the Roku media streamer.

One of my two three favorite video streamers (the other two are Google’s Chromecast and Apple’s Apple TV).

Here’s a link to a CNET article that offers more info on the new accessibility of YouTube via the Roku player.

http://news.cnet.com/8301-1023_3-57615907-93/roku-enters-early-21st-century-offers-youtube/

Have a great day!

Linda R.

Amazon Allows Viewers To Choose Which Comedy & Kids Pilots They’ll Produce

Over the weekend Amazon introduced a new page on its site the “Amazon Original Pilots,” the page has the subtitle “You help decide which shows become series. Watch now for free.” And essentially this is the new cutting edge way to both watch video content (streaming show from the web to your TV, laptop or other device) and to put forth your more than two cents worth about which shows you’d like to see developed and to continue being produced (by both voting on free shows like the eight comedy pilots Amazon is asking for feedback on and paying $1.99 for streaming television episodes and slightly more for movies). You do have to have an Amazon Prime membership in order to watch these pilots for free – that costs $79 per year and does give you other perks including free second day shipping of items, access to all items in the Amazon Prime streaming video library and one free e-book, from Amazon’s lending library, per month.

As far as producing television shows goes Amazon in essence is doing what Netflix has done with its very popular House of Cards series – produced exclusive video content to offer to its members and completely bypassing traditional media and cable companies in the process.

And getting back to the Amazon comedy pilots, the eight pilots (& their plots) currently available for viewing are:

“Alpha House: They work in the Senate. They live in the Alpha House.

Betas: Four friends think they’ve cracked the code for Silicon Valley success.

Browers: Fresh-faced interns face the music, and sing along with it.

Dark Minions: Rules, reports, a Galactic Overlord…just another day at the office.

Onion News Empire: Onion News Network journalists will do anything to stay on top.

Supanatural: These divas are humanity’s last line of defense.

Those Who Can’t: The most immature guys at this high school are teachers.

Zombieland: Four survivors are killing zombies and searching for a home.”

And for John Goodman and Bill Murray fans – check out the Alpha House pilot which features John Goodman in a starring role and Bill Murray in a hilarious cameo!

And the Kids’ Pilot shows include:

“Annebots: Kid scientist Anne explores the world.

Creative Galaxy: Soar with a loveable alien artist.

Positively Ozitivley: Enjoy magical adventures in Oz.

Sara Solves It: Unravel mysteries with Sara and Sam.

Teeny Tiny Dogs: Canine pals help one another.

Tumbleaf: Join the journeys of Fig the fox.”

Here’s a Google shortened direct link to the Amazon Pilots page:

http://goo.gl/yo5FN

A second link to a Slate article on the comedy pilots titled Can Amazon Transform TV? With eight new sitcom pilots and stars like John Goodman and Bebe Neuwirth, the bookselling giant is willing to try:

http://www.slate.com/articles/arts/television/2013/04/amazon_tv_pilots_john_goodman_and_bebe_neuwirth_star_in_new_streaming_sitcoms.html

And a third link to a New York Times article that offers more information on the new Prime series pilots for kids titled Amazon Introduces New Children’s Programs:

http://parenting.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/04/22/amazon-introduces-new-childrens-programs/

Have a great day!

Linda R.

References

Amazon Original Pilots. Amazon. Online. Accessed April 22, 2013.

Dell’Antonia, K. J. (2013, April 22). Amazon Introduces New Children’s Programs. New York Times. Online.

Thomas, June. (2013, April 22). Can Amazon Transform TV? With eight new sitcom pilots and stars like John Goodman and Bebe Neuwirth, the bookselling giant is willing to try. Slate. Online.

 

Cool Historic Tech Sounds Slideshow & Warner Brothers Archival Streaming Video Service Debuts

Cool Historic Tech Sounds Slideshow: I came across a neat slideshow on the tech site IT World yesterday that offers the actual sounds some obsolete (or on their way out) technologies made while operating – like the sound the dial up connection for dial up Internet makes, the sound of AOL’s old email greeting (“You’ve got mail.”), the greeting sound of various versions of Windows (this is the sound you hear when you first turn on a Windows PC and it is starting up), the sound of a telephone busy signal (in the days before voice mail!), the sound of a dot matrix printer jamming  and the sound an old carousel slide projector made as you clicked from one slide to the next!

The slideshow features 22 slides with sound effects – and it is fun!

Here’s the link:

http://www.itworld.com/slideshow/88695/20-historic-tech-sounds-you-may-have-forgotten-348135?source=fkcarouseltechsounds

Warner Brothers Archival Streaming Video Service Debuts: Warner Brothers has just debuted a streaming video service offering select archive television shows and movies for  unlimited streaming to subscribers for $9.99 per month. And while I think it is past time for some of the major networks and media companies to get onboard the Digital Revolution bandwagon and start making more of their back catalog titles available for consumers to access as streaming videos; I think a $9.99 per month fee they are charging consumers to access the few hundred titles they have in their streaming catalog is a rather high price to expect people to pay. After all you can subscribe to a streaming subscription for Netflix and gain unlimited access to the thousands of titles in their streaming library for $7.99 per month and you can gain access to the thousands of titles in the Amazon Prime streaming library for a yearly price of $79. So why would people want to pay more to Warner Brothers to access a few hundred old movies and televisions shows? Nevertheless the fact that Warner Brothers is offering a streaming subscription service is notable and they should be applauded for doing so! And perhaps they’ll increase the number of titles in their catalog in the near future.

Here’s a link to a short Endgadget article on the new Warner Archive Instant video service:

http://www.engadget.com/2013/04/02/warner-archive-instant-launches/

And a link to the Warner Archive Instant site itself where you can sign up for a two-week trial if  you’d like to check out the service (you can also just browse through the titles currently in the Warner Archive catalog):

http://instant.warnerarchive.com/

Have a great day!

Linda R.

References

Lawler, Richard. (2013, April 2). Warner Archive Instant launches, offers subscription to stream classic movies and TV shows. Engadget. Online.

Raphael, J. R. (2103, March 13). 20 historic tech sounds you may have forgotten. Boy, does technology evolve fast. How many of these iconic sounds do you remember? IT World. Online.

WB Instant Archive. Warner Archive. Online. Accessed April 3, 2013.

 

How Cloud Computing Is Becoming Ubiquitous & Stream Past Mad Men Seasons Before Season Six Premiers

How Cloud Computing Is Becoming Ubiquitous: I came across a neat Gizmag article today that discusses how the cloud – defined as meaning accessing content that is stored online – is becoming ubiquitous. Basically the article chronicles the changes that have occurred over the last few years due to cloud computing and the fact that most people today own multiple devices that connect to the cloud and use those devices to access content on all their Internet connecting devices. The cloud  content  includes items like e-books, streaming music and videos they’ve purchase via their PCs, smartphones and tablets; this in contrast to the status quo even just five or six short years ago that found most people had a single desktop or laptop PC and then maybe a cell phone but did not own an iPad, a smart phone, a laptop and an iPod Touch that they used a various times to access the same online content.

And the fact that most people use multiple Internet connecting devices today where ever they are today, instead of owning just one desktop Internet connecting computer at home, has made the cloud more a part of our every-day lives than we could have imagined just five years ago.  

The Gizmag article is titled Revisiting cloud computing: how has it changed – and changed us? And offers a more in-depth look at the recent history of cloud computing. It can be accessed via the following link:

http://www.gizmag.com/revisiting-cloud-computing/26768/

Stream Past Mad Men Seasons Before Season Six Premiers: And for all the Mad Men fans out there who know that season six premiers on April 7 – just FYI in case you’d like to refresh your memory or previous plot points or story lines – you can stream all the previous seasons of Mad Men from Amazon, Netflix or iTunes with a few other more traditional (aka Cable Network) options available to watch them too – so you’ll be all caught up before the two-hour premier on April 7th!

And you haven’t watched any Mad Men episodes before – it deals with a cast of characters – and I do mean CHARACTERS that work at an Adverting Agency in New York during the nineteen sixties with clothing and music to match – you might want to check it out!

Here’s a link to an aptly titled Mashable article (How to Catch Up on ‘Mad Men’ Before Season 6) that relays even more ways you watch past seasons of Mad Men:

http://mashable.com/2013/03/26/watch-mad-men-season-5/

Have a great day!

Linda

References

Hernandez, Brian Anthony. (2013, March 26).  How to Catch Up on ‘Mad Men’ Before Season 6. Mashable. Online.

Shanklin, Will. (2013, March 26).  Revisiting cloud computing: how has it changed – and changed us?. Gizmag. Online.

 

New Barnes & Noble Nooks & Streaming Video Service & Other Items of Tech Note!

New Barnes & Noble Nooks: On the tablet front, Barnes & Noble introduced two new Nooks on Wednesday; the Nook HD and the Nook HD+. The former is a 7” tablet and the later a 9” tablet. Both tablets have improved screen resolution over previous Nook models. In addition, they are family friendly because they have the capability of allowing up to six people to log in individually and personalize the Nook via their individual log ins. The tablets both have parental controls as well so parents can decide what their children can access e-book and app-wise. Both models will be coming out November 1st and can be pre-ordered from Barnes & Noble now.

Here’s a link to the B&N Nook description page if you’d like to see all the bells and whistles these new tablets offer:

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/u/nook/379003208

New Barnes & Noble Streaming Video Service: On the video streaming front, B&N announced this week that it is rolling out a video streaming service. This new service will allow Nook owners to rent, buy and view television shows and movies from Barnes & Noble on their Nook tablets.  In addition, this new service, like Amazon’s Instant Video service, will allow people to purchase and view video content on other devices – so you’ll be able to watch B&N videos on your Nook and also, via apps or a software download, to your PC, smartphone, iPad, Galaxy Tab etc.

Here’s a link to a CNET article on the subject titled Nook Video Opens New Chapter for B&N e-Reader:

http://reviews.cnet.com/8301-19736_7-57519573-251/nook-video-opens-new-chapter-for-b-n-e-reader/

California Approves Self Driving Cars: On Tuesday (9-25), California Governor Jerry Brown really did sign that law that will allow self-driving cars on California roads!

PC Magazine offers a nice article on the subject titled California Governor Signs Self-Driving Car Bill Into Law – here’s the link:

http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2410180,00.asp

And if you’d rather watch your news – here’s a link to a YouTube video that shows the governor signing the bill with Google co-founder Sergey Brin looking on!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EAHdX2I4fuE&feature=player_embedded#!

CNET Reports You Can Sign up for a Free Year of Sirius Internet Radio: CNET has an article on their site today titled Freebie Friday Get A Free Year of Sirius XM Internet Radio; it relays the news that the company know for its Car Satellite Radio service actually offers an Internet Radio service too. The service is similar to Pandora and Spotify in that you can access it via apps on your tablet or smartphone and also via the web. The service usually costs $14.99 per month but right now Sirius is offering a free one year subscription to the service – available for a limited time only. Here’s the link:

http://news.cnet.com/8301-13845_3-57522181-58/freebie-friday-get-a-free-year-of-siriusxm-internet-radio/

Have a great weekend everyone!

Linda R. 

3 D Video Sans Glasses, Amazon Prime Instant Video Increases Its Library Holdings & Microsoft Drops The Price Of Its Xbox Kinect

3D Video Sans Glasses: The tech site Mashable offers a brief article and video today that show how 3-D technology is evolving and it illustrates the point that in the near future we won’t have to wear those goofy looking plastic glasses to watch 3-D videos!

Here’s the link

http://mashable.com/2012/08/22/3-d-movies/

Amazon Prime Instant Video Increases Its Library Holdings:  Amazon has entered into a licensing agreement with NBC Universal to offer its Prime video subscribers access to many NBC/Universal TV shows including Battlestar Galactica, Parenthood, Friday Night Lights and Heroes.

Amazon Prime costs $79 per year and offers unlimited viewing of Prime videos accessed via computers, smart phones, tablets and media streaming players. In addition to video streaming, Prime members can read one free e-book per month from Amazon’s Prime Library, receive free second day delivery of items and reduced overnight shipping fees for most items. For example, shipping for books and DVDs usually cost $3.99 for overnight delivery for Prime members.

Here’s a link to a PC Magazine article on the subject:

http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2408883,00.asp

Microsoft Drops The Price Of Its Xbox Kinect: Kinect is a motion controlled sensor that allows Xbox gamers to play games via physical motions instead of by using a hand held controller. You simply raise your hand or place a kick in real life in front of the sensor and your character on screen does the same! And Microsoft has just dropped the list price of this great gaming add-on from $149 to $110.

Here’s a link to a USA today article on the subject:

http://content.usatoday.com/communities/gamehunters/post/2012/08/22/microsoft-price-drop-kinect/100000000001828/1

Have a great weekend everyone!

Linda R.

How Angry Birds Saved Plush Toys & How Cord-Nevers Will Help Transform The Way We Watch TV

Happy Monday everyone! I came across two articles over the weekend that I thought I’d share. One of them I found vastly amusing! The first article regarding how the plush toy industry, which had recently fallen on hard times, has been offered a tremendous shot in the arm by an app game – titled, and you guessed it I’m sure! – Angry Birds! And the second article discusses how young people who are coming of age today, and have grown up with Internet access via portable Wi-Fi devices as a ubiquitous fact of their lives – are going to transform the cable industry in the near future because they won’t subscribe to cable television but instead will access all their video content online. 

How Angry Birds Saved Plush Toys: The Wall Street Journal has a neat article titled How Angry Birds Is Helping Rescue Plush Toys which relays the story of  how the Commonwealth Toy & Novelty Co., a small family business that sells plush toys, found a unique way to entice the public to buy plush toys again. It seems plush toys had fallen out of favor with kids desiring portable electronic devices instead of plush toys; and correspondingly sales of plush toys had fallen dramatically. And then, a new employee at the Commonwealth Toy Company had an idea – the idea was to license the rights to manufacture and sell plush toys made to look like the characters in a very popular game app called Angry Birds. And the far-seeing employee was right! When, Rovio the company that makes the popular Angry Birds game put game related merchandise on its website, the company figured it would sell out in a couple of weeks and instead everything sold out in two hours! So not surprisingly the Commonwealth Toy Company’s licensing of the rights to make and sell plush versions of the pigs and birds seen in the game has really paid off – the sale of the Angry Birds plush toys has become a great boon for the company; they sold around 200 million dollars worth of Angry Birds plush toys last year and are projecting that number will rise to 400 million this year.

And thus plush toys, at least in the form of green pigs and colorful birds, are popular once more!

Here’s a link to a Wall Street Journal article titled How Angry Birds Is Helping Rescue Plush Toys that offers more information on the subject:

http://blogs.wsj.com/digits/2012/08/02/how-angry-birds-is-helping-rescue-plush-toys/?mod=WSJBlog&mod=

How Cord-Nevers Will Help Transform The Way We Watch TV: The Atlantic offers a cool article that sheds light on how growing Internet connectivity, specifically the way people increasingly have more ways to watch video content on portable Wi-Fi devices like smart phones and tablets, will change how we watch television shows and movies in the future. The article makes the point that the switch from watching television on a TV via a cable company connection to watching television on Wi-Fi devices via the Internet is going to be accelerated not just by people who already have cable television subscriptions and do the “Cord-Cutting” thing and drop those subscriptions to stream video content via the web; but also by “Cord-Nevers” a term they’ve coined to describe young adults who have grown up with Internet access and are used to watching video content on the web and will not pay for cable subscriptions in the future.

In fact, the article makes a solid case that cable companies should be more nervous about how the Cord-Nevers will quickly change the cable TV status quo by the simple fact that those young people will not subscribe to cable TV at all and the cable industry will lose its traditional continual influx of new cable subscribers.

The Atlantic article is titled Forget Cord Cutters Cable Companies Should Worry About Cord Nevers, here’s the link:

http://www.theatlanticwire.com/technology/2012/08/forget-cord-cutters-cable-companies-should-worry-about-cord-nevers/55380/

Linda R.

David Pogue’s Lost iPhone & BBC On The Future Of TV

David Pogue’s Lost iPhone: For those of you who may not be familiar with the name David Pogue is the preeminent Tech reporter for the New York Times. And earlier this week Pogue while Pogue was on a trip to Philadelphia to film content for the PBS Nova series someone stole his iPhone. Being the creative and crafty sort Pogue posted a video chronicling his dilemma on Twitter and people responded in droves! It took three days to track down the phone but with the assistance of the Find My iPhone app, Twitter fans, who posted videos of the house where the iPhone signal was coming from and the assistance of local police the phone was eventually recovered.

And not surprisingly the New York Times, via David Pogue’s column, relays the entire adventure which is both a vastly amusing tale and also offers an interesting insight as to how technology really is a tool we can use in our daily lives! Here’s the link:

http://pogue.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/08/02/where-is-david-pogues-phone/?ref=technology

BBC On The Future Of TV: And the BBC has created a really neat 44 page slideshow titled The Future of Television that offers an in-depth look at how the way people view video content is changing, from sitting in front of a TV in the home and watching cable TV to streaming video to TVs, smart phones and tablets. The article also offers some really interesting insight into how the changing way we view video content will change even further in the near future – basically by allowing consumers to view a wider array of video content when and were they want on demand.

Here’s the link to the slide show:

http://www.slideshare.net/expathos/bbc-presention-future-of-tv

Linda R.