The 2014 South by Southwest festival is in full swing. It's a combination of tech, music and film rolled into one Texas-sized good time. While it all sounds like a fun-house, there is a serious note to some of the discussions. AVG was part of a forum on connected cars, taking a look at the data collected and what happens to it.
It's not all doom and gloom -- nobody showed a hack that will let the perpetrator literally take over your car. But who controls the data being collected by said vehicle is certainly a security concern. The security company's Judith Bitterli spoke during the meeting and then put her thoughts together in a quick post.
Pandora, iHeartRadio, TuneIn, Live365... internet radio has become more normal to today's generation than that box which sat on the nightstand or kitchen counter when I was young. Now a new survey seems to show the correlation between age and the new way of listening to music.
Edison Research conducted a random phone survey, targeting users aged 12 and older and the results were rather emphatic. The numbers were collated for the 12 and up, 18-34 and 18-49 demographics and it seems many of you just may be listening to internet radio while you are reading my story.
I'm not going to rehash all of the reasons Microsoft has to show concern over rival Chrome OS, but now Google is providing one more to add to that list. It's not major, and likely won't sway someone's decision towards a Chromebook, but it heaps another straw onto the camel's back.
The search giant is offering a 60-day free trial of its Google Music All Access, which normally costs users $9.99 per month -- or $7.99 if you got in very early, as I did.
Every month video streaming service Netflix trots out its results list for speed tests of US internet service providers, ranking each in descending order. There was a recent stir of controversy, as Comcast took a sudden nose-dive in the standings. This came, rather coincidentally, just before Netflix paid up for better service. In fairness, the deal was already in the works during the drop-off, so it was at best a negotiation tactic.
With that mess now in the rear-view mirror, Netflix announces it is expanding the list of ISPs that it plans to track and include on its monthly shame and fame list.
It's already tough times in the Microsoft world, with Windows 8/8.1 under fire and the impending update coming under recent scrutiny for being, well, a mess, to put it much more politely than my colleague Mark Wilson worded things. If a bad time could go to worse then that would be rival Chrome OS invading the market.
While we largely think of these devices as low-priced notebooks, actual desktops are also getting into the game. Now the Asus Chromebox has hit pre-order in the US on the Amazon website.
Hulu is in a race with other video streaming services to provide more content, though in fairness there is room for several players in this growing arena. Now the company is announcing new shows will be coming to all of its customers, at least those who subscribe to the Plus version.
This time the service scores an exclusive deal, with content that isn't available on any rival platform. There had previously been Carsey-Werner titles on Hulu Plus, including The Cosby Show, 3rd Rock From the Sun, Grounded for Life, The Tracy Morgan Show, Normal, Ohio, Damon, Whoopi, That 80s Show, Davis Rules and Men Behaving Badly, the company points out.
While football in the US means the NFL and NCAA, for the rest of the world it means what we Americans call soccer. One of the big names in the sport is José Mário dos Santos Mourinho Félix, OIH, better known as José Mourinho, a former player and now manager of Chelsea.
Now Mourinho has come to an agreement with search company Yahoo to cover 2014, including the impending FIFA World Cup, set to take place in Brazil this June and July.
Pandora has been rolling out new features for mobile customers, including a sleep timer and alarm clock. Both of these enhancements are handy for a device that many of us leave on the nightstand at bedtime, but that doesn’t always mean a phone.
Now the streaming service is expanding its offering, heading for Android tablets with these features that were previously only available to phone customers.
The Google Chromecast, which was announced in conjunction with the Nexus 7 last June, has been receiving a lot of attention as of late. This is mostly due to new functionality rolling out, along with the promise of more to come. But set-top box maker Roku wants a bit of that action and is now releasing it's own competitor to the Google product.
The Roku Stream Stick was unveiled today, bringing much of the same functionality. "This new tiny player plugs discreetly into an HDMI port – perfect for those beautiful wall-mounted TVs – and packs the complete Roku streaming experience", states Roku's SVP of product management, Jim Funk.
I know I’ve talked a lot about home media and cord-cutting these days, but it is becoming an increasingly busy subject. Now a brand new service is aiming to move into the market, and it brings some intriguing promise with it.
GroupFlix may not be a name you are familiar with, but that certainly could change in 2014. The company is partnering up with studios to build a library of content that could be the answer to tearing customers away from the cable and satellite providers.
Logitech’s Harmony line has been getting a recent refresh, with new remote controls being released. The universal remotes are highly useful for home theater enthusiasts, as they offer easy programming and excellent functionality.
Now the expansion continues, but this time it jumps to the keyboard. You don’t even need to have an HTPC to take advantage of this new keyboard in your living room, thanks to a unique design idea.
The leadership at Microsoft, which has moved from Steve Ballmer to Satya Nadella, has had a chance to sink in. Now it is time to see what the new CEO has up his sleeve. Rumors of an executive musical chairs surfaced over the weekend, but nothing was confirmed until an official announcement posted today.
Indeed the widespread news is true, and both Tami Reller and Tony Bates will be leaving the company, while other executives make moves to new positions.
Rumors run rampant on the internet. A new one has surfaced recently that has a couple of trusted sources behind it, as both Tom Warren and Paul Thurrott point to the possibility of a version of Windows 8.1 with Bing -- a Bing OS if you will. It would be geared towards competing against Chrome OS, which has become an increasing concern for Microsoft.
Warren reports that "sources familiar with Microsoft’s plans tell The Verge that the company is building 'Windows 8.1 with Bing', a version that will bundle key Microsoft apps and services". Yes, "sources familiar" is not the first words in reliability of a report, but Thurrott also concurred, stating "Microsoft is testing whether it makes sense to provide a free version of Windows down the road. And while recent leaks have revealed the existence of something called Windows 8.1 with Bing, it's unclear what this bundling would mean to users", a somewhat less sure, and perhaps more realistic approach. As Paul points out though, a leaked version is already out, so the possibility is very real that this could see the light of day.
I just recently spoke of the changing face of today's media world, with more TV becoming internet-based. There are early struggles with this, as cable and satellite providers are loath to lose those nice monthly fees and become simple bandwidth providers.
Now, with the debut of season two of Vikings, the popular History Channel drama about Ragnor and his crew, things take a turn towards the future.
Not to date myself, but when I was growing up, technology consisted of TV and radio. A large part of that TV, aside from Gilligan's Island reruns, was PBS content. Apparently that experience gave me good preparation for my educational start in life, or at least that is what a new survey claims.
A study conducted by the Public Broadcast System reveals that parents of children aged between two and six think that both media and technology is an important factor in preparing children for elementary school. Unsurprisingly, PBS was revealed to be one the top choices.