Alan Buckingham

Roku and Nielsen team to get ratings for streaming


Nielsen, the leader in TV ratings, has to move into the new era, which means TV streaming. Now the company is moving in that direction, partnering with Roku, the top set-top box maker on the market, in order to gather this data.

But how do you rate this new dimension in TV? Well Nielsen thinks it can and it's partnered with Roku to give it a try. The two are announcing a new deal beginning now and it aims to make the world of internet-based TV a ratable one.

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Hackers plunder $5 million from the account of Irish airline Ryanair


It's one thing to have your personal bank account hacked, you may lose a few dollars or worse a small fortune. However you would expect corporate accounts to have added security, preventing such a devastating event. That's clearly not the case. While we've seen point-of-sale systems hacked and customer data stolen, this time it was actually a company bank account that was robbed.

Irish airline Ryanair had its corporate account plundered by hackers to the tune of $5 million, or €4.6 million. The money apparently disappeared from accounts used to fund the fueling of the company's planes, not a cheap task and perfect for not immediately ringing alarm bells.

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NBC Sports Live Extra arrives on Roku, just in time for hockey and horse racing


It's a great time of the year for sports fans, with hockey in the playoffs, the upcoming NFL draft, the Triple crown and baseball season well underway. Now Roku is bringing all of this to your TV via both its set-top boxes and Roku TVs. It arrives just in time for all of the action.

The NBC Live Extra Service promises over 3,000 events per year, including some exclusive coverage. That traverses an awful lot of ground.

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Philips lets you control your Hue lights from Apple Watch


Yesterday was the big day for Apple Watch, and also a big day for companies looking to capitalize on the hype and sales. We've seen Amazon jump on board, along with many others. Now the top lighting manufacturer in the world is getting into the game also, as Philips announces that it will be offering customers the chance to control their Hue lights right from their wrists.

Hue, if you aren't familiar, is a line of lightbulbs that are internet connected and can be controlled from multiple devices -- Apple Watch is the latest.

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Kickass Torrents is on the run to a new domain

Music pirate

We've grown used to sites like The Pirate Bay making pretty regular moves. It's kind of unavoidable in this business where organizations such as the MPAA exist. While we don't condone piracy, we also don't condone censorship, and there's plenty of studies that show that illegally downloaded content doesn't put much, if any, dent in the copyright holder's bank account.

Today the latest news surfaces -- Kickass Torrents, the top source on the web, is on the move after a brief visit to the Isle of Man. The place proved unfriendly to the organization, shutting it down rather quickly. Next stop? Costa Rica sounds like a nice tropical local, doesn't it?

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AVG introduces Crumble for Chrome, claims you can surf without surveillance


In today's world privacy has become a premium and companies and governments are the ones in the hotseat thanks to Edward Snowden, WikiLeaks and others. People are searching out ways to avoid being tracked, a difficult task in this current society. AVG is the latest to offer a solution.

The security firm is announcing Crumble, a new extension for Chrome that promises you can "surf without surveillance". The app comes from the Innovation Labs and is still in beta at the moment, but users can start testing it out now.

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Apple Watch gets Amazon shopping capability

pandora Apple Watch

Today the Apple Watch begins its highly anticipated rollout. The tech world is watching, while fans are eagerly expecting the device. Of course any product today requires a healthy ecosystem of apps to survive, and Apple is doing its best to make that happen. Others are trying to do the same, also from an economical standpoint.

Amazon plans to allow customers to shop from their wrist -- why you'd want to is anyone's guess. The retailer is announcing a shopping app for the new accoutrement. The company claims it will be useful in certain situations, such as heading out somewhere and suddenly remembering something you need. Granted that's a good scenario, as you may forget by the time you return home. However, isn't that what the smartphone in your purse or pocket is for?

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Office 365 Video begins its worldwide rollout

Busy office

Back in November we told you about Office 365 Video, although at the time it was only available for First Release customers. The service, if you recall, brings video sharing to the enterprise, allowing customers to manage and post, as well as making it available across all devices -- PC, tablet and phone. Microsoft also claims that it will be automatically optimized for each device.

Now the service is rolling out worldwide, so everyone can begin putting it to use for training videos, company messages and the like. Microsoft's Claire Tutill states that "Video is fast becoming one of the most powerful forms of communication, so this is a very exciting development for Office 365 users".

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You won't see Nessie, but you can now visit Loch Ness via Google Maps


The Loch Ness Monster is right up there with Bigfoot and the Abominable Snowman, and many lesser known legends as well. We're not here to tell you what to believe, that's entirely up to you. Either way, Loch Ness is one of the most famous locations in Scotland and you can now visit it from the comfort of your home or office.

Google Maps has gone to the trouble of putting the famous lake into Street View -- no monsters involved. It conjures up images of the famous Surgeon's Photo, the most enduring, iconic and fraudulent image of Nessie. Still, the location is beautiful, and for those not able to make the trip this is the next best thing.

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So much for Apple exclusivity, PlayOn gets HBO NOW


When Apple announced HBO NOW for Apple TV people were riveted by the fact the company had once again pulled off a deal reminiscent of iTunes music deals. Except the rumors claimed the exclusivity would last through July and it didn't. The app quickly came to other services and then the channel itself launched on Sling TV, making the app somewhat unneeded.

Now things progress further as PlayOn is offering HBO NOW. The app has long been expected and anticipated as it gives viewers the ability to watch the premium channel without the previous need of having a cable or satellite subscription -- something HBO GO is saddled with. It comes just in time for some folks (or perhaps too late) as HBO is taking action against those who've downloaded episodes of Game of Thrones illegally.

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The crosswalk awaits you -- Abbey Road comes to Google Maps


When it comes to music there is perhaps no more famous location in the world than Abbey Road. The studio has become legend -- created legends, in fact. The recording home of John, Paul, George and Ringo is still there, almost a museum of sorts, awaiting the tourists who want to get just a small sense of the Fab Four.

No need to traipse the crosswalk, let alone barefoot, to get your glimpse into where it all happened. Google Street View is here to make all your troubles seem so far away by taking you to Abbey Road, virtually.

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Take this Friday off and watch Orphan Black for free on Amazon -- Prime not required


Season three of Orphan Black is about to debut. The highly acclaimed BBC America TV show has been licensed this year by AMC, making it more widely available. Still, the two channels may not be in everyone's menu. For you, Amazon has a solution, though you may need a bit of caffeine to capitalize on this one.

While seasons one and two have been available for some time to Prime subscribers, those who don't pay Amazon $99 per year can now catch up on season one -- providing you do so this Friday.

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How well did Sling TV handle the Game of Thrones season 5 premiere?


I signed up for the base package of Sling TV a few weeks ago. Since then, the company has managed to get extra money out of the deal, as I've added the Sports Pack and, as of yesterday, HBO, which became available late last week. While I feel like I'm closing in on pricing for my old DirecTV subscription, I confess to being happier -- I have channels I want and don't pay for a bunch I'll never watch.

Last night was huge for Sling, as Game of Thrones season five debuted (for those who didn't get it early via a torrent leak). I was curious how the service would handle the huge demand, and so was it, as it turns out.

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Amazon brings Kindle features to its Android app

Amazon Kindle logo

If you don't have a Kindle to read your books on then there's no worries, as apps exist on other platforms like Android. Amazon isn't standing still on this either, now offering customers on Google's mobile platform some new features already available on the stand-alone device.

Included are two new features that Amazon claims customers have found the most useful. First up is Word Wise, which Amazon claims is excellent for young kids and also for those learning English. Tapping a word pops up a box that provides a definition, along with synonyms and more.

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Need more tunes on your Android device? Amazon Prime Music channels arrive

music headphones laptop

There's no shortage of ways to turn your phone or tablet into an MP3 player. The days of dedicated devices like the iPod have waned, and most of us simply use a smartphone as the substitute that replaces that bygone era. With a multitude of services at our disposal we can have an endless supply of music on hand as we work and travel, or just relax on the couch.

Amazon is never far from any new trend and it has brought music streaming to its Prime customers to compliment the other benefits that go along with the service. Now the retailer announces that Android customers will have access to the many playlists available through Prime Music on their devices.

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