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  • Rovi to sell online movie store, previously known as CinemaNow, after just two years

    US tech corporation Rovi has announced that it will be selling its Rovi Entertainment Store, formerly known as CinemaNow, which it bought just two years ago for US$720-million. While the company didn't disclose exactly which assets it wanted to offload in the sale, it did reveal that it wanted to hold on to its DivX video codecs and software business, which was also part of the US$720-million deal. "The Rovi Entertainment Store has grown significantly since Rovi acquired it in February 2011, and we believe it will continue to grow and provide an excellent platform for on-demand media delivery...

  • File-sharing group member gets five years for uploading movies

    Turns out law enforcement officials are taking those "you wouldn't steal a handbag" anti-piracy ads seriously. According to Wired, Jermiah Perkins -- a leader in the camcorder in theater gang iMAGiNE -- has been handed a five year prison sentence for helping to record and distribute movies online during their theatrical run. The 40 year old is one of five members of the group to have pleaded guilty to charges of conspiracy to commit copyright infringement. His sentence sets a new record for the offense, surpassing that of Gregory A. Cherwonik, 53, his co-defendant in the case. According to...

  • Why 2013 isn’t going to be a good year for tech in China

    It’s no secret that I’m pretty pessimistic about 2013. Just a week ago, I said it would be the worst year ever for China tech. But I want to delve deeper into the reason that 2013 is going to be terrible: it’s something I call the wall. Contrary to what you might think, ‘the wall’ doesn’t refer to just the Great Firewall, although that is a part of it. It is the term I have been using in my head to describe the technological, political, commercial, and linguistic wall that China has been constructing between its own internet and the outside world. Censorship is...

  • Take a look at what could have been the first Android logo

    It was 2007. Android, as we know it, didn't really exist: it hadn't even been publicly launched yet. Google employee Dan Morril was tasked with putting together an internal presentation for the team, so he could encourage them to start experimenting and see what they could do with the Android API. But his presentation for the second internal developer launch (nicknamed R2D2 -- 'Release to Developers 2'. Seriously) needed something extra -- so he created these. The first Android logos. Ok, so they never made it out of Google HQ, but as Morril points out on his Google+ page (spotted...

  • Facebook tests voice calling in Messenger

    This is interesting. Facebook has begun testing a feature in its Messenger app that will allow people to make free voice calls using Wi-Fi or data. At the moment the feature is only being rolled out to a select number of iOS users in Canada but, if all goes well, it could soon be available for Android and around the globe. In the meantime, people outside of Canada will be able to send each other short "push to talk" messages using the app. That's neat, in a kind of gimmicky way but, as The Verge points out, VoIP rolling out...

  • 4 key rules for monetising your mobile app in emerging markets

    The world is getting appified. Apps are driving the mobile internet ecosystem forward and have emerged as one of the biggest forms of media, entertainment, and utility on mobile. As a result, it is important for developers to devise a successful monetisation strategy while they continue spurring the innovation cycle. Gartner forecasts that the mobile advertising industry will grow by US$19-billion worldwide by 2015. In regions like the Asian Pacific, mobile ad revenue is estimated to grow from US$1.6-billion in 2011 to US$6.9-billion in 2015. This presents a massive opportunity for developers to maximize the revenue potential from their apps. So...

  • Ad-free blog raises $100k in subscriptions six hours after launching

    If you want to survive online, you need ads. It's just common sense, even Facebook and Twitter eventually figured out that you need ads to get by. Except sometimes you don't. Just ask Andrew Sullivan. The former Daily Beast writer yesterday launched an independent publishing platform called Dish publishing and within six hours of launch had raised US$100 000... in subscriptions. That's right, just subscriptions... no ads. Sullivan plans to keep it that way too. Sullivan charges US$19.99 for a full annual subscription, although they can pay more if they want to. According to Sullivan about a third of the...

  • Apple and Google trumped by Microsoft in acquisition of R2 Studios

    Last year TechCrunch reported that Microsoft, Google and Apple were in talks with home automation startup R2 Studios about an acquisition. It seems that Microsoft has now trumped its main rivals in taking the prize. This is a massive addition for Microsoft, as it also acquires various patents related to controlling electronic devices, such as the control app for Android which will now become Microsoft's property, while the founder and a small team of experts will move over to the Redmond giant's offices. With Microsoft striking deals with various media companies like HBO, Netflix, YouTube, Comcast and Time Warner...

  • Social media expectations and strategies to keep in mind for 2013

    Social media activism in 2012 highlighted the importance of interaction between citizens and spurred fears in the hearts of politicians and global entities. It has become apparent that people increasingly listen to the opinions of online friends and eagerly share information. At the same time companies have realised how vulnerable they can be once people focus on their poor performance. To this end, the ITU meeting aimed at providing governments more control over the internet has also sparked an outrage over privacy. Hacker and consumer groups have targeted some of the major players and security weaknesses have come to...

  • 3 of the top social media campaigns of 2012

    We all love social media and we use it to share elements of our lives on a daily basis. Oft times we share a thought or a sentiment that seems to resonate with the general public and our social post goes viral. It gets picked up and shared by random strangers – and we feel pretty damn important for about three seconds. Then there are those social campaigns that are intentionally designed to “get famous”. Here are a few that did exceptionally well in 2012. Nike #MakeItCount This Nike campaign, which was launched in January of 2012, was succinct and to...

  • 5 social media resolutions for the new year

    The whirring gears of change in social media only got louder and more overwhelming in 2012. Every time you went retro and reached for a paper novel or (heaven forbid) an actual newspaper, you were punished with a bewildering new set of circumstances and do’s and don’ts with regard to your social media landscape. With the scars and successes of 2012 freshly behind us, let’s bravely look to the future with a set of social media resolutions for 2013. 1. Facebook is not like any 'friend' you've ever had before. Remember that kid in Grade 5 who you did...

  • Self-driving cars: Google’s greatest act of obfuscation?

    It's remarkable how few journalists understand Google's business and how what it does or doesn't do affects massive volumes of commerce around the globe. If I were running the New York Times I would keep half-a-dozen journalists focused on Google 24/7 because it's that important. Instead, we get very little real coverage of Google and what goes on beneath the hood, because the mainstream media doesn't know much about Google at all. It's easier to write about self-driving cars than to delve into the complexities of Google's business. And Google loves to point people to its self-driving cars, because it's a red...

  • Get stuck into the top games of 2013

    After a year in which almost no original titles came out, 2013 brings the gaming industry back to good form with a strong mix of sequels, expansions and original titles. Watch Dogs (PC, PS3, Xbox 360) Watch Dogs could get overlooked as a futuristic GTA, and that would be a huge shame. Its core mechanic is hacking -- and the ability to control the city unlike anything you’ve seen before. Tap into cellphones, control traffic lights and bridges, turn off surveillance cameras and electrical grids, all from a handheld device. Read more on Gearburn.com var vglnk={key:"cc324b6567a9637aa0ff15bc9564b2a5"};!function(e,a){var t=e.createElement(a);t.type="text/javascript",t.async=!0,t.src="//cdn.viglink.com/api/vglnk.js";var n=e.getElementsByTagName(a);n.parentNode.insertBefore(t,n)}(document,"script");

  • Google to settle with FTC on patent misuse

    US regulators could settle with Google over antitrust allegations as soon as tomorrow. According to Bloomberg, the internet giant has agreed to voluntarily change some of its business practices and settle allegations that it misused patents to thwart its opposition in the smartphone wars. The FTC has been investigating whether Google deliberately skews results in favour of its own products. The decision is a massive blow to the likes of Yelp, Microsoft and Expedia, who all feel that they've been unfairly affected by the internet giant's policies. The concession made by Google will see it allowing advertisers to export data...

  • Is Apple about to buy Waze?

    Apple is really trying to up its maps game. Rumour has it that the tech giant is attempting to acquire Waze, says Mike Butcher over at Techcrunch. Waze is a social mapping app that allows users to contribute its database through gaming mechanisms. When Apple released iOS 6 is opted for its own mapping app over veteran Google Maps. The gamble was not so successful for the company as its app proved to be less than perfect and nowhere near ready for the public. This Waze rumour isn't the first in Apple's attempt to fix its map problems. Last...