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Monday, 12 November 2012 15:04

YouTube Making Change

Changing Channels: YouTube Will Pull the Plug on at Least 60 Percent of Its Programming Deals YouTube has helped fund about 160 "channels" as part of a new strategy to make the video site more TV-like.And just like the TV world, YouTube isn't going to renew all of last season's programs. This week, Google's video site will start offering new contracts to some of the channel programmers/creators it signed up in the last year. But not all of them: YouTube figures it will end up re-investing in up to 40 percent of its original channels by the time the renewal process is done. YouTube will handle renewals in batches, starting with the first set of channels that launched in January of this year. The new deals will largely mirror the ones YouTube set up last year, where the programmers got advances of up to $5 million to produce videos that would live exclusively on the site for more than a year. Channels that don't get new deals won't get kicked off YouTube, and executives say they hope content makers will continue producing stuff for the site. In the cases where YouTube hasn't recouped its initial programming outlay, the site will…
Friday, 09 November 2012 09:00

AT&T's about-face on 4G

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- AT&T on Wednesday announced a plan to cover 96% of the U.S. population with 4G-LTE service by the end of 2014. That's great news for customers -- but it reveals that AT&T told regulators a pretty big whopper last year while fighting for its doomed T-Mobile merger. One of the deal's fiercest battle points was 4G access outside major cities. Without T-Mobile, AT&T (T, Fortune 500) said it was "very unlikely" that it would expand 4G-LTE service beyond the 80% coverage threshold it already planned to reach by 2013. "In some of these [less-populous] areas, AT&T simply lacks the spectrum necessary to deploy LTE," the company told the Federal Communications Commission in a written defense of its proposal. The FCC called AT&T's bluff. It released a damning report on the scuttled merger saying it believed AT&T would expand its 4G deployment with or without T-Mobile. AT&T hit the roof, complaining that the FCC's analysis directly contradicted AT&T's "documents and sworn declarations." It got particularly irate about the FCC's prediction -- "based purely on speculation" -- that AT&T would eventually expand its LTE deployment to 97% of the population even if it didn't get T-Mobile. Fast-forward 11…
Thursday, 08 November 2012 17:15

Tablet showdown

Tablet showdown: iPad mini vs. Nexus 7 vs Kindle Fire HD NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- The compact-sized tablet space -- once a black hole for flawed efforts like the BlackBerry PlayBook -- suddenly looks like the hub of that market. After Barnes & Noble, Amazon and Google showed that you could craft a quality, affordable tablet around a seven-inch screen, Apple responded this month with its new iPad mini. How do the three highest-profile competitors -- the mini, Google's Asus-built Nexus 7 and Amazon's Kindle Fire HD -- compare? It's not as obvious as you might think. Screen: Apple (AAPL, Fortune 500) finds itself in an unfamiliar position here: behind. The iPad mini's 7.9-inch screen, with a 1024-by-768 pixel resolution, is visibly less sharp than the 7-inch, 1200-by-800 displays on the Nexus 7 and the Kindle Fire HD. With the same Web page open on all three devices, text on the iPad looked just fuzzy enough for me to want to enlarge it slightly, while on the two Android-based devices I could keep it as-is. Size and weight: The mini is the lightest option, at .68 lbs., but the Nexus 7 is only about an ounce heavier. Either one should…
Wednesday, 07 November 2012 14:50

Faster Browser For Windows Is

  (Photo Credit: Alamy) Fastest Browsers: Internet Explorer 10 For Windows, Chrome 19 For Mac, Says Report Microsoft has been playing up the speed of of Internet Explorer in a flashy TV advertisement lately, and according to at least one research firm, the much-maligned web browser may actually deliver the goods. Internet Explorer 10 -- the edition of Microsoft's own browser designed especially for use on the hot-off-the-presses Windows 8 operating system -- is the fastest browser for Windows, per the findings of app management startup New Relic. In a blog post on the New Relic website, the firm claims to be monitoring application performance on 40 billion page views per month across several different operating systems, and it has taken that big amount of data and analyzed it to determine the fastest browsers on each operating system. For Windows, the winner was IE10 (only available on Windows 8, for now); IE9 was a close second, followed by versions of Firefox, Safari and Chrome. On the Mac, the newest version of Chrome -- Chrome 19 -- finished first, followed by several prior Chrome releases and Firefox. (Curiously, Apple's Safari browser -- specially designed by Apple for its own Mac operating…
Tuesday, 06 November 2012 14:04

Instagram Coming To Web

(CNN) -- Photo-sharing app Instagram has attracted more than 100 million users by encouraging people to snap pictures with their smartphones, dress them up with filters and share them with friends. In the two years since Instagram launched, it's been a mobile-only network for an increasingly mobile society. Now that's about to change. Instagram announced Monday it will be adapting user photos and data into Web-based profiles for people to enjoy from laptops or desktops. Each Web profile will feature a selection of recently shared photographs along with the user's profile photo and bio, offering a quick visual snapshot of someone's interests and aesthetic. "We're launching Web profiles to give you a simple way to share your photos with more people and to make it easier to discover new users on the Web," Instagram said in a blog post. Photos are expandable on the new Web pages, meaning your followers will be able to view your prized pics in a larger, 6x6-inch format instead of peering at those little square images on their phones. "It strikes me that a quick, dynamic overview of your life in pictures is maybe even more compelling than the overall Facebook Timeline because it's so…
Tuesday, 06 November 2012 14:04

Instagram coming to web

(CNN) -- Photo-sharing app Instagram has attracted more than 100 million users by encouraging people to snap pictures with their smartphones, dress them up with filters and share them with friends. In the two years since Instagram launched, it's been a mobile-only network for an increasingly mobile society. Now that's about to change. Instagram announced Monday it will be adapting user photos and data into Web-based profiles for people to enjoy from laptops or desktops. Each Web profile will feature a selection of recently shared photographs along with the user's profile photo and bio, offering a quick visual snapshot of someone's interests and aesthetic. "We're launching Web profiles to give you a simple way to share your photos with more people and to make it easier to discover new users on the Web," Instagram said in a blog post. Photos are expandable on the new Web pages, meaning your followers will be able to view your prized pics in a larger, 6x6-inch format instead of peering at those little square images on their phones. "It strikes me that a quick, dynamic overview of your life in pictures is maybe even more compelling than the overall Facebook Timeline because it's so…
Monday, 05 November 2012 09:00

Android's Just Crushing iOS

Android Market Share: 3 Of 4 Smartphones Purchased In Past 3 Months Use Google's OS SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Three out of every four smartphones sold in the third quarter featured Google Inc's Android mobile operating system, as the gap between Google and Apple Inc-based phones widened further, according to a new research report. Shipments of Android-based smartphones made by Samsung, HTC and other vendors nearly doubled in the third quarter, reaching 136 million units, according to industry research firm IDC. The strong sales boosted Android's share of the worldwide smartphone market to 75 percent, from 57.5 percent in the year-ago period. Apple's share of the market increased to 14.9 percent during the third quarter, from 13.8 percent a year earlier. Apple's iPhone uses the company's iOS mobile software. While Android pulled further ahead of Apple's iOS, its gains have come mainly at the expense of rival operating systems Blackberry and Symbian, with shipments of phones running those systems declining significantly. IDC analyst Kevin Restivo cited Android's close "tie-ins" to Google's broad array of online services, which include online search and maps, as an important asset that has helped Android grow. "Google has a thriving, multi-faceted product portfolio. Many of…
Friday, 02 November 2012 15:06

'Girls Who Code'

On Monday night, the monitors, keyboards and buzzing screens on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange in downtown Manhattan were pushed aside for foamcore boards adorned with construction paper and smartphones perched on tall tables. Where traders usually stood, teen girls took their place. The 20 young women manning the boards were the first group of graduates from a Girls Who Code eight-week summer course, a program designed to attract more women to technical fields by teaching them how to build mobile apps and websites, launch a company and pitch investors. With support from companies like Twitter, General Electric, eBay and Google, the graduates also took part in mini-internships with New York tech companies and were assigned mentors from the field. Like so many tech-industry events, the Girls Who Code gala was more of a "demo" than a ceremony: a display of what the organization argues can be done to change the gender ratio in tech by helping young women develop engineering and computer science skills. Reshma Saujani, the founder of Girls Who Code and New York City's former deputy public advocate, announced that the organization will be launching in seven additional cities in 2013, with the goal…
Thursday, 01 November 2012 14:21

Facebook Killing Craiglist?

Facebook is testing a new service that might make Craigslist a thing of the past. Two sources within Facebook, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, have independently told The Daily that development of a classifieds project is on a fast track, not just as a way to not just engage its millions of users but also as a way of allowing them to engage each other. The new tool, which is tentatively called Marketplace (borrowed from another deprecated Facebook app) would allow users to create short advertisements that appear in their friends' news feeds notifying them of everything from apartment rentals to furniture sales to job boards. In short, practically anything you do on Craigslist can be done with this new service. Let's say you're trying to sell a couch. Much like the way Facebook's "promoted posts" work you'd pay a nominal (less than $5) fee and a tidy little ad for a used couch would appear in your friends' feeds. Currently, "promoted" posts appear slightly segregated in news feeds and have a marginally different look. The new ads could include multiple photos and links to external resources. Users can also elect to "share" a post on their own…
Wednesday, 31 October 2012 14:12

Reviewers Aren't Happy With Ipad Mini

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Apple Inc's entry in the accelerating mobile tablet race squeezes about 35 percent more viewing space onto a lighter package than rival devices from Google or Amazon.com Inc, but it sports inferior resolution and a lofty price tag, two influential reviewers wrote on Tuesday. The iPad mini, which starts at $329 versus the $199 for Google's Nexus 7 and Amazon's Kindle Fire HD, is easy to hold with one hand, eliminating a drawback of the 10-inch iPad, Wall Street Journal columnist Walt Mossberg wrote in one of the first major reviews of a gadget introduced last week. Both Mossberg and New York Times columnist David Pogue offered kudos for cramming most of its full-sized cousin's functions onto a smaller device, as advertised. But the iPad mini's 1024 x 768 resolution was a big step backwards from the iPad's much-touted Retina display, and underperformed the rival Kindle and Nexus, the two reviewers agreed. Mossberg said Apple chose to go with a lower-quality display because the existing 250,000-plus iPad applications could only run unmodified in two resolutions - and the higher level would have sapped too much power. "The lack of true HD gives the Nexus and Fire…
Tuesday, 30 October 2012 14:50

Sandy knocks out HuffPo, BuzzFeed

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- A number of popular websites went down late Monday after Superstorm Sandy took out a major Internet service provider. The Huffington Post, Gawker and many other sites were unreachable after Datagram, a New York-based provider of corporate Internet connections and servers, said it was battling flooding in its offices. The floods caused Datagram's fiber network to lose power, and the company said its backup generators were rendered useless because the diesel fuel pumps used to refuel generators were offline. Datagram is located on 33 Whitehall Street in Battery Park -- a large area of reclaimed land at the southern tip of Manhattan that was in an evacuation zone. It was among the worst-hit areas in the city. BuzzFeed, another Datagram customer, was able to get its site back up online Tuesday morning, helped by content delivery network Akamai (AKAM), which hosts the site's content. But BuzzFeed couldn't update its website, and directed readers to its Tumblr page. On its Tumblr page, the company said Datagram told its staff that its basement was flooded with five feet of water. A Datagram representative was unreachable for comment. Many sites were updating their status on Twitter and publishing news…
Monday, 29 October 2012 14:23

Samsung Outsold Iphone

Apple, fresh off reporting blistering iPhone sales last quarter, has actually received a thorough whipping from Samsung in shipments of smartphones around the world. According to new figures released by market analytics firm International Data Corporation (IDC), Samsung moved a staggering 56.3 million smartphone units during the third quarter of the year, giving the company a 31-percent share of the global smartphone market. Apple, by comparison, shipped 26.9 million iPhones (a figure in line with sales Apple reported in its quarterly earnings on Thursday), giving the Cupertino-based company a 15-percent market share. Put another way, Samsung shipped twice as many smartphones as Apple did during the months of July, August and September in 2012. Not bad for a company that Apple once claimed "slavishly copies" Apple product designs. IDC attributes Samsung's impressive quarterly shipments to, among other factors, the release of the Galaxy S3 handset, which was available in 145 countries by July 2012. Shortly before the launch of Apple's iPhone 5, Canaccord Genuity analyst Michael Walkley reported that in August 2012 the Galaxy S3 briefly became the best-selling smartphone in the U.S., based on figures from the country's top four wireless carriers. However, iPhone 5 units have been flying…
Friday, 26 October 2012 14:44

Rich off 'free' phones?

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- One of America's fastest-growing wireless carriers is a company you've probably never heard of: Tracfone Wireless. It's the U.S. arm of a telecom empire controlled by the world's richest man, Carlos Slim, and it's the biggest player in an increasingly lucrative market: subsidized mobile phones for low-income Americans. The subsidy became a political flashpoint recently thanks to an incendiary YouTube video featuring a Cleveland resident praising her free "Obama phone." Hype from the Drudge Report and conservative ringleaders like Rush Limbaugh propelled the video to nearly 5 million pageviews. The real story behind the phones is more nuanced than the 45-second clip. The subsidy is from a government-created program called Lifeline, which is paid for by customer fees on most phone bills. The program is overseen by the Federal Communications Commission, and has its roots in a universal access initiative that began in 1985, during Ronald Reagan's administration. Here's how it works: If you're eligible for other forms of government assistance like Medicaid or food stamps (the rules differ by state), then you qualify to receive a $9.25 per month phone subsidy. Participating wireless companies will typically offer a free phone (paid for by the company),…
Thursday, 25 October 2012 15:24

Best Things, Microsoft Surface

Courtesy of Microsoft 1. Multitasking You swipe from the left to switch between your open apps, and as you can see it can get C R A Z Y, in a good way. Also, you can run two apps at once, with one app docked to the side in a smaller window (which is useful for Twitter and monitoring incoming email). 2. Surface and Touch Cover It's fun. But more importantly, it means if a kid grabs your 1.5-pound Surface by the cover and waves it around it (probably) won't go flying. 3. Uh, it has a kickstand 4. Kickstand is so cool, we have to mention it twice. Kickstand! 5. You can type on it like a real computer 6. SmartGlass is the coolest way to watch movies When it works like it's supposed to, SmartGlass isn't a just a giant remote for your Xbox or a way to beam movies and music from your Surface to your TV, it also takes all the work out of IMDBing while you're watching a movie. 7. Oh, and you can charge your phone with it Boom.   http://www.buzzfeed.com/mattbuchanan/the-7-best-things-about-microsoft-surface