Apple to Launch TV Experience 'Dizzying in Scope'

· · Link

Family viewing TV

Digital Trends writes: “Apple is on the cusp of launching a major new product: A TV viewing experience that is dizzying in scope, and unlike anything on the market. Much more than just a streaming service, Apple’s new vision hopes to encompass both live TV and on-demand video, and be accessible on virtually any screen.”

This article is the most comprehensive exploration of Apple’s new TV service yet published and rumored to be launched on March 25. It’s a must-read.

Pinna Gets Your Kids into Podcasts and Audiobooks

· · Link

Meghan Moravcik Walbert writes how she introduced her son to podcasts and audiobooks with a streaming service called Pinna.

I’ve been wanting to introduce him to podcasts for some time. He’s the sort of kid who plays while he watches TV, so he tends to listen to a show more than fully watch the show. Plus, he loves to read and create his own comic books, so storytelling in general is something that he, like most kids, is very much into.

Show Your Pride With a Limited Edition Rainbow Venmo Card

· · Link

You can now get a limited edition rainbow Venmo card until supplies last. It will be available starting March 4.

We launched the Limited Edition rainbow card based on the positive response we received from our customers when we launched the initial set of six colorful cards. We know our users love to pick a card color that best suits their own personality and style, so the card design is inspired by many of our existing card colors and gives our users an even more vibrant option for their wallets and at checkout.

The card looks great and if I used Venmo I would totally get one.

Apple Asks Court to Reconsider VirnetX Case

· · Link

Apple Scales of Justice

Apple is set to ask the federal court to reconsider a case that resulted in it being told to pay VirnetX $439 million. A court in the Eastern District of Texas found Apple had infringed the internet software firm’s patents. Apple wants that case reconsidered. The legal battle between the two firms has been running since 2010. AppleInsider provided an update on the latest developments.

In a continuation of a long and costly legal battle between Apple and VirnetX, following its failure to convince the U.S. Court of Appeals that it should not have to pay a high cost for patent infringement, Apple is taking a new tactic in attempting to change the result. Rather than going to a higher court, Apple is asking for a reconsideration.  According to Law360, Apple petitioned the entire Federal Circuit on Thursday to rehear a panel discussion that upheld the $439 million Eastern District of Texas jury verdict.

With Roma, Netflix Could Become Hollywood Royalty

· · Link

Roma Netlflix

Netflix film Roma is hotly tipped in the best picture category Oscar at Sunday night’s Academy Awards. Were it to win, it would mark a significant moment for digital media in general, and Netflix in particular. Lucas Shaw wrote on Bloomberg News that it would be proof that the company has gone from being a techy outsider to Hollywood royalty. With increased investment in original content, it looks like a tech company will be winning an Oscar in the very near future.

“Roma” is the first nominee for best picture that was essentially a digital release — though it had a limited theatrical run — and Netflix would be the first technology company to clinch Hollywood’s top prize. Whether or not Netflix wins, an online movie will certainly be crowned best picture sooner or later, said Rich Greenfield, an analyst with BTIG LLC. Inc. and Apple Inc. are both spending billions of dollars on programming, and even Walt Disney Co. plans to release digital movies that won’t appear in theaters.

New NASA Book Reveals Stunning Images of Earth From Space

· · Cool Stuff Found

NASA released new book Wednesday containing a collection of stunning pictures of Earth taken by satellites. The hardcover version of Earth costs $53. However, NASA has also released free e-book, PDF and HTML versions. The HTML version is interactive. The pictures certainly make you, as an individual feel rather small. As writer Michael Carlowicz puts it in the forward: “For all of the dynamism and detail we can observe from orbit, sometimes it is worth stepping back and simply admiring Earth.”

New NASA Book Reveals Stunning Images of Earth From Space

How Netflix Makes the World Smaller With International Culture

· · Link

An opinion piece by Farhad Manjoo caught my eye. He writes how, instead of Netflix exporting American culture, it shares international culture with everyone.

Despite a supposed surge in nationalism across the globe, many people like to watch movies and TV shows from other countries. “What we’re learning is that people have very diverse and eclectic tastes, and if you provide them with the world’s stories, they will be really adventurous, and they will find something unexpected,” Cindy Holland, Netflix’s vice president for original content, told me.

Mr. Manjoo also mentions the difference between Netflix and other tech companies. Netflix sells subscriptions, not advertising. I think this is an important difference, in case foreigners get a negative impression from our typically garish ads.

Facebook Shuts Down Onavo Spyware...We Think

· · Link

Facebook is shutting down its Onavo spyware VPN and associated “research” app. That is, if you believe anything Facebook says.

To preempt any more scandals around Onavo and the Facebook Research app and avoid Google stepping in to forcibly block the apps, Facebook is now taking Onavo off the Play Store and stopping recruitment of Research testers. That’s a surprising voluntary move that perhaps shows Facebook is finally getting in tune with the public perception of its shady actions.

Eh, I wouldn’t go that far. Not with Facebook blaming users when it screws them over.

Playing Fast and Loose with 5G Nomenclature

· · Link

5G graphic (mesh)

Some mobile phone carriers just can’t help themselves. They’re constantly fiddling with nomenclature to influence customers and gain a competitive edge. Wired writes:

AT&T is engaging in a marketing ploy—one it has used in the past. The 5GE symbol really means a phone is using advanced LTE technology, which is available on other carriers and is slower than the 10-gigabyte speeds 5G promises. When the company introduces actual 5G tech, it plans to call it 5G+ instead. Sprint is suing AT&T over the nomenclature, alleging it constitutes deceptive advertising.