Google just rolled out its Play Movies service, which offers Hollywood Blockbusters for rent or sale, in a whole bunch of additional countries — 39, to be precise, including a number of countries in Central and South America, Europe and Africa. This means that Google Play Movies is now available in about 60 countries around the world. However, TV show episodes are still just available in Australia, Japan, United Kingdom, United States.
Cloudera has raised a $160 million round of venture capital led by T. Rowe Price. This conflicts with an earlier report that the Hadoop vendor was raising more than $200 million with Intel leading the way. Read more »
All of a sudden the race to build an Android smartwatch is on thanks to Google’s Android Wear platform. LG appears to have a head-start as the G Watch will be the first using Android Wear. The Moto 360 won’t be far behind though. Read more »
GE wants to use old-school technology in our newest mobile devices. It’s resurrecting the mechanical relay on the microscopic level, saying its mechanical switch technology could squeeze more capacity at lower power out of our smartphones. Read more »
In an attempt to get more riders during slower times, Lyft is introducing a “Happy Hour” discount that cuts prices at times of low demand. Read more »
Consumers who had problems with the screens of their 27 inch iMacs are out of luck after a judge threw out a proposed class action. Read more »
Self-driving cars are imminent and will be transformational, says designer and technologist Bran Ferren. Read more »
The latest Snowden-derived story, this time from the Washington Post, gives us a broad outline of a program called MYSTIC, through which the NSA can record all voice calls in a country and store them in a searchable archive. Read more »
Longtime Pandora CTO and SVP of Product Tom Conrad is leaving: Conrad announced with a blog post Tuesday that he will be “transitioning to an adviser role” in three months, which is corporate speak for leaving, but on good terms. Former Pandora VP of Engineering Chris Martin has been promoted to Chief Technology Officer, and the company has started to look for a Chief Product Officer. Conrad can be credited for shaping Pandora’s technology strategy, which involved an early focus on mobile, and more recently, an embrace of open standards for connected TV and whole-home audio platforms.
As one might expect, Level 3 isn’t happy about paid peering and the power that ISPs have in the negotiating process. So it wants the FCC to make it a net neutrality issue. Read more »
Connecting billions of devices to the internet and then building services around the data those devices collect will require a shift in the way we think about data centers. You’re going to have to accept the cloud. Read more »
I suggested a watch built around Google Now and other Google services last year. Here it comes. Or rather, here they come: On Tuesday, Google released Android Wear for its hardware partners to power smart watches. Read more »
Startup claims it can loose the ties that bind developers to unwieldy desktop-based IDEs and now has new cash to push that vision. Read more »
Power your enterprise with data-driven insight by making the most of big data and data science. This requires you to think big and differently. But not in the ways you may assume. Asking the wrong questions will limit the capabilities of your data. Read more »
A Facebook research paper details a new method for recognizing the people in images by combining deep learning techniques with a method for recomposing angled images as straight-on ones. It’s the latest in a series of advances web companies have made in this field. Read more »
The Elance denial-of-service attack has been going on for over a day now, though it is now only sporadic. Elance says it has bought in new defences to try cope. Meanwhile oDesk says it got hit by a briefer, separate attack. Read more »
Last year when HTC announced the One, it was two months before you could buy it. A new year could mean a new strategy even if the new phone has an old name: Carphone Warehouse says it will sell the HTC One next week. Read more »
Toy maker GoldieBlox’s decision to turn a sexist rap song into a girl power commercial touched off a lawsuit last fall and led to a debate about the limits of parody and fair use. While GoldieBlox had used the Beastie Boys’ song in a clearly transformative fashion, the company also appeared to be acting with blatantly cynical and commercial motives. Alas for copyright scholars, who had hoped a court ruling might shed more light on the issue, the two sides have quietly settled the issue on undisclosed terms.
The old iPad 2 has been replaced by a newer old iPad. Confused? Don’t be: For the same $399 as the iPad 2 you now can get a fourth-generation iPad with Retina Display. Read more »
Hadoop pioneer Cloudera is reportedly raising “at least $200 million” from a group of investors that includes Hadoop competitor Intel. If true, it raises some interesting questions about how the two companies might decide to co-exist. Read more »
Leslie Lamport, who spent time at SRI International and Digital Equipment before joining Microsoft, is the latest recipient of the coveted A.M. Turing Award. Read more »
Viacom ended its $1 billion copyright lawsuit against Google over unauthorized YouTube uploads. The companies now plan to work more closely together. Read more »
Sonos is giving its mobile controller apps a much-needed overhaul, starting with the Android app. More support for third-party apps could also be on its way. Read more »
Now that every company is essentially a software company, it’s time to start asking our software new questions. Read more »
Microsoft’s new CEO Satya Nadella will unveil the long-awaited iPad version of the Office productivity suite next week in San Francisco, sources confirm. Read more »
After teasing Mac users with an iOS version, Microsoft has finally released OneNote for Mac OS X. The wait was worth it. Read more »
Amid various reports of slow iPhone 5c sales, Apple released a lower-priced 8 GB version of the handset. Will it boost sales by attracting more customers who might otherwise find cheaper Android or Windows Phones? Read more »
Databricks, the company behind the commercialization of the Apache Spark data-processing framework, is certifying third-party software to run on the platform. Spark is gaining popularity as a faster, easier alternative to MapReduce in Hadoop environments. Read more »
After seven years, d.light is starting to have a sizable impact on the lives of rural villagers in India and Africa. Read more »
The wording of the proposal, included in a wider package of telecoms legislation, is vague enough to let ISPs favor certain content providers on their “open internet” offerings. Read more »
The deal gives Yandex an office in Israel that will handle much of its geolocation work that doesn’t require constant mobile tracking. Read more »
I love cooking, and I love connected devices, so this week I chat with the CEO of The Orange Chef Co. about bringing the internet of things into the kitchen. Read more »
Once again, you’ll be able to watch all 67 March Madness games live online, or on your iPad, iPhone or Android device. But roughly two-thirds of the games will require authentication. Check out our guide for all the details. Read more »
Monday was a rough day for ridesharing companies in Seattle, as Geekwire reports that the city council voted to approve a cap on ridesharing programs. The council voted unanimously to limit the number of cars allowed on Seattle roads to 150 per company, separating the regulations of a “transportation network company” from the longstanding Seattle taxi and for-hire service. The ordinance is expected to go into effect 30 days after Seattle mayor Ed Murray signs it (he has no veto power as the vote was unanimous). It’s a crushing blow to ridesharing companies that have set up shop in Seattle and see it as a key to the Pacific Northwest.
BitTorrent-based video streaming app Popcorn Time may be the media darling of the moment, but it doesn’t account for a whole lot of P2P traffic — at least not yet. Popcorn Time usage makes up for less than 1 percent of torrent downloads in March, according to Variety, which tapped German P2P analytics company Excipio for the data. Popcorn Time offers users the ability to stream videos directly as opposed to having to download them first to their hard drives. The app first surfaced in early March, got briefly shut down by its own developers soon after, and resurfaced only days later on different servers.
Former New York Times blogger Nate Silver launched his new data-driven site FiveThirtyEight on Monday morning, but can he find a broad enough — and deep enough — market for the kind of number-oriented explanatory journalism he wants to focus on? Read more »
AT&T is phasing out its “it’s not complicated” ad campaign in favor of new commercials that show just how complicated its network can be. Read more »
The wearables race is on and Samsung is trying to pull ahead before Google releases tools for Android developers. Samsung’s Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo run on Tizen and now have an SDK of their own, along with 100 app partners. Read more »
Whoever said there’s no such thing as bad press didn’t envisage the nightmare scenario Github is facing right now. Read more »
It’s a big year for big data. In the past few months, we’ve written a plethora of stories around the topic and condensed them for your big data pleasure. Here’s our big data roundup. Read more »