One year ago, famous filmmakers asked YouTube viewers to upload a video reflecting a day in their lives. According to the filmmakers, people from all over the world uploaded a cumulative 80,000 videos, with 4,500 hours of footage.
The result of their edited efforts is the 90-minute documentary "Life in a Day." It's been described as "a historic cinematic experiment to create a documentary film about a single day on Earth."
Presented by YouTube and National Geographic, the film was made by a mighty duo of producer Ridley Scott and director Kevin Macdonald. … Read more
Those who are both Facebook members and Netflix subscribers will soon be able to tie their two identities together in certain ways, but only if they live in Canada or Latin America.
In announcing its second-quarter earnings yesterday (PDF), Netflix touched on the topic of its integration with the popular social network.
The video service explained that it has made progress with Facebook integration and is looking to launch an in-network feature sometime in the third quarter. But users in the United States will apparently be out of luck.
"At this point, we plan to launch this initiative only … Read more
Google has responded to the many people upset over its Google+ profile name restrictions by tweaking the controversial policy.
In a Google+ post published late yesterday, Bradley Horowitz, vice president of product for Google+, acknowledged that many of the violations from users of the Google+ name policy were "well-intentioned and inadvertent" and that for these people, the process can be "frustrating and disappointing."
Televisions that can connect to the Web and offer built-in applications are set to see strong sales growth in the coming years, a new study from research firm In-Stat has found.
According to the company, shipments of smart TVs will be up by an average of 36 percent over the next five years.
Built-in applications are becoming an increasingly common feature in HDTVs. A host of HDTV makers, including Samsung, Vizio, and Panasonic, among others, currently offer users the ability to access apps from their televisions. Several companies offer apps on televisions, including Netflix, Vudu, and YouTube.
Reed Hastings sure can't be accused of sugarcoating anything.
Yesterday, the Netflix CEO and his company made a few more statements about a planned price increase that has many customers accusing the company of greed and threatening to quit the service.
After Netflix announced the increase on July 12, some had predicted that the blistering customer response would force managers to recognize it had erred and re-evaluate its decision. On the contrary, in the most recent statements, the company sounded full of confidence and even cheerful about the financial benefits the price increase would offer Netflix.
Whether or not Netflix has good reason to raise prices, the company has demonstrated that it doesn't know how to deliver bad news. Two weeks ago, Netflix left it to a little-known manager to announce prices were going up in a blog post. Netflix informed customers that starting in September it would do away with a popular $10-per-month subscription plan that offered DVD rentals as well as unlimited access to the company's streaming-video library. Subscribers will have to pay for streaming and DVDs separately and each costs $7.99 per month, or $15.98 per month for both.
The message was a "a disaster," says Howard Belk, co-CEO and chief creative officer at Siegel + Gale, which advises companies on their brand strategies and customer experience. "The tone was wrong, the quantity of information was too little, and it came out of left field. The message didn't reflect any value to their customer base." … Read more
Yesterday, we reported that Apple had finally cracked down on iOS e-reading apps, enforcing its new in-app subscription rules that require app developers to strip out any links to external mechanisms for purchasing digital books or subscriptions. Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Kobo all altered their apps to reflect the rules change, removing any links or mentions of their respective company Websites.
Now Kobo is first out of the gate to announce that it's prepping an HTML5 Web app that will be accessible through Safari on the iPad, iPhone, or iPod Touch, and will provide improved functionality even beyond … Read more
Amazon reports its second-quarter results later today, and Wall Street analysts will have one eye on the actual financials and another one on new revenue streams expected to emerge in the back half of 2011.
For the quarter ended June 30, Wall Street is expecting earnings of 35 cents a share on revenue of $9.38 billion. Keep in mind that the second quarter is usually Amazon's slowest of the year. According to Thomson Reuters, Amazon is expected to deliver revenue of $10.35 billion in the third quarter and $17.4 billion in the fourth quarter.
In other words, Amazon is your typical retailer that lives for the final three months of the year. The difference is that Amazon has a lot of interesting side businesses that can turn out to be big revenue streams in the future. Here's a look at some future items that will be the focus of analyst questions. Unfortunately, it's highly unlikely that Amazon will provide much comment or detail.
Amazon's tablet. It has been clear for months that Amazon is prepping the contract equipment supply chain for a tablet. And given Amazon's biggest quarter is the fourth, it's also likely that this tablet--perhaps with new Kindles--will appear in the next few weeks. Big projects just don't happen in the fourth quarter at a retailer--there's too much at stake. As noted previously, Amazon's tablet would transition the company even more toward digital delivery and boost margins. In fact, Amazon isn't likely to make any money from its tablet. Why? The device will be subsidized by e-commerce sales and ads.
Analysts are betting that Amazon's tablet may break the $299 mark. That price would undercut other Android rivals.… Read more
Microsoft should consider selling Bing, says a Reuters opinion piece that's gained attention in the last day or so, after being published last Friday.
Though the search engine has grown in market share and popularity since its debut in 2009, it's still a money-losing proposition and a distraction for its parent, claims Reuters columnist Robert Cyran. Despite the flush of cash that Microsoft has poured into Bing, the search's engine's online services division lost $2.6 billion in the company's latest fiscal year, he says.
Microsoft believes Bing provides a boost to some of its … Read more
Yet another management shuffle at AOL, which has been doing this consistently since CEO Tim Armstrong arrived from Google two years ago. The newest headline: sales chief Jeff Levick, one of Armstrong's key initial hires, is out, replaced by his former deputy Ned Brody.
Other departures include two recent hires: Lauren Hurvitz, brought on last fall to run PR; and HR head Kathy Andreasen, who joined at the same time.