I am a Comcast Xfinity subscriber, and yesterday I got upgraded to the company's X1 cable box. I am enjoying the modern interface of the channel guide, the improved search functionality, and the potential to record four shows at the same time while watching a fifth. What I am not enjoying is the lack of a 30-second skip button, which I was able to program on my old remote.
I have come to rely on my 30-second skip button to zip through commercials and find it's a necessity this time of year for watching football and October baseball. … Read more
Motorola has cooked up a device that lets you dispense with PINs to unlock your smartphone.
Known as Skip, the thumb-sized gadget can clip on to your pocket, belt, shirt sleeve, or other area. Using near-field communications, Skip pairs with your smartphone. After the pairing, just tap Skip with your phone to unlock the screen.
Three Skip dots are also part of the package. You can stick the dots on any surface, such as your nightstand, your car's dashboard, or your desk. To unlock your phone, just tap it to the dot.… Read more
There's new fuel for the fire that Apple's working on technology for an updated TV set-top box or TV platform.
Citing unnamed sources, tech writer Jessica Lessin (formerly of The Wall Street Journal), says Apple's been meeting with cable companies to pitch a service that would enable TV viewers to skip commercials.
That feature would be worked into a "premium" service Apple TV owners would buy into, the report says, adding that Apple would then pay networks when it occurred.
Apple's TV set-top box remains limited to prerecorded content instead of live TV channels, … Read more
iHeartRadio is an old favorite of mine that lets you stream radio from over 1,500 live radio stations or create custom stations based on a song or artist. The best thing about it, though, is that your custom stations are completely ad-free.
Live radio stations from all over the U.S. are available, including everything from pop, country, rock, electronic, and urban, to talk and college stations. You can browse by genre or location and listen to music until you hit a song you don't like, then hit the Scan button to move on to another radio station (… Read more
For me, there are no worse time-sucks than social media and online shopping. Online games, however, have never been a problem. Until now.
Tip or Skip, which launched today with $2 million in funding from 500 Startups, John Ason, Corinthian Group, and angel investors, combines a Fancy or Pinterest-like online shopping experience with a game element.
Started by two childhood friends -- Michael Weiksner, a persuasive-technology specialist who has studied under B.J. Fogg, and Nathaniel McNamara, a mobile-commerce specialist -- the site aims to keep shoppers engaged by appealing to their trend-spotting sensibilities. The idea is that if you … Read more
Like rival Dish, DirecTV has access to technology that could allow millions of subscribers to automatically skip TV commercials, but executives don't see much reason to offer it to consumers.
Mike White, CEO of largest satellite provider in the U.S., said at a media conference today that DirecTV bought the technology five years ago from a company called Replay TV but has not seen a reason to offer it to consumers, according to a Reuters account.
"We haven't chosen to use it," White said at the Reuters Global Media and Technology Summit in New York. &… Read more
Dish's new ad-skipping feature has aroused anger among TV broadcasters, but the company's chairman sees it as a wake-up call to the industry.
In a recent interview with The Wall Street Journal, Dish Chairman Charlie Ergen defended Ad Hop, the new feature that lets Dish viewers skip advertisements.
Cheap Web-based TV is a threat to pay TV, believes Ergen, a trend created in part by the networks themselves because of their failure to develop ads better targeted toward viewers. Ergen is hoping Ad Hop will convince TV networks to create "more meaningful" ads that people won'… Read more
In today's show, we're putting filters on Facebook, paying with our phones and watching the networks get hoppin' mad:
A battle is brewing in court between the major television networks and Dish Network's commercial-skipping Hopper DVR. The fight centers around a feature in the Hopper DVR called Auto Hop, which lets users instantly skip commercials for a show recorded the day prior from a major network during prime time. (No need for a fast-forward button!) Fox, NBC and CBS are suing Dish, arguing that commercial skipping violates copyright. And Fox added another layer to it, saying that … Read more