Disney Eyes More Acquisitions, With A Focus On Digital Distribution

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rasulo Disney make a splash last year when it acquired Maker Studios for at least $500 million to expand its position in online video, and its acquisition march is not done. It next target is likely to be something to further the company’s distribution across digital networks, according to one executive at the company. “I don’t want to be predictive about our next acquisition but… Read More

CEO Leslie Moonves Explains CBS’ Streaming Strategy: “I Don’t Care Where You Watch Our Shows”

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leslie moonves New technology may be the focus of the Consumer Electronics Show, but CBS President and CEO Leslie Moonves argued on-stage today that tech may not be changing his business as much as you might think. “At the end of the day, you still have to tell good stories,” he said during an interview with MediaLink’s Michael Kassan. Moonves contrasted that approach with a presentation from… Read More

I tried Sling TV at CES 2015, and now I’m cancelling cable

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Two days ago, Dish CEO Joe Clayton made a grand entrance to his company’s CES press event. Backed by a marching band, Clayton himself walked out with a giant drum strapped to his chest. There was a good reason for his over-the-top arrival: Dish went on to publicly unveil Sling Television, an internet TV streaming service that packages ESPN, TBS, TNT, CNN, Disney Channel, and other networks for $20 per month. No contracts, and no strings attached. If ESPN should one one day disappear from Sling TV’s channel lineup — or if you find yourself missing AMC and FX — you’re free to bail at any time. But after trying it out here on the CES show floor, I think I’ve convinced myself to make a break with cable.

No matter where or what device…

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A solar solution for 1.2 billion people without electric light

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Come along with The Verge for a special, Consumer Electronics Show 2015 edition of Detours. We’ve combed through CES presenters to discover companies and products addressing and solving big, critical issues in new and unconventional ways.

In the developed world, access to electric light is a given. But for 1.2 billion people around the world, electricity — and the light that comes with it — is a tenuous and treasured resource. Without it, store owners close shop early, students can’t do their homework, and productivity drops.

See all the latest CES 2015 news here ›

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These are the amazing ‘free-form’ displays that Nintendo may be using

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Sharp first showed off its unique Free-Form Displays last year, and the technology took on a whole other level of intrigue when it was reported that Nintendo would be the first customer — possibly for a new portable games console, or the company’s mysterious sleep-tracking device. The latest prototypes are on display at CES 2015, so we thought we’d take a look for ourselves.

The displays are an evolution of Sharp’s IGZO technology, and can be cut into virtually any shape. (Nintendo reportedly, inexplicably wants a doughnut-shaped display with a hole in the middle.) The gate driver circuits are embedded into the active area of the display, allowing for ultra-thin bezels and unprecedented form factors.

Sharp’s prototypes are mostly…

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LG makes even normal appliances seem weird at CES 2015

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You can always find weirdly high-tech appliances at CES, be it a washing machine that receives text messages or a refrigerator with a tablet grafted onto it. But you can also find some of the strangest versions of everyday appliances, too. And this year, the strangest are definitely at LG’s booth.

The appliance that attracted the biggest crowd was easily LG’s Twin Wash washing machine. It’s mostly just a normal washing machine, but on the bottom there’s a second miniature washing machine. LG’s idea is that you can put in two loads at once to save time or use the mini washer for a small number of delicates that you want to put on a different cycle. The bottom machine uses less water and takes less time, too, so it could be good for…

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Neil DeGrasse Tyson is getting a late night National Geographic talk show

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Neil DeGrasse Tyson’s foray into television with the reboot of Cosmos last year has led to another show about science. Today the National Geographic Channel said that it’s tapping Tyson for what will be its first late-night series, called Star Talk. According to a release about the new program, obtained by The Wrap, it’s going to be a lot like Tyson’s podcast, which has been running since June 2009:

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Kraftwerk Is A Power Plant That Fits In The Palm Of Your Hand

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c0debf4c7f5058476fc4639599014ecd_large It looks and acts like a battery pack but kraftwerk is actually the first hand-held fuel cell generator that can regenerate energy in less than 3 seconds. And it can power all your mobile devices for weeks. kraftwerk, which translates to “power station” in German, is the product of eZelleron, an engineering team that spun out of… Read More

Nvidia’s Automotive Ambitions Include Big Brains In The Car And In The Cloud

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most-advanced Nvidia’s focus this year on CES is on the Tegra X1 mobile chipset, a brand new SoC that offers desktop-like computing performance for a range of mobile devices, including smartphones and tablets, but extending also to automobiles. Already, Nvidia has a strong presence in the car, powering many of the in-car infotainment systems on the market from most of the major auto manufacturers. The… Read More

Susan Crawford explains the dangers of ‘free’ data plans

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Free data sounds like a good thing, but a new article from net neutrality icon Susan Crawford says a new breed of partially free data plans could spell doom for the open web. Crawford’s target is zero-rating, a system that lets content companies buy out specific portions of a given user’s data plan, offering effectively free data as long as you’re using the right apps. Under this system, Google might pay AT&T to make YouTube exempt from any data caps, giving AT&T customers the chance to go wild with video consumption, but also shutting smaller competitors like Vimeo out of the picture entirely.

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Dear Twitter: you still suck at helping people get rid of violent harassment

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Some of the worst harassment on the web is on Twitter. Just today, I had to call my colleagues at The Verge into action to report an anonymous egg who made rape and death threats against a Vox Media employee — it’s far from the first time we’ve had to do it, and it probably won’t be the last.

Twitter has promised to strengthen its response to harassment on its platform, and has taken some positive steps in that direction, but it’s still failing on a very basic level. When you block someone and report them on one Twitter client (again, in this case, for violent threats of rape and death), their tweets will still show up in timelines on other instances of Twitter. So, for example, if you block someone on the web and then walk outside and…

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Robotbase Wants To Put An Intelligent Robot In Every House

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LR3A0218 If it’s up to Robotbase, you’ll soon be coming home and a robot will greet you at the door. While you were away, the Robotbase Personal Robot patrolled your home, made sure the temperature was lowered when you left, maybe locked the door after you were gone and, through its built-in camera, allowed you to check in on your dog, too. Robotbase is launching its Kickstarter campaign… Read More

Switchmate Lets You Control Your Light Switches From Your Phone, No Rewiring Required

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switchmate2 From scrappy startups to mega giants like Philips and GE, it seems like everyone wants to build a smart lightbulb. After all, who wouldn’t want to be able to flip off that light they left on downstairs from the comfort of their bed?
Smart lightbulbs have one massive, glaring fault though: as soon as someone hits the light switch — as people tend to do — they’re… Read More

Sensibo Will Give Your Air Conditioners Nest-Like Intelligence And Remote Control

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9H9A7994 The majority of home climate control systems in the world just won’t work with Nest, because they’re not managed from a central control point, and instead consist of individual window or wall-mounted units that use an IR-based remote control to vary air temperature and fan speed. Sensibo is a startup that wants to make the approximately 1 billion climate control devices that… Read More

Valve’s next Dota 2 championship is happening in August

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Game developer Valve has announced the date for the next edition of its annual Dota 2 tournament. The 2015 version of The International will take place in Seattle on August 3rd and run until the 8th, lasting a full six days (that’s two days more than last year’s event). No other details were provided about the event, which will feature a total of 16 teams, but last year’s tournament proved to be a huge draw, raising a massive prize pool of $10 million and even gracing the front page of The New York Times. With the rapid growth of e-sports like Dota 2, this year’s edition will likely be even bigger. There’s no word yet on when tickets will go on sale.

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Vuzix’s Google Glass competitor finally works

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For the last two years at CES we’ve checked out the augmented reality eyewear made by the Rochester, NY company Vuzix. It went from a proof of concept in 2013 to a hands on with a looped demo video in 2014. This year, the product is finally finished and operational. We tried on a pair and found it pretty similar to Google Glass, a small screen project in the corner of our vision that we could read well enough. We could scroll through a few different services, like maps and a live video feed from the built in camera. But despite the assurances from Vuzix that the device was also stylish, we aren’t going to be wearing this around the office anytime soon.

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Tom Wheeler says FCC will vote on net neutrality on February 26th

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FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler has announced that his office will vote on an official proposal for net neutrality on February 26th. “We’re going to circulate it to the commissioners on February 5th and vote on it February 26th,” Wheeler told CEA President Gary Shapiro in a public interview at CES. Wheeler suggested the FCC might take a hybrid approach to the issue, but declined to give specifics on the commission’s approach. In November, President Obama urged the FCC to classify internet traffic under Title II, although Wheeler has declined to explicitly endorse the proposal.

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The music industry is mad because companies are sending mixtapes to prisoners

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Universal Music Group is going after group of companies that produce ready-made care packages that families can buy and send to prison inmates, saying that those packages contain illegal copies of its music that are being sold without permission, and for far less than market price. In a new federal lawsuit filed by Universal yesterday in California, the music giant accuses companies like the Centric Group, its affiliate the Keefe Commissary Network, and others of flat out stealing the work of its artists, and attempting to skirt copyright issues by calling the finished product a mixtape.

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