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Archive for December, 2013

Amazon Prime has record holiday sales

Posted by Alan at 10:44 AM on December 26, 2013

amazon prime logoThe holiday shopping season has drawn to a close and now Amazon is revealing a bit of information on what took place over the past month. The retailer experienced record sales through its popular Prime service, which offers free two-day shipping on all purchases, as well as streaming video and a Kindle lending library.

More than one million customers around the world became new Prime members in the third week of December. On Amazon’s peak shipping day, more Prime items were shipped worldwide than ever before. The entire 2013 holiday season was the best ever for Amazon, with more than 36.8 million items ordered worldwide on Cyber Monday, which is a record-breaking 426 items per second, and millions of customers unwrapped Kindle e-readers and Kindle Fire tablets this holiday season”, the company announced today.

Amazon also touted some of the numbers – digital media selection grew to more than 27 million movies, TV shows, songs, magazines, books, audiobooks, and popular apps and games in 2013, Prime Instant Video selection increased from 33,000 to more than 40,000 movies and TV episodes in 2013 and the first original series “Alpha House” and “Betas”.

Of course, thanks to woes experienced by UPS and FedEx, the company was also forced to offer apologies for packages not received on time, but his was not the fault of the retailer.

GNC-2013-12-23 #915 MacPro not all That!

Posted by geeknews at 2:23 PM on December 24, 2013

There are hints coming out that the new MacPro may not be all that as it stands today with the software that will support the news architecture. That will likely change quickly but you may want to wait in that purchase.

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New Media Show #32 with Scott Sigler

Posted by geeknews at 6:04 PM on December 23, 2013

In this episode we talk with Scott Sigler from ScottSigler.com on how he used Podcast to grow his base of readers for his books with his podcast. Every aspiring author needs to listen to this podcast

Contact the show: Rob or Todd @ newmediashow.com

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Say Goodbye to the DVD Player

Posted by J Powers at 10:52 AM on December 23, 2013

DVD

I remember getting my first DVD player and the movie “The Waterboy”. I also remember streaming my first movie in “Hulk”. Years since, people have debated about losing the tangible disc and moving to streaming. Eventually we knew the DVD would become a thing of the past. As technology improved and new devices came out this year, we may have seen the last viable use for the DVD. Here is why:

Blockbuster

Blockbuster

Blockbuster Goes Bye-Bye, Streaming Video Grows

Blockbuster video rentals closed up in November. This was after a long run and competing with Netflix, followed by Red Box machines. When DISH network bought out Blockbuster, they gave it a home. Its apparent that DISH didn’t want to get into the physical video rental business. So the doors closed.

Netflix tried to close their DVD rental doors a couple years ago with the whole Qwikster debacle — a move that almost killed the company. Somehow they came back stronger than ever, pushing more streaming TV shows and introducing quality shows like House of Cards and Orange is the New Black. Add to that promotions — such as the launch of Chromecast: Netflix gave 3-month subscriptions to the first buyers.

I have to admit, I still have my Netflix subscription…

Since Netflix switch to TV show-based content over movies, newer movies take a lot longer to show up on the service. That is where Amazon is leading the pack. You can rent or own the home digital rights of a movie or TV show instead of going down to the store and picking up the box.

Well, at least, kinda…

This last week Disney made Amazon pull back owners rights of holiday movies. It brought up some issue about if you actually own a video. Will that stop millions from buying movies? Probably not.

ChromeCast

Streaming Getting Better

Google Chromecast did two things. They brought the streaming app device down to an affordable price (not that it wasn’t already with the Apple TV and Roku). Chromecast also extended the life of older LCD TVs.

Instead of spending hundreds of dollars on TV’s with apps inside, they could get a cheaper TV and a set top box to run their content. Sure, the TV is not 1080p 120 Hz, but how many homes care about that type of quality? Especially if the TV is in the bedroom or even since our generation spent years staring at a Cathode Ray Tubes with full satisfaction.

Ultimately, they just want to get Chromecast and Netflix, then possibly cut their cable.

Netflix_Web_Logo

Netflix and YouTube in 4K (2160p)

Time to move to bigger and better video quality. 4,000 pixels – or 2160p. At CES, we will definitely be bombarded with 4K television technology — and we will LOVE it.

Even though some home theater experts have adopted 4K, home Internet speeds don’t really take into account 4K streaming just yet. A 4K video will take 6-12 Mbps connection. DSL won’t be able to handle that, especially if you surf and watch at the same time.

Nonetheless, we move forward. Netflix announced earlier their popular “House of Cards” series will be shot and streamed in 4K. YouTube already has 4K video available, although if you try to stream via Roku or Chromecast, it will most likely try to push the 720p version first. 

iPad 2 Smart Cover

Tablets, Game Consoles, Computers Go DVD-less

Even the computer is losing the DVD drive. Current Mac models don’t come with any type of optical drive. Tablets and smartphones also are disc-free. As desktops lose ground to tablets, the DVD will join the floppy disk, Zip drive and tape backup.

The Pawn Shop Effect

The best way to watch the DVD market is to watch the resale of the DVD. Major chain Pawn America runs a special on Tuesdays for DVDs. In May, they started special events where DVD movies only cost $1.

While newer titles might fetch your more, if you pawn a DVD title, they will most likely buy it at .10 cents so they can make .90 cents.

With all these factors (along with others such as DVR technology and flash drives), 2014 looks to be the year we finally lay the DVD optical disc format to rest. Blu-Ray discs still have value, but the DVD player will definitely be placed with the old TV and VCR down in the basement or garage.

Elance and oDesk are Merging

Posted by JenThorpe at 6:57 PM on December 22, 2013

Elance logoElance and oDesk have announced that they are merging. Each will continue to operate individually (for now). They have not yet revealed what their new, combined, company name will be. It is expected that the deal will conclude sometime in the next four months.

Elance is a marketplace for online work. It is somewhere that freelancers can go in order to find freelance jobs. Over 1.3 million jobs are posted through Elance every year. The company they are merging with,oDesk, also helps businesses find freelance workers. Cumulatively, oDesk has had more than $1 billion of work completed through it.

Both companies provide very similar services, and it appears the main purpose of the merger is to continue to do what they already do (but more effectively). Freelancers who are using either company right now can expect their profiles, work history, and other parts of their online reputation there to be unaffected by the merger. Clients will still be able to hire, manage, and pay exactly as they had before.

GNC-2013-12-19 #914 Target gets Targeted

Posted by geeknews at 1:26 AM on December 20, 2013

The way the tech news is popping makes you wonder if it is really the holidays. Wow lots of tech we talk about the huge hack on Target. The amazing 10k Mac Pro and a host of other tech news of the day.. What do you think of the new intro?

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Ebay versus Amazon.
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TGP #136 – LOGITECH HD TV CAM

Posted by Gadget at 8:54 PM on December 19, 2013

Welcome to The Gadget Professor Show #136 hosted by Don Baine, produced by Mike Baine.

We’ve Got Technology Covered! The Gadget Professor Show – a proud member of the Tech Podcast Network!

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Sit back and relax while you watch The Gadget Professor.

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Target Data Breach Affects 40 Million Cards

Posted by JenThorpe at 7:45 PM on December 19, 2013

Target logoThose of you who did some of your holiday shopping at Target may want to check on your credit or debit card. Hackers have stolen data from around 40 million credit and debit cards that were used at Target stores.

Target became aware of the problem after credit card processors alerted them to it. The processors noticed a surge in fraudulent transactions from credit cards that had been used at Target. This particular breach began over the Thanksgiving weekend.

Purchases made online, from the Target website, were not affected. This hack involves credit and debit cards that were used in Target stores between November 27, 2013, and December 15, 2013.

Hackers stole data that includes customer names, credit and debit card numbers, card expiration dates, and the embedded code that is in the magnetic strip that is attached to the back of the cards. It seems that the hackers were not able to grab the three or four digit security codes that are on the backs of the cards that were affected by the data breach.

Apple Mac Pro Now Available – Is it Too Late?

Posted by J Powers at 10:07 AM on December 19, 2013

Mac-Pro-2013Its the “little trash can that could”. The newest generation Mac Pro is finally available for those needing a powerhouse computer; yet many have switched to PCs earlier in the year because of performance issues. Will this new computer make up for it? Does Apple even care?

The new Mac Pro is available in 2, 4, 6, 8, and 12-core Intel Xeon processors. Initial configuration starts at $2,999 and can run up toward $9,600 with high end processor, memory, video and Flash hard drive. Additional Thunderbolt 2, USB 3.0 and dual Ethernet ports on back to expand to other devices, monitors and more. To put in comparison, this machine can perform up to 20x faster than the average machine you can get at Best Buy. This means video editors trying to create CAD designs, musical compositions, 4K TV or movies can work easier and get final cuts done faster.

But is it too late?

Earlier this year I talked with a company who made the switch from Mac to PC to edit video. They were concerned the last update was on June of 2012 and that even though the new Mac Pro is impressive, the company might be too slow to upgrade the machine. Especially with 8K video starting to knock on the door.

The Mac Pro is an innovative design that also helps keep the machine cooler and run quieter. It will definitely make PC manufacturers improve on future designs. Yet Apple’s strongest point is iPad and iPhone sales – putting the Mac Pro on a far back shelf.

UPDATE: Apple is now stating their initial Mac Pro purchases have been fulfilled and set a February timeframe if you order now. 

Robot Underpants: 12.18.13 (133)

Posted by Langley at 12:34 AM on December 19, 2013

Mat “Langley” Luschek, Eric Rice and “Starman” Michael Gaines bring you the Robot Underpants Christmas Special! It’s really no different than other shows. We have Bitcoin news, Google on its way to becoming Skynet, Doctor Who action figures, Robocop News, Virgins giving birth, Weird Al lawsuits, Duck Dynasty hates gay people, and more!

* Shia LaBeef Plagiarizes Stuff

* Cartoon Execs Hate Girls

* Zimmerman Painting on eBay

* Scientists Make Perfect Mug

* Weird Al Sues Sony

* Dawn of the Planet of the Apes Trailer

* NSA Has to Stop Phone Tapping You (For Now)

* 007 Drinks Too Much

* Google Buys Boston Dynamics

* Pre-order War Doctor Action Figure / Wholock Video

* Firefly Online Game Coming