Month: April 2012

Stations Must Reveal Political Television Ad Data

April 30, 2012 | Author: Muneeb Mannan
Are you curious about how your local television station charges for political advertising? If the FCC has its way, you won't need to guess much longer. On Friday, the commission passed new rules that require stations to post the information on a public website. At first blush, this may seem to be a strong blow for transparency in our political process, but I have to wonder if it will ever...

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Traffic Jam: Is the Internet Sky Falling?

April 27, 2012 | Author: Muneeb Mannan
An article by Stacey Higginbotham for GigaOM cites a fascinating statistic from the Sandvine Global Internet Phenomena Report. According to last fall's version of the report, half of all our Internet use is related to video. Netflix and YouTube alone account for more than 37% of the total traffic. And according to the recently released spring update to the report, when you include audio streaming the total "entertainment traffic" accounts for 64.5% of...

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IKEA Television: What Gives?

April 26, 2012 | Author: Muneeb Mannan
Have you seen the new IKEA Uppleva television? It apparently is designed to make it easy for consumers to choose a new HDTV that fits in with their Scandinavian decor. The set hasn't been released in this country yet, so we don't know what the price will be. Without this detail, it's hard to assess the value of this new product, but it clearly marks some interesting changes in the...

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Death Spiral for Broadcast TV?

April 25, 2012 | Author: Muneeb Mannan
Did you ever hear the squeal of feedback in a public address system? It occurs because a sound coming from the amplified speakers finds its way into a microphone, where it travels to an amplifier that makes it louder. This louder sound comes out of the speaker and goes back into the microphone louder than before, where it gets amplified again. And the cycle repeats until someone turns down the...

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2nd Screen Future Is Bright, but Watch Those Shades!

April 24, 2012 | Author: Muneeb Mannan
We're a society that is joined at the hip to our technology: literally. With smartphones in holsters and ebook readers and tablets in our shoulder bags, we now take our digital connections with us wherever we go. But you may be in for a shock when you try to read your indispensable device when you're out and about, wearing your favorite shades. I made this discovery years ago, the hard...

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TV Connect Rates Still Growing

April 23, 2012 | Author: Muneeb Mannan
According to a report by Leichtman Research Group, Inc. (LRG), 24% of U.S. households had a television connected to the Internet in 2010. By last year, this rose to 30%. LRG's latest research shows that this share has jumped to 38% this year. The survey includes video game consoles, Blu-ray players, network media players (such as the Roku and Western Digital boxes), and Internet TVs. One of the most interesting results...

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It’s NOT a Hologram, Folks!

April 20, 2012 | Author: Muneeb Mannan
The legendary rapper, Tupac Shakur, made an appearance at Coachella in California last weekend, in spite of the fact that he's been dead for more than 15 years. He performed on stage alongside Snoop Dogg, including a "live" shout-out to the Coachella audience. Putting aside the creepy factor of performing with dead singers, let's talk briefly about the technology. Let me say at the outset that even though I was...

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Consumer Electronic Recycling Increases

April 19, 2012 | Author: Muneeb Mannan
On Monday, the Consumer Electronics Association announced that participants in the eCycling Leadership Initiative managed to recycle 460 million pounds of consumer electronics in 2011. This number is even more impressive when you consider that this is more than one and a half times the 300 million pounds that was recycled in 2010. Drop-off locations increased from 5,000 in 2010 to 7,500 in 2011. The CEA also reports that 96%...

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Best Buy Lists Stores to Close

April 18, 2012 | Author: Muneeb Mannan
Two weeks ago, Best Buy announced that it was planning to close 50 stores as part of its cost-cutting moves designed to help reverse its recent financial losses. Over last weekend, the company released a list of the stores that will close. These stores are expected to close permanently by May 12. This obviously is a tough decision for the company, and eliminates the jobs of many people who work...

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Cable Services Dangle Bonuses

April 17, 2012 | Author: Muneeb Mannan
If this keeps up, you'll be getting a new toaster when you upgrade your cable subscription. Cablevision announced on Friday that members of its Optimum Rewards loyalty program now get a new perk: discounted car rentals from Hertz. The deal also offers free rental upgrades and free membership in Hertz Gold Plus Rewards. Wow, when I sit down in front of my television, I often find myself thinking about renting...

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