Google, experts, Helpouts video service

Google seeks experts for its soon-to-launch Helpouts video service | PCWorld: "Once it goes live, here’s how Helpouts will work: Expert providers can charge for their sessions or offer Helpouts for free if they want, but a platform fee must still be paid to Google for each Helpout that involved a charge from an expert provider. Helpouts is designed to make it easy for people to grow their businesses by setting their own rates and getting paid online, according to the company. Providers can work on their own schedules, whether they’re at home or on the go. If the provider charges a fee for the session, both providers and customers will need to use Google Wallet for the payment, according to the Helpouts site. Helpouts has a strong social component for a reason: Social networking is an area of Google’s business that the company is continually seeking to scale out to better compete against rivals such as Facebook and Twitter. While Facebook and Twitter have more than 1 billion and 200 million active users, respectively, Google+ has about 190 million, the company reported in May." (read more at link above)

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China, Black Box For Blockbusters, Government Sanctioned Piracy

China's Black Box For Blockbusters Riles Hollywood Studios - Forbes: "How do you say “chutzpah” in Chinese? Future TV is one of seven firms licensed to stream content into Chinese homes via the Internet to set-top boxes and smart TVs. (“Over-the-top” refers to video delivered outside of a cable or satellite service.) It claims to offer 1.5 million hours of content, of which half is high-definition. But among U.S. studios it is notorious for uploading hundreds of copyrighted movies and evading tens of millions of dollars in licensing fees. Chinese production houses also say they’re being cheated. “If you ask anyone in China they’ll tell you Future TV is a pirate,” says a U.S. studio executive in Beijing."

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Amazon, YouTube Networks, Short-Videos

Amazon Is Courting YouTube Networks for Short-Video Push | Digital - Advertising Age: "Not content to contend only with Netflix and Hulu for long-form video content like movies and TV shows, Amazon is exploring a push into the short-form territory dominated by YouTube. Amazon has pitched YouTube networks on distributing their short-form videos through the e-commerce company's a-la-carte Instant Video service, according to people with knowledge of the discussions who declined to speak publicly. In addition to expanding their viewership to Amazon's audience and opening up a pay-per-video revenue stream, producers would receive branded pages on Amazon that would promote their videos, similar to a show page on Hulu or a channel on YouTube." (read more at link above)

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NY Times, identity crisis, new on-demand a la carte world

The New York Times' identity crisis | Michael Wolff | Comment is free | "The media business used to be organized around forms and genres. Books, newspapers, films. Fiction, non-fiction, news, drama. The more current way of thinking is to see the business as a catalogue of "products". This is not just marketing speak – as in, calling a magazine "our product" – but an effort to acknowledge a new, on demand, a la carte world; one that does not involve additional distribution costs." (read more at link above)

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Google TV, Android TV, brand

Google to sunset Google TV brand as its smart TV platform merges with Android — Tech News and Analysis: "Google TV is dead, long live Android TV: Three years after launching the first generation of Google TV devices, Google is now looking to rid itself of the brand and realign its smart TV platform efforts more closely with Android. The move is part admission that Google TV failed, part hope that Android will eventually find its place in the living room. Google apparently isn’t quite ready to announce the switch-over yet; a spokesperson contacted for this story declined to comment. However, an executive from a consumer electronics manufacturer that has been producing Google TV devices confirmed the rebranding in a recent conversation with GigaOM, saying: “They are calling it ‘Android TV.’”"(read more at link above)

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Cable Catch 22, Watch shows via the Net, but cable required

Cable’s Catch 22: Watch our shows via the Net, but cable is required - TechBlog: "As someone who’s opted to live without cable TV and access television content a la carte, these would seem like welcome additions. But for cord cutters, they are hollow victories in the unbundled television revolution. There’s a Catch 22 here. The Disney and ESPN apps, and others like them, allow you to watch content from these providers independent of cable or satellite TV connections. But in order to access them you still need a cable or satellite TV account. It’s a false convenience – why would you watch the Disney Channel or ESPN on Apple TV if you can watch it through your normal cable service? I’m picking on Apple TV because it’s the most recent service to get these apps. But what I’m describing is the case on all so-called streaming platforms – Roku, Xbox 360, Google TV, built-in smart-TV apps and others." (read more at link above)

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Google Hangouts, HD video chat, VP8, WebRTC

Google Hangouts upgrading to HD video chat, switching to VP8 and WebRTC | Ars Technica: "Google Hangouts is in the process of switching to 720p HD video, and a select group of users may already have access. GigaOM has gotten Google to spill the beans on the latest Google Hangouts upgrade, which switches several protocols to more open standards so that Hangouts can eventually morph into a plugin-free chat service. For video, Google is dropping the royalty-encumbered H.264 codec for its own VP8. VP8 was acquired and open sourced by Google in 2010 with the purchase of On2 Technologies. Google says the codec swap will require much less processing power, which will enable most computers to handle 10 720p video streams at once. It should also enable higher-quality, lower-bit-rate streams across the board. The H.264 plugin will still be supported for browsers that do not support VP8: IE (of course), Safari, and older mobile clients." (read more at link above)

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Microsoft, Google, YouTube, web development

What Microsoft and Google's YouTube row says about the future of web development | ZDNet: "It's not just mobile where there's a problem; there are also compatibility issues on desktop PCs. One example of this comes from the toolbar Google recently deployed across many of its properties, in the wake of the launch of Google+. A drop down shows details of your Google+ account, at least on most of Google’s sites in most browsers. If you're using IE 10 it works just fine across most pages – until you get to one of Google's most popular sites, News. Roll over the Google+ notification icon here and the drop down tells you to upgrade to a more modern browser."

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Twitch, Live Video Gaming Spinoff Twitch Raises $20M for Live Video Gaming - Venture Capital Dispatch - WSJ: " . . . Unlike competitors Ustream, LiveStream, YouTube and others enabling individuals and companies to broadcast video to the masses, Twitch is focused on just one category: gaming. The company provides an online platform and community for gamers that features live streaming gaming events, personal streams of individual players in action, and talk shows dedicated to gaming. . . ."

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YouTube tools, filter comments

No crudity please, YouTube filters comments: ""When it comes to the conversations happening on YouTube, recent does not necessarily mean relevant," the posting from YouTube's Nundu Janakiram and Yonatan Zunger said. "So, comments will soon become conversations that matter to you. In the coming months, comments from people you care about will rise up where you can see them, while new tools will help video creators moderate conversations for welcome and unwelcome voices." The revamp will give those sharing videos "new tools to review comments before they're posted, block certain words or save time by auto-approving comments from certain fans. These can help you spend less time moderating, and more time sharing videos and connecting with your fans"."

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Google change, online tracking for ads

Google eyes big change in online tracking for ads: ""We believe that technological enhancements can improve users' security while ensuring the web remains economically viable. We and others have a number of concepts in this area, but they're all at very early stages," a Google spokesman said. He declined to comment further. Google's move will be closely watched by the ad industry because the company is not only the leader in online advertising, its Chrome browser is now the world's most popular, having surged ahead of Microsoft's Internet Explorer, Mozilla's Firefox and Apple's Safari in recent years."

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Advertisers, Internet, Advertising

The Internet’s next victim: Advertising - " . . . . In theory, the app-centric mobile world offers a much friendlier, more controllable environment for advertisers. In the constant techno dialectic playing out between advertisers and ad-blockers, the more constrained environment of smartphones and tablets offers some hope that advertisers can regain ground lost to the ad-blockers. But their advantage is hardly clear-cut: It’s also a lot harder to advertise on the smallest screens. Google may be willing to pay to participate in Adblock Plus’s Acceptable Ads program, but its real feeling about ad-blockers was made clear in March, when the company banned Adblock Plus from the Google Play store. Oh, and you can’t find Adblock Plus in Apple’s App Store either. Which raises the question: Who is really hijacking the Internet? Anti-ad technologies, or the smartphone?" (read more at link above)

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Google, NFL Football, Disruption

Google plans to disrupt America’s favorite sport—but not in the way everyone expects - Quartz: " . . . Those rumors of a Google bid for NFL Sunday Ticket doesn’t fit with the definition of Google business scale. Sunday Ticket gives subscribers access to any Sunday NFL game played anywhere in the US.  According to Bruce Leichtman, principal analyst at Leichtman Research, “Sunday Ticket is for bars, restaurants, gamblers and the misplaced fans that have moved to a state where their hometown team isn’t televised by local affiliates. One third of its approximately two million subscribers are commercial locations.” Two million non-digital subscribers is not Google’s kind of business. . . ." (read more at link above)

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Vimeo, indie films platform

Vimeo starts funding indie films to broaden its on demand platform — paidContent: "Vimeo is debuting its own take of film funding at the Toronto International Film Festival this week: Film makers whose feature-length movies premiere at the festival can get a $10,000 advance if they agree to distribute their films through Vimeo On Demand, the site’s paid streaming offering that launched at SXSW earlier this year."

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Popular streaming channels: Netflix: The king of movie and TV show streaming. $7.99/mo. YouTube: User-submitted videos and some original programming. Free. Hulu Plus: TV shows days after they air and some movies. $7.99/mo. Amazon Prime: A strong Netflix competitor with other Amazon benefits. $79/year. Crackle: Movies and TV mostly from Sony's library. Free. Vudu: Movie rental site owned by Walmart. Fees per movie

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