For the first time, US consumers spend more time using their smartphones and mobile devices than watching TV, according to a study released by the Flurry mobile analytics firm. Along with phone calls and texting, smartphone users are able to play games, visit social media, watch Netflix, and enjoy other entertainment - at the expensive of TV viewership - as companies find ways to keep consumers more engaged.
"In our analysis, we found that time spent on mobile devices grew in the US by 9.3% - from 2 hrs. and 42 minutes to 2 hrs. and 57 minutes - in the past nine months," according to Flurry. "That is almost 3 hrs. per day spent on mobile devices by the average American consumer, while time spent on TV has remained flat at 2 hrs. and 48 minutes daily, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics."
Of course, there is overlap when consumers watch TV while using their mobile devices, and it's a difficult metric to track, except for asking families.
Electronic Arts will give gamers a break from the traditional warfare featured in the Battlefield franchise next year, but already is excited about the next title in 2016. The new game was announced last month and will be a military-focused game that is reportedly a "fun, new Battlefield," according to an Electronic Arts executive.
"That will be a return to a Battlefield military-style game; more to come on that," said Blake Jorgensen, EA CFO, in a recent statement.
Meanwhile, EA CEO Andrew Wilson wants to "give Battlefield 4 and Battlefield Hardline players more time to enjoy these games and immerse themselves in a game, the live service, and the community," when explaining EA's decision to release Battlefield games as they are finished.
The Islamic State cleverly uses the Internet to spread propaganda and recruit new militants, and the group currently might be looking to evolve its cyber abilities. Each time a social media company, or video site boots the group, it only finds new methods to share its gruesome and reprehensible messages, according to security experts.
"They are posing a threat on multiple fronts," said Army Brig. Gen. Peter Gallagher, US Central Command director of communications, in a recent statement. "I don't want to get into what they may or may not be able to do in the world of cyber, I will tell you they are obviously a threat and we are doing everything in our power to mitigate the threat."
Even though Islamic State has been banned by several social networking websites, the group is still actively able to recruit new members in the Western world. Ideally, the group's members make contact with young women - to convince them to head to Syria - where they are often brainwashed and married to Islamic State rebels. The group also finds new fighters willing to pick up arms in Syria and Iraq, with social media used as a first point of contact.
Automakers are pushing ahead with self-driving, autonomous vehicles, but 65 percent of drivers believe these vehicles are "a dangerous idea," according to a Harris poll conducted for AutoTrader.com. However, drivers are interested in automatic collision avoidance, parking assistance, and other features, with 61 percent saying they would consider buying cars with these features.
Despite public concern - and growing interaction with US lawmakers - automakers will continue to push ahead with autonomous vehicles. It will take some time before these types of self-driving cars will be available to the general public, and swarm the open road, but it appears that is the next step in the coming years.
There will be a continued blend of technology inside vehicles, with in-dash video, GPS, smartphone-enabled features, and similar perks being integrated into new vehicles.
Facebook has publicly introduced FB Newswire, a new way for technology journalists and newsrooms to find, share and embed breaking news. The resource includes news stories, first-person analysis, photos and videos that were posted on Facebook by technology journalists, companies and influencers.
This is Facebook's latest effort to try to win users away from Twitter, which has remained a popular resource for journalists searching for story leads. FB Newswire launched in April and this is the next step in Facebook's strategy to keep users engaged.
Facebook has a massive user base and increasing ad revenue, making it an appealing resource for news agencies to take advantage of.
Facebook has spun off its Groups feature, and while mobile users will still be able to access their Groups through mobile apps, will also benefit from using a standalone Groups app. The app is now available in the Google Android and Apple iOS app stores today.
The No. 1 social networking website continues to unbundle core features, with CEO Mark Zuckerberg previously telling investors and journalists that individual apps could be the future of mobile Facebook. He previously said that "each app can only focus on doing one thing well, we think."
"Facebook is another outlet for students to share stories, swap lyrics and collaborate outside of the program," said Donnie Smith, Donda's House Executive, in a statement. "Phone numbers change, email addresses stop working, but we can always find our participants whenever we need to on Facebook."
SCEA head Shawn Layden recently said online harassment in gaming is "completely unacceptable," and is one of the highest profile executives to speak out against cyber harassment. Layden also complemented his own company's stance on women in gaming, saying Sony is "best in class," in its efforts to get women more involved in the gaming industry.
"Over the past couple of months, there's been a small group of people who have been doing really awful things," Layden recently noted. "They have been making some people's lives miserable, and they are tarnishing our reputation as gamers. It's not right."
Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo offered public statements, published by the Entertainment Software Association (ESA), speaking out against harassment in the gaming world.
Electronics company Sony is desperate to find ways to restructure and revamp its business offerings, as the company struggles to keep up with industry rivals. The company's PlayStation 4 continues to sell extremely well, but its high-definition TV (HDTV) sector and other units have greatly struggled. Meanwhile, Sony wants to prove it can turn its entertainment business around, so it is able to contribute to financial revenue.
Sony Music and Sony Pictures total 18 percent of the company's overall sales, which is ahead of Sony's mobile business unit. However, the company still strives for $4.8 billion to $5.2 billion from the music division, at a time when the music industry is still trying to adapt to digital music.
"I understand that everyone expects me to show how Sony can be changed into a highly profitable company... and to unveil a roadmap toward growth for the overall company," said Sony CEO Kazuo Hirai.
The US Marshals plan to auction another lot of 50,000 bitcoins, worth around $19 million, which were seized when the federal government shuttered the original Silk Road. The second auction is scheduled to run for two weeks, and a winner will be announced on Dec. 5. The second auction takes place five months after a lot of 30,000 bitcoins were sold off by the US Marshals.
The first auction was won by venture capitalist Tim Draper, and the value of bitcoins have dropped from $647 down to $384 - but should still draw fierce competition from bidders able to pay the required $100,000 deposit to the US Marshals.
Finnish technology maker Nokia recently announced the N1 Google Android tablet, which will be released to the market in Q1 2015. Nokia has signed a licensing agreement with Foxconn to manufacture and distribute the device, as Nokia no longer directly markets its own consumer products.
The N1 features a 7.9" display and is powered by an Intel 2.4GHz Intel AtomTM quad-core processor, running Google Android Lollipop.
"We are pleased to bring the Nokia brand back into consumers' hands with the N1 Android tablet, and to help make sophisticated technologies simple," said Sebastian Nyström, Nokia Head of Products. "The N1 has a delightfully intuitive interface and an industrial design to match it. This is a great product for Nokia fans and everyone who has not found the right Android tablet yet."