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The entertainment business in the United States and across the world is a multi-billion dollar industry that is evolving to keep up with demand.
Two-thirds of U.S. adults have gone out to see a movie at least once in 2013, but 66 percent said they are seeing less movies at the theater. In addition to rising cost of movies, especially IMAX and 3D, rising competition from Redbox and online video services has also increased.
Consumers still tend to prefer watching DVDs and Blu-ray over streaming content, with Blu-ray movies collecting $416 million in sales leading up to Christmas. Home entertainment OEMs are developing 4K and 8K ultra-HDTVs, Blu-ray players, and Blu-ray discs - and interest in UHD will continue over the next 12 to 24 months, according to analysts.
Online piracy also remains a continued problem that movie studios and copyright holders fight vigorously to fight against. The fight over Internet 'piracy' even hit popular online adult website RedTube, with 30,000 visitors receiving threatening letters after viewing a specific video. Internet service providers (ISPs) are finding newer and more innovative manners to prevent piracy, with varying results.
It looks like Google will be making quite the high resolution splash at CES 2014 next week, where it will have its YouTube team on-site to show off its new 4K streaming technology that uses the VP9 codec.
The search giant has 19 hardware partners that are supporting the mostly unused codec, including ARM, Broadcom, Intel and Marvel. At CES 2014, YouTube will be showing off its 4K streaming technology at the booths of LG, Panasonic and Sony. Google developed the royalty-free codec in-house, but hasn't ruled out that YouTube won't have support for H.265 sometime in the future.
As the world begins ringing in the new year, Google has launched a new Doodle celebrating the arrival of 2014. The doodle is quite clever, featuring 2013 dancing the night away on what appears to be a disco dance floor. The number 4 can be seen off to the side, patiently awaiting his turn to boogie down!
Of course the .jpg above does not do the doodle justice, and I highly encourage you to head over to Google.com and check out the fully animated version. Search Engine Land says that they expect the actual new years day doodle to feature audio, with more features being added, so keep an eye on it tomorrow as well. TweakTown wishes everyone a safe and happy new year.
It seems like the drama is never ending at the infamous online drug marketplace known as SilkRoad. Over the weekend, Silkroad's new Admin Dread Pirate Roberts (AKA DPR. Not to be confused with the original SilkRoad DPR) signed off from the site with a post informing users that he would release information concerning the arrest of several SilkRoad employees.
The post was made on Saturday and nothing else has been heard from DPR since. Another site admin who goes by the name DefCon says that DPR has entered exile and his whereabouts are unknown. DefCon says that DPR took the sites key used to unlock its Bitcoin storage with him. This means that none of the bitcoins the site held in escrow can be released until DPR's return. DefCon says that SilkRoad users should not worry too much as DPR will return and the digital currency will be returned.
Edit: It seems to be working seconds after this piece went live - just my luck - but then when I refreshed it was gone. It came back, so it might be OK for now, with intermittent problems.
I woke up this morning, and like the past few mornings, I hit up the Steam Store to see what games are on special during Valve's Steam Holiday Sales. Well today, I couldn't do that, because the Steam Store is completely down.
This could be because Valve is offering Left 4 Dead 2 for free right now - and its servers completely buckled under the immense pressure... but one would think Valve's servers would be equipped to handle that type of traffic. It should be back up soon, but for now, you'll have to keep tapping F5 waiting for it to return.
Hulu has just surpassed the 5 million subscriber mark and is well on its way to passing the $1 billion in revenue milestone in 2014. That amounts to an increase in revenue of more than 300-percent since 2009, with this news, Hulu has announced that it will be bringing more original content to the service in 2014.
Industry analyst attribute Hulu's success to the wide range of devices it is available on which include, Roku, Android, Apple TV, iOS, Chromecast, and many of the so-called Smart TV's on the market today. Hulu now has more than 86,000 TV episodes on its service which are from more than 2,900 TV series, and with more coming in every day, Hulu will only continue to grow.
For the last few years, Microsoft has been making losses on Bing, but going forward, the software giant is optimistic that Bing will turn profitable. ZDNet reported yesterday that Applications and Services CFO, Dave O'Hara, said that Bing was ready to turn the corner.
This is thanks to Microsoft now having the resources to keep its search engine running, without having to continue to pump more investments into it. Future infrastructure of Bing will be incremental, according to O'Hara. The losses on Bing, according to O'Hara, was because the company was building infrastructure to support Bing: things like data centers, and the effort necessary to build Bing's search engine.
The completion of Bing's foundation is now nearly complete, so Bing is ready to be profitable.
Have you ever wished that you could turn back time and stop yourself from signing up for every website you ever visited? While time travel is still impossible, a newly released website will aid in helping you remove your information from many of the websites on the internet.
Just Delete Me is a website that contains a quite expansive list of the most popular websites and newsletters from the past decade and beyond. The service ranks each website by how easy it is to unsubscribe from, with sites like OKCupid being quite simple to remove your information from. On the other hand, sites like Wikipedia are impossible for the user to remove their data from. I took a few minutes and removed profiles from several websites that I have not visited in years, so head over to the source link below and check it out.
The top Google searches of 2013 include the deaths of former South African president Nelson Mandela, 'Fast and the Furious' actor Paul Walker, and the latest generation of the Apple iPhone.
Google compiles the list based on search queries that saw the highest search volume through 2013.
- Nelson Mandela - Former South African president recently died
- Paul Walker - 'Fast and the Furious' movie star; died in a fiery car crash
- iPhone 5S - The latest version of the popular Apple iPhone
- Cory Monteith - Glee actor that died of a drug overdose
- Harlem shake - A song that inspired a viral dance
- Boston Marathon bombing - The tragic bombing of the 2013 Boston Marathon
- Royal baby - Birth of England's Prince George
- Samsung S4 - Google-Android device that is the biggest competitor to the iPhone
- PlayStation 4 - Recently released next-generation console from Sony
- North Korea - The volatile nation with a young leader continues to intrigue the world
Can you access Facebook? TweakTown staff have not been able to access the popular social networking site for at least 15 minutes now.
Just 15 minutes, you say? Well, that is a big deal for a massive site like Facebook.
Leave your comments below if you are also experiencing issues accessing Facebook.