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Posts Tagged ‘Consumers’

Apple investigated over iPad 4G claims in the U.K.

Wednesday, May 2nd, 2012

Apple investigated over iPad 4G claims

Regulators in the United Kingdom confirmed in late March that they were looking into various complaints concerning Apple’s latest tablet. Now, according to the BBC, the Advertising Standards Authority has begun to widen its inquiry into Apple’s advertising practices regarding the new iPad. Earlier complaints were resolved after discussions with the Cupertino-based company, however the agency is now looking into further concerns raised by consumers. Regulators are reportedly not satisfied with Apple’s complied agreement to amend claims about the latest iPad’s 4G capabilities, because when 4G coverage becomes more widely available in the U.K., the iPad will still be incompatible. The ASA told BBC that when it approached the iPad maker, the company said it had removed references to 4G from its web page and had edited a video that contained references to 4G. Apple’s U.K. website still offers consumers the chance to buy a “Wi-Fi + 4G” iPad, however, and it only offers a small footnote explaining that “4G LTE” is supported only on certain networks in the United States and Canada.

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More than one in five U.S. households have a TV connected to the Internet

Monday, April 30th, 2012

​Approximately 27 million U.S. households, more than one in five, have either an Internet-ready TV, game console, standalone Blu-ray player, and/or smart set-top box connected to their home network, according to ABI Research. Gaming consoles are the most popular devices, with a connection rate of over 80%, followed by Internet TVs (27%), standalone Blu-ray players (24%) and smart set-top boxes (13%). The research also indicated that a relatively large number of consumers have not connected some devices to their home network, most notably Internet-ready TVs. ABI predicts that the combined penetration rates of all of the devices will reach 60% by 2017. The firm notes that while not all of these devices will be connected to a network, there is room for growth, however, as only 48.5% of consumers with a home network currently have one of these devices connected to the Internet.

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One in five want self-driving cars

Saturday, April 28th, 2012

Twenty percent of us want cars that drive themselvesA new study from J.D. Power and Associates has revealed U.S. drivers are interested in adding one of the newest and most expensive technologies to their next vehicle — autonomous driving. The feature allows the vehicle to take control of acceleration, braking, and steering without any human interaction. While the technology is still being developed and tested, 20% of all car owners in the U.S. said they “definitely would” or “probably would” include the technology in their next vehicle, even after learning the estimated market price of $3,000. Prior to learning the price, however, a whopping 37% of people were interested in the feature. “Consumers are still learning about how autonomous driving technology could be used in their vehicles,” said Mike VanNieuwkuyk, executive director of global automotive at J.D. Power and Associates. “Many owners are skeptical about releasing control of their vehicle and would like to see the technology proved out before they adopt it.”Males were more interested in the feature than female, especially males between the ages of 18 and 37 and those living in urban areas. Interest in autonomous driving mode also differed greatly among premium and non-premium vehicle owners. After learning the price, interest in the feature among non-premium owners sat at 18%, while 31% of premium owners were interested in the technology.The 2012 “U.S. Automotive Emerging Technologies Study” was conducted in March 2012 and based on responses from more than 17,400 vehicle owners.Read

 

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Google: We’re fine with keeping you waiting for slow Android updates

Friday, April 27th, 2012

Android smartphones are not typically updated very frequently, leaving many owners to either try and update their own device, or wait for months or even years to get the latest operating system. The technical lead developer on the Android Open Source Project believes the slow update rate many Android users have had to endure is “very reasonable.” Sometimes, Jean-Baptiste Queru revealed his opinion on his Google+ page in a congratulatory post towards Sony, who recently updated its Tablet S to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. The developer said the Japanese company was the biggest contributor to Android, leaving all other manufacturers playing catch-up. Due to its contributions, Sony is able to ensure timely updates for its own devices, while helping the community as a whole. Queru said the complexity of moving from Android 3.0 to Android 4.0 is the reason it took Sony five-months to updates its tablet.

“This is actually a very reasonable time, since under the hood Ice Cream Sandwich is quite different from Honeycomb (and upgrades from Gingerbread are likely to take longer as those differences are huge),” he said.

The employee did express disappointment that some of Google’s own flagship devices had not been updated, and he places the blame on “operator approvals.” Queru went out to praise Google’s latest effort to continue selling smartphones directly to consumers through its online store. “I’m very glad that Google is back in the business of selling phones directly without any middlemen to interfere, and I’ll be even happier when I see that program expanded to more countries.” 

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Nintendo’s gunning for retailers, expanding eShop offerings for Wii U, 3DS

Friday, April 27th, 2012

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Nintendo is going to sell its 3DS and Wii U games through the eShop as well as on the high street. Concerned about the money wasted in “inventory,” the company will let consumers choose where they get their fix from. The first two games to get the treatment will be New Super Mario Bros 2 and Onitore Brain Training (working title) for the handheld, with more expected in the future. As consumers transition to downloads, the company will keep its brick-and-mortar partners on-side by allowing them to sell “activation codes” to the digital titles — although that does mean you’ll have to drive down to Gamestop and back.

Nintendo’s gunning for retailers, expanding eShop offerings for Wii U, 3DS originally appeared on Engadget on Fri, 27 Apr 2012 10:13:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Welcome back, ‘Facebook phone’

Wednesday, April 25th, 2012

Along with an iPhone nano and an iPad mini, rumors of a “Facebook phone” have repeatedly piqued interest as they come and go. The first round of reports surfaced in 2010, but was shot down when Facebook denied that it was working on its own smartphone with hardware and software partner HTC. The handsets that were thought to be Facebook phones ended up being unveiled the following month as the HTC Chacha and HTC Salsa, but consumers weren’t terribly interested in mid-range Android phones with a dedicated Facebook sharing button. Rumors resurfaced this past November before dissipating as quickly as they came, but now — whether or not consumers are actually interested in the possibility of a Facebook-branded smartphone — talk of a Facebook phone has returned once again.

Citing unnamed industry sources, DigiTimes on Wednesday reported that Facebook and HTC are jointly developing a smartphone. The device will be a “customized smartphone” presumably based on Android, and it will launch in the third quarter this year at the earliest.

The report draws a number of comparisons between the secret Facebook phone project and HTC’s previous efforts with Google on the Nexus One, suggesting that because Samsung has taken over as Google’s Nexus partner, HTC is looking elsewhere for branded Android projects. DigiTimes also claims that Samsung has likely been tasked with building the next Nexus phone, though no additional details were made available.

The Facebook phone currently under development is said to have a “platform exclusive to Facebook,” enabling deep integration of Facebook services and providing a variety of custom functionality. How the device might handle private user data is unclear.

Facebook did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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ASUS Transformer Pad TF300 review

Sunday, April 22nd, 2012

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It doesn’t feel like a year has passed since we reviewed the original ASUS Transformer and its innovative keyboard dock, but indeed time flies, and quite a bit has happened since then. The company has released the Prime, for starters, followed by two other high-end models. And now, the OG Transformer is going the way of the dodo, as the affordable new Transformer Pad 300 (aka the TF300) takes its place. Though this newest tablet was announced back in February, it’s only just going on sale in the US this week, starting at $379 for the 16GB version, and $399 for one with 32GB of built-in storage.

In addition to the fact that this replaces a truly memorable product, the TF300 is intriguing because it represents an even better deal for consumers: it borrows some design cues from the higher-end Prime, and also steps up to a similar 8-megapixel camera. Like the Prime, too, it runs an unskinned version of Android 4.0 and packs a quad-core Tegra 3 chip — something you don’t often see in a tablet this price. In short, the main differences between this and the Prime are battery life (10 hours versus 12), and the quality of the display (the 10-inch screen here offers 350 nits of brightness instead of 600). Those all sound like reasonable trade-offs and, frankly, they are. That’s our abridged review, over and done with in just two paragraphs, but meet us past the break if you’re craving a little more detail.

Continue reading ASUS Transformer Pad TF300 review

ASUS Transformer Pad TF300 review originally appeared on Engadget on Sun, 22 Apr 2012 03:00:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Verizon to add 27 new 4G LTE markets, expand in 47 others this week

Tuesday, April 17th, 2012

Verizon Wireless on Tuesday announced plans to bring its 4G LTE network to 27 new markets on Thursday and expand its service in 47 existing markets. The additional markets bring Verizon’s total coverage to 230 4G LTE markets across the United States, covering nearly two-thirds on the nation’s population. By the end of 2012, the carrier plans to have its LTE service available in more than 400 markets covering more than 260 million Americans. “Verizon Wireless 4G LTE is the premier wireless data service in the nation, with more than six times the geographic coverage of our nearest competitor’s 4G LTE network and now available to more than two-thirds of the nation’s population,” said David Small, chief technical officer of Verizon Wireless. “We will continue to introduce new markets and expand covered markets to ensure even more wireless users across the United States can take advantage of the benefits that 4G LTE brings to consumers, small businesses and enterprises.” Read on for Verizon’s press release.

Verizon Wireless 4G LTE Network Will Be Available To More Than 2/3 Of U.S. Population Starting April 19

BASKING RIDGE, NJ — Verizon Wireless, owner of the nation’s largest 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) network, today announced that it will cover more than two-thirds of the U.S. population when it introduces its 4G LTE network in 27 new markets and expands in 44 markets on April 19. With the new and expanded markets, Verizon Wireless continues to lead the industry in 4G LTE deployment, offering network coverage in 230 markets across the United States. By the end of 2012, the Verizon Wireless 4G LTE network will be available in more than 400 markets, and will be available to more than 260 million people in the United States.

With the continued growth of the Verizon Wireless 4G LTE network, people in more areas of the United States will be able to take advantage of the speed and connectivity offered by the nation’s fastest 4G network. Verizon Wireless currently offers more than 20 4G LTE-enabled devices, including the new Lucid™ by LG and the Samsung Galaxy Tab™ 7.7.

“Verizon Wireless 4G LTE is the premier wireless data service in the nation, with more than six times the geographic coverage of our nearest competitor’s 4G LTE network and now available to more than two-thirds of the nation’s population,” said David Small, chief technical officer of Verizon Wireless. “We will continue to introduce new markets and expand covered markets to ensure even more wireless users across the United States can take advantage of the benefits that 4G LTE brings to consumers, small businesses and enterprises.”

“This year represents a year of growth and investment in our 4G LTE network, which stands out by virtue of its superb combination of coverage, speed and the variety of devices that we offer customers.”

On Thursday, April 19, the company will introduce its 4G LTE network in Auburn and Tuscaloosa, Ala.; Pine Bluff, Siloam Springs and Van Buren, Ark.; Visalia/Porterville, Calif.; Fort Walton Beach and Ocala, Fla.; Brunswick, LaGrange and Macon/Warner Robins, Ga.; Peoria, Ill.; Kokomo/Logansport and Marion, Ind.; Dodge City, Garden City, Great Bend and Hays, Kan.; Salisbury, Md.; Cattaraugus/Allegany, N.Y.; Sandusky, Ohio; Ardmore and Ponca City, Okla.; Salem/Albany/Corvallis, Ore.; Pierre, S.D.; and Big Springs and Tyler, Texas.

The company will also expand its 4G LTE network in Phoenix and Tucson, Ariz.; Bakersfield, Fresno, Modesto, Sacramento, Salinas/Monterey, San Diego, San Francisco, San Luis Obispo and Stockton, Calif.; Colorado Springs and Fort Collins/Loveland, Colo.; Sarasota/Bradenton, Fla.; Boise/Nampa, Idaho; Carbondale/Marion and Rockford, Ill.; Fort Wayne and Indianapolis, Ind.; Des Moines, Iowa; Boston and Worcester, Mass.; Detroit, Mich.; St. Louis, Mo.; Las Vegas and Reno, Nev.; Manchester/Nashua, N.H.; Albuquerque and Santa Fe, N.M.; Buffalo/Niagara Falls and New York, N.Y.; Akron, Cleveland and Columbus, Ohio; Oklahoma City and Tulsa, Okla.; Portland, Ore.; Providence/Pawtucket, R.I.; Nashville, Tenn.; El Paso, Texas; Provo/Orem and Salt Lake City/Ogden, Utah; and Olympia/Centralia and Spokane, Wash.

4G LTE Speed

In real-world, fully loaded network environments, 4G LTE users should experience average data rates of 5 to 12 megabits per second (Mbps) on the downlink and 2 to 5 Mbps on the uplink. When customers travel outside of 4G LTE coverage areas, devices automatically connect to Verizon Wireless’ 3G network, where available, enabling customers to stay connected from coast to coast. Verizon Wireless’ 3G network is the most reliable high-speed data network in the country and allows customers in 3G coverage areas who purchase 4G LTE devices today to take advantage of 4G LTE speeds when the faster network becomes available in their area or when they travel to areas already covered by Verizon Wireless’ 4G LTE network.

4G LTE Markets

On April 19, Verizon Wireless’ 4G LTE network will be available in 230 markets across the United States. Visit www.verizonwireless.com/lte for a full list of 4G LTE markets and additional information about Verizon Wireless’ 4G LTE network. For a comparison of Verizon Wireless’ 4G LTE network coverage to its competitors, street-level detail of coverage and more, please visit www.verizonwireless.com/4glte.

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THX manages AV settings for pros and consumers with Cinespace HD and Media Director

Monday, April 16th, 2012

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The Star Wars Blu-ray boxed set was the first movie to ship with THX’s Media Director technology built-in, which works with compatible hardware to automatically configure AV settings for optimal quality on that title, so it’s no surprise the Lucasfilm produced Red Tails is next up for the treatment. Of course, the key element there is compatible hardware, and unfortunately there’s not much new to report there since we last checked in at CEDIA, although we’re assured the team is working on expanding support for its metadata from embedded chip manufacturers. On the content creation side THX also has something to offer with its cineCube HD, a slimmed down edition of its cineSpace offering designed to control color management at every step of the production process for the way it will eventually appear on Blu-ray. There’s more details on exactly what it does and how in the press releases, although the real proof will likely be seen in the movies and TV shows it’s used on.

Continue reading THX manages AV settings for pros and consumers with Cinespace HD and Media Director

THX manages AV settings for pros and consumers with Cinespace HD and Media Director originally appeared on Engadget on Tue, 17 Apr 2012 02:19:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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OnLive Desktop migrates to Windows Server 2008, sidesteps licensing concerns?

Monday, April 9th, 2012
OnLive migrates to Windows Server 2008, sidesteps licensing concerns

Just this time last month, we reported that OnLive was in hot water with Microsoft over the company’s ostensible lack of proper licenses for its remote virtualization software — you know, the app that gave Android and iOS users free access to Windows 7 and Office 2010. Just recently, OnLive Desktop transitioned to Windows Server 2008 R2, and while neither company has confirmed suspicions, the move may be sufficient to satisfy the licensing requirements for both the operating system and Microsoft Office. Due to their similar foundation, most consumers are unlikely to notice the difference with the Aero theme active, and while the Windows 7 virtual keyboard is no longer available, OnLive has already replaced it with a mobile-inspired alternative. Let this be a lesson, kids: it helps to play by the rules — especially when there are plenty of loopholes.

OnLive Desktop migrates to Windows Server 2008, sidesteps licensing concerns? originally appeared on Engadget on Mon, 09 Apr 2012 20:43:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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New iPad already accounts for 10% of all iPad traffic

Monday, April 9th, 2012

Apple released its third-generation iPad just over three weeks ago, and the company managed to sell more than 3 million units in less than four days of availability. The sleek slate has since launched in a number of additional markets and according to ad network Chitika’s real-time iPad tracker, it took Apple’s new iPad just three weeks to account for 10% of all iPad traffic across its network. The new iPad’s share of iPad traffic peaked at 16.2% on the morning of April 8th, and the full-day average for the new iPad’s traffic share reached 10% for the first time that day. “The 10% threshold is much more than an indicator of adoption; symbolic meaning cannot be dismissed,” Chitika’s Gabe Donnini wrote in a post on the company’s blog. ”Simply put, The new iPad stands as a prime example of what any company could hope for. IDC reports that Apple holds the place of the most dominant tablet manufacturer in the world, and with consumers on the verge of viewing the idea of a tablet as synonymous with an iPad, the odds are looking pretty good. This optimism is also mirrored in Apple’s stock price, which has risen over 100% in the last twelve months.”

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LG plans to launch a ‘thinking smartphone’

Friday, April 6th, 2012

LG has yet to find the same success in the smartphone market that Samsung, HTC and Motorola have seen, but the company’s managing director Kwon Bong-suk told a Korean news website that LG will soon introduce a game-changing “thinking smartphone.” The executive confidently stated that the next mobile innovation doesn’t necessarily have to come from Apple, saying that LG can identify with the “universal value” that all consumers seek. Unlike its competitors, LG will refrain from adding more features and entertainment options to its devices, instead looking to build a product that will be responsive to a user’s particular needs. Bong-suk also noted the importance of the low-end market and said the company is interested in releasing a smartphone for $100. Despite the low price, Bong-suk says LG won’t compromise on the quality of the user experience. The director concluded by saying that “preparations for the development of the thinking smartphone are underway.”

[Via The Verge]

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Visa drops Global Payments following theft of 1.5 million card numbers

Monday, April 2nd, 2012

Following a massive security breach, Visa has dropped Global Payments from its registry of providers that meet data security standards, The Associated Press reported on Monday. Global Payments CEO Paul Garcia said that the company will continue to process Visa transactions, however being dropped from the registry “could give our partners some pause that they’re doing business with someone who experienced a breach.” Garcia fully expects his company to be reinstated once it has been issued a new report of compliance, although he declined to specify when that might happen. The CEO maintains that the situation is “absolutely contained” and is being fully investigated. Global Payments confirmed on Sunday that hackers stole credit card numbers belonging to as many as 1.5 million MasterCard and Visa customers, however cardholder names, addresses and Social Security numbers were not compromised. The company plans to set up a website to assist consumers who might have been affected by the breach.

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Nearly 1 billion smart connected devices shipped in 2011

Thursday, March 29th, 2012

The International Data Corporation on Wednesday announced that shipments of smart connected devices —including PCs, tablets and smartphones — reached 916 million units and surpassed $489 billion in revenue in 2011. “Whether it’s consumers looking for a phone that can tap into several robust ‘app’ ecosystems, businesses looking at deploying tablet devices into their environments, or educational institutions working to update their school’s computer labs, smart, connected, compute-capable devices are playing an increasingly important role in nearly every individual’s life,” said Bob O’Donnell, vice president of Clients and Displays at IDC. The firm estimates that worldwide shipments of smart connected devices will top 1.1 billion in 2012 and double to 1.84 billion by 2016. IDC’s numbers represent a compound annual growth rate of 15.4% over the next five years. The firm also predicts that the number of Android-powered devices running on ARM CPUs will grow from 29.4% in 2011 to a market-leading 31.1% share in 2016. Apple’s iOS-based devices, on the other hand, are estimated to grow from 14.6% share in 2011 to 17.3% in 2016. IDC’s press release can be found after the break.

Nearly 1 Billion Smart Connected Devices Shipped in 2011 with Shipments Expected to Double by 2016, According to IDC

FRAMINGHAM, Mass.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The universe of smart connected devices, including PCs, media tablets, and smartphones, saw shipments of more than 916 million units and revenues surpassing $489 billion dollars in 2011, according to the International Data Corporation (IDC). These numbers reflect the combined total from IDC’s Worldwide Quarterly PC Tracker, Mobile Phone Tracker, and Media Tablet Tracker.

“Whether it’s consumers looking for a phone that can tap into several robust ‘app’ ecosystems, businesses looking at deploying tablet devices into their environments, or educational institutions working to update their school’s computer labs, smart, connected, compute-capable devices are playing an increasingly important role in nearly every individual’s life,” said Bob O’Donnell, vice president, Clients and Displays at IDC.

Looking ahead, unit shipments for smart connected devices should top 1.1 billion worldwide in 2012. By 2016, IDC predicts shipments will reach 1.84 billion units, more than double the 2011 figure, as consumers and business of all shapes and sizes around the world are showing a nearly insatiable appetite for smart connected devices. This works out to a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 15.4% for the five-year forecast period.

A graphic illustrating the size and composition of the worldwide smart connected device market for the 2010-2016 forecast period is available at IDC.com. Instructions to embed the graphic into online news articles and social media can be found by viewing this press release on IDC.com.

In terms of platforms, IDC expects a relatively dramatic shift between 2011 and 2016, with the once-dominant Windows on x86 platform, consisting of PCs running the Windows operating system on any x86-compatible CPU, slipping from a leading 35.9% share in 2011 down to 25.1% in 2016. The number of Android-based devices running on ARM CPUs, on the other hand, will grow modestly from 29.4% share in 2011 to a market-leading 31.1% share in 2016. Meanwhile, iOS-based devices will grow from 14.6% share in 2011 to 17.3% in 2016.

“Android’s growth is tied directly to the propagation of lower-priced devices,” said Tom Mainelli, research director, Mobile Connected Devices. “So, while we expect dozens of hardware vendors to own some share in the Android market, many will find profitability difficult to sustain. Similarly, we expect a large percentage of application developers to continue to focus their efforts on iOS, despite the platform’s smaller overall market share, because iOS end users have proven more willing to pay for high-quality apps.”

Research conducted by IDC suggests that many individuals own and regularly use multiple smart connected devices. “We are in the multi-device age,” continued O’Donnell, “and we believe the number of people who use multiple devices will only continue to increase. The trick, moving forward, will be to integrate all these devices into a unified whole through use of personal cloud-type applications and services. That’s the real challenge of what we have often called the ‘PC Plus’ era.”

“Smartphone growth will be driven by Asia/Pacific countries, especially China, where mobile operators are subsidizing the purchase of 3G smartphones, thus increasing the total addressable market. In many if not all instances, the smartphone will be the primary connection to the Internet,” said Will Stofega, program director, Mobile Phone Technologies and Trends. “In countries where devices are not subsidized by the mobile operators, competitive and component-based pricing will help drive volume.”

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Google to launch its own online tablet store, report claims

Thursday, March 29th, 2012

Google is planning to market and sell tablets directly to consumers through its own online store, The Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday. The paper’s anonymous sources say the search giant hopes the move will turn around the slow adoption rate of its Android-powered tablets. The Mountain View-based company will reportedly look toward its partners such as Samsung and ASUS to manufacture devices for the shop, with the latter creating a Google-branded tablet to be sold in the store later this year. The Journal’s sources also confirmed previous reports that stated the next version of Google’s Android operating system, called Jelly Bean, will be released in the middle of this year.

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Online movie streaming in U.S. to top DVDs for the first time in 2012

Monday, March 26th, 2012

Online movie streaming in the United States is expected to top both DVD and Blu-ray use for the first time ever in 2012, according to a study from IHS Screen Digest. The study suggests that in 2012, Americans will legally stream 3.4 billion movies online — twice the 1.4 billion streamed in 2011 — while DVD and Blu-ray movies watching this year will to 2.4 billion from 2.6 billion in 2011. Last year, the unlimited-streaming services offered by Netflix and Amazon Prime accounted for 94% of all paid online movie viewing in the U.S. Additionally, consumers paid an average of $0.51 for every movie streamed online, compared to $4.72 for DVD and Blu-ray discs. “We are looking at the beginning of the end of the age of movies on physical media like DVD and Blu-ray,” IHS analyst Dan Cryan said. “But the transition is likely to take time: almost nine years after the launch of the iTunes Store, CDs are still a vital part of the music business.”

[Via Bloomberg]

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Google Investigated by the FTC Over Safari Privacy Debacle [Google]

Friday, March 16th, 2012

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