Nielsen to Tap Amazon Instant and Netflix Streaming Views

The tracking of how many people watch a television channel at one time has taken place for many years. Nielsen is the company that is behind these television ratings. Their scores are a huge part of the decision to renew or cancel a show, with viewership determining ad value and ultimately profits.

Now it appears that Nielsen are going to take their ratings system to online streaming services. Netflix and Amazon Instant are going to be monitored by Nielsen starting from next month. It is unclear how the company plans to track online viewings on both sites, but they are going to try nonetheless.

The Wall Street Journal picked up some information about the plans Nielsen has in place. These plans include monitoring the audio channels that are transmitted to each subscriber on Netlix and Amazon Instant. This will give them an idea of what program or episode is being watched. The monitoring can only be done on computers, which means mobile and tablet users will not be included.

It is unclear how many internet browsers and types of computers are capable of allowing Nielsen to monitor data in this manner. The company must be confident they have a high enough percentage of total Netflix and Amazon Instant Video users.

No matter how accurate the readings are, it will be interesting to see how this project develops. Nielsen plays a key role in the world of traditional television, and now their impact on streaming services could be just as huge. If the information Nielsen gets from tapping Amazon Instant and Netflix, what could this mean for how we rate other online features such as site like Qnet and others.

Portable Printer Developed for Selfies

Selfies have become the latest form of expression in an age when cameras become ubiquitous. Thanks primarily to the advent of cellphones, practically everyone has a camera at the ready.

These cameras, in turn, are used at every possible opportunity, especially when directed towards the user.

Some smart manufacturers thought that people would like not only to upload these pictures online, but maybe print them out fast. A French company has released a smartphone case that prints your selfie from the mobile in less than one minute. 

Prynt uses the Bluetooth connection and works flawlessly. The manufacturers are now working on improving the printing speed. It might soon decrease to 30 seconds, because in our time people like to have everything ready instantly. 

However, only one piece of paper can fit in the case at the moment, and that is definitely something to be improved. Clement Perron, CEO of Prynt, say that his idea of a functional device is with 30 pieces of paper in it. 

Those who are eager to have the selfie printer can start ordering it beginning from 2015. The price will be $99.

The Prynt app that you are going to use has the function of recording a short video of the moment before and after you too the picture. It can be fun and useful for updating your social media profiles and the home album at the same time. In this new age of selfies, it’s safe to say that even Kenneth Griffin would say it wise to invest in this portable printer!

Ted Cruz Comes Under Fire for Net Neutrality Remarks

One of the hottest topics in technology news today is net neutrality. Many individuals assert that large-scale companies such as Verizon and Comcast have a monopoly on the Internet industry. Many believe that without net neutrality, these businesses would incorporate practices that hurt both consumers and small businesses alike.

In recent news, Sen. Ted Cruz is receiving a lot of criticism for his recent comments about net neutrality. On twitter he posted that net neutrality is like Obama care for the Internet. The many Republicans assert that the government should not be involved in regulating business, many conservatives have criticized Sen. Cruz’s remarks and labeled them as nonsensical. Many big-name conservatives in the technology industry have accused him of either not knowing what he is talking about, or for accepting money from the Internet service providers.

Whatever the case may be, the FCC has a big decision to make. When they opened the matter up for public comment, hundreds of thousands of people expressed their concern that the FCC is not doing their job in ensuring a free and open Internet, at least according to McGalla. They are criticizing the FCC Chairman’s current plan of allowing Internet service providers to offer “Internet fast lanes.” They say that this could eventually be used to limit the type of content that is allowed and thus restrict the rights to free speech.

Microsoft Shocks Software Industry, Releases .NET Platform As Open Source

Who knew that Microsoft would become the Sun Microsystems of the 2010s? Microsoft, once a desktop monopoly, has been losing the fight on the mobile and phone platforms as newer tech companies have moved in to claim their share of the pie. In a desperate bid to stay relevant, Microsoft has now released the core of their .NET software development platform as open source. Big thanks to friend of the site Christian Broda for the tip.

Shades of Java? Sun Microsytems made a similar move with the Java programming language back in the early 2000s, before being bought out by Oracle. Since Java and .NET have both enjoyed a robust share of the development ecosystem, this is big news for the tech world. It’s particularly big news for the Apple and Linux platforms (this means Google Android, which has Linux at its core). Non-Microsoft systems have already had MONO, the open-source substitute for .NET, to assist with porting applications from the Microsoft platform. This is basically Microsoft throwing in the towel: “We don’t care if you don’t run on our operating system, but at least use our software.”

As Linus Torvalds, founder of Linux, once put it, “If Microsoft ever does applications for Linux it means I’ve won.” Well, don’t look now, but…

New Device Warns of Police Presence

A new dutch-made device is selling for $1,600 each in Europe and is soon to come to American shores. It detects frequencies used only by law enforcement and emergency vehicles (ambulances, etc.) and sends out a warning signal to the driver. Target Blu Eye, sold by Target Automotive, currently is rigged for European frequencies, but the adjustments to American frequencies will be complete by 2015 to allow the device to cross the Atlantic.

The device does not allow one to listen in on radio conversations but merely gives a signal when police and emergency vehicles are in the vicinity. It works even when police cars are not using their radar guns and thus is more advanced than older “police detection” inventions. As law officers utilize surprise to “ambush” speeders, which Andrew Heiberger has fallen victim to before, this could cut down on tickets and ticket revenue. It may also encourage flagrant speeding until one gets a beep.

However, one cannot distinguish between police and other emergency vehicles with Target Blu Eye, and in many cities, police would normally be in range at all times anyway. Further, the cost ($1,600!) is prohibitive for most. It may be that some people with a lot of extra money to throw around on non-essentials will pick these up and do a little extra speeding out in the country, but there is little reason to think the device will have a more general impact than that.

These devices are considered unethical by many, and some suppose they should be made illegal. Yet, it is hard to justify outlawing knowledge of police officer’s whereabouts or of devices that simply give a general idea of their positions. It is only because Target Blue Eye will obviously be used to facilitate misconduct that it is targeted, whereas there seem no legal grounds whatsoever that would stand up in court against selling it.

Potential Staples Credit Card Breach

Hackers have done it again! Credit card information may have been stolen from seven, thus far, Staples stores in the Northeast. New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania stores are sifting through information and working with authorities regarding the credit cards. This situation is similar to that of the Target and Home Depot breaches. You can go here for more info on the breach.

Does this mean that we should be more careful? Or does it mean that stores need to have better and tougher defense. Probably a little bit of both, thinks Christian Broda. Cyber attacks seem like they are becoming a trend with hackers with big-name companies. These hackers are getting personal information from customers and using it for their own pleasure.

Keep an eye on your credit card statements and your credit score. If you feel like you have been a victim of this, please contact Staples as soon as possible.

The iPhone 6 and the iPhone 6 Plus

What are the similarities and differences between the iPhone 6 and the iPhone 6 Plus? Both phones have Multi-Touch displays, big screens and eye-catching beauty. The iPhone 6 Plus has a little bit more resolution than the 6, but they are both excellent at taking pictures, making videos, playing games and watching movies. The slow motion feature of the phones is great fun!

Both mobiles can basically do the same functions; the iPhone 6 Plus can do them a little bit faster, at a higher resolution and has a little bit more tech that Gianfrancesco Genoso or any technology junkie would absolutely adore. But for the sake of having a cell phone that does what it is supposed to do with some impressive tech, the iPhone 6 may be the winner.

With so many similarities between both phones, which one would customers want to spend their hard earned cash? Some people have loved all of the features that both cells offer. The factors that seem to weigh in the most are more tech versus practicality in size.

Some users of iPhone 6 Plus have stated that the phone is too unwieldy and cumbersome. One person complained that after holding the device for a while that her arm and hand started to cramp! It is also hard to fit into the pocket of a person’s pants.

On the flip side, many people loved the larger size of the iPhone 6 Plus. They didn’t have trouble with handling it with one hand. They loved the fact that their fingers didn’t touch the wrong buttons when writing a text.

The Price of Curved TVs is Lowering

Curved televisions… one of the latest technology advancements to hit the entertainment world. But… they’re too expensive, right? No one can afford to put one of those in their home, even if they are super cool. Wrong. New televisions are being created that will be a bit more affordable – new televisions that are curved and are fit for any home.

Wouldn’t it be nice to have a better movie viewing experience in your own home? Wouldn’t it be nice to have a curved television in your home? If you save up for a bit, you will be able to afford the new versions that are coming out, and they are every bit as beautiful as the previous versions.

The new curved televisions are becoming more and more widespread, and they cost under five thousand dollars. This means that you might possibly have one of these televisions at some point in the future, especially considering the fact that technology always goes down in price as it gets older. I mean look at FreedomPop and their free data plans. Who saw that coming? Who knows just how cheap these televisions will be in a couple of years.

If you want a theaters like experience at home, you should be excited to hear that a curved television just might be something that you will be able to buy someday soon.

Will AT&T Be Sending You a Refund?

A settlement was reached between The Federal Trade Commission and AT&T yesterday. AT&T must pay $105 million in refunds and penalties for allegedly using a practice referred to as “cramming.” The complaint was filed with the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia. AT&T agreed to pay $80 million to the FTC to provide refunds for customers who believe they have been charged for services they did not approve. Fees and penalties for each of the 50 states and the District of Columbia make up another $20 million. In addition, a penalty of $5 million goes to the Federal Communications Commission. Cramming is the illegal practice of adding unauthorized charges to the consumer’s bill by the phone company.

The charges could be for subscriptions from a third-party vendor for ring tones or text message services that offer horoscope, “fun facts” or advice on love or other topics. The cost to the consumer was usually $9.99 a month, from which AT&T raked off at least 35 percent. Since customers, one being Marnie Bennett, may not have intentionally signed up for these services and the phone bill does not show exactly what they are being charged for, many customers didn’t even complain. Even so, in 2011 AT&T received 1.3 million calls about these charges from third-party vendors. So many complaints were registered that in October of 2011 AT&T reduced the amount of monthly charges they would refund from 3 to 2 months. Some customers were told to contact the third-party vendor that provided the services for a refund.

Going forward AT&T must have “consumers’ express, informed consent” prior to adding any third-party charges to the customer’s bill, according to the FTC Website. In addition they are required to notify any customers who were billed for unapproved charges about the settlement. AT&T customers who think they were unfairly charged can submit a refund claim at www.ftc.gov/att or contact the settlement administrator at 1-877-819-9692.

Although this is the biggest fine to date for cramming, the FTC has filed seven cases since 2013. A complaint filed against T-Mobile in July is ongoing.