A Couple of Plusses for Viewing Video

One of the most irritating things about video on the web is lag. Youtube has a plan to kill video latency by dynamically adjusting the quality level of the video according to your connection’s bandwidth, and also by transmitting control commands at the same time as the content you’re watching. It will be great not sit and watch the little pinwheel spin for a while every time you want to load up a short video. Don’t expect movie length vids to load instantly, however.

Speaking of video, Intel is reportedly working on a set top box that will stream a form of pay per view. Some claim it will crush cable TV’s ability to bundle and charge us for all those channels you never watch. A la carte video and movies may not be a pipe dream with the power of Intel moving things in that direction. Will they lure Apple TV into some kind of deal?

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Galaxy Tabs, School Bing, & More

New Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 tablets are coming out July 7th…the cheapest will be an amazing $199…but don’t expect much memory or a Hi Def screen at that price. Getting into the grade school and middle school market worked for Apple years ago…so Microsoft is giving it a try. Microsoft’s Bing for schools will strip out ads, and beef up privacy protections and adult content filtering. The opt in program gives Bing an entry into the grade and middle school market. Will kids use it at home and later, or will they just go right back to Google? Time will tell. It’s not an avalanche, but audio component manufacturing is returning to the US from Asia…and not just the high end, nosebleed priced equipment…some of the gear is priced as low as $99. Manufacturing coming BACK to the US? When was the last time you heard that?


Breathalyzer Watch, Facebook WiFi, & More

Dick Tracy had his 2-way wrist radio. Now, Gizmodo is reporting about a watch that tells you if you’re too drunk to drive. The watch, from Tokyoflash, has a breathalyzer…blow into the side, and if it turns red…call a cab. It’s $100 direct from Tokyoflash the next 2 days. Taking a look at wired.com, Facebook is expanding it’s Facebook wifi to cafes in Palo Alto and San Francisco. It’s free…kind of. The catch…you check in through Facebook, so they have your location data to sell. At bgr.com, they’re talking about why no company really wants to buy Nokia right now, despite rumors that either Microsoft or a Chinese cell phone maker is about to. The problem…Nokia is really a feature phone maker, not a smartphone maker, and featurephone sales are declining.


Seen on Tech Blogs

Here are a few things you may have missed this week that have been written about on some of the technology blogs. We’ve all heard a lot about 3D printing lately…including a library in Silicon Valley that is making one available. Now, techcrunch.com says Amazon is getting ready to make 3D printing available for everyone…with a store for 3D printers and accessories.

Showing up on Wired.com’s radar is a story that says Google actually sends the NSA requested information by secure FTP or courier…the old school way…and that there’s no back door to its servers. Who needs a back door, when they will send info to the NSA when asked?

Bloomberg.com says thousands of tech, finance, and manufacturing companies work closely with US national security agencies, providing sensitive information, and in return getting benefits including access to classified intelligence. Free enterprise at work? You be the judge of that.

Checking businessinsider.com, your personal online data is being sold to marketers for a pittance…your basic age, gender, and location info goes for as low as 50 cents per thousand people. I feel so cheap.


AT&T Bidding on HULU?

AT&T is teaming up with the Chernin Group to make a joint bid for HULU. Chernin is lead by a former executive from News Corp. All Things D says they haven’t made a bid yet, but if they do, it will certainly exceed the less than 500 million Chernin has already offered for HULU. They’re up against Yahoo and Time Warner Cable, which have bids in already. Word is that HULU’s owners…Disney, Comcast, & Newscorp, may not sell if they don’t get more than a billion dollars. Getting control of HULU would seriously bolster AT&T’s move into the TV space. The giant telcomm declined requests for comment.