April 18, 2014

Last week at the NAB (National Association of Broadcasters) show, FCC head Tom Wheeler pushed broadcasters to loosen their grip on spectrum that the agency plans to auction off to give wireless internet room to grow. Now, he's laid out a draft of the rules for the auction before it takes places next year. The upcoming incentive auction will be a three stage process that, once completed, should open up more wireless spectrum for high-speed services like WiFi and LTE. So far not everyone has been happy with the possible rules for this redistribution. That includes the broadcasters themselves, whose participation will have to happen voluntarily, and the companies expected to bid for access, namely AT&T who has warned that it might skip the process based on the FCC's restrictions on how much spectrum it can buy. Now that the rules are here, everyone from your local TV broadcaster to wireless carriers to cash heavy dreamers like Google and Dish Network can look them over before the commission votes on them May 15th.

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Source: Tom Wheeler


April 18, 2014

Most people take soil for granted, assuming that if you shove a seed into some dirt and add some water, hey presto. Stick it under an electron microscope, however, and you suddenly see a whole microcosm that exists beneath our feet. Landscape gardener Chris Beardshaw takes us on a tour to see why soil is so important, what risks it faces and what happens to it when we're not paying attention. It may not seem like the most entertaining subject for a TV documentary, but there's plenty of useful facts about dirt that you'll be able to wheel out the next time you go for a walk. Unless you're a germophobe, of course.

Deep Down and Dirty, The Science of Soil is available to stream on BBC iPlayer.

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Source: BBC iPlayer


April 18, 2014

Taylor Schilling in a scene from Netflix’s “Orange is the New Black” Season 2. Photo credit: JoJo Whilden for Netflix.

House of Cards is probably Netflix's most-discussed original series, but fans of Orange is the New Black would argue it matches Frank Underwood & Co. in both deviousness and quality. As usual, the entire second season will premiere at once on June 6th, and it should be an even wilder ride than the first time around, as shown in this trailer (embedded after the break). The gang is back, including Piper, her ex Alex Vause played by Laura Prepon, Crazy Eyes, Pennsatucky and all the rest. Netflix isn't the only service or channel investing in original content to set itself apart, but over the last year or so it's been one of the most consistently successful, and with new additions like Sense8 and Marco Polo coming soon, those trying to catch up will face a tough job in prying any of its 30 million+ customers loose.

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Source: Netflix (YouTube), Netflix


April 18, 2014

Sony and Microsoft's console sales were neck and neck for awhile, but the gap is starting to widen: according to the latest NPD numbers, Sony is winning the race. Yesterday, the Japanese hardware manufacturer announced that it has moved more than seven million PlayStation 4s worldwide -- today Microsoft countered with a total of five million, trailing Sony in both monthly and lifelong sales. A stark difference, sure, but it's not all bad: the Xbox exclusive Titanfall is the industry's top-selling title right now, and the second highest selling for the platform overall. The new console is also outpacing the Xbox 360's first-year sales by more than 60 percent; it's doing well, it's just not top dog. The latest inFamous game (a PS4 exclusive) ranked the second highest selling game for the month of March, followed by multiplatform titles like South Park: The Stick of Truth, Call of Duty Ghosts and Dark Souls II.

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Via: Joystiq

Source: Xbox


April 17, 2014

Slingbox has pushed out a handful of updates for SlingPlayer on iOS and Android, adding new features on both platforms. On the Android side, Slingbox joined forces with sporting-app Thuuz. Now if you have to skip watching the Giants game for work, SlingPlayer will let you know Tim Lincecum is using his secret mustache powers to pitch a no-hitter . If you can sneak away from your meeting for a "bathroom break," a link within the app will instantly tune you into the hair-raising action. The sports app won't be integrated into the iPhone version of SlingPlayer until this summer, but iOS users can still download it on its own to try out now.

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Via: Slingbox

Source: Google Play, iTunes



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