Amazon on Wednesday announced an expansion of its Amazon Studios division, which will soon develop original content. The retail giant is currently accepting proposals for comedy and children’s programming to be distributed through its Instant Video service, the company said on Wednesday. “Amazon Studios wants to discover great talent and produce programming that audiences will love,” said Roy Price, director of Amazon Studios. “In the course of developing movies, we’ve heard a lot of interest from content creators who want to develop original series in the comedy and children’s genres. We are excited to bring writers, animators and directors this new opportunity to develop original series.” If selected for a full-budget series, the creator will receive $55,000 and up to 5% of Amazon’s net receipts from toy and t-shirt licensing, along with other royalties and bonuses. Amazon’s press release follows below. More →
Thousands of people oppose the controversial Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA), including the Obama Administration and “Anonymous.” The bill, which was recently passed by the United States House of Representatives, looks to give businesses and the federal government legal protection to share cyber threats with one another in an effort to prevent online attacks. Internet privacy and neutrality advocates feel as if the bill does not contain enough limits on how and when private information can be monitored. Numerous technology companies — such as Microsoft, Apple, Facebook, IBM, Intel and Oracle — have voiced their support for the bill. Mozilla on Tuesday, however, took a stand and announced its opposition against CISPA. More →
The United States House of Representatives voted last Thursday to pass a piece of legislation called the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act, or CISPA. The controversial bill now sits in the hands of the Senate and faces further modifications if it hopes to gain approval from the White House, which has already gone on record with a veto threat. Legions of Internet users expressed outrage when the bill was passed, and numerous protests are being staged. According to President Obama’s office, the bill would allow “broad sharing of information with governmental entities without establishing requirements for both industry and the government to minimize and protect personally identifiable information,” but what exactly is CISPA? Greg Vokes of Paralegal.net sought to make the answer as easy to digest as possible, and the result is a terrific infographic titled “WTF is CISPA?” that can be viewed below in its entirety. More →
The United States House of Representatives recently voted to pass the controversial Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA). The bill looks to give businesses and the federal government legal protection to share cyber threats with one another in an effort to prevent online attacks. Internet privacy, neutrality advocates and even the Obama Administration feel as if the bill does not contain enough limits on how and when the government may monitor private information. Online petitions opposing the bill and its supporters have collectively garnered more than one million signatures, although such protests have seemingly had little to no effect thus far. The hacktivist group “Anonymous” is looking to change that, however, with the announcement of Operation Defense: Phase 2. More →
Google earlier this month reported its earnings for the first quarter of 2012, topping Wall Street’s estimates. The Internet giant also announced plans to create a new class of non-voting capital stock that would effectively create a 2-for-1 stock split. As a result, Google would be able to issue new shares of stock for acquisitions and employee compensation without diluting the 56.3% voting stake the company’s co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin control. Not everyone is happy about the planned split, however, and a shareholder has sued the company and its board in an attempt to block the plan. The class action lawsuit is being put forward by the Brockton Retirement Board, which has accused Google of breaching its fiduciary duty to the company’s shareholders, Reuters reported on Monday. The complaint states that Page and Brin “wish to retain this power, while selling off large amounts of their stockholdings, and reaping billions of dollars in proceeds.” The Brockton Retirement Board asked a Delaware judge to block the plan and award unspecified compensatory damages. More →
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.
The United States House of Representatives has voted to pass the controversial Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA), talk of which has swept the Internet over the past few weeks. The House vote was moved up to Thursday night, and CISPA passed as 248 members of Congress voted for the bill and 168 voted against. The bill is sponsored by Representatives Mike Rogers (R-Michigan) and Dutch Ruppersberger (D-Maryland), and it now faces further modifications in the Senate if it is to avoid being vetoed by the White House. President Barack Obama has indicated that he intends to veto the bill if it makes it to his desk, noting that as it is written now, the legislation would allow “broad sharing of information with governmental entities without establishing requirements for both industry and the government to minimize and protect personally identifiable information.” The American Civil Liberties Union issued a statement following the vote. “Cybersecurity does not have to mean abdication of Americans’ online privacy,” said ACLU legislative counsel Michelle Richardson. “As we’ve seen repeatedly, once the government gets expansive national security authorities, there’s no going back. We encourage the Senate to let this horrible bill fade into obscurity.” More →
The controversial Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA), which is supported by more than 100 members of the House of Representatives, is scheduled to be discussed in Congress on Friday, where it will be the first bill to go to a vote since the collapse of the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) in January. The bill looks to give businesses and the federal government legal protection to share cyber threats with one another in an effort to prevent online attacks. Internet privacy and neutrality advocates, such as the Electronic Frontier Foundation, feel the bill does not contain enough limits on how and when the government may monitor private information, however, and they fear that such power may be used to locate and punish file sharers and those who infringe on copyrights rather than hackers. More →
Due to a string of acquisitions and other business distractions, Facebook’s multi-billion dollar initial public offering that was rumored to be set for May 17th may be delayed until early or mid-June, according to CNBC. Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg has not been preparing for the IPO, but instead has been more focused on running the business and making acquisitions. As a result, the social networking giant’s IPO date will reportedly be pushed back so the company has time to make the appropriate preparations. Facebook filed with the SEC in February, and could raise as much as $10 billion at a $100 billion valuation when it goes public in the coming months. Facebook’s IPO is expected to top Google’s $1.9 billion offering by a wide margin, making it the largest Internet IPO in history. Facebook’s shares will be listed on the NASDAQ exchange under the “FB” ticker symbol. More →
The first video ever uploaded to YouTube recently celebrated its seventh anniversary. The video, called “Me at the zoo,” was uploaded by YouTube co-founder Jawed Karim at 8:27 pm on April 23rd, 2005. In the video, Karim stands in front of elephants at the San Diego Zoo and comments about their “really, really long trunks.” While the clip runs for only 19 seconds and the quality is terrible, it marks a crucial moment during the launch of a service that would to change the Internet forever. More →
Internet monitoring firm Pingdom on Monday released a new report on global Web browser share by browser version. The company found Microsoft’s Internet Explorer 9 to be the most popular browser in North America with a 21.2% share, and it was closely followed by Google Chrome 18 at 20.2%. Internet Explorer, however, featured a combined total of 40.4% of the North American browser market. Globally, Pingdom found that Chrome 18 is the most popular browser with a 25.6% share, leading Firefox 11 with 15.8% and Internet Explorer 9 and 8 with 15.7% and 14.6%, respectively. Microsoft’s browser has the largest worldwide market share when all versions are combined, followed by Chrome and then Firefox. More →
Facebook on Monday filed an updated version of its S-1 that included the company’s first-quarter results. The social networking giant saw $1.06 billion in revenue, up from $731 million in the same quarter last year but down from $1.131 billion in the fourth quarter of 2011. Facebook saw net income of $205 million, down from $233 million in the same quarter last year and down $302 million sequentially. The website now has 532 million daily active users, up from 372 million last year and 483 million in December. Facebook’s monthly active user count rose from 680 million last year to 901 million, and users uploaded 300 million photos per day on average while generating 3.2 billion combined likes and comments. The updated filing also reveals that Facebook acquired Instagram for $300 million in cash and 23 million shares of stock.
A small group of coders claiming to be part of the hacker group “Anonymous” are creating a new social music platform, WIRED reported on Thursday. The goal of the project is to create a service that seamlessly pulls together songs that are streamed across the Internet. The project, called Anontune, will be able to aggregate songs from third-party sources such as YouTube and SoundCloud, and it will allow users to arrange them into playlists and share with others — anonymously. The Anontune system relies on executing a Java applet, and running code that was written by members of Anonymous carries obvious risks. The service is only 20% complete according to the report, however the creators hope the final version will improve the way people engage with music. A video announcement from Anonymous follows below. More →