Google introduces ‘Jump,’ a camera rig implemention for taking VR video

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Life is about seeing the wonders of the world for yourself, but Google thinks that the experience you get from reliving these moments later on through the tiny windows that today’s cameras produce is pretty limited. Which is why the company today at its I/O conference announced the release of an open-source VR camera rig specification called “Jump” which will make it much easier for creators to capture, process, and share 360-degree virtual reality video for the whole world to enjoy.

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YouTube Kids app contains “disturbing and/or potentially harmful” content, alleges FTC complaint

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Google’s family-friendly YouTube Kids app has been hit with a second complaint to the Federal Trade Commission, this time accusing it of containing inappropriate content, including sexually-explicit language and “jokes about pedophilia.” This follows a complaint last month that the app was “deceptive to children” in the way it mixed ads into the programming.

The WSJ reports that the complaint was sent by the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood and the Center for Digital Democracy.

Examples of what the non-profit groups found include: explicit sexual language in cartoons; jokes about pedophilia and drug use; activities such as juggling knives, tasting battery acid, and making a noose; and adult discussions about family violence, pornography, and child suicide.

The group created a video (below) illustrating the inappropriate content found …  Read more

Consumer Reports insanely recommends the Galaxy S5 over the S6

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The basis upon which many Consumer Reports ratings are set may seem insane to the technology savvy among us. For a long time they would not recommend the iPhone for its lack of removable battery, for example. But the site still holds weight among older generations and so it’s worth taking a look at what they have to say about the top smartphone manufacturers’ newest flagship devices. Like how they recommend the last-gen Samsung Galaxy S5 over the newer Galaxy S6…

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Video ad viewability is 54% across the web, but as high as 91% on YouTube (Infographic)

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Advertisers want to know that when they pay for a video ad on YouTube or elsewhere across the web, that the advertisement can actually be seen by viewers. A lot can effect an ad being seen, such as the viewer never scrolling to the part of the page where the ad is placed, or users simply scrolling past the ad too quickly to really catch a glimpse. Taking a look into these things, Google recently published the results of a study identifying the “5 factors of viewability,” or, in other words, the things that impact the chance of a video ad being seen.

Unsurprisingly, YouTube and Google’s video ad strategy seems to be strong compared to the rest of the web…

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comScore releases U.S. smartphone subscriber market share for March 2015

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comScore today released a new U.S. smartphone manufacturer and platform market share report for the three month period ending in March. The data suggests that while the continued strength of iPhone 6 adoption has resulted in market share gains for Apple, Android is still the most popular smartphone platform in the United States.

During the measured period, comScore reports that 187.5 million people in the United States owned smartphones, which equates to 77 percent of the total population. Of that, Apple was the most popular OEM (original equipment manufacturer) with 42.6 percent of U.S. smartphone subscribers (up 1% from December), followed by Samsung with 28.3 percent market share (down 1% from December), and LG taking third place with 8.4 percent (up 0.4% from December).

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WSJ: Google was going to build Periscope/Meerkat years ago, but didn’t have the resources

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Google-owned YouTube had a chance to beat Twitter’s Periscope and its biggest competitor, Meerkat, to market by somewhere in the ballpark of 8 years, but decided against the move due to the fact that a large portion of the company’s resources were engaged in fending off a Viacom lawsuit and creating the Content ID copyright detection system.

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YouTube announces plans for 4 original series, feature length films in development

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Today YouTube is announcing partnerships with some of its top creators to bring original series and feature length films to the video network. 

Today’s launch brings four original series to YouTube from content creators Fine Brothers’, Prank vs Prank, Joey Graceffa, and Smosh, as well as news that YouTube plans to release feature length films in the coming years: Read more

YouTube losing support on older devices as Google begins sunsetting Data API v2

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Google announced today that it is beginning the retirement process of YouTube’s Data API v2, and that means that some older devices, including older Apple and Google TV set-top boxes, will no longer be able to access the video streaming site. The change is also going to affect users of older gaming consoles and iOS devices as the deprecated built-in YouTube apps will be unable to access the service… Read more

YouTube reportedly testing new video player design with mobile inspirations

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Google is working on a redesigned desktop video player that takes its influence from the site’s mobile applications, a new report suggests. The player, seen above and below, features transparent playback controls overlayed directly on the video rather than the opaque black bar we’ve gotten used to over the past few years.

Like the current player, the controls disappear after a few seconds, leaving the full space dedicated to the video. Controls for settings like autoplay on playlists, annotations, and video speed and quality have also gotten a bit of a makeover, as seen below.

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