YouTube once again looking to help fund original content

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YouTube announced this evening in a blog post that, once again, it plans to start funding original content. Two years ago, YouTube announced plans to spend more than $100 million to get content creators to create YouTube channels on which to share videos. With that plan, they focused on bringing in outside entertainers. With this new push, however, YouTube says it will focus on helping the self-funded and self-published stars on the site grow.

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Google shows off winning image-recognition system, likely to assist in autonomous car efforts

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Google has shown off its winning entry in an annual computer vision challenge whose entrants include both academic institutions and industry labs, and made its work available to other researchers.

In this year’s challenge, team GoogLeNet tasks, doubling the quality on both tasks over last year’s results. The team participated with an open submission, meaning that the exact details of its approach are shared with the wider computer vision community to foster collaboration and accelerate progress in the field …

Google cites its self-driving cars as one of the obvious applications of the technology. Read more

A week after Apple launches iPhone 6, ZTE has a NYC launch event

Probably ill-advised timing but why not?

Report: YouTube Music Key is Google’s upcoming subscription service w/ concerts, remixes, free Play Music Key

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We’ve been hearing rumors of a YouTube streaming music service for quite a while, but now Android Police has published a report detailing Google’s streaming music plans. The report claims that Google will soon launch a new service called YouTube Music Key, as well as rebrand Google Play Music All Access to Google Play Music Key.

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Google acquires mobile video startup Directr, adds talent to the YouTube ads team

YouTube has acquired a startup called Directr according to a post on the company’s website, as noted by the Wall Street Journal. Directr is a startup that makes two iOS apps for video creation—one focused on everyday users, and the other designed with small business marketing videos in mind.

The company says that for now, “everything you love about Directr is staying the same.” Directr’s current employees, however, will be joining the YouTube video ads team. Neither party has said how much the buyout cost yet, but Directr has confirmed that despite the change of ownership, it will continue to offer its current apps, which will now be available for free.

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YouTube’s Director of Product Management departs for Spotify ahead of its own streaming music service debut

284fe42Google may not be buying Spotify, but a top executive from YouTube is jumping ship from the Google-owned company to the subscription music service giant. Re/code reports that Shiva Rajaraman, whose title was Director of Product Management at Google (YouTube) according to his LinkedIn, is leaving Google/YouTube several years with the company to take a new role at Spotify. The report notes that Rajaraman’s role at YouTube encompassed managing the development of YouTube’s yet-to-be launched music streaming service, and his new position at Spotify employs him at what will likely be a major competitor to YouTube’s delayed service.

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YouTuber sued for copyright infringement, plaintiff wants $150,000 per incident

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YouTubers believed to be in violation of copyright laws typically get a takedown notice advising them to remove whatever content their video is using without permission. But in the case of YouTube star Michelle Phan who has over 6 million subscribers following her online make-up tutorial channel, things have taken an aggressive turn. Ultra Records has filed a lawsuit against Phan claiming that she used 50 of their songs in her YouTube videos without proper permission.

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YouTube’s subscription music plans suffer another setback as head of music leaves – again

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Frustrations over delays in launching YouTube’s long-awaited subscription-based music service are the reason the company has just lost its second head of music in less than a year, reports the WSJ.

Chris LaRosa, YouTube’s product manager in charge of music, will be leaving Google this Friday to join a startup. A YouTube spokesman confirmed LaRosa’s departure but didn’t say which startup LaRosa would be joining.

We’ve been hearing rumors about YouTube’s plans to launch the service since last October – the rumors then suggesting it would launch that year. Then it was going to be the first quarter this year. And then the second quarter – which just ended, still with no sign of the service nearing launch …

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JW Player updated to version 6.9, brings Chromecast support to millions of sites

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In April of this year, it was announced that JW Player would soon be adding support for the Chromecast, and today the feature finally went live for everyone. For those unfamiliar, the JW Player platform powers a variety of popular websites including ESPN and millions of others. With today’s release of JW Player 6.9, it just got a whole lot easier to view web video on your TV.

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NVIDIA Shield Tablet and wireless controller with gaming focus officially unveiled

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After weeks of leaks, rumors and speculation, the NVIDIA Shield Tablet and Wireless Controller have officially been announced this morning. NVIDIA posted a series of videos on their YouTube channel promoting the new device with the slogan “high-performance gaming everywhere”.

In terms of aesthetics, the device looks like we imagined. It features dual 5MP cameras, dual front-facing stereo speakers, and an 8-inch, 1920×1200 display. The specs under the hood are equally impressive. The device boasts an NVIDIA Tegra K1 GPU, an ARM Cortex A15 CPU clocked at 2.2GHz, and 2GB of RAM.

In terms of pricing, there are two different models of the device. A 16GB WiFi variant and a 32GB WiFi + LTE version, selling for $299 and $399, respectively.  Both models will ship for a July 29th release.  Read more