Posts Tagged ‘video’

"Hour of Code" Calls on Students to Program Computers, With Support From Obama (And the Republicans, Too!)

December 9, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

By now you may have heard about the United States’ woeful lack of public coding classes , despite the economy’s ever-growing need for technical workers. For five years now, Computer Science Education Week has existed as a call to mobilize people to learn to program. This year, it’s getting a little more oomph, with promotion by various tech companies of the new nonprofit Code.org ’s “Hour of Code” initiative, five million students committed to participate globally at 33,000 schools in 166 countries, and endorsements by celebrities and public figures including both U.S. President Barack Obama and his political foil House Majority Leader Eric Cantor. Here’s the video from Obama, in which he urges, “Don’t just buy a new video game, make one. Don’t just download the latest app, help design it. Don’t just play on your phone, program. No one’s born a computer scientist, but with a little hard work — and some math and science — just about anyone can become one.” And here’s Cantor, who says “coding is the necessary tool of this century”: (By the way, the name “Hour of Code” is not meant to specify any specific hour, but rather the motivation for people to spend an hour learning to code at some point over the next week.) And it’s not just political rivals coming together, but also competing companies, noted Code.org co-founder Ali Partovi. All the Apple Stores in the U.S. plan to hold an open Hour of Code class on Dec.

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Viral Video: Edel-Dooneese (Kristen Wiig’s Creepy, Tiny-Handed Genius)

December 8, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

I am not sure how much funnier Kristen Wiig can get, but her big-foreheaded, tiny-handed, very creepy singer is back for this week’s Saturday Night Live opening mocking the recent live television version of “The Sound of Music,” and it’s a corker. Oh, here:

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Viral Video: Annoying "Friday" YouTube Phenom Is Back With — Wait for It — "Saturday"

December 7, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

Rebecca Black vaulted to fame with the viral YouTube hit, “Friday,” the catchy-but-irritating song that eventually petered out. For those who were glad it was gone in favor of the next Web phenom, I am sorry to tell you that Black has taken things 24 hours ahead and is back with, yes , “Saturday.” Hopefully, Sunday will be a day of rest. Here’s the video: And, in case you were not annoyed enough already, here is the original “Friday” song:

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Chernin Group Confirms Crunchyroll Investment

December 3, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

Peter Chernin’s investment company has announced its investment in Crunchyroll, the online anime subscription service. The Chernin Group now owns a majority stake in the company, via a deal that values the startup at something close to $100 million.   All Things Digital reported on the deal in October .

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Grokker Gets $5.5 Million to Build Out Expert Video Network — Here’s Founder Lorna Borenstein (Video)

December 2, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

Last week, I talked to Lorna Borenstein, the former eBay and Yahoo exec, who has just launched a video network aimed at consumer interests using “experts,” called Grokker. She’s recently gotten about $5.5 million for the startup, largely from Khosla Ventures, as well as First Round Capital’s Josh Koppelman and angel investor Ron Conway. Grokker has been aiming initially to offer the “best content in cooking, yoga and fitness from chefs and teachers worldwide,” moving into an increasingly hyperactive arena, with all kind of efforts to take advantage of the explosion of video use by consumers and the move of increasing amounts of advertising there. While a lot of the video action has been centered on Google’s YouTube, the experience there for both consumers and creators of such videos has been haphazard to say the least — making it difficult to surface and discover the best content in the life-long learning space. There have been a number of different efforts in the space to fix that, such as the recently released Curious.com , for life-long learning, and food-focused Tastemade . Borenstein herself founded Grokker after she had a frustrating experience in searching for good yoga videos while on vacation, even when she was willing to pay for them. After examining the landscape, she also found the purveyors of such services also had a hard time reaching those interested in what they had to offer. Thus, she decided to put together the such “passions” — topic areas will grow with time — with the passionate. Here’s a video interview I did with Borenstein last week about Grokker, including ideas on how best to monetize the audience she hopes to create:

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Xbox One Matches PS4′s First-Day Console Sales … And Reports of Defects

November 23, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

Vjeran Pavic / AllThingsD.com Stop me if you’ve heard this one: starting Thursday night, a major tech company sold more than one million units of its next-gen gaming console, and since then has had to contend with scattered user reports of hardware defects. It was true of Sony last week with the PlayStation 4 , and now it’s true of Microsoft this week with its rival Xbox One. In an email, a Microsoft spokesperson called the one-million-plus debut the “biggest launch in Xbox history.” It’s worth pointing out, though, that the PS4 debuted in just two countries last week — the United States and Canada — while the Xbox One launched simultaneously in 13 markets : Australia, Austria, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Mexico, New Zealand, Spain, the U.K. and the U.S. The sales announcement did not break down which countries drove the most sales. As for those defects: While Sony had to contend with reports of both connectivity issues and console overheating, Microsoft (at least so far) has just one hardware glitch on its plate. Within hours of the Xbox One’s debut, videos surfaced on YouTube of the console “ eating discs ,” clicking and refusing to recognize game discs inserted in its optical drive

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5 Digital Shows Created by Grown-Ups

November 21, 2013  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Silicon Valley has a lot of things going for it: advancing technology, an attractive environment for whiz kids, a (weak) stab at meritocracy among its residents, gobs and gobs of cash. But as anybody who's ever worked in the arts will tell you, money cannot buy taste. Frequently it buys whatever the opposite of taste is . Thus, the learning curve has been incredibly steep for video companies desperate to produce the elusive "premium content" that will command the kind of money that TV advertising moves every season, or, in the case of subscriber-only services, the kind of buzz that generates subscribers to pay-TV networks. At first, video services seemed to believe that "premium" meant "not cat videos," but after wave after wave of unbearable vanity projects

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5 Digital Shows Created by Grown-Ups

November 21, 2013  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Silicon Valley has a lot of things going for it: advancing technology, an attractive environment for whiz kids, a (weak) stab at meritocracy among its residents, gobs and gobs of cash. But as anybody who's ever worked in the arts will tell you, money cannot buy taste. Frequently it buys whatever the opposite of taste is . Thus, the learning curve has been incredibly steep for video companies desperate to produce the elusive "premium content" that will command the kind of money that TV advertising moves every season, or, in the case of subscriber-only services, the kind of buzz that generates subscribers to pay-TV networks. At first, video services seemed to believe that "premium" meant "not cat videos," but after wave after wave of unbearable vanity projects

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Viral Video: Introducing Ruumber, Uber for the Couch Potato

November 19, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

Here’s a very funny video from Team Coco, with a new transportation service aimed at those who need innovation in their trip from the couch to the bathroom. If Uber is valued at a badillion dollars , this is priceless.

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The Wrong Mans Is Easily the Best New Digital Show of the Season

November 15, 2013  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Oh, good, the adults have arrived. Amid the stew of castoff cable properties and vanity projects, a few new shows in the digital world are distinguishing themselves as clever, original, and produced with a specific audience in mind. One of those is The Wrong Mans , Hulu's half-hour action-comedy… thing, co-produced with the BBC and starring creators Matthew Baynton and James Corden as Sam and Phil, a pair of guys with unimpressive careers in public works in a little English town who just happen to wander into a hostage-taking and handle it about as well as you'd expect. Part of what makes the show so much fun to watch—apart from very high production values, which, again, is a giant relief given the way the rest of the "premium content" on the market looks—is that the leads are perfectly matched. Baynton's Sam is one of those uniquely British sad sacks to whom everything bad seems to happen, all the time. At one point his ex, who is also his boss, finally thaws to him enough to invite him over, and he gets a call on a phone that has only been used thus far to communicate terrible threats about what will happen to an innocent woman if Sam doesn't comply. Corden has already been the subject of quite a few "here comes the next big thing" articles, and it could be good for both the actor and Hulu if The Wrong Mans (which also airs on the BBC Two in the UK) manages to drive subscriptions and find a real, TV-sized audience. He's great in this—the comic to Baynton's feed, with the kind of sad, too-old boyishness most people recognize from life, rather than from comedy. During a scene in the pilot, Phil casts about for a friend to ride go-karts with over the weekend, and finally settles on one guy who's pointedly not looking at him as he looks around desperately for volunteers. "Clyde?" he asks.

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