Monthly Archives: December 2014

Dame Kristin Scott Thomas and Sir John Hurt among New Year's Honours list

LONDON — Actors, politicians, writers and sporting heroes are among the 1,164 people honoured by the Queen on the New Years Honour’s list 2015.

Joan Collins and Kristin Scott Thomas have been made dames and John Hurt has received a knighthood. Emily Watson has been made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE), as have James Corden and Sheridan Smith from Gavin & Stacey.

Fashion designer Mary Quant, former Liberal Democrat leader Paddy Ashdown, broadcaster Esther Rantzen and Oscar-nominated screenwriter William Nicholson, whose work includes Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom and Gladiator, have all been recognised. Read more…

More about Uk, London, Queen, Film, and Us World

7 biggest marketing and media trends of 2014

In 2014, advertising was in the eye of the beholder

For instance, some thought that with 400 million-plus views, Shakira’s “La La La” was the biggest viral ad of the year. Yet YouTube didn’t list it among the year’s most-viewed ads, even though the Activia brand name was well displayed

Then there was Ellen DeGeneres’ selfie during the Oscars, a moment that was viewed by a billion or so people and engineered by Samsung. Was that an ad? Real-time marketing? Or just a goofy, impromptu throwaway moment?

As advertising sought to redefine itself, legacy media like TV and print made a convincing argument for their continued existence. Looking back, 2014 will probably be viewed as a transitional year, as broadcast TV remained the largest advertising vehicle and advertisers struggled to adapt to an always-on environment in which consumers were more attuned to your failures than your successes. Amid this shifting landscape, here were the seven biggest trends: Read more…

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Wowza Predictions for Online Video in 2015

When I first started working on streaming media products in 1999, my co-workers and I were convinced that online video was going to be big someday. Fueled in large part by mainstream successes within the last decade by pioneers such as YouTube and Netflix, few would argue that online video ubiquity is spreading across the globe and “someday” has arrived.

What are the big trends we see as we go into 2015? There will be many advances with specific new technologies, such as HTML5 streaming, HEVC (H.265), 4K, and MPEG-DASH, and we’ll focus on those in the months and years ahead. In general, those technologies will help fuel some broader changes already ramping up in the market.

Here are five such market trends to watch in 2015…

  1. Content owners bypassing the distributors. Young adults are increasingly likely to either stop paying for TV services, or to have never had them in the first place. To ensure they reach this growing audience, HBO and CBS have already announced plans to make streaming content available directly to viewers, and other broadcasters have announced they may follow suit. For content owners like these, there are clear benefits to a direct customer relationship, including recurring subscription fees and highly targeted advertising. Look for more content owners to go direct to viewers, bypassing the slower-paced telcos and cable companies and their expensive subscription bundles.
  2. Live streaming growing fast. If you thought live content was dead in the age of the DVR, think again. Events such as the Sochi 2014 Olympic Games and the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil demonstrated that there is huge demand for watching compelling live content, anywhere and on any device. It’s not just about sports, though – audiences are flocking to live online events for the immediacy, interactivity, and social aspects they provide. Examples include online video gaming (, live concert events (TourGigs), and shared experiences with casts of favorite TV shows (Showcaster). As costs fall, reach extends to larger audiences, and ease of deployment increases, more and more live broadcasters and viewers will be tuning into the power of “now.”
  3. Mobile video consumption multiplying. Online video delivery to mobile devices will show big gains in 2015. We see more companies deploying mobile video streaming solutions for their employees and customers every day, mirroring recent industry reports. With HD-capable mobile device proliferation, connectivity, and streaming quality increasing all the time, this trend shows no signs of slowing.
  4. The flipped classroom becomes real. Online video has been growing as a primary tool for distance learning, and now it’s picking up more speed within education for a second reason. Flipped classroom experiences allow teachers to assign lecture videos to be watched outside the classroom, allowing them to spend more quality group and individual time with students in the classroom and resulting in positive learning results. There’s a long-term multiplier effect here, too – as these students enter the workforce, they’ll be taking expectations for these new modes of video learning and consumption with them to their employers.
  5. Increasing adoption of cloud video infrastructures. Many Wowza customers have been streaming from Infrastructure-as-a-Service cloud providers such as Amazon Web Services since 2007, and cloud deployments are only accelerating. When building a cloud-based video workflow, more companies can quickly launch their video streaming using third-party servers, scale up and down as needs change, and only pay for what they use. New cloud marketplaces and video platform-as-a-service offerings will be doing more of the heavy lifting, making it even easier to get started with cost-effective and flexible cloud-based video delivery in 2015.

Agree? Disagree? What are you expecting in 2015?

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Drop some knowledge about the New Year's Eve ball with these 7 facts

Each year on December 31, more than one billion people around the world will watch the Waterford crystal ball make its descent upon Times Square in New York, ringing in the start of 2015.

This year, take a minute to learn a bit about the geodesic dome before Ryan Seacrest starts his countdown. What better way to ring in a new year than with some knowledge?

More about Holidays, Videos, New Years Eve, Mashable Video, and Watercooler

California school district lifts ban on 'I Can't Breathe' shirts

SAN FRANCISCO — A California school district on Monday reversed a basketball tournament ban on T-shirts reading “I Can’t Breathe” and said it would allow high school players to wear the shirts during warmups as long as they do not cause problems, lawyers said.

With backing from school officials, the athletic director at Fort Bragg High School, previously told the boys and girls teams from Mendocino High School they could not play in the three-day event if they wore the shirts inspired by the last words of Eric Garner, a New York man who died after an officer put him in a chokehold.

Karen Boyd, a First Amendment lawyer who represents one of the players, said the reversal by the Fort Bragg School District came just moments before she intended to file a federal court motion arguing that barring the shirts violated the free speech rights of student athletes. Read more…

More about Us World, Us, Eric Garner, and I Can T Breathe

Samsung unveils a free 4K video app for its virtual reality headset

In hopes of spurring more interest in its Gear VR virtual reality headset, Samsung has announced a video content app

The app, Milk VR, will provide free, immersive, 360-degree content to users. The videos will be offered in both 2K and 4K formats and will focus on categories such sports, music and action-oriented videos

Milk VR follows the launch of Milk Video and Milk Music, and indicates that Samsung intends to deepen its focus on building out the Milk brand

The company’s $199.99 virtual reality headset, developed in concert with Oculus Rift, was officially made available earlier this month Read more…

More about Samsung, Virtual Reality, Tech, Apps Software, and Dev Design

This gas station bathroom is nicer than your first apartment

The overwhelming majority of gas station restrooms lie just above a house that’s currently on fire on the “Places You’d Like to Go” list. This Shell station in Bohol, Philippines is the exception.

Model and writer Jason Godfrey posted this video to his Facebook page in late November, then uploaded it to Youtube on Dec. 11. In the video, he discovers the swankiest restroom we’ve ever seen. Decked out with art, small model boats, decorative shells and fine mahogany paneling, the bathroom is the kind of place you’d probably like to settle down and start a family in.

More about Videos, Humor, Bathroom, Watercooler, and Gas Station

What The Hell Is A Startup Anyway?

 If you regularly read technology media, and I honestly can’t recommend it, you will run into occasional references to “startups.” Many consider startups to be small companies determined to grow quickly in the hopes of becoming the next passé giant whose corporate campus costs so much to maintain that it eventually has to stop serving chilled sake by robot on Thursdays. Read More


Teen pulled a gun on Berkeley officer before shots fired, officials say

A black teenager who was shot and killed by a white police officer in Berkeley, Missouri last week pulled a gun on the officer before any shots were fired, Berkeley officials said at a press conference on Tuesday

The officials said their investigation confirmed what was seen in videos taken from the Mobil gas station where the shooting took place. The videos appear to show the teenager, Antonio Martin, raising his arm toward the officer before the officer fired his weapon

Here’s one of the gas station videos:

“The officer, in fear of his life, retreated, and while doing so, fired approximately three rounds,” Berkeley Police Chief Frank McCall said at the press conference. He added that Berkeley officials interviewed “several” eyewitnesses who said they saw Martin point a gun at the officer Read more…

More about Gun, Police, Missouri, Us World, and Us

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