Category Archives: Apps & Tech

YouTube shuts down music companies’ use of manual copyright claims to steal creator revenue

The problem with the Manual Claiming policy is that it was impacting creator content even when the use of the claimed music in videos was very short — even a second long — or unintentional. For example, a creator who was vlogging may have walked past a store that was playing the copyrighted song, but then could lose the revenue from their video as a result. – Sarah Perez, TechCrunch »

Plex Introduces New Desktop App, Ends Home Theater PC Support

For the uninitiated, HTPCs are dedicated PCs connected to TVs or projectors to access streaming services and downloadable media. This used to be the primary way for early adopters to bring digital media to their TV screens, and apps like Plex owe much of their early popularity to this use case. In fact, Plex, XMBC / Kodi and Boxee all gained significant traction after Microsoft stopped investing resources into its own HTPC solution, dubbed Windows Media Center. – Janko Roettgers, Variety »

YouTube’s new AR feature lets you virtually try on makeup while watching videos

Makeup tutorials are hugely popular on YouTube, so an integration where you can try on the suggested looks yourself makes a ton of sense. While a lipstick try-on feature isn’t exactly groundbreaking — plenty of social media apps offer a similar filter these days — it could lead to more complex AR makeup integrations further down the road. – Sarah Perez, TechCrunch »

Set-top boxes from Comcast, AT&T and others used a lot less energy in 2018

Consumers saved approximately $1.6 billion in energy costs in 2018 alone thanks to a voluntary set-top box energy conservation agreement signed in 2013 and renewed in 2018. A new report by independent auditor D+R International found that the agreement has reduced the national set-top box annual energy consumption by 39% over six years, yielding cumulative savings of more than $5 billion in electricity costs and avoiding 28.6 million metric tons of CO2 emissions. – Ben Munson, FierceVideo »

YouTube should stop recommending garbage videos to users

There’s a simple way to solve these problems: YouTube should stop making algorithmic video recommendations. When a video finishes playing, YouTube should show the next video in the same channel. Or maybe it could show users a video selected from a list of high-quality videos curated by human YouTube employees. But the current approach—in which an algorithm tries to recommend the most engaging videos without worrying about whether they’re any good—has got to go. Timothy B. Lee, Ars Technica »

Netflix Scrutinized for Potential Impact on Health and Planet

According to the Paris-based nonprofit, the share of emissions attributable to the digital era will increase from 2.5 percent in 2013 to 4 percent in 2020, mostly fueled by the growth of video. Watching a high-definition video by streaming on a smartphone for just 10 minutes is equivalent to using a 2,000-watt electric oven at full power for five minutes, states the study. – Eriq Gardner, The Hollywood Reporter »

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