Aereo brings its streaming TV & cloud DVR service to Boston on May 15 | VentureBeat

Aereo

Despite continued legal attacks by television networks, controversial streaming TV startup Aereo will bring its service to Boston starting May 15, the company announced today.

Aereo offers streams of over-the-air broadcasts from channels like ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX, and PBS and makes them available on PCs and smart devices for $8 or $12 a month. It has installed many dime-sized antennas in New York City and other areas that receive broadcast transmissions and then pushes those transmissions to customers via the web. It also offers a cloud-based DVR so you can watch shows on your schedule.

The company recently won a major court victory against TV networks that meant the service could continue running. In response to that ruling, executives from News Corp. and CBS casually threatened to turn their broadcast networks into cable channels so Aereo’s re-transmissions could be stopped. (However, that seems unlikely.)

Even with the push-back from big media players, the company intends to keep expanding. After Boston, it has plans to hit other big cities by the end of the year.

People in the Boston area who have pre-registered for Aereo will get an invitation to join on May 15. Anyone else who wants the service can join after May 30. Aereo CEO and founder Chet Kanojia and several of his employees are actually Boston natives, so making the service available in that market is especially meaningful to the company.

“Consumers deserve more choice and flexibility in how they experience television and Aereo provides them a high-quality, rationally-priced alternative,” Kanojia said in a statement. “This is an exciting step forward for the company. Today’s announcement is even more meaningful and special for our more than 60 employees who call the Boston area home, including me. I’m proud of our team and what we’ve accomplished in such a short period of time.”

New York City-based Aereo has raised $63 million to date from investors including IAC, Highland Capital Partners, First Round Capital, and High Line Venture Partners.

Read more at VentureBeat

BeagleBone Black packs 1GHz ARM CPU, 512MB RAM for just $45 (video)

BeagleBone Black packs 1GHz ARM CPU, 512MB RAM for just $45 (video)

The BeagleBone might be just the piece of kit for the DIY set itching to boot Linux in 10 seconds, but the freshly unveiled BeagleBone Black packs an even greater punch — and the same speedy start times — at just half the price of its predecessor. The $45 credit card-sized package totes a 1GHz ARM Cortex-A8 processor, 3D graphics accelerator, a pair of PRU 32-bit RISC CPUs, 2GB of built-in storage, a microSD slot and 512MB of RAM. Connectivity-wise, the canine-themed board carries support for USB, Ethernet, micro-HDMI and two 46 pin headers. Those pining for hardware flexibility can make use of the platform’s existing “cape” hardware add-ons. Though it ships from Texas Instruments with Angstrom Linux on board, it’s also tuned to support Android and Ubuntu, and arrives pre-loaded with the Cloud9 IDE. BeagleBone Black is already up for grabs in limited quantities, but it’s expected to ship en masse by the end of May. Hit the second source link to start ordering, or head past the break for a video tour of the pint-sized computer.

Read more @ engadget.

Facebook said to construct huge data center in Iowa | VentureBeat

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Your Facebook photos and likes may just be headed to a new home. Facebook is reportedly opening a new, $1.5 billion data center in Altoona, Iowa, according to The Des Moines Register.

The data center is slated to be 1.4 million square feet, compared with the already enormous 300,000 square foot Prineville, Ore. facility Facebook currently has, according to “lawmakers” who spoke with The Des Moines Register anonymously. Facebook has two other existing data centers in Lulea, Sweden and Forest City, N.C. Sweden’s bit of Facebook is much smaller at 62,000 square feet.

The lawmakers went on to say that Facebook may ask for tax credits regarding wind energy, which is increasingly becoming a preferred method of green energy. The social network prides itself on its energy consumption levels at its Prineville center, saying it hits the Department of Energy’s gold standard for data center energy “power usage effectiveness.”

Whether Facebook receives this tax credit will be up to legislators, according to the lawmakers.

Construction on the data center will reportedly happen in two segments. Facebook is said to spend $500 million on each phase. It seems the state was in competition with Nebraska for the mid-west data center.

We’ve reached out to Facebook for confirmation and will update this post upon hearing back.

Read more at VentureBeat

AnandTech | MSI Z77A-GD65 Gaming Review

In recent motherboard generations, the ‘in style’ thing to do is to separate the SKU line of a company into several compartments – channel/mainstream, overclocking, budget, smaller-than-ATX, X feature enabled (such as Thunderbolt), and gaming. The latest addition to the gaming scene is MSI, who have recently released their Z77 Gaming range, despite being a stones throw away from Haswell launch.

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So when a reviewer comes across a product designated ‘gaming’, we are clearly wanting to see and feel why it is a gaming product. This would mean specific features aimed at the gaming crowd, to help reduce lag, boost frame rates, and increase the experience of the whole package. We already have contenders in this space aside from MSI – ASUS has their Republic Of Gamers range which we have rated very highly, Gigabyte has the G1 range, and ASRock wheels out Fatal1ty. Off the back of CeBIT 2013, MSI have launched four gaming boards in the Z77 range: the Z77A-GD65 Gaming, the Z77A-G45 Gaming, the Z77A-G43 Gaming and the B75A-G43 Gaming.

These motherboards come off the back of a successful gaming laptop range for MSI. In the wake of the global depression, every motherboard manufacturer needed to diversify its portfolio in order to cover itself, and MSI did this in the notebook arena. The gaming notebooks feature a red and black color scheme, which seems to be the going rate for gaming product lines:

MSI Z77A-GD65 Gaming Top_575px

From left to right – ASRock Fatal1ty Z77 Professional, MSI Z77A-GD65 Gaming, ASUS Maximus V Formula

The only company that bucks this trend is Gigabyte, aiming for a gaming green instead, or orange for the overclocking range. MSI aim for yellow with their overclocking range – the MPower and Lightning GPUs being the prime examples (the XPower is still relatively undefined in the blue end of the spectrum). However MSI is tying their ranges together, at least in color scheme – the Gaming range will have GPUs featuring a red Twin Frozr 4 cooler, and there have been a lot of images online featuring these two with red-LED Avexir memory.

While MSI have had great success of their GPU lines (the Lightning range constantly breaks overclocking world records and is more often than not the fastest pre-overclocked version of each card), the motherboard range needs a boost. MSI is aimed primarily low to mid-range, as seen by the lack of a Z77 PLX 8747 enabled motherboard in the lineup for three-way and above – even the GD80 and MPower are non-PLX. Thus if they want to release a gaming motherboard, gamers will want the best available, especially if they have that extreme setup. The Z77A-GD65 Gaming, despite being the top of the range so far, is the one we are reviewing today. It hits the line down the middle, going for that single and dual GPU gamer, but given how close we are to Haswell, was it worth the effort?

MSI Z77A-GD65 Gaming Overview

Speaking to MSI Europe, the reason for releasing a Z77 Gaming product line was due to the Haswell delay. They have had plans for a Z87 Gaming range since they got the specifications through for Haswell, but the additional 4-6 month delay means that the gaming range was brought forward. The only issue was that the gaming range on Z87 will have a different naming; the Z77 gaming range is a naming hybrid for now.

One of the first thoughts that popped into my mind when I started this review is ‘this looks like a normal GD65’. There are a large number of similarities:
MSI Z77A-GD65 Gaming Top_575px

In actual fact, we are dealing with almost the exact same layout. Same number of SATA ports, same VRM configuration, same location for OC buttons, USB ports, voltage check points, fan headers, the lot. The difference it seems is in the ‘gaming details’.

Over the base GD65 model we get a Qualcomm Atheros Killer NIC E2205-B gigabit Ethernet controller, a regular feature on the MSI Gaming notebook range. This NIC is designed to offload network features, such at packet priority, onto the NIC itself rather than the CPU, as well as bypassing the Windows network stack for high priority applications. Most motherboards now offer some form of network management tool, however these usually require CPU intervention in order to keep everything in the right order. While I cannot say that a Killer NIC is vital in improving FPS or response times, it could help reduce the ‘user’ end side of the lag in gaming. Though if you are suffering from lag due to your own computer, turn off downloads, Facebook and updates during competitions.

Similar to ASRock’s Fatal1ty range, the MSI Gaming also has a ‘Gaming Device Port’, which should allow for higher polling rate mice (500-1000 Hz) to be used. Whether a higher polling mouse rate is useful is still debatable depending on the frame rate – if you are polling up to 16-32x more than the FPS of the game, the PC has to decide on the average acceleration and location vs. the latest acceleration/location and inject it into the gaming stream appropriately.

Read the full review @ AnandTech | MSI Z77A-GD65 Gaming Review.

Microsoft releases repair disk for botched KB 2823324 patch | Microsoft windows – InfoWorld

If your machine comes up with blue screens of death (BSODs) after installing Microsoft’s ill-fatedKB 2823324/MS13-036 patch, Microsoft has just made available a download that will get your system going again. The CD image is only designed to bring back PCs that absolutely cannot be booted because of KB 2823324. It does not function as a general-purpose Windows 7 System Repair Disk.

Microsoft advises that if you are able to boot your Windows 7 PC, you should remove the botched Black Tuesday patch manually.

If you can’t boot your computer, download the ISO file to any non-comatose PC. Right-click on the downloaded file and burn the ISO to a CD or USB. Then boot from the CD or USB. The KB 2823324 recovery routine proceeds automatically, with no intervention required.

Microsoft advises:

Customers who cannot successfully restart their systems after applying the 2823324 update can download this image to create a bootable DVD or USB drive with which they can boot their systems, uninstall security update 2823324, and return their systems to a normal operating state. Microsoft recommends using this ISO image only if customers cannot successfully restart their systems. Customers who can restart normally should not use this ISO image and should instead refer to Microsoft Knowledge Base Article 2839011 for instructions on how to uninstall security update 2823324.
Known Issues:
1) This will not run on old hardware (pre 2004) that does not support NX.
2) This will only run on Windows 7 32 bit installations.
3) It will not work if Bitlocker is enabled.

The ill-fated patch, which was part of this month’s Black Tuesday crop, started installing automatically on Win7 PCs nine days ago. Last Thursday, Microsoft pulled the patch, with a recommendation that the patch be removed manually.

Although the bad patch interfered with the operation of certain Kaspersky Antivirus packages, the major problems — including repeated BSODs — appeared in the Portuguese-language version of 32-bit Win7.

Source: InfoWorld.

VentureBeat: Google announces its third Google Fiber city: Provo, Utah (aka Silicon Slopes)

Just weeks after officially revealing that Google Fiber would expand into Austin, Tex., Google is announcing its third U.S. Fiber city — Provo, Utah.

Google Fiber offers download and upload speeds that are 100 times faster than the average consumer broadband Internet connection, and at a much cheaper price. The service launched in the Kansas City area back in July, which instantly prompted competing services from Time Warner Cable to boost their own offerings. The announcement of Google Fiber coming to Provo validates Google chairman Eric Schmidt’s  previously statement that this is not a side project for the company.

So why Provo? Google Fiber general manager Kevin Lo explains:

“Utah is already home to hundreds of tech companies and startups, and many of them are based in Provo. In fact, the Provo area ranks second in the nation in patent growth, and is consistently ranked as one of the top places to live and do business in the U.S. We believe the future of the Internet will be built on gigabit speeds, and we’re sure the businesses and residents of Provo already have some good ideas for what they’d build with a gig”

Read more at VentureBeat

Engadget: HBO and Cinemax come to Google Fiber, cable companies shaking in their boots

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Google Fiber has a lot going for it, both as an ISP and a pay-TV platform. There was was one gaping hole in the service though: no HBO. Lets be honest with ourselves, its the big geeks that are looking to hop on that 1Gbps service first. And what do geeks love almost as much as blazing-fast Google-branded internet? Game of Thrones. Now Kansas City (and soon Austin) based nerds will be able to watch Joffrey become an even bigger monster live, rather than wait for some torrent site to get an illegal copy of it up (or, if they’re smart, mooch off of someone’s HBO GO account). Alongside HBO, Google Fiber has also added Cinemax: Home Box Office’s less cool sibling. The branded families of channels are both available today for $20 a month or $10 a month respectively. Or, if you’re a real premium TV fan, you can get both, plus STARZ and Showtime for $40 a month. Hit up the source for a few more details.

Source: Engadget

The Verge: Samsung under investigation for false advertising about HTC in Taiwan

Samsung is under investigation by Taiwanese authorities over allegations that it used deceptive advertising practices in the country, the AFP reports. The company reportedly hired students to write negative remarks online about HTC and to post promotional content for itself. Though it’s unclear what the actual content of these messages was, in a statement provided to The Verge, Samsung said that its Taiwanese branch “has ceased all marketing activities that involve the posting of anonymous comments.” It believes that the incident was an error due to insufficient training, and that it is not consistent with Samsung’s policies.

The AFP reports that the online campaign occurred through a local advertising agency hired by Samsung Electronics Taiwan, and that Samsung could be fined up to NT$25 million ($835,000) if the allegations are upheld. Taiwan’s Fair Trade Commission has already fined Samsung at least twice in the past year. The jointly owned company Toshiba Samsung Storage Technology was penalized for price fixing in September 2012 along with LG, Sony, and Philips, and earlier this year Samsung itself was fined around NT$300,000 ($7,670) for misleading advertising of one model of its Galaxy Y Duos.
The Verge: Samsung under investigation for false advertising about HTC in Taiwan.

Read more @ The Verge

Why you want Google Fiber

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(CNN) — This week, tech giant Google made it official: Google Fiber is coming to Austin. Residents of the hip Texas city will be the beneficiaries of Internet speeds of 1-gigabit, roughly 100 times faster than current speeds.

In Kansas City, where the service launched last fall, 1-gigabit service costs $70 per month. For $120 per month, consumers get Google’s TV service in addition to gigabit speeds. The company also offers seven years of free Internet service at current (5 mbps) speeds, after a $300 installation fee.

It’s entirely possible that Google Fiber could cost more in the future, but for now Google says it expects prices in Austin to be “roughly similar to Kansas City.”

Here are five reasons why you should want Google Fiber to come to your city as well.

Goodbye buffering: It’s the bane of Internet users everywhere. How many times have you been watching a video on YouTube or elsewhere on the Web, only to have the stream freeze up, forcing you to sit there like a chump while you wait for the video to resume?

Slate’s Farhad Manjoo describes a Google Fiber demonstration in which a company official played five high-definition YouTube videos simultaneously without a hitch. Most users are unlikely to watch five videos at the same time, but the point stands: With Google Fiber’s gigabit speeds, say goodbye to buffering.

And it’s not just YouTube: Imagine being able to download a full-length high-definition movie in a matter of seconds.
(MORE: Report: Google Fiber heading to Austin as cities race to boost Web speeds)

The price is right: It’s hard to beat free. Let’s say you’re content with your current broadband speeds and if you don’t want to pay for a gigabit. Google is offering at least seven years of free Internet service at current national average broadband speeds of 5 mbps, after a one-time $300 installation fee.
Now, suppose you pay $60 per month for your current broadband service. That’s $720 per year, or more than $5,000 over the course of seven years. With Google Fiber’s basic service, you’re saving more than $4,700.

Needless to say, this could go a long way toward making broadband service affordable in low-income communities, which, in turn, could help close the digital divide.

Read more @ CNN

Microsoft developing 7-inch Surface tablet – WSJ | Reuters

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(Reuters) – Microsoft Corp is developing a new lineup of Surface tablets, including a 7-inch version expected to go into mass production later this year, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the company’s plans.

Microsoft executives felt they needed to keep pace with the growing popularity of smaller tablets like Google Inc’s 7-inch Nexus and the 7.9-inch iPad Mini introduced by Apple Inc last October, one person told the paper. ()

Microsoft declined to comment to the Wall Street Journal. The company could not immediately be reached for comment by Reuters outside of regular U.S. business hours.

Microsoft developing 7-inch Surface tablet – WSJ | Reuters.