Tag - Blockbuster
Nostalgic movie lovers may want to take notice, as Blockbuster has announced that Saturday, November 9, will be the last day on which its stores will provide movie rentals. Ahead of its imminent shutdown, Blockbuster tweeted notification of the cessation of its in-store rental service, asking customers what their last rentals will be. A follow-up tweet directed customers to the company's Frequently Asked Questions page in order to address any concerns about their accounts as the company prepares to go under.
Dish Network, parent company of Blockbuster, announced on Wednesday that the video rental service would be ending both its retail and mail DVD distribution operations by early-January 2014. Blockbuster will close its roughly 300 remaining U.S.-based retail locations and distribution centers in early January. The Blockbuster By Mail DVD distribution service, set to expire in mid-December, will continue to serve existing customers until that time.
Sling Media has introduced several new features for its mobile apps and set-top boxes. A firmware update for the Slingbox 500 brings support for Blockbuster On Demand content, including trailers and movie rentals. Users can also access their photos and videos stored on an attached USB drive.
ArcSoft has released Portrait+ for Mac, a new portrait retouching app that can be used to process groups of portraits simultaneously. The software uses facial recognition analysis to automatically detect faces and automatically perform numerous common corrections. This includes adjustments to key facial points around the eyes, eyebrows, nose, and mouth. Portrait Plus also includes numerous tools for manually selecting and removing scars, pimples, and other imperfections, as well as options for adjusting the output quality and size of finalized images.
Movie rentals company Blockbuster's United Kingdom arm has applied for bankruptcy protection after 24 years of operation. The move takes place in the same one-week period as photography chain Jessops and music retailer HMV headed into administration in the UK, unable to battle online retailers and providers of online and post-based services
Despite recent reports that Netflix is in talks with cable providers on some form of partnership, Comcast has gone on record to say it has no interest in such a deal. It won't add the service to its Xfinity subscribers as an on-demand offering or part of its billing service on any device, claims a New York Times report. Netflix believes it could be offered by major cable providers as a premium offering.
The manager of the Blockbuster name in Australia, Franchise Entertainment Group chief Paul Uniacke, stated Monday that Samsung had scored a key deal to get Blockbuster On Demand across virtually all its devices. The pact outlined to Smarthouse would see Blockbuster arrive both on TVs and Blu-ray players as well as on mobile devices like smartphones, tablets, and ultrabook. Unofficially, the US, UK, and mainland Europe would get access in the first half of 2012, with Australia not expected before September.
Eolas' attempt to patent the "interactive web" may have been dealt a permanent blow after a jury in the normally patent lawsuit-friendly town of Tyler, Texas ruled that the patent was invalid. The decision negated both any attempts at claiming damages and also negated three future trials. The rejection came in part after testimony from the spiritual creator of the web, Tim Berners-Lee, as well as individual creators whose work predated that of Eolas owner Michael Doyle.
Redbox finished Monday by acquiring NCR's entertainment division. The $100 million move would see it buy NCR's 35,000 disc kiosks, usually attached to Blockbuster Express, as well as retailer deals and discs themselves. As part of the swap, Redbox's parent company Coinstar will get software and services that will ultimately make a $25 million profit for NCR.
Dish Network had an unusually strong presence at CES this year and gave us time to try its new Hopper DVR system. The three-tuner box is one of the more aggressive recorders we've seen and can record as many as six shows at once through a unique trick: it loads the four major US TV networks (ABC, CBS, Fox, NBC) on one tuner during prime time hours. It's hard to tell if there's any compression artifacts from the recorded shows on those networks, but it looked good in the controlled conditions of the CES floor.
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Cirrus creates Lightning-headphone dev kit
Apple supplier Cirrus Logic has introduced a MFi-compliant new development kit for companies interested in using Cirrus' chips to create Lightning-based headphones, which -- regardless of whether rumors about Apple dropping the analog headphone jack in its iPhone this fall -- can offer advantages to music-loving iOS device users. The kit mentions some of the advantages of an all-digital headset or headphone connector, including higher-bitrate support, a more customizable experience, and support for power and data transfer into headphone hardware. Several companies already make Lightning headphones, and Apple has supported the concept since June 2014. http://bit.ly/29giiZj
Apple Store app offers Procreate Pocket
The Apple Store app for iPhone, which periodically rewards users with free app gifts, is now offering the iPhone "Pocket" version of drawing app Procreate for those who have the free Apple Store app until July 28. Users who have redeemed the offer by navigating to the "Stores" tab of the app and swiping past the "iPhone Upgrade Program" banner to the "Procreate" banner have noted that only the limited Pocket (iPhone) version of the app is available free, even if the Apple Store app is installed and the offer redeemed on an iPad. The Pocket version currently sells for $3 on the iOS App Store. [32.4MB]
Porsche adds CarPlay to 2017 Panamera
Porsche has added a fifth model of vehicle to its CarPlay-supported lineup, announcing that the 2017 Panamera -- which will arrive in the US in January -- will include Apple's infotainment technology, and be seen on a giant 12.3-inch touchscreen as part of an all-new Porsche Communication Management system. The luxury sedan starts at $99,900 for the 4S model, and scales up to the Panamera Turbo, which sells for $146,900. Other vehicles that currently support CarPlay include the 2016 911 and the 2017 models of Macan, 718 Boxster, and 718 Cayman. The company did not mention support for Google's corresponding Android Auto in its announcement. http://bit.ly/295ZQ94
Apple employees testing wheelchair features
New features included in the forthcoming watchOS 3 are being tested by Apple retail store employees, including a new activity-tracking feature that has been designed with wheelchair users in mind. The move is slightly unusual in that, while retail employees have previously been used to test pre-release versions of OS X and iOS, this marks the first time they've been included in the otherwise developer-only watchOS betas. The company is said to have gone to great lengths to modify the activity tracker for wheelchair users, including changing the "time to stand" notification to "time to roll" and including two wheelchair-centric workout apps. http://bit.ly/2955JDa
SanDisk reveals two 256GB microSDXC cards
SanDisk has introduced two 256GB microSDXC cards. Arriving in August for $150, the Ultra microSDXC UHS-I Premium Edition card offers transfer speeds of up to 95MB/s for reading data. The Extreme microSDXC UHS-I card can read at a fast 100MB/s and write at up to 90MB/s, and will be shipping sometime in the fourth quarter for $200. http://bit.ly/294Q1If
Apple's third-quarter results due July 26
Apple has advised it will be issuing its third-quarter results on July 26, with a conference call to answer investor and analyst queries about the earnings set to take place later that day. The stream of the call will go live at 2pm PT (5pm ET) via Apple's investor site, with the results themselves expected to be released roughly 30 minutes before the call commences. Apple's guidance for the quarter put revenue at between $41 billion and $43 billion. http://apple.co/1oi1Pbm
Twitter stickers slowly roll out to users
Twitter has introduced "stickers," allowing users to add extra graphical elements to their photos before uploading them to the micro-blogging service. A library of hundreds of accessories, props, and emoji will be available to use as stickers, which can be resized, rotated, and placed anywhere on the photograph. Images with stickers will also become searchable with viewers able to select a sticker to see how others use the same graphic in their own posts. Twitter advises stickers will be rolling out to users over the next few weeks, and will work on both the mobile apps and through the browser. http://bit.ly/29bbwUE