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Articles filed under Digital Entertainment

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  • Netflix streaming to reach Australia, New Zealand in March Nov 23, 2014 6:45 AM
    Netflix Inc., building on an expansion this year in Europe, will bring the world’s largest subscription-streaming service to Australia and New Zealand in March.

     
  • How YouTube is threatening Spotify Nov 22, 2014 6:22 AM
    After months of lead-up, Google-owned YouTube announced this week that it will offer a paid music subscription service. This sounds like a good deal, and Spotify should be worried.

     
  • Review: Apple’s iOS 8 provides a smarter type Nov 22, 2014 6:04 AM
    Apple’s new keyboard is so much smarter than its predecessor that most longtime iPhone and iPad users probably will be quite happy just to use it. But there are some other options out there to explore.

     
  • Facebook again tries to simplify privacy policy Nov 22, 2014 6:33 AM
    One more time, Facebook is trying to simplify its lengthy privacy policy — and make it much shorter — to explain how it targets advertisements to its 1.35 billion users.

     
  • People feel loss of control of personal info, Pew reports Nov 22, 2014 6:33 AM
    Do you feel safe sharing any information online? If you said no, you're not alone. Some 81 percent of people surveyed don’t feel secure using social networking sites and two-thirds of them think the government should do more to regulate those advertisers.

     
  • For video games, a trek to more exotic locales Nov 21, 2014 5:45 AM
    At the beginning of “Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare,” the player is dumped from the sky in a drop pod in Seoul, South Korea. The interactive medium has long built digital playgrounds based on real-world locales. However, recent technological leaps, as well as an endless string of games set in ubiquitous locations like New York and Los Angeles, have motivated developers of some of the year’s biggest games to boldly go where they haven’t before.

     
  • What to watch now that you’ve seen ‘Interstellar’ Nov 20, 2014 6:00 AM
    “Interstellar” joins a legacy of thoughtful sci-fi epics that began in 1968 when Stanley Kubrick changed the movie landscape forever. Here are some of Sean Stangland's favorites.

     
  • Social media ineptness helped fund ‘Still Waters’ Nov 17, 2014 6:00 AM
    Sometimes not knowing what you’re doing with social media pays off. It did — literally — for the filmmakers behind “Behind Still Waters,” an indie movie that was funded through one of the more successful Kickstarter campaigns. First-time director Chris Lowell says he and co-writer Mohit Narang were so “inept” when it came to social media they needed help just setting up Facebook accounts and figuring out how to Tweet.

     
  • ‘Assassin’s Creed Unity’ takes a tumble Nov 16, 2014 5:45 AM
    One of my favorite activities in the “Assassin’s Creed” games is diving off the top of a tall building into a conveniently placed haystack. I’ve done it hundreds of times over the franchise’s seven-year run, but until now I’ve never gotten stuck in the hay.

     
  • How to stop anonymous trolls from destroying online games Nov 15, 2014 7:44 AM
    Anonymity, in some cases a key civil liberty, also enables society’s worst actors. The loudest, most obnoxious, most toxic voices are able to drown out the rest of us — a spectacle that has nearly pushed me to quit the video-game world entirely in recent months.

     
  • FCC chair, Obama split on Internet rules Nov 15, 2014 7:42 AM
    Hours after President Barack Obama called for the Federal Communications Commission to pass tougher regulations on high-speed Internet providers, the agency’s Democratic chairman told a group of business executives that he was moving in a different direction. Huddled in an FCC conference room Monday with officials from major Web companies, including Google, Yahoo and Etsy, agency Chairman Tom Wheeler said he preferred a more nuanced solution.

     
  • The argument for, and against, net neutrality Nov 15, 2014 7:34 AM
    Let’s say President Barack Obama gets his way and high-speed Internet service providers are governed by the same U.S. regulations imposed on telephone companies 80 years ago. Depending on whom you listen to, the rules could unleash future innovation and create jobs — or stifle innovation and kill jobs. The divisive and often confusing debate has intensified now that Obama has entered the fray. Obama’s stance is meant to protect “net neutrality,” the concept that everyone with an Internet connection should have equal access to all legal content online. The idea served as one of the Internet’s building blocks, but its fate has been in limbo since January, when a court ruling invalidated Federal Communications Commission guidelines designed to treat all online traffic equally. The FCC has already been working on a new regulatory framework and is under no legal obligation to heed Obama’s call. Nevertheless, Obama’s opinion turns up the political heat on FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler and the four other commissioners who will make the final decision. The FCC isn’t under a deadline to make a decision. The Argument For Regulating Internet Service Providers As Utilities Obama believes the adoption of these Depression-era rules are the best way to preserve a “free and open” Internet that gives everyone in the U.S. the same access to any website hosting legal content, including video, music, photos, social networks, email, and maps. Adopting these rules would empower the U.S. government to prevent powerful online service providers such as Comcast, Verizon and Time Warner Cable from controlling Internet traffic in a way that suits their own financial interests. This premise assumes the service providers, if left unchecked, will create a two-tier system that funnels Internet traffic into fast and slow lanes. Only the richest companies will be able to pay the extra tolls to ensure their online content is accessible through these fast lanes, according to this hypothesis. “It is historically important that the Internet enhances freedom for all rather than profit for a few,” says Ed Black, president of the Computer & Communications Industry Association, a trade group that represents many technology companies, including Internet search leader Google Inc. and social networking leader Facebook Inc. And major cable-TV providers that also sell high-speed Internet service might be able to diminish the quality of service to Internet-only video services such as Netflix and Hulu that might lure away their customers. Netflix Inc., which boasts 37 million U.S. subscribers, is leading the charge to regulate Internet service providers like utilities. If net neutrality’s principles hadn’t been in effect for the past 20 years, proponents contend entrepreneurs would have been discouraged from developing a wide range of online services that have created millions of jobs and billions of dollars in wealth. Preserving net neutrality will put more people to work and enrich more investors under this theory. The Argument Against Regulating Internet Service Providers As Utilities If the U.S. government becomes the Internet’s traffic cop, online service providers will lose their incentive to continue investing in projects that improve their networks and expand into areas that have little or no high-speed access. This would lead to less innovation and threaten millions of jobs, according to cable and telecommunications companies spearheading the argument for little or no regulation. Adopting Obama’s approach “would threaten millions of jobs and a diverse array of stakeholders,” warned Broadband for America, an industry trade group. Last year, AT&T, Verizon, Comcast and Time Warner Cable invested a combined $46 billion in the U.S. on plants, property and equipment, according to estimates complied in an analysis by the Progressive Policy Institute, a think tank. Internet service providers also argue that it would be unfair to codify regulations that would prevent them from ever recovering some of the costs for connecting to broadband hogs such as Netflix, whose service generates about one-third of U.S. online traffic during the evening hours on weekdays. Netflix already pays Comcast, Verizon and AT&T an undisclosed fee for a more direct connection to their networks, an arrangement that could become unnecessary if Obama’s recommendation is adopted by the FCC. More regulation under rules created in a dramatically different era also threatens to bog down the Internet in more government bureaucracy and meddling. The 1934 Telecommunications Act would be the foundation of net neutrality, as envisioned by Obama, and it’s not clear how much the law would be updated. Broadband for America likened Obama’s proposal to the efforts of governments in China and Russia to gain more control over the Internet.

     
  • 5 questions, answers on ‘net neutrality’ Nov 15, 2014 7:33 AM
    President Barack Obama on Monday waded into the debate over “net neutrality” by suggesting that Internet service should be regulated more heavily to protect consumers. A look at the issue and what’s at stake.

     
  • Libertyville meets on gambling Nov 16, 2014 3:50 PM
    Libertyville Mayor Terry Weppler and the village board will host a town-hall meeting at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 18 to discuss and answer questions regarding video gambling. The meeting will be held at the Libertyville Civic Center, 135 W. Church St.

     
  • MTV’s ‘Rebel Music’ stays close to home with Native American activists Nov 13, 2014 6:00 AM
    This season, MTV’s “Rebel Music” series stays close to home with Native American activists. There’s Frank Waln, a hip-hop artist seeking to protect the environment and his heritage, and pop musician Inez Jasper, demanding attention for women’s rights and safe harbor from violence. "Rebel Music: Native America" debuts at 3 p.m. Thursday on MTV's Facebook page to coincide with Native American Heritage Month.

     
  • Still dumb — and funny — after all these years Nov 12, 2014 5:45 AM
    The brainless heroes Lloyd and Harry from "Dumb and Dumber" are back in theaters this weekend and easier than ever to watch at home. Meanwhile, in Gotham City, the past incarnations of Batman and Robin are coming to Blu-ray and DVD for the very first time.

     
  • Fox eyes digital options to counter ‘fraying’ cable tv bundle Nov 8, 2014 7:42 AM
    21st Century Fox Inc., Rupert Murdoch’s entertainment company, is considering new Web-based initiatives to attract younger viewers and consumers who don’t subscribe to traditional pay TV services. Emerging digital platforms are “the most exciting and important opportunity for future growth,” Chief Operating Officer Chase Carey said today on an earnings conference call.

     
  • Taylor Swift vs. Spotify: Why her bold move won’t work for other artists Nov 8, 2014 7:00 AM
    Looks like Taylor Swift has another disgruntled ex. On Monday morning, Spotify sent out a string of heartbroken, pleading tweets, mourning that the pop star asked that her entire song library be removed from the popular music streaming site.

     
  • ‘Call of Duty’ multiplayer tops rote story Nov 7, 2014 6:00 AM
    Kevin Spacey can’t save “Call of Duty” from itself. But perhaps an Iron Man-like “exoskeleton” can. Spacey plays the egomaniacal leader of a private military corporation in the single-player story mode of “Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare.” Despite often choppy animation of his performance-capture acting, Spacey lends smarmy gravitas to his character, the highlight of an otherwise rote, self-serious, globe-trotting campaign.

     
  • ‘Civilization’ shoots for the stars Nov 3, 2014 5:45 AM
    Our planet isn’t in very good shape. The good news, according to “Sid Meier’s Civilization: Beyond Earth,” is that we’ll be able to hang around for another 500 years or so. The bad news: After that, we’d better start looking for a new home.

     
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