Have you seen Mr. Robot? The show is only three episodes in, but it's already shaping up to be a surprisingly awesome hacking drama. And I don't mean "hacking" in the CSI/NCIS/Scorpion "120WPM and 60 flashing windows" kind of hacking - the protagonist and his Anonymous-style compatriots use real methods and technology, mostly relying on a combination of known vulnerabilities, social engineering, and brute force attacks to play at being cyber-vigilantes.
The Chromecast is great! Wouldn't it be even greater if it could actually run Chrome, instead of being a point for streaming video and music? ASUS seems to think so. Tucked into an announcement of new Chrome OS laptops, Google posted a preview of the Chromebit on the official Chrome blog. It's basically Chrome OS on a stick: plug it into the HDMI port on your TV, add some MicroUSB power, and you've got access to a full copy of Chrome OS.
But, according to a report from The Information, Google isn't content to just have a cult hit of a game on its hands. Google has partnered with Sean Daniel Co. to make a television show based on the game, with producers "in talks with candidates to serve as its showrunner." This information comes from "two people who have been involved in the discussions."
Despite this somewhat surprising rumor, The Info is sure to note that this "doesn't appear to reflect a broader move into film or TV production by Google," and that Google "isn't particularly interested in cashing in on Ingress' worldwide audience, instead viewing the TV show as a deeper extension into the game's hybrid reality-fictional world and a way to provide a more intimate connection with its players."
Indeed, the hybrid nature of the game is one of the facets that propelled it to popularity as users choose sides and vie for portals at real-world physical locations, sometimes cooperating across factions to produce "faction art" like this dragon in Norwich.
Sling TV, a new hardware-free, online-only television service from the people behind Dish Network, is the most exciting thing to happen to IPTV in years. It's a $20-per-month alternative to cable and satellite that you access via the web, or more probably, apps on your mobile device or set-top I box. Sling TV is live today, offering a handful of notable cable channels with more available as paid extras.
The service is launching with an Android app, which is a refreshing change from some other online services we could mention.
Dedicated technology newshounds have already heard that all of Sony's upcoming BRAVIA televisions will feature Android TV powering their integrated electronics. At CES, the biggest show around in terms of home theater (among other things), they've made good on that promise. Don't believe me? Watch these attractive people over-emote and demonstrate a BRAVIA television's Google Cast feature and ability to play games from the Play Store.
Android TV runs these TVs, including the various inputs and live television, in a manner similar to some Roku-branded HDTVs already on the market. They have a few Sony enhancements, of course. They include built-in apps for convergent activities like photo sharing.
Today Microsoft has announced its Wireless Display Adapter, a Chromecast-sized dongle that plugs into the back of your TV, monitor, or projector and enables you to mirror content from any Miracast-enabled device. It's not the first product of its kind on the market, but Microsoft's offering is a small and sleek option, and it just so happens to be compatible with Android devices.
NBC Universal has launched Sprout Now into the Play Store, giving parents all over the country the option to let their kids stream a full episode of their favorite series and get a couple moments' rest. The app comes with a full program guide, plenty of shows, and enough content to occupy children for up to four, five minutes tops.
Of course, there are caveats. Parents need to have a TV subscription of some kind in order to get access to the shows. A large number of providers are supported, with major players such as Charter, Comcast, Cox, DirecTV, and Verizon making the list.
Let's face it: at this point, Google TV is a certified flop. For all its good points, its adoption was hampered by expensive hardware, limited apps, and a clunky interface. Google is hoping to revive their set-top plans with "Android TV," an as-yet unverified platform revealed by The Verge last month. Others found more details of Android code powering a Google set-top box in the Android 4.4.3 changelog. Now anonymous sources tell GigaOM that the device will get a formal introduction, if not a full rollout, at Google I/O in June.
According to the report, which comes with no verifiable information of its own, Google will introduce Android TV as its next-generation television platform.
Hey, you! Insanely rich person with poor impulse control! Don't you wish the irresponsibly gigantic television in your palatial living room had a touchscreen, so you could walk half an acre across your designer carpet to play 2048? Well now you can, as long as you're willing to throw a few monetary scraps to Viewsonic. The CDE8451-TL is an 84" 4K TV with a touchscreen and Android. For $18,999. For some reason.
Note that this isn't for Google TV, or any kind of standardized software interface - it's not even a gigantic Android tablet. Nope, Android is included for "diverse Android multimedia applications such as social networking, cloud services, and online video." And with a "powerful dual-core processor" and 8GB of storage, who could doubt it.
Remember Zeebox? You know, the NBC and Comcast-backed app that promised to bridge the gap between television and social media? You could be forgiven for forgetting - the app warranted exactly one post from us 18 months ago, and hasn't made any significant changes to get back on our radar. Today the app has been re-branded as "Beamly," a move announced with a swanky app redesign.
All the core functions of Zeebox seem to have made it over to the new Beamly app: the basis of the experience is still the TV schedule, which will learn your tastes and recommend new shows.