I Heart Radio is Gaining on the Competition

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IHeartRadio gains ground on streaming rivals.

Since relaunching in 2011, iHeartRadio has been adding registered users at a pace of about 10 million every six to seven months. The streaming radio service has now surpassed 60 million registered users, putting it in closer proximity to competitors such as Pandora and Spotify.
Comparisons of iHeartRadio to pureplays are difficult. First, iHeart doesn’t require users to register to listen to live radio streams so its total reach is larger than the number who have registered. Second, pureplays offer free and paid services making apples to apples compassions difficult.
That said, Spotify in early January said it had over 60 million active users globally, including 15 million paying subscribers. Active uses are defined as those that have used the service in the past 30 days. As of last year’s third quarter, Pandora had 76.5 million active users and more than 200 million registered users. In other metrics released Friday, iHeartRadio said it hit nearly 90 million unique visitors, nearly 80 million social media followers and 75% brand awareness. The iHeart app has more than 500 million downloads. The new metrics follow first-time deals with Sony, LG and other partners that have put the service into more than a dozen more devices, spanning auto, in-home entertainment and gaming.
At the 2015 Consumer Electronics Show, iHeartMedia CEO Bob Pittman told Adweek listening will continue to grow as apps are embedded in more multi-purpose devices, such as game consoles, home entertainment systems and connected cars.
– See more at: http://www.insideradio.com/Article.asp?id=2886844&spid=32061#.VMaSmsYzBRG

“Yak About Tech” The Musical and other oddities. I Heart Media and WAXE 107.9FM/1370AM Jan. 26

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We open with Yahoo’s David Pogue’s musical tribute to CES. Advanced radars that see through walls, temperature controlled nano fibers built into your clothes and Stitch, the hookup app for grandma and grandpa. Twitter’s legacy might just be based on a toilet paper story.  And again, we have John Mallen for the ongoing discussion of social media and you’re personal brand.

Twitter @yakabouttech – Facebook.com/yakabouttech – facebook.com/planetvero – email: yakabouttech@gmail.com

HALF TIME

Crazy new tech lets police officers peer through the walls of your home undetected

by Jacob Siegal, bgr.com

January 21 02:18 PM

There has been plenty of negative press surrounding law enforcement in the United States over the last year, but it doesn’t look like 2015 is going to be any less controversial.

USA Today reports that at least 50 law enforcement agencies have secretly purchased advanced radars for their officers which could potentially allow them to see through the walls of our homes without first obtaining a search warrant.

The radar systems were originally deployed to the agencies over two years ago, without any public disclosure about how they would be used. This obviously raises privacy concerns, but even more worrying is the fact that the agencies appear to be ignoring the law altogether.

And these radars are about as accurate as you could possibly imagine. According to the report, the Range-R radar can detect “movements as slight as human breathing from a distance of more than 50 feet.” They’ll know if your home, where you are in your home and whether or not you’re moving around.

“The idea that the government can send signals through the wall of your house to figure out what’s inside is problematic,” Christopher Soghoian, the American Civil Liberties Union’s principal technologist, told USA Today. “Technologies that allow the police to look inside of a home are among the intrusive tools that police have.”

Hanni Fakhoury, a lawyer for the Electronic Frontier Foundation, adds that the fact that the technology is being used isn’t the only concern — judges might not know exactly what they’re dealing with if the issue ever comes up in court. The less we know about this technology, the easier it is for agencies to get away with using it without ever having to answer any questions.

ThisClothing Acts Like A Personal Heater When Temperatures Drop

January 16

When temperatures drop, you may wear your next heater instead of turning up the thermostat. New nanowire-coated clothing is designed to keep people toasty without wasting energy heating empty spaces in rooms.

Researchers at Stanford University used metallic, invisible mesh to coat regular fabric. Unlike typical clothing, which lets most body heat escape, the mesh creates a conducting network that radiates warmth back towards the wearer’s skin. Since the wires are nano-sized, the fabric is still as flexible and breathable as ordinary clothing. It’s also sturdy enough to go in a washing machine.

Most heating systems are incredibly inefficient, warming up vast swaths of space inside buildings just to keep the humans inside comfortable. Indoor heating uses almost half of all energy globally and contributes a third of climate change emissions. Why not heat humans directly instead?

Of course, when a polar vortex sweeps through a city, buildings will still need some heat to keep pipes from freezing. But if people inside a building wear clothing that keeps them comfortable, the thermostat can be turned way down—researchers say that indoor temperatures of 55 or 60 degrees can feel warm. In warmer climates, a heater might not be needed at all.

“It depends on how cold the weather can get,” says Yi Cui, one of the authors of a new paper about the technology. “I think that heating systems will still be needed when the outside temperature is too cold. But we can save a lot in the amount of heating.”

Each person wearing the clothing could save around 1000 kilowatt-hours of electricity in a year. Saving the same amount of energy with solar cells would require two square meter-sized solar panels for each person—something that would be impossible in a high-rise building.

In an office, the clothing could also solve another problem: The perennial challenge of where to set the thermostat. Everyone will finally be able to keep themselves exactly as warm as they want.

The clothing can also be connected to electricity to turn up the heat (the mesh is low-voltage, so the power won’t zap you). That could keep you as cozy outside as inside, making a walk on a brutally cold January day as comfortable as April.

You won’t be able to pick up a nanowire-filled shirt this winter, since the technology is still in development. But the researchers estimate that it might be on the market in five years.

They’re also working on another fabric that can keep people cool in the summer. “Cooling is the opposite of keeping warm—we want to take out as much body infrared radiation as possible,” says Cui. “I am doing research now to design ‘cooling cloth.’ This is an exciting project.”

If Twitter’s Legacy Is It One Time Helped A Guy Who Just Took A Huge Shit Get Toilet Paper Then That’s Just Fine Barstool Sports – Iowa

Check it out at barstoolsports.com

Michael Semer and John Mallen on “Yak About Tech” WAXE “I Heart Radio” January 19 2015

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First in a series of discussions on the role of social media in career planning. Michael Semer, senior creative strategist and John Mallen, CEO of JMCPR chime in on the future of social media planning for executives.  Michael hosts another edition of “App or Yak”.  And below the show we have some interesting events and software from this past week. We thank Engadget, BGR and Mashable for all their help.

TWITTER: @YAKABOUTTECH

FACEBOOK: FACEBOOK.COM/YAKABOUTTECH

EMAIL: YAKABOUTTECH@GMAIL.COM

Part One

Part Two

ELON MUSK AND A.I.

Elon Musk hasn’t been shy about bringing up the potential dangers of artificial intelligence — now, he’s actually doing something to help prevent an AI takeover. Musk just announced that he’s donating $10 million to the Future of Life Institute (FLI) for a research program that will focus on keeping AI “beneficial” to humanity. And by beneficial, he means making sure future computers will actually listen to us when they surpass our intelligence, and not take matters into their own hands when they realize they don’t need us. Musk isn’t some outlier — Stephen Hawking has made it clear he’s terrified of the AI revolution as well, and FLI has also gotten plenty of researchers to sign an open letter calling for research on keeping AI beneficial.

GOOGLE TRANSLATE

Reportedly, an updated version of the mobile app (coming “soon”) will automatically detect speech and translate it right away. All you’d really have to do is hold your phone up with the app running — important if you’d rather not go through a song-and-dance routine just to find out where the washrooms are.

TUNITY – STREAMS TV AUDIO TO YOUR SMARTPHONE

I tested the app on my iPhone 6 (it’s also available for Android) with Comcast by way of a TiVo. To get started, you simply tune in one of the supported live channels (more on that in a minute), then point your phone at the TV and let Tunity “scan” the screen.

In all of about 10 seconds, it detects what channel you’re watching and starts streaming the audio to your phone. Pretty slick.

There are, of course, a few limitations. The biggest, at least for now, is that Tunity currently supports only about 50 channels, though most of the US cable heavyweights are included: A&E, AMC, ESPN, Food Network, TBS and TNT, for example.

A quick look at the Consumer Electronic show in Las Vegas.

DRINKING CREATIVELY

University of Illinois Professor Jennifer Wiley determined that a person’s “creative peak” comes when their blood alcohol level reaches 0.075, lowering their ability to overthink during a task. Medical Daily reports that marketing agency CP+B Copenhagen and Danish brewery Rocket Brewing wanted to help drinkers reach their imaginative prime, so they decided to create their own beer to do just that.

The result is “The Problem Solver.” It’s a 7.1 percent craft IPA that its makers say offers a “refined bitterness with a refreshing finish.” To ensure you reach the optimum creative level, the bottle includes a scale, which determines how much of the beer you need to drink based on your body weight. The agency does offer a word of warning though: “Enjoying the right amount will enhance your creative thinking. Drinking more will probably do exactly the opposite.” That’s the difference between writing the next War and Peace and waking up the next morning with a massively sore head (possibly).

Sir Richard Branson of Virgin Galactica wants to bring the internet to the world

Remember satellite internet provider Iridium’s mid-’90s debacle? We’re not sure Richard Branson does, as he and mobile chip giant Qualcomm are determined to help launch another internet satellite venture. In his usual low-key style, Sir Branson declared that the two companies will create “the world’s largest ever satellite constellation” as the main backers of a startup called OneWeb. The idea is to launch 648 tiny satellites into low-earth orbit using Virgin Galactic’s Launcher One program to bring telephone and internet to “billions of people” in underserved areas. Launcher One is a commercial satellite offshoot to Virgin Galactic’s space tourism venture.

I Heart Radio’s “Yak About Tech” New Season, New Tech – January 12 2015

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The WAXE studio’s were retooled and Skype was fully integrated.  This will allow us GLOBAL access to new and exciting guests.  The new season’s kick off show was dedicated to everyone’s number one New Years resolution – HEALTH.  We brought on the best team to talk about health, fitness and nutrition. Our panel today:

From Montreal Chris Blyth – Founder and CEO of Lift-Session.  LIFT Session is the first digital platform designed specifically for the entire fitness ecosystem — fitness clubs, personal trainers, and fitness enthusiasts.

From San Francisco, we have Sandy Kleiman – founder of Healthy Culinary Coach.  She is an avid yogi who combines the practice of yoga and the practice of healthy cooking and eating to create a lifestyle that is sustainable. Her mantra is“Food is there to support optimal health.  And as she says “We all need to get back to the kitchen and get reacquainted with real whole foods”.  Great taste and nutrition can coexist.  She teaches people how that happens with joy and love.

And from New York, we have Tyler Pennock, Managing Director of Digital Health at Burson Mastella, one of the largest marketing and communication agencies in the world.

Click below to listen to these guys talk health and nutrition.

9.12.15 Part One

9.12.15 Part Two

From Engadget, we’ll share with you the best of CES

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Presenting the Best of CES 2015 winners!

by Mat Smith, engadget.com

January 8 09:30 PM

STARTLESS

One week in Vegas, several halls filled with tech, but only one official Best of CES Awards. After a few tortuous nights of shouting at each other, debating the merits of each of our finalists, we eventually decided on our winners. Congratulations to all our finalists and winners, and to anyone who’s survived this week of tech announcements, Vegas razzle-dazzle and occasionally dubious celebrity endorsements.

Best Startup: AmpStrip

We’ve seen fitness trackers in all shapes and forms, but AmpStrip’s Band-Aid-like sticker still managed to impress us. Together with a disposable sticky pad, it sits on your chest and monitors your heart rate, steps and other vitals. Basically, it offers most of the benefits of advanced wearable health trackers without getting in the way. It’s also waterproof, so it should be ideal for running a grueling triathlon. While it’s only in beta right now, AmpStrip expects to begin production this summer. — Devindra Hardawar, Senior Editor

Best Digital Health and Fitness Product: Bragi’s “The Dash”

What makes for an award-winning health and fitness gadget? We’d say wireless headphones with built-in fitness tracking and a personal trainer would be a good start. Bragi’s “The Dash” has those. They also serve as a standalone media player, double as a hands-free device and contain a heart-rate monitor. Oh, and they have intuitive touch-based controls. That’s a lot of tech for a pair of earbuds. All the more reason why they’re this year’s winner of Best Digital Health and Fitness Product. — James Trew, Deputy Managing Editor

Best Wearable: Bragi’s “The Dash”

When you think of wearable technology, it’s easy to overlook the humble headphone. After all, we’ve been “wearing” them for so long now. Bragi’s “The Dash” earbuds aren’t so easy to overlook though. The wearable buds have serious fitness credentials (activity tracking, heart rate monitoring, etc.) and intuitive touch controls. With so much tech packed into these things, it’s no wonder they’re this year’s winning wearable. — James Trew, Deputy Managing Editor

Best Automotive Technology: Mercedes’ F 015 Luxury in Motion concept

The Mercedes-Benz F 015 Luxury in Motion concept is as outrageous and ridiculous in form as a concept can be, but it’s also something the company believes is a possibility by 2030. Its vision sees the car as a salon, a lounge you drift from destination to destination in like an extension of your home. The seating rotates and the passengers can face one another, like at home in the living room or on a train. The interior is a mash-up of a Jetsons and Flash Gordon episode with reflective surfaces, soft white and blue lighting, clean white seats and console and even wooden flooring. The six interior displays and door panels support both touch and gesture control to access all the car’s connected features and even take control from the autonomous system. Of course, it’s absurd to think this is even remotely realistic car for today’s roads or even in the immediate future. Still, we have to applaud the audacity of Mercedes to just drop this concept on us here at CES; it’s exactly what the show needs more of. Congratulations. — Sean Cooper, Associate Editor

Best Home Theater Product: Sling TV

Endlessly frustrated with the state of television and the lack of choices you have about where and how you get to experience it? Of course you do, along with everyone else — and Sling TV is the first non-traditional alternative that looks like it could really work. Not only does it bring an interest-grabbing slate of content right off the bat (ESPN), but also the entire interface and system brings TV into the internet era. Even the price is on target, starting at $20 with no contracts in sight. Internet TV hasn’t supplanted the cable hegemony yet, but this is the first significant strike — and it’s a good one. — Richard Lawler, Senior Editor

Best (Connected) Home Product: Energous WattUp

We might not know exactly what the house of the future will look like, but one thing’s for sure: It’ll need power. Energous WattUp is a new wireless power solution that can charge wearables, phones and the hundreds of sensors that will one day litter your home. It’s early days for the tech, but it’s already close to a retail launch — Energous believes its partners will have the first wave of devices on shelves by the end of the year. — Aaron Souppouris, Senior Editor

Best Software / App: Sling TV

In a show where software and apps rarely take center stage, Sling TV was an obvious choice for both candidate and overall winner of this category. The $20-a-month service by Dish makes cord-cutting that much easier, offering premium content from the likes of ESPN and HGTV right off the bat. Not only that, but also the app itself — available on Android, iOS and select set-top boxes — is intuitive, user-friendly and surprisingly well-done. — Nicole Lee, Senior Editor

Best Innovation (Disruptive Tech): Energous WattUp

A surprise star of the show, Energous’ wireless charging solution WattUp has the potential to drastically alter the way we power our devices. It’s capable of charging devices from 15 feet away — imagine never having to take off your wearable, or your kids having toys that never run out of batteries because they’re constantly being fed power from afar? WattUp could be a game changer. — Aaron Souppouris, Senior Editor

Best Mobile Device: Dell Venue 8 7000 tablet

Dell isn’t exactly known for putting out the sleekest, most exciting hardware, but its Venue 8 7000 tablet packs plenty of star power… even if the name is a bit of a clunker. There’s a quad-core Intel Atom processor with 2GB of RAM thrumming away inside, but the real attention grabber is its so-called Infinity Display, also known as a almost bezel-less 8.4-inch OLED screen running at 2,560 x 1,600. With a waistline that measures only 6mm, Dell’s tab is also — for now — the thinnest in the world. And the piece de resistance? A multi-camera Intel RealSense setup around the back that’ll let you refocus your photos (à la Lytro) after you’ve already taken them. — Chris Velazco, Senior Mobile Editor

Best TV Product: LG Art Slim 4K OLED

So how could LG improve on last year’s OLEDs and their impressive picture quality? Show an impressive pace of price drops, crank up the resolution and give us a flatter option — and that’s just what it did. Despite a strong showing of quantum dot-loaded LCDs, this “Art Slim” OLED packing webOS 2.0 is the one we most want on our wall. The only question remaining is how much will it cost to get it there? — Richard Lawler, Senior Editor

Best Gaming Product: Razer Forge TV

That an Android TV microconsole is winning 2015’s Best of CES award for the gaming category says a lot about the selection of gaming stuff at this year’s CES. It’s not that Forge TV isn’t neat — it is neat, especially its ability to stream any PC/Mac game to your living room TV. It’s that Forge TV isn’t especially innovative or groundbreaking. What it is, though, is an inexpensive and solid microconsole with a particularly neat gimmick. — Ben Gilbert, Senior Editor

Best Offbeat Product: Belty

Much to the delight of Back to the Future fans and sneaker-heads alike, Nike has promised Power Laces will become a reality this year. Now, we might have another automatic item of clothing to look forward to in 2015 in the form of Belty: a motorized belt buckle that tightens and loosens itself. If you’ve eaten a little too much for lunch, for example, it’ll slacken slightly to make you more comfortable until you’ve had a chance to digest — then tighten back up before your pants become a the wardrobe malfunction that previously was waiting to happen. It also has activity-tracking capabilities, with the added bonus of being able to monitor changes in waist circumference. Right now, it’s at the bulky, prototype stage, but it works as promised, and is just the type of fun, quirky and potentially viral product that deserves top honors in our Offbeat Product category. — Jamie Rigg, Reviews Editor, Engadget UK

Best Maker-friendly Technology: MakerBot composite filaments

The future of 3D printing isn’t in the printers themselves, so much as the materials. MakerBot, despite its high prices, has already made the technology as user-friendly as it’s going to get. At CES 2015, the company turned to maplewood, limestone, iron and bronze (blended with plastic, of course) to push the 3D-printing world forward. The bronze can be polished to a shine; the iron can be magnetized; and the wood actually smells vaguely of maple. You can’t really print a useful hammer, but this is one step closer to printing a finished product (instead of a useless prototype). This is, hands-down, the most exciting 3D-printing announcement to come out of CES in years. — Terrence O’Brien, Managing Editor

Best PC: Lenovo LaVie HZ550

It’s difficult to convey just how light the Lenovo LaVie HZ550 is. What does it mean that a 13-inch laptop can now weigh just 1.7 pounds? Perhaps the most telling thing we can say is this: It’s so light, we were skeptical at first that it was even a working machine. When a computer is this light — 43 percent lighter than even the MacBook Air — you have to question if there’s even anything inside that magnesium shell. As it turns out, though, the HZ550 is very real, and it promises performance that’s on par with, if not better than, a typical Ultrabook. That includes Intel’s new fifth-generation Core processors and a battery that’s said to last between seven and eight hours on a charge. So far as we can tell, the only trade-off is that it lacks a touchscreen (that would add to the weight, after all). Even then, Lenovo has an answer to that: Its just-announced LaVie HZ750 convertible has a 360-degree hinge allowing it to fold back into tablet mode. And guess what? Lenovo says it’s the lightest 13-inch convertible laptop in the world. There you have it, folks! — Dana Wollman, Managing Editor

Best Robot or Drone: AirDog

What separated AirDog from the many (many) other drones at CES this year was its clear focus. Its sole purpose is to be your dedicated aerial cameraman. It supports Sony and GoPro cameras, follows you wherever you go, folds down to a backpack-friendly size and comes with custom “modes” for different sports. It may be designed to follow, but when it comes to action sports video, it leads. — James Trew, Deputy Managing Editor

Best of the Best: Sling TV

Many of us have been waiting, hoping and even lusting after Sling TV before we’d ever heard of it: an internet TV service that gives you the channels you love, on any screen, anywhere, without a subscription to traditional cable or satellite TV service. Our long wait finally, blessedly ended at CES 2015. Sling (don’t call it Dish) TV is a big deal, folks. It could very well be the beginning of the end for traditional pay TV here in the US, and that’s not something I ever thought possible before this week. That, friends, is why Sling TV is taking home three Best of CES awards, including Best in Show. — Michael Gorman, Editor-in-Chief

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