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Apple unveils new MacBook Pro with Retina display

Jun 11, 2012   //   by admin   //   Future of Media 2011  //  No Comments

by David Silverberg

Apple revealed details of its next-generation MacBook Pro featuring Retina display technology. It’s also being called the lightest MacBook Pro ever made and is available today.

At the annual Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco, Apple senior vice president of worldwide marketing Phil Schiller took to the stage to declare this MacBook Pro the most beautiful computer Apple has ever made. Just .71 inches thin, the laptop weighs 4lbs and features a Retina display, a first for a notebook computer, TechCrunch notes.

Retina displays are most commonly found on Apple’s iPhones and iPods. Apple promotes Retina display by says itss pixel density is so high, your eye is unable to distinguish individual pixels. “Which means text in books, web pages, and email is crisp at any size. Images in games, movies, and photos pop off the screen. And everything is sharper.”

The MacBook Pro’s 15.4-inch Retina display features “the highest resolution” of any notebook on the market, thanks to its 220 pixels per inch.Aside from the display, CNET writes, Apple’s new MacBook Pro comes with “quad-core processors, up to 2.7GHz. In addition, the device can support up to 16GB of 1,600MHz RAM. On the storage side, it can support up to 768GB of Flash storage and survive 7 hours on a single charge.”

Other features worth noting: a FaceTime HD 720p camera, dual microphones (Schiller said they are the best stereo speakers Apple has ever put into a notebook), a backlit keyboard, Bluetooth 4.0 connectivity, and 802.11n Wi-Fi.

The MacBook Pro with the Retina display doesn’t come cheap, priced at $2,199 for 256GB of storage and 8GB of RAM.

TechCrunch writes this will be the first MacBook Pro without an optical drive.

Apple announced it has updated the apps in OS X to take advantage of the new Retina display. “Those updated include Mail, Safari, iMovie and iPhoto. Professional apps, including Aperture and Final Cut Pro, have also been updated,” Appleinsider adds.

Study: 91% of European Internet users read online news

Jun 7, 2012   //   by admin   //   Blog  //  No Comments

by Katerina Nikolas (Guest contributor/Digital Journalist)

Europeans are more connected than ever before, a new study concludes after conducting interviews with 50,000 consumers regarding media consumption patterns. A record 426.9 million Europeans are now online with 91 percent reading online news.

The Interactive Advertising Bureau Europe (IAB Europe) has published the eighth Mediascope Europe media consumption study from research across 28 European nations.

The key findings published in the study reveal that 65 percent of Europeans are now online ( 426.9 million). Of the 91 percent of users who read news online, 35 to 54 year-olds are the most likely to do so, with more men than women sourcing their news online. The average time spent online each week is 14.8 hours.

The U.K. Government Office for Statistics recently released figures showing that the European average of households with Internet access was 73 percent. The Nordic countries recorded the highest percentage of Internet access, with the U.K. in eighth place. The Mediterranean countries recorded the lowest percentage of Internet access.

This article was originally published on Digital Journal [Link]

Digital Journal releases ‘Power User’ list for May

Jun 5, 2012   //   by admin   //   Blog  //  No Comments

by Digital Journal Staff

Today Digital Journal is releasing the top 20 “power users” who have earned high points and won badges for completing various tasks on DigitalJournal.com in May 2012.

The Top 20 list is published each month to report how Digital Journalists, bloggers and citizen journalists interact in an online media network.

“Digital Journal’s gamification project brings an important layer of excitement to what our contributors do,” said Chris Hogg, CEO, Digital Journal. “It also lets us understand how people consume and interact with our media network.”

Digital Journal’s gamification project tracks and reports activity of contributors on Digital Journal. Recording actions such as quantity of articles published, frequency of visit and level of engagement, Digital Journal rewards points and badges to individual contributors based on the amount of their activity. The members who stay the most active in the month are then rewarded with a “Power User” badge.

In addition to creating incentive for contributors to participate in the social news network, Digital Journal’s gamification project aims to showcase talent and create a level of transparency that gives an open look at how people interact with a news organization and how user-generated content is valuable in the wider news ecosystem.

In no particular order, Digital Journal’s May 2012 Power Users include:

Digital Journal compiles data on a monthly basis and resets the points at the beginning of each month when a new competition begins. More info on Digital Journal’s gamification project can be found here.

If you would like to compete for a top spot on Digital Journal, simply sign up for an account and start contributing! It’s that simple.

For partnership and media inquiries, please contact us.

Microsoft announces new streaming content, Xbox SmartGlass at E3

Jun 4, 2012   //   by admin   //   Blog  //  No Comments

by Tylor Sweeney (Guest contributor/Digital Journalist)

Today Microsoft blasted the door open on its plans for making the Xbox platform better at their Pre-E3 Press Briefing in Los Angles.

Microsoft was expected to make a splash in their Pre-E3 press briefing today, and the Redmond-based company did not disappoint. Beyond announcing a slew of games, the company also unveiled new media content offerings on the platform and unveiled Xbox SmartGlass.

The conference started with a live action Halo 4 trailer that blended into a gameplay demo. This was the first time anyone got a solid peak at the next Halo game, which is being developed by 343 Studios (not Bungie). The game certainly looked the part, with excellent graphics for both weapons and environments, and a new heads-up display (HUD) that showed bits of Master Chief’s helmet around the edges of the screen.

While the games stalwart Covenant enemies are making an appearance here, the gameplay demo showcased some enemies new to the series. All in all, Halo fans are sure to line up in droves when the game launches on November 6.Ubisoft came out on stage as well, despite having their own conference later this evening, and demoed Splinter Cell: Blacklist. Splinter Cell has been a gaming heavyweight since the first game was released on the original Xbox back in 2002.

The latest entry improves upon the decent Splinter Cell: Conviction release by keeping some of the best features of that release and adding new elements as well. The game looks excellent, and the games Kinect integration is subtle, yet profound. Voice commands allow players to taunt enemies from cover, causing the enemy to come close enough to perform powerful stealth kills.

While the gameplay demo seemed a bit action heavy for a Splinter Cell game, only time will tell whether the next game in the series is a step in the right direction. Splinter Cell fans can get their hands on the next game in the franchise next Spring.

Electronic Arts also came on stage, also despite having their own conference later this afternoon, and demoed FIFA 13 and Madden 13, both with Kinect integration. While no gameplay changes where demoed, the Kinect integration does add an interesting component to the game, allowing players to call out plays, formations, audibles, players and even signal calls and timeouts to the referee without ever opening a menu. Electronic Arts may detail more gameplay features later in their own conference.

Microsoft also displayed trailers for several other games, including Fable: The Journey, Gears of War Judgement, Forza Horizon and a South Park RPG. They also demoed Wreckateer, a castle smasher Kinect game that looks like a cross between Angry Birds and Castle Crashers. Crystal Dynamic demoed Tomb Raider (which is coming out next year) and Capcom demoed Resident Evil 6, which looks like another stellar addition to the survival horror juggernaut.While Microsoft did showcase several games at this years press conference, the company’s biggest announcements revolved around media and device interoperability.

Microsoft announced more than 35 new content partners (a full list can be found here), including Paramount Movies, Nickelodeon, Machinima and Univision in the US. Microsoft also announced several new sports content partnerships including NBA GameTime with NBA League Pass Broadband and NHL GameCenter Live, expanding on the MLB.TV, UFC and ESPN3 offerings already available.

Microsoft also unveiled a radical new change to the ESPN content available on the platform currently. ESPN will soon begin streaming ESPN, ESPN 2, ESPN 3 and ESPN U 24/7 to Xbox through WatchESPN.Microsoft also announced their new Xbox Music service, but details on the service were minimal.

In an effort to expand upon Kinect’s extensive fitness capabilities, Microsoft and Nike are partnering up to provide Xbox owners with Nike+ Kinect Training, a full training system with customized training programs powered by Nike trainers.

Perhaps the biggest announcement, however, was Microsoft’s Xbox SmartGlass announcement. A cross-platform (read: iOS, Android, Windows Phone and Windows 8) application that allows asynchronous multi-screen experiences with the Xbox 360. The demo on-stage showed using a Windows 8 tablet to watch a movie and then seamlessly continue watching that movie on the Xbox 360, similar to Apple’s AirPlay model. However, the tablet continued showing detailed information about the movie being watched on the big screen, unlike Apple’s AirPlay. The Xbox SmartGlass app also allows mobile phones to get in on the action, as SmartGlass was demoed on a Windows Phone. The smartphone makes for a great remote experience, allowing users to interface with the console using touch.

Microsoft truly demoed the capabilities of SmartGlass when they announced Internet Explorer for Xbox 360. Consumers can use their smartphone running the SmartGlass application as a remote mouse and keyboard control solution for browsing the web, bringing one of the first accesible web browsing experiences to the television.

Microsoft also detailed that it plans game developers to integrate SmartGlass into their games, showing a trailer of conceptual implementations. For example, gamers could use SmartGlass on their tablet or phone to select plays and formations in Madden or FIFA, or view unlocked lore material in Halo, or even jump right into a multiplayer match in multiplayer games, all right from a mobile device.Microsoft ended the show with Treyarch demoing Call of Duty Black Ops 2, which is expected to hit shelves November 13.

This article originally appeared on Digital Journal [Link]

Postmedia makes changes to Sunday newspapers, paywall access

May 29, 2012   //   by admin   //   Blog  //  No Comments

by Andrew Moran (Guest contributor/Digital Journalist)

Postmedia Network Canada, the publisher of the largest chain of Canadian big-city daily newspapers, continues to struggle. The company announced Monday that it will be making several revisions to its business model.

The publisher of the Vancouver Sun, the Star Phoenix and the Leader-Post, stated Monday in a news release that it will be ending Sunday newspapers in Calgary, Edmonton and Ottawa and suspend the Monday edition of the National Post through the summer, which will be the fourth straight summer of such a move. These changes will begin next month.

An unspecified number of layoffs will occur in newsrooms between Vancouver and Montreal starting in autumn. According to a memo obtained by the Globe and Mail (via Reuters), the Montreal Gazette plans to get rid of 20 journalists, while Postmedia will transfer its copyediting services out of its metropolitan newsroom to a centralized location in Hamilton.

The company is looking to sell its Toronto-based headquarters.With many news outlets experimenting with the paywall model, Postmedia Network is trying out a metered system access to its Montreal, Ottawa and Vancouver publications – the Globe and Mail recently laid out plans to implement a paywall this fall. It is also trying to revamp its digital titles for its websites and smartphone and tablet apps.

“[We] must accelerate the pace of change so that the new company we are creating is the strongest, most future-focused and successful that it can be,” said Paul Godfrey, Postmedia chief executive. “Creating compelling content is still a major focus at Postmedia Network and we are proud of the exceptional work appearing on our print and digital pages every day.”

This news comes as Postmedia partnered with the Canadian Press to publish breaking news, which led to the end of approximately 24 editorial jobs.

The publication’s announcement coincides with its financial updates. The company posted revenues of just under $200 million in its fiscal second quarter and reported a modest $11.1 million loss. Postmedia was formed by former creditors of Canwest Global Communications Corp. two years ago.

This article originally appeared in Digital Journal [Link]

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