Simpsons World to provide every Simpsons episode without costing you any d'oh!

Philip Michaels Editor, TechHive Follow me on Google+

Philip has covered the Mac market since 1999, with a focus on the iPhone, iPad and iOS in recent years. In all that time, he has never tested a fart app.
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An episode of South Park from a dozen years ago posits that no matter what plotline or joke or cultural reference you can conceive of, chances are that The Simpsons has already done it. Starting in October, you’ll be able to verify that for yourself any time you want to.

The long-running animated series, which begins its 26th season next fall, is getting its very own app and website where you will be able to watch every Simpsons episode ever created. Simpsons World launches in October and was unveiled Monday by FXX, the cable channel that has bought the rights to reruns of the TV series.

Any time you want to watch any one of The Simpsons’ 552 episodes, just fire up Simpsons World. Episodes will be available to stream on demand, with Simpsons World creators promising that it will be easy sort through the hundreds upon hundreds that make up the show’s back catalog. In fact, according to TV critic Alan Sepinwall’s account of the Simpsons World presentation, search capabilities will be so refined, you’ll be able pinpoint favorite jokes or scenes and share them across social media. If that’s the case, my friends and loved ones should brace themselves for a barrage of quotes from the “Last Exit to Springfield” episode.

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Reborn Walkman steals some of Pono's hi-res audio thunder

James Careless , TechHive

James Careless has been covering the Internet since the days of 1200 baud modems. His credits include Business Week, KM World, Network World, PCWorld, and Streaming Media.
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Apparently the folks at Sony were listening to Neil Young: The company that introduced the Walkman portable cassette player in 1979 hopes to breathe new life into the brand with a high-resolution audio portable that plays FLAC (Free Lossless Audio Codec) 24-bit 192kHz audio files. That’s the same high-resolution audio format chosen by Young and his Pono partners for their PonoPlayer, which is set to ship in October.

A FLAC audio file has about 30 times more data to draw on for recreating a song versus a standard MP3 audio file. That means better sound quality for your music—as close as you get to analog sound with a digital file, the backers of hi-res audio contend. (Others dispute whether the average ear can hear the difference between high-resolution audio and a CD.)

walkman xz1 side
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Qplay streaming service to shut down July 25

Nick Mediati Associate Editor, TechHive Follow me on Google+

Nick covers gadgets, DIY, geek culture, and future tech for TechHive. He likes puns and the color yellow.
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Sometimes, something that seems like a good idea just doesn’t catch on. Streaming video service Qplay is the latest such example: The company announced Saturday that it would close up shop on July 25.

“It is with heavy hearts that we announce Qplay will be closing. Our last day of service is next Friday, July 25,” the company stated in an email it sent to customers. “We truly enjoyed bringing you the best videos from around the Internet. We had fun building and using Qplay and hope that you did too. Unfortunately, it is not possible for us to keep developing and running the service.”

qplay logo
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Customer's call shows that Comcast must change; will company listen or hang up?

Philip Michaels Editor, TechHive Follow me on Google+

Philip has covered the Mac market since 1999, with a focus on the iPhone, iPad and iOS in recent years. In all that time, he has never tested a fart app.
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We’ve all had our share of frustrating customer service calls, but until further notice, Ryan Block is probably the leader in the clubhouse after his exchange with an especially aggressive Comcast employee went viral this week.

The debate now is over whether that sort of Comcast interaction is typical—anonymous former employees of the company have surfaced online this week to say that is; a Comcast representative I talked to insists it isn’t. But the facts of the matter are these: Block—a former Engadget editor who now works with AOL—wanted to cancel his Internet and cable service. The Comcast employee on the other end of the line, though, had a different idea, subjecting Block to the kind of interrogation one rarely finds outside of scripted police dramas. And that’s only what we heard in the eight minutes of the call that Block recorded; the preceding 10 minutes of Block and his wife pleading to carry out a simple cancelation request were sadly lost to history.

How jaw-dropping was the Comcast rep’s behavior? Staggering enough that the public outcry moved Comcast to issue a public apology.

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Downsizing Microsoft to spin off Nokia's MixRadio music service

Jared Newman , TechHive Follow me on Google+

Jared writes for PCWorld and TechHive from his remote outpost in Cincinnati.
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As Microsoft looks to slim down with layoffs and restructuring, Nokia is spinning MixRadio into a separate steaming music company.

While the app will still come preloaded on Windows Phones, it will also come to Android and iOS, according to The Guardian. There's no word on when the spin-off will be finalized, or when the apps will become available on other platforms.

It's also unclear whether MixRadio will look to include ads in its app now that it's no longer an exclusive perk for Nokia phone owners. Currently, the app is ad-free, but users can get higher audio quality, offline listening and unlimited song skipping for $4 per month.

MixRadio is an Internet radio service that competes with Pandora, Slacker Radio, and Songza, among others. It lets users create "mixes" with up to three artists at a time, but instead of being fully automated, the playlists are powered by human curation.

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Verizon blaming Netflix for slow streaming speeds is an 'attempt at deception' says Internet backbone provider

Ian Paul ian@ianpaul.net, TechHive Follow me on Google+

Ian is an independent writer based in Tel Aviv, Israel. His current focus is on all things tech including mobile devices, desktop and laptop computers, software, social networks, Web apps, tech-related legislation and corporate tech news.
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The Internet just got its back(bone) up over Verizon's recent finger pointing that blamed Netflix for poor streaming speeds on the ISP's network. Level 3, one of Netflix's Internet traffic carriers as well as one of the major 'Tier 1' networks that help serve as the backbone of the Internet, said Verizon's reasoning is nonsense and an "attempt at deception" that backfired.

In fact, Verizon is deliberately constraining capacity from network providers like Level 3, Mark Taylor, Level 3's vice president of content and media, said in a recent blog post.

The Internet: a quick explainer

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Stream your own film festival of Netflix recent releases

Jeffrey M. Anderson , TechHive

Jeffrey has been a working film critic for more than 14 years. He first fell in love with the movies at age six while watching "Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein" and served as staff critic for the San Francisco Examiner from 2000 through 2003.
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In our increasingly complex world, it seems as if we don’t have the time we once enjoyed to actually go to the movies, and see new movies in theaters. Yes, we still love our big blockbusters, but what about those slightly smaller movies, the ones that don’t get the same kind of advertising push? Well, here are nine movies from the past 18 months, plus one cult classic that slipped through the cracks some decades ago—all of which are available with the convenience of streaming on Netflix. There’s something for everyone here: documentaries, dramas, comedies, some deep thoughts, and a little sex and violence.

Stories We Tell

now streaming stories we tell
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