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. More by Philip Michaels
If Silicon Valley had a soapier (and hackier) bent, some of the big reveals in the third episode would be played up as can-you-believe-it-style twists. But in the episode entitled “Articles of Incorporation,” the twists are merely there to re-emphasize what a bumpy road awaits Richard (Thomas Middlemarch) as he tries to turn Pied Piper into the next billion-dollar company. And the chief bump this week is that Richard doesn’t actually have the right to call his company Pied Piper—there’s a sprinkler system maker doing business under that moniker, and if it’s going to give up that name, its founder wants to be paid his share of Richard’s still-theoretical riches.
Your other plot twists? Jared (Zach Woods) says his real name is Donald and that he only goes by the former name because tech titan Gavin Belson (Matt Ross) mistakenly called him that once and no one thought to correct him. Gilfoyle (Martin Starr) reveals that he’s an illegal immigrant from Canada. And Peter Gregory (Christopher Evan Welch) finds himself contemplating the mysteries of Burger King, ordering one of every item on the menu. Would anyone care to partake in some BK?
Jargon Watch: There’s relatively little inside baseball in this episode, though a Beverages & More clerk does try to pitch Richard on an app that can log where you park—provided you can type in your Vehicle Identification Number. Why not just jot down your car’s location on a notepad, Richard wonders. And thus dies another Silicon Valley dream.
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. More by Jeffrey M. Anderson
It's almost time for the annual San Francisco International Film
Festival, the oldest in the United States. And as it happens,
Netflix just debuted a handful of international films. They have a different
perspective on things—specifically, these films tend to have a more
broad-minded view of eroticism and a more condemning view of violence.
If anything, these 10 movies are proof that the world is becoming even more of
a melting pot, with cultures mixing together into an
interesting, amazing new brew. Hopefully you're in the mood to read
Jared writes for PCWorld and TechHive from his remote outpost in Cincinnati. More by Jared Newman
Samsung's Milk Music may become more than just a sweet deal for Galaxy phone users, as the company looks to monetize its streaming music service with ads and paid subscriptions.
Currently, the service is free, and has no advertisements, but an infographic on Samsung's Website says this is just a “special introductory offer.” According to the infographic, Samsung will split Milk Music into a “Basic” service with ads and a $3.99 per month “Premium” service with exclusive features and no ads.
If these changes take effect, it'll be unclear why anyone would use Milk Music, except out of ignorance. The app is only available on a handful of Samsung phones; there's no Web version, and no apps for iOS or other Android devices. For the subscription tier, you'd be much better off with a service that supported a broader range of devices.
To promote its position—and sway public opinion—Aereo on Thursday launched its ”Protect My Antenna” website. The site outlines the reasons Aereo believes its business model complies with fair-use guidelines.
Susie is a proud Mac geek, as well as a writer, editor, snowboarder, and mom. More by Susie Ochs
When we reviewed Amazon’s new Fire TV set-top box, we dinged it a bit since its marquee voice-search feature doesn’t support all the streaming services present on the box. It primarily points users to Amazon’s own content, of course, while also providing some results for music videos on Vevo, and some (but not all) of the content on Hulu Plus. Voice search doesn’t surface anything on Netflix, which really limits its usefulness.
Amazon had stated at the Fire TV’s launch that its “vision” was to eventually integrate all the apps on the box with the voice search. But my vision is to look like Megan Fox, and guess what—results are what matters.
Tired of constantly switching between iTunes, Windows Media Player, VLC, and other programs for different media tasks? I am. Cyberlink’s PowerDVD, with its support for Blu-ray and 4K as well as most other types of video, audio, and images has the potential to be that all-in-one media solution we’ve been searching for. The latest iteration, PowerDVD 14, is close but no cigar due to some missing basics. However, the addition of support for up-and-coming technologies such as h.265 and the UltraViolet media delivery system make it a uniquely powerful player.
PowerDVD 14, which runs on Windows PCs, comes in three flavors—the $50 Standard version, which handles DVD and HD files; the $80 Pro, which adds Blu-ray and 4K support; and the $100 Ultra which throws in 3D and the company’s Power Media Player app for iOS, Android and Windows Phone. All three versions include PowerDVD Remote for iOS and Android which allows you to use your mobile devices as—you guessed it—a remote control for PowerDVD.
In terms of what you see on the screen, PowerDVD 14 is the best Blu-ray/DVD/video player out there. Normal playback includes hardware acceleration, but there’s also a CPU mode with TrueTheater enhancements which will make a lot of material—primarily DVDs—look more high-def. The interface is handsome and well thought out, with the notably unintuitive exception of having to click on the fast forward icon to slow down a video. There’s also a ten-foot interface for use from your couch with the aforementioned remote software.
Anthony Domanico is a freelance journalist covering consumer technology. He's passionate about smartphones, tablets, wearables, productivity tools, gaming, and streaming. More by Anthony Domanico
Netflix CEO Reed Hastings may complain about it publicly, but his company’s decision to pay Comcast for better access to the Internet service provider’s subscribers is paying off. The streaming video service says performance on Comcast’s network has improved dramatically since it started cutting checks.