Amazon Promotes Its Student Program With 50 College Scholarships


great job amazon

Originally posted on TechCrunch:

Amazon announced this morning that it will be offering 50 full-time, undergraduate students with a college scholarship that includes $5,000 toward their tuition as well as an additional $500 to spend on textbooks at Amazon. The scholarships, which will be merit-based, will be distributed in time for fall semester 2015.

According to Ripley MacDonald, Director of Student Programs at Amazon, the scholarship is designed to “reward students who demonstrate extraordinary ability in leadership and innovative thinking.”

Students who apply will be judged on their GPA, community involvement, leadership experience, and will need to complete an essay in order to advance to the final round – pretty standard college scholarship stuff. Winners will be notified by April 2015, with the scholarship awarded in July 2015.


The announcement is not a purely philanthropic endeavor on Amazon’s part. It’s choosing a selection of the brightest, most engaged and active students in the U.S., and…

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TiVo Releases A $49.99 Over-The-Air DVR For Cord Cutters

Originally posted on TechCrunch:

Much of TiVo‘s growth in recent years has come from partnerships with cable and satellite companies, which have made its DVRs available to their subscribers. But with the release of a new, cheaper over-the-air DVR, the company is going after the cord cutter set.

TiVo today is announcing the release of its TiVo Roamio OTA DVR, a $49.99 device that will give customers who don’t have cable or satellite service. Instead, they will be able to connect the DVR up to an antenna to record shows broadcast on channels available through over-the-air digital signals.

The Roamio OTA has 500 GB of storage capacity, which holds up to 75 hours of HD programming. It also has four tuners to allow customers to record multiple programs at once, while also being able to tune in live to one channel. The device is also compatible with the company’s TiVo Stream device…

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Amazon Expands Its Children’s Programming Lineup

Originally posted on TechCrunch:

Amazon Studios, the company’s production unit which helps develop feature films and TV series, is expanding its line-up of children’s programming, the company announced this morning. An additional five series are now being greenlit – including three animated shows, and two live-action kids’ pilots. All the shows are again being opened up to customer feedback, which will ultimately help determine those that became full series for Amazon Prime Instant Video.

This is in addition to Amazon’s previously announced children’s programming, Tumble Leaf (Sept. 5 debut), Creative Galaxy (Oct. 3) and Annedroids (Oct. 30). While the first in that list won an award at the Annecy International Film Festival this year, it remains to be seen if Amazon’s own production house – and it’s customer-driven way of determining what gets aired – will actually connect with young viewers. Here in the U.S., kids are drawn into series with memorable characters often…

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Facebook’s plan for the Emmys: ask celebrities to shake a glorified Magic 8-Ball

Originally posted on PandoDaily:


Facebook is placing its hopes on a glorified Magic 8-Ball.

The company plans to introduce the Mentions Box, a device that selects questions from Facebook users and prompts a celebrity to answer one with a video response, during tonight’s Emmy Awards. (Access Hollywood has the unenviable task of carrying this plastic monstrosity around and asking celebrities to shake it.)

The stunt is part of Facebook’s continued efforts to convince celebrities that its platform can replace Twitter as their preferred place to interact with their fans. It released an application, Mentions, with a similar purpose in July. At the time, I wrote the following about Mentions:

Mentions is the latest example of Facebook’s attempts to respond to Twitter, which has long catered to celebrities with a service that allows them to share things with the world without requiring them to pretend to care about what the world might be sharing in return. Facebook is…

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This Temporary Tattoo Can Unlock Your Phone

Originally posted on TechCrunch:


I’d think this was just a clever April Fools joke, if it wasn’t the middle of July.

Motorola has teamed up with a company called VivaLnk to make a temporary tattoo that can unlock a smartphone, no PIN required. Slap it on your skin, hold your phone up to it, and bam — phone unlocked.

Who needs gestural passwords or face recognition when you can unlock your phone like a time traveling space wizard?

So how does it work? It’s an ultra thin NFC circuit, wrapped up in medical grade 3M adhesive that won’t (or, at least, shouldn’t) freak out your skin.

A 10 pack of tattoos will set you back $10 bucks. Motorola says these things should stand up to swimming and other exercise and should last for up to 5 days — so that 10 pack would optimally last you a bit over a month and…

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The story of WebP: How Google wants to speed up the web, one image at a time


come on guys i dont wanna leave everyone behind

Originally posted on Gigaom:

Tired of slow web pages? So is Google, (S GOOG) and the company thinks it has the key to speed up the web: smaller image files. Google’s WebP image format aims to replace existing image file formats like JPEG with a smaller file size, resulting in faster load times and significant bandwidth savings for website operators. But will the company be able to convince everyone to switch, or are we about to see even more media format fragmentation?

WebP offers around a third better image compression than JPEG, which can add up to a lot of bandwidth savings and speed improvements, depending on how image-heavy a page is. YouTube was able to cut down page load times by up to 10 percent when it recently started rolling out  WebP video thumbnails. Google has also saved several several terabytes of bandwidth every day since switching images in the Chrome Web Store…

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