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New technology might turn TV into shopping list

By Grace Schneider
The Courier-Journal

Long Trail Technologies LLC recently released a new product that helped cast the spotlight on tech innovation from Kentuckiana.

Bardstown-based banker and real-estate developer D.L. Chowning and partner David Bard are working with a team on RooClick, interactive technology that can be overlaid, or enabled, on TV shows, web-based videos, movies and even on a jumbo screen at live sporting events.

The technology is being developed to work both with a media player and in concert with companion app on a cell phone, tablet or other device. For instance, using the companion app, a person watching "Big Bang Theory," a popular network TV show, might spot an actor on the screen he doesn't recognize and grabs his phone.

After opening the RooClick app and clicking on the TV channel, he would see a photo of actors on the show and click on the image of the star he wants to learn more about. Then he can scroll through information about the actor on his phone, including previous TV and film roles, their Facebook page and other details.

The media player will allow people to watch a pro football game or local news show, and click on items on the screen, such as a news anchor's tie or vase on coffee table to get more information and even purchase items for sale.

However, that would only work for shows where the information for such items was embedded in the program, not for everything being broadcast.

The same technology could be used in classrooms someday, but its creators are excited about its potential to revolutionize advertising.

"Every single frame in any video becomes an advertising opportunity," said John Selvage, chief technology officer and a stakeholder in the business that he and Bard, a former Tech Republic employee, dreamed up while chatting at a Derby party 18 months ago.

RooClick's team, which includes site administrator Aaron McCauley, lead engineer Dan Clarke and chief operating officer Jennifer Hardin, has spent recent months building the technological backbone and rolled out companion apps for the web, and Android and iOs (Apple) devices.

Focus group members testing the device from their homes offered positive reviews, but the creators say they're still tweaking the technology before taking the next steps – adding partners, such as cable TV providers in Louisville and other markets, and launching a marketing campaign to familiarize the public with the concept.

Chowning and Bard have met with movie producers, television stations and newspapers which produce original content to test the device and gather comment. Media executives seem to quickly grasp the power of product that allows people to buy on the spot, said Chowning, who declined to disclose the initial investment he's made in the venture.

When they've shown a video to a newspaper executive or TV station manager, he said, "They get it. They know it's the way things are going."

Selvage, a custom software consultant and former senior engineer with aerospace manufacturer Martin Marietta Corp., said several companies are tinkering with similar technology but RooClick's team is in the lead.

"We know there are companies all around it," said Selvage, who lives in Middletown. But "we're ahead of Google and we plan to stay ahead of Google."

FCC approves order that opens door for better cell phone service in rural America...

 

A ruling on Friday by the Federal Communications Commission could lead to better cell service in rural America, Spencer Chase reports for Agri-Pulse. The agency said in a release that it unanimously voted "to adopt a report and order that it says will 'promote deployment of the wireless infrastructure necessary to provide the public with ubiquitous, advanced wireless broadband services.'”
 

"The order clarifies several statutory limitations on state and local government authority to review wireless infrastructure siting applications," Chase writes. "Simply speaking, this means local entities will have to be more compliant with efforts from wireless companies seeking to add or improve wireless coverage."

Jonathan Adelstein, president and CEO of PCIA - the Wireless Infrastructure Association, told Agri-Pulse, “Local communities that want broadband need to cooperate with companies that are willing to invest in those communities. There really is a need to encourage that investment and not discourage it, so those rural communities that open their arms and go out of their way to court that investment are finding that they're much more successful in getting broadband to their citizens.” (Read more)

Written by Tim Mandell

Posted at 10/20/2014 

Apple releases Apple Watch, new supersized iPhones with

payment system...

Apple's new computer watch.

Apple released its much-anticipated smartwatch Tuesday, the first new device for the company since its founder Steve Jobs died in 2011.

 Called Apple Watch, the device, besides telling time, will have broad applications, the company pledged. It will be able to unlock doors to hotel rooms at Starwood hotels next year. Users can check into airlines, get directions as well as accomplish some basic tasks that are familiar to smartphone users, such as send out tweets, reply to messages and answer and make phone calls. The price starts at $349; the watch will be available early next year.

The new watch which sports a flexible screen, a "digital dial" that allows users to access apps and a band that can be swapped out. The device, which has to link up to an iPhone to fully work, comes in two different sizes and several different finishes.

Apple also took aim at the increasingly vulnerable credit card system, integrating a mobile payment system called ApplePay into its new iPhones. The effort, which has been tried unsuccessfully by several tech companies in the past, allows a consumer to store their credit card information in their phones and swipe the phone at new payment machines that are expected to be installed in stores across the country.

The company promised a safe and secure system. It said Apple won't monitor anyone's shopping history. And, if the phone is lost, a user can easily cancel all transactions remotely. American Express, Visa and Mastercard in conjunction with nearly a dozen of the nation's largest banks are participating in the effort. Apple also touted 220,000 stores will now accept the new form of payment, including McDonald's, Whole Foods, Disney theme parks and, of course, Apple's own retail stores.

 

See more of the story  HERE

Web TV Wire

Channel 4 Dumping 4oD In Favor Of All 4 | New Streaming Television Hub For UK Viewers...

Posted: 12 Sep 2014 08:42 AM PDT

 

 

4oD has been a successful effort, with Channel 4 having offered on-demand television across a range of platforms for several years. But the name is being dumped, and the service is being given a major overhaul to better cater to its target audience. An audience made up of an inordinate percentage of 16- to 34-year-olds.

  From 4oD To All 4

Channel 4 in the U.K. is dumping 4oD and relaunching its online streaming television service as All 4. Channel 4 boss David Abraham unveiled the plans during a keynote speech at the IBC entertainment technology conference in Amsterdam.

All 4 is designed to keep up with the times, and especially stay ahead of the curve in terms of delivering content how, when, and where the younger demographics demand it. Channel 4 has always had a healthy youth audience, so it makes sense Channel 4 is the broadcaster to change the status quo.

All 4 One and One 4 All

All 4 will comprise of three main sections: On Demand, Now, and On Soon. The names make it very obvious which section does what.

On Demand will be home to the broadcaster’s catch-up service, and is the like-for-like replacement for 4oD. The line-up of programming available will include old shows and recent shows, as well as extras such as cast interviews.

Now will be the home for Channel 4’s live offerings, including feeds of E4 and More 4, plus news reports and original short-form video content.

On Soon will focus on trailing upcoming shows, with previews, teasers, and other promotional material. Some shows will even premiere on All 4 ahead of their scheduled television broadcast.

4oD will transition across to all platforms by the end of Q1 2015, with PC and iOS targeted first.

  Conclusions

This seems to be a positive move on the part of Channel 4. The broadcaster is increasing its online output, clearly realizing it’s only going to grow in terms of popularity. The On Soon section is especially interesting, as it challenges the notion the Internet is only for catching up on missed content. Why not lead rather than follow?

[Via The Guardian]

 

Date: 07-24-2014

Kentucky courts one step closer to online public access;

By Carrie Blackmore Smith
The Kentucky Enquirer

Lawrence County Circuit Clerk Jodi ParsleyA statewide project to digitize court records – and eventually make them more accessible to the public – advanced this week with the launch of electronic filing in Kenton County Circuit Court.

Boone, Campbell, Kenton, Gallatin and Franklin counties now provide the 24-7 service for civil cases.

But the goal is to get all 120 Kentucky counties and all types of cases operating on a single system by the end of 2015, said Kentucky Supreme Court Justice Michelle Keller, chair of the courts’ Technology Governance Committee and leader of this effort, already 10 years in the making.

Here in Northern Kentucky, the goal is to give the public the ability to look up cases online – for a nominal subscription fee – by the end of the year or early next year, Keller said.

“Many people have worked very hard to take this first step in making our system more efficient, cost-effective and better able to meet the needs of our citizens,” she said.

Funding had been the system’s biggest hurdle, Keller said, until the Kentucky Legislature gave the state’s courts permission in 2013 to borrow $28.1 million – enough to get everyone up and running.

A closer look at the current system strengthened the committee’s argument for an upgrade, revealing an aging infrastructure, rife with security risks, Keller said.

“It’s a win-win for everyone,” said Boone Circuit Clerk Dianne Murray, whose court has had a couple hundred cases filed electronically since May.

Murray has been pleased with the system after working out a bug that led to lengthy waits on credit card transactions.

E-filing simplifies the work for court clerks, lawyers and judges.

Deputy clerk Sherry Goodridge handled Kenton County’s first e-filing, a foreclosure, Wednesday.

“It was very easy to do,” said Good ridge, estimating it saved her 30 minutes compared to the in-person system – the only way complaints were filed before.

Instead of writing everything out by hand and then entering it into the state’s computer database, she was able to print the file and it was automatically entered into the state system.

In Kenton County the e-filing system also allows clerks to send court summons directly to the sheriff’s office, which serves those summons, instead of sitting in a mailbox awaiting a deputy to pick them up each day.

E-filing should also save law firms and legal aid agencies time and money, Keller said, because they won’t have to constantly send runners to and from the court houses to file and pick up documents.

Keller hopes all of these efficiencies will reduce the cost of doing business in the courts.

She does not, however, believe it will cost court employees their jobs because most clerk’s offices are already understaffed.

“Retirements and natural attrition should take care of it,” said Keller.

She’s eager for the Court of Appeals and Supreme Court to be included in the effort, too, so she can carry around a DVD or thumb drive of the cases she reviews, instead of lugging around boxes and boxes of records.

Keller sees this as just another efficiency in the Kentucky court system, which has already done away with bail bondsmen, records court proceedings with audio and video (instead of relying on court reporters) and has implemented video arraignments.

“By studying other state’s (computerized) systems, we’ve learned from their mistakes and successes,” Keller said, “and think we’ll have one of the best systems in the country.”

Lawrence County Circuit Clerk Jodi Parsley did not return phone calls for information.