Vudu Spark, competitor to Chromecast, costs $25

When Google released its Chromecast streaming stick, one of the most impressive aspects of it was its low price tag. Now, retailer Walmart has even undercut Google with its Vudu Spark. The streaming device is limited because it will only work with Walmart’s movie rental service, but the device also costs just $24.95. As of today, the streaming stick is available across the United States and via the Walmart website.

Fable childrens’ tablet headed to market in spring

During International CES, Isabella Products demonstrated a new tablet, geared towards children aged three to ten, which is set to arrive on the market in March. We sat down with Matthew I. Growney, the president and CEO of the Concord, Mass.-based Isabella to discuss the product and the planned rollout. A veteran of the pre-Google, more »

Facebook Messenger tests voice transcription

A voice transcription feature is being tested in Facebook Messenger. The feature has been in services like Google Voice, and now Facebook is trying it out. With the feature, voice messages through Messenger will display transcribed text so that receivers can find out what the message generally is.

Rumors claim next Twitter CEO will be Adam Bain

It has been said that if Dick Costolo leaves his position at Twitter and opens up a gap at the head of the company, Adam Bain will take over. Now, more rumors are coming out stating that Bain is at the front of the line to replace Costolo, but a replacement may not be necessary for quite a while. Analysts and journalists alike have said Bain could make for a better CEO, but that doesn’t mean Costolo is going anywhere immediately.


Kim Dotcom to launch a secure Skype competitor

All of Kim Dotcom’s projects have a clear focus on security, and his latest project is a more secure alternative to Skype. VentureBeat says Dotcom’s company Mega will soon have an encrypted video call service.


Gmail actually blocked in China

Google’s email service, Gmail, has finally been blocked in China following a period of time during which the service was disrupted. Gmail has not worked properly in China for at least six months, and now it is actually unavailable. Google has responded to the recent block by saying that the unavailability is not its fault.

Twitter tests advertising in Following lists

Twitter has experimented with a few new ways of advertising and one of them is placing sponsored accounts inside of user Following lists. A new test from Twitter for this ad placement was noticed by a number of people after actor William Shatner tweeted about it.

Facebook apologizes for Year in Review posts

Facebook’s Year in Review feature for 2014 seemed like a good idea, and it was until it began displaying some heart-wrenching photos in celebratory ways. Year in Review is supposed to focus on popular photos from the past 12 months, but a popular photo is not necessarily a good photo that should re-appear.


Snapchat clients being removed from Windows Phone

Snapchat is combating third-party clients and that has resulted in some apps being removed from the Windows Phone Store. Snapchat users can no longer download third-party clients on Windows Phone, though it has been that way on Android and iOS for a while.

Already? Android 5.1 (still Lollipop) rumored for February 2015 launch

The newest iteration of Android, 5.0 Lollipop, is widely regarded as the sleekest, smoothest take on the Google-conceived mobile OS, and the jump from 4.4 KitKat the biggest transformation in the platform’s history.

Skype real time translator begins rolling out

The new real time translation feature in Skype is beginning to roll out in a preview program. Those who are a part of the preview program will be able to use Skype Translator beginning today in English and Spanish. With the feature, users speaking to each other in different languages won’t have to worry about not understanding each other. Translated audio appears as text or sound for receiving users.

SoundCloud launches Collection for user home pages

SoundCloud is trying to improve its experience for registered users by launching a new home page called Collection. The normal home base for SoundCloud is not very attractive or useful, especially when compared to other music or video streaming services. With Collection, users will have a place to follow artists, create their own playlists, and see personalized content. Collection is already rolling out for iOS and web, but Android users will have to wait for it until 2015.