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  • Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2014
NEW YORK (AP) -- 

Amazon will have exclusive ad-free streaming rights in the U.S. to a CBS thriller this summer starring Halle Berry.

Episodes will be available for free on CBS.com and CBS' app with ads the day after they air on CBS. Members of Amazon's $79-a-year Prime service will be able to watch "Extant" ad-free four days after broadcast. Non-Prime members can buy episodes, but only through Amazon.

The deal represents Amazon.com Inc.'s latest effort to bring more exclusive content to Prime as it battles rivals Netflix Inc. and Hulu Plus. It also blocks Apple Inc.'s iTunes for sales of episodes.

The arrangement mirrors that involving "Under the Dome," a surprise hit for CBS last summer. Both shows are produced by Steven Spielberg's Amblin Television.

Financial terms for the deal were not disclosed.

  • Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2014
PLASA logo
NEW YORK -- 

PLASA, an international membership body for those who supply technologies and services to the event, entertainment and installation industries, has implemented strategic and operating plans to guide the organization through the next several years of its development. Key to the new initiative is a revised sr. management structure that will see three executive directors (CEO, CFO, COO), plus six divisional directors--of Membership, International Programs, Sales, Marketing, Events, and Media.

Matthew Griffiths and Shane McGreevy currently fill the positions of CEO and CFO, respectively. The COO post will be recruited in the first part of 2014 and will be based out of PLASA’s New York office. Lori Rubinstein will retain her executive director responsibilities in North America during this transitional period until the new COO is fully in place.

After almost 25 years of being responsible for the day-to-day More

  • Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2014
NEW YORK (AP) -- 

Aereo, a Barry Diller-backed startup that provides broadcast television channels over the Internet for a monthly fee, said Tuesday that it has secured $34 million in additional funding from outside investors.

The money will help Aereo expand beyond the 10 metropolitan areas it currently serves. It will also allow Aereo to develop apps for additional devices, such as Internet-connected TVs and game consoles, while battling copyright-infringement lawsuits filed by broadcasters.

The additional funding, announced on the sidelines of the International CES gadget show in Las Vegas, comes from Aereo's lead outside investor, Diller's IAC/InterActiveCorp, as well as several existing and new investors.

Aereo's service starts at $8 a month and currently covers New York, Boston, Houston and Atlanta, among others. Subscribers get about two dozen local over-the-air stations, plus the Bloomberg TV financial More

  • Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2014
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- 

Yahoo is leaning more heavily on its recent acquisitions of technology and talent as CEO Marissa Mayer tries to attract more traffic and advertising to the Internet company's services.

Mayer unveiled the latest steps in her effort to accelerate Yahoo's lackluster revenue growth during an hour-long presentation at the International CES, an annual gadget show held in Las Vegas. She shared the spotlight with two technology whiz-kids, Nick D'Aloisio and David Karp, who joined Yahoo Inc. last year in high-profile acquisitions that cost slightly more than $1.1 billion.

Two other recently hired Yahoo employees, former CBS News anchor Katie Couric and former New York Times technology columnist David Pogue, also took turns on stage to discuss how they plan to make Yahoo's website and mobile applications more compelling. The Associated Press monitored the speeches through a webcast.

Mayer hailed Tuesday' More

  • Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2014
NEW YORK (AP) -- 

Hollywood's award season, never known for civility, is roiling from a heckling incident between "12 Years a Slave" director Steve McQueen and film critic Armond White.

At the New York Film Critics Circle Awards on Monday night, White allegedly jeered McQueen as "an embarrassing doorman and garbage man" while he was presented the best director award by Harry Belafonte. McQueen dismissed the outburst, apparently not bothered by it.

In an email Tuesday to "12 Years a Slave" distributor Fox Searchlight, NYFCC chairman Joshua Rothkopf apologized to Fox Searchlight and McQueen for "the crass bit of heckling." In the letter, first posted online by Deadline Hollywood, Rothkopf said he was "mortified" that it came from one of the group's own members and pledged "disciplinary action."

White, an editor for CityArts, is known for his contrarian film reviews. He panned "12 Years a Slave" as "torture porn More

  • Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2014
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- 

Twitter co-founder Biz Stone thinks a picture can be more meaningful than 140 characters of text.

That's the concept behind a smartphone application released Tuesday by Jelly Industries. Stone launched the San Francisco startup nine months ago without revealing what he was working on.

Jelly's free app for Apple Inc.'s iPhone and phones running Google's Android allows people to tap into the collective knowledge within their networks on Twitter's short-messaging service and Facebook's online hangout to find answers about things that puzzle them. The questions are accompanied with a photo of the object that triggered the curiosity.

Stone played an instrumental role in building Twitter Inc. into one of the Internet's most valuable companies. His exit from Twitter nearly two years ago raised a great deal of intrigue about what his next act would be.

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  • Monday, Jan. 6, 2014
LAS VEGAS (AP) -- 

Sony is delving further into the wearable computing market with SmartBand, a waterproof wristband that tracks everything from daily physical activities and nightly sleep patterns to how much you've socialized with friends.

The sensor-packed band has no display and interacts wirelessly with an Android smartphone or tablet through an app called Lifelog. It keeps a daily record of activities and recommends actions for the future.

SmartBand also informs its wearer of incoming calls and messages by vibrating. Users listening to music can use it to play, pause or skip tracks.

The band's core is removable and can be worn in various ways other than with the wristband.

Sony announced SmartBand on Monday and said it would be available this spring, but didn't give pricing. Sony's SmartWatch retails for upward of $70.

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