Web

New BBC boss demands “genuine digital content”

new bbc boss demands genuine digital contentThere are many in the media world who consider the BBC’s approach to digital to be a model for many to follow. Certainly, American broadcasters seem to believe so, with both NBC and ABC launching their own proprietary apps that more than echo the BBC’s iPlayer model for digital streaming of content for a set amount of time after its free-to-air broadcast. And yet, for the new man in charge of the British Broadcasting Corporation, it’s no longer enough to ensure that existing content is shared across analog and digital outlets. In a speech today, new BBC Director General George Entwistle has asked for the British media institution to “create genuinely digital content for the first time.”

One day after taking over as the BBC’s Director General – the title for the individual chosen by the BBC Trust to act as editor-in-chief of the entire organization and make policy decisions regarding content and direction – Entwistle spoke from the Corporation’s New Broadcasting House in London, telling the staff of the BBC and the world at large that the aim of the BBC must become to promote creativity above all. “I intend to change the way we’re led to put the emphasis where it belongs – on creative people doing creative things; on our audiences and the exceptional quality of work they deserve,” he said during the address, adding that “Though our best is often brilliant – in some of our output, we do settle for less than we should. So I believe we owe our audiences a determined effort to raise the creative quality of what we do.”

As part of that shift in emphasis, Entwistle said, he’s planning an internal reshuffle that will drastically impact the BBC’s internal culture. “In around two years’ time, my aim is to have restructured the BBC – with fundamental implications for A&M [Audio and Music], Vision and Future Media [departments],” he said. “To be ready to create and curate genuinely digital content, we will need to integrate all three disciplines.”

Repeating that the BBC “need[s] to be ready to produce and create genuinely digital content for the first time,” Entwistle’s speech has signaled a new round of speculation as to what that phrase may actually mean; in an earlier Internet age, the BBC attempted to create content for online viewing solely, but cost cuts pulled back on that initiative considerably. Instead, the Corporation has focused on making its existing content available through both its website and the mobile iPlayer model in recent years. Now, though, Entwistle seems to be suggesting that original digital content is not only back on the menu, but the special of the day – but whether this means digital only content, and content that will be released for free (The BBC is, after all, publicly funded in the UK through the License Fee and isn’t officially a commercial company as such), remains to be seen.

One can only hope, as a former Brit now living in the US, that part of the BBC’s new digital future is an easier way to get BBC programming internationally. Can we finally get that Global iPlayer, please…?

Cars

Driving a prototype 2020 Passat at Volkswagen’s Arizona Proving Ground

Volkswagen’s Arizona Proving Ground is where new cars are tested to the breaking point, including the 2020 Passat midsize sedan. Ride along as the new Passat completes testing ahead of its 2019 launch.
Movies & TV

The best shows on Netflix, from 'Haunting of Hill House’ to ‘Twilight Zone’

Looking for a new show to binge? Lucky for you, we've curated a list of the best shows on Netflix, whether you're a fan of outlandish anime, dramatic period pieces, or shows that leave you questioning what lies beyond.
Emerging Tech

Capture app saves money by 3D scanning objects using iPhone’s TrueDepth camera

Capture is a new iPhone app created by the Y Combinator-backed startup Standard Cyborg. It allows anyone to perform 3D scans of objects and share them with buddies. Here's how it works.
Smart Home

Alexa’s latest skill helps patients manage high blood pressure

People who need some help managing their high blood pressure are getting some help via a new Alexa skill developed in partnership with Omron Healthcare that will work directly with the manufacturer's monitors.
Computing

Firefox 64 helps keep your numerous tabs under control

Mozilla officially launched Firefox 64 by placing new features into the laps of its users including new tab management abilities, intelligent suggestions, and a task manager for keeping Firefox's power consumption under control.
Computing

Email take-backsies! Gmail's unsend feature is one of its best

Everyone has sent a message they wish they could take back. How great would it be if you could undo that impulsive email? If you're a Gmail user, you can. Here's how to recall an email in Gmail.
Computing

PewDiePie supporters hack printers, hope to boost his subscription numbers

In an attempt to garner more subscribers for their favorite vlogger and secure his status as having the most YouTube subscribers, PewDiePie supporters claimed to have hacked thousands of printers worldwide.
Computing

Costco members can cut up to $200 off MacBook and iMac price tags

Costco is discounting MacBook Air and MacBook Pro laptops by as much as $200 as part of a members-only sale. It also has deals on select MacBooks and iMacs, with optional Apple Care in most instances.
Music

Here's our head-to-head comparison of Pandora and Spotify

Which music streaming platform is best for you? We pit Spotify versus Pandora, two mighty streaming services with on-demand music and massive catalogs, comparing every facet of the two services to help you decide which is best.
Computing

Our favorite Chrome themes add some much-needed pizzazz to your boring browser

Sometimes you just want Chrome to show a little personality and ditch the grayscale for something a little more lively. Lucky for you, we've sorted through the Chrome Web Store to find best Chrome themes available.
Web

Chrome fights manipulative sites that don’t allow you to hit the back button

Have you encountered a webpage that won't let you hit the back button? Someun scrupulous websites employ what's known as history manipulation, preventing you from hitting the back button, but now Google Chrome will be fighting back.
Smart Home

Holiday shopping: Here are the final dates for Amazon’s free shipping promotion

If you're shopping with Amazon this holiday season, then time is fast running out if you want all of your gifts delivered before December 25. Here are the dates you need to know ...
Business

Google to expand New York City presence with $1 billion campus

Google is following in Amazon's footsteps with plans to expand its presence in New York City. The company announced on Monday, December 17 that it's investing $1 billion on three sites in Lower Manhattan for more than 7,000 workers.
Computing

Former Microsoft intern claims Google may have sabotaged Edge browser

Google's Chrome web browser has been able to establish such dominance that Microsoft is abandoning its web rendering engine, switching Edge over to Chromium, but did Google play dirty in an attempt to force Microsoft to make the decision?