TIME Google

YouTube Videos Playing Automatically? Sit Tight

Well, that's annoying.

All the livelong day, YouTube videos have been autoplaying in my web browser (I’m using Google Chrome). I just opened 19 tabs at once, and my computer basically threatened to walk off the job. My other browsers aren’t affected, so this appears to be a Chrome-YouTube joint.

A fix is coming. It’s apparently a problem on YouTube’s end, and the team is aware of it. Check out this Google thread for updates.

[Android Police]

TIME streaming video

Hulu Bringing Free Shows to Phones This Summer, Pizza Ordering Later

A selection of free, full episodes is coming to Hulu's mobile apps, with no Hulu Plus subscription required.

Starting this summer, you won’t need a paid subscription to watch Hulu shows on your phone or tablet.

Hulu says it’s bringing “a selection of ad-supported full TV episodes” to mobile devices for free this summer. Users will still get a bigger selection with an $8 per month Hulu Plus subscription, but will no longer be completely cut off from full episodes as they are now. Currently, Hulu only lets non-paying users watch short video clips.

There’s no word on how many shows or episodes will be available for free, or how closely the mobile version will resemble Hulu’s free desktop website. According to The Verge, Android will get the free episodes first, followed by iOS.

Hulu also announced several other initiatives and milestones in a blog post. The company now has 6 million Hulu Plus subscribers, and is continuing to kick up more original programming to compete with Netflix and Amazon. If you haven’t heard of Hulu’s original shows, the company plans to change that by tripling its content marketing budget.

Hulu says it will be trying some new things in advertising as well, including an in-ad purchase mechanism later this year. The first partner will be Pizza Hut, allowing viewers to order a pie during commercial breaks.

TIME Web Video

Funny Or Die: Fake HUVr Hoverboard Video Was Our Fake

Well, that escalated quickly.

The good news is that the people behind the fake HUVr Back to the Future hoverboard video have come clean. It was comedy video site Funny Or Die. The other good news is that the hoverboard used in the video has been signed by all the video’s famous actors and athletes, and will be given away on Funny Or Die’s Facebook page.

The bad news is that the fake HUVr Back to the Future hoverboard video won’t be part of a long, drawn-out, dramatic buildup for anything cool happening in December or ever. It’s over.

Funny Or Die is Sorry for Lying about Hoverboards [Funny Or Die via BostInno]

Recently: HUVr Makes Back to the Future Hoverboard Look Pretty Real

TIME Innovation

Pizza Hut Eyes Fancy Touchscreen Pizza-Ordering Tables

Side note: The couple in this video don't seem all that happy to be together. Maybe it's time to take a break, Ross and Rachel style.

+ READ ARTICLE

For starters, the couple in the above video don’t seem all that happy to be together. Maybe it’s time to take a break, Ross and Rachel style.

Second, this giant Microsoft PixelSense-style touchscreen table looks like a fun way to order a custom-made pizza. We’ll have to overlook that the table appears to treat the iPhone as an NFC-enabled device (it is not), and my dream since I’ve been old enough to dream has been a button that would summon the server to the table for a refill. I drink ‘em faster than they pour ‘em. I wouldn’t object to just having a pop (it’s pop — not soda) fountain built right into the booth itself.

So when will you see such a fancy table in your local Pizza Hut? When will you actually go and sit down to eat at your local Pizza Hut? I can’t answer the second question, and even the first question has something of a murky response: Pizza Hut’s YouTube page simply implies that this “could be the future of the Pizza Hut dine-in ordering experience.”

Pizza Hut + Chaotic Moon Studios Interactive Concept Table [YouTube via Kotaku]

TIME Video Games

The Thief Launch Trailer Has Everything, Including Electric Guitars

Not your parents' Thief, and that's probably fine.

+ READ ARTICLE

As videos go, the Thief launch trailer plays it safe and standard, resembling the sort of melodramatic workup you’ve seen a zillion times during the previews deluge at a movie theater, including the uplifting, rockin’ tune that kicks in about a third of the way through (in this case, see 0:50). You half expect the thunder-throated voiceover to go something like “In a time, when good men carried blackjacks, a hero emerges…”

We’ve come a long way from November 1998, when Looking Glass Studios’ Thief: The Dark Project felt like creeping through a gothic glass darkly, where the tenebrous stone passageways and starless crypts and brilliantly bleak sound effects gave the impression — or it did me, anyway — that the game world itself was a dim veil hung over a starless mystical void.

Eidos Montreal’s Thief-the-reboot looks both grander and splashier, trading the original game’s sepulchral atmosphere for less abstruse narration and parkour-style scampering over soaring rooftops that give the sense of looking at a negatives reel of someone playing Mirror’s Edge.

If you hold with the notion that lighting strikes twice — and it certainly struck for developer Eidos Montreal with Deus Ex: Human Revolution — there’s plenty to be excited about when this one launches for PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One next Tuesday, February 25.

TIME Video Games

Sadistic: Flappy Bird in a Box Is a Real-Life Flappy Bird

Witness a bunch of people who can't help themselves.

Fawn Qiu has degrees from Harvard and the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. She’s also worked at MIT’s Media Lab. Despite such a pedigree, she got sucked into the Flappy Bird hoopla just like most of the rest of the world.

Instead of mourning Flappy Bird’s passing, however, she’s gone and done what any good tinkerer would do: slapped together a couple servo motors, an Arduino board, a switch and some magnets to recreate a real-life Flappy Bird inside a cardboard box.

Watch the above video to witness a bunch of people who can’t help themselves, and cross your fingers that this is the last Flappy Bird-related post to get published here for at least the rest of the month (I’m so sorry).

[via BuzzFeed]

TIME Video Games

Common Sense Prevails: Goat Simulator Video Game Coming Soon for $10

Never ever EVER underestimate the will of the people when it comes to our desire to run around wrecking stuff as a digital goat.

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Never ever EVER underestimate the will of the people when it comes to our desire to run around wrecking stuff as a digital goat.

What began as a half-joke, half… well, maybe a full joke by Coffee Stain Studios, footage uploaded to YouTube of Goat Simulator’s alpha gameplay whipped the collective Internet into such a froth that Coffee Stain has decided to go through with the game. It’s available now for pre-order on Steam for $10.

Since we last checked in with Goat Simulator, some new moves have been added: namely, the ability to use your tongue to grab stuff and swing it around at terrified humans. Aside from that, the overarching premise of the game is pretty simple.

According to its description on YouTube:

Goat Simulator is like an old school skating game, except instead of being a skater, you’re a goat, and instead of doing tricks, you wreck stuff. It brings next-gen goat simulation to YOU.

The Goat Simulator website looks to tamp expectations a bit further by adding that we won’t see multiplayer features and the game isn’t planned for Mac or Linux. We might someday see the ability to cobble together our own levels, however.

Oh, and there’s this disclaimer, too:

Goat Simulator is a small, broken and stupid game. It was made in a couple of weeks so don’t expect a game in the size and scope of GTA with goats. In fact, you’re better off not expecting anything at all actually. To be completely honest, it would be best if you’d spend your $10 on a hula hoop, a pile of bricks, or maybe a real-life goat.

I’m good on hula hoops and bricks, but the possibility of owning a real-life goat hadn’t dawned on me until right now. I’ve got some thinking to do.

Goat Simulator [Product Page via Gamespot]

TIME Portables

How to Sell Waterproof Gadgets, Sony Edition

But is it safe to drink the water after taking the MP3 player out?

+ READ ARTICLE

Sony may be bidding adieu to its PC business, but the once-mighty (still-mighty?) tech giant has sure figured out how to market waterproof MP3 players.

The Bottled Walkman campaign seen in the above video tells the tale of Sony’s $100 W Series wearable MP3 player being stuffed into bottles of water and sold in vending machines at a swim training center.

As The Next Web reports, these gadget-filled water bottles made the rounds in New Zealand thanks to an ad agency there. No word on a broader push – this seems mostly like a proof-of-concept marketing test more than anything else. A true test, of course, would be to put these things into vending machines that only accepted $1 bills.

TIME Web Video

FINALLY, a Goat Simulator Video Game

Immerse yourself in the wonderment of being a goat on the loose in a medium-density residential zone.

+ READ ARTICLE

Immerse yourself in the wonderment of being a goat on the loose in a medium-density residential zone.

Run around the streets, but look out for cars! They’re not used to seeing goats. Climb up really tall construction scaffolding (or whatever that is)! Use your head to knock buckets toward humans! Do flips! Enjoy realistic neck physics!

I don’t understand what’s going on here, but I don’t want to understand.

Unfortunately, this game might never be yours to play, as it’s Coffee Stain Studios “just playing around a bit with programming stuff,” according to the YouTube video’s description.

Understandably, there are several YouTube comments, Facebook comments and tweets asking for this to become publicly playable. Keep your hooves crossed that it’ll happen.

Goat Simulator 1st Alpha Gameplay [YouTube via Geekologie]

TIME Web Video

YouTube to Crack Down on Fake Views

People walk by a YouTube sign at the new Google office in Toronto, Nov. 13, 2012.
People walk by a YouTube sign at the new Google office in Toronto, Nov. 13, 2012. Mark Blinch—Reuters

Site’s management tired of ‘bad actors’ gaming the system

YouTube is fed up with users attempting to manipulate the view counts on videos posted to their site.

“When some bad actors try to game the system by artificially inflating view counts, they’re not just misleading fans about the popularity of a video, they’re undermining one of YouTube’s most important and unique qualities,” said YouTube’s software engineer Philipp Pfeiffenberger in a blog post.

In an effort to combat the manipulation of the site’s stats, YouTube’s engineers will increase scans for spam on a video’s view count and remove fraudulent hits when evidence surfaces. However, Pfeiffenberger conceded that this method won’t “affect more than a minuscule fraction of videos on YouTube”.

Late last year, YouTube launched a crack down on third party businesses that promise to generate views for their customers.

According to the Guardian, visitors to YouTube watch more than 6 billion hours of footage per month on average.

[Guardian]

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