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The unlikely group putting the kibosh on cable TV: Parents

In the cold Alaskan winter, alone with her infant son while her husband was stationed in the Air Force nearby, Ashley Bauza needed something to entertain both herself and her child, something she could get on a tight budget.

She moved north in 2010 and quickly learned after giving birth to Lukas the next year that the rural state not only crimps her kid's playtime options with minus-40 degree temperatures it also amps up the cost of cable and Internet.

"We are on a fixed budget, we do really need to figure out what we forgo," said … Read more

Review: iFileExpress provides a desktop-to-iOS device file transfer tool

The purpose of iFileExpress is to make transferring files between your iOS devices and Mac or PC easier. However, by requiring tethered file transfers through iTunes or the iFileExpress desktop client, the service lags behind some other wireless options. It is more secure, but the setup and execution of the software will make it a second or even third choice for many iOS users.

The app opens with a full tutorial for how to use it. For the most part, you will need to have already installed iFileExpress on your PC or Mac, or you can set it up in … Read more

Redbox Instant coming to Roku this summer

Roku's industry-leading 750+ channel library is about to get one bigger.

Redbox Instant announced today that its streaming-video service is headed to Roku's set-top boxes this summer. Redbox Instant's streaming catalog is relatively limited compared with its big-name competitors (8,000 titles on Redbox Instant compared with more than 33,000 for Amazon Instant by recent count), but makes up for it by including four DVD rentals from its kiosks for the same $8 monthly fee.

That gets you access to new releases that are typically lacking from popular streaming services, as long as you're willing … Read more

New Intel chips to boost battery life

CNET Update is fully charged:

In this episode of Update:

- Wait to buy your next laptop to get the latest batch of Intel processors, which are said to help extend battery life.

- Secure your folders with a fingerprint in the upcoming Windows 8.1.

- Brace for battle with a new Halo game for Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8.

- Find Dora and other Viacom shows on Amazon Prime Instant Video.

- Give the WikiPad game tablet another chance when it launches next week at a lower price.

CNET Update delivers the tech news you need in … Read more

Amazon, Viacom sign deal for MTV, Comedy Central programs

Amazon and Viacom have inked a deal that will deliver "thousands of episodes" of popular shows to the e-retail giant's streaming-video service.

According to the companies, they have signed a multiyear deal that will bring hundreds of shows from Nick Jr., MTV, and Comedy Central, including "Tosh.0," "The Backyardigans," and others, to Amazon's Prime Instant Video streaming service. The shows will be available exclusively on Prime Instant Video.

All of the shows are available to customers in the U.S. Lovefilm, Amazon's streaming service in the U.K. and Germany, … Read more

Review: InstantPhotoSketch converts digital photos into realistic pencil sketches

While lacking more advanced options, InstantPhotoSketch for Mac successfully converts digital photos into pretty pencil sketches. This application is free and performs only one function, but does so without any hassle.

After installation InstantPhotoSketch for Mac opens to a plain but functional user interface. The main menu offers only some basic functions such as open, save as, create sketch, and zoom in and out. There is also a link to the developer's home page. Once the user opens a desired image, they are able to adjust the black level and white level intensity by moving the horizontal scroll bars. … Read more

Review: InstantShot! for Mac provides tools for capturing screen images

Just as easy to use as it is to set up, InstantShot! for Mac gives any user the ability to capture a full screen shot, portion of the screen, or a timed screen shot in just a few quick steps.

With just a drag and drop in the Applications folder we had no trouble installing InstantShot! for Mac on our test machine. The menu, which was easy to use, was not in a traditional window, but appeared as a small icon in the top row of the screen. Clicking it drops down a menu with no graphics, but its selections … Read more

Netflix said to eliminate hundreds of classic titles

It appears to be expiration time again for certain movies on Netflix streaming, according to Slate. This time around, hundreds of classic titles from Warner Bros., MGM, and Universal will allegedly disappear from Instant queues on May 1.

That means goodbye Woody Allen's "Stardust Memories," "10 to Midnight" starring Charles Bronson, the James Bond hits "Dr. No" and "Goldfinger," and many more.

While this news may disappoint some users, streaming titles on Netflix tend to come and go. The video service often licenses TV shows and movies on an exclusive basis … Read more

Seven questions about Amazon's mystery streaming box

Is there a Kindle TV box on the horizon?

According to Bloomberg Businessweek, the answer is yes. Amazon is said to be readying its own streaming-TV box to take on the likes of the Roku, Apple TV, Xbox, PlayStation -- and every TV manufacturer that now builds smart-TV apps like Netflix and Vudu directly into televisions.

The Seattle-based e-tailer already has an ambitious home video strategy. Amazon Prime customers get thousands of free movies and TV shows (in addition to free shipping of real-world goods) with the $79-per-year membership, and the company is ramping up production of original series as … Read more

Amazon's pilots reign supreme on Instant Video

Amazon's pilot programs launched last week, and already they're making an impact on the e-retailer's streaming video service.

Amazon said today that over this past weekend, eight of the 10 most-streamed episodes on its Instant Video service came from the new TV pilots it launched last week.

Amazon claims that it combed through more than 4,000 submissions for its Amazon Studios division, which will produce original series for its streaming service. Out of that, it chose to make 14 pilots. The shows range in type from comedies -- including one starring John Goodman, named "Alpha … Read more