Gesture recognition will be a slam-dunk, startup head says (Q&A)

If Gideon Shmuel gets his way, you'll soon be waving your arms and pointing your fingers at your TV, phone, tablet, and PC.

As chief executive of EyeSight Mobile Technologies, Shmuel is promoting the idea of gesture recognition, in which sensors detect your body's motions and do things like open an app or change channels. The best example of gesture recognition is Microsoft's Kinect game controller, but EyeSight wants to bring gesture recognition to all the electronic devices in a person's life.

Eyesight, an Israeli company, is in the midst of dramatic change to electronics interfaces. … Read more

Jac Holzman: From vinyl to apps to what comes next (Q&A)

Jac Holzman is legit.

His track record in the music industry stretches back nearly 65 years -- that's the lifespan of about 12 iTunes -- to when he founded Elektra Records out of his college dorm room in 1950. He went on to sign acts like the Doors, Carly Simon, and the Stooges, but don't mistake him as a label exec lost in a bygone era.

As waves of technological change have washed over the music industry, Holzman worked to stay ahead of the break, testing how the conjoined worlds of music and technology could enhance each other. … Read more

CEO: Rdio's problem? Not enough people use Rdio (Q&A)

If you build it, they will come? Rdio's new Chief Executive Anthony Bay believes so.

Rdio, one of a myriad of streaming music services, launched four years ago by the billionaire founders of Skype and Kazaa. It's a subscription service with a catalog of millions of songs available on demand, and gets widespread kudos for its design and offline listening. But it has remained a relatively small player while Pandora grew into a colossus and Spotify jumped the pond to quickly outstrip Rdio in scope.

Bay has plans that prep Rdio for a future as a much bigger … Read more

Jelly taps your social network to get answers to any question

Part Snapchat, part Quora, Jelly (Android|iOS) is an photo-focused Q&A app that lets you ask any question of your friends and extended social network to get answers. You can ask any question you want, from, "Is that Thai restaurant is any good?" to, "What kind of weed is this?"

The app was built by Twitter co-founder Biz Stone, who describes Jelly as a new social search engine. Instead of heading to Google, Stone's goal is to get you to ask you friends and family for help, just as you would before the … Read more

Biz Stone's Jelly spreads the search love

Twitter co-founder Biz Stone has unveiled his new, highly-anticipated project: a question and answer service for mobile that allows users to search for answers using their friends instead of algorithms.

In a blog post, the company explained the idea: It's a question accompanied by a photo. For example, a user who spots something unusual can snap a picture, circle the befuddling object, and ask friends -- who are other Jelly users -- from social networks what it is. The thinking is that if no direct friends know, maybe a friend of a friend does. Users can also pass on … Read more

Vevo on Chromecast, one dongle closer to world domination (Q&A)

Vevo, an MTV for the Internet age, is just getting started.

It now reels in 5 billion video views a month -- imagine the entire US population sitting down to stream Miley Cyrus' "Wrecking Ball." Fifteen times over.

Vevo is in 13 countries, and it's on multiple platforms like Android and Samsung smart TVs -- and it just added one more.

On Tuesday, Vevo joined a short list of online entertainment ventures on Chromecast.

Since Google introduced its $35 HDMI dongle (read CNET's review) to easily fling Internet content onto televisions, Chromecast's life has been … Read more

Mixbook sees 'perfect storm' for Google's Dart language (Q&A)

Google's Dart programming language, an attempt to outdo JavaScript for writing Web apps, has had a polarizing effect on the Web.

Mozilla and Microsoft don't like it, preferring to focus on improvements to the incumbent technology, JavaScript. But Google, which just released Dart 1.0, aims to speed up Web-based software and the programmers who write it.

One company, Mixbook, which is firmly in the pro-Dart camp, is betting on Dart with a service that stands to offer millions of dollars in annual revenue.

"Google has set up a perfect storm for a new language," said … Read more

Pandora CFO: We do Internet Radio 'better than anyone' (Q&A)

Pandora, the Internet's biggest radio service, is the company the recorded music industry loves to hate. Some artists have loudly vilified it, accusing it of paying piddling rates to play their work. Labels' acrimony over the service stoked its efforts to paralyze a bill that would have lowered the royalty rate Webcasters pay, and music publishers have singled out Pandora in an effort to withhold their catalogs. The Recording Industry Association of America has outright lied, Pandora claims, about how its payments work.

Amid the vitriol comes iTunes Radio, which, unlike Pandora, struck direct deals with the labels that … Read more

BlackBerry on why you should give BBM a chance (Q&A)

BlackBerry Messenger finally makes its debut on iOS and Android devices this weekend. But will anyone care?

BBM takes its first step across different mobile platforms at a dark time for BlackBerry. The company on Friday released early fiscal second quarter results, warning that it would close to $1 billion. It was also cut 4,500 jobs and retreating from the consumer market as it refocuses on the business world.

For many, BBM is a forgotten relic of an older smartphone era -- one that BlackBerry dominated. It was a favorite feature of BlackBerry phones, but its usefulness waned as … Read more

Google+ adds live Q&A feature to Hangouts On Air

Google+ users who host Hangouts On Air videos can now answer live questions from their viewers.

Via Hangouts On Air, you can broadcast yourself to fellow Google+ users. The new Q&A feature adds to that experience by letting anyone watching you pose a question, Google product manager Amit Fulay said in a Google+ post Thursday.

Those of you who host a broadcast can pick the questions you want to answer and respond to them live. You can ask for questions from as many as 1 million concurrent viewers. And you can time-stamp the YouTube recording of your broadcast … Read more