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May the 'Star Wars' March Madness be with you!

Yoda triumphed last year as the most popular "Star Wars" character, but who will win this year's geekiest bracket tournament in the galaxy? Darth Vader, R2-D2, Admiral Ackbar, Princess Leia, Han Solo, Chewbacca, Yoda, and other fan favorites compete for fan votes in This is Madness: The Star Wars Character Tournament 2014, which started earlier this month and runs through April 7.

Upgrades to this year's online competition include real-time voting results, social-media sharing functionality, and new character divisions such as Rebels, Jedi, Scoundrels, Republic, Empire & Separatists, Sith, Bounty Hunters, and Underworld. There's also an "Attack of the Play-Ins" round, which allows four wild cards to enter the main tournament. … Read more

Internet pay-TV is coming. Will you care?

To hear television companies describe it, no plot is more predictable than the arrival of a Web-based TV provider.

"Somebody's going to come over the top," said David Zaslav, the head of Discovery Channel- and TLC-parent Discovery Communications, using the phrase for delivery of TV over the Internet. He made the comments last month at a UBS investor conference, where the financial chief of Disney said its arrival was a certainty and the chief of MTV's and Nickelodeon's parent, Viacom, gave it "a very strong chance" of arriving in 2014.

It has long … Read more

It's men who do more holiday spending, survey says

As you ready yourself for the Black Friday fisticuffs -- or, indeed, for the Thanksgiving thumping -- please be aware of who your biggest opponents might be.

There is some sort of traditional thinking that women are the ones who love, need, and want to shop during the holiday season.

However, a survey from ESPN Research and Analytics would like to shove that theory into the waste disposal.

For, as AdAge reports, men spend 39 percent more during the holidays than do women.… Read more

Roku adds WatchESPN and Watch Disney channels

Roku recently passed the 1,000-channel mark and that list is about to get even longer.

Roku announced today that WatchESPN, Watch Disney, Watch Disney Junior, and Watch Disney XD will be added to the company's streaming boxes. It's a bit of catchup for the company, as the same collection of apps were added to its main competitor, the Apple TV, earlier this year.

The new apps bolster Roku's live video offerings, as WatchESPN offers access to live TV from ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, ESPN 3, ESPN Deportes, and ESPN News, plus additional on-demand content; Watch Disney also … Read more

Home Depot plumbs new depths in tweeting

By now, corporate America has probably heard of Twitter.

It's less because CEOs and CMOs might have seen a hashtag during their evening viewing of "The X Factor." It's more because Twitter had an IPO this week, which means CNBC mentioned it a lot.

Perhaps now might be the time, then, to stop those with the sense and taste of a rabid stoat from taking the controls of corporate Twitter accounts.

I mention this only because of a tweet emitted by Home Depot.

As NBC's Today Show reports, on Thursday the company decided to accompany … Read more

Score one for AOL, winning online rights to ESPN clips

AOL may be resisting the urge to spike the ball in the end zone after this score.

The online media company has sealed a partnership with ESPN to syndicated clips from the coveted sports network on AOL Web sites, including owned sites like Huffington Post, and onto connected devices through its AOL On app.

ESPN, which leverages its surfeit of sports coverage to extract higher payments from pay-TV distributors than any other channel, will arrange ads to accompany the ESPN-branded news, highlights, and analysis clips, which includes videos seen on SportsCenter and other ESPN programs. ESPN will share revenue from … Read more

Xbox One ESPN and NFL integration: A look at what's coming

Last week, I was invited to a loft to look at how ESPN and the NFL would be integrating into the Xbox One. I was excited: I'm an NFL fan, and I track a fair amount of sports news, too.

I'm also someone who owns a smartphone and has cable TV, and owns a tablet. Between these services and gadgets, I'm pretty well covered.

Microsoft wants you to perceive the Xbox One as a way to get your TV and entertainment in a bold new way. While we knew this was coming since the Xbox event back … Read more

ESPN in talks to score Internet TV programming deal

ESPN has held preliminary discussions about possibly offering its programming on an Internet-based TV service like those reportedly under development by Apple, Google, and Intel.

John Skipper, president of the Disney-owned sports network, told Bloomberg on Wednesday that it is looking to sell online TV providers on a package of its more popular channels already offered to pay-TV subscribers, such as its namesake flagship channel, ESPN2, and ESPN News.

Online services would be required to buy "the whole suite of products," Skipper said. "We're not going to offer one-offs." Skipper declined to say which companies … Read more

Hike! Watch NFL players pass with Google Glass

Imagine a football game decades from now. After defining all the regulations, players could utilize Google Glass-esque headsets integrated into helmets and have a high-tech array of features at their disposal. Coaches could send messages to players and alter plays on the fly or watch first-person footage of a play going down. A world where plays don't get screwed up because of excessive crowd noise.

In a recent segment aired on ESPN, reporter Katie Linendoll shared the Google Glass experience with several NFL players from the St. Louis Rams. The video shows Rams quarterback Sam Bradford's point of view as he throws a pass to running back Tavon Austin -- and then another clip from Austin's view. It's an interesting example of how Glass could provide a new learning tool for coaches and athletes in professional sports. … Read more

More to watch on Apple TV

CNET Update streams on:

In this episode of Update:

- Access HBO and ESPN programming on Apple TV (that is, unless you have DirecTV).

- Share your emoticons with the Facebook iOS update.

- Catch up on the latest in the NSA saga, as Google challenges the DOJ's gag order.

- Keep an eye out for Sony's fix to the buggy PS3 update.

- Consider the Following: Bill Nye the Science Guy has an iOS app.

CNET Update delivers the tech news you need in under three minutes. Watch Bridget Carey every afternoon for a breakdown of the … Read more