RealNetworks, Inc. is a provider of Internet streaming media delivery software and services based in Seattle, Washington, United States. The company is the creator of RealAudio, a compressed audio format; RealVideo, a compressed video format; RealPlayer, a media player; RealDownloader, a download manager; Unifi, a Personal Cloud media service; Rinse, a digital music library cleanup tool; and Helix technology for delivering digital media to PCs, mobile phone, and other devices. The company also manages subscription-based online entertainment services including SuperPass and GameHouse RealNetworks’ software as a service group also provides mobile entertainment and messaging services to mobile carriers. Wikipedia.
Real Networks | Date: 2014-01-09
A main or base game has an associated bingo-type matching bonus game or event. The main or base game may have a winning outcome with an associated base award. Upon the occurrence of certain events, such as matches of symbols used in the main game, one or more bonus indicia, such as bingo balls, are generated. These bonus indicia are compared to a players bonus indicia, such as bingo numbers on a players bingo card, for matching. If one or more designated matches, such as matching patterns, are achieved, the player may be awarded a bonus event award.
News Article | September 25, 2013
Sharing video in the mobile age is still just as clunky and labor intensive as it was in the desktop era. Sure, uploading it to YouTube or Facebook is easy enough—but there are few decent options for sharing them directly with only a few select people. And god help you if you're trying to share content across platforms. But a new freemium service from Real Media aims to eliminate the hassle of uploading and sharing video altogether. Dubbed RealPlayer Cloud, this service integrates cloud-based video storage with universal sharing capabilities. It's designed to facilitate seamless sharing and online storage for all of your non-DRM protected video. It's actually quite slick. So, say you take a short video of your cat doing something cute on your new iPhone 5 and want to share it with family and friends. Traditionally, you'd either have to upload the video to YouTube or Facebook and mark it as private, or dump it into a shared Dropbox folder, or—if it were even small enough—email it as an attachment. Those are all a major pain to accomplish, especially for a nine second clip of a prank you pulled on your co-worker (or whatever). Instead, says Real Networks interim CEO Rob Glaser in a press release, "we’ve made video easy.” Rather than demand that end users perform the video encoding before uploading the content, RealPlayer Cloud uses SurePlay technology to do it automatically in the cloud. It even optimizes the encoding process so that you can play back the video while it's still being uploaded. And when the content is shared to someone running a separate OS—say, Android—the RPC will automatically match the downloaded or streamed content to the device type and codec, while adapting the feed to the available bandwidth and screen size. What's more, anybody you share the content with is free to download it directly to their device for offline playback. The RealPlayer Cloud is available on a number of platforms: iOS and Android, phones and tablets, Roku, Mac and Windows desktop—there's even an in-browser function for folks that don't want to bother installing the dedicated mobile app. The new service will offer 2GB of storage free for members, though bandwidth is limited to sub-1080p quality for free accounts. Better quality video and bigger lockers will be offered on a subscription basis. As Jeff Chasen, VP of Product and Software Development told Gizmodo during a recent demo: We're gonna have a plan that gives you, basically 25 gigs, 100 gigs and 300 gigs, for different price tiers. They're gonna be $4.99, $9.99, and $29.99. Not only do they give you more storage, but they also give you higher profiles, video profiles, so you can get a higher resolution. So if you start with an HD for one, the higher tiers will give you higher quality so you can play on a big screen TV and it will look great. The free accounts basically we have three profiles, we go up to 1.5mbps, so pretty close to HD but not quite. I also had an opportunity to watch the system in action and, despite my initial suspicions (Real Networks, are those guys even still a thing?) I came away very impressed. The cloud-based service is fast—I could start watching a video that was only half uploaded without issue—and it takes the guesswork out of converting and sharing video, which is exactly what it was designed to do. And while you could pair this with a YouTube-slurper to download copyrighted movies and content, that shit's illegal—so don't. Instead, the RealPlayer Cloud could become a potent compliment to Google Chromecast. Use the Chromecast for your streaming needs and the RPC to handle your local video content. Sure, you'll need to have a Roku installed on your TV for that to work, but it definitely beats crowding the family around a tiny tablet screen.
News Article | May 5, 2014
Deck of Dice, a startup with a product of the same name, has a clever idea. It puts an entire deck of 54 playing cards (jokers included) on a set of nine six-sided dice. So it’s like combining dice and playing cards in a new kind of game. If it plays its cards right, or maybe gets a lucky dice roll, it could create a brand new entry among the 100-year-old casino games that collectively make up a $391 billion gambling business worldwide. It’s a potentially disruptive idea, and could lead to the creation of multiple games across many different sectors of the gaming and gambling businesses, its creators say. and the idea is so simple that a lot of people are going to say, “Why didn’t I think of that?” “We have the most overdue game invention of all time,” said Tom Donelan, chief executive of Cleveland, Ohio-based Deck of Dice, in an exclusive interview with GamesBeat. “We will use it to create a new casino style gaming venture. We have the opportunity to reinvent the thrill of chance games.” “There was an inventor who had a chocolate meets peanut butter idea,” said Bob Lindsay, chief operating officer of Deck of Dice and a 25-year game industry veteran, in an interview. Deck of Dice is the brainchild of 57-year-old Carmelyn Calvert, an empty-nest grandmother in rural Illinois. She loves games and had a great idea one night to combine two of her favorites. She began cutting some wood dice and figured out the right combinations of the playing cards to put on each die. For instance, she decided that any time you need an Ace of Spades, you don’t also need a Six of Spaces. So she put those on the same die. By doing it just right, she was able to preserve the ability to get all 40 different kinds of straight hands in a game of poker. That is, if you roll the nine dice, you will be able to get every kind of straight or royal flush possible in poker. She assigned the rights to Deck of Dice, and the company has patented the game system. Deck of Dice hopes to cash in on the booming market for both physical and digital casino games. The problem most competitors have is that they all have the same games, like poker, blackjack, slots, roulette, and craps. “Playing cards and dice are the roots of the whole industry,” Donelan said. “Everyone has commodity games.” With Deck of Dice, Donelan wants to create a bunch of new games that will penetrate every sector, including social casino games, mobile games, online gambling, lotteries, slot machines, and table games in physical casinos. Lindsay said the company has global rights to commercialize the patent. Since 2011, Deck of Dice has already sold more than 250,000 physical dice at $10 per package in retail stores across the country, like Wal-Mart, Walgreens, and Target. And that was with zero promotion. The founders also went to the Gen Con tabletop gaming conference, where they asked attendees to create their own versions of games using the dice. They came up with more than 100 different games. “We know it is more than a barroom gimmick,” Donelan said. Now it plans to raise money to create new digital games. There’s precedent for new games. Slingo was a combination of slots and bingo that saw great success after in was invented in 1995 by businessman Sal Falciglia. Hee created the game during his 60s by thinking about two favorite pastimes: slot machines and bingo. He conceived Slingo in his head and played it over and over again. In 17 years, players spent more than $1 billion on Slingo, and Real Networks bought the company for $15.6 million last year. “They were a good precursor,” Donelan said. “We learned from them that we have to focus on the right opportunities. We will start with mobile, then move to the social web and promotional games. Then we can do online gambling, online lottery, video lottery, slots, and casino tables.” But first things first. The mobile game will be a Yahtzee-like game that combines chance and puzzle solving. The team has created an iPhone prototype game that tests the concept but hasn’t been optimized for monetization. Lindsay said the game’s retention figures are meeting general mobile gaming expectations. “It’s now time to optimize that game,” Donelan said. “We do plan to find huge marketing partners to help. But first things first.” Deck of Dice is seeking a round of funding for its digital business and casino versions. And for games like lotteries, which are highly regulated, Deck of Dice will need some big partners. The company hopes to launch a mobile game by the summer and to start doing promotional deals late in the year. The company has six employees, mostly in Cleveland, but it is establishing its digital game studio in the San Francisco Bay Area. “We feel like we are at the beginning of a fresh new form of entertainment,” Lindsay said. “It can have multiple games, and it is proprietary.”
News Article | December 3, 2014
Steve Jobs made an appearance Monday as a key witness in Apple’s most recent antitrust lawsuit — courtesy of a video deposition taped shortly prior to his death in 2011. The lawsuit concerns a long-running class action antitrust lawsuit dating back to 2005. It is argued by the plaintiffs that Apple gained an unfairly monopolistic position by blocking competitors from putting their music on iPods. Jobs avoided many of the questions he was asked during the 2-hour video deposition, saying that “I don’t remember,” “I don’t know” or “I don’t recall” a total of 74 times — including when he was asked if he was familiar with what the lawsuit was about. A few typically snappy Steve Jobs moments did crop up, however. Responding to a question about the former iTunes rival Real Networks, Jobs replied, “Do they still exist?” In another instance cited, an email sent by Jobs to other Apple executives in July 2004 proposed a line for a possible press release about Real Networks, noting that, “We are stunned that Real is adopting the tactics and ethics of a hacker and breaking into the iPod.” In response Apple marketing chief Phil Schiller wrote that, “I like likening them to hackers.” When Jobs was asked in the deposition whether his statements about Real Networks sounded vehement or strong, he answered that they, “don’t sound too angry to me when I read them.” “Usually, a vehement – I don’t know about the word ‘vehement,’ but a strong response from Apple would be a lawsuit,” he continued. The trial will also feature testimony from some of Apple’s current executives, including head of marketing Phil Schiller, and iTunes boss Eddy Cue. The plaintiffs — made up of a group of individuals and businesses who purchased iPods from 2006 to 2009 — are seeking about $350 million in damages from Apple. This amount will automatically be tripled under antitrust laws if Apple is found guilty.
News Article | December 2, 2014
The late Steve Jobs, co-founder of Apple, led the company to violate antitrust laws by restricting music purchases for iPod users to Apple’s iTunes digital store, an attorney for consumers suing Apple said in court. Opening statements began on Tuesday in an Oakland, Calif., federal court in the long-running class action, which harks back to Apple’s pre-iPhone era. The plaintiffs, a group of individuals and businesses who purchased iPods from 2006 to 2009, are seeking about $350 million in damages from Apple for unfairly blocking competing device makers. That amount would be automatically tripled under antitrust laws. Plaintiff attorney Bonny Sweeney showed the court emails from top Apple executives, including Jobs, discussing a challenge in the online music market from Real Networks, which developed a rival digital song manager. When it was developed, music purchased on Real’s store could be played on iPods. “There was a concern by Apple that this would eat into their market share,” Sweeney told the eight-member jury. Apple eventually introduced a software update that barred RealPlayer music from the iPod. Plaintiffs say that step discouraged iPod owners from buying a competing device when it came time to upgrade. Apple attorney William Isaacson said the company had every right to improve iTunes to protect iPods from security threats, as well as from the damage caused by Real Networks software. “It posed a danger to the consumer experience and to the quality of the product,” Isaacson said. The trial evidence includes emails from Jobs, as well as video deposition testimony the former Apple chief executive gave shortly before he died in 2011. In July 2004, Jobs wrote to other Apple executives with a suggested press release about Real Networks. “How’s this?” Jobs wrote. “‘We are stunned that Real is adopting the tactics and ethics of a hacker and breaking into the iPod.'” “I like likening them to hackers,” Apple marketing chief Philip Schiller responded. During his 2011 deposition, Jobs displayed some of the edge he was known for, according to a transcript filed in court. Asked if he was familiar with Real Networks, Jobs replied: “Do they still exist?” Jobs said Apple was influenced by concerns about how record companies would react if music could be taken off the iPod and copied onto other computers. He could not recall many of the details of how he viewed the Real Networks threat in 2004. Asked if his statements about Real Networks at the time sounded angry, Jobs replied: “[T]hey don’t sound too angry to me when I read them.” He continued: “Usually, a vehement — I don’t know about the word ‘vehement,’ but a strong response from Apple would be a lawsuit.” Apple argues that it did not possess monopoly power in the digital music player market, and that it has no legal duty to make its products compatible for competitors. Apple software chief Eddy Cue as well as Schiller are both expected to testify. The case in U.S. District Court, Northern District of California is The Apple iPod iTunes Anti-Trust Litigation, 05-37.