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Celebrating 17 Years of Film.Biz.Fans.
by Paula Bernstein
February 19, 2014 1:58 PM
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5 Daily Tech Stories That Filmmakers (and Film Fans) Must Read: Oscar-Winners on Sale, iTunes Festival at SXSW and More

1. Oscar-Winners in iTunes: There's a sale on Oscar-winning performances going on in the iTunes store right now. For $9.99, you can download in HD a selection of films which earned their stars Academy Awards, including "Silver Linings Playbook," "The King's Speech," "There Will Be Blood," as well as older films such as "Network" and "Casablanca." Check it out here.

2. BitTorrent for Android Apps: BitTorrent has introduced new versions of their Android apps, Torrent App and µTorrent. With new sleeker interfaces, the apps let you grab only the files you want from a torrent and specify where the files will go on your device. A new µTorrent desktop software integrates BitTorrent Bundles, so you can unlock content from within the app. Read all about the news from BitTorrent in the company's blog post here and grab the new mobile app here.

3. Netflix: Netflix earned a customer-satisfaction score of 79 (out of 100) on the annual American Customer Satisfaction Index’s retail sector report, up 5% from 5% from 75 in 2012, but still down from its score of 86 in 2010 -- a sign that customers of the streaming service still haven't gotten over the 2011 snafu where the company said it would split its streaming and DVD-by-mail plans (and later apologized and scrapped the plan after consumer outrage), Variety reports. On the upside, the company's overall score registered a bigger year-over-year increase than any other online retailer in 2013. Meanwhile, The Onion takes a dig at Netflix in covering its (fictional) new "browse endlessly" plan, which would allow subscribers to browse forever without ever deciding on what to watch. 

4. iTunes Festival: Apple will bring its iTunes Festival to SXSW to the first time with five nights of free concerts live-streamed in the iTunes Store and iTunes Festival app, iTunes and SXSW announced today. The iTunes festival will be held March 11-15 and will include performances by Coldplay, Imagine Dragons and London Grammar, Keith Urban, Willie Nelson, Pitbull, Zedd and Mickey Guyton.

5. "Her:" In the future, everyone will be able to have a relationship with their operating system, like the one depicted in Spike Jonze's "Her," according to Ray Kurzweil, inventor and Director of Engineering at Google (h/t The Wrap). "Although there are caveats I could (and will) mention about the details of the OS and how the lovers interact, the movie compellingly presents the core idea that a software program (an AI) can — will — be believably human and lovable. This is a breakthrough concept in cinematic futurism in the way that The Matrix presented a realistic vision that virtual reality will ultimately be as real as, well, real reality," Kurzweil wrote on his blog.

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