7 ways your everyday life is already cashless

The CashlessSocietycashless society isn’t something set in some distant future. For many people, it’s here today.

More and more frequently, items and activities that used to have us handing over a $5 or $20 bill are being paid for in different ways. In fact, as the holiday travel period approaches, it’s entirely possible that you could take the family on vacation without ever once having to reach for your wallet.

Here are seven steps from a day in the life of the average, ordinary (and now cashless!) member of society.

Read more at CNBC.com

The next Hollywood-produced blockbuster: A start-up

As hollywoodtechnology and entertainment become more closely aligned, more big names in the film and television industries are launching Silicon Valley-like accelerators—short-term programs that include mentorship and education for start-ups—to get early looks at up-and-coming businesses.

Time Warner’s Turner Broadcasting and Warner Bros., along with Disney, have launched accelerators in the past few years, and more are on the way, giving entrepreneurs who focus on the entertainment space a potential head start as their businesses begin to gain traction.

Read more at CNBC.com

How Disney plans to keep kids hooked on TV

This minnie mouseyear is shaping up to be one of the worst customer retention years in the history of pay TV. Cable, satellite and phone companies that offer video services lost 113,000 customers in the third quarter, according to a report by MoffettNathanson.

So what are cable and satellite companies’ frenemies—the broadcast partners and content kings—doing to ensure that the television status quo continues into the next generation of viewers? They’re cutting the cord themselves, to a degree. Networks with a strong mobile presence are using the basics of cord-cutting against the next generation’s would-be cord cutters, roping children into the existing ecosystem in a roundabout way.

Read more at CNBC.com

Disney finds theme park inspiration in video games

The sorcerors-magic-kingdomHappiest Place on Earth doesn’t seem like the sort of location that would require extra distractions, but Disney Imagineers say they’re leaning more heavily on the gaming world to boost the fun factor at Disney World and some of the company’s other properties.

Disney officials recently detailed the games they’ve installed at the parks since 2009 and discussed some of the surprising things they’ve learned in the process.

Read more at Yahoo! Games

Disney encourages kids to play games in the theater during “The Little Mermaid”

The little-mermaid-theatersmovie theater is one of the few remaining sanctums where you’re largely safe from the annoying glow of smartphones and tablets.

Well, at least until Disney re-releases “The Little Mermaid” on September 13. The studio is actively encouraging kids to bring along iPads and play games while the movie is showing on screen.

Read more at Yahoo! Games

Disney takes on toymakers with massive ‘Infinity’ game hybrid

Captain disney-infinity-preview-toyboxJack Sparrow attending Monsters University? Lightning McQueen racing The Lone Ranger? What the heck is going on at Disney these days?

Previously confined to the imagination of children, these sorts of mashups will become reality on August 18, when Disney’s long-awaited Disney Infinity hits shelves.

Read more at Yahoo! Games

Disney Toys with New Games Strategy

When cars_base_lm_holley_na“Disney Infinity” launches later this summer, the videogame-toy hybrid will represent not only a new direction for Disney Interactive, it will also give the Mouse House a unique way to promote its older characters that may not have been worthy of their own high-profile release.

“There are a lot of kids who probably don’t know all about, say, Dumbo, these days,” said Disney Interactive chief Bill Roper at this week’s Game Developers Conference in San Francisco. “Could we make an entire game about Dumbo right now? Probably not. But we can insert it [into Infinity].”

Read more at Variety

Tumultuous game industry rocked by wave of studio closures

The game-companies-closedsad truth of the modern video game industry is that regardless of how talented (or lucky) a game maker is, nobody has unlimited lives.

January was certainly proof of that. A one-time powerhouse publisher was ripped to shreds. A legendary developer was handed a pink slip. If things don’t radically reverse course, the next month or two could see another studio and another game god meet the same fate.

Read more at Yahoo! Games

What does the Disney/Lucas deal mean for gamers?

While there are roughly fifteen trillion (a conservative estimate) debates and arguments raging online about whether Disney taking over the Star Wars franchise is a good or bad thing, George Lucas’ prominent video game arm has generally been left out of the discussion.

Once a beloved studio responsible for classics like Sam & Max, Monkey Island, and of course countless Star Wars greats, LucasArts has been fairly quiet recently, failing to produce a significant hit in years.

Read more at Yahoo! Games