Facebook To Offer Video Creators A Piece Of The Action

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FacebookFacebook is getting prepared to wrangle part of the premium content industry away with the promise of more shared revenue with their corporate partners that provide video content.

In a new agreement, the social media network will offer a share of the revenue it gets from ads shown in conjunction with videos estimated at 55 percent.

That matches the same amount that YouTube shares with its content providers.

It’s part of a test initiative that gives users recommendations on what to watch in between videos from other sites that are viewed on Facebook.

The deal is meant to lure major media outlets that provide consistent video content to upload their content to Facebook before any other platform, in addition to the fact that videos on Facebook are reported to gain 4 billion views daily.

The new offer has already caught the attention of Funny Or Die Inc., the comedy website co-founded by Will Ferrell, which will start uploading full videos to Facebook.

Previously, they had only uploaded short clips of their video skits with a link to their website for the full version.

Fox Sports and the Hearst Corporation have also agreed to start uploading more video through the new program.

Christopher A. Smith

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Gamers In China Are Not Interested In Game Consoles

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A United States University Has Partnered With A Chinese University To Launch A Technology Institute Next YearThe long wait for video game consoles to be available to the public in China is over.

But it appears that the public may not be that overjoyed by the news.

Microsoft and Sony are poised to start selling their popular video game consoles in the country after a ban on them was lifted.

Both companies are estimated to sell over half a million of their Xbox One and Playstation consoles respectively, but those numbers pale when lumped into global sale tallies for Microsoft and Sony.

Part of the issue is that gamers in China are more prone to play games on mobile devices or personal computers as opposed to games on consoles hooked up to television sets.

Another issue that comes into play is that both Sony and Microsoft were required to associate themselves with a Chinese partner to sell their consoles and games.

Sony teamed up with Shanghai Oriental Pearl Group, and Microsoft partnered with BesTV.

But both of those local partners merged late last year.

Game publishers have also seen some obstacles as government regulators are slow to approve a heavy amount of games due to their internal codes regarding offensive content.

At present, 31 titles have been approved by the government with 20 titles pending.

Christopher A. Smith

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Dropbox: Create A Stronger Password, Get More Storage For Free

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iOS 8 Now Enables Direct To Dropbox File SavingHey Dropbox users – would you like to get more storage for your account?

The company may grant your wish, on one condition.

In an event held in London, the company’s head of trust and security, Patrick Helm made remarks concerning the biggest risks to Dropbox and revealed how his team was working to combat it.

One of the methods?

The incentive of users getting more storage in their accounts for free if they create stronger passwords.

This has come up because according to Helm, “The number one challenge is consumers reusing credentials across multiple websites, and we see a pattern where websites will get hacked, they may not even know it, and then encrypted passwords are stolen”.

The incentive is part of a push by Helm and his team to enlighten Dropbox users about using better passwords and utilizing password management tools.

At one point last year the company did offer bounties to hackers who could detect any vulnerabilities in their application.

The program incentive of free storage would be after users undergo a security checklist. When reached for additional comment on Helm’s remarks, Dropbox declined to respond.

Christopher A. Smith

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Trump Hotel Properties Hit With Credit Card Breach

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634px-Donald_Trump_by_Gage_SkidmoreThe brash financial mogul and GOP Presidential candidate Donald Trump’s rough week just got even more so with news of a cyberattack involving his hotel properties.

The chain of luxury hotel properties entitled The Trump Collection were apparently hit with a credit card breach that dates back to February of this year.

In a statement by Eric Trump, the company confirmed the possible attack: “Like virtually every other company these days, we have been alerted to potential suspicious credit card activity and are in the midst of a thorough investigation to determine whether it involves any of our properties.”

According to sources, the breach involves Trump hotels in Honolulu, New York City, Chicago, Las Vegas and Miami in addition to other locations across the country.

The first reports of the issue at properties within The Trump Collection were issued by banks who had spotted a series of suspicious debit and credit card charges.

Outside of the statement issued on Tuesday by the business magnate’s third son, the company would not comment on the matter further except to assure customers that they were still keeping their customers’ information as safe as possible.

Christopher A. Smith

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Like Amazon, Uber Adopts Growth-Over-Profits Strategy

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NYPD Detective Goes Ballistic On Uber DriverThe on-demand car service startup Uber Technologies Inc. has been exhibiting some serious growth and has gotten a flattering comparison as a result even if it they’ve gone through rough patches to do so.

Uber’s growth has compelled observers to liken it to Amazon.

Why?

Mainly because Uber’s mission is to expand its operations as rapidly as possible on a global scale and to not concern itself with the short-term promise of immediate profits.

Another facet to that strategy is to not be that concerned with their losses; in an outside report given to potential investors, it’s been stated that Uber has a loss total of $470 million as opposed to gains of $415 million.

Uber representatives view those numbers with skepticism.

Amazon for a stretch of years was deemed a company that wasn’t profitable despite their growing presence.

But after going public in 1997, the company underwent a tough road towards stability that saw them trim their workforce and losses in subsequent years in the early 2000’s.

Uber’s road may see the same bumps but with new ventures into messenger services and food delivery along with increased expansion in other cities, they’re hoping that their losses decline just as fast.

Christopher A. Smith

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PayPal Acquires Xoom

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PayPal Fined $25 Million For Bogus Credit SignupsPayPal is bolstering their entry into the international money transfer market by acquiring one of the largest companies in the industry.

On Tuesday, the mobile payments company announced a deal that would see them acquire Xoom Corporation for an estimated $890 million.

The deal gives PayPal a digital money transfer company that boasts of having 1.3 million active users who transferred and sent close to $7 billion in the last year.

PayPal’s president, Dan Schulman, said of the deal:  “Expanding into international money transfer and remittances aligns with our strategic vision to democratize the movement and management of money. Acquiring Xoom allows PayPal to offer a broader range of services to our global customer base, increase customer engagement and enter an important and growing adjacent marketplace. Xoom’s presence in 37 countries – in particular, Mexico, India, the Philippines, China and Brazil – will help us accelerate our expansion in these important markets.”

Xoom is slated to operate as a separate service under PayPal, with the parent company taking full advantage of Xoom’s innovations in digital money lending.

In turn, Xoom will have the benefit of having access to a larger customer base that PayPal already has, which is approximately 68 million.

Christopher A. Smith

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Appeals Court Upholds Apple Ebook Antitrust Ruling

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Court Rules: Bulk Collection Of Phone Records Is IllegalAn antitrust ruling against Apple that was appealed by the technology giant was upheld in a federal appeals court.

The case, U.S. v. Apple Inc., 13-3741, was first heard and ruled on in July 2013 in a lower court.

Apple was accused of entering into a conspiracy with five publishers to fix the prices of electronic books that they offered for purchase in the lawsuit filed by 33 state attorneys general and the Justice Department.

The original judge in the case, Judge Denise Cote, ruled in favor of the government, citing statements by the late Steve Jobs that showed a targeting of Amazon.

The decision to uphold the ruling came as the result of a 2-1 vote.  Circuit Judge Debra Ann Livingston referred to the original ruling notes in her summation of the decision: “By organizing a price-fixing conspiracy, Apple found an easy path to opening its iBookstore, but it did so by ensuring that market-wide e-book prices would rise to a level that it, and the publisher defendants, had jointly agreed on.”

Apple’s response was to deny the charges, but it offered no comment on whether they would pursue another appeal – if they do, that case would then come before the Supreme Court.

Christopher A. Smith

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VMware Settles With The Government In Alleged Fraud Case

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VMware To Acquire AirWatchSoftware company VMware has agreed to a settlement to pay a federal government agency to bring closure to a lawsuit where it was accused of fraud.

The lawsuit was brought against VMware and a government approved reseller partner, Carahsoft, back in 2010.

In the lawsuit, the General Services Administration claimed that VMware and the reseller practiced “inaccurate pricing, inaccurate disclosures, and incomplete information about sales of VMware products to non-governmental customers” to them, leading them to pay more than private companies.

The specific bone of contention lay in a discount offering that was made by VMware which was said to be lower than ones made to foreign governments.

The total amount of the settlement? $75.5 million, which the law firm prosecuting the case states as “one of the five largest recoveries against a technology company in the history of the False Claims Act.”

VMware issued a statement that denied any fraud and misbehavior on their part, but claimed that they settled to avoid more drawn-out litigation.

Christopher A. Smith

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Apple Users In Greece Experience iCloud Issues Due To The Financial Crisis

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Apple iWork for iCloud Now Open For EveryoneThe roiling financial crisis that has the nation of Greece under its thumb has now caused some grief to Apple users.

The country’s struggle with staggering debt and lack of control over its currency has led to limitations being put on credit card payments from Greek financial institutions in an attempt to prevent a surge of capital leaving the country.

In the process, subscribers to Apple services like iCloud have seen disruptions to their service and have received warning messages.

At present there is a daily cap on automated teller machine withdrawals in the country at 60 euros in addition to the suppression of credit card payments.

The timing couldn’t be worse, given that Apple Music made its global debut on Tuesday.

The financial issues also extend to those Greek nationals who are traveling and working outside of their homeland — they can’t use their credit and/or debit cards abroad as well.

Apple declined to make any comment.

Christopher A. Smith

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Twitter CEO Dick Costolo Says Beware Of Government Regulation

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Twitter CEO Dick Costolo Says "We Suck At Dealing With Abuse And Trolls"The outgoing chief executive officer of Twitter, Dick Costolo, had some choice words concerning government regulation.

In a farewell interview conducted by The Guardian on his last day at the head of the social media network, Costolo expressed his feeling that regulation may be threatening to free speech and that Twitter and similar services shouldn’t be regulated like other government institutions.

Costolo went on to say: “I can’t think of an example where regulation didn’t have unintended consequences, and I’m unable to conceive of a regulatory body that will be swift enough to deal with the constantly evolving issues of ethics, communication and technology. I just don’t think it’s possible.”

His stance falls in line with that of Twitter, long regarded as a herald of the right to free speech.

The company’s detractors have argued that the stance has led to their near non-involvement when it comes to the recent rise of online bullying and abuse of others on the platform, as well as the proliferation of highly violent and dangerous extremists.

To that point, Costolo stated that Twitter has taken steps to put a halt to those using abusive language on the social media network in addition to preventing former users who’ve been blocked from regaining access.

Christopher A. Smith

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