Zuck’s Q&A Session Interrupted By Technical Difficulties

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Zuck Clicks Like Button For Bay Area Public Schools - Donates $120 millionA recent Q&A session by Facebook co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg went awry, in part due to the heavy interaction of its 1.3 billion users.

The session, held on Tuesday afternoon on Zuckerberg’s personal Facebook page, first encountered difficulties when it was opened up to questions.

An official with the company quipped that it was due to “an overload of likes.”

After being offline for several minutes, the Q&A resumed but some users responded that all they could see was a blank screen.

Another issue that arose was associated with mobile users unable to find responses by the CEO amid the multitude of questions asked on the app.

Zuckerberg did manage to provide answers for more than a dozen questions, some of which were asked by high-profile celebrities like Arnold Schwarzenegger and Stephen Hawking.

This Q&A session is yet the latest bit of interaction by Zuckerberg with the public on open forums; in the past he’s responded to queries made in town hall meetings and online.

The questions Zuckerberg answered ranged from the whimsical to more serious and timely issues like his company’s policy on using real names on the social media platform and how their Instant Articles feature will impact the journalism and publishing industries.

Christopher A. Smith

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Meerkat Adds Embedding Feature

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Twitter Continues Its Mission To Crush MeerkatMeerkat isn’t listening to the naysayers who say they’ve lost ground to Periscope.

And to prove it, they’re now releasing a new feature.

The live streaming app has just released a feature that will allow embedding within their live streams for all users since this past Friday.

The company also announced that they were entering a partnership with The Discovery Channel in time for the network’s popular Shark Week stretch of programming, set to begin on July 5th.

The embedding feature breaks down like this: Meerkat users can choose from three sizes, pick whether to allow comments or not on the post and upload an image into the embeddable player.

Newer users will see the stream play out with just the basic profile data.

If the player gets published before the stream goes live, viewers will see either information from your past stream or info on the upcoming one if you’ve got a streaming history already established.

The new feature for Meerkat comes just three days after their rival, Twitter’s Periscope, announced that their users could now view replays from the service on the web.

Christopher A. Smith

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South Korea Takes $2 Million Prize For Robot Development

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Chinese Firm Replaces 90 Percent Of Its Staff With RobotsIn a global competition held this past Saturday, robotics designers from South Korea turned in an entry that nabbed them the top prize of 2 million dollars.

The competition, which took place in Pomona, California, had a field of twenty-five roboticists from both the university level and the corporate world involved.

It was created in part by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency in 2012 and inspired by the disaster at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant in Japan.

The winning robot was helmed by the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Techonology.

The events were held on four separate areas outside of the Los Angeles County Fairgrounds allowing for many attendees to observe the robots’ progress against each other.

Sometimes that was laborious in itself; the first robot to complete the first course on Friday to begin the event took seven hours to do so.

As much as robotics has seen in terms of innovation and development – many were outfitted with sensors and could be operated via remote control from a staging garage area nearby – the robots themselves were not entirely as sleek as those found in pop-culture science fiction movies and television shows.

The winning robot however, a product of the Hubo family of humanoid robots developed in South Korea, caught the eyes of many with its ability to walk as well as kneel and drive on wheels.

Christopher A. Smith

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Two Startups Partner To Take On Ticketmaster

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Two Startups Partner To Take On TicketmasterTicketmaster has been the pre-eminent source for buying your concert tickets for many years, and even with some digital competitors like Eventbrite and StubHub, their position is still solid.

Among those challengers, two have decided to ally with each other to go up against Ticketmaster.

Those companies are Songkick, a service that provides notifications about which concert events are in your neck of the woods, and CrowdSurge, who sell concert tickets for performers on their behalf.

Both companies enter this joint venture with some financial backing from Sequoia Capital, Index Ventures and Access Industries to the tune of $16 million.

From a logistics point of view, the merger makes all the sense in the world. Songkick’s service was seen by 10 million users per month, and more than three times that due to distribution deals with other companies.

The one feature it didn’t have was the ability to purchase these tickets; it would refer customers to Ticketmaster.

CrowdSurge’s ability to procure up to ten percent of the ticket inventory of a show helps greatly.

However, it remains to be seen how effective they can be in swaying more customers to their company when Ticketmaster and its parent company, LiveNation, can offer so much more.

Christopher A. Smith

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NFL’s First Web Game To Be Streamed Live By Yahoo For Free

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110px-National_Football_League_2008.svgThe National Football League is poised to live-stream the first game on the Internet, and now the public will have an idea of when that game will take place.

It was announced Wednesday that the NFL would broadcast the tilt between the Buffalo Bills and the Jacksonville Jaguars taking place in London, England on October 25th.

They are partnering with Yahoo to make this possible, and it will be free of charge to anyone who wishes to tune in.

It’s been reported that Yahoo paid the league close to $20 million to get the rights to broadcast the game.

CBS will produce it per their usual schedule during the regular season.

The potential behind this event is significant. The NFL’s media business director is looking forward to it being a great experience even if there could be mishaps with web broadcasting.

He added,  “But this is one of the reasons we’re doing it — to figure out how close are we to high quality streams of our most valuable property.”

The streaming quality is an important footnote as both parties hope to increase their visibility with the game’s airing.

For the NFL, it’s another chapter in their initiative to make American-styled football an established global game by airing the game worldwide. Fans in Europe will get to see the matchup in the afternoon, while those fans Stateside will be looking forward to an early start to their football Sunday – 9:30 A.M. for the East Coast and 6:30 A.M. for those on the West Coast.

Judging by the success its had with previous games in the United Kingdom, and previous ventures(remember NFL Europe?), this could only be the beginning for future webcasts.

For Yahoo, it marks a long-desired leap into streaming video outside of their burgeoning television programming offerings, and possibly more partnerships to stream other events if this proves successful.

Christopher A. Smith

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New Apple TV Box Will Not Be Revealed At WWDC

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New Apple TV Service PlannedIf you were looking to find out more about the new Apple TV box at their conference next week, prepare to be disappointed.

The much-anticipated move was shelved by Apple after months of speculation and days before the Worldwide Developers Conference to be held on June 8th.

Many were looking to see what changes Apple had made to the device, and to also see what the company had in store in relation to a new Web television service they are looking to launch.

That latter product will also not see any light at WWDC.

The word from sources close to the company cite that higher-ups chose to delay the news and instead focus on working out the technological and financial details involved with both products.

There are those who feel that Apple may not deliver on a Web TV service until next year at this rate, but Apple has pulled back on releasing information before only to spring it on the public in more opportune moments.

Christopher A. Smith

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Coming Soon: Apple Watch As Apple TV Remote

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Reuters Poll Predicts 6 Percent Of Americans Will Buy An Apple WatchThe latest product from Apple could find yet another purpose after all, according to some of the recent buzz.

It appears that the latest generation of the Apple TV set-top box will contain support for the newly-released Apple Watch.

The new version will be on display at Apple’s Worldwide Developer’s Conference to be held on June 8th.

While there aren’t too many published details as to just how Apple Watch wearers will get to precisely use it with the Apple TV, it is apparent that is is being positioned as a ‘primary input device’.

This is in addition to future development that will provide a ‘Find My Watch’ tool in the latest version of iOS much like those for the iPhone and Macs.

One could speculate that any plans involving the Apple Watch in this way may possibly include integration with streaming services like Netflix and YouTube among others.

Another possible feature to speculate on could be its usage with other media players down the line that use Bluetooth connections, but the world will have to wait until next month to see exactly what Apple has in store for two of its most in-demand products of late.

Christopher A. Smith

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SurveyMonkey CEO Dave Goldberg Dies

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SurveyMonkey CEO Dave Goldberg DiesSurveyMonkey CEO Dave Goldberg recently died at age 47 according to his brother, who revealed the news through Facebook post.

Goldberg was husband to Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg and father of two children and will be celebrated as a husband, father, and brilliant businessman who grew SurveyMonkey from a handful of employees to more than 450 with 25M customers.

-Min Kim

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Apple Announces WWDC15 Registration

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Apple Announces WWDC15 RegistrationApple has announced the start of registration for WWDC15 tickets, starting now, and running through April 17th.

The announcement was sent via email to Apple developers.

WWDC15 will be held June 8-12 in San Francisco.

Tickets will be offered by random selection.

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Nissan’s New Auto Feature Wakes You Up If You Start to Fall Asleep While Driving

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Nissan's New Auto Feature Wakes You Up If You Start to Fall Asleep While DrivingAt the New York Auto Show this week, Nissan showed off a new feature that can wake a driver up if he begins to fall asleep while driving.

An alert will be displayed on the dashboard, along with a sound, when the system detects erratic steering behavior. The system adapts to a driver’s habits and can then learn when certain movements are not normal driving behavior.

The 2015 Nissan Murano and 2016 Nissan Maxima four-door sports car will both come equipped with the system.

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