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Turner will create shows for Snapchat in expanded partnership

A portrait of the Snapchat logo in VenturaTurner Broadcasting System Inc will create more video content for mobile app Snapchat and collaborate with the social media company on advertising, Turner said on Wednesday, as they expand a partnership to broaden their reach among millennials. TV networks of the Time Warner Inc unit, including TBS and Adult Swim, will create original series exclusively for the unit of Snap, Inc, the broadcaster said in a statement. The shows include the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAAA) Division I Men's Basketball Championship and the Professional Golfers' Association (PGA) Championship.

12/07/2016 03:11 PM

AT&T touts Time Warner merger at U.S. Senate hearing

Chairman and CEO of AT&T Stephenson, Chairman and CEO of Time Warner Bewkes and owner of the Dallas Mavericks Cuban are sworn in before a Senate Judiciary Committee Antitrust Subcommittee hearing on the proposed deal between AT&T and Time WarnerAT&T Inc's planned $85.4 billion acquisition of Time Warner Inc will increase innovation and bring "better-priced options" to consumers upset by high cable bills, AT&T Chief Executive Randall Stephenson told lawmakers on Wednesday. "We want consumers to pay for their content once and watch it any where any time," he said at a hearing of the Judiciary Committee's antitrust panel. Senator Amy Klobuchar, the ranking Democrat on the panel, expressed concern that the deal would create incentives for AT&T to refuse to license Time Warner's movies and television shows to competitors.

12/07/2016 03:13 PM

Payments start-up Circle moves away from bitcoin business

A Bitcoin (virtual currency) paper wallet with QR codes and coins are seen in an illustration picture taken at La Maison du Bitcoin in ParisBy Gertrude Chavez-Dreyfuss NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S.-based Circle Internet Financial Ltd, a social payments app backed by Goldman Sachs, said on Wednesday it will no longer allow customers to buy and sell bitcoin because it has failed to become a meaningful part of its business. "Using bitcoin for speculative trading or people buying and selling bitcoin because they think it's fun -- that's not an interesting business for us," Jeremy Allaire, Circle's chief executive and co-founder, said in a interview with Reuters. "It's a distraction to have to support these customers given that our growth has been on our social payments business." Instead, customers will be directed to digital asset exchange Coinbase if they want to buy and sell the digital currency.

12/07/2016 03:37 PM

Sony's PlayStation 4 sales top 50 million units worldwide

A visitor plays games on PlayStation 4 (PS4) at the Paris Games Week, a trade fair for video games in ParisTOKYO (Reuters) - Sony Corp said on Wednesday sales of its PlayStation 4 video game console had exceeded 50 million units as of Dec 6 helped by strong demand during the year-end holiday season. The PlayStation 4, which went on sale in late 2013, has been Sony's fastest-selling game console. (Reporting by Makiko Yamazaki; editing by Jason Neely)

12/07/2016 08:25 AM

Fitbit buys smartwatch maker Pebble's software assets

Fitbit Blaze watches are displayed during the 2016 CES trade show in Las Vegas(Reuters) - Wearable device maker Fitbit Inc said it had bought smartwatch maker Pebble's software and intellectual property as it looks to strengthen its position in the wearables market. The overall wearables market grew 3.1 percent in the third quarter, with Fitbit's share accounting for 23 percent of the overall market, according to research firm IDC. Fitbit also said it would partner with Medtronic Plc to allow patients with type 2 diabetes to monitor their glucose levels and physical activity data.

12/07/2016 10:30 AM

Sprint to partner with Pokemon Go developer

A man uses a mobile phone in front of an advertisement board bearing the image of Pokemon Go at an electronic shop in Tokyo(Reuters) - Sprint Corp said on Wednesday it would partner with the developer of Pokemon Go, Niantic Inc, in a bid to pull fans of the wildly popular location-based game into more than 10,500 of its stores in the United States. Pokemon Go players can go to Sprint, Boost and Sprint at RadioShack locations to recharge phones, get data plans, collect in-game items, including Poke balls and eggs, and battle with their favorite characters. The blockbuster game developed by Niantic, in which Japan's Nintendo Co has a large stake, uses augmented reality and GPS mapping to make animated characters appear in the real world.

12/07/2016 09:45 AM

PlayStation 4 will be on sale for $250 from December 11th to December 24th

PlayStation 4 will be on sale for $250 from December 11th to December 24thSony announced that it's offering the Uncharted 4 PlayStation 4 Slim bundle for $249.99 — $50 off its usual $299.99 price tag — from December 11th through December 24th. So if you missed out on buying a PlayStation 4 during the Black Friday / Cyber Monday deals, there's still time to pick one up at a lower price than usual. Sony hasn't said which retailers will offer the deal, but it's safe to assume that the usual suspects of Amazon, Best Buy, Walmart, and GameStop (among others) are good places to check. ...

12/07/2016 04:49 PM

Pebble is Kickstarter’s worst failure
The biggest problem with crowdfunding websites is trust. It's a tricky proposition for companies to begin with: we have an idea; give us a bunch of money well in advance, and we'll give you a product in a few months' time, if everything works out. It's a process that goes hand-in-hand with fraud and failures, even if the majority of Kickstarters do actually make it to backers. But when things go wrong in crowdfunding campaigns, they tend to go wrong in a big way. But no company has burned its backers as badly as Pebble. DON'T MISS:  T-Mobile’s multi-number ‘Digits’ solution can transform any phone into a T-Mobile phone Earlier today , Pebble confirmed rumors that it's being mostly bought out by FitBit, a slightly bigger and slightly older wearables company. But FitBit is buying bits and pieces of Pebble, mainly its technology and some of its staff. The existing Pebble product line and inventory is being wound down ASAP. That means that existing Pebble owners will no longer get software updates, replacement chargers or warranty service. For a device that relies on a connection to a smartphone, which gets updated with new software every year, this is the death knell. Without ongoing software support, the Pebble watches will start losing compatibility with new devices and apps, and eventually just fade into obscurity. Yes, this is how the technology world works. But for people who have just received brand-new Pebble watches that they paid for months in advance, it still sucks that their new device will last a year or two at most. For people who ordered the Pebble 2 or the Pebble Core, those devices are being cancelled and refunds will be issued. Again, things could be worse: other Kickstarters have vanished without ever giving refunds or shipping a product. But for Pebble, it's still a betrayal of trust. The company Kickstarted its first product and then the next generation of watches afterwards. In every instance, Pebble took money from backers months in advance, promising a product and playing on people's trust to give them an advance. But when things got rocky for Pebble -- the company is reportedly well into debt -- the founders seem to have sold off the assets quickly, forgotten about Pebble's employees and loyal customer base, and vanished off to advise other hardware startups on how not to fail. This isn't how Kickstarter was supposed to work. The entire point of crowdfunding is to back products using cash from future customers. It's supposed to avoid messy things like serious debt, major funding rounds and asset firesales. If this strategy was going to work for any company, it was Pebble. The watchmaker had a track record of producing good products, a rabidly loyal fanbase that loaned Pebble cash on multiple occasions, and a commanding lead in a brand-new product category. Pebble's shock failure leaves all sorts of questions for Kickstarter. If Pebble, with all of the cards in its favor, couldn't run a semi-successful business with Kickstarter, I'm not sure anyone can. If we rule out serious business models, that leaves Kickstarter (and the multi-billion-dollar crowdfunding industry) looking like a cheap publicity stunt with the odd indie film or fraud. Not exactly the financial revolution we were promised.  
12/07/2016 04:46 PM

Need to confess sins? New app in Spain finds nearest priest

A young woman says confession to a priest at a temporary confessionals set up in MadridCatholics seeking to confess their sins to a priest in Spain can now turn to a new app to find the nearest available cleric. The app will be launched on Thursday on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, a national holiday in Spain which celebrates the belief that the Virgin Mary was conceived without sin. The bishop of the northern city of San Sebastian, Jose Ignacio Munilla, is one of around 100 clerics across Spain who have so far signed up to use the app to signal when they are available to hear confession, which usually involves admitting sins to a priest in a confessional booth.

12/07/2016 04:43 PM

Movies could hit iTunes after just two weeks in theaters

Movies could hit iTunes after just two weeks in theatersApple wants to high-priced early movie rentals to its users, reports Bloomberg, and is in talks with film studios to make that happen. Sources say that the company is pushing to make movies that are still in theaters available for on iTunes. The move would seriously disrupt the already tense relationship studios have with theater chains, but it’s clear at this point that this is the direction the industry will go in years ahead.

12/07/2016 04:35 PM

Watch humanity spread like a virus with three decades of Google Earth timelapse
Google's ever watchful satellites have been keeping us entertained and informed for years in Google Maps and Google Earth, and it wasn't long ago that the company launched a neat little time-lapse feature that showed how any particular piece of land has changed over time. A new update to that feature recently rolled out, providing and even more detailed glimpse of how humans forever changed the planet. MUST SEE:  T-Mobile’s multi-number ‘Digits’ solution can transform any phone into a T-Mobile phone The time-lapse tool works just like any Google Earth map; you can zoom in or out and pull the map around with your mouse in order to find whatever spot you're looking for. But unlike a standard map, the image will constantly progress, like an animated GIF, from images taken as far back as 1984 through 2016. You can also adjust the speed of the progression and pause on any specific year you want. It's a fantastic little time-waster, and it's definitely neat to see how your own neighborhood has changed over the years, but what's even more striking is seeing just how rapidly humans are turning the planet into one giant city. Zooming in on placed like Austin or San Francisco paints a vivid picture, with new highways springing up like arteries and suburbs spreading like a virus. It's actually kind of spooky. Google partnered with Carnegie Mellon University's CREATE Lab and utilized its Time Machine technology in order to build the interactive map. Over 5 million images were used in its creation, drawing from five different satellites. They even created a pretty handy little " Timelapse Tour " to showcase some of the most remarkable locations.
12/07/2016 04:26 PM

AT&T and Time Warner accidentally argue against their own merger

AT&T and Time Warner accidentally argue against their own mergerAT&T and Time Warner were called before Congress today to defend their upcoming $85 billion merger and they played all of the antitrust bingo words in the book. Testimony from both companies was an unexpected vote for the value of an open internet and higher-quality services from ISPs across the board. In his opening testimony, AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson said that the intent of the merger “is to disrupt the existing pay TV model.” Cool — but Time Warner has already done that.

12/07/2016 04:17 PM

As it spreads online and off, Pizzagate gets weirder and more dangerous

As it spreads online and off, Pizzagate gets weirder and more dangerousThis past Sunday, a man fired a rifle into Comet Ping Pong, the Washington, DC pizza place at the center of an internet conspiracy theory dubbed Pizzagate that claims, in part, that the restaurant is a haven for a child abuse ring. What should have been an end to one of the internet’s strangest conspiracy theories appears to be just another moment in its convoluted timeline. This week, conspiracy theorists have named other pizza parlors as willing participants in the cover-up.

12/07/2016 04:15 PM

Trump picks climate change skeptic Scott Pruitt to helm EPA

Trump picks climate change skeptic Scott Pruitt to helm EPAPresident-elect Donald Trump will tap Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt to lead the Environmental Protection Agency, Reuters reports. Pruitt is a climate change skeptic who has a close relationship with the fossil fuel industry. In a recent editorial in the National Review, he argued that the reality of human-driven climate change is still open to debate.

12/07/2016 04:12 PM

Insider report details changes coming to next year’s iPhone 7s and 7s Plus
Everyone is drooling over iPhone 8 rumors lately, but whispers about the possible iPhone 7s and 7s Plus are starting to heat up as well. The latest alleged bit of inside info comes from Mac Otakara , spotted by MacRumors , and it claims the 7s line is going to be essentially identical to the current crop of iPhones, save for a new color option. DON'T MISS:  The best camera is the one you have with you: Statistically, an iPhone The iPhone 7s and 7s Plus are said to be identical to the 7 — which makes perfect sense, given that iPhones with "s" branding have never featured significant design shifts — but will be available in a new red color to go along with the silver, gold, rose gold, black, and jet black options. It's unclear if the red option will be an official Product(Red) item, but given Apple's continued support of the cause , it would seem logical. The report also claims that the 7s and 7s Plus will not feature a wireless charging option or glass chassis, both of which have been heavily rumored for the iPhone 8. However, it's suggested that the new devices will get an upgrade to a faster A11 chip, giving them some added pep.  Mac Otakara cites unnamed sources in the supply line in Taiwan for providing the leaked info, and it does have a decent track record when it comes to Apple leaks. It was earlier rumored that Apple was planning a trio of "7s" models before ultimately deciding to axe plans for a 7s Plus model that featured a single lens camera. This new report would seem to support that, in that it only identifies two 7s models as being in the works. However, as with all rumors, it's good to take it all with a grain of salt until we see the phones on stage.
12/07/2016 04:03 PM

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