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Taylor Swift praises Apple Music, but still is no fan of Spotify

Taylor Swift initially didn't want her music available on Apple Music, and once Apple caved regarding payments to artists, decided to allow her music to be streamed.

 

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All of this happened before Apple Music even launched, and revealed how powerful the 25-year-old is in the music industry. Swift recently praised Apple while criticizing Spotify:

 

"Apple treated me like I was a voice of a creative community that they actually cared about," Swift said in the September issue of Vanity Fair. "And I found it really ironic that the multi-billion-dollar company reacted to criticism with humility, and the start-up with no cash flow reacted to criticism like a corporate machine."

Continue reading 'Taylor Swift praises Apple Music, but still is no fan of Spotify' (full post)

Tidal struggling with executives leaving, though Jay-Z isn't moving

Music streaming service Tidal may not have been the greatest investment rap mogul Jay-Z has made, with several more music executives jumping ship. However, Tidal shoots down rumors that Jay-Z plans to step down from the company he purchased earlier this year:

 

 

Tidal is trying desperately to rebrand itself in a competitive streaming music market place, and several executives have left. The company's SVP of label and artist relations, Zena Burns, has left, following the earlier departures of the company CEO (twice), along with US and sales marketing manager David Solomon.

Continue reading 'Tidal struggling with executives leaving, though Jay-Z isn't moving' (full post)

HTC forces Fantastic Four push notification ads onto its smartphones

HTC is in hot water over its Sense Home application on some of its smartphones, with the Taiwanese giant using the push notifications to throw ads for the new Fantastic Four movie onto some users' devices.

 

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A thread on Reddit has 'impersonaljesus' reporting that even though they were using a custom launcher, "this ad was pushed to my phone". You can disable notifications from the Sense Home app by going into the app settings and disabling the ability of push notifications, but you shouldn't need to be putting up with forced advertisement from HTC like this, no matter what setting is enabled or disabled.

EA receives 77% of its revenue from online services and DLC

EA has posted its latest revenue numbers, where the company is seeing a huge 77% of its revenue in Q1 2015 arriving from online video game services and add-ons, some of which is thanks to DLC.

 

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Now that EA is making big business from digital distribution, the company can invest the money it used to put into manufacturing and shipping physical retail copies of games into other things. With its Q1 2015 revenue hitting $693 million, 77% of that is a massive chunk of money courtesy of digital goods. EA also noted a 32% rise in profits over the previous year, securing itself $442 million.

 

EA has some big games in its wings waiting for release, with Star Wars Battlefront to be released in November, with analysts expecting over 10 million sales.

CEO of failed MtGox bitcoin exchange arrested in Japan

Japanese police arrested Mark Karpeles, the former CEO of the defunct MtGox bitcoin currency exchange, after the company infamously lost hundreds of millions of dollars of bitcoins more than one year ago.

 

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The company filed for bankruptcy protection in February 2014, with 100,000 of its own bitcoins - and more than 750,000 customer bitcoins - mysteriously disappearing in a high-profile theft. Company officials eventually blamed a software security flaw. Those bitcoin totals were the equivalent of $27 million of company funds and $480 million of customer currency.

 

Around one month after its bankruptcy claim, MtGox reportedly found 200,000 missing bitcoins - about $116 million - located in a digital wallet from 2011. Japanese officials believe Karpeles knew about the missing bitcoins, and depositors weren't notified when the money was transferred again.

Continue reading 'CEO of failed MtGox bitcoin exchange arrested in Japan' (full post)

Despite number of users, is Apple Music shaping up to be a disaster?

Apple Music has successfully generated a lot of interest, but it's easy to find vocal critics willing to share some of the horror stories they've endured so far.

 

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One longtime Apple "watcher" explained how he lost more than 4,000 songs after the app on his phone gave him complicated and confusing settings. After some tinkering, he was reportedly able to get most of the songs back. Tech analyst Ben Thompson believes Apple Music is something the company released to the public because executives may have thought it was necessary - with other users reporting it is underwhelming.

 

Of course, some of you responded that you've had no problems while testing the streaming music service. So, the jury is clearly still out as to whether or not Apple Music will be a major success, or end up being nothing more than a dud.

Continue reading 'Despite number of users, is Apple Music shaping up to be a disaster?' (full post)

Uber is now valued at $50 billion, receives funding from Microsoft

Uber has just raised another $1 billion, which has the ride sharing giant being worth $50 billion, reaching the milestone two years quicker than Facebook did.

 

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The company has attracted all sorts of different investors in its latest funding round, with one of them being Microsoft. According to sources of Bloomberg, Microsoft reportedly backed Uber by around $100 million. There's no information on what Microsoft's interest is in Uber, but abck in June, Uber secured itself a slice of Bing's mapping technology, as well as around 100 employees from Microsoft.

 

Microsoft isn't the first company to invest into Uber, with Chinese internet giant Baidu throwing some money into the ring, with an investment that is said to be around $600 million. Amazon founder Jeff Bezos has also invested into the company, all the way back in 2011, as well as Google Ventures pledging $258 million in 2013.

Sharp pulls out of the TV business in the US after financial problems

Sharp's Aquos line of TVs might be popular amongst enthusiasts, but the company has been forced to pull out of the LCD TV business in the United States after various financial problems had Sharp's hands tied behind its back.

 

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The company sold its Mexican factory for $23.7 million, along with the rights to its Sharp brand in both North and South America to Chinese TV maker Hisense. Over the last quarter, Sharp lost $274 million, while over the last four years the Japanese giant has lost $13.4 billion. Sharp recently secured itself a $1.8 billion bailout, but company president Kozo Takahashi said: "we have to consider all options, including a spinoff of the LCD business. The LCD market is changing very rapidly".

 

Hisense has said: "The acquisition (of Sharp's brand) will help Hisense gain an upper hand in both North and South America". From here on out, Sharp's Aquos TV line up will continue to be sold in the US, but Hisense will be enjoying any profits made.

Uber will soon offer cars on lease to secure more drivers

Uber is scratching to keep up with itself and its continuing demand, so the ridesharing giant has just announced that it is opening up a car-leasing program to people wanting to be Uber drivers.

 

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The company has worked with Banco Santander in the US previously, but with Uber going in-house for its car leasing, it's an interesting move. Uber hasn't provided anymore details on the new move, such as the financial side of things - you know, like how much the monthly repayment is for would be Uber drivers.

 

Re/code is reporting that Uber will start leasing cars in California, Georgia and Maryland, but it will quickly expand into other states, and most likely overseas.

LG made a whopping 1.2 cents profit for each phone sold last quarter

LG may have shipped 8.1 million LTE smartphones in the latest quarter, its best results ever by the way, but the profits that the South Korean giant is making per handset isn't so great.

 

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The company saw operating profits of just 1.2 cents per smartphone, but with the G4 only being on sale in the United States for two months, LG's next quarter should hopefully be a little better. Moving to LG's Home Entertainment division, the company said that global demand for LCD TVs was "soft" with revenues dropping 22.7% to $3.59 billion.

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