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New additions to the European General Data Protection Regulation have been proposed to the European Parliament which seek to further protect the personal data of minors, specifically teens under the age of 16 with some interesting new rules.
These new additions are not yet law and still need to be fully ratified by the greater European Council and European Parliament in early January of 2016 to become official, though they've passed through initial inspection by the European Parliament's Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs Committee.
There are eight separate clauses that EU regulators are trying to get passed that are supposed to provide a framework for modernising data privacy policies. And in actuality, the new proposed rules give greater control of your own data and are better suited to privacy.
It looks like ride-sharing giant Lyft is getting a huge injection of funding from Saudi Arabia's Prince al-Waleed bin Talal, who announced that his Kingdom Holding Co. will secure a 2.3% stake in Lyft.
The 2.3% stake will cost al-Waheed's company $104.9 million, which is one part of the largest investment by an unnamed group for $247.7 million, taking a 5.3% stake in Lyft. These investments boost Lyft's estimated valuation to $4.92 billion. With Lyft only operating in the US right now, and the San Francisco-based company scaling back its overseas expansion plans, this investment should be quite a nice surprise over the holidays for Lyft.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens is pushing towards $1 billion in worldwide box office sales at lightspeed, taking just 8 days to reach $890 million. The Force Awakens broke single-day box office records when it opened and pulled in $610 million in just a matter of days, as well as being the biggest opening in box office history in the US.
Out of the $890 million worldwide gross, $440 million has been grossed domestically in the US, while $449.9 million has been made overseas. The opening weekend saw The Force Awakens command $247 million in the US alone, but it looks like The Force Awakens will reach $1 billion in the next day or two.
These box office numbers are only up to Christmas Day, so we should expect a huge wave of numbers for the weekend to hit in the next day or so. The Force Awakens made an estimated $49 million domestically on Christmas Day, so we should expect $60 million or more for Saturday and Sunday, pushing the movie over $1 billion.
Out of the $3 billion that Spotify has paid out in the last six or so years, less than 1% has actually reached the hands of artists who have their tunes on the streaming giant's service.
Well, Spotify is sick of this, and has said that it is going to get knee-deep into the music royalty business, noting that different publishers own the rights to the same tracks in different countries. Years ago when physical sales were dominating, this didn't used to be an issue. But with global streaming services, it takes time to find out who to pay, and some royalties end up just sitting there.
Spotify has said: "Today we are excited to announce that Spotify will invest in the resources and technical expertise to build a comprehensive publishing administration system to solve this problem". This is all Spotify is saying on the matter right now, so we can expect more to be said in the New Year.
LG is set to have the biggest CES yet, with the company showing off a slew of new TVs - including its kick-ass 4K OLED TVs, but the company has announced that it is set to launch premium home appliances at the Consumer Electronics Show next month.
LG is calling its premium home appliances brand "LG Signature", but hasn't provided any more details on the new gear. The South Korean giant has formed a team within the company to create the LG Signature products, with input from "leading design experts". LG has teased that its Signature appliances have been "stripped of all features that detracted from the brand's spirits".
During the filming of the latest, and last Resident Evil movie, a crew member has died in a horrific on-set accident.
South African website IOL reports that 34-year-old Ricardo Cornelius was severely injured during the filming of Resident Evil: The Final Chapter, when a US Army issue Hummer fell on top of him on the film's set in Cape Town. Cornelius died in hospital on December 3.
Reports state that the Hummer was standing on a small platform, which then tilted when it was being manually rotated. The vehicle fell, landing on Cornelius. But it gets worse. He was rushed to the hospital and placed on life support, with his wife telling IOL "At the hospital, doctors said they had to take him into theatre as soon as he arrived".
Back in September 2014, NVIDIA filed patent infringements against both Samsung and Qualcomm - and then a couple of months later in December 2014, the US International Trade Commission (ITC) said it would be investigating the lawsuit between Samsung and NVIDIA.
Well, a United States ITC judge has ruled that NVIDIA has infringed on three of Samsung's patents, and while this isn't a final design from the judge, NVIDIA will be counting down the days until the full ITC reviews the case a few months from now. One of the main patents expires in 2016, so any ban on products using that patent would only last a few months.
NVIDIA has repleid saying that it is "disappointed" in the ITC's verdict, rejecting the claim that Samsung was pulling old, irrelevant patents out of the closet. Samsung hasn't yet commented, but it insists that its patents are vital to making SoC products.
Anonymous source and The Internet Association have both revealed that T-Mobile's Binge On program actually throttles data and reduces quality in order to serve up content.
T-Mobile shocked the world when the released their Binge On program, that allowed users to stream video and audio from various online services without having it count against your monthly data-caps. On the surface it seemed like a splendid deal, but there's always a catch.
That catch is that your content is served to you in lower quality, without you knowing and without giving you a choice. The Internet Association has been keen to point out the poor and sneaky business practices by T-Mobile, noting that providing Binge On is a boon to many customers, though even if it does happen to be throttled, proper notice or even a choice whether it should count against your data at the cost of high quality content, should be mandatory. The FCC is currently investigating the matter.
AMD has seen a staggering 90.65% stock price drop over the last decade, but things are looking up in recent times. In the past 24 hours, following the news Samsung is said to be partnering with AMD to help produce its upcoming Greenland GPU and Zen CPU chips, stock has risen 3.25% as of press time, and 21.19% over the past five days. Looking at the bigger picture, it's seen a 28.83% hike over the past month, and a 68.24% hike over the past three months.
Looking at the news in those time periods, we can see things were going mostly wrong for AMD up until about a week into October with layoffs, failed investment deals, the departure of Jim Keller, reduced spending, market share drops, and more.
Not only has Microsoft pushed back the Surface Hub release from 1 January 2016 to sometime in the first quarter of 2016, it has also jacked up the price by $2,000 on each model.
ZDNet reported that the original pricing for Microsoft's 55-inch Surface Hub was set for $6,999, packed with an Intel Core-i5 processor, compared with the 84-inch model and Intel Core i7 which was set to cost $19,999. This August-announced pricing has now changed, seeing Microsoft now announce a pricing of $8,999 and $21,999 respectively for these two models.
Those who have already pre-ordered Surface Hubs are protected though, with officials stating that the original pricing will be kept for those thinking ahead. Touching on the pricing increase, a Microsoft spokesperson said that "After evaluating the market opportunity and considering the unique collaboration scenarios Surface Hub offers, we believe these are the right prices to drive the business and the category forward." Another reason for this price hike is apparently due to Microsoft "finalizing our manufacturing plan with a view towards delivering the best product experience."