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Amazon has announced this week that people who subscribe to its Prime service will be getting a new benefit to enjoy. Amazon is rolling out a new music streaming service called Prime Music that will be provided at no additional cost to Prime subscribers who pay $99 per year.
Members subscribed at that price will automatically get access to a catalog of over a million songs. Amazon says that among those songs are tens of thousands of albums from top artists like Justin Timberlake, Pink, Blake Shelton, and lots more.
Comcast and Verizon are fighting to have the most coverage for public Wi-Fi hotspots in some parts of the US. This week Comcast made a big announcement that will help it to compete better in the market with the addition of 50,000 new public hotspots.
Late Tuesday afternoon Comcast turned the Wi-Fi routers of about 50,000 residential users into Wi-Fi hotspots. On Wednesday of this week an additional 3 million residential hotspots were turned on around the country. Comcast says that the goal of the program is to make it easier to use home Wi-Fi networks.
Intel has been in court in the EU this week to challenge a fine levied against it totaling 1.06 billion Euros or $1.44 billion. The fine was levied against Intel five years ago and Intel has been appealing the fine ever since. The second highest court in the EU says that regulators weren't overly harsh with the massive fine.
The original decision was handed down when the European Commission ruled that Intel had tried to block some PC makers like Dell and HP among others from buying processors from rival AMD. The competition authority in the EU also ruled that Intel paid a retail chain in Germany called Media Saturn Holding to stock PCs in its locations with Intel chips inside only.
E3 2014 - You know what $2 billion buys you? It buys you a lot of things, but one of those things is the attraction of talent. Oculus VR has been on a hiring spree since Facebook acquired the VR startup in March, with the creator of Crash Bandicoot, Jason Rubin, now joining the Oculus VR team.
Oculus VR has hired Rubin as its Head of Worldwide Studios, where he will be leading the company's first-party content development. Rubin has said: "There have only been a handful of times in my life where I saw something that I knew would change everything. The awe-inspiring tech Oculus is building is a portal into an incredible world that my daughter will one day consider to be normal. The moment I put it on, I wanted to help define that future".
Travel website Expedia has announced that it will begin accepting the cryptocurrency bitcoin for bookings on its website.
It's just a trial phase for now, but if the reception's positive enough Expedia plans on introducing the currency for other services. For now it is using Coinbase as the platform.
Bitcoin use is picking up apace and it seems that big companies are beginning to take it seriously as an alternative payment option.
Honeywell is getting set to compete directly against Nest in the smart thermostat market. The new thermostat is called the Lyric and it will sell for $279. It will be able to connect via Wi-Fi and can be controlled by the user's smartphone.
Honeywell plans to make Lyric a platform with other products using the same connectivity with smartphones and other devices via Wi-Fi. The Lyric thermostat can be purchased now via HVAC contractors. It will turn up in Lowes stores around the US in August.
Sources who claim to be familiar with Amazon's plans have stepped forward to say that the ecommerce giant plans to rollout a marketplace for local services this year. Local services could cover a vast range of services with offerings like babysitters, handymen, and performers for birthday parties among other things.
The sources claim that Amazon plans to test the demand and logistics of the service in a smaller area before it rolls the service out around the country. Amazon has taken that same small test approach with its grocery delivery service, Amazon Fresh.
Hyundai has been working on a new sort of zero emissions vehicle that doesn't rely on gasoline for power. It also doesn't rely on electricity from an outlet to get around either. The car is a hydrogen fuel cell vehicle and it has landed in California this week. The fuel cell powered Tucson marks commercial availability of mass-produces fuel cell vehicles in the US.
Other automakers have put fuel cell vehicles on the roads in the past, including Honda and others, but in limited numbers. The big challenge is the small number of hydrogen refueling stations that are available. That low number of refueling stations will continue to hamper the growth of the hydrogen fuel cell market for years to come.
Amazon has announced a new plan that will allow it to compete more directly with PayPal. Amazon plans to start processing payments for startup companies and other firms. The service will launch soon and allows over 240 million active users to use the credit card details stored on Amazon to pay for services.
Services that users can pay for using Amazon's new payment service including things like monthly phone bills, digital music subscriptions, and more. Amazon will charge a fee for each transaction. Amazon currently acts as the middleman for a number of companies and this move will broaden that role.
With sales revenues for the World Cup 2014 finals lower than expected so far, FIFA is tipped to arrange more pay TV deals for future football events.
The soccer association's reported revenue for 2014 finals sales is at 1.733 billion dollars. Europe makes up half of the total, followed by Asia and North Africa at 22 percent. Although the figures are hardly paltry, according to analyst company IHS they're less than expected and a lack of growth for TV rights for the finals could lead to more pay TV deals in the future.
And although there's not much of a question about Brazil's dedication to the world of soccer, timezone differences may impact viewing figures in key markets, according to IHS.