Eminem's music publisher, Eight Mile Style has officially filled a lawsuit against music streaming giant Spotify, accusing the platform of "blatant copyright infringement".
According to The Hollywood Reporter, this lawsuit comes under the Music Modernization Act which was signed into law last year. According to MMA, Spotify has to file a "notice of intention" and pay the righholders of the music they are streaming on their platform. This is where it gets dicey, Eight Mile Style has claimed that "Spotify did not have any license to reproduce or distribute the Eight Mile Compositions, either direct, affiliate, or compulsory, but acted deceptively by pretending to have compulsory and/or other licenses."
One of the songs that was claimed to be illegally streamed was Eminem's biggest song ever, 'Lose Yourself', Eight Mile says this is "the most egregious example of Spotify's willful infringement. Spotify, and [the Harry Fox Agency], its agent ... certainly knew (and had the easy means to know) that Eight Mile is the copyright owner of 'Lose Yourself.'" Continuing on, Eight Mile says that 'Lose Yourself' isn't the only song Spotify has illegally streamed, and that in total these songs have been "streamed on Spotify billions of times".
Disney could be in some big trouble with a Walt Disney Co. whistleblower has informed the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) that the company had overstated its revenues for years.
Sandra Kuba used to work as a senior financial analyst for the revenue operations department of Disney, a position she held for 18 years. Kuba alleges that employees that work at Disney's parks-and-resorts business segment "systematically overstated revenue by billions of dollars by exploiting weaknesses in the company's accounting software".
What did Disney purportedly do? Well, MarketWatch has reviewed the whistleblower filings from Kuba where it is alleged that employees were boosting records in multiple ways including "recording fictitious revenue for complimentary golf rounds or for free guest promotions".
The allegations continue, getting worse with MarketWatch adding the whistleblower filings add that employees would record revenue for $500 gift cards at their face value, "even when guests paid a discounted rate of $395". Kuba even added that employees would sometimes record revenue twice for gift cards, both when the guest would buy the gift card and again when it was used at a Disney resort.
Since 1985, Fry's Electronics, a brick and mortar Silicon Valley headquartered electronics chain, was the go-to place for DIY system builders. The stores founded by John Fry were modeled like grocery retailing, but to sell computer and electronics supplies. Fry's Electronics, like most brick and mortar stores these days is having a tough time due to fierce online retailer competition. It seems that they may be closer than ever to facing the fate of other brick and mortar retail chains, like Toys"R"Us, K-Mart, and Sears.
Over the last two years, we have observed significant gaps in their product stock, and over the last six to twelve months entire product lines missing for extended periods of time. Examples include the OEM versions Microsoft Windows 10, internal hard drives, or motherboards which most stores have not had in stock consistently for the last six months. One thing we have heard across multiple stores from employees is that sales have been struggling. Our own visits to the stores have shown entire isles which used to be well stocked, completely devoid of any products.
Spotify is the cream of the crop when it comes to music streaming services, while it might not be first in music quality it certainly is first when it comes to user counts.
Spotify has released the their quarterly earnings for the second quarter of 2019, revealing that the company now has a solid paying userbase of 108 million users compared to the same time last year of 83 million users. While this might sound like a staggering amount of users, Spotify's estimation for the by the end of June was to add 8.5 million more users, which unfortunately fell short. One year-over-year scale, Spotify is actually up 31% growth wise.
The quarterly report also reveals an accurate amount of monthly active users the music streaming platform has. According to the report, Spotify now has 232 million monthly active users, in comparison to the same time last year where they had 180 million. To shine a light on some competing music streaming platforms, Apple has a userbase of about 60 million users and Amazon is currently trying to squeeze into the market with Amazon Music which is getting a straight upwards trend of users. could certainly disrupt things.
Apple has confirmed it is releasing its own credit card in August, after first revealing it at its services event earlier this year. Yeah, a credit card, from Apple.
Apple CEO Tim Cook said during Apple's recent 2019 third fiscal quarter earnings call: "Thousands of Apple employees are using the Apple Card every day in a beta test and we will begin to roll out the Apple Card in August". The new Apple Card will arrive in both a digital form, as well as a physical titanium card.
Where the new 'Apple Card' will do things differently is that it won't have a normal 16-digit number, CVV code, expiration date, or personal ID on it like a traditional credit card. Apple Card will generate these numbers on-device, with Apple teaming with Goldman Sachs, randomly each time at the time of transactions to keep purchases secure.
We knew it was coming but now it is official: Apple has acquired Intel's modem division including 17,000 patents and most of its staff, for $1 billion.
Intel will see around 2200 of its employees joining Apple, with physical equipment and facilities to be transferred from Intel to Apple now that the deal is done. Intel is abandoning the modem market, but it's not getting rid of everything in the division. The company explains it will "retain the ability to develop modems for non-smartphone applications, such as PCs, internet-of-things devices and autonomous vehicles".
Apple's SVP of Hardware Technologies Johny Srouji adds: "Apple is excited to have so many excellent engineers join our growing cellular technologies group, and know they'll thrive in Apple's creative and dynamic environment. They, together with our significant acquisition of innovative IP, will help expedite our development on future products and allow Apple to further differentiate moving forward".
If you didn't know already, Amazon is currently hosting their own holiday called 'Prime Day'. Prime Day ushers in a range of new sales for consumers to enjoy, but not everyone has taken a liking - as many strikes have formed by Amazon employee's.
This is the second year in a row that Amazon employee's have decided to strike on Prime Day. Many workers located in Germany are refusing to work over what has been called unfair pay, and Minnesota workers are striking over unsafe working conditions. These are the only Amazon workers striking though, due to Amazon owning Twitch.tv some video game streamers have also decided to strike.
Adam "Yoman5" Hernandez, a competitive Magic: The Gathering streamer has decided not to stream for the next two days to show solidarity to the Amazon employee's who have it hard. "I think it's really simple to show solidarity to people who have it hard. A two-day strike did wonders already over at Polygon, and while that's a much smaller affair, a strike is really disruptive to the company's production and can force the company to actually address concerns. A boycott in solidarity with the strike can hit Amazon in the only place they care: sales numbers."
YouTube continues its march right into censorship heaven with a new addition underneath its ban hammer, with the Google-owned video sharing site now banning content posted as "instructional hacking and phishing" that show users "how to bypass secure computer systems or steal user credentials and personal data".
We made a video about launching fireworks over Wi-Fi for the 4th of July only to find out @YouTube gave us a strike because we teach about hacking, so we can't upload it.— Kody (@KodyKinzie) July 2, 2019
YouTube now bans: "Instructional hacking and phishing: Showing users how to bypass secure computer systems"
The problem is that YouTube algorithms will be the 1984 control system behind this move once again, and some users are already getting caught up in the mess. Creator of Cyber Weapons Lab YouTube series Kody Kinzie posted to Twitter saying that his team "made a video about launching fireworks over Wi-Fi for the 4th of July to find out YouTube gave us a strike because we teach about hacking, so we can't upload it". What a mess.
Now sure, I get that YouTube should be censoring or removing harmful material -- but it should be mostly done by actual human staff. The issue here is that so many other videos are going to get caught up in this algorithm-happy ban on their instructional videos that don't necessarily instruct you on how to hack someones PC, but rather do some tweaks or trouble shooting to it. I guess we'll see how bad this gets in the coming weeks and months.
In a story that hasn't been covered much at all, you might not have read that an Ars Technica staffer was recently arrested by the FBI after an attempted enticement of a minor to engage in illegal sexual ctivity.
Peter Bright was a respected member of the tech press, openly claiming he was in a relationship with an 11-year-old. His own personal Twitter even states he's "pervy", so it seems ht wasn't trying to hide this at all. An undercover FBI special agent reached out to Bright through KinkD, something I'd never heard of until today, a social media platform for sexual fetish connections.
Where it gets worse is that the undercover FBI agent reached out to "randomanon", or Bright, saying that she was a mother that wanted to talk to people who would teach her kids about the "birds and the bees". Bright bit the bait, being allured with the purported 7- and 9-year old children used as bait.
HBO has always had to fight off pirates of its hit Game of Thrones and with its recent season 8 premiere, analytics company MUSO says the premiere was pirated close to 55 million times in its first day.
MUSO adds that around 76% of these viewers used bootleg streams while 12% downloaded it, 10.8% used public torrents while 0.5% used private torrents. The most popular place for pirate versions of the S8 premiere of Game of Thrones was India with MUSO reporting 10 million views were in India, while China chimed in with 5 million.
Remember that HBO isn't available everywhere so there are those that will look to pirating the show, or for people who aren't subscribed and paying for a TV package of some kind in their country. In saying that, MUSO said that around 4 million people pirated the S8 premiere of Game of Thrones in the US, and that's the home of HBO's main audience.