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Medium says it is continuing to experiment with how best to compensate writers, but the recent departure of the contributing editor behind one of its collections shows there is still a tension between Medium the magazine and Medium the open platform Read more »

In Brief

Given its ubiquity in the smartphone world, it’s not surprising that the iPhone has become a kind of centralized remote control for a wide range of devices, from televisions and stereo systems to intelligent lightbulbs and thermostats — and Apple wants to expand on that through a new “Smart Home” program that is going to be launched at WWDC next week, according to a report in the Financial Times. The FT said that Apple will build remote-control and management features for a host of devices including security systems into the iOS platform through partnerships with specific manufacturers, and the company’s retail stores will be a core part of the strategy. The platform could use near-field communications or NFC as the method of control, the newspaper said, since support for the technology is expected to also be part of the company’s new iPhone models.

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Facebook’s director of product Mike Hudack posted a rant about the inadequacies of the media — including some new-media sites like Vox — and their focus on click-bait content, but many argued that Facebook itself helps promote that type of content. So who is right? Read more »

Metafilter, a pioneering online community, has been forced to lay off almost half of its moderation staff and is on financial life support after its traffic from Google suddenly declined by 40 percent. The reasons for the drop — as with most things involving Google — remain a mystery Read more »

In Brief

One of the hottest rumors in the technology sphere — apart from the ongoing talk about Apple buying Beats — has centered around Twitter making a bid for SoundCloud, as a way of re-entering the music market after its ill-fated experiment with Twitter Music. But according to a report in the Wall Street Journal, the micro-blogging company has backed away from acquisition talks with SoundCloud, in part because of the price the company was hoping to get. The Journal quotes sources as saying the two were in advanced negotiations, but Twitter brass decided that “the numbers didn’t add up.” SoundCloud recently did a financing round that valued the company at about $700 million, which would have made it a large deal for Twitter — and the latter’s stock has been under pressure lately, which has also likely made large acquisitions unappetizing.

As Jay Rosen argues, the days when it was enough to just give both sides of a story — without providing any additional viewpoints or fact-checking — are over. He said/she said journalism is both an ethical lapse and a failure to understand how the media business itself has changed Read more »

Instead of a paywall around its existing content, Slate is trying to convince its biggest fans to become members of a community — membership that will bring them additional benefits, including preferential access to writers and editors at the site. But will it be enough to move the revenue needle? Read more »

In Brief

Nike has let go most of the members of its FuelBand wearables unit and will stop developing new versions of the device, according to a report by CNET. The tech news site quoted an unnamed person “familiar with the matter” as saying that the firm has laid off 70 to 80 percent of its 70-person hardware division and will not produce a new version of the FuelBand, but will continue to sell the existing version. Some industry observers believe Nike has decided to align itself with Apple, which is expected to launch an iWatch or other wearable device that might run Nike’s Fuel software. Apple CEO Tim Cook is a member of Nike’s board.

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