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Google may be getting ready to launch its Chromecast streaming stick in Australia, if pre-order pages on the website of local electronics retailer Dick Smith are any indication. Ausdroid.net reported Sunday that customers had spotted a listing of the streaming stick on Dick Smith’s website, with a price tag of AUS $49 (about $46), and a delivery date of May 27. The listing has since been removed, but there have been rumors for some time that Chromecast will come to Australia this spring. Last week, Google debuted Chromecast in South Korea.

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Music discovery startup Exfm announced this week that it will shut down for good on May 19. Exfm first announced that it was going to shut down late last year, at the time blaming “the litigious nature of the music industry” as one of the reason it called quits. However, in January, it just kept going, alluding at the possibility of a partnership. Now, it looks like that partnership won’t include the current service. In a blog post, Exfm’s executive team put it this way: “We are very excited for what’s next and believe we will ultimately provide you with the best music service in the seven kingdoms.”

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Music identification specialist SoundHound unveiled a new version of its iOS, Android, Windows phone and Blackberry apps Thursday, offering new ways for users to explore the results of their song searches. The app, which offers the ability to identify songs by listening in what’s playing around you or having users hum a melody, also expanded its lyrics catalog, which it displays in real-time while a song is playing. The new version comes just as competitor Shazam reportedly secured some smaller investments from the major record companies. The three majors each took a $3 million stake in the company, according to the Wall Street Journal.

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AT&T is in advanced talks to buy DirecTV for $50 billion, or about $100 per share, Bloomberg reported Monday. AT&T’s plan is to turn the satellite company into an AT&T unit, and keep management on board to run that unit, with plans for DirecTV’s chief executive Mike White to retire in 2016. The acquisition report, which neither company is commenting on, comes after three months after Comcast announced that it was going to acquire Time Warner Cable in a $45 billion deal.

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 »

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Networking giant Ericsson has just beefed up its broadcast services portfolio – on Monday it said its takeover of Red Bee Media, announced in July 2013 with an undisclosed price, was finalized following regulatory approval. Red Bee started off as the BBC’s commercial broadcast management arm (multi-platform distribution, marketing and so on), before being sold off to Australia’s Macquarie in 2005. Ericsson’s own broadcast services efforts began in 2007, but they now benefit from an extra 1,500 employees in Europe (mainly the UK) and Australia, along with a formidable client roster ranging from the BBC and BSkyB to carriers such as EE and brands such as Hyundai.

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