Stories for Apr. 18, 2014

Upcoming Events

Stories for Apr. 17, 2014
In Brief

Uber announced today that it will start tacking on a $1 “safe rides fee” to every UberX ride. In a blog post, the company said the extra dollar would go towards security measures, like background checks and driver education. Both Uber and Lyft extended their insurance options to cover drivers better last month. The extra $1 won’t be too much of a cost burden though after UberX cut prices earlier this year.

In Brief

Home builders are getting hip to the smart home, with Lennar signing a deal to put Savant’s smart home control software in one of its developments and KB Homes apparently installing an energy management system that will lay the groundwork for later home control upgrades in all new homes it builds. An article in the Silicon Valley Business Journal has an interview with a KB Homes VP about how the homebuilder has so far implemented technology into its homes, and the user reaction. I wish there was indication on how open KB’s systems are, but it’s still worth a read.

loading external resource
In Brief

MLB.tv added Chromecast support for its iOS and Android apps on Thursday, giving baseball fans yet another way to stream America’s favorite pastime to their televisions. As always, live streaming requires a $129.99 MLB.tv premium subscription and in-market games are blacked out. Previously, you could mirror the MLB.tv website from a Chrome tab, but having the option to cast from an app usually improves video quality on Chromecast.

In Brief

App developers will have a new way to reach potential users on Twitter: The company announced Thursday that it will support mobile-app install cards, meaning that users can install apps directly from a tweet. The ads will be powered by MoPub, the ad exchange Twitter acquired in the fall of last year, and will work for both iOS and Android phones. The apps are installed via Twitter’s Card system, and Twitter mentioned participation from Spotify, Kabam, HotelTonight and Deezer. It’s arguably Twitter’s highest-value ad yet, and could stand to bring in good revenue for the company as it establishes its ad network.

Stories for Apr. 16, 2014
In Brief

Music subscription service Spotify is getting ready to switch its data delivery technology from P2P to a server-client model, according to a TorrentFreak report. Spotify has long been using P2P for its desktop client, but not for mobile and web listening, and it makes sense that the company is looking to streamline its data delivery as mobile usage grows and bandwidth prices continue to decline. With the shift, Spotify is also closing the book on a little-known part of its past: uTorrent creator Ludvig Strigeus started working for Spotify after he sold his company to BitTorrent Inc. That sale was facilitated by none other than Spotify CEO Daniel Ek, who briefly served as uTorrent’s CEO.

In Brief

Jasper has quietly become a force in the internet of things, brokering and managing many of the connectivity agreements – including AT&T’s increasing number of connected car partnerships – that link appliances, gadgets and vehicles to mobile networks. On Wednesday, Jasper announced it has raised a $50 million round led by the government of Singapore’s investment arm Temasek Holdings, and according to the Wall Street Journal, the funding raises its valuation to $1 billion. Mobile connectivity has mainly been a big factor in the industrial internet of things, where shipping, trucking and many other industries have long used machine-to-machine connectivity. But Jasper’s M2M technology is gradually creeping into the consumer realm, in particular the connected car.

 

In Brief

U.S. Sen. Al Franken has written to Netflix asking its opinion on Comcast’s efforts to buy Time Warner Cable, implying that Netflix is a good indicator of the potential consumer and content harms of the deal. In his letter, Franken touches on peering challenge, noting that Comcast implied that it was no big thing in its hearing before the Senate Judiciary committee. Since Netflix wasn’t at the hearing, perhaps Sen. Franken just wants to get Netflix’s comments on the record. And while, we aren’t Netflix, if Sen. Franken is interested, here’s how we think regulators should view the deal.

In Brief

If you mainly use your Kindle to read ebooks, you may be unaware that the device is also an excellent document reader — simply send an email with a document to a specific Amazon email address and it will appear on your e-reader. On Wednesday, Amazon sent an email to Kindle users informing them all documents sent to Kindle are now stored on Amazon Cloud Drive, in a folder labeled “My Send to Kindle Docs,” even documents sent before the cloud drive integration. Previously, documents sent to Kindle were converted to .mobi format, but now those docs are stored in their original format. It’s pretty nifty and allows you to send a document to your reader and make a cloud backup accessible from the browser at the same time.

1234564,126page 4 of 4,126