Stories for Aug. 21, 2014
In Brief

The 25,000-people-strong “class action” privacy suit against Facebook, launched in Austria at the start of this month, is going ahead. Although the case was recently shifted from one court to another, Max Schrems’s “Europe v Facebook” campaign group said on Thursday that the wheels are now properly in motion. The Vienna Regional Court has reviewed the case and ordered Facebook Ireland, the company’s international headquarters, to respond to the claimants’ accusations of widespread breaches of data protection law. The social network has four weeks to respond, though it may also apply for a four-week extension.

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Stories for Aug. 20, 2014

Media companies like BuzzFeed, NowThis News and Fusion are increasingly creating content that is designed to live on other apps and services rather than just including links to their websites. This promiscuous approach to media is a smart strategy in an increasingly crowded environment Read more »

A company called FarmLink has raised $40 million in equity capital to further its business of analyzing sensor data to determine how much food a field can ideally yield. It’s just the latest in a string of investments at the intersection of agriculture and data. Read more »

In Brief

Chef, the company that provides commercial support for the open-source Chef configuration management and deployment tool, on Wednesday said noted agile development bigwig Jez Humble has joined the company as VP of engineering. Humble is the co-author of the book Continuous Delivery, which advocates for a kind of development process in which software can be rapidly deployed to production at any given moment. Since Chef promotes the devops school that aims to bring developers and operations staff together, this hire makes sense. Humble’s development skills and notoriety in the agile community could help bridge that gap. Humble was previously a principal at the agile consulting firm ThoughtWorks.

In Brief

This is pretty cool: A few Netflix engineers integrated the streaming service’s connected TV app with Hue connected light bulbs from Philips to change the colors of your living room light based on the movie you’re watching. This is similar to a recent SyFy experiment with Sharknado, but in Netflix’s implementation, the light color even changes while you navigate through Netflix’s TV app queue. The integration was done as part of Netflix’s most recent hack day, where other teams built an Oculus Rift UI, a command line Netflix app and a mini player Chrome extension to binge while you’re working. Sadly, all of those hacks are internal, and may never become part of any actual products.

identity

In this webinar, we will examine the immediate need to extend identity to customer audiences, the risks of doing so using legacy software, and the most effective path businesses can take to build for the future while recognizing value today. We will discuss real-world examples in the automotive, marketing, and other industries, and draw lessons that businesses of all sorts can use. Read more »

In Brief

Nook

The largest retail bookseller in the United States is now in the business of selling Samsung tablets. As was announced earlier this summer, Barnes & Noble will discontinue its own line of skinned Android tablets and instead will partner with Samsung to sell a Nook-branded version of the Galaxy Tab 4, which will be called, rather uncreatively, the Galaxy Tab 4 Nook. This version of the seven-inch tablet will have several Nook book and music marketplaces preinstalled and it will be sold for $180 at Barnes & Noble as well as online. Barnes & Noble locations will also offer customer support for customers struggling with the jump from paper books to a fully-fledged Android tablet.

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