Target Aims to Enhance Shopping Experience with Beacon Tech

Target will start using Bluetooth beacon technology to send recommendations about product deals directly to the smartphones of customers who opt-in for alerts. Users with the latest version of the Target iPhone app on their phones will receive in-app updates and two push notifications per shopping trip. Target is testing beacon tech in 50 of its stores around the country, and plans to use consumer feedback to adapt the service, and release it nationwide by the holiday shopping season. Continue reading Target Aims to Enhance Shopping Experience with Beacon Tech

The Rise of E-Sports: Videogame Coaching is a New Profession

With the rise in popularity of e-sports, videogame coaching as a profession is also on the rise. Coaches can make from $30,000 to $50,000 a year, a salary that matches that of minor league baseball coaches. Coaches study gameplay, oversee practice sessions and provide feedback to e-sport competitors, many of whom can earn up to $120,000 a year. As tournament fans are quickly turning videogame competitions into a popular spectator sport, e-sports now generate more than $600 million in global revenue. Continue reading The Rise of E-Sports: Videogame Coaching is a New Profession

Nokia Sells Mapping Unit to German Carmakers for $3 Billion

Nokia has sold its Here digital mapping unit, a global competitor to Google Maps, to German automakers Audi, BMW Group and Daimler for $3 billion. Since the sale of its mobile phone unit to Microsoft for $7.6 billion last year, Nokia has been putting efforts into its telecom network infrastructure business, which supplies carriers like AT&T and China Mobile with communication equipment. The three German auto companies will use the mapping tech for autonomous driving plans, which they will license to other companies. Continue reading Nokia Sells Mapping Unit to German Carmakers for $3 Billion

Facebook Tests Live Event Stream with Lollapalooza Festival

To compete with live social platforms including Snapchat and Twitter, Facebook is testing a new feature that allows users to access public content and friends’ posts from live events. To start, the social network is offering live streams from the Lollapalooza music festival in Chicago to users anywhere in the United States. The feature will be available through “Place Tips,” a recent feature for accessing friends’ posts and info based on location. With the music festival, Facebook will make that information available remotely. Continue reading Facebook Tests Live Event Stream with Lollapalooza Festival

Amazon Ramps Up Fashion Efforts with London Photo Studio

Amazon has opened a 46,000 square-foot photography studio in London that the company will use to add some 500,000 images of clothing to its sites every year. Amazon is looking to significantly ramp up fashion sales on Amazon.com and its other properties in the United Kingdom, France, Italy and Spain. Amazon added 100 new fashion brands to its platform last year, with plans to compete in Europe’s busy online market amongst heavy hitters such as Rocket Internet and LVMH as well as startups Net a Porter, ASOS and Farfetch. Continue reading Amazon Ramps Up Fashion Efforts with London Photo Studio

Tethered Drones Offer Longer Flight Times and Better Control

Since most UAVs are limited by short battery lives and face the possibility of flying into other aircraft, some companies have introduced tethered drones that are connected to the ground by ultrastrong, lightweight cables. These drones offer longer flight times, more control, and faster data transmission. Several industries have plans for these drones: CNN plans to use them for news coverage, the military for surveillance, and industries such as construction and agriculture for data gathering on their operations. Continue reading Tethered Drones Offer Longer Flight Times and Better Control

Startup Unveils Tiny 4K Camera with Interchangeable Lenses

Z Camera has introduced the E1 — a new 4K, micro four thirds (MFT) interchangeable-lens camera that is small enough to rival the GoPro line of action cams. The Chinese startup launched the E1 with a Kickstarter campaign that has so far generated more than $296,000 in pledges, well over its $42,000 goal. The E1 weighs more than twice the GoPro Hero4, but if equipped with a small enough lens, it can be attached to a drone like the DJI Phantom. The camera, now fully funded, will be produced in cooperation with Panasonic. Continue reading Startup Unveils Tiny 4K Camera with Interchangeable Lenses

NBA to Offer Individual Out-Of-Market Games for First Time

Starting next season, the NBA will let fans watch individual out-of-market games for $6.99 on smartphones, tablets and PCs, as well as from any cable or satellite provider that offers NBA’s League Pass. Providers such as AT&T, Comcast, DirecTV, Dish, Time Warner Cable and Verizon currently offer League Pass. A $120 package for all out-of-market games of an individual team will also be available. Although $6.99 per game is not exactly cheap, it may be a good deal for fans who want to watch a particular matchup, and costs only a fraction of League Pass. Continue reading NBA to Offer Individual Out-Of-Market Games for First Time

BuzzFeed and iHeartRadio Join Snapchat’s Discover Platform

To meet the needs of its younger audience, Snapchat has added BuzzFeed and iHeartRadio as new content partners for its Discover portal. Snapchat launched the platform earlier this year in hopes that teens and millennials would follow their news and entertainment without leaving the app. The addition of BuzzFeed and iHeartRadio should bolster its efforts and get users to check out other Discover channels. Snapchat hopes to grow Discover, and recently moved the feature to its central Stories screen for easier access. Continue reading BuzzFeed and iHeartRadio Join Snapchat’s Discover Platform

Twitter Pitches Event-Based Ad Tools for Targeting Audiences

Twitter recently introduced new tools designed to help marketers identify events appropriate for their brands, create advertising content relevant to those events, and target users who would be interested in such events. For example, an advertiser could use Twitter’s event calendar to research the Oscars, the Olympics or Mother’s Day, and the users who would be interested in those events, and then review which tweets resonated best with those users in the past in order to help build an effective ad campaign. Continue reading Twitter Pitches Event-Based Ad Tools for Targeting Audiences

Twitter Will Remove Plagiarized Tweets on Copyright Grounds

Twitter is cracking down on plagiarized tweets, since tweets are considered the intellectual property of the original tweeter. Users can request to have copied tweets removed on copyright grounds. Twitter has deleted several copies of a stolen joke originally penned by freelance writer Olga Lexell after she reported the infringement. Although most social media-related copyright claims involve embedded media or links rather than text, anyone can submit a claim through Twitter, and the company will remove the tweet if the request is valid. Continue reading Twitter Will Remove Plagiarized Tweets on Copyright Grounds

Tech Leaders and Researchers Call for Ban on Military Robots

Elon Musk and Stephen Hawking are among thousands of individuals pushing for a worldwide ban on autonomous weaponry and military robots. They warn that while use of such weapons could reduce military causalities, they could also set off a global arms race and end up in the hands of terrorists and warlords. Military robots are viewed as more dangerous than drones because they can search for and engage targets without remote direction from people, and are easier and cheaper to mass produce than nuclear weapons. Continue reading Tech Leaders and Researchers Call for Ban on Military Robots

Nintendo, Facebook to Host a ‘Super Mario Maker’ Hackathon

Nintendo and Facebook are teaming up to host a hackathon at Facebook’s headquarters on July 28 and 29, centered around the upcoming “Super Mario Maker” game. The game allows players to build their own Mario courses, and Facebook employees will be creating their own levels for the game, with Nintendo as the judge. The winning creations will be released for download once the game launches in September. Nintendo hopes that allowing players to design their own games will appeal to a creative generation of young gamers. Continue reading Nintendo, Facebook to Host a ‘Super Mario Maker’ Hackathon

Amazon’s First Drive-Up Grocery Store Expected in California

Amazon may open its first drive-up grocery store in Sunnyvale, California, where customers can pick up items they ordered online. Shoppers would place their orders and choose a window during which they could pick up their groceries. The model could provide a viable alternative to traditional grocery shopping for busy consumers, while also addressing some of the challenges faced by the AmazonFresh delivery service, which first launched in the Seattle area and has since expanded to parts of Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego, New York City and Philadelphia. Continue reading Amazon’s First Drive-Up Grocery Store Expected in California

U.S. Government Aims to Provide Nationwide Internet Access

The federal government this week announced plans to distribute $85 million in new funding for rural Internet access. However, the money is not coming from a telecom-related agency such as the FCC; instead, it is coming from the Department of Agriculture. Meanwhile, the Department of Housing and Urban Development unveiled its ConnectHome pilot program that will provide free or low-cost Internet access to residents of public housing. The USDA and HUD are among the federal agencies that now view the Internet as a basic necessity. Continue reading U.S. Government Aims to Provide Nationwide Internet Access

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