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Cryptocurrency Implosion Continues with BlockFi Bankruptcy

The fallout from cryptocurrency exchange FTX’s implosion continues, as BlockFi becomes the latest crypto lender to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, in the wake of similar moves by Voyager and Celsius. BlockFi, which was to have been acquired by FTX, filed in U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of New Jersey indicating more than 100,000 creditors, and liabilities combined with assets that range from $1 billion to $10 billion. An outstanding loan to Sam Bankman-Fried’s bankrupt American division FTX US for $275 million was among the liabilities. Read more

Mark Cuban’s Fireside Acquires Stremium to Gain TV Access

Fireside, a streaming platform co-founded by Mark Cuban and Falon Fatemi, has acquired Stremium, which it will use to leverage Fireside onto Amazon Fire TV, Roku and other connected smart TV devices. Fireside is a streaming app that offers members an opportunity to interact with the platform’s founding talent, including Jay Leno, Craig Kilborn, Melissa Rivers and “Entourage” creator Doug Ellin as they appear live on their Fireside networks or shows. Stremium is a cloud DVR and live TV platform that lets consumers link their live channel providers through a single portal. Read more

Major Discounts Propel Cyber Monday to New Sales Record

Cyber Monday racked up $11.3 billion in online sales, according to Adobe Analytics, which reports a 5.8 percent increase over 2021’s spending of $10.7 billion (which was down slightly from 2020’s $10.8 billion). The 2022 result was a record for Cyber Monday and also for the year-to-date. Thanksgiving sales totaled $5.29 billion, while Black Friday hit $9.12 billion — both outperforming earlier forecasts. All in, “Cyber Week,” including the days off and workdays during which people continued to shop, is estimated to have tallied $35.27 billion in online sales, a 4 percent increase year-over-year. Read more

FCC Adds Rules Blocking the Sale of Devices Made in China

The Federal Communications Commission has adopted new rules prohibiting the U.S. sale of certain telecommunications and surveillance devices manufactured by Chinese companies. In a move to shore up national security, the move blocks equipment deemed to pose an unacceptable risk from receiving import authorization. In recent years, the government has taken various actions to secure the U.S. supply chain for communications equipment and services. “These new rules are an important part of our ongoing actions to protect the American people from national security threats involving telecommunications,” FCC chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel said. Read more

Subtitles, Closed Captioning Popular Among Young Viewers

More people than ever are using subtitles — often in their native language, to help follow-along with indiscernible audio, according to a study by language-teaching app Preply. Netflix released figures indicating more than 80 percent of its subscribers used subtitles (or closed captions) once a month or more. And the trend is not limited to seniors; younger viewers are about four times more likely to turn on subtitles. The prevalence of rear-facing, or downward-directed speakers in today’s ultra-thin TVs has compounded the problem, often resulting in worse audio than the old-fashioned TV sets, which had front-facing speakers. But there are other issues affecting TV audio. Read more

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