Bots Could Replace Apps for Microsoft, Facebook and Others

Bots are text or language-based user interfaces to a service rather than ones that are graphical, and they’re getting a boost from several big technology companies, especially those that missed out on smartphones and their apps. Microsoft has described a vision of bots that can do everything from book a hotel room to order pizza, and has debuted tools to make it easier for a developer or small business owner to build one. Now, Facebook has plans to roll out a bot store that connects with its Messenger service. Continue reading Bots Could Replace Apps for Microsoft, Facebook and Others

Uber Approaches $62.5 Billion Valuation, Rivals Form Alliance

Uber Technologies, which increased its U.S. gross revenue about 200 percent this year, plans to raise as much as $2.1 billion in its latest financing round that would value the company at $62.5 billion. The funding would enable Uber to pursue its goals of branching into new services such as food and package delivery, explore new technology such as autonomous cars, and grow globally, particularly in China. Meanwhile, Lyft and other international Uber rivals have formed an alliance to inter-connect their services. Continue reading Uber Approaches $62.5 Billion Valuation, Rivals Form Alliance

Tech Companies Target Developing Countries for Web Expansion

Despite attempts by tech companies to make the Internet more accessible to people around the world, especially to those living in developing countries, the Internet’s growth has been decelerating. Facebook and Google have both invested in technologies such as satellites, drones and high-altitude balloons to deliver global Web access. However promising these efforts have been, global Web access has proven to be more contingent on whether people deem the Internet useful in the first place.  Continue reading Tech Companies Target Developing Countries for Web Expansion

Chinese Smartphone Maker Xiaomi Wants to Go International

Xiaomi is the most popular smartphone maker in China and the third largest phone maker in the world. During the next year, the company hopes to expand its presence outside of China to developing markets in India, Brazil, and Indonesia. The company specializes in manufacturing low-cost, well-designed phones that they sell primarily online. Xiaomi is also hoping to increase profits by selling apps and entertainment for the phones, along with other electronic devices like a tablet and smart TV. Continue reading Chinese Smartphone Maker Xiaomi Wants to Go International

Despite Piracy, Global Cinema Experiences Revenue Growth

A new report released by the Motion Picture Association of America during CinemaCon this week in Las Vegas points to good news as movie industry revenues around the globe increased four percent from 2012 to 2013. While revenue from U.S. and Canada box offices were only up one percent, the global increases suggest that the movie industry has been able to survive during the ongoing threat of online piracy. Revenue in China also increased, the country that sits on top of the piracy list. Continue reading Despite Piracy, Global Cinema Experiences Revenue Growth

BitTorrent Offers Hollywood Bundle Options for Promo Content

BitTorrent is making efforts to appeal to Hollywood — and help generate legitimate revenue — by offering studios and artists the opportunity to sell and distribute their material in Bundles as a way to entice customers to buy the full content on iTunes or other similar services. BitTorrent Bundles has already teamed up with Lady Gaga, Madonna and Vice Media to launch promotional content including photos, trailers, videos, songs and other extras. Continue reading BitTorrent Offers Hollywood Bundle Options for Promo Content

Mobile Forecast: Will Phablets Outsell Small Tablets in 2014?

According to Bob O’Donnell, founder of TECHnalysis Research, demand for phablets (larger smartphones approaching tablet dimensions) is growing so quickly in parts of Asia, Europe and Brazil that the odd-sized devices are expected to outsell traditional smaller tablets in 2014. O’Donnell forecasts that 175 million phablets will be sold worldwide next year, as compared to an estimated 165 million smaller-sized tablets (featuring screens that are 8 inches or less). Continue reading Mobile Forecast: Will Phablets Outsell Small Tablets in 2014?

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