Bar Association Pushes for Change in Online Piracy Legislation

Attorneys with the American Bar Association are advising the government on dealing with online piracy through a 113-page white paper titled “A Call for Action for Online Piracy and Counterfeiting Legislation.” While they suggest many measures similar to SOPA and PIPA, the lawyers also advise against suing the file-sharers because it is usually counterproductive, costing more money than they recover, and it can also be bad PR for the copyright holders.  Continue reading Bar Association Pushes for Change in Online Piracy Legislation

Verizon Seeing Tremendous Growth in the Internet of Things

The Internet of Things produces significant amounts of data from objects embedded with sensors and machine-to-machine communications. According to Verizon’s VP of Connected Solutions Mark Bartolomeo, the Internet of Things is growing over 100 percent a year. Companies are using this technology to improve the management of supply chains, equipment and customer demands. The energy, transportation and digital cities units are the fastest growing sectors in Verizon’s Connected Solutions. Continue reading Verizon Seeing Tremendous Growth in the Internet of Things

PayPal Can Now Be Used for Purchases in Google Play Store

Late last week, Google added new payment options to the Google Play Store, including the ability to use PayPal for the purchase of apps, music and movies. Paypal can now be used as a payment method for Google’s virtual storefront in 12 countries including the U.S. While this is the first time Google has offered the PayPal option (Microsoft’s Windows Phone Store has featured the option since its inception), the payment method can only be used for digital content, which excludes devices or accessories. Continue reading PayPal Can Now Be Used for Purchases in Google Play Store

After a Lukewarm Response, Square Pulls the Plug on Wallet

Although Wallet seemed to have tremendous potential as the next big thing, Square recently pulled the app from mobile app stores after receiving a lukewarm response from consumers and retailers. Square Wallet, created by Twitter inventor Jack Dorsey, offered a radical new way of performing an everyday task by making payments through a mobile app easier. Dorsey’s vision was to reinvent in-person payments for the mobile era, but the public did not seem to respond well. Continue reading After a Lukewarm Response, Square Pulls the Plug on Wallet

Chinese E-Commerce Company Alibaba Files IPO in the U.S.

Alibaba, China’s largest and fastest growing e-commerce company, filed for a $1 billion IPO, which could make it one of the most valuable tech companies in the world. The company made $6.5 billion and saw a 57 percent increase in revenue in the last nine months of 2013. Alibaba handles more business than any other e-commerce company, with transactions on its three online sites — Taobao, Tmall and Alibaba.com — totaling $248 billion, which is more than eBay and Amazon combined. Continue reading Chinese E-Commerce Company Alibaba Files IPO in the U.S.

Small Theaters Face Challenges in Shift to Digital Distribution

As Hollywood studios are shifting from distributing movies on film to digital distribution via hard drives and satellite, many small theaters cannot afford $60,000 or more to upgrade and support the new technology. Theater owners are faced with the difficult decision between investing in new equipment or closing down their theaters. Meanwhile, most major U.S. cinema chains have already converted to digital cinema, many with the support of Wall Street-financed programs. Continue reading Small Theaters Face Challenges in Shift to Digital Distribution

Sprint and Spotify Partner to Promote Streaming Music Service

Wireless carrier Sprint and streaming music service Spotify are reportedly joining forces to push the music service out to Sprint’s customers, similar to a plan already underway between AT&T and Beats Music. The new partnership will include free Spotify trials for Sprint customers and the option to pay for the music service using Sprint’s billing system. Spotify’s premium service costs $9.99 per month, although some Sprint customers will likely qualify for discounts. Continue reading Sprint and Spotify Partner to Promote Streaming Music Service

Facebook Could Expand into E-Money Mobile-Payments System

Facebook is preparing to provide remittances and electronic money in an effort to extend non-ad revenue. The company applied for an e-money license in Ireland that would allow users to store and exchange money through its social network. Facebook would generate revenue by charging commission for each transaction. At least three London startups — TransferWise, Moni Technologies and Azimo — have discussed potential partnerships with Facebook regarding financial services. Continue reading Facebook Could Expand into E-Money Mobile-Payments System

AT&T Will Lower Internet Prices if FCC Ends Net Neutrality

At the FCC’s “Protecting and Promoting the Open Internet” proceeding on Friday, AT&T said it will lower its Internet prices if the FCC allows Internet service providers to charge websites such as Netflix for faster delivery of content. In the wake of a court decision vacating the FCC’s net neutrality rules against charging for preferential treatment, the Commission opened a proceeding with hopes of writing new rules that achieve similar goals. AT&T is asking for rules that explicitly allow ISPs to charge for special access.

Continue reading AT&T Will Lower Internet Prices if FCC Ends Net Neutrality

Netflix CEO: Broadband Companies Should Interconnect for Free

In a blog post yesterday, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings said that broadband providers should be required to connect their networks to major content providers (including Netflix) free of charge. Hastings issued a call for new rules that would prevent broadband providers like Comcast from charging content companies fees to connect directly to their networks (a practice referred to as “paid interconnection” or “paid peering”). Netflix recently struck such a deal with Comcast to improve its video service for subscribers. Continue reading Netflix CEO: Broadband Companies Should Interconnect for Free

Fast Food Giants Follow GrubHub’s Lead with Ordering Apps

Starbucks and McDonalds are working towards implementing mobile ordering and digital payment systems. Besides the pizza industry, most fast food chains have been reluctant to adopt digital ordering systems, while small businesses have been quick to accept GrubHub, which allows customers to order food online or through a smartphone app. Since GrubHub recognizes that fast food chains will likely create their own apps, the company is focused on partnering with independent restaurants. Continue reading Fast Food Giants Follow GrubHub’s Lead with Ordering Apps

Digital Entertainment World Conference Debuts in Los Angeles

The first Digital Entertainment World conference proved to be an excellent opportunity for a quick dive into current key topics of interest to the entertainment industry. DEW was held at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza in Los Angeles February 18-20. Topics included the states of all major media verticals, issues related to reaching millennials, alternative revenue streams and payment options, current developments related to metadata and content discovery, and the technologies and costs associated with using cloud-based tools and resources. Continue reading Digital Entertainment World Conference Debuts in Los Angeles

Digital Payment Company Square Signs Deal with Whole Foods

Square has announced a new partnership with Whole Foods, that will bring its payment technology to the upscale grocery store. Whole Foods will use iPads mounted in the Square Stand holder at the specialty food and beverage counters that line the stores’ walls. Customers will have the option to pay for their orders by card, or with payment credentials saved in the Square Wallet app on their smartphones. This is Square’s biggest deal since its partnership with Starbucks in 2012. Continue reading Digital Payment Company Square Signs Deal with Whole Foods

Study: Mobile Retail Sales Soar in 2013, Especially Via Tablets

According to a new report from Javelin Strategy & Research, most mobile commerce took place via tablets in 2013, due primarily to the doubling of tablet ownership year-over-year. Javelin reports that $59.7 billion in sales were made from mobile devices last year, up from $20.7 billion the year prior. The study shows that $56.6 billion was made through a mobile site or app while $3.1 billion was made via a mobile POS. Tablets were responsible for $28.7 billion in mobile commerce. Continue reading Study: Mobile Retail Sales Soar in 2013, Especially Via Tablets

Amazon to Introduce Kindle Checkout System for Retail Stores

Amazon plans to offer brick-and-mortar retailers a new checkout system using its Kindle tablets, expected to be available as early as this summer. The development stems from Amazon’s acquisition last year of certain tech and engineers from GoPago, a startup known for its cloud-based mobile payment platform. The move could provide Amazon with a significant growth opportunity. However, it also faces numerous competitors in the checkout system space.  Continue reading Amazon to Introduce Kindle Checkout System for Retail Stores

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