U.S. Postal Service to Slash Prices for E-Commerce Retailers

To be more competitive, the U.S. Postal Service will cut its prices by as much as 58 percent on certain Priority Mail packages for retailers shipping at least 50,000 packages per year. Both UPS and FedEx believe the price cuts are an unfair way for the USPS to gain an edge in the e-commerce business. Amazon and USPS already have a partnership to deliver on Sundays, but the two organizations are teaming up again to test grocery deliveries in San Francisco. Continue reading U.S. Postal Service to Slash Prices for E-Commerce Retailers

Mobile Apps: Apple and Google Seeking Software Prodigies

Apple and Google are competing for younger programmers to write the next wave of mobile code. In 2012, Apple lowered the minimum age of attendance at its developer conference from 18 to 13. The company supplies scholarships for those that cannot pay the $1,600 fee for registration. Meanwhile, Google holds a youth section at its developer conference for those between 11 and 15 years old. Tech companies are searching for software prodigies that will develop the next big apps for smartphones and tablets. Continue reading Mobile Apps: Apple and Google Seeking Software Prodigies

LinkedIn Sees Bizo Acquisition as Part of Larger B2B Picture

LinkedIn announced last month that it would acquire business marketing startup Bizo for about $175 million. According to a recently unveiled internal document, the move is the latest step toward the company’s goal of entering the expanding B2B marketing space and turning its marketing solutions products into a $1 billion business by 2017. The Bizo acquisition is part of LinkedIn’s plans to become “the most effective online platform for marketers to engage with professionals.” Continue reading LinkedIn Sees Bizo Acquisition as Part of Larger B2B Picture

Companies Look to Meet Demand for Faster, Cheaper Delivery

According to a recent Harris poll, 14 percent of respondents and 25 percent of millennials would accept an added fee for same-day delivery of online purchases. The mean price these consumers are willing to pay is $13.90. Customers want faster, but affordable delivery, so startups are taking on the traditional infrastructure approach of Amazon (involving warehouses, vehicle fleets and full-time employees) by rethinking operations and, in many cases, turning to crowdsourced workers. Continue reading Companies Look to Meet Demand for Faster, Cheaper Delivery

Bleep: BitTorrent Develops Secure Calling and Messaging App

San Francisco’s BitTorrent is leveraging its expertise in online file sharing tech to develop Bleep, an encrypted snoop-proof chat app. None of the texts or calls are stored, and only the two computers are involved in the communication. While the NSA could potentially monitor the interactions, the job becomes much more difficult with the new app. Not only does Bleep encrypt its traffic and encourage users to keep their identities secret, but it also uses no central server. Continue reading Bleep: BitTorrent Develops Secure Calling and Messaging App

Google to Purchase Live Game Streamer Twitch for $1 Billion

Google has signed a $1 billion deal to acquire popular streaming platform Twitch.tv, according to sources familiar with the matter. Google’s YouTube division is in charge of the deal, which reflects the popularity of live Internet streaming and, in particular, the rapidly evolving interest in competitive gaming as a spectator sport. San Francisco-based Twitch currently touts more than 50 million monthly users. In addition, more than 1.1 million of its members broadcast videos each month. Continue reading Google to Purchase Live Game Streamer Twitch for $1 Billion

DirecTV Introduces NFL Sunday Ticket Free of TV Subscription

DirecTV announced that it will offer its NFL Sunday Ticket to certain consumers who do not have a satellite subscription. Sports fans can register via NFLSundayTicket.TV to access streaming of live games on laptops, smartphones, tablets or game consoles. To qualify, viewers must live in an apartment building where DirecTV is not available, attend one of the universities included in DirecTV’s list, or live in metropolitan New York, San Francisco or Philadelphia.  Continue reading DirecTV Introduces NFL Sunday Ticket Free of TV Subscription

Google to Launch Health Data Aggregation Service Google Fit

Google Fit, a health data aggregation service, is expected to launch at the Google I/O conference in San Francisco next week. The service will compete with Apple’s new HealthKit app framework, which launched last week. It will also compete with Samsung’s Sami, a similar biometric data platform. Google Fit aims to store data from wearable activity tracking devices — including Fitbit, Jawbone UP and Nike FuelBand — along with the related smartphone apps.

Continue reading Google to Launch Health Data Aggregation Service Google Fit

Evernote CEO Says No Future for Apps and Ads with Wearables

Evernote CEO Phil Libin believes that as wearable electronics supplant smartphones, apps and ads will increasingly feel out of place. Speaking at the MIT Technology Review Digital Summit, Libin noted that the convenience of wearables such as Google Glass or a smartwatch will rely on the instant delivery of information. Firing up an app or waiting on an ad would likely alienate users. Libin predicts that users will prefer ambient services that run in the background and move forward as needed. Continue reading Evernote CEO Says No Future for Apps and Ads with Wearables

Dish Targets Cord Cutters with Upcoming Internet TV Service

With its planned Internet-based TV service, Dish is targeting consumers who are frustrated by traditional pay TV. Speaking at the TV of Tomorrow Show in San Francisco yesterday, Dish exec Adam Lowy said that “cord cutters, cord nevers and what we call cord haters” are on the company’s radar. The service plans to initially launch on Dish’s existing infrastructure, but will later move to an all-IP system. Dish is currently talking to television networks about licensing content for the new service. Continue reading Dish Targets Cord Cutters with Upcoming Internet TV Service

Google Moves Further into Retail with New Overnight Delivery

The search engine Google is adding overnight delivery to its shipping options in Northern California. From San Francisco to Berkeley, and soon other cities, Google promises to deliver items purchased by 7:00 pm to doorsteps the next day. Unlike Amazon’s massive warehouses, Google’s system utilizes chain stores such as Target and Walgreens to help fill orders. This delivery service may entice customers to search for products on Google rather than Amazon. Continue reading Google Moves Further into Retail with New Overnight Delivery

WWDC: Apple Announces New OS X, iOS 8 and iCloud Drive

Apple kicked off its Worldwide Developer Conference yesterday in San Francisco with a software-focused, two-hour event that highlighted the future of OS X, iOS 8, and a collection of new developer tools intended to encourage the creation of new apps. Apple’s new OS X Yosemite, with a visual overhaul inspired by iOS, will have a public beta this summer and will be available this fall. The company also announced iCloud Drive, a file system for storing documents in the cloud. Continue reading WWDC: Apple Announces New OS X, iOS 8 and iCloud Drive

Google to Unveil Pano-Powered Android TV Later This Month

Google is reportedly planning to announce the launch of its Android TV platform during the Google I/O developer conference, which is scheduled for June 25-26 in San Francisco. According to multiple sources, Android TV will be a platform rather than another device. TV and set-top box manufacturers will be able to use Android TV to deliver streaming services to televisions. The platform, with its unique Pano interface, is expected to focus on online media services and Android-based video games. Continue reading Google to Unveil Pano-Powered Android TV Later This Month

Verizon Wireless Promises Double the Bandwidth with XLTE

Following months of expanding its LTE data pipes, Verizon Wireless is now offering improved 4G speeds under its new “XLTE” banner. The carrier is introducing improved performance in areas where it has added AWS wireless spectrum. Verizon promises that XLTE regions will feature double the bandwidth and faster peak speeds. The company says that more than 35 percent of devices operating on its network can take advantage of the added capacity of AWS. Continue reading Verizon Wireless Promises Double the Bandwidth with XLTE

YouTube in Talks to Acquire Video Game Streaming Site Twitch

Google-owned YouTube is reportedly in active discussions to purchase live video-game streaming service Twitch. While Variety indicates a deal has already been reached for more than $1 billion, The Wall Street Journal more conservatively reports that the two companies are in talks, but in the early stages of a potential deal. Twitch was launched in 2011 by Justin Kan and Emmett Shear, the co-founders of Justin.tv, which was one of the first sites to live-stream user-generated video. Continue reading YouTube in Talks to Acquire Video Game Streaming Site Twitch

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