Apple Updates App Store, Hopes to Combat Antitrust Claims

Apple is hoping that its new App Store website will help curb accusations regarding antitrust and anti-competition practices. Ahead of next week’s Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) in San Jose, California, the company launched a new App Store site with details about how apps are carefully reviewed and curated, and the different business models that are available to app developers. “We created the App Store with two goals in mind: that it be a safe and trusted place for customers to discover and download apps, and a great business opportunity for all developers,” the company detailed on the site. Continue reading Apple Updates App Store, Hopes to Combat Antitrust Claims

Facebook Develops Metered Paywall, Debuts Analytics Tool

Facebook is developing a metered paywall to drive viewers to subscribe to source publications of stories posted on Instant Articles. The move is in response to the social media platform’s tense relationship with publishers, who are losing viewership of stories on their own websites, as well as revenue. While sources say that discussions about the paywall are in the early stages, and testing won’t begin until October, Facebook is currently introducing a new analytics tool for publishers. Meanwhile, Amazon is now paying publishers and digital influencers to post to its new commerce-centric social network Spark. Continue reading Facebook Develops Metered Paywall, Debuts Analytics Tool

Amazon Spark: New Social Feed of Product Images, Stories

Now out of beta, Amazon launched a new social feature in the U.S. yesterday that is designed to return social activity surrounding products back to the Amazon site while hopefully improving product discovery for its users. Similar to the approach of Instagram’s shoppable photos, Amazon Spark allows users to post images, new ideas and related posts regarding products they find interesting. To foster social interaction, other users can respond with their own comments and “smiles” — Amazon’s take on “favorite” and “like” buttons. Continue reading Amazon Spark: New Social Feed of Product Images, Stories

Monotype Makes Small Fonts Legible on Tiny Digital Screens

Monotype, a company that specializes in fonts, has designed a new technology called Spark, which can be used to scale down fonts to be legible and attractive on smaller screens found on smartwatches, medical devices and vehicle dashboards. Spark provides font flexibility, which is especially important with so many Internet connected devices hitting the market. The company claims that the new software makes fonts on tiny screens look as clean as they would appear on an iPhone or computer display.

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Los Angeles Mayor Launches Entrepreneur in Residence Program

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti recently announced the city’s Entrepreneur In Residence Program, an initiative sponsored by Ernst & Young. Garcetti has appointed two notable entrepreneurs — Krisztina “Z” Holly and Amir Tehrani — to help create jobs and develop ideas for boosting L.A.’s economy. In addition to developing new business policies, Holly and Tehrani will coordinate with non-profits, educational institutions and businesses to foster entrepreneurship. Continue reading Los Angeles Mayor Launches Entrepreneur in Residence Program

Vimeo Looks to Crowdfunding Sites for its On Demand Platform

Content licensing has seen a paradigm shift with the iTunes Store and emerging online alternatives for distribution. Now Vimeo, largely touted as a competitor to YouTube, has announced a program to help indie filmmakers market their films if they have raised at least $10,000 from crowdfunding sites. Vimeo searches for movies to license, and offers creators free Pro accounts and promotion financing, in exchange for the movies being made available on its paid distribution platform Vimeo On Demand.

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Connected Cars: Chevrolet Drives OnStar 4G LTE with AT&T

Underscoring Detroit’s determination to be a player in the connected consumer space, General Motors announced that OnStar 4G LTE will be factory-enabled in the majority of its 2015 Chevrolet models including the Corvette and Impala, hitting the market this summer. The move sees GM expanding its relationship with OnStar connectivity partner AT&T and simultaneously mounting a developer outreach program to fuel the Chevrolet AppShop. Continue reading Connected Cars: Chevrolet Drives OnStar 4G LTE with AT&T

VR News: Oculus Rift Secures $75 Million in Venture Funding

Virtual reality headset Oculus Rift, which began as a Kickstarter project seeking $250,000 (and eventually generated $2.4 million), is expected to transition from prototype to available product, thanks to $75 million in Series B venture funding led by VC firm Andreessen Horowitz. Oculus VR also announced that Marc Andreessen, co-founder of Andreessen Horowitz and one of the individuals behind Mosaic and Netscape, will join the company’s board of directors. Continue reading VR News: Oculus Rift Secures $75 Million in Venture Funding

Sprint Delivers Increased Speed with New 4G LTE Networks

Sprint is bulking up with an enhanced LTE, promising “unprecedented speeds” for its mobile subscribers. The company announced the new 4G service Spark this week, as well as two new LTE networks, which offer a vast improvement upon current speeds. In a lab test, Sprint showed off an LTE link with 1Gbps, promising speeds would continue to go up. With multiple antennas and carrier aggregation, it’s using a full spectrum of frequencies that average 50 to 60Mbps. Continue reading Sprint Delivers Increased Speed with New 4G LTE Networks

Project Spark Lets Users Build Their Own Games Using Kinect

Project Spark enables game fans to create their own games. Gamers can create any type of game world they desire, from rugged mountains to scorching deserts to beautifully lush jungles. They can also design opponents, monsters and other characters to inhabit their world. While this may be similar to a “sim” game, it is essentially the Xbox One features, specifically motion tracking and facial recognition, that truly set Project Spark apart as a creative tool. Continue reading Project Spark Lets Users Build Their Own Games Using Kinect