Nokia Sells Mapping Unit to German Carmakers for $3 Billion

Nokia has sold its Here digital mapping unit, a global competitor to Google Maps, to German automakers Audi, BMW Group and Daimler for $3 billion. Since the sale of its mobile phone unit to Microsoft for $7.6 billion last year, Nokia has been putting efforts into its telecom network infrastructure business, which supplies carriers like AT&T and China Mobile with communication equipment. The three German auto companies will use the mapping tech for autonomous driving plans, which they will license to other companies. Continue reading Nokia Sells Mapping Unit to German Carmakers for $3 Billion

NFL to Launch Game Pass for Apple TV and Xbox This Month

The NFL announced that a new version of its Game Pass service will be released on July 31 to a variety of different devices, including Apple TV and Xbox game consoles. NFL Game Pass will replace NFL Game Rewind, and will include access to preseason games, all 256 regular season games, and access to archived games. The service will also include new features for accessing a range of content. Game Pass does not include live regular season, playoff, and Super Bowl broadcasts; games will be available to watch once they have aired on television. Continue reading NFL to Launch Game Pass for Apple TV and Xbox This Month

FCC Commissioner Says the Internet is Not a Human Right

Speaking before the Internet Innovation Alliance about the appropriate role of regulators in a growing broadband economy, FCC Commissioner Michael O’Rielly suggested that the Internet is not a necessity or human right, as many tech leaders have suggested. “It is important to note that Internet access is not a necessity in the day-to-day lives of Americans and doesn’t even come close to the threshold to be considered a basic human right,” he said. “I am not in any way trying to diminish the significance of the Internet in our daily lives.” Continue reading FCC Commissioner Says the Internet is Not a Human Right

New Chinese Security Law Raises Concerns by Tech Industry

New language in China’s recently enacted national security law is generating major concern across the global technology industry. The rules call for a “national security review” of networking, tech products and services, and foreign investment. In addition, the rules call for crucial tech sectors to be made “secure and controllable,” which industry groups fear may suggest that back doors for allowing third-party access to systems would be necessary, perhaps even leading to the sharing of encryption keys or source code. Continue reading New Chinese Security Law Raises Concerns by Tech Industry

Discovery Acquires European Rights to Four Olympic Games

In a deal valued at 1.3 billion euros (about $1.45 billion), Discovery Communications has paid for exclusive rights to broadcast four Olympic Games across most of Europe from 2018 to 2024. The rights include broadcast and pay TV, the Internet and mobile. The deal, announced by Discovery yesterday, marks the first time that a single media company has paid for exclusive rights to broadcast the Olympics across Europe. Discovery plans to make at least 200 hours of the Summer Olympics and 100 hours of the Winter Games available on free-to-air television. Continue reading Discovery Acquires European Rights to Four Olympic Games

Research Points to Increase in Cord Cutting and Cord Shaving

According to a recent study, the number of consumers in North America who are cutting the pay TV cord in favor of OTT streaming video services is growing. TiVo subsidiary Digitalsmiths reports that 8.2 percent of survey respondents were no longer paying TV subscriptions as of 2014, a 1.3 percent increase over the previous year. Interestingly, an impressive 45.2 percent indicated that they downsized their cable or satellite TV bundles during the same period in the wake of paying for services such as Netflix, Hulu or Amazon Instant Video (a trend referred to as “cord shaving”). Continue reading Research Points to Increase in Cord Cutting and Cord Shaving

Sony Announces 1TB PlayStation Will Be Thinner and Lighter

In the wake of E3, Sony has announced that its new PS4 will be thinner, lighter and pack more storage than its predecessor. The new PlayStation 4 1TB Ultimate Player Edition, coming to North America next month, will weigh 10 percent lighter than the current PS4 and use 8 percent less power. The new console will come in black or white with a hard drive bay cover in a matte finish, which Sony suggests provides “a more casual look.” Earlier this month, Microsoft confirmed that its latest Xbox One would feature 1TB of storage and an upcoming wireless controller. Continue reading Sony Announces 1TB PlayStation Will Be Thinner and Lighter

Parrot Plans to Launch Five New MiniDrone Toys in September

Parrot is introducing five new smartphone-controlled MiniDrone toys, ranging from $99 to $189, targeting consumers who cannot afford the larger, more expensive UAVs such as Parrot’s AR and Bebop Drones. Based on the Rolling Spider quadcopter and the two-wheeled Jumping Sumo, which have sold 600,000 units combined since last year’s launches, the new models will initially be made available in the U.S. and France this September. The new models include drones that skim across water, fly at night guided by LED lights, feature live streaming cameras and more. Continue reading Parrot Plans to Launch Five New MiniDrone Toys in September

Study: More Streaming of Long-Form Video on Mobile Screens

The Interactive Advertising Bureau conducted a survey across 24 countries regarding smartphone video viewing. According to “Mobile Video Usage: A Global Perspective,” mobile screens are increasingly being used to stream longer-form video. Findings indicate that 36 percent of consumers watch videos daily that are 5 minutes or longer. Full movies and TV shows are also viewed on mobile screens, especially in China. Respondents (including 50 percent in the U.S.) indicate that their video viewing on smartphones has increased year-over-year. Continue reading Study: More Streaming of Long-Form Video on Mobile Screens

North America to Run Out of Internet Addresses This Summer

The supply of new Internet Protocol addresses has almost run out, which means that companies will likely need to invest a significant amount of money to pay for pricier addresses and system upgrades. IP addresses are similar to telephone numbers that specify where data is going when it is transferred over the Internet. Companies may now have to spend millions of dollars switching to Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6) to get more addresses for their various online operations. Continue reading North America to Run Out of Internet Addresses This Summer

Lack of Competition Means Higher Broadband Prices in the U.S.

Internet users in the U.S. pay more for broadband and have fewer choices than Europeans. According to findings from the Center for Public Integrity, Americans pay 3.5 times the amount that French people do for Internet access, for example, and most U.S. residents can only choose from two Internet providers. That’s because broadband companies carve out their own territories to offer service. Cable providers do the same thing, but Internet TV may finally force them to compete. Continue reading Lack of Competition Means Higher Broadband Prices in the U.S.

President Obama Approves Order Against Foreign Cyberattacks

A new executive order signed by President Obama earlier this week aims to warn off foreign online hackers from targeting the United States. The order authorizes severe consequences to the individual or foreign party determined to be involved with any attack that may compromise the security, foreign policy, economic health, and financial stability of the U.S. Any violations of the policy could result in both financial and travel sanctions as regulated by the federal government. Continue reading President Obama Approves Order Against Foreign Cyberattacks

Facebook Looks to Compete with Twitter for Data Monetization

With assistance from DataSift, a leader of brand analytics, Facebook recently launched Topic Data, a product that lets marketers tap into the social media’s hub of user data. For marketers and brands, information about what users are sharing on their Facebook accounts is especially valuable when trying to determine how to best reach key demographics. Facebook says that while marketers will have to this type of data, users’ personal information and identities will remain anonymous. Continue reading Facebook Looks to Compete with Twitter for Data Monetization

LeapFrog Struggles in Tech Driven Market for Children’s Toys

Once a top seeded player in the educational toys and games industry, LeapFrog is having trouble competing with app developers in today’s highly tech driven market for children’s toys. In 2011, it became one of the first companies to launch a successful tablet for kids, only to be pushed out of the market a few years later by the ubiquitous presence of the iPad and other tablets. Since then LeapFrog has had no choice but to drop prices on a device that once made up half its annual revenue. Continue reading LeapFrog Struggles in Tech Driven Market for Children’s Toys

Sparked by Growth in China, Worldwide Ticket Sales Increase

According to the Motion Picture Association of America, global box office numbers were up 1 percent in 2014 over 2013, but ticket sales in North America dropped about 5 percent. The MPAA notes that China saw significant growth, a 34 percent increase year-over-year. Global ticket sales climbed to $36.4 billion last year — with $10.4 billion recorded for the U.S. and Canada and $4.8 billion in China. While domestic per capita ticket sales increased among moviegoers 50 to 59 and slightly among those 40 to 49, sales among viewers younger than 40 dropped. Continue reading Sparked by Growth in China, Worldwide Ticket Sales Increase

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