The piece explores the big players' escalating battle to win consumers' attention and dollars, including the push to churn out cheap, mediocre content along with super-premium offerings like "Game of Thrones."
While neither platform is particularly difficult to set up, Google made it so easy to download, pair, and start controlling my smart home devices. The Amazon Echo is not hard to set up or use, but the pairing process for smart devices seems more cumbersome. Conversely, Amazon Echo has more than 50,000 Alexa skills.
Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss became early Bitcoin investors after winning millions in a settlement with Facebook. Now they want better regulation of digital coins, echoing a “crypto needs rules” advertising campaign their New York-based Gemini cryptocurrency exchange initiated in January.
Apple and Goldman Sachs are reportedly readying a joint credit card. “Apple Inc. and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. plan to start issuing this spring a joint credit card paired with new iPhone features that will help users manage their money,” The Wall Street Journal writes.
Smart glasses maker North just laid off 150 employees, The Verge reports. “North launched its smart glasses, which use a laser to project a display in front of wearers’ eyes, in January,’ it writes. “Just weeks later, the company lowered the glasses’ starting price from $999 to $599.99,” it notes. To date, the company has raised about $130 million from the likes of Amazon and Intel.
Facebook has access to some of the most sensitive information that consumers share with apps, The Wall Street Journal reports. “The social-media giant collects intensely personal information from many popular smartphone apps just seconds after users enter it, even if the user has no connection to Facebook,” it writes. “The apps often send the data without any prominent or specific disclosure, the testing showed.”
Pinterest is planning its IPO for June, and hopes to raise roughly $12 billion in the process, The Wall Street Journal reports. As The Journal writes: “Pinterest Inc. has confidentially filed paperwork … for an initial public offering that is expected to value the company, which operates a platform for online-image searches, at $12 billion or more as it joins a parade of hot tech startups planning share debuts in 2019.”
Google will offer a glimpse of its forthcoming gaming strategy at next month’s Game Developer’s Conference, Fortune reports. “The event will be the coming out party for Google’s entry into the video game space -- and the company is spending heavily to get publishers on board,” it writes. “The gaming unit is expected to be a Netflix-like streaming service, building on the success of Project Stream.”
SoundCloud is adding distribution to its self-monetization Premier program, The Verge reports. “Those who are eligible in the open beta will now be able to self-upload, monetize, and publish their songs to other streaming platforms,” it writes. “Notably, SoundCloud says those who use its distribution service will keep ‘100 percent of their distribution royalties from third-party services.’
Google is finally apologizing for failing to tell Nest Secure owners that the devices came with built-in microphones. “The on-device microphone was never intended to be a secret and should have been listed in the tech specs,” a Google spokesperson tells Business Insider. “That was an error on our part.”