NEWS . ENTERTAINMENT . FUN

Month: January 2018

Equifax launches its credit locking app and extends free credit freezes through June

Equifax launches its credit locking app and extends free credit freezes through June

Today was supposed to be the deadline for Equifax’s free credit freeze offering, but the company has decided to extend the service to consumers for another five months. Now, Equifax customers can request a credit freeze through June 30. Still, January 31 is the last […]

Pandora is laying off about 5 percent of workforce

Pandora is laying off about 5 percent of workforce

Streaming music service Pandora is laying off about five percent of its employee base and taking “other cost-saving measures” in an attempt to save about $45 million annually. According to Pandora’s 8-K filing, employees were notified today of the plan and the company expects the […]

PayPal sees 24% revenue growth in its latest quarter

PayPal sees 24% revenue growth in its latest quarter



PayPal impressed Wall Street when it reported fourth-quarter earnings after the bell on Wednesday. The global payments giant beat analyst expectations for both sales and profit.

PayPal reported $3.71 billion in revenue on a foreign-exchange neutral basis, or 24% growth from the same period last year. Analysts were expecting $3.63 billion in revenue for the quarter.

Adjusted earnings per share were 55 cents, compared to the 52 cents that Wall Street forecast.

The company processed $131 in total payments volume for the fourth quarter, showcasing 32% growth.

PayPal separated from eBay in 2015 and is currently the larger of the two companies, with a market cap of $103 billion. eBay is valued at $42 billion.

The two companies agreed to extend their partnership through July 2023, making PayPal the default payment option for eBay.

 



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ICO “rounds” are coming | TechCrunch

ICO “rounds” are coming | TechCrunch

Last summer, the news came in dribs and drabs about initial coin offerings, the crowd sales of new cryptocurrencies that give entrepreneurs access to funding. A warning here that some coins sold in ICOs could be considered securities. An alert there that celebrity endorsements of […]

So, what’s up with Amazon’s Alexa Super Bowl ad?

So, what’s up with Amazon’s Alexa Super Bowl ad?

Ah, the Super Bowl. That magical time of year we gather around the T.V. set and pay just as much attention to the ads that run between plays. Increasingly, though, you can get much of that precious advertising viewing experience out of the way before […]

Actress Maisie Williams to launch Daisie, a social app for talent discovery and collaboration

Actress Maisie Williams to launch Daisie, a social app for talent discovery and collaboration



Actress Maisie Williams, best known for her role as Arya Stark on Game of Thrones, is the latest celeb to venture into tech entrepreneurship, with the launch of a new company aimed at connecting creatives, called Daisie. Available later this summer as a mobile app, Daisie will offer a platform where creators can network, like, share and collaborate on projects within a social networking setting.

The overall goal is to help newcomers gain exposure for their work while connecting them with others who can provide guidance as they continue their careers.

Williams, who advocates for women’s rights, also sees Daisie as something that could give women in the creative community the ability to promote their own work and be discovered in a more appropriate way than is often the case today.

This speaks to the sea change underway in the creative industry, where people are rapidly dismantling the old ways of doing things; and where the abusers who took advantage of the old system are being called out for things like sexual harassment and abuse, and losing their jobs.

In that light, the launch of an alternative network for talent discovery and collaboration seems especially relevant.

“I couldn’t be happier about the change we are currently seeing in creative industries and the movement towards women becoming truly valued,” said Maisie Williams, in a statement about the app’s development.

“I want Daisie to give other creatives the opportunities that I was lucky enough to receive at the beginning of my career. Daisie will break down the archaic gap between youth and creative jobs; offering new opportunities for individuals to collaborate, learn and create – establishing a new way for talented individuals to be discovered and employed,” she said.

The company, which is co-founded by film producer Dom Santry, also aims to address the issues of trying to use existing social media sites, like Facebook, for self-promotion purposes.

“Social media can be a very lonely place, and somewhere that doesn’t necessarily inspire collaboration or foster meaningful connections,” explained Santry. “It’s very easy for creative voices to get lost in platforms riddled with ads and unimportant content; we’re hoping to eradicate these, providing a focused, industry specific platform.”

The app’s development is still in its early stages, the company tells us.

The technology team, led by U.K.-based Tim Novis, is only 4 months into a 10-month build, to give you an idea of its progress. The expectation is that Daisie will be ready to launch in the App Store and online by August, 2018.

The company is also working with WME to put together a talent roster who will be participating in Daisie at launch. Some of those people will be confirmed by March. (Daisie’s team is actually flying to L.A. in February to lock in names, we understand).

In addition to building a social network for talent discovery and collaboration, Daisie aims to generate revenue in almost Tinder-like fashion.

The app will offer a “Plus” program that opens up locked areas of its site and allow the use of additional features, like the ability to toggle on or off a “looking for work” setting, for example.

But neither the website nor app will display advertising.

The app has another advantage for Williams and Santry, too.

It may be a potential source of new talent for their U.K. production company Daisy Chain Productions, which was founded along with Bill Milner. The company has a similar goal to Daisie, in fact: projects with a focus on youth and talent development, as ScreenDaily reported last fall.

Santry will lead Daisie as CEO, managing its day-to-day operations.

However, the company will give the network time to grow before tapping into Daisie’s creator community for its own ends. For the first six months, there will be “no visible synergies” between Daisie and Daisy Chain Productions, the company told TechCrunch.

Afterwards, the two will come together to create content by selecting the most talented individuals on the site.

Given that Daisie is not yet available, the website is currently accepting email sign-ups to be alerted about its launch.



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Polymail looks to unify business email tools into a single web app

Polymail looks to unify business email tools into a single web app

If you’re more of a Gmail power user (or even semi-power user) and other email services geared toward work, you’ve probably installed plenty of plugins like Rapportive to make your job a little bit easier. And while it’s all fine to try to pull together […]

Ex-Apple execs take on Twitch with launch of new social broadcasting platform Caffeine

Ex-Apple execs take on Twitch with launch of new social broadcasting platform Caffeine

A team of ex-Apple engineers and execs is taking on Amazon-owned Twitch and Google’s YouTube Gaming with today’s official launch of a new social broadcasting platform, Caffeine. Backed by $46 million from Andreessen Horowitz and Greylock Partners, Caffeine was co-founded by former Product Design Lead for […]

Google Flights will now predict airline delays – before the airlines do

Google Flights will now predict airline delays – before the airlines do



Google is rolling out a few new features to its Google Flights search engine to help travelers tackle some of the more frustrating aspects of air travel – delays and the complexities of the cheaper, Basic Economy fares. With the regard to delays, Google Flights won’t just be pulling in information from the airlines directly, however – it will take advantage of its understanding of historical data and its machine learning algorithms to predict delays that haven’t yet been flagged by airlines themselves.

Explains Google, the combination of data and A.I. technologies means it can predict some delays in advance of any sort of official confirmation. Google says that it won’t actually flag these in the app until it’s at least 80 percent confident in the prediction, though. (Of course, you should still get to the airport on time, but at least you’ll know what you’re about to face once there.)

It will also provide reasons for the delays, like weather or an aircraft arriving late.

You can track the status of your flight by searching for your flight number or the airline and flight route, notes Google. The delay information will then appear in the search results.

The other new feature added today aims to help travelers make sense of what Basic Economy fares include and exclude with their ticket price.

These low-cost fares are often the only option for travelers on a budget, but they have a number of restrictions that can vary by airline.

Google Flights will now display the restrictions associated with these fares – like restrictions on using overhead space or the ability to select a seat, as well as the fare’s additional baggage fees. It’s initially doing so for American, Delta and United flights worldwide.

These changes come only a month after Google Flights added price tracking and deals to Google Flights as well as hotel search features for web searchers.

The additions seem especially targeted toward today’s travel startups and businesses, like Hopper which had just added hotel search, and uses big data to analyze airline prices and other factors; or TripIt, a competitor of sorts to Google’s own travel app Google Trips, which most recently introduced security checkpoint wait times. (Given that Google already knows the busy times for area businesses by tracking people’s movement via Google Maps, it wouldn’t be surprising to see it implement security wait times next.)

The features are also a real-world demo of Google’s machine learning and big data capabilities, especially in the case of predicting flight delays. Since you can’t take action on the alerts until the airline makes an official announcement, they will largely just cause more anxiety on top of your already stressful travel experience.

 



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Google tweaks search snippets to try to stop serving wrong, stupid and biased answers

Google tweaks search snippets to try to stop serving wrong, stupid and biased answers

Spare a thought for Google. ‘Organizing the world’s information and making it universally accessible and useful’ isn’t exactly easy. Even setting aside the sweating philosophical toil of algorithmically sifting for some kind of universal truth, were Mountain View to truly live up to its own […]