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Call of Duty: Mobile is coming to Android, iOS – CNET

The free app is open for preregistration online and in the Google Play Store.
Source: CNET

South Korean crosswalk uses radar, lasers to stop phone-related wrecks – CNET

The country is reportedly taking high-tech steps to make sure “smartphone zombies” don’t walk into traffic.
Source: CNET

Boeing 737 Max crashes show similarities, investigators find – CNET

The 737 Max 8 has had two deadly crashes in five months. Now the Trump administration is calling for an investigation into how the aircraft was certified.
Source: CNET

Cadillac CT4 confirmed to debut after CT5 in bid to keep sedans alive – Roadshow

No additional details have been offered just yet.
Source: CNET

With facial recognition, shoplifting may get you banned in places you've never been – CNET

There are hundreds of stores using facial recognition — none that have any rules or standards to prevent abuse.
Source: CNET

Disney closes its $71.3B Fox acquisition

As of 12:02am Eastern today, Disney has closed its acquisition of 21st Century Fox .

The goal of the enormous deal is to help Disney position itself for a streaming-centric future. The company has already taken a step in that direction with the ESPN+ streaming service, and it has plans to launch another service called Disney+ later this year, which will include new shows based on the Star Wars and Marvel universes, as well as Disney’s entire movie library.

With the Fox acquisition, Disney has even more films, TV shows and intellectual property to draw on — as indicated by the redesigned lead image on on the Disney corporate website, which now features “The Shape of Water,” “Avatar” and “Deadpool” (all Fox films), as well as “The Simpsons” and “Atlanta” (which are produced by Fox studios and air on Fox networks). It also becomes the majority owner of Hulu, with CEO Bob Iger (pictured above) saying that Disney will invest in more original content for Hulu and help it expand internationally.

In addition, the deal solidifies Disney’s already-dominant position in Hollywood, as seemingly the one studio that can still reliably draw massive audiences to movie theaters. Thanks to its previous acquisitions of Marvel and Lucasfilm, Disney has had the number one movie at the worldwide box office for each of the past four years, and in 2018, it released three of the top four films, while Fox had two movies in the top 10.

Even after Disney won its bidding war with Comcast last year by making an offer of $71.3 billion, the deal has still taken nine months to gain all the necessary regulatory approval.

Meanwhile, Fox’s news and sports divisions — including Fox News, the Fox broadcast network and Fox Sports — have a spun out as a new Fox Corporation, and the acquisition is expected to result in more than 4,000 layoffs.

“I wish I could tell you that the hardest part is behind us; that closing the deal was the finish line, rather than just the next milestone,” Iger said in a staff memo. “What lies ahead is the challenging work of uniting our businesses to create a dynamic, global entertainment company.”


Source: TechCrunch

Music’s next big startup Splice raises $57.5M to sell samples

Tech has a bad reputation for pulling money out of musicians’ pockets, but Splice is changing that. The audio sample marketplace and music production collaboration tool has now paid out $15 million to artists since 2013, doubling in the last year. Splice lets musicians sell their sounds for royalty-free use, and songs by Eminem, Ariana Grande, and Marshmello that were powered by those samples have topped the charts. Splice charges $7.99 per month for unlimited access to its array of 3 million synthesizers, drum hits, vocal flares, and other sounds. Despite being designed for serious musicians, Splice’s suite of tools now has 2.5 million monthly users, up from 1.5 million a year ago.

Martocci Steve Splice music sampling musicians

“Music is going through a beautiful moment” says Steve Martocci, Splice’s co-founder and CEO who former built and sold GroupMe. “The tailwinds from the success of streaming are great. As more people realize how big the market it, how much people want to create music, there’s a huge opportunity here.”

Now Union Square Ventures and True Ventures are seizing on that opportunity, co-leading a $57.5 million Series C for Splice. “It’s all about scale” Martocci tells me. “We’re investing in ourselves. Continuing to build new products. Continuing to work with bigger artists. We think there’s so much about the creative process and ecosystem of musicians that needs to be fixed. We want to diviserify the content available so all artists in all genres feel like we have what they need.

The round which includes DFJ Growth, Flybridge, Lerer Hippeau, Liontree, Founders Circle Capital, and Matt Pincus brings Splice to $104.5 million in total funding. Splice wouldn’t disclose the valuation, but using the industry standard of selling 20 percent equity for a Series C, Splice could be valued in the ballpark of $285 million. That would make it one of the top music startups that isn’t selling streaming, tickets, or hardware. Its succes has also begun to draw competition from companies like Native Instruments, which launched its Sounds.com marketplace last year.

Splice’s subscription revenue is pooled and then doled out to artists based on who’s samples got the most downloads. Creators range from bedroom tinkerers to Drake’s Grammy-winning producer boi-1da. Martocci confirms that artists receive the majority of Splice’s sample marketplace revenue, saying “they’re very favorable deals”. That’s especially great for the music production industry because a lot of Splice’s sample creators aren’t celebrity DJs, Martocci says the’rre audio engineers and other “people behind the scenes getting an oppportunity to step into the light with an amazing revenue opportunity, but also an oppportunity to be seen for their creative contributions.”

Splice began with a eureka moment at a concert. A friend asked Martocci why there weren’t great tools for producing music like there are for building software like GroupMe. After eventually leaving his chat app that Skype acquired, Martocci connected with Splice co-founder Matt Aimonetti and discovered he’d been an audio engineer for half of his life. They saw a chance to build a Github for music, with version control and admin permissions to making saving and collaborating on productions simple. By 2015 Splice had launched its Sounds subscription library, and the next year began selling rent-to-own software synthesizers to make avoiding piracy affordable for creators.

Fast forward, and Martocci tells me prioritization across Splice’s different product lines will be one of its big challenges. Luckily, he has a new crew of liutenants to help. Former product lead for Apple Music and Beats by Dre VP Ryan Walsh has joined as Chief Product Officer because Martocci says “he felt like his mission in music was unfinished.” Former Cheif Financial Officer of Marvel Entertainment Chris Acquaviva is now Splice’s CFO, who offers deep licensing expertise. And bringing the creator community vibe, Makerbot’s former CHRO Kavita Vora has become Splice’s Chief People Officer.

In an era when tech public image has been tested by non-stop scandals from the industry giants, Splice is pulling in ace talent that want to work on something unequivocally positive. Martocci tells me parents tell him that their kids spend all their time playing Fortnite and making music on Splice, but the latter is screentime they’re happy to encourage.


Source: TechCrunch

Apple AirPods 2019: Price, Specs, Release Date

The new AirPods have better battery life, come with a wireless charging option, and ship next week for $159.
Source: Wired

Google hit with another fine by the E.U., this time for $1.7 billion

Google has been fined for the third time by the E.U., this time for breaching antitrust laws by requiring third-party websites using its search function to prioritize its ads over competitors.

The post Google hit with another fine by the E.U., this time for $1.7 billion appeared first on Digital Trends.


Source: Digital trends

The Youth Climate Strike as Seen by Teen Photographers

Two young photographers covered last week’s global climate protests for WIRED: “There was this pride that we can do this by ourselves if we have to.”
Source: Wired

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