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Archivo del Autor: Belen De Leon

Whole Foods sunsets rewards ahead of Amazon Prime integration

In-store Echoes were clearly just the beginning of Whole Foods’ Amazon integration. Now that the massive online retailer owns your go-to chain for flax, kale and kombucha, it’s time to really roll it into Prime.

This week, Whole Foods alerted shoppers via an email spotted by Market Watch that it’s going to sunset both its reward program and digital coupons at the beginning of May. The company teased what’s to come by promising, “We’re Growing Something Good,” along with an Amazon logo. That “good,” however, will not including rolling over benefits into the new program. 

Details of the future integration are still sparse at the moment, and we’ve reached out to Amazon for more information. For now, however, the site’s FAQ suggests we all, “Stay tuned for additional announcements for Amazon Prime members.”

Prime has, of course, become the great connective tissue in Amazoniverse in recent years. What started as an offer of free shipping has since grown to include all of the company’s multimedia offerings, along with other Bezos-owned businesses, including The Washington Post. Prime will get you six free months of Donald Trump’s least favorite newspaper. Well, one of them, at least.

Tying Whole Foods’ rewards and coupons into Prime should prove a perfect bit of synergy for the two parties. Sign up for free shipping and get a deal on bulk chia seeds. What’s not to like? 


Source: TechCrunch

A minor cryptocurrency partners with a major porn network. What could go wrong?

Yesterday brought some interesting news in the cryptocurrency space. In a move that is at once sleazy and ridiculous, PornHub and its tech arm MindGeek announced a partnership with the creators of VergeCoin (XVG), an anonymized cryptocurrency in the vein of Monero that is currently trading at 7 cents, down from an all-time high of about 26 cents during a recent pump.

XVG is an epitome of a coin driven by mania. Originally billed as DogecoinDark in 2014, the currency has had some ups and downs but has always displayed the “move fast and break things” mentality that gives cryptocurrencies a bad name. The product is so hapless it can’t even get their Wikipedia entry right.

The currency developers recently beseeched its rabid fans — many of whom have been waxing confused on Reddit — to raise $2 million to build a secret partnership. Weeks of speculation followed as Vergins speculated about partners, including eBay and Amazon. The price went up and down and has settled below 10 cents, placing it at position 23 on the CoinMarketCap list. It’s doing well, but not great.

Yesterday the big announcement came, as it were. I received a few emails from PornHub PR announcing a crypto partnership but they refused to announce the currency. Now that the currency is officially announced, I’m sure there are some folks who are upset they bought a load of Titcoin.

Verge has partnered with PornHub to allow users to pay with the currency. Why? And why would you want to? This is unclear. Presumably the currency allows you to pay completely anonymously but you still have to acquire Verge to pay with Verge and associating a currency with porn pretty much gives the game away as to why you’d spend it. Further, the extensive marketing efforts make PornHub look far more interesting than Verge, especially since Verge shares the same name with the Verge tech site, something that is bound to confuse average buyers. Finally, you get no real benefit from paying with Verge and, in fact, you can’t get your Verge refunded if you decide you no longer want to pay $9.99 a month for premium PR()N.

Ultimately this is better for porn than it is for cryptocurrency. PornHub gets a little bit of a media boost and cryptocurrencies — including Bitcoin, Ether and ICO tokens — look like the only source for porn. While VHS and the internet grew out of porn, cryptocurrencies are already well-established and they don’t need any more “sin” associated with them. You can also pay for a number of services with crypto, including Flirt4Free, a cam girl site associated with LiveJasmin. Given that a series of stars in big trucks will be rolling through the U.S. over the next few months promoting cryptocurrencies — that $2 million had to go somewhere — it could be positive for crypto uptake but very bad for crypto perception.

While I agree that crypto needs a shot in the arm and a sense of mission, I doubt making it easier to see naked people is quite it. I’d like to see real remittances, real real estate transactions and even real voting systems put in place. Until then, however, stunts like this do little to help.


Source: TechCrunch

A Robot Does the Impossible: Assembling an Ikea Chair Without Having a Meltdown

Researchers use off-the-shelf robot parts to piece together one of those Stefan Ikea chairs.
Source: Wired

YouTube TV adds its first digital-only networks with launch of two channels from Cheddar

The first digital media networks have popped up on YouTube TV, with the addition of two new channels from the startup Cheddar. Earlier this month, Digiday had reported how YouTube’s streaming television service, YouTube TV, would soon gain new channels from a variety of digital media publishers, including Cheddar, Tastemade and The Young Turks Network. The move would help to better differentiate YouTube TV from its rivals delivering TV over the internet, while also making the service more appealing to the younger demographic YouTube TV targets – those who didn’t grow up watching traditional TV.

One of YouTube TV’s new channels is Cheddar’s flagship financial news network, and the other is Cheddar’s general news network, Cheddar Big News.

Variety was the first to spot that the new Cheddar channels had gone live.

While it hasn’t been all that common to find digital media natives streaming alongside broadcast and cable channels across the newer crop of streaming TV services, YouTube TV is not the first to add Cheddar to its lineup.

Dish-owned Sling TV had already added Cheddar’s financial news network to its streaming TV service, and will soon add Cheddar Big News, too, as will the streaming service Philo, Variety noted in its report.

On YouTube TV, Cheddar viewers will be able to watch its programming both live and on-demand.

The addition of digital media channels like Cheddar’s could help YouTube expand its lineup quickly and affordably, without having to carve out more complex deals with cable TV network owners. But the company will have to be careful in selecting those digital channels it decides to make part of its lineup. Too much digital-first content could dilute YouTube TV’s overall brand proposition – that this is a streaming “television” service on par with its competition, and not one with filler content you could watch elsewhere – like on Facebook’s video section or even YouTube proper.

Cheddar’s live streams, for example, are also available on Amazon, Spotify, Facebook, Twitter, Comcast X1, Twitch and elsewhere.

YouTube TV recently raised it pricing to $40 per month, up from $35, to be more in line with the competition.

That’s a crowded market as of late. In addition to Sling TV, YouTube TV’s rivals including PlayStation Vue, AT&T’s DirecTV Now, Hulu’s Live TV, fuboTV, CBS All Access, and Philo.

Now it has to make good on what those extra dollars are delivering to viewers.

 

 

 


Source: TechCrunch

'Trustjacking' Could Expose iPhones to Attack

Think twice before you tell your iPhone to trust that laptop when you charge it.
Source: Wired

Steven Spielberg is making a DC movie, punching Nazis again – CNET

The legendary director plans to direct a film based on DC’s WW2 aerial ace Blackhawk.
Source: CNET

How to watch SpaceX launch NASA's TESS planet hunter today – CNET

Elon Musk’s rocket company will send the satellite to orbit, where it will search for another Earth. You can watch the Falcon 9 launch live here.
Source: CNET

Google's Nest eyes Nokia Health assets – CNET

Nokia is looking to sell its Withings home health business, and Google’s Nest may be interested, according to reports.
Source: CNET

Ad-blocking Brave browser gets big partner: publisher Dow Jones – CNET

The publisher of the Wall Street Journal and Barron’s shows itself willing to experiment with the startup’s technology for changing online advertising.
Source: CNET

Stranger Things casts Cary Elwes, Jake Busey for season 3 – CNET

Netflix’s Stranger Things recruits stars from The Princess Bride and Starship Troopers for some slimy-sounding roles.
Source: CNET

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