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Sony to add Beyonce and more to catalog after $2.3B EMI buyout – CNET

The buyout of the music publisher will add over 2 million songs from the likes of Queen and Carole King.
Source: CNET

Razer’s new external graphics enclosure is compatible with Macs

A couple of gaming hardware announcements just dropped from team Razer. What makes the Core X graphics enclosure arguably the most notable of the bunch is the inclusion of a standard Thunderbolt 3 connection on the rear of the device.

In addition to Razer’s own systems and Windows 10 PCs, the new enclosure is compatible with Apple products running macOS High Sierra 10.13.4. That’s part of a whole new focus on gaming for Apple’s devices, unveiled back at WWDC roughly this time last year, along with the promise of VR development support.

In late March, external GPU support officially arrived for High Sierra 10.13.4, and now Razer’s ready to get on-board. The Core X is designed to hold up to three desktop graphics cards and can charge a connected laptop through the aforementioned Thunrderbolt 3 connection.

The enclosure is available now for $299. Along with the X, Razer’s Core V2 is now also compatible with Macs via Thunderbolt 3. That one will run you $499. Good new all around for Mac users ready to get serious about gaming.

Also new today is the Razer Blade 15.6-inch, an ultra thin gaming notebook the company has taken to calling “the world’s smallest…in its class.” The 15.6-inch display comes 1920 x 1080, standard, which users can upgrade to 4k. All of that is surrounded by some skinny 4.9mm bezels.

Inside is an 8th gen Core i7 processor, coupled with either a either GeForce GTX 1060 or GeForce GTX 1070  graphics. There’s also up to 16GB of memory and up to 512GB of storage inside, loaded with what Razer says is $420 of games and software. The system features a 16.8 million color keyboard and output for up to three external displays.

The new system starts at $1,899.


Source: TechCrunch

Razer claims ‘world’s smallest’ with its 2018-edition Blade 15 gaming laptop

Razer refreshed its Blade laptop for 2018 with a six-core Intel Core i7 CPU and a pair of Max-Q discrete GPUs from Nvidia. You will find five configurations starting at $1,899. A new external GPU enclosure is available too.

The post Razer claims ‘world’s smallest’ with its 2018-edition Blade 15 gaming laptop appeared first on Digital Trends.


Source: Digital trends

Razer Blade (2018) Release Date, Price and Specs – CNET

Bigger screen, better graphics and a barely there bezel make for a big upgrade.
Source: CNET

Razer Core X Release Date, Price and Specs – CNET

The company’s newest external Thunderbolt 3 GPU box isn’t as sleek as the Core v2 and lacks some of the frills, but it’s a lot cheaper and holds more graphics cards.
Source: CNET

Former software engineer accuses Uber of “degrading conduct” toward women in new lawsuit

A former Uber software engineer filed a lawsuit against the company today in the Superior Court of California, accusing it of retaliating against her for after she reported sexual harassment and discrimination.

The complaint by Ingrid Avendaño, who worked at Uber from 2014 to 2017, alleges that Uber’s workplace “was permeated with degrading, marginalizing, discriminatory and sexually harassing conduct toward women.” Avendaño’s account and her claim that “this culture was perpetuated and condoned by numerous managers, including high level company leaders” is similar to the description of Uber’s internal culture presented by Susan Fowler, also a former Uber engineer, in her pivotal February 2017 blog post. Fowler’s account led to an internal investigation, multiple firings and, along with other company scandals, contributed to the resignation of CEO Travis Kalanick.

Avendaño’s complaint (“Ingrid Avendaño v. Uber Technologies, Inc.,” Case No. CGC-18-566677 in the Superior Court of California, San Francisco County) claims that when she tried to report misconduct, she faced “blatant retaliation, including denial of promotions and raises, unwarranted negative performance reviews and placement on an oppressively demanding on-call schedule that had detrimental effects on her health. She was also threatened with termination.” Avendaño eventually resigned from Uber, the lawsuit says.

Avendaño is represented by Outten & Golden, a law firm that specializes in employee rights. Last October, Avendaño and two other Latina software engineers were the named plaintiffs in a class-action lawsuit against Uber for allegedly discriminating against women and people of color. But Avendaño later opted out of the collective action and, according to Outten & Golden, did not participate when Uber agreed to a settlement in March 2018. The lawsuit filed by Avendaño today is separate from that settlement.


Source: TechCrunch

Airbnb in Japan lets you check in at convenience stores – CNET

Stuff your face with onigiris as you pick up your keys from one of the many Family Marts lining Tokyo’s streets.
Source: CNET

Subscription video services’ recommendations aren’t working, study claims

Streaming video services invest heavily in technology to improve their ability to show users a set of personalized recommendations about what to what next. But according to a new research study released today by UserTesting, it seems that consumers aren’t watching much recommended content – in fact, only 29 percent of the study’s participants said they actually watched something the service recommended.

On some services, those figures were extremely low – for example, only 6 percent of HBO NOW users said they watched recommended content.

That’s probably because consumers found it difficult to locate HBO NOW’s recommendations in the first place. The service was given a low 16.8 “customer experience” score on this front, the study says. That’s a much lower score than all other services analyzed, including Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu and YouTube TV – all of which had scores in the 80’s. (See first chart, below).

To be fair, HBO NOW doesn’t really do recommendations in the same way as the others.

Its app offers a “Featured” selection of content for all users, and, if you scroll down further, there are a couple of editorial collections, like “Essential HBO” or “14 Hidden Gems You Missed the First Time.” A separate “Collections” section includes more of these suggestions, like “New Movies,” “Just Added,” “Last Chance” and others.

The lack of personalized, easily located recommendations also impacted HBO NOW’s overall score in the UserTesting study, which rated the services across a variety of metrics including availability of content, friction-free viewing, ease of scrubbing and episode scanning, and other factors. HBO NOW was also was dinged by survey respondents for lagging, freezing and buffering issues, though they said they appreciated its clean design.

Netflix’s overall score was 89.5, making it the highest-rated streaming service among those analyzed due to having the most relevant recommendations, overall high ease-of-use, and a speedy service. It was followed by Hulu (86.8), Amazon Prime (85), YouTube TV (80.7), and then HBO NOW (71.8).

Coincidentally, Netflix also just beat HBO in a survey related to consumer appreciation for original programming, put out by Morgan Stanley. 39 percent of respondents in that survey said Netflix had the “best original programming” compared with HBO’s second place rank of 14 percent.

UserTesting’s study also backed up earlier research from Deloitte, as it found that subscription video customers are having to subscribe to more than one service in order to find all the content they want to watch.

More than half said they subscribe to at least two apps. For example, 90 percent of HBO NOW customers also subscribed to Netflix, while 80 percent subscribed to Amazon Prime.

The study additionally found that much of viewing (45%) takes place on TV or via streaming media devices like Roku, Apple TV, or Amazon Fire TV. 37 percent preferred laptops, and 11 percent said their smartphone or tablet was their primary streaming device. For some services, TV viewing is even higher – Hulu recently said that the majority – 78 percent – takes place on TVs.

UserTesting’s study involved 500 subscription video customers, 74 percent of whom said they watched streaming media every day. The full report is available here.

 

 


Source: TechCrunch

Amazon to launch a new app store with tools for its two million sellers

Amazon is launching new app store with tools created specifically to help its sellers manage their inventory and orders. Called the Marketplace Appstore, it will feature apps made using Amazon Marketplace Web Service (Amazon MWS) by Amazon and third-party developers screened by the company. According to a report by CNET, the Marketplace Appstore launches to sellers today.

There are now about two million sellers on Amazon, including more than a million small to medium-sized businesses in the United States. Amazon MWS is an integrated web service API that allows sellers to share data about their inventory, orders and logistics with Amazon in order to automate more tasks. It also enables sellers to build apps for their own accounts and other sellers.

The company told CNET that “many developers have innovated and created applications that complement our tools and integrate with our services. We created the Marketplace Appstore to help businesses more easily discover these applications, streamline their business operations and ultimately create a better experience for our customers.”

The Marketplace Appstore is free for developers to join and use, but they are currently required to submit an application to Amazon and undergo a business and practices review.


Source: TechCrunch

Netflix mints Barack and Michelle Obama as media moguls – CNET

Movies, documentaries and shows — oh my. Barack and Michelle Obama’s deal with Netflix will bring multiple programs to the streaming service worldwide.
Source: CNET

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