Zuckerberg Warns Harvard Grads About the Technology Taking Jobs


Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg told Harvard graduates that they need to help others find purpose in a world where machines are taking away some of the steady jobs and communities aren't as stable, leading to isolation and nationalism instead of people coming together globally to solve problems. "When our parents graduated, purpose reliably came from your job, your church, your community," Zuckerberg, 33, said in a commencement speech. "But today, technology and automation are eliminating many jobs. Membership in a lot of communities has been declining. Many people feel disconnected and depressed, and are trying to fill a void in their lives." The social network Zuckerberg started in his Harvard dorm room now has 1.94 billion users around the world, large enough for the CEO to feel pressure about its impact on society. Zuckerberg has spent this year traveling around the U.S. to understand what people feel Continue reading "Zuckerberg Warns Harvard Grads About the Technology Taking Jobs"

Kik App Debuts Digital Currency Amid Bitcoin Boom


Messaging app Kik Interactive is the latest and potentially most well-established company to delve into a quirky new form of driving business -- creating its own digital currency. Kik, based in Waterloo, Canada, unveiled plans for an "initial coin offering," a process by which it sells tokens that can be used to buy services on its platform. The idea is that as more and more people use Kik, the value of those tokens, called "Kin," will rise in value. Interest in coin offerings is high, thanks to surging prices of bitcoin and other virtual currencies. Called ICOs, they give a wide range of people the chance to invest in a company or any other endeavor early on. While unregulated, they have proved popular, with investors spending around $330 million on tokens over the past year, according to data compiled by cryptocurrency blog The Control. Earlier this month, cloud-storage startup Storj Continue reading "Kik App Debuts Digital Currency Amid Bitcoin Boom"

Mother’s Day Passes but Mother’s Day Ads Continue Online


Marketers never let a holiday go to waste. Nor do they easily let it slip away. The week after Mother's Day included plenty of views for a pair of ads keyed to the holiday just past, LG's space-themed video and Lysol's "Protect Like a Mother." The rankings by Visible Measures for the seven days through the end of Sunday, as always, reflect not only "organic" views initiated by consumers who want to watch the clips but paid views that surface as pre-roll or other ad placements online. Continue reading at AdAge.com

Mother’s Day’s Done but Mother’s Day Ads Go On


Marketers never let a holiday go to waste. Nor do they easily let it slip away. The week after Mother's Day included plenty of views for a pair of ads keyed to the holiday just past, LG's space-themed video and Lysol's "Protect Like a Mother." The rankings by Visible Measures for the seven days through the end of Sunday, as always, reflect not only "organic" views initiated by consumers who want to watch the clips but paid views that surface as pre-roll or other ad placements online. Continue reading at AdAge.com

Amazon TV Service Helps Starz, HBO Stand Out in Netflix Era


Media companies hoping to challenge Netflix and YouTube with their own online services are getting a huge boost from an unexpected source: Amazon. For about a year and a half, Amazon's Prime membership service has been promoting subscriptions ranging from the well-known HBO and Starz to niche services like Gaia and Acorn TV, along with its own offerings including the award-winning comedy "Transparent." On Monday, the world's largest online retailer said the effort will expand to the U.K., Germany and Austria with 25 to 42 live and on-demand channels from its partners. Amazon Channels is the closest TV viewers can get to the dream of a la carte TV, where subscribers pick the program sources they want instead of buying a bundle from DirecTV or Sky Plc that includes networks they never watch. The success of the initiative has surprised the Seattle-based retailer, which has put off Continue reading "Amazon TV Service Helps Starz, HBO Stand Out in Netflix Era"

Why the Chinese Will Pay for Content That Americans Won’t


Back in early 2016, Li Xiang was just another overworked magazine editor in Beijing. Then along came an opportunity to produce a business newsletter on a brand-new app called De Dao. In just a few months that app, whose name means "I Get," had attracted millions of users looking for daily advice and to learn everything from music to economics. And Li? Within months, he had close to 100,000 subscribers paying about $30 a month. It's the kind of story that couldn't happen in the United States, where many people believe content should be free. In China, meanwhile, companies and individuals alike have managed to monetize smartphone apps, making money from news, entertainment and social media -- by making people directly pay for it, instead of relying on advertisers. De Dao is just one in a whole economy of mobile apps where people like Li Xiang can make real money. Continue reading "Why the Chinese Will Pay for Content That Americans Won’t"

Google Offers 7,000 Developers Free Home Devices in Pursuit of Amazon Alexa


Here is Google's vision for the future of computing: As you drive home from work, you tell your car, "Ok, Google," triggering the company's Assistant. You order food, the digital helper handles the transaction and makes sure it's ready when you arrive. Right now, Amazon and its Alexa digital assistant are closer to realizing that goal, having cut a deal this year with Ford Motor Co. to let drivers search, shop and control other devices by voice from their vehicles. That's just one of the ways Amazon is outpacing Google in the race to weave a digital assistant into consumers' lives. What's more, Amazon has a leading e-commerce business well suited to this emerging world, with a massive delivery network to speed orders to shoppers -- an area where Google has struggled. Amazon's Echo connected speakers, launched in 2014, have given Alexa an early lead by reaching millions of users Continue reading "Google Offers 7,000 Developers Free Home Devices in Pursuit of Amazon Alexa"