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Spotify has acquired a startup to help it better manage royalty payments to musicians and song publishers. The online-streaming music company said Wednesday that it had bought Mediachain Labs, a small Brooklyn-based company that specializes in so-called blockchain technology. Companies like shipping giant Maersk and UBS are all experimenting with securing and tracking digital payments by recording transactions across thousands of computers--an idea known as a distributed ledger--to minimize the ...
Mobile transactions continue to drive growth for payments giant PayPal. The company’s popular mobile payments app Venmo processed a record $6.8 billion in the first quarter, double the amount from the same period last year. Venmo, which lets users send money to each other instantly, much like PayPal’s core service, has been among the crown jewels in PayPal’s payments portfolio. It acquired the service, which is popular with younger users, three years ago as part of its $800 mil...
A pet food company has recalled two kinds of canned dog food after a euthanasia drug was found in them in Texas. Party Animal Inc. said on Monday that lab testing of its beef and turkey and beef and chicken dog food found pentobarbital, a euthanasia drug used on animals and humans, in the food. The dog food in question had been manufactured and distributed in 2015, the company said in a statement. It requested customers and retailers to return cans from Lot No. 0136E15204 04, best by July 2019 a...
Netflix is extending another olive branch to movie theater owners. The massively popular streaming service’s chilly relationship with theater chains seems to have thawed recently, and now Netflix says it will consider a limited theatrical release in France. According to Variety, the comany confirmed on Wednesday that it might seek a limited release for the feature films The Meyerowitz Stories and Okja, two original films competing at next month’s Cannes Film Festival, coinciding with...
Digital ad revenue in the U.S. grew by more than 20% last year to a record $72.5 billion, according to the Interactive Advertising Bureau. That’s the good news. The bad news--at least for those who dislike duopolies--is that some estimates by other industry experts show that virtually all of growth in digital ad spending went to Google and Facebook, which already account for more than three-quarters of the U.S. digital ad market. The IAB downplayed this phenomenon in its report, saying the...
Weight Watchers has named Mindy Grossman, the CEO of home-shopping retailer HSN, to serve as the next chief executive officer at the diet company. On Wednesday, Weight Watchers wtw said Grossman would be appointed to the joint roles of president and CEO, effective in July. She will also join the company’s board. Grossman previously served as CEO of HSN hsni , a $4 billion direct-to-consumer retailer that sells h...
Social media company Instagram pulled photos by U.S. photographer Imogen Cunningham promoting an exhibit at Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts, saying they violated decency standards, even as parent company Facebook Inc faces criticism for users’ live videos of murder. At issue were posts of 1920s black-and-white photos by Cunningham depicting close-ups of a naked women’s torso, which turn the body into an almost abstract shape, and a 1974 photo of Cunningham at the age of 91 gazing ...
Barack Obama’s spokesperson Eric Schultz defended the former president’s $400,000 speaking fee for an upcoming speech at a conference sponsored by a Wall Street investment bank. “With regard to this or any speech involving Wall Street sponsors, I’d just point out that in 2008, Barack Obama raised more money from Wall Street than any candidate in history -- and still went on to successfully pass and implement the toughest reforms on Wall Street since FDR,” Schultz sa...
The Trump administration proposed plans giving two big wins to the nation’s largest communications companies on Wednesday. Early in the day, the President proposed tax cuts that would make AT&T, Verizon, and Comcast among the biggest winners of his plan. Later, his appointed head of the Federal Communications Commission proposed lifting so-called net neutrality rules that put limits on Internet service providers. At least that’s what’s been announced so far. The tax plan, w...
Britain has protested to Twitter over restricting the government’s access to data, a spokesman for Prime Minister Theresa May said on Wednesday. The Telegraph newspaper, citing industry sources, said Twitter had withdrawn access to information which helped the police and intelligence agencies identify plots as part of the social media firm’s efforts to stop user data being used for surveillance. “We are protesting this decision. We are in talks with Twitter on getting access to...
It sounds like the stuff of science fiction. But on Tuesday, researchers from the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia announced that their “Biobag”--an artificial womb/placenta system--has kept extremely premature lamb fetuses alive for longer and healthier than similar previous technologies. And they hope that the system can one day be used to help preterm human babies born as early as 23 to 25 weeks of gestation. The researchers placed extremely premature fetuses into the Bio...
Chris Sacca, a former Google googl attorney who gained prominence as a tech investor, and then as “shark” on the television show Shark Tank, is retiring from the venture capital world. He announced the news Wednesday via a blog post headlined “Hanging up my spurs” and then, fittingly, tweeted about it (he was an early Twitter twtr investor). Why leave a business that has made him wealthy and w...
Technology might one day help you remember everything--even those things you wish you wouldn’t. Speaking at the TED Conference on Tuesday, Apple’s artificial intelligence chief Tom Gruber said that in the not-so-distant future, computers will be capable of helping humans remember everything about their lives, including intimate details about the things they have enjoyed and those they have not. “What if you could have a memory that was as good as computer memory and is about yo...
First Daughter Ivanka Trump and the World Bank are in preliminary discussions about a fund, or a “facility” that would aim to empower female entrepreneurs globally, the organization confirmed Wednesday. Germany, along with other countries in the G20, are also involved in the nascent discussions, an official from the World Bank said, but nothing has been specifically decided. Axios reported Wednesday that the First Daughter was starting a “massive fund” to benefit female e...
"Did you hear the latest about United?" These days, that question sounds like a late night talk show host's setup for a joke and a rimshot. The unsettling video of an injured passenger being dragged off a United Airlines flight has barely faded from our memories, and now the Internet is lighting up with stories of Simon, the unusually large rabbit who died on his way to Chicago O'Hare Airport (also prime for a joke). But perhaps all of us amateur jokesters should step away from taking the cheap ...
Here’s one more way getting old is getting more expensive. Long-term care insurance, which covers expenses like nursing home care, at-home nursing care and other late-life needs, is fast becoming too costly for many retirees to afford, according to a recent study from LifePlans, an industry research firm. The average annual premium was $2,727 in 2015, an increase of 42% from 2005 and of 19% from 2010. Of those surveyed who were over 50 years old, 55% said they opted not to purchase coverag...
While Anthony Bourdain may refuse to eat airplane food, the professional traveler is an expert on which airports offer the best meals. The No Reservations and Parts Unknown host said the airport in Singapore has the highest quality food in an interview with The New York Times. “Probably Changi Airport in Singapore has the best food; it has a hawker center for the employees that’s open to the public,” he said. Bourdain is also a fan of the sushi and egg salad sandwiches in Tokyo...
Payment processor PayPal Holdings reported a 5.2% rise in quarterly profit on Wednesday, helped by an increase in payment processing volumes and customer additions. The company’s board authorized a $5 billion share buyback program. PayPal pypl , which spun off from e-commerce firm eBay ebay in 2015, said its net income rose to $384 million, or 32 cents per share, in the first quarter ended March 31, from $365 mi...
The Obama-era rules that prevent Internet Service Providers (ISPs) from favoring one type of data traffic over another are designed to prevent ISPs from blocking web traffic, or slowing it down. But on Wednesday, the Federal Communications Commission unveiled its game plan to regulate Internet traffic. This goes back two years ago, when rules were passed preventing ISPs from throttling or blocking content online. Now those rules are under review, not only in the US but by governments around the ...
Since time immemorial doctors have focused their work primarily on treating disease. That's how we've been trained, how we've practiced, and how we've thought for as long as the medical profession has existed. The gold standard of medicine has always been to find treatments that work for large numbers of people, and match them appropriately to the conditions our patients face. Today, most people's interactions with the medical system are sporadic or driven by disease. They may have an annual phy...