AT&T customers looking to pick up the BlackBerry Z10, March 22nd is your day. AT&T announced this morning that it plans to start taking pre-orders for the BlackBerry Z10 starting tomorrow, March 12th. The device will sell for $199.99 with two-year contract, which we think is about $50-100 too high, but there you have it. It's expected that both Verizon Wireless and T-Mobile will both start selling the Z10 on the same day. Sprint, on the other hand, has decided not to sell the device, instead focusing on the BlackBerry Q10 with QWERTY keyboard.
Read More | AT&T
If you love listening to Pandora when you're on the go, you may have to start paying up. Pandora has announced that it will now be capping mobile users to 40 hours of listening per month. If you reach that cap, the music will stop, and you'll need to pay a fee of $.99 if you'd like to continue listening for the remainder of the month. The reason behind this is the rising costs of the per-track royalty rates that Pandora has to pay.
"Pandora’s per-track royalty rates have increased more than 25% over the last 3 years, including 9% in 2013 alone and are scheduled to increase an additional 16% over the next two years. After a close look at our overall listening, a 40-hour-per-month mobile listening limit allows us to manage these escalating costs with minimal listener disruption."
Pandora says this should only affect about 4% of its users, so it shouldn't be a huge deal. Subscribers to the Pandora One service, which eliminated the ads altogether for $36 per year, are not affected.
Read More | Pandora
Ford and Spotify have announced a partnership that sees the popular streaming music service make an appearance in Ford vehicles. Spotify is now compatible with Ford SYNC AppLink, streaming its catalog of over 20 million tracks over the car radio. You'll need to download the new iOS or Android Spotify apps to take advantage of the new hotness. You be able to access your songs, playlists, and custom stations, and can even control things with voice commands. Aside from Spotify, Ford SYNC AppLink allows you to access other service, like Pandora, Amazon Cloud Player, MOG, Slacker, and Rhapsody.
Read More | Ford
Yahoo is rolling out its redesigned homepage today, as promised by CEO Marissa Mayer in a blog post last Wednesday. In it, Mayer wrote that the newly designed landing page will be more "intuitive and personal." The redesign was tested in January, and now will start rolling out to everyone "over the next few days." The new page is more streamlined than ever, giving more prominence to Yahoo's most notable services: email, news, finance and sports. What's more, Yahoo now has a stream in the vein of Twitter. The stream has an infinite stream of news, as well as social features such as the ability to see content recommended by Facebook friends.
Read More | Yahoo
Strategy Analytics already reported that the iPhone 5 was the best-selling smartphone in the US, but now it's saying that Apple extends its dominance worldwide as well. As such, the iPhone 5 sold an estimated 27.4 million units during the fourth quarter of 2012, as compared to Samsung's Galaxy S III selling 15.4 million units. What's more, the iPhone 4S also outsold the S3 with 17.4 million units moved. This gives Apple the two most popular smartphones on the market, with a little over a 20 percent share in the global market.
TiVo has announced that the Flingo suite of streaming apps is now available on TiVo Premiere boxes. If you're unfamiliar with what this means, Flingo basically provides multiple channels of streaming video content, including programming from A&E, History Channel, TMZ, Showtime, and about 200 other content sources, alongside 70 apps. Flingo will also be creating exclusive content apps specifically for the TiVo Premiere through "Launchpad for TiVo." "People are demanding access to online streaming content from the comfort of their own living room, and TiVo’s offerings has evolved to support that demand," Tara Maitra, SVP and general manager of content and media sales at TiVo Inc., said in a statement.
In a way, this is like turning your TiVo into a Roku set top box. We'll be checking it out later today.
Read More | MarketWire
Slacker has been around for a few years as both a free and premium Internet radio service, and now the service has released a new redesign. The old black and gold interface is replaced with a newer, hipper, cleaner look on all platforms, including web, Xbox 360 app, and mobile apps. Slacker had to do something to take some attention away from Rdio, Spotify, Pandora, and the like, and we have to say that the new design makes things easier on the eyes, and thusly, easier to use.
Slacker pricing remains intact. You have the free version, Radio Plus for $3.99 per month, and then Slacker Premium for $9.99 per month. Updated Windows Phone 8 and BlackBerry 10 versions are on the way as well.
Six grueling years of the ACCC dragging Google in and out of Australian courtrooms and hearings for "misleading advertisements" displayed in search results have now come to an end.
Five Australian High Court judges have overturned a ruling requiring Google to set up programs that properly vet ads. The lawsuits started because of the specific claim that if one were to search Google in 2006 for "Honda Austrailia," the user would also be shown sponsored ads from competing car companies. This new ruling, however, proves that the concern of the ACCC is an outdated one.
Read More | Reuters
Thanks to Google's Transparency Report, we can see just how many copyright takedown requests it gets, and who issues such requests. The RIAA tops the list with nearly 10 million takedown requests issued. The RIAA issues hundreds of thousands of notices every week in regards to piracy sites, and has topped the most recent monthly requests. This goes to show just how severe the piracy network is, or even perhaps, how futile the RIAA's attempts are at squashing it.
Saturday mail delivery through the United Stated Postal Service will be a thing of the past beginning August 1, 2013. It's a move focused on cutting costs as the USPS tries to deal with, and recover from, massive financial losses due to mandatory retiree health care benefits, and should end up saving the struggling agency about $2 billion per year. Not all Saturday mail activity will go away--packages will still be delivered, P.O. boxes will receive mail as usual, and post offices will still be open on Saturdays. Of course, with the proliferation of email, snail mail demand has decreased significantly over the years. We're sure that this is unwelcome news for Netflix DVD subscribers, but on the bright side, with Saturday mail delivery ceasing, it's another junk mail-free day to look forward to on the weekend.
Read More | AP
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