Spotify 30 Million Users

March 22, 2016 by · Comments Off on Spotify 30 Million Users 

Spotify 30 Million Users, LEADING streaming service Spotify said Monday that it had reached 30 million paying subscribers as the company suggested it would keep expanding to more countries.

The milestone was announced by Spotify’s chief executive Daniel Ek as he commented positively about President Barack Obama’s historic visit to longtime US adversary Cuba.

“We have 30 million Spotify subscribers, but none of them are in Cuba … yet. So cool to see Cuba opening up!” the 33-year-old Swedish entrepreneur tweeted.

Streaming – which allows unlimited, on-demand listening – has been rapidly growing in recent years and transforming the music industry, with a growing number of rivals seeking to challenge Spotify’s early dominance.

Industry watchers had long believed that Spotify was approaching the 30 million mark but the company, which is privately held, does not release figures on a systematic basis.

Spotify last gave a formal update in June when the company said it had 20 million paying subscribers out of more than 75 million regular users.

In a controversial point for some artists, Spotify allows free access to listeners who are willing to put up with advertisements. The paid tier costs US$9.99 a month in the United States.

Spotify, which is estimated to be worth US$8 billion, is available in 58 countries – mostly advanced economies but also including several developing states in Latin America.

Apple Music, launched in June by the tech giant as it saw the future in streaming, has quickly become the second leading force, announcing last month that it had reached 11 million subscribers.

Paris-based Deezer, which is strong in Europe but has a small presence in the United States, says it has six million paying subscribers, while Rhapsody, established in 2001 as the pioneer of streaming, had 3.5 million as of December.

Tidal, a project led by rap mogul Jay-Z and other stars that emphasizes high-quality audio and exclusive releases, said in September that it had one million subscribers but has not given further updates.

Faced with the challenges, Spotify recently added video content and reached a settlement with a music publishers’ group in hopes to averting costly lawsuits over royalties. – AFP

Spotify 30 Million Users

Barnes and Noble

November 23, 2012 by · Comments Off on Barnes and Noble 

Barnes and Noble, The price details for the Barnes & Noble Nook HD and Nook HD+ have reached the UK and these tablets are up for grabs through various retailer and online stores. The former slate possesses a 7-inch display, while the latter flaunts a large 9-inch panel, both proffering HD visuals.

The Barnes & Noble slates were unveiled back in September and they started to ship in the US towards the end of last month. The company’s has already launched its latest eReaders in the UK. With the aforementioned tablets, users will have access to a wide catalog of books, a collection of popular magazines and applications that are available for purchase on the Nook Store. The company will also be offering Nook Video which allows them to buy or rent movies and TV shows starting early December.

The Nook HD dons a 1440 x 900p HD touchscreen that features a laminated coating for reduced glare and enhanced viewing angles. It even possesses a pixel density of 243ppi. The device weighs 315 grams and it comes in 2 color options, namely snow and smoke. Powering up this 11mm slate is a 1.3GHz dual core processor. Coming to the HD+, it measures 240mm x 162.8mm x 11.4mm in dimensions and tips the scales at 515 grams. A 1.5GHz dual core CPU does all the heavy lifting, while a 1920 x 1280p 256ppi FHD panel runs 9 inches wide on the front.

The 8GB Barnes & Noble Nook HD can be picked up for £159 in the UK, while the 16GB option carries a £189 retail tag. The Nook HD+ is affixed with a £229 cost for the 16GB model or £269 for the 32GB model. Both devices are available for purchase through the company’s online store or via several retailers such as John Lewis, Foyles, Blackwell’s and Argos amongst others. All pre-orders that were placed online are expected to be delivered soon.

Common features of both tablets:

– Processor: Dual core OMAP 4470 SOC from TI
– Connectivity: Wi-Fi 802.11b/g/n
– Battery Life: Approximately 10 hours of reading or 9 hours of video
– Memory: microSD slot for storage expansion
– Audio: Dual stereo speakers with SRS TruMedia sound

YouView Rebrand

November 15, 2012 by · Comments Off on YouView Rebrand 

YouView Rebrand, Willans Solicitors has won a trademark case against Bristows that could force new television platform YouView to rebrand. The Cheltenham-based firm’s dispute resolution partner Paul Gordon was instructed for Total, a Gloucestershire based telecommunications company.

It had registered the trade mark Your View in November 2009 as the trading name of its online customer portal and opposed YouView’s 2010 trademark application on the grounds that it was too similar.

Gordon instructed Simon Malynicz of 3 New Square to lead the case. A Bristows team led by partner Paul Walsh acted for YouView, instructing lead counsel Daniel Alexander QC and junior James Abrahams of 8 New Square.

YouView is chaired by Lord Sugar and is a joint venture backed by major TV channels and broadband providers, including BBC, ITV, Channel 4, Channel 5, BT, TalkTalk, and Arqiva. It has a digital TV service and access to TV and on demand services via a set-top box.

NASA Engages The Warp Drive

September 18, 2012 by · Comments Off on NASA Engages The Warp Drive 

NASA Engages The Warp Drive, Somebody tell NASA you “cannae change the laws of physics”! The agency is not only convinced that “Star Trek” style warp drive technology is possible, they’re working on it and say it could be a reality in our lifetime. Let’s face it, putting some guys in a giant soup can and lighting a match obviously isn’t going to get us real far in the long term.

For the head of NASA’s Advanced Propulsion team, Dr. Harold White, it’s about identifying the “loopholes” in the physics rulebook and creating an engine that will compress the space in front of and behind the vessel, moving it to another place without actually going far.

He believes such technology would get us to our nearest Earth-like planet, Gliese 58, with a travel time of about two years. We’re coming, sexy blue ladies, save yourselves for us!

“Perhaps a Star Trek experience within our lifetime is not such a remote possibility.” These are the words of Dr. Harold “Sonny” White, the Advanced Propulsion Theme Lead for the NASA Engineering Directorate. Dr. White and his colleagues don’t just believe a real life warp drive is theoretically possible; they’ve already started the work to create one.

Yes. A real warp drive, Scotty.

When it comes to space exploration, we are still cavemen. We got to the Moon and sent some badass robot to Mars. We also have those automatic doors that swoosh wide open when you get near them, but that’s about it. It’s cool, but we are far from being the space civilization we’ll need to become to survive for millennia.

With our current propulsion technologies, interstellar flight is impossible. Even with experimental technology, like ion thrusters or a spaceship’s aft pooping freaking nuclear explosions, it would require staggering amounts of fuel and mass to get to any nearby star. And worse: it will require decades—centuries, even—to get there. The trip will be meaningless for those left behind. Only the ones going forward in search for a new star system would enjoy the result of the colossal effort. It’s just not practical.

So we need an alternative. One that would allow us to travel extremely fast without breaking the laws of physics. Or as Dr. White puts it: “we want to go, really fast, while observing the 11th commandment: Thou shall not exceed the speed of light.”

Kindle Fire Reviews 2012

September 10, 2012 by · Comments Off on Kindle Fire Reviews 2012 

Kindle Fire Reviews, Buying movies and TV shows to watch on the Kindle Fire will be a lot more appealing now that Amazon’s tablet computer sports a much more vibrant screen. The screen in the Fire’s new HD models is such a major improvement that I can’t see why you would purchase a regular model, even if it means saving $40.

The HD models were among the new devices Amazon unveiled Thursday. They start at $199 for the smaller one, with a screen that measures 7 inches diagonally. That will start shipping next Friday. Two models with larger screens will go on sale in November.

Amazon is also refreshing the regular model. It promises to be 40 percent faster than the original one, which came out last November. It also comes with a price cut to $159, instead of the original $199. The regular Kindle Fire will also start shipping next Friday.

The new offerings bring the Fire into closer competition with Apple’s market-leading iPad. The HD screens will have a higher resolution, just as Apple introduced a higher-resolution screen earlier this year. The larger models will have 8.9-inch screens, slightly smaller than the iPad’s 9.7 inches.

By the numbers, the difference between the HD and the regular screens doesn’t seem that big.

The smaller Kindle Fire HD has a screen resolution of 1280 by 800. Last year’s 7-inch model and the upgraded version with better innards both have screens with 1024 by 600 pixels.

That doesn’t come close to the latest iPad, which has a resolution of 2048 by 1536. Nonetheless, this upgrade feels like a big leap for Amazon. It means a sharp picture instead of one that seems made up of lots of pixels, a welcome relief that feels even better when you consider the price. At $199, compared with $499 for the latest iPad, I can see this being a popular stocking stuffer this Christmas.

Amazon has also made a couple of important design changes in its new HD models. For one, the speakers are now on both sides of the device when held in landscape mode like a movie screen, meaning you can watch movies in Dolby Digital Plus stereo sound without headphones. The old Kindle Fire had stereo speakers off to one side when held this way, and that hasn’t changed with the upgraded non-HD model.

Both the upgraded Kindle Fire and new HD 7-inch models also come with a full suite of new features that are nifty but not game-changing.

Both devices will feature the “X-Ray” series of features that provide insights into the book or movie you’re enjoying.

An on-screen tap during a movie will list actors in the scene. With more clicks, you can learn more about them from Amazon’s movie information service IMDb. In books, X-Ray has been a popular feature on the Kindle Touch e-reader. That now works on Kindle Fire and gives you a bird’s eye view of where characters or ideas appear later on in a book. Inc. has also upgraded its audio book offerings. “Immersion Reading” allows you to read a book while hearing narration from a famous actor. I find this feature to be a distraction, but some book lovers will appreciate it.

For parents, Amazon has added a system that can control how much time a child can spend on various media. So, you could limit how much your kids can watch video and play games, but let them read as much as they want.

I was only able to test the 7-inch models this week. The larger ones, which cost at least $299, won’t ship until Nov. 20. Their screens will be 1920 by 1200 – just short of the iPad’s.

Some aspects about the Kindle Fire HD sounded great but couldn’t be tested in the short time that Amazon gave reporters to try out the devices Thursday.

For instance, it was impossible to tell whether Kindle Fire HD’s two antennas made its performance in Wi-Fi noticeably faster than the latest iPad or Google’s Nexus 7. Also unknown was whether its promised 11-hour battery life held up for real.

In handling the device, though, I found that video played well and images looked sharp. But it was not as responsive as I would have liked. It seemed to lag when swiping through pictures or through the news feed on the custom-built Facebook app.

There was no app that independently controlled the front-facing camera, which is new to the Kindle Fire HD. The Facebook picture I took with the device turned out upside down, even though the camera was clearly meant to be at the top of the device when held in landscape mode. Amazon’s representatives said the camera was mainly for use with a Skype app made for the device.

People looking to buy a new tablet might be able to overlook these minor annoyances because of the sharper screen.

Ultimately, the decision to buy a Kindle Fire HD could be determined by the array of content that comes with the device if you join the $79 annual free-shipping program known as Amazon Prime.

Amazon has made plenty of big investments lately that make Prime a more compelling offer. On Tuesday, it announced a deal with the Epix pay TV channel that allows Prime members to watch 2,000 movies like “The Avengers” and “The Hunger Games” for free, on top of some 23,000 movies and TV shows it had already.

Prime members can also “borrow” books from the Kindle Owners Lending Library, including all seven “Harry Potter” books, for no extra charge.

Backstage at Thursday’s news conference, CEO Jeff Bezos said in an interview that the company has been investing hundreds of millions of dollars in digital content for Amazon Prime.

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