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Trump Blocks Broadcom’s Bid for Qualcomm

NY Times - Tue, 2018-03-13 10:48
President Trump issued an order prohibiting Broadcom, a Singapore-based chip maker, from purchasing Qualcomm, citing a threat to the national security of the United States.

Gender doesn't give Haspel a pass

CNN - Tue, 2018-03-13 10:47
Donald Trump's elevation of Gina Haspel to director of the CIA is historic: She will be the first woman to lead the agency. While the announcement comes amid the chaos of Secretary of State Rex Tillerson's firing and the move of present CIA Director Mike Pompeo to run the State Department, it's important to note that in a nation focused on women's equality, payments to porn stars and a Trump administration that is far behind its predecessors in the promotion of women to top posts, Haspel has broken a glass ceiling.

Palestinian PM survives assassination attempt, PA says

CNN - Tue, 2018-03-13 10:38
Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah survived an assassination attempt in northern Gaza on Tuesday morning, according to Wafa, the official Palestinian news agency.

FBI tried to contact jailed 'sex coaches'

CNN - Tue, 2018-03-13 10:37
FBI agents have tried to meet a pair of self-styled "sex coaches" detained in a Bangkok jail who claim to have evidence of Russian meddling in the 2016 US election, a senior Thai official told CNN.

Package explosions in Austin leave 2 dead

CNN - Tue, 2018-03-13 10:34
Austin, Texas, police are investigating three package explosions that have left two dead and one injured.

Violent video games not welcome for Olympic esports consideration

Ars - Tue, 2018-03-13 10:34

Enlarge / The 2024 Paris Olympic Games could be the first to feature non-violent esports as a medal event.

Those pushing for the $1.5 billion esports industry to be considered on equal footing with traditional sports got a big boost back in October when the International Olympic Committee (IOC) said that "competitive 'esports' could be considered as a sporting activity" for Olympic competition. It's becoming increasingly clear, though, that the IOC won't even consider any esports that involve violence, a decision that eliminates many of the space's most popular games.

AliSports, a division of Chinese e-commerce giant AliBaba, found this out directly when trying to negotiate a bid to sponsor an esports competition at an upcoming Olympic Games. "In our communication with the Olympics committee, we’ve come to have a better understanding of their values, which is to promote peace,” AliSports CEO Zhang Dazhong told Bloomberg in a recent interview. "That’s why for the future development of eSports, we will focus more on titles that are actually related to sports, instead of games that focus on violence and slaughter."

This isn't the first sign that violent content could stand in the way of esports becoming Olympic sports. IOC President Thomas Bach told the South China Morning Post last August that "we want to promote nondiscrimination, nonviolence, and peace among people. This doesn’t match with video games, which are about violence, explosions, and killing. And there we have to draw a clear line."

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Apple Music Growing at Record Pace With Two Million Subscribers Added in Just Five Weeks

MacRumors - Tue, 2018-03-13 10:32
Apple's services chief Eddy Cue, who spoke at the SXSW media festival in Austin, Texas this week, revealed that Apple Music now has 38 million paying subscribers worldwide. Cue also said there are over eight million customers that are currently taking advantage of Apple Music's free three-month trial period.

The Wall Street Journal confirmed that Apple Music had 36 million subscribers in a February 4 report, so it appears the streaming music service has gained around two million subscribers in just over five weeks.

The numbers suggest Apple Music is growing at a clip of roughly 400,000 subscribers per week, or 1.6 million per month. Accordingly, it would appear to be Apple Music's fastest growth rate since it launched in June 2015, at least based on the figures that Apple has publicly shared over the past three years.

Apple Music Subscribers
  • Oct 2015: 6.5 million
  • Jan 2016: 10 million
  • Feb 2016: 11 million
  • Apr 2016: 13 million
  • Jun 2016: 15 million
  • Sep 2016: 17 million
  • Dec 2016: 20 million
  • Jun 2017: 27 million
  • Sep 2017: 30 million
  • Feb 2018: 36 million
  • Mar 2018: 38 million
Spotify maintains a sizeable lead over Apple Music. The streaming music service revealed that it had 71 million paying subscribers as of the end of 2017, so it should be around twice as large as Apple Music by now. Spotify also has a free, ad-supported tier, giving it over 159 million listeners overall around the world.

Apple Music appears to be gaining ground on Spotify, however, and could reportedly eclipse its biggest rival in terms of U.S. subscribers later this year. The chart below from Apple analyst Horace Dediu is based on global subscribers.

Spotify vs. Apple Music Subscriber ramps. pic.twitter.com/wFVoZhe1Nk

— Horace Dediu (@asymco) March 13, 2018
Spotify launched in 2008, and expanded to the United States in 2011, while Apple Music debuted in over 100 countries at once in 2015. Both platforms offer individual subscriptions for $9.99 per month, student plans for $4.99 per month, and family plans sharable with up to six people for $14.99 per month.

Apple Music has the benefit of being preinstalled on hundreds of millions of iPhones and iPads. It's also available on Mac, PC, Android, Apple Watch, Apple TV, vehicles equipped with CarPlay, Sonos, and HomePod.

At SXSW, Cue estimated there are around two billion people that have access to and a means to pay for streaming music, suggesting the market is ripe for growth. Apple Music and Spotify have around 110 million subscribers combined, so there is clearly an opportunity for both services to continue growing.

The harder task for Spotify will be turning a profit, which it has yet to do. Apple Music executive and record industry mogul Jimmy Iovine recently said streaming music services are "not making any money" due to a lack of margins, suggesting that a standard $9.99 per month subscription is not profitable.

Apple Music's profitability is likely less of a concern for Apple, as it sells a wide range of other products and services. Apple's broad services category brought in a record $8.5 billion revenue last quarter, up 18 percent year over year.

Tag: Apple Music
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Here are 4 ways the West Virginia teachers' strike shows women's power in politics

Washington Post - Tue, 2018-03-13 10:30
Ironically, the political leverage women teachers have today is itself a legacy of patriarchy.

Q&A for federal workers: 'Burrowing in'

Washington Post - Tue, 2018-03-13 10:30
Although rare, the hiring of political appointees into the career civil service remains a focus of attention.

This 10-course bundle may be your ticket to a six-figure career in Project Management

CrackBerry - Tue, 2018-03-13 10:30

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Becoming a certified Project Management Professional, or PMP, is absolutely within your reach. Online certification is just as recognized as classroom learning today, and it's far more convenient, too. The professionals at iCollege want you to start your journey to becoming a PMP as soon as possible!

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Senate sets Pompeo confirmation hearing for April

CNN - Tue, 2018-03-13 10:22
Sen. Bob Corker, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said in a statement that Mike Pompeo's confirmation hearing for secretary of state will be in April, but didn't specify a specific date.

Opinion: President Trump’s Best People

NY Times - Tue, 2018-03-13 10:14
From Rex Tillerson to Gary Cohn, Hope Hicks and others. Here is the parade of characters who just couldn’t hold on to their White House jobs.

Trump asks for advice on Stormy Daniels situation

CNN - Tue, 2018-03-13 10:10
President Donald Trump has been seeking counsel from confidantes on how he should handle the Stormy Daniels situation, a source close to the President tells CNN.

Jump-Starting the Aquavit Renaissance

NY Times - Tue, 2018-03-13 10:10
Before concentrating on the United States market, liquor companies and craft distilleries want to persuade Nordic youth.

Op-Ed Columnist: Why Pasta Is the Answer to Trump

NY Times - Tue, 2018-03-13 10:05
This is a story about rigatoni. And bucatini. And yes, the president.

Profile: Who is CIA Director Pompeo?

CNN - Tue, 2018-03-13 10:02
The former Kansas congressman was sworn in as CIA Director in January 2017.

The Stone: Bannon’s Deviant ‘Badge of Honor’

NY Times - Tue, 2018-03-13 10:00
The tactic of subverting language to turn vice into virtue has a very dark past.

Opinion: Why I want my child to participate -- even if she gets in trouble

CNN - Tue, 2018-03-13 09:58
When my daughter, a high school senior, came home and told me she wanted to help spearhead the National School Walkout at her school, all I felt was pride. I'm not ashamed to admit that it was unadulterated, pure bragging-rights, puffed-up, patting-myself-on-the-back, social-media-post-worthy-pride.

Volkswagen bets big on electric with $25 billion battery bonanza

Ars - Tue, 2018-03-13 09:55

Come with us and explore the I.D. Buzz concept. Video shot and edited by Jennifer Hahn. (video link)

After seriously tarnishing its reputation with the diesel scandal, Volkswagen Group has changed strategy. As we reported last September, the company is now committed to electrifying all of its brands by 2030, with 30 new plug-in hybrids and 50 new battery electric vehicles due by that date. On Tuesday, the company revealed a crucial part of that plan, called Roadmap E, by locking up a $25 billion supply of batteries.

This isn't one single deal. Rather, VW Group has contracted with suppliers including Samsung and LG Chem, among others. And it's not the end of the story. VW Group says this is just to line up batteries for vehicles to be built in Europe and China; a decision about a supplier for North American production "will be [made] shortly," it said in a press release.

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