Unless you’ve been living under a rock in a cave in a fallout shelter (got extra space?), you’ve probably heard of popular gaming app/dystopian plot line Pokemon Go. It’s mind-blowingly popular, as seemingly confirmed by Apple: Pokemon Go had the most downloads in its first week of any app ever. Candy Crush, eat your heart out.
Downside of going to Rio for the Olympics: you might get Zika. Plus side of going to Rio (at least if you’re a T-Mobile customer): free data for the duration of the games.
The carrier-that-isn’t-a-carrier announced on Thursday that any customers heading to Rio for the Olympics will get free data, free calls back to the US, and free worldwide texting. Given that you can pick up a pre-paid SIM for less than my monthly plan, might be worth buying if you’re heading to Rio this August.
The reviews system is one of the things that makes Amazon good. Thousands of crowd-sourced, supposedly unbiased reviews take the guesswork out of buying sight unseen.
But a new study is shedding light on the dark underbelly of incentivized Amazon reviews. Those are reviews where the reviewer has received an item for free, which according to the results of the study, introduce bias into the system. A lot of bias.
Pokemon GO has rolled out in more than 30 countries and it is now two weeks since its US launch. The data around the usage patterns is becoming ever more mindboggling. New numbers AppAnnie has shared with BGR defy belief. Most apps would be deliriously happy to top 20 minute average daily engagement. But each Pokemon GO users spends more than an hour on the app every day. What makes this number stunning is the fact that more than 10% of all American smartphone users play the game.
It has the broadest user base of any mobile game, but also gets those users playing every day. This combination is completely unprecedented.
Apps that get their average user to spend an hour a day tapping the screen tend to appeal to small core of rabid fans. Whatsapp, a universally popular app is regarded as exceptionally addictive because it has managed to get to 27 minute daily average usage time.
Elon Musk’s master plan: part two is here, and it’s a doozy. Rather than set out a short-term vision, he’s setting out a plan for how Tesla will save the world. No, actually.
In the plan, he’s outlining how Tesla as we know it is going to change. Forget fast sports cars: the future Tesla will feature pickup trucks, semi trailers and urban buses, with those concepts to be unveiled next year.
Netflix just released numbers from the second quarter of 2016, which gives us our first look at how customers are responding to a price hike for older Netflix members. Prices are up from $7.99 to $9.99 for many people, and Netflix has seen its slowest growth ever in the US, adding 340,000 fewer subscribers than expected.
As you’d expect, the news has seen Netflix’s stock price tank, but the streaming giant is sticking to its guns.
Samsung is well known for spreading its bets in the smartphone industry. Doesn’t matter if the future is curved displays, built-in projectors or your own operating system, because Samsung has researched them all.
The biggest name in Android phones is now diversifying its holdings outside consumer electronics, by purchasing a stake in Chinese car maker BYD. There may be some benefits to be gained by both companies — Samsung can bring its experience making semi-waterproof smartphones to in-car entertainment systems, and BYD gets something better than Apple CarPlay.
It’s no secret that Google and the EU’s anti-competitive practices department have a rocky relationship. Google has been accused of abusing its monopoly power to keep competitors out of the business in the past, and now regulators are doubling down.
The European Commission today issued a “statement of objections” against Alphabet, Google’s parent company. The main complaint is the contract Google signs with third-party websites that use its advertising service, which forces websites to put Google’s ads front and center, and prevents them from using ads from non-Google services.
Yes, the rounded rectangles dispute will be going all the way to the land’s highest court.
Five years after the Apple vs Samsung patent dispute officially kicked off, the case is set to be resolved once and for all. The Supreme Court is set to hear oral arguments over Samsung’s appeal in part of its long-running legal dispute, with the date set for October 11th. A verdict is expected sometime in December or January.
Among for-profit companies born in Silicon Valley, few have a nobler cause than Tesla. Make no mistake, Tesla is a publicly traded company and its goal first and foremost is to make money. But unlike most companies in and around the Valley, it’s changing the world for the better while it makes money. It doesn’t build useless iPhone apps and it’s not trying to launch an Uber for kitty litter. Tesla makes electric cars and has singlehandedly sped up the transition in the automotive industry from gas to alternative fuel sources by a decade at the very least.
With all that in mind, it’s difficult to comprehend how a company doing so much good can hate its customers so much at the same time. More →
LINE became the biggest tech company to enter the US stock market this year as its shares soared 30% above issue price in early New York trading. Buying these shares is something you should not do. Yes, messaging is a hot space and no, there aren’t many messaging apps companies you can invest in. But app vendors tend to be bought or go public at the worst possible time. The recent history bears grim witness.
Zynga announced the purchase of an app company called OMGPOP literally within 48 hours of when the main product of that app vendor peaked. OMGPOP proceeded to fall apart with stunning speed thereafter.
There is little doubt by now that Pokemon Go is becoming the most successful mobile app of all time, at least as far as launch-week performance is concerned. Niantic just launched the game in Germany… and it hit No. 1 on the iPhone revenue chart in just three hours. The 13 hours it took to hit the top of the US sales charts last week was incredible enough. But apparently the American media storm surrounding Pokemon has driven consumers in other countries into an absolute frenzy of anticipation. More →
Hyperloop One is supposed to be one of the pioneering companies on the cutting edge of disrupting the transportation industry for greater efficiency, etc. But if the no-holds-barred lawsuit filed by a co-founder today is anything to go by, the company is not in good shape.
In the suit, former co-founder Brogan BamBrogan alleges that top execs engaged in threats, physical abuse, bullying, and even financial misconduct. In turn, the defendants have called the lawsuit “delusional,” “nonsense,” and “a measure of Hyperloop’s success.” Not to mention a total PR disaster.
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