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‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ returns to Hulu on April 25 (and here’s a new trailer)

 The first season of The Handmaid’s Tale has been a home run for Hulu — the series has been embraced by awards voters, and it was one of the streaming service’s most-watched dramas last year. This weekend, Hulu has been working to build up anticipation for the 13-episode second season, with the release of the first images and the announcement that the show will return sometime… Read More

Trump’s racist ‘sh*thole’ comment: Who censored and who didn’t?

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Trump’s racist comment about “shithole” countries shocked with its crudity, leaving the press figuring out how to deal with the word.

The U.S. president used the word to refer to Haiti, El Salvador and other African countries. Trump questioned why its people were were coming to America, and asked lawmakers why the U.S. didn’t accept more people from Norway, a majority Nordic (white) country.

In the original Washington Post report, “shithole” appears in all its unsightliness throughout the article and in its headline.  Read more…

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Vice founders apologize for allowing a “boy’s club” culture at the company

 Vice Media founders Shane Smith and Suroosh Alvi say they are “truly sorry” for not doing enough to stop inappropriate behavior at the company. In a public statement issued shortly before The New York Times published an article on Saturday that described multiple accounts of sexual misconduct by Vice employees, Smith, its chief executive officer, and Alvi said they are taking… Read More

Mumbrella, a media startup focused on APAC’s marketing industry, gets acquired

 Inside baseball klaxon: media writing about media story incoming:: Mumbrella, the Australia-based media company, has been sold by its founders to U.S./APAC events company Diversified Communications.
Mumbrella operates media and marketing industry-focused websites for Australia and Asia, an events business and a database service called The Source. It has 33 staff across four offices. The… Read More

Amazon drops David O. Russell show as Weinstein fallout continues

 Amazon said earlier this week that it was reviewing its options around the shows it was producing with The Weinstein Company. Now it looks like the company has made a decision and is moving to sever ties with TWC. One show, an untitled project from director David O. Russell, has been canceled entirely. Russell, along with stars Robert De Niro and Julianne Moore, released a statement saying… Read More

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‪Instagram now autoplays video sound once turned on until you close the app

Autoplay audio can be annoying or convenient depending on the situation. Luckily Instagram has found a happy medium between defaulting autoplay video sound on or off. This weekend TechCrunch spotted that some Instagram videos in the feed were autoplaying with audio. Now Instagram has confirmed to us “this new update rolled out recently” and here’s how it works for all… Read More

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After canceling Sense8, Netflix is giving the show a two-hour finale

 Netflix, it had seemed, was the place where shows go to live again, not to die. Even though you can argue about whether those shows should have been brought back, and about whether or not fans’ fixation on complete stories is all that healthy or realistic, today’s announcement that Sense8 will get a two-hour finale feels like a very welcome gesture. Read More

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After canceling Sense8, Netflix is giving the show a two-hour finale

 Netflix, it had seemed, was the place where shows go to live again, not to die. Even though you can argue about whether those shows should have been brought back, and about whether or not fans’ fixation on complete stories is all that healthy or realistic, today’s announcement that Sense8 will get a two-hour finale feels like a very welcome gesture. Read More

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After canceling Sense8, Netflix is giving the show a two-hour finale

 Netflix, it had seemed, was the place where shows go to live again, not to die. Even though you can argue about whether those shows should have been brought back, and about whether or not fans’ fixation on complete stories is all that healthy or realistic, today’s announcement that Sense8 will get a two-hour finale feels like a very welcome gesture. Read More

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After canceling Sense8, Netflix is giving the show a two-hour finale

 Netflix, it had seemed, was the place where shows go to live again, not to die. Even though you can argue about whether those shows should have been brought back, and about whether or not fans’ fixation on complete stories is all that healthy or realistic, today’s announcement that Sense8 will get a two-hour finale feels like a very welcome gesture. Read More

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After canceling Sense8, Netflix is giving the show a two-hour finale

 Netflix, it had seemed, was the place where shows go to live again, not to die. Even though you can argue about whether those shows should have been brought back, and about whether or not fans’ fixation on complete stories is all that healthy or realistic, today’s announcement that Sense8 will get a two-hour finale feels like a very welcome gesture. Read More

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Crunch Report | Google To Stop Scanning Inboxes

Crunch Report June 23 Today’s Stories  Google now has all the data it needs, will stop scanning Gmail inboxes for ad personalization Samsung’s Galaxy Note8 will reportedly be the company’s most expensive smartphone yet YouTube TV expands to 10 more U.S. markets, adds more YouTube Red series Tesla said to be in talks to create its own streaming music service Credits Written and Hosted by:… Read More

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BrideClick acquires Mode Media

Mode Media The Mode Media story refuses to end — following its abrupt shut down last year, the company’s assets have been acquired by wedding-focused advertising company BrideClick.
Mode previously operated lifestyle sites including Glam and Foodie, plus a larger ad network that it said reached 144 million unique visitors each month.
The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, but… Read More

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Group Nine Media says it got 114M social engagements last month

 With last fall’s formation of Group Nine Media, four digital media organizations (Thrillist, NowThis, The Dodo and Discovery’s Seeker) came together under a single corporate umbrella. Now the company says it’s seeing real success connecting with readers and viewers, with 114 million social media engagements in May — up from 70 million in January. As Group Nine CEO Ben… Read More

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Taboola intros Facebook-style ‘news feed’ to target mobile users with more links

 Taboola, the startup that works with hundreds of publishers to provide a set of links at the bottom of pages directing readers to more content on the site and elsewhere, has long positioned Facebook as the big competitor. Consumers scanning articles on Facebook, especially on mobile, are less likely to ever visit a publisher’s own site, even more so now with the introduction of… Read More

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Media Prima buys Rev Asia for $24M to create Malaysia’s largest digital media platform

 The U.S. isn’t the only market where media companies are consolidating to offer an advertising platform to rival Facebook and Google.
While AOL (which owns TechCrunch) is in the process of acquiring Yahoo, over in Malaysia a similar consolidation was announced this week — although not quite on the scale of AOL-Yahoo (Oath?!) and its $4.48 billion price tag. Media Prima, a… Read More

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Netflix is playing down the significance of its first major distribution deal in China

 Netflix has played down the significance of its first major licensing deal in China, news of which was announced this week. The company’s share price surged nearly six percent after it announced that it had agreed to a distribution deal with iQiyi, one of China’s largest video portals which was started by internet giant Baidu. The news was first revealed at the APOS 2017 event… Read More

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Netflix rival iFlix reveals its first original content series for emerging markets

 Fresh from raising $90 million from investors in March, iFlix, a Netflix-like service for emerging markets, has announced its first slate of original content. The Malaysia-headquartered business claims five million registered users across 10 countries — it recently branched out into Africa and the Middle East — for its service which costs around $3 per month. Beyond cheaper… Read More

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We don't need April Fools' Day anymore because we're living a fake news nightmare

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I remember the halcyon days when April Fools’ Day was a bit of harmless fun. We’d read fake stories from the newspaper over our cornflakes and have a good chuckle. Fake news was just something that happened once a year. But, those days are gone

We are now living in the age of fake news; where mistruths are presented as truths, and believed at face value. Fake news is no longer a once-yearly event, it’s a 365-day-a-year news cycle. And, that’s why April Fools’ Day needs to die. 

“April’s Fool Day is a day when you have to constantly engage the critical and sceptical part of the brain so you don’t get duped,” says Claire Wardle, Director of Research and Strategy of First Draft News. “Now that we are increasingly encountering information that has been fabricated, manipulated or is downright misleading, we need to be engaging those same parts of our brains every day and questioning what we’re seeing in our social feeds.” Read more…

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Facebook opens up 360-degree live streaming to all

 Facebook just made live streaming 360-degree video relatively easy, provided you have the equipment to capture the content. Users of devices like the new 2017 model Gear 360 just announced at the S8 smartphone launch, or the Insta360 Nano (for iPhone) and Air (for Android), or a host of higher-end models designed for pros, you can go live and broadcast an immersive feed for your audience.… Read More

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As hyper-conservative media surged, Republicans’ trust in news cratered

 In 2000, Republicans, Democrats and Independents were all within six percentage points of one another in terms of their trust in the media, ranging from 47 percent to 53 percent. But since that time, figures for both Independents and Republicans have been declining, with Republicans generally declining at a sharper rate. Read More

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Sorry Trump, even Fox News thinks your wiretapping claim is BS

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Not everyone at Donald Trump’s favorite news network is gobbling up his latest piece of red meat.  

Fox News anchor Shep Smith countered Trump once again Friday, this time aiming his measured, declaratory tone at the president’s outlandish claim that his predecessor was wiretapping him.

“Fox News knows of no evidence of any kind that the now president of the United States was surveilled at any time in any way,” anchor Shep Smith said during a Friday broadcast. “Full stop.”

Smith’s “full stop” comment, which was spread widely on social media, comes after analyst Andrew Napolitano claimed on Fox & Friends Tuesday that “three intelligence sources have informed Fox News that President Obama went outside the chain of command” and requested British intelligence officials spy on Trump. Read more…

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Netflix is replacing five-star ratings with thumbs up or down

 Netflix announced today that it would ditch its standard five-star rating scheme in favor of a much more simple thumbs up or down option. The streaming service said it had been testing thumbs up and down ratings “with hundreds of thousands of members” in 2016 – and it led to 200% more ratings being given. This makes sense – giving a five-star rating takes some… Read More

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OceanGate plans an expedition to 3D scan the Titanic

 Seattle-based OceanGate Inc. this week announced plans for a manned expedition to study the R.M.S. Titanic, the world’s most famous shipwreck. Fewer than 200 people have ever visited the Titanic since it sank in April 1912 according to historians’ estimates. To put that in perspective, more people have scaled the summit of Mt. Everest, or flown in space. The new expedition,… Read More

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Hulu’s new live TV service scores A&E’s channels, loses Viacom

 Hulu’s forthcoming live TV streaming service is starting to shape up. Today, the company announced it scored a deal with A&E Networks, which will bring six more channels to the core package, including A&E, History, Lifetime, LMN, FYI, and Viceland. The deal follows others Hulu has made with CBS, 21st Century Fox, and Disney which, combined, add 40 networks to its service,… Read More

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Chinese dating app Momo sees record revenue growth thanks to live streaming

American dollars falling in the sky Editor’s note: This post originally appeared on TechNode, an editorial partner of TechCrunch based in China. Momo, China’s top location-based social networking app, has continued its impressive user growth from last year and added solid financial figures to back it up, according its most recent earnings report. The company, which was previously backed by Alibaba, went public… Read More

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BBC's shortwave transmissions from Thailand go dark, after talks fail

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The British Broadcasting Corporation announced Wednesday it is ending its shortwave transmissions from Thailand after 20 years of operation, because it failed to reach agreement with Thailand’s military government on a renewal of its operating permit.

Shortwave transmissions are radio broadcasts in the AM band. Demand for AM receivers has dropped steeply over the years, but the BBC had still employed 45 staff members, who may lose their jobs with the decision.

Its Thai transmitters were serving the East Asia region. The BBC moved its East Asia relay station to Thailand from Hong Kong after the handover of the British colony to China in 1997. Read more…

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Getty launches new partnership to promote positive images of Muslim women online

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Amani Al-Khatahtbeh often starts her public speaking gigs by asking the audience to whip out their phones, do an image search of “Muslim women” and see what pops up. They usually gasp at the results — pages and pages of one-dimensional stock photos showing women behind black veils, failing to capture the diversity of Muslim experiences. 

“It just occurred to me that I shouldn’t have to use that example anymore,” Al-Khatahtbeh said.

It’s a problem that Al-Khatahtbeh is ready to fix. As the founder and editor-in-chief of popular online platform MuslimGirl.com, she’s teamed up with Getty Images to launch a new series of creative images and stock photos showing a range of modern Muslim women being their true, authentic selves. Read more…

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New Internationalist magazine turns to crowdfunding to secure independence

 There can be little doubt that journalism and media is under a bit of an onslaught at the moment. The desire to deliver independent, trustworthy news runs deep, but can often be at odds with pressures from owners and advertisers. To that end, 44-year-old magazine New Internationalist is turning to its readers in a “community share offer” in a bid for sustained independence. Read More

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Why newspaper subscriptions are on the rise

Newsboy wearing flat hat holding newspaper and shouting to sell.Megaphone in right hand, and newspapers in left hand.Model is wearing red suspenders.The image was shot with Hasselblad H4D So much for the death of the newspaper industry. A recent study found that more than 169 million U.S. adults read newspapers every month, in print, online or mobile. That’s almost 70 percent of the population. Why are readers and publishers alike embracing paid subscriptions for content services over ad-based business models? Read More

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Spotify reaches 50 million paying users

spotify black history month Thank you to our 50 million subscribers. #Spotify50 pic.twitter.com/eXkOV71bwu — Spotify (@Spotify) March 2, 2017 Spotify has reached a new milestone after it crossed 50 million paying users. The service is currently available in over 60 markets, with a total catalog of more than 30 million songs on off. The streaming firm clocked 40 million ‘Premium’ subscribers in… Read More

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SoundCloud revamps its subscription service with cheaper $4.99 option

soundcloud-money SoundCloud has rebooted its paid membership plan with a new budget option less than a year after it was first launched. The Swedish company today revealed a cheaper tier of $4.99 per month, down from the initial $9.99 subscription that it rolled out last March, in a bid to make its plans more appealing to users. The company isn’t abandoning that higher pricing, though, and it will… Read More

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Dubset raises $4M to legalize remixes for Spotify and Apple Music

dubset Record labels refuse to allow streaming of remixes and hour-long DJ sets unless copyright owners get paid for every little sample. Dubset just raised $4 million to handle that legal mess so Spotify and Apple Music can offer the type of music that used to live illegally on SoundCloud. Read More

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The mainstream media is not dead

Dewey Defeats Truman Newspaper The next decade will be one of immense change. The future of humanity will be decided – do we go to space or stay put, do we survive the changes coming? Further, many establishments will die. The publishing industry, burdened and drowned by the long tail, will sink. Music and movies will take new shapes, shapes as revolutionary as the talkie was to the zoetrope. Basically,… Read More

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Everyone is having a field day with news that Trump is skipping the Correspondents' Dinner

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President Donald Trump tweeted on Saturday that he won’t attend this year’s White House Correspondents’ Dinner for, uh, no reason. 

Maybe the White House foresaw that Trump’s skills might not lie in his comedy routines? Maybe Trump remembered how the last few dinners that mentioned him went? Or maybe he wanted to be the one to back out before every other media organization could cancel

I will not be attending the White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner this year. Please wish everyone well and have a great evening!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 25, 2017

Whatever the cause, Twitter was pretty happy:  Read more…

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Donald Trump makes history, bows out of White House Correspondents dinner

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Amid an ever-escalating war with the media, Donald Trump tweeted Saturday that he wouldn’t attend the White House Correspondents Association’s annual dinner. The dinner is an opportunity for a comedian to roast the press and the president, and for the president to roast everyone else. Trump’s absence would mark the first time in the event’s history a president has refused to attend. 

I will not be attending the White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner this year. Please wish everyone well and have a great evening!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 25, 2017

The president offered no explanation for the decision, but it’s not hard to chance a few guesses for his reasoning. Among the possibilities:  Read more…

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How to predict the president's next bogus tweet: Just watch Fox News

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Donald Trump’s obsession with live-tweeting his morning cable news binges has made his erratic timeline…incredibly, disconcertingly, comically predictable.

One Boston journalist proved it on Saturday morning, with his own impressively prophetic tweet.

David Bernstein was watching Fox and Friends when he saw guest Hermain Cain (Remember him? The Hermainator?) regurgitate a bogus stat—one clearly too tantalizing for our Twitter-egg-in-chief to resist amplifying.

Cain claimed, somewhat misleadingly, that the national debt decreased $12 billion during Trump’s first month in office,  compared to a $200 billion jump in the same time on Barack Obama’s watch. The talking point can be traced back to a sketchy right-wing blog known for peddling conspiraciesRead more…

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New York Times, CNN and other media barred from White House press event

The New York Times reports that it and at least two other media outlets, CNN and Politico, were barred today from a White House press event. Also locked out were the LA Times and Buzzfeed, writes Politico’s Dan Diamond.

Journalists from The New York Times and two other news organizations were prohibited from attending a briefing by President Trump’s press secretary on Friday, a highly unusual breach of relations between the White House and its press corps.

Reporters from The Times, CNN and Politico were not allowed to enter the West Wing office of the press secretary, Sean M. Spicer, for the scheduled briefing. Aides to Mr. Spicer allowed in reporters from only a handpicked group of news organizations that, the White House said, had been previously confirmed to attend.

It’s OK, though: Breitbart got in!

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Baidu’s iQiyi video service raises $1.53 billion

baidu Baidu is charging up its video content push after iQiyi, its YouTube-style service in China, raised $1.53 billion from the sale of convertible notes to investors. The deal appears to end speculation that the firm was mulling an IPO.
iQiyi, which had on offer to go independent fall through last year, raised the capital from a number of top-name investors including Hillhouse Capital, Boyu… Read More

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Another Trump diss gets some beautiful merch

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The sharp diss Donald Trump lobbed at a BBC editor on Thursday has been immortalized into a t-shirt, because why not, it’s 2017.

“Here’s another beauty” was the sarcastic quip an angry Trump threw at BBC North America Editor Jon Sopel during a press conference. When Sopel tried asking Trump a question about his blocked travel ban, he cut him off and asked what news outlet he was with. And the rest is history. 

Sopel swiftly defended the BBC to no avail: “That’s a good line,” Sopel said, trying to hold back as he defended his organization, saying “Impartial, free and fair.”

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Disney cuts ties with PewDiePie, YouTube’s top star, over anti-Semitic clips

PewDiePie Disney has cut ties with YouTube’s most popular star after he posted a series of videos featuring anti-Semitic clips and messages. PewDiePie has 53 million subscribers on YouTube, is part of original content network YouTube Red, and is affiliated with Disney’s MakerStudios brand, where he has his own network. But that latter relationship is now over after the Wall Street… Read More

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China is censoring social media less now—but it's not freedom

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China appears to be loosening its well-known vice-like grip on what can and cannot be said on Weibo (its version of Twitter), but don’t be fooled — it’s not easing up on censorship.

A team of researchers from Hong Kong, Sweden and the U.S. have found that the Communist Party seems to be deleting far fewer posts that it used to find objectionable.

Weibo is by far China’s most popular microblogging platform, and has some 297 million monthly active users.

The researchers published a paper detailing their analysis of 13.2 billion blog posts on Weibo over a five year period, from 2009 to 2013. Read more…

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The Washington Post hunts younger readers, launching on Snapchat Discover

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Snapchat just welcomed another news outlet to its exclusive content network. 

The Washington Post launched its first edition of Snapchat Discover Monday, bringing more political and breaking news coverage to the app ahead of its initial public offering

The Post, owned by Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, joins dozens of other media outlets looking for new revenue sources and younger audiences. 

The first edition featured an explanatory story on President Donald Trump’s travel ban, an exposé on pizza rat and a (very long) question-and-answer with Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway, among other  stories. Read more…

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Crunch Report: Prince returns to Spotify

cr-thumb-2-10 Today’s Stories 

Prince returns to Spotify and Napster this weekend
WhatsApp now supports two-step authentication
Amazon’s Tap speaker gets a hands-free update in defiance of its name
Beats X bring Apple’s wireless headphone tech to a tethered form factor

Credits
Written and hosted by: Anthony Ha
Edited by: Joe Zolnoski
Filmed by: Matthew Mauro
Teleprompter: Tomas… Read More

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A newspaper is going wild with its weather tweets and people don't know what to think

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It’s tough to get people excited about the weather.

And it’s even tougher in tropical Singapore, where it’s pretty much only wet or dry every day.

So the country’s national newspaper appears to have taken it upon itself to spice up its weather updates, by slipping in the odd quip and pop-culture reference:

Weather update: Thundery showers mainly over northern, eastern and central Singapore in the afternoon. Stay dry! Unless you’re a fish.

— The Straits Times (@STcom) January 16, 2017

Weather update: Thundery showers over many areas in the afternoon.
What often falls but never gets hurt? Rain.
Have a great day!

— The Straits Times (@STcom) January 18, 2017 Read more…

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Kickstarter acquires video streaming startup Huzza and opens a Vancouver office

screen-shot-2017-01-31-at-6-14-18-pm Couple of pieces of news out of Kickstarter headquarters this morning. First, the crowdfunding service has announced the acquisition of Canadian video streaming startup Huzza. The purchase follows a close collaboration between the two parties that led to the launch of Kickstarter Live back in November, a livestreaming feature with real time feedback designed to give creators a direct channel… Read More

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Digital media fell in love with Snapchat, and now Snapchat loves TV

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Three years ago, Nick Bell and a few colleagues at Snapchat stared at a wall of post-it notes. On them were the names of dozens of media outlets like People, Daily Mail, Billboard and The New York Times.

Snapchat wanted brands with strong voices that could connect with a 14 year old. It was up to Bell, formerly senior VP at News Corp., to convince publishers to see the light. 

That was the beginning of Discover, a network of media outlets that elevated Snapchat’s credibility as a company (from a sexting app to a lifestyle brand) in exchange for a new source of revenue for publishers desperate for eyeballs. Read more…

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Amazon nabs the first best picture Oscar nomination for a streaming service

manchesterbythesea_trailer Amazon has beat Netflix to a considerable honor for its efforts to create high-quality original film and TV content; the company picked up a nomination for best picture from the Oscars Tuesday, for Manchester by the Sea. The Casey Affleck and Michelle Williams-starrer was acquired by Amazon at Sundance last year, in a deal that saw Amazon Studios pay $10 million for the rights to the picture.… Read More

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Why this tech CEO is hopeful about the future of online publishing

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President Donald Trump is prompting a tirade against media outlets. Facebook, Twitter and Snapchat are clamoring for user attention and advertiser dollars in part by tying exclusive and extensive partnerships. 

It’s a confusing time to be a publisher as they wonder where best to place and how to format stories and, of course, whether or not everything is fact or an “alternative fact.” 

Mike McCue is one of those tech leaders hoping to assist publishers with their storytelling and their finances. His app Flipboard provides an audience of 100 million active users and a magazine-like format for mobile, tablet and desktop.  Read more…

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