Mobile Rewards Startup Lootsie Hires Steve Cho As Its First COO

lootsie Lootsie, a startup that allows advertisers to present mobile app users with special rewards, announced today that it has hired its first chief operating officer, Steve Cho. Cho previously worked in sales at IBM, and he was most recently vice president of business development at Kiip — which is pretty much in the same business as Lootsie. He said it was “a difficult decision”… Read More

Ravens Owner Fires Back at ESPN’s Ray Rice Report

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Baltimore Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti fired back at an ESPN report from Friday that that probed into how the team and the NFL handled their investigation of Ray Rice after the running back knocked out his then-fiancée in a casino elevator in February

On Monday, Bisciotti alleged that the bombshell report botched or left out important details. Bisciotti appeared before reporters at a press conference in Baltimore, while the team released a long statement attempting to refute parts of the ESPN story, point by point

The lengthy piece was written by two of ESPN's most respected reporters, Kevin Van Valkenburg and Don Van Natta Jr.; the latter is a two-time Pulitzer Prize-winner. The piece appeared to damn the Ravens and the NFL by their actions over the past several months. The Ravens, according to ESPN, engaged in an extended effort of "misinformation and misdirection" to get Rice off easy — then abandoned him in the blink of an eye once that proved impossible. The NFL, according to the report, participated in some of this either willfully or by dint of sheer incompetence Read more...

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Samsung’s Answer to the iPhone 6 Debuts in the U.S. This Week

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The Samsung Galaxy Alpha, which is the company's answer to the iPhone in terms of both looks and specs, is officially launching in the United States later this month, exclusively at AT&T.

First announced in August, the metal-framed phone (a departure from Samsung's plastic offerings) will be available online and from AT&T retailers beginning on Sept. 26, starting at about $200 with a two-year contract, the company said on Monday.

The svelte Galaxy Alpha has a 4.7-inch HD display, which is the same size as the iPhone 6. The screen is on the smaller side compared to the other Samsung option — the Galaxy S5 clocks in at 5.1 inches — and the 5.5-inch iPhone 6 Plus. It runs on KitKat, the latest Android mobile operating system. Read more...

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First Tizen Phone Now Expected in India

Samsung’s postponed Tizen Linux-based smartphone is now heading for a launch in India by the end of the year, reports India’s Economic Times. Everybody, it seems, wants a piece of the Indian smartphone market. The latest company with plans to jump headlong into South Asia is Samsung, which aims to...

Amazon Looking To The Wisdom Of Crowds To Find New Authors

754px-Bookspine According to a Kindle Direct Publishing forum user, Amazon is quietly rolling out a way to find diamonds in the proverbial publishing rough. The unnamed project would bring a crowd approach to the acquisition of new titles using a voting system that ranks new books based on crowd favorites. The forum posting notes that some KDP authors (essentially indie authors using the platform) have… Read More

Reports say Apple may bring changes to Beats Music streaming service

Beats' message upon acquisition; unclear if sunsetting Beats Music was on the table at the time.

Dueling reports from TechCrunch and Recode Monday suggest that Apple is likely to bring changes to Beats Music, the streaming music service owned by Beats Audio. TechCrunch cites five anonymous sources from both Beats and Apple as saying that Apple plans to shut the service down, but Recode cites Apple spokesperson Tom Neumayr as saying TechCrunch's report is "not true," and that while the brand may fade away, Apple will keep it around and "modify it over time."

Apple originally acquired Beats Audio back in May, and the company has remained fairly quiet about the future it sees for the company's various components. Beats Music was mentioned exactly once during Apple's September iPhone and Apple Watch event, and a Beats Music app was notably absent from the Apple Watch interface that debuted there.

TechCrunch writes that Beats Music CEO Ian Rogers was put in charge of iTunes Radio back in August and has been "splitting his time" between the two services. Apple does not currently offer à la carte streaming service like Beats Music; one possible course of action would be to roll the service's functionality into iTunes to make it more directly competitive with Spotify and Rdio. Recode's story fits with this approach a bit more: the site writes that "Apple won't shutter the streaming service," but may change it, and one of those changes may be to alter its branding.

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‘Winter Is Coming': Richard Stengel Warns of a Bleak 2030

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Richard Stengel has a bleak vision of the world's future — so bleak, in fact, he compared it to Westeros

During Monday's Social Good Summit, the under secretary for public diplomacy and public affairs provided a dystopian outlook for 2030 — in contrast to the optimistic visions several other panelists presented — in hopes of mobilizing today's youth to get more involved and start preparing for the future as soon as possible

"Winter is coming," Stengel said, quoting the famous House Stark motto from Game of Thrones

The under secretary for public diplomacy and public affairs is the third-ranking position in the Department of State after secretary and deputy Read more...

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Google stops malicious advertising campaign that could have reached millions

Google shut down malicious Web attacks coming from a compromised advertising network on Friday. The move follows a security firm's analysis that found the ad platform, Zedo, serving up advertisements that attempted to infect the computers of visitors to major websites.

In an attack that ended early Friday morning, visitors to Last.fm, The Times of Israel, and The Jerusalem Post ran the risk of their computers becoming infected as Zedo redirected visitors' systems to malicious servers. Because the advertisements hosted on Zedo's servers were distributed through Google's Doubleclick, the attack reached millions of potential victims, Jerome Segura, senior security researcher at Malwarebytes Labs, told Ars.

Distributing malware through legitimate advertising networks, a technique known as "malvertising," has become an increasingly popular way to compromise the systems of consumers and workers alike.

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