A new streaming video service called HitBliss, launching in beta Friday after being in development for about five years, aims at users with more time than money: Users who sit through targeted ads receive funds that they can redeem for new streaming movies and TV shows. The company is launching with content from The CW, Universal, Paramount, Starz Media and the Weinstein Company.
Governor Rick Snyder of Michigan said today that he will in fact appoint an emergency financial manager for the city of Detroit. He said he has a candidate in mind but did not name that candidate.
Detroit Mayor Dave Bing said yesterday that the governor would announce his decision today without saying what that decision would be.
The emergency financial manager will be in charge of Detroit’s budget for 18 months according to a report in the Detroit Free Press.
The latest unemployment data (PDF) from Europe have more scary news: a "lost generation" of unemployed young people continues to grow. While fewer than 10% of Germans under age 25 are unemployed, a full 62% of young Greeks are out of work, 55% of young Spaniards don't have jobs, and 38.7% of young Italians aren't employed. Italy (38.7%) surpassed Portugal (38.6%) in this measure for the first time in January 2013.
Mobile carriers have been fighting against so-called over-the-top (OTT) communications apps for quite some time now. These are generally third-party apps we're talking about here, that are called "OTT" because they run on top of the carriers' data services.
The carriers hate OTT apps because – they claim – they don't make any money off them. This is nonsense, of course: when they're not being blocked or throttled by the operators, the use of these apps drives the sales of new devices, and of the data services themselves.
BlackBerry's(s bbry) new platform and phone are getting the first software update since launching. Customers with a Z10 handset either have, or will soon have, a 150 MB over-the-air software package that betters five different functions of the newest BlackBerry handset. The company says that some carriers are already delivering the new software and that it's working with others to make the update available soon.
Disruptive technology is butting up against the tangled web of financial regulation once again, with the state of Illinois ordering Square to stop all of its business there and pay hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines.
"We've been in close contact with the Illinois Division of Financial Institutions for several months and are addressing their concerns," a spokesperson for Square, which is based in San Francisco, California, just told us by email.