Mobile Travel Technologies, a startup out of Ireland that is looking to be the mobile platform for the travel industry, has raised $5 million in funding. According to TechCrunch, the funding comes from DFJ Esprit.
Apple is expected to finally fix the fucking shift key when it releases iOS 9 later this year. It also plans to expand Apple Pay to Canada, improve its atrocious iMessage service, and bring the awfully-named “Force Touch” technology to a device that might be called the iPhone 6s. [Source: 9to5Mac]
Periscope, the live-streaming service Twitter released as an iPhone application earlier this year, has finally come to Android. The app was beaten to Google’s mobile platform by its primary competitor, Meerkat, earlier this month. [Source: The Verge]
Alarm.com has filed to raise $75 million through an initial public offering. The company offers a home security system, a smart thermostat, and home cameras through partners who lock consumers in with multi-year contracts. It’s not clear when it plans to go public, or on which exchange it will list. [Source: Fortune]
Microsoft has announced that its virtual assistant, Cortana, will be available on iPhone and Android when Windows 10 debuts later this year. The company also plans to build stronger connections between the mobile platforms and Windows with the release, which seems like a tacit admission that Windows Phone isn’t going to overthrow its competitors any time soon. [Source: The Windows Blog]
Charter has reached an agreement to acquire Time Warner Cable, which hoped to merge with Comcast before regulatory scrutiny put the kibosh on that deal, for $55 billion in cash and stock. The combined company would be the second-largest cable provider in the United States, behind Comcast. [Source: Bloomberg Business]
Jony Ive, the man who has designed Apple’s hardware products for almost two decades and its software products for three, has been promoted to chief design officer. Apple created this position specifically for Ive, who will hand off his managerial duties and focus on, well, designing things. [Source: 9to5Mac]
John Nash, the prize-winning mathematician who inspired the film “A Beautiful Mind,” died yesterday in a car crash at age 86. In a recent interview with British filmmaker Adam Curtis for his BBC series “The Trap,” Nash essentially disowned his influential Cold War theories on equilibrium as symptoms of his paranoid-schizophrenic delusions. [Source: “The Trap: What Happened to Our Dream of Freedom”]
Expedia has sold its 62.4 percent stake in eLong, a Chinese travel firm, for $671 million. One of eLong’s competitors, Ctrip.com, is now said to own around 37 percent of the company. [Source: GeekWire]
May 25, 2015
Many of the companies under [the sharing economy] umbrella, like labor marketplace TaskRabbit, don’t involve ‘sharing” anything other than labor. If TaskRabbit is part of the sharing economy, then so is every other worker in America.
Nobody wants to step off a plane, wander through an airport, then wait in line for a taxi. Yet many airports are struggling to support on-demand services like Uber because they take up extra space, require them to pay more for insurance, and otherwise complicate a delicate system. [Source: The New York Times]
Google is reportedly working on a new Photos application that brings its image-backup service out of the moribund Google+ social network. The new app is expected to feature streamlined editing tools, a new design, and other updates that will allow it to thrive as a standalone service. [Source: Android Police]
The National Security Agency will end its bulk phone records collection on June 1 even though the USA Freedom Act, which would have curtailed the agency’s surveillance capabilities, failed to pass in the Senate. [Source: The Guardian]
Amazon will no longer funnel its European revenues through Luxembourg to take advantage of the country’s low corporate tax rates. Instead, it will report revenues in the appropriate countries — beginning with Italy, Germany, the United Kingdom, and Spain — and pay them the appropriate taxes. [Source: The Wall Street Journal]