Udemy, an “online learning marketplace,” has released an iPad app that offers access to the company’s 5,000 courses. The app itself is free, and there are both free and paid courses available for download.
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]
“Yes, the President of the United States might have an entire division of highly trained agents dedicated to protecting his life, and one of the world’s most competent social media teams. But on the internet, chaos reigns — for good, for ill. No mass of mere meat-power can hold the barricades. Maybe the next press conference will give us an official White House position on block lists.”
ICANN president and chief executive Fadi Chehadé has announced that he will be leaving the organization for the private sector in March 2016. Chehadé has been an advocate for separating his organization, which controls the Internet’s naming system, from the United States government. [Source: ICANN]
AdultFriendFinder has been hacked, and information about some 4 million users’ email addresses, dates of birth, IP addresses, and postal codes were compromised. The hack will also reveal someone’s sexual orientation, and whether or not they were using the service to cheat on a spouse. Much of this data has already been made available to spammers. [Source: The Guardian]
HP’s plan to split into HP Inc. (which will focus on consumer products like printers and personal computers) and Hewlett-Packard Enterprises (which will focus on, you know, enterprise products) is expected to cost between $400 million and $450 million. That cost will be split evenly between the split companies, according to HP chief executive Meg Whitman. [Source: Fortune]
Everyone’s second-or third-favorite search engine is building a new index for apps and “app actions.” In turn, Bing is asking developers to implement two standards — app links and Schema.org’s “action vocabulary” — so it can discover all the information buried inside their mobile applications. [Source: Bing]
In what many consider a precursor to a public offering, Uber is said to be seeking a $1 billion credit line from “six or seven” banks. The company has raised more than $5 billion in debt and equity since it was founded, and it’s reportedly looking to raise even more soon. [Source: The Wall Street Journal]