Tag Archives: Ars Technica

Pandora makes $450M acquisition so it can sell you live music tickets

photo: Ars Technica

Pandora has already been slowly dipping into the live music market. In the press release today, the company boasts of helping bands like The Rolling Stones and ODESZA sell out shows during recent tours. And as streaming sites and musicians alike struggle to solve the big question of artists’ compensation, live music performance has been one surefire way of maintaining a business. Ticketfly and Pandora maintain that many artists today earn over 80 percent of their revenue from touring, resulting in North American ticket sales growing 22 percent alone in the last year. – Nathan Mattise, Ars Technica

Man builds house, then finds out cable Internet will cost $117,000

photo: Cole Marshall, Ars Technica

Cole Marshall had been looking for land to buy starting in 2012, and found the nearly 1-acre lot he’d ultimately purchase in 2013. The property is just outside the city limits of Sun Prairie, a city of about 30,000 residents, but has a Sun Prairie address and zip code. “We’re surrounded by fields, so technically you’d call it rural,” Marshall said. The city is expanding, though, and “eventually there’s going to be plenty of houses.” Despite not being in a densely populated area, Marshall said the lot was advertised as “cable-ready.” Before committing to the purchase, Marshall said, “I looked on Charter’s website, and I typed in the address of the lot, and it said, ‘yep, we can service you.’” – Jon Brodkin, Ars Technica

RIAA chief says DMCA is “largely useless” to combat music piracy

photo: Jeremy Yoder/Flickr, Ars Technica

Copyright law provides a ‘notice and takedown’ system theoretically intended to deal with such theft,” he said. “In exchange for a legal ‘safe harbor’ from liability, online service providers must deal with instances of theft occurring on their site or network when notified. Unfortunately, while the system worked when isolated incidents of infringement occurred on largely static web pages—as was the case when the law was passed in 1998—it is largely useless in the current world where illegal links that are taken down reappear instantaneously. The result is a never-ending game that is both costly and increasingly pointless. – CEO Cary Sherman, RIAA via David Kravets, Ars Technica

Twitch’s hypocritical nudity policy shows it’s out of touch with the modern world

photo: Rinse & Repeat, Ars Technica UK

Streaming service Twitch.tv, home of video game streamers the world over, has recently come under fire for banning the quirky Rinse & Repeat, a shower simulation game about various aspects of gay culture that contains its fair share of sexual content. In the game, players take on the role of a man showering with an aviator shade-wearing gay sex icon, and, well, washing him. You can only wash said sex icon at different times of the week, which the developer says is intended to demonstrate the joys of “delayed gratification.” It’s also worth pointing out that while nude, the characters in the game have their penises pixelated out. – Mark Walton, Ars Technica

Songwriter says he made $5,679 from 178 million Spotify streams

Meghan Trainor, Youtube

That means Nashville songwriter Kevin Kadish, the co-writer of the hit 2014 Meghan Trainor song “All About That Bass,” made close to $31.90 for every million streams. According to a report by The Tennessean, Kadish didn’t clarify to the roundtable’s five members of the House of Representatives exactly how the songwriting proceeds were split between himself and Trainor (who shared songwriting credits on “Bass”), but he did allege that the average streaming-service payout for a song’s songwriting team is roughly $90 per million streams. – Sam Machkovech, Ars Technica

Tennessee explains why it should be able to limit city-run ISPs

photo: Aurich Lawson

In Tennessee, the Electric Power Board (EPB) of Chattanooga offers Internet and video service to residents, but state law prevented it from expanding outside its electric service area to adjacent towns that have poor Internet service. Tennessee is one of about twenty states that impose some type of restriction on municipal broadband networks, which protects private Internet service providers from competition. – Jon Brodkin, Ars Technica

Comcast raises prices just as CEO says “you can’t raise the price forever”

photo: Comcast, Ars Technica

“You can’t keep raising the price forever,” [CEO Brian Roberts] said, referring to cable bundles. While content prices are driving up pay-TV bills, Roberts added that “these things have a way of correcting and balancing out before something draconian happens.” […] Entry-level rates are getting bigger increases, about 4.5 percent for TV and Internet service, The Oregonian reported last week. “The cost of Comcast’s standard, 140-channel Digital Starter package is rising by $3.25 a month to $75.74,” the newspaper wrote. “The cost of its standard Performance Internet service is increasing by $3 a month, to $69.95; the company’s rate cards indicate speeds will climb from 50 to 75 megabits per second.” – Jon Brodkin, Ars Technica

TiVo’s new patent creed: Even Samsung’s cell phones infringe our DVR patents

photo: cncphotos, Flickr

In the lawsuit, TiVo makes the claim that Samsung’s mobile devices infringe the patents it once only applied to DVRs. Because Samsung phones are “specifically designed and configured with hardware and software components that allow for the simultaneous storage and playback of movies, videos, television shows, and other multimedia content,” they must be made to pay royalties, TiVo argues. – Joe Mullin, Ars Technica

Netflix “NightShift” caches shows on your home network to boost speed

photo: Aterlo Networks

Aterlo Networks Inc.’s “NightShift” service could theoretically help anyone with slow home Internet connections access high-definition Netflix video. But Aterlo is primarily targeting it at satellite Internet customers who have to abide by strict data caps during the day and evening hours when most people watch streaming video. […] Though satellite services have small monthly data caps, they allow customers to download more data in the middle of the night when most people are asleep. For example, ViaSat’s Exede Internet service has monthly caps of just 12GB to 30GB, but it allows unmetered usage for five hours each night, either from midnight to 5am or 3am to 8am. That’s when NightShift does its work, downloading shows and caching them on your home network so they can be watched the next day without interruption or fear of exceeding data caps, Aterlo says. – Jon Brodkin, Ars Technica

Popcorn Time lawsuits continue as 16 are sued for watching Survivor

photo: Court Documents

The lawsuit, entitled Survivor Productions Inc. v. Anonymous Users of Popcorn Time (Does 1-16), targets 16 Comcast subscribers who allegedly used the app to watch Survivor—not the reality series, but a thriller starring Pierce Brosnan released earlier this year. Lawsuits over BitTorrent piracy of non-pornographic content are rare to begin with. Survivor Productions now joins Voltage Pictures in being one of just a few movie studios willing to pursue individual downloaders over copyright claims. – Joe Mullin, Ars Technica
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