TechSummit Rewind 171

This is the TechSummit Rewind, a daily recap of the top technology headlines.

Unroll.me CEO “heartbroken” that users upset data sold to Uber

Unroll.me has responded to a New York Times report that the email decluttering service was selling user data to Uber to help the company gain insight on when customers were switching between its service and its competitor, Lyft. According to the NYT, Unroll.me collected Lyft receipts from users’ inboxes and passed that information along to Uber for an undisclosed fee.

Naturally, users were upset. Unroll.me attempted damage control by posting an apology to its blog on Sunday:

“It was heartbreaking to see that some of our users were upset to learn about how we monetize our free service.”

-Jojo Hedaya, Unroll.me CEO

According to Hedaya, the terms of service and privacy policy were written in “plain-English” but the company could do better to be more transparent.

Users fired back in the comments, calling the note a non-apology and demanding to have their collected data destroyed upon deleting their accounts. Unroll.me has yet to respond to that request.

We will continue to follow up on this story, and bring updates as they come.

Twitch opens up revenue generation for thousands of non-Partnered channels

twitch_logo_purple

Twitch has launched a new Affiliate program that lets non-partnered streamers gain access to a variety of tools that will help them make money from their channels, even without Partner status.

The first of these tools is Cheering with Bits, an one-time microtransaction where viewers can purchase Bits with real-world funds. These Bits can then be used in chat messages as a way to support your favorite streamers. As you cheer, you earn Chat Badges for the channel to have that support recognized on a broader level.

Bits are equal to one cent and both Partners and Affiliates earn the same amount when they are used.

The Affiliate program is essentially a second tier of streamers on the platform, giving more creators the ability to grow their channels.

Parnters, meanwhile, will have specific tools for managing their communities that won’t be available to Affiliates. They’ll also have a new Verified Chat Badge to further designate their status.

According to Twitch, Affiliates will be invited based on a number of criteria, including time spent streaming, viewership figures, and follower count.

“The bar is very low and essentially requires just streaming on a regular basis and a very small number of viewers.”

-A Twitch spokesperson

Eventually, Twitch says that affiliates will gain access to other features like subscriptions, game commerce, and advertising.

The company says that “tens of thousands” of non-Partnered channels will be invited to participate.

LinkedIn hits 500M member milestone

The logo for LinkedIn Corporation is pictured in Mountain View

LinkedIn has now passed 500 million registered users in 200 countries on its platform, up from 467 million members as of its last quarterly report in October.

That’s in line with previous growth, since the company reported 34 million new users in the period between April and October 2016.

The Microsoft-owned social network will also soon let users start seeing a new dashboard and information about people in your network in the “My Network” tab – where you also go to add new connections and accept invites from others. To get people to visit that tab a little more often, LinkedIn is now going to feed you stats about people you know on the site. According to a company representative, this will include lists of who is the most connected in your network, who has the most mutual connections and interactions with you, who was your first connection, and so on.

We also got some more information on who is using the site, and what’s on it. There are now over 10 million jobs listed on the site, more than nine million companies, and over 100,000 business articles published each week.

According to the company, the United Arab Emirates is the most connected country and London is the most connected city. HR and staffing/recruiting jobs are the most connected job function and industry on LinkedIn.

Netflix to raise $1B through debt offering to fund new content, ‘strategic transactions’

Earns Netflix

Netflix plans to raise $1 billion through a senior note debt offering for “general corporate purposes,” which includes “content acquisitions, capital expenditures, investments, working capital and potential acquisitions, and strategic transactions,” according to the company.

Google partners with Yi Technology for VR camera rig

Yi Halo

Chinese company Yi Technology is expanding into the world of VR and 360-degree video with two new cameras being announced at the NAB conference in Las Vegas. One is for professionals – called the Yi Halo made in partnership with Google. The other is a consumer spherical camera called the Yi 360 VR.

The Yi Halo is a $17,999 17-camera monster capable of shooting stereoscopic video in 8K resolution at 30 frames per second, or 5.8K at 60 frames per second. It was built to work with Jump, the high-end VR creation platform that Google launched in 2015.

Yi is just the second company to build a rig for the platform after GoPro launched the 16-camera Odyssey last year. Yi is also using modified versions of its 4K action camera to make up the Halo.

 

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