TechSummit Rewind 172

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

Apple Watch apps for Amazon, eBay, Google Maps disappear

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According to AppleInsider, the iOS apps for Amazon, eBay, and Google Maps no longer include support for the Apple Watch.

President Trump launching tech group to “transform & modernize” U.S. government

U.S. President Donald Trump plans to meet with top technology executives in early June to discuss ways to modernize the federal government.

The meeting is part of a new effort, dubbed the American Technology Council, commissioned by Trump in an executive order. It aims to bring leading government officials together with Silicon Valley’s brightest to “Transform and modernize” the federal bureaucracy and “how it uses and delivers information.”

Leading the council will be Chris Liddell, a former Microsoft executive tapped by Trump in the early days of his presidency to work with the private sector.

However, the other permanent government members of the American Technology Council aren’t yet clear.

Twitter launches a dozen new shows in effort to topple traditional TV

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Twitter is working hard to find mass market footing that makes money, and it believes that video is the answer. On the heels of announcing a 24/7 streaming video service with Bloomberg, Twitter has announced live programming from nearly a dozen partners like Live Nation, BuzzFeed, and the WNBA.

Here’s a breakdown of the lineup:

  • WNBA: Starting later this month, the WNBA will live stream a weekly regular-season game on Twitter (20 per season) during the 2017, 2018, and 2019 seasons.
  • MLB: In addition to weekly live games on Twitter, a new three-hour weekly program will live stream exclusively on the site. The whip-around show will feature live game look-ins and highlights, and deliver top moments and discuss MLB storylines as they trend in real time.
  • STADIUM: A new, original, fully programmed, 24/7 linear experience that will stream live on Twitter in the coming months. The network will integrate exclusive live college sporting events, extensive highlights, classic games, and daily live studio programming.
  • The Players’ Tribune: #Verified, a modern forum for athletes to directly connect with fans, will be a live show that features athletes answering fan questions and sharing their insight, reactions, and timely takes on important topics on and off the field. The series will debut in the coming months and will feature regular interviews from some of the most popular players across sports.
  • PGA Tour: Building on the current live stream relationship that features more than 70 hours of live competition coverage across 31 tournaments, the tour will live stream 360-degree video of the 17th hole at TPC Sawgrass during the Players Championship (from May 11-14) on Periscope and Twitter.
  • The Verge: Circuit Breaker: The Verge’s Gadget Show is a live program that’ll review and experiment with the hottest gadgets everyone wants right now, and the weirdest ones you’ll want tomorrow, hosted by site editor-in-chief Nilay Patel.
  • BuzzFeed News: MorningFeed, a new morning news and current events show, will reach an audience that wakes up hungry for the latest “fire Tweets.” Hosts will bring memes and news to the audience wherever they are from reporters on the field and special guests on set.
  • Cheddar: Cheddar’s hour-long Opening Bell will stream live weekdays at 9 am ET from the New York Stock Exchange, beginning now. This expands on their Closing Bell show at 3 pm ET that’s aired on Twitter since October.
  • Live Nation: Select Live Nation concerts and original content will stream live. The concert series starts May 13 with a live stream of the Zac Brown Band kicking off their 2017 tour in their hometown of Atlanta. Train, The Man, August Alsina, and Marian Hill will also live-stream shows. Additional artists will be announced.
  • IMG Fashion: IMG Fashion will launch a live content program with exclusive runway shows and behind-the-scenes Fashion Week content live from New York, Milan, Paris, London, and beyond in September.
  • Propagate: #WhatsHappening is a new live, daily, entertainment-driven primetime show on everything in the world that embraces Twitter’s conversation.

Facebook hires head of news products to help fight fake news

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Facebook has promoted Alex Hardiman to become its head of news products.

Hardiman will work with publishers to create news features, and also try to stop the proliferation of false news on the service.

She joined Facebook last summer from the New York Times, where Hardiman led mobile and news products like its mobile news app, according to a Facebook post.

Hardiman will work with publishers to help build “storytelling formats,” like Facebook’s Instant Articles product, and will also try to “continue curbing the spread of false news” on Facebook.

Hardiman will start her new role in June and work in Facebook’s New York office under Fidji Simo, Facebook’s VP in charge of news and video.

Airbnb, HomeAway settle suit with San Francisco over short-term rental law

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Home sharing platforms Airbnb and HomeAway have settled with the city of San Francisco over a lawsuit the companies filed, challenging the short-term rental law put in place two years ago. Under the agreement, the legal challenge has been dismissed and will result in the creation of a registration system for local hosts.

“We have successfully defended San Francisco’s common-sense regulations on short-term rental. This agreement helps protect the city’s precious housing supply by obligating these companies to ensure that all their listings are legal and properly registered.”

-Dennis Herrera, San Francisco City Attorney

He called the action a “game changer,” in a statement.

With the settlement, both home sharing companies will implement a registry in San Francisco. At this point, it doesn’t seem like it will impact others outside of the city’s limit. According to Airbnb, the creation and rollout of this system will take about eight months and will roll out in phases. Information provided through this system will be directed to San Francisco’s Office for Short-Term Rentals “for consideration” and the City Attorney’s office said that it will simplify the process for hosts.

Every month, both home-sharing platforms will give the city a list of all San Francisco listings to help verify whether a unit is registered or not. Any listing deemed to have an invalid registration will have all future stays canceled and be deactivated upon notice from the city.

“While we continue to work through the details of the registration process in the coming weeks, we will ensure you have the latest information. Please know that none of your private information will be shared with the City without your consent, however every host on our platform in San Francisco will have to register by the end of the implementation period in order to continue hosting.”

-Airbnb, in a statement

There are currently 2,100 registered short-term rental hosts in San Francisco, according to the city.

Airbnb and HomeAway have 120 days to require new hosts to be registered and 240 days to add existing hosts.

“This will be a powerful deterrent for those tempted to illegally convert the city’s housing stock into mini hotels. For those who have been turning badly needed rent-controlled units into vacation spots, that is coming to an end once and for all.”

-Dennis Herrera

IAC to buy Angie’s List for over $500M

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IAC has bought consumer-recommendation website Angie’s List for over $500M and intends to combine the business with its own HomeAdvisor network and create a new publicly traded company.

Under the deal, Angie’s List investors can choose to get either one Class A common share of the new company or $8.50 in cash for each share they own – with the cash payout capped at $130 million, according to a statement from IAC. The new company will be called ANGI Homeservices Inc.

IAC will own between 87 and 90 percent of the new company, depending on the number of investors that take the cash payout.

Angie’s List and HomeAdvisor connect consumers to home service providers in your community.

“What Angie’s List adds is fuel on both sides of the marketplace. That improves that service experience – consumers get faster and higher-quality responses.”

-Joey Levin, IAC CEO

Levin wants to turn ANGI Homeservices into the next large on-demand online marketplace. Currently, the combined businesses have four percent of the home services market.

Right now, HomeAdvisor can match customers with service professional in minutes in some regions and categories. According to Levin, adding Angie’s List will improve response times in more areas.

HomeAdvisor is IAC’s fastest-growing division, with revenue growing 38 percent to $499 million last year. Meanwhile, user growth has stalled at Angie’s, with the company missing revenue estimates for eight straight quarters.

The deal is slated to be done by the end of the year, with IAC expected to be able to cut annual costs by $100 million to $250 million by the end of 2018. Job cuts are likely, though rapid growth at HomeAdvisor leaves plenty of positions open for Angie’s List employees. HomeAdvisor’s current CEO Chris Terrill will head the new company, with Angie’s List CEO Scott Durchslag remaining at least until the deal closes.

 

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