Across 2017, Google heavily promoted its Pixel phone brand. Despite being lauded as being "the world’s most valuable brand" and its status as the world’s largest purveyor of advertising, all of Google’s global efforts, including DoubleClick and YouTube, resulted in inconsequential Pixel sales. Worse than its failure to sell hardware is the fact that Google has proven that its advertising simply isn’t very effective. AppleInsider – Frontpage News
Boot Camp will add a partition on-the-fly to your system drive, but there are some things that can stand in the way of that process. AppleInsider explains how to fix most of the issues preventing you from setting up that partition, if the assistant throws you the failure to partition error. AppleInsider – Frontpage News
For a system that is meant to be used while you’re in a car, Android Auto has a few too many bugs. One of the most recent ones that has arisen is Android Auto’s intermittent failure to even start when you get in the car and plug your phone in. Google has addressed this issue and says that the fix will be rolling out with the next security patch.
For some, Android Auto just isn’t starting at times when the user’s phone is plugged into their car.
After working hard to dismiss iPhone X as too expensive, AirPods as a very minor success and HomePod as far-off vaporware missing the window of opportunity afforded to smart speakers, the low-paid writers hired by the Associated Press, Bloomberg, CNET and Reuters to fill the gaps that regular staff can’t get to are again converging on Las Vegas to depict the really big prototype TV concepts of CES as being potentially affordable, commercially significant at some point in the future–and anything but vaporware. AppleInsider – Frontpage News
Spotify has been hit with a $ 1.6 billion lawsuit for allegedly using artists’ music without a license or compensation, according to recently filed court documents.
The suit was filed against the music streaming giant in a California court last Friday by Wixen Music Publishing. The Calabasas, California-based Wixen represents high-profile artists ranging from The Black Keys to Tom Petty, among about 200 others.
Wixen argues that Spotify, “in a race to be first to market” in the U.S., didn’t put forth enough effort to identify the actual holders of the rights to the songs it licenses from record labels. Wixen’s lawsuit alleges that Spotify has been using “thousands of songs” without the correct license.
The lawsuit centers around the fact that, according to the U.S. Copyright Act, there are two separate copyrights for recorded songs. One for the actual audio recording, and another for the musical composition, which comprises the song’s musical notation and lyrics. Wixen is claiming that Spotify only has the licenses for the sound recordings, and not for the musical compositions.
There are, in fact, more than 10,000 songs listed in the lawsuit, including Tom Petty’s “Free Falling,” Rage Against the Machine’s “Calm Like A Bomb,” and others. Wixen is seeking the maximum award possible for each song under the Copyright Act — $ 150,000 — CNNreported on Wednesday.
The streaming giant has long been at the center of a dispute over streaming rights compensation, and how it is split between record labels and publishing companies. Wixen’s lawsuit comes on the heels of a $ 43 million settlement with publishers and songwriters proposed by Spotify in May 2017.
Spotify is also currently facing three other lawsuits filed by songwriters and publishers in Tennessee, Variety reported. For those suits, the accusers are alleging that Spotify used songs without paying royalties to the appropriate parties.
The Wixen lawsuit is only the latest roadblock for Spotify, and it mars the company’s recently cemented plans to go public on the New York Stock Exchange, according to Rolling Stone. The streaming giant is currently valued at $ 19 billion and is expected to list its shares on the NYSE sometime this year.
Imagine this. You’ve created an awesome product that has the potential to disrupt an industry and make a lot of money. You deliver a rock-solid pitch to investors. They say they love your product. It has the potential to deliver 10x returns. They say they want to invest in it, but there’s a catch: “I’d invest if only you had a cofounder on your team with a beard” “Come sit on my lap. Let’s chat more.” “Let’s talk about doing a deal once we get upstairs to my hotel room.” “Tell me about your personal life. Are you in a…
If one of the best-run restaurant groups in the country walks away with a 12 percent margin, imagine your how your local restaurant is doing.
Americans will spend $ 260 billion on takeout this year — and most savvy restaurant owners understand that, as so many consumers place orders via mobile, offering digital ordering is a must for a successful run. That’s why giants like Grubhub, Seamless and UberEats have popped up, promising to work with restaurants to deliver their food to hungry paying customers.
But the thorn in the side of this burgeoning market is the business model — because, frankly, it’s not sustainable. The majority of restaurants already operate on some pretty thin margins, and building their businesses atop the shoulders of the delivery industry is only a recipe for failure.
Let me tell you about the delivery industry today. While it may seem like it’s in its relative infancy — thanks to increased attention on the first string of venture capital-backed upstarts — delivery has been around for decades. The only difference is that restaurants handled it on their own, employing a small fleet of couriers to run pizzas to family homes in their private vehicles. We’ve all seen the Honda Civic with the glowing “Domino’s” sign on top.
To their credit, companies like Postmates, Grubhub, and UberEats recognized the potential for overhaul. Most restaurants have a hard enough time staying in business as it is (something like 80 percent of restaurants fail in the first five years) — if someone could come in and handle a difficult section of the business for them, why would they say no?
That was a few years ago. Now these delivery companies have built their businesses on the backs of restaurants, gaining billions of dollars in from venture capital firms to provide courier services, customer acquisition and advertising.
But today, the system is in a dangerous place.
Something’s gotta give
Recently, at the TechTable Summit in New York, Kevin Boehm, co-founder of Boka Restaurant Group (they’re behind some of the most successful spots in Chicago) spoke about just how severe this issue really is.
According to Boehm, unlike many establishments in the country, Boka Group actually owns many of the properties at all of their restaurants and thus have very few real estate costs. Despite this, the group’s profit margins are around 12 percent — which isn’t much. If one of the best-run restaurant groups in the country walks away with a 12 percent margin, imagine your how your local restaurant is doing.
The tech companies behind delivery aren’t doing any better. If fact, their margins are much worse. UberEats, which The New York Times recently called the “surprise success of Uber,” is only profitable in 27 of the 108 cities where it’s offered — meaning they are actively losing money in approximately 70 percent of their markets. That’s with Uber taking 30 percent to 40 percent of every order from the restaurant and charging the customer a $ 5 delivery fee.
So with profitability in, let’s say, 30 percent of their markets, money has to come from somewhere. To date the negative margins have been covered by investor dollars — but when that money runs out and relationships become fraught, something has to give. The combination of an industry that has very thin margins (restaurant) with an industry that has upside down margins (delivery) is not a wise nor healthy combination.
Ultimately, with restaurants having no margin to spare and delivery companies like Uber, Postmates, and DoorDash all losing money while charging higher and higher fees, we’re on a path that will end badly for many. The current situation is not sustainable.
Where do we go from here?
Delivery is most successful when localized. Restaurants with their own drivers — or contracting with smaller local courier companies — can better control their businesses and aren’t forced to pay unnecessary fees. And with a rise in minimum wage coming Jan. 1, this could very well be the “straw that will break the delivery industry’s back,” as it were.
Restaurant delivery was never designed to become a standalone multibillion-dollar industry. The recent delivery model has only been sustainable up until this point thanks to venture capital money. Now investor appetite for funding delivery companies is going away, just as courier wages are going up.
As the foundation starts to crumble, restaurants and the people who love them need to be prepared for what’s to come. Operational costs and commissions are going up, and these delivery companies will need to offset costs somewhere — most likely, that will look like hiking up customer delivery fees. If we’re not prepared to pay the price, we’ll have to become our own delivery drivers.
And for the restaurants grappling with this market — be wary of building too much of your business on the shoulders of these venture capital-fueled delivery companies. Because eventually, they will run out of gas.
Chris Webb is the CEO of ChowNow, an online ordering system and marketing platform for restaurants. At just 19 years old, his interest in markets and trading led him to start his career at Bear Stearns and then Lehman Brothers. While working in the financial sector, Webb made a founding investment in the now popular Tender Greens restaurant chain in Southern California. His experience with Tender Greens brought to light the gap in the market for online ordering solutions for local groups and independent restaurants. From that discovery came ChowNow, which today powers online ordering at more than 9,000 restaurants across the country and recently launched its own app. Reach him @ChrisChowNow.
Microsoft has learned a lot of very hard lessons over the last couple of decades, and it continues to surprise and annoy me that other firms seem to have the suicidal tendency to learn the same lessons the hard way. My view is that it is far better and cheaper to avoid the mistakes of others, but firms like Apple, Google and, most recently, Sony seem to want to cherry-pick past Microsoft disasters and experience them first hand. The latest issue has to do with interoperability and millennials. TechNewsWorld
Airline glitches and the ensuing pandemonium are nothing new, but they've just hit one of the world's largest travel hubs. British Airways has suffered a global IT system failure so serious that it cancelled all its flights out of London's Heathrow a… Engadget RSS Feed