Walt Disney announces reorganization to focus on streaming

Disney is going all-in on streaming media. 
On Monday, the company announced a massive reorganization of its media and entertainment business that will focus on developing productions that will debut on its streaming and broadcast services. Disney’s media businesses, ads, and distribution, and Disney+ will now operate under the same business unit, the company said.
Its major reorganization comes just days after activist investor Dan Loeb, a major investor in the company through his Third Point Capital hedge fund, called on Disney to cancel its dividend and redirect more investments into streaming.
Wall Street has already given its seal of approval to Disney’s new move, sending the share up nearly 6% in after hours trading.
Disney’s announcement follows a significant reorganization of its release schedule to address new realities including a collapsing theatrical release business; production issues; and the runaway success of its streaming service — all caused or accelerated by the national failure


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Android 11 has arrived

Google today announced the launch of Android 11, the latest version of its mobile operating system. After a slightly longer public preview, users who own a select number of Pixel devices (starting with the Pixel 2), OnePlus, Xiaomi, OPPO or realme phones will now see the update roll out to their phones in the coming days, with others launching their updates over the next few months.
Android 11 isn’t a radical departure from what you’ve come to expect in recent years, but there are a number of interesting new user-facing updates here that mostly center around messaging, privacy and giving you better control over all of your smart devices.
At the core of the improved messaging and communication features are improved notifications for conversations from your messaging apps. These now live in a dedicated space at the top of the notification shade and feature a more “people-forward design,” as the company describes


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Apple boots Fortnite from the App Store after Epic adds direct payments

After its creator Epic Games implemented a workaround to duck Apple’s hefty developer fees, Fortnite has vanished from the App Store. The popular game’s disappearing act came the same day that Epic added a new direct payment option for in-game currency on mobile, offering an enticing 20% discount for players who pay the company for its virtual V-Bucks rather handing that money to intermediaries Apple or Google.
“Currently, when using Apple and Google payment options, Apple and Google collect a 30% fee, and the up to 20% price drop does not apply,” Epic wrote in a blog post introducing the new option. “If Apple or Google lower their fees on payments in the future, Epic will pass along the savings to you.”
Epic Direct Payments on iOS
In a statement to TechCrunch, Apple confirms that it removed Fortnite for taking the “unfortunate step” of violating App Store rules:
Epic enabled a feature in its


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Epic Games launches a campaign (and lawsuit) against Apple

Epic Games is launching an all-out campaign against Apple and its App Store rules.
Thursday morning, Epic Games introduced a new payment mechanic through a server side update that allowed gamers to purchase Fortnite’s in-game currency directly, allowing the app to bypass Apple’s in-app purchase framework and the substantial cut that Apple takes. Apple quickly acted in uniformly banning the app from the App Store.
Apple soon released a statement:
“Epic enabled a feature in its app which was not reviewed or approved by Apple, and they did so with the express intent of violating the App Store guidelines regarding in-app payments that apply to every developer who sells digital goods or services.”

Apple boots Fortnite from the App Store after Epic adds direct payments

The ban was an action Epic Games was ready for.
The company soon shared that they were taking legal action against Apple, alleging that they were abusing their market position, saying


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Trump calls TikTok a hot brand, demands a chunk of its sale price

Today the president appeared to bless the budding Microsoft-TikTok deal, continuing his evolution on a possible transaction. After stating last Friday that he’d rather see TikTok banned than sold to a U.S.-based company, Trump changed his tune over the weekend. TikTok is owned by China-based company ByteDance, which owns a portfolio of apps and services.
A weekend phone call between Satya Nadella, the CEO of Microsoft, and the American premier appeared to change his mind, leading to the software company sharing publicly on Sunday that it was pursuing a deal.
Then today the president, endorsing a deal between an American company and ByteDance over TikTok, also said that he expects a chunk of the sale price to wind up in the accounts of the American government.
The American president has long struggled with basic economic concepts. For example, who pays tariffs. But to see Trump state that he expects to receive a chunk


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New Acquia platform looks to bring together developers, marketers and data

Acquia, the commercial company built on top of the open source Drupal content management system has pushed to be more than a publishing platform in recent years, using several strategic acquisitions to move into managing customer experience, and today the company announced a new approach to developing and marketing on the Drupal Cloud.
This involves bringing together developers and marketers under the umbrella of the new Acquia Open DXP platform. This approach has two main components: “What we’ve been working on is deep integration across our suite and pulling together our new foundational Drupal Cloud offering, and our new foundational Marketing Cloud offering,” Kevin Cochrane, senior vice president of product marketing at Acquia said.
The offerings bring together a set of acquisitions the company made over the last year including Mautic for marketing automation in May 2019, Cohesion for low-code developing in September and AgileOne in December for a customer data platform


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CodeGuru, AWS’s AI code reviewer and performance profiler, is now generally available

AWS today announced that CodeGuru, a set of tools that use machine learning to automatically review code for bugs and suggest potential optimizations, is now generally available. The tool launched into preview at AWS re:Invent last December.
CodeGuru consists of two tools, Reviewer and Profiler, and those names pretty much describe exactly what they do. To build Reviewer, the AWS team actually trained its algorithm with the help of code from over 10,000 open source projects on GitHub, as well as reviews from Amazon’s own internal codebase.
“Even for a large organization like Amazon, it’s challenging to have enough experienced developers with enough free time to do code reviews, given the amount of code that gets written every day,” the company notes in today’s announcement. “And even the most experienced reviewers miss problems before they impact customer-facing applications, resulting in bugs and performance issues.”

To use CodeGuru, developers continue to commit their code


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AWS launches Amazon Honeycode, a no-code mobile and web app builder

AWS today announced the beta launch of Amazon Honeycode, a new, fully managed low-code/no-code development tool that aims to make it easy for anybody in a company to build their own applications. All of this, of course, is backed by a database in AWS and a web-based, drag-and-drop interface builder.
Developers can build applications for up to 20 users for free. After that, they pay per user and for the storage their applications take up.
Image Credits: Amazon/AWS
“Customers have told us that the need for custom applications far outstrips the capacity of developers to create them,” said AWS VP Larry Augustin in the announcement. “Now with Amazon Honeycode, almost anyone can create powerful custom mobile and web applications without the need to write code.”
Like similar tools, Honeycode provides users with a set of templates for common use cases like to-do list applications, customer trackers, surveys, schedules and inventory management. Traditionally, AWS argues,


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Quizlet valued at $1 billion as it raises millions during a global pandemic

As millions of students and teachers shift to learn from home in response to the novel coronavirus disease, modern-day flashcard business Quizlet has raised $30 million in a Series C round led by General Atlantic.
Quizlet’s chief executive officer Matthew Glotzbach said that the new funding values the business at $1 billion, up five times from its last funding round in 2018. Quizlet’s total known financing is more than $60 million.

4 edtech CEOs peer into the industry’s future

The fresh funding comes off the heels of unprecedented usage for Quizlet, which connects students to virtual flashcards and study guides. Once a user makes a guide, they can share a unique link with friends and collaborate ahead of a test. School shutdowns due to COVID-19 have caused students to flock to the platform as they look for new ways to study, retain information and collaborate.
Students ask over 1 billion questions on Quizlet each


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