YouTube secures necessary deals for a paid music streaming service

  • YouTube recently signed deals with Universal Music Group and Sony Music Group.
  • Warner Music Group agreed to a deal back in May.
  • The deals with the three big labels pave the way for a new music streaming service.

The rumors of YouTube’s new music streaming service appear to be coming true. Earlier this month we told you about rumblings that the streaming platform would roll out a new subscription streaming service. Now, Bloomberg is reporting that YouTube has secured the necessary deals to make it happen.

According to the report, YouTube has just agreed to deals with Universal Music Group and Sony Music Group. Warner Music Group, the last of the big three music labels, agreed to a deal with YouTube earlier this year.

Universal confirmed that the agreement with YouTube will give artists more flexibility and better pay. In addition to the better royalty rates for rights holders, some songs and videos will only be available through this new paid service, according to a Bloomberg source. That source also indicated that earlier this year, Universal was able to take control of ad-supported channels. It also asked YouTube to improve the technology that scans for user-uploaded videos for copyrighted content.

Editor’s Pick

YouTube is currently one of the most popular platforms on the internet to stream music. Users can currently stream music for free, and the only revenue that rights holders see are from ad-based payouts and what channels see from YouTube Red subscriptions. This is in contrast to subscription-based services like Google Play Music, Spotify, and Apple Music that generate more revenue for music labels. The lack of revenue and approach toward protecting copyrighted material lead to friction between the streaming giant and music labels. But, this deal appears to sort out all of their issues.

Details on the new streaming service are nil right now. We expect that it will launch sometime in 2018, but we don’t have details yet on what it will cost or what it will include. If YouTube expects to turn users into paying customers, it’ll have to provide an incentive for them to pay up. Hopefully, that isn’t by restricting content that is currently free to stream.

What do you think YouTube’s new music streaming service will look like? What features would you want and how much would you be willing to pay?

Intelligence Analyst Malcolm Nance Compares Fox News Rhetoric to ‘Psychological Warfare’

The network is using dangerous language to destabilize its audience’s understanding of the country’s institutions.

Intelligence analyst Malcolm Nance told MSNBC host Ari Melber that Fox News’ coverage of the Mueller investigation is approaching the level of “psychological warfare.”

Melber and Nance discussed Fox News’ inaccurate use of the word “coup” to describe what amounts to the “nonpartisan rule of law in America.”

“They want to make you lose faith that we can get through this as a Republic,” Melber said.

“This is almost psychological warfare—preparation of the battlefield,” Nance explained. “This is not a coup, and this language is dangerous.”

Watch the exchange below.

 

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One Woman’s Crusade to Help Educate Female Prisoners About Drug Addiction

Deborah Jiang-Stein is helping incarcerated women prepare for life after prison.

Deborah Jiang-Stein found inspiration for the unPrison Project in a pair of reading glasses. Jiang-Stein, the founder and CEO of the organization, which teaches literacy, mentoring and life skills for women and girls in prisons, was born in prison to a heroin-addicted mother. She struggled with addiction and brushes with the law, before turning those struggles into a career as a writer and motivational speaker in women’s correctional facilities, sharing her story to inspire other incarcerated women and bring books into prisons. However, there were a few basic but critical barriers to achieving that goal.

As she explained in a phone interview, in multiple facilities, “I saw a pair of glasses being shared. In every prison, there would be a couple pairs of glasses that were shared.” She also learned that the average reading level in these facilities was fourth grade. How could they read the books she brough them if they were blocked from reading, for both structural and logistical reasons? After all, she continued, “if we’re advocating employment and success on the outside, reading is just the basic right in the world, let alone this country.”

So Jiang-Stein secured donors who provided 10,000 pairs of reading glasses, and brand-new children’s books for distribution in visiting rooms around the country. These efforts helped start the unPrison Project, which helps cultivate tools for a successful life after incarceration. She also wrote a memoir of her life experiences titled Prison Baby. 

She chose to focus specifically on women in prison, she says, because she believes any issue related to the “incarceration of women gets ignored. The number [of incarcerated women] has spiked 800 percent in recent decades, and it’s twice that of men. It’s a huge increase, and many—in fact, the majority—would benefit from services in the community like mental health resources, drug treatment instead of incarceration.”

The brief curriculum she developed begins with her own story, and includes advice on drug treatment, career counseling, mental health services, literacy, how to manage time behind bars, and how to build a life on the outside to ensure the women don’t return. Jiang-Stein travels to facilities all over the country speaking to both large and small groups. She tells them she knows “what it takes to survive out here… because I’m also in recovery, I know that it can be easy to face a disappointment and then be motivated to use again instead of trying to solve the problem.”

Her personal experiences—she spent the first year of her life in prison, later became addicted to drugs and has been clean and sober for 20 years—helps boost her credibility with the women she works with. 

After all, she explained, “my birth mother was a woman exactly like the women that I meet. She was a heroin addict, in and out of facilities since she was around the age of 13… I was an actively using addict, I know what that lifestyle is, so part of the reason I do this is… I could have been sitting in those chairs in prison with a life sentence.” She continued, “I have the story that is sadly not so unique, but I’m an adult coming in as a peer, showing what the other side can look like by using the tools that I’m talking about. Being in recovery, learning to forgive, I value education, I continue to read and be curious and engage myself in a bigger world.” 

While the organization doesn’t yet track former participants or their activities after prison (some may be in for very long or life sentences), the feedback has generally been positive. Cynthia Wallace, the program manager at the Dr. Jerome McNeil Detention Center of Dallas County Juvenile Department, agreed. She brought Deborah Jiang-Stein to the youth detention center, as she explained in a letter to donors that she shared with AlterNet: “The girls were engaged and asked great questions [like] ‘how did you begin healing, when did you forgive yourself, how did you find happiness, are you still afraid?’” 

While Jiang-Stein and her small staff at the unPrison Project would like more opportunities to develop longer-term relationships with individual systems or facilities, she says, “If I go to one place two or three times then I’m not going to another place. And they’re close to 30 states now that have asked me in, and I’ve been in quite a few already.”

This year, she may finally get the opportunity to do both. The unPrison Project was nominated for a 2017 L’Oreal Women of Worth Award, to honor women who give back to their communities. While Jiang-Stein didn’t ultimately win the award, as a finalist, she and the unPrison Project won $10,000, great publicity and the chance to network with other changemakers. 

Going forward, the unPrison Project is in the midst of strategic planning for the next few years, adding staff, volunteers and board members, developing an infrastructure that will help reach more prisoners, not only in the U.S. but also internationally. Jiang-Stein has had interest from Kenya, Zimbabwe and Ghana. 

 Learn more about the unPrison Project.

 

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Samsung Pay update allows users in India to pay bills inside the app

  • Samsung Pay is being updated to allow users to pay monthly bills within the app.
  • The bills include mobile postpaid bills, electricity, television, and more.
  • This update follows Google Tez rolling out similar features just a few weeks ago.

It seems like every day we hear about new mobile payment apps. But one of the biggest and most successful so far has been Samsung Pay. Even though the app is limited to Samsung’s devices, it has great features like utilizing Magnetic Secure Transmission (MST) to pay on machines that don’t have NFC.

Now, users in India are getting another fantastic feature. Samsung Pay is now letting users pay their monthly bills right from inside the app. According to SamMobile, the options include mobile postpaid bills, electricity, DTH (Direct-to-home television), and utility bills. Users can also save bank account and IFSC information for their friends and family so they can easily transfer money to them.

See also

Adding bills to Samsung Pay comes shortly after Google made a similar move. You might remember that a few weeks ago, Google’s Tez rolled out billpaying options for household and utility bills from major companies like Airtel, DishTV, Tata Power, ACT Fibernet, and DoCoMo. The service will eventually cover 70 different billers and cover national and state electricity providers, gas, water, and more.

Competition for customers in India is really heating up. Samsung is currently battling companies like Xiaomi and Huawei for supremacy in the country, and it is finding success. Even though Xiaomi may have come level with the South Korean juggernaut, Samsung is still a force. It recently added more than a million users to Samsung Pay in a single month and it continues to add features like UPI payments via Bharat QR codes.

Google is also working on its presence in the country through the Next Billion Users program. With affordable Android Go devices hitting the market, the competition is only going to get more fierce.

To get the new payment options, all you have to do is update the Samsung Pay app on your Galaxy device.

Unsubscribed Humble Bundle Monthly

I recently subscribed to the Humble Bundle Monthly, because the $12 for the bundle included Civilization VI with two DLCs, which was way cheaper than any other way to pick up Civ VI. Now the rest of the bundle arrived, and I must say that I am disappointed. The idea of the Humble Bundle Monthly is that it is “curated”, giving you a bunch of good games. So I thought that in a curated bundle with Civilization VI I would find a few other nice strategy games. Unfortunately I was very wrong: The other games in the February bundle are all adventure games, and cheap ones at that.

To quote Steam when I open the page of one of those games: “Is this game relevant to you? This game doesn’t look like other things you’ve played in the past. As such we don’t have much information on whether or not you might be interested in it.”. Steam is right. Basically I haven’t played adventure games since way back when adventure games were still a thing, the days of Leisure Suit Larry or Monkey Island. I don’t really like the new generation of adventure games, which is often described as “walking simulators”. The only game in the Humble Bundle Monthly I might try is Snake Pass, because I’ve heard that it is somewhat unique with its controls, and not really an “adventure game”.

Another reason to unsubscribe was that the highlight of next month’s bundle is Dark Souls III plus one DLC. If you like the Dark Souls series, you might consider this, as $12 is an excellent price for something going for $75 on Steam. For me the unforgiving nature of the series has always turned me off. I don’t play games to get punished for my mistakes, I have a job for that!

What I did now is change my Humble Bundle e-mail settings to send me info on future Humble Bundle Monthly offers. (I had turned that off, which resulted in me not even getting informed that there was a bundle of games waiting for me.) Getting $60 games plus DLC for $12 is interesting. The rest of the bundles probably not so.

Heard of CordoVa : “Hybrid App Dev !!”

Hybrid App development

A hybrid application (hybrid app) is one that combines elements of both native and Web applications. Native applications are developed for a specific platform and installed on a computing device. Web applications are generalized for multiple platforms and not installed locally but made available over the Internet through a browser.

Cordova

Apache Cordova is an open-source mobile development framework. It allows you to use standard web technologies – HTML5, CSS3, and JavaScript for cross-platform development. Applications execute within wrappers targeted to each platform, and rely on standards-compliant API bindings to access each device’s capabilities such as sensors, data, network status, etc.

cordova  image


Web applications cannot use native mobile functionalities by default. This is where Cordova is coming in. It offers a bridge for connection between web app and mobile device. By using cordova we can make hybrid mobile apps that can use camera, geolocation, file system and other native mobile functions.

Following are the  features of Cordova

Command Line Interface:- This tool allows you to create new projects, build them on different platforms, and run on real devices or within emulators.

Cordova Core Components:- Cordova provide core components that will be used for creating base of the app so we can spend more time to implement our own logic.

Cordova offers set of core components that every mobile application needs. These components will be used for creating base of the app so we can spend more time to implement our own logic.
Cordova Plugins:- All the main Cordova API features are implemented as plugins, and many others are available that enable features such as bar code scanners, NFC communication, or to tailor calendar interfaces.
Licence:- Cordova is licensed under the Apache License, Version 2.0.

Environment Setup

Lets see environment setup for cordova. Before start with the setup you need to install following components.
NodeJS and NPM:- NodeJS is the platform needed for Cordova development.
Android SDK:- You need Android SDK for Android platform.
XCode:- It is required for iOS platform.

Installing Cordova

In this installation we are using Windows Command prompt.

Step 1: Installing Git
Cordova need Git. It is using Git for some background processes.  After you install git. Follow following steps to setup Environment Variable.

  1. Right-Click on Computer
  2. Properties
  3. Advanced System settings
  4. Environment Variables
  5. System Variables
  6. Edit

Copy the following at the end of the variable value field. This is default path of the git installation. If you installed it on a different path you should use that instead of our example code below.

;C:Program Files (x86)Gitbin;C:Program Files (x86)Gitcmd
Now you can type git in your command prompt to test if the installation is successful.

Step 2: Installing Cordova

Open the command prompt and run the following command
C:Usersusername>npm install -g cordova 

You can check the installed version by running following command
C:Usersusername>cordova -v 
This is everything you need to start developing the Cordova apps on Windows operating system.

Lets create sample hybrid app using Cordova.

Creating App

Open the directory where you want the app to be installed in command prompt. We will create it on desktop.

C:UsersrockyDesktop>cordova 
create Myhybridapp io.cordova.hellocordova HybridApp

Myhybridapp is the directory name where the app is created.
io.cordova.hellocordova is the default reverse domain value. You should use your own domain value if possible.
HybridApp is the title of your app.

Adding Platforms

Open your project directory in the command prompt. In this example, it is the Myhybridapp. You should choose platforms that you need. To be able to use the specified platform, you need to have installed the specific platform SDK. Since we are developing on windows, we can use the following platforms. We have already installed Android SDK, so we will only install android platform for this example.
C:UsersrockyDesktopMyhybridapp>cordova platform add android 

There are other platforms that can be used on Windows OS.
C:UsersrockyDesktopMyhybridapp>cordova platform add wp8 
C:UsersrockyDesktopMyhybridapp>cordova platform add amazon-fireos 
C:UsersrockyDesktopMyhybridapp>cordova platform add windows 
C:UsersrockyDesktopMyhybridapp>cordova platform add blackberry10
C:UsersrockyDesktopMyhybridapp>cordova platform add firefoxos 

If you are developing on Mac, you can use :-
$ cordova platform add IOS 
$ cordova platform add amazon-fireos 
$ cordova platform add android 
$ cordova platform add blackberry10 
$ cordova platform add firefoxos 

You can also remove platform from your project by using :-
C:UsersrockyDesktopMyhybridapp>cordova platform rm android

Building and Running App

In this step we will build the app for a specified platform so we can run it on mobile device or emulator.
C:UsersrockyDesktopMyhybridapp>cordova build android 

Now we can run our app. If you are using the default emulator you should use 
C:UsersrockyDesktopMyhybridapp>cordova emulate android 

If you want to use the external emulator or real device you should use −
C:UsersrockyDesktopMyhybridapp>cordova run android 

We will use the Genymotion android emulator since it is faster and more responsive than the default one. You can find the emulator here. You can also use real device for testing by enabling USB debugging from the options and connecting it to your computer via USB cable. Once we run the app, it will install it on the platform we specified. If everything is finished without errors, the output should show the default start screen of the app.

cordova app default screen

Use Apache Cordova if you are:

  • A mobile developer and want to extend an application across more than one platform, without having to re-implement it with each platform’s language and tool set.
  • A web developer and want to deploy a web app that’s packaged for distribution in various app store portals.
  • A mobile developer interested in mixing native application components with a WebView (special browser window) that can access device-level APIs, or if you want to develop a plugin interface between native and WebView components.

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