Facebook & Partners Launching Cryptocurrency Next Year; Apple Adding PIP to Apple TV; Twitch Snags Social Net Platform Bebo; Morse Code Shows Google Appropriated Genius’ Lyrics

Facebook has acknowledged its plans for a cryptocurrency, a long time rumor. Libra will launch next year, and 9to5mac.com reports that they have some heavy duty financial partners for the currency and a wallet called Calibra. In on the deal are MasterCard, Visa, PayPal, Uber, eBay, Vodafone, and Mercy Corps. The currency will be controlled by a non—profit known as the Libra Association…of which Facebook is just one member. At launch, the association will be jointly controlled by all members. Each member has kicked in $10 million, and will have one vote. The association will be headquartered in Switzerland. Libra won’t be free floating like bitcoin and others. The value will be pegged to a basket of assets that will ‘anchor its value.’ Facebook says they will use the same type of verifications and anti-fraud processes that banks and credit cards use to protect users. More info will certainly be seeping out as we get closer to the launch next year.

Not really mentioned in the marathon 2 hour plus WWDC keynote earlier this month: Apple TV is apparently getting Picture in Picture. According to theverge.com, tvOS 13 allows Apple TV users to shrink down any video playing in the Apple TV app to a corner of the screen, and continue browsing through content and menus…all while still watching the video originally playing. The option exists to switch the windows or exit the mode entirely. Apple may or may not add the feature by this fall, but it appears to be on the way.

Amazon’s Twitch has acquired social net Bebo. Techcrunch.com says the early social network platform will be rolled up into Twitch’s e-sports business…particularly focusing on Twitch Rivals. Twitch apparently dropped less that $25 million on the company (some reports say a lot less than that). It had been bought by AOL for $850 million in 2008. The platform didn’t really take off, and AOL unloaded it after only a couple of years for….$25 million. The e-sports market is no small potatoes. eMarketer says there were some 400 million users of e-sports platforms in 2018, producing $869 million from sponsorships, player fees, and advertising.

When you google lyrics to a song, you may note that Google displays them in the search results…as opposed to going to Genius’ website. According to bgr.com, Google has been copying Genius’ lyrics for years and pasting them into search results, bypassing Genius’ site…and they say they have proved it. Genius hid a Morse code message within lyrics to prove Google was ripping off their lyrics. Genius first noticed that Google seemed to have their lyrics in 2016, from a very difficult to understand song (and Genius had gotten the lyrics directly from the artist.) They alerted Google in 2017, but nothing. What Genius did to prove their case was to alternate straight and curly single-quote apostrophes in some lyrics…corresponding to Morse code. The code spells out Red Handed! Google continues to dispute this, saying they partnered with LyricFind in 2016, and said they would investigate and terminate agreements with partners who aren’t ‘upholding good practices.’

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