News Corporation is selling its 44 percent share in the Sky TV network in New Zealand in a move that will see it exit the business that it established in the country in 1987, according to a brief announcement made today.
News Limited — the subsidiary through which News Corporation operates in Australia and New Zealand — has tapped Deutsche Bank and Craigs Investment Partners to manage the sale . The company expects its assets will be acquired by “a broad range of institutional and retail investors”, but no price has been disclosed
A statement from Chase Carey, President and Chief Operating Officer of News Corporation, said that the rest of the News Limited business – which includes more than 140 newspapers in Australia, including news.com.au – will not be affected. No reason was given for the sale:
SKY is a world class subscription television business and has been an outstanding investment for News Corporation. We and SKY have always enjoyed an excellent, arms-length working relationship and we expect this to continue unaffected by the sale. In particular, we do not anticipate any change to current arrangements regarding access to content and collaboration on technology.
The sale will see Regional Director of News Limited Michael Miller leave the Sky board.
News Limited was initially Rupert Murdoch’s principal holding company until the Australia-born entrepreneur set up News Corporation in 1979. Thereafter, it became a wholly-owned subsidiary.
Sky TV New Zealand is installed in approximately half of the households in the country. The company expanded into low-cost television when it launched its Igloo pre-pay service in partnership with Television New Zealand last year. Sky holds a 51 percent share.
Image via Ben Stansall / Getty Images
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An online database built by Google.org, the technology giant’s charitable division, to track unused TV white space spectrum has been approved for a 45-day public trial by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).
Electromagnetic spectrum is fast becoming a limited resource as billions of people try to access the Internet on their smartphone, tablet, laptop or PC. Parts of the existing radio spectrum are unused though, or could be used to better effect. The problem has always been keeping track of where these pockets are though, and relaying this information to the public or providers whose services would benefit from redistribution.
Google wants to promote dynamic spectrum sharing, which would allow another party to take advantage of some spectrum when it’s not being actively used by the owner. The new database, therefore, would allow regulators and industry stakeholders to oversee the amount of spectrum not in use and ensure it’s reallocated when appropriate.
To become certified as a TV White Spaces Database Administrator though, Google is entering a 45-day trial with the FCC starting today.
Anyone who signs up during this period will able to see the TV white spaces spectrum that is available in their location as of January 29, 2013. Google says that once the database is certified with the FCC, registered devices will able to check the database automatically and identify what spectrum is available in the nearby area.
That means Internet service providers – and perhaps even members of the public – will be able to take advantage of unused spectrum on the fly, improving the chances of finding a stronger and faster connection.
Google isn’t the only one trying to address the spectrum problem though. Earlier this year Microsoft gave an update on its spectrum observatory in Brussels, which is also examining how the existing radio spectrum can be better managed.
It follows a similar setup in Redmond and Washington that can track and analyze spectrum usage to determine where expansion plans should occur next.
Image Credit: Adam Berry/Getty Images
Originally posted here: Google database for tracking unused spectrum enters 45-day public trial with the FCC
Twitter is set to remove the sharing service Mobypicture from the options available for uploading video in a future release of its iOS app, The Next Web has learned. Though this is the only removal we know about currently, though it’s possible that other services like the now-defunct Posterous and others might give way to Twitter’s own video hosting option soon enough.
The Mobypicture sharing option will be removed out due to a technical issue that is causing failed uploads and complaints, but the issue isn’t on the service’s end.
Honestly, it is completely understandable that Twitter would want to stop any external service from affecting the ratings level or satisfaction level of its users. If a third-party service is causing problems, it’s reasonable for Twitter to want the service to get that fixed ASAP. But, in the case of Mobypicture, it’s apparently not the service causing the issues.
Instead, a glitch in the way that Twitter reports types of media (mimetypes) uploaded back to the Mobypicture service is apparently causing uploads to fail, and Twitter to get complaints.
The flaw in the way that video is being handed off is apparently in Twitter’s app for iPhone, not the Mobypicture service, says its founder Mathys van Abbe. He says that when Mobypicture received notice of the errors from Twitter, they investigated and uncovered the issue with the Twitter app that was causing the flaw.
In an effort to circumvent the problem, Mobypicture created a fix for the media detection issue within hours of first being contacted. But even after being informed of the fix, Twitter contacted Mobypicture and reaffirmed its decision to remove it as a video sharing option and that it would think about bringing it back at a later date.
We tested Mobypicture in the iPhone app today and it seemed to work just fine with a short clip, but there are obviously millions more users of Twitter around the world that could be having issues. And no video upload service currently available in the Twitter app has ever worked very well for us.
“Moby brought photo and video sharing to Twitter,” Abbe said in a statement to The Next Web. “It saddens us that Twitter is removing us from their own apps even though users really love Moby as an option because of the way we respect their rights, don’t show ads and share to all different social sites.”
Twitter declined to comment on the matter.
Currently, Twitter offers yFrog, TwitVid, Mobypicture, Posterous and Vodpod as options for video uploads in its iOS app.
I’ve long been frustrated with all of the video services that are integrated into the Twitter app. When Twitter ditched all of the photo sharing services for its own in-house option, powered by Photobucket, I was sure that video was to follow.
It turns out Twitter took a bit of a detour with the Vine purchase and now has an outside hosting service of its own (albeit for 6 second clips). Whether it eventually rolls Vine into the main Twitter product (likely a matter of how successful it is on its own) or simply fires up an internal video hosting service on its backend technology is still very much an unknown.
But at this point, it feels like it’s just a matter of time.
The video sharing options in Twitter for iOS are a handful of third-party services, none of which are all that reliable. I typically use Cloud or Droplr instead, if not YouTube. If Twitter were to roll its own service, it would replace all of the video sharing services, not just Mobypicture. The now-defunct Posterous is almost 100% likely to go away in the next major version of the app as well. Perhaps Twitter’s disinterest in immediately reinstating Mobypicture is an isolated incident, and perhaps it’s a precursor to an in-house option, which would remove all third-party apps.
This would do a couple of things for Twitter. First, it would give them more complete control over the way that video is uploaded to the service. Taking control of image uploads with its own image service and then implementing filters in the main app ensures that there is a constant flow of content coming into its network, rather than out to other utilities like yFrog, Mobypicture or even Instagram.
Second, it removes third-party failures from its list of worries. If a service like Mobypicture has issues and fails to upload a video, the user isn’t going to give the Mobypicture app one star or send a support email to Mobypicture. It’s going to complain to Twitter and Twitter will take the hit. It’s a brutal way of thinking about it but in the end, every third-party service that Twitter supports natively in its app is another potential headache.
The removal of Mobypicture doesn’t prevent those users from utilizing the app on its own and tweeting out a link. But it does remove one additional potential failure point for Twitter. But, we’d be remiss if we didn’t acknowledge that it also removes one more piece of choice that is being given millions of Twitter users, most of which use the official apps.
Originally posted here: Twitter is removing Mobypicture uploads from its iOS app, are other video services to follow?
Google has added Calendar results to its enhanced Gmail and Web search in an ongoing field trial program open to Gmail users in the US. The field trial for an enhanced version of Google’s search began late last year and has been iterated on to include more info in Gmail search, as well as searches performed on Google.com.
The new results in Gmail for the calendar will likely look like these, which are now also presented on Google.com for program participants:
The expanded trail is only available at Google.com in the US in English. You also have to have a Gmail.com address and Apps accounts aren’t in the running. You can visit the experiment page for more info and to opt in. Google says that it will take a bit to receive a confirmation email as there is limited capacity, and not everyone may get in.
Google is playing to its strengths here, surfacing more of the data that it on you and your schedule more quickly and in an interface that is incredibly reminiscent of Google Now. If I had to conjecture, we’ll be seeing all of this coalesce into a Google Now for the Web more quickly than you might think. All of the elements are there, they just need to be codified into one simple voice-or-text-activated interface.
Image Credit: JOHANNES EISELE/Getty Images