Peer-to-peer camera rental startup KitSplit raises $2.1M

filmmaker sunset KitSplit, which operates a peer-to-peer marketplace for creative equipment, is announcing that it’s raised $2.1 million in seed funding. The equipment available for rental can include cameras, lights and lenses, but also VR gear and drones. Renters get access to this equipment for a lower price (CEO Lisbeth Kaufman estimated said KitSplit usually costs 30 to 50 percent less than… Read More

The Atlantic says it will hire up to 100 new staffers

 It’s a gloomy time in media, with frequent announcements of layoffs and shutdowns (it even happened today). That’s why it seems remarkable for an established publication to announce ambitious plans for newsroom expansion. The publication in question is The Atlantic, the magazine in which Laurene Powell Jobs’ Emerson Collective bought a majority stake last year. The… Read More

Sling TV now has 2.2M subscribers, making it the largest internet-based live TV service

 Dish-owned streaming TV service Sling TV now has 2.21 million subscribers at the end of the fourth quarter, the company announced this morning. This is the first time that Dish has broken out its Sling TV subscribers separately from its larger pay TV subscriber base, and confirms earlier estimates that Sling TV had grown to north of 2 million users. This also put Sling TV in the lead, ahead… Read More

Facebook inks music licensing deal with ICE covering 160 territories, 290K rightsholders on FB, Insta, Oculus and Messenger

 Facebook today took its latest step towards making good on paying out royalties to music rightsholders around tracks that are used across its multiple platforms and networks. The company has signed a deal with ICE Services — a licensing group and copyright database of some 31 million works that represents PRS in the UK, STIM in Sweden and GEMA in Germany — to provide music… Read More

Watch Jessica Jones grapple with being a hero in Netflix’s Season 2 trailer

 Netflix’s Jessica Jones is coming back for its second streaming season very soon, and there’s a new trailer you can watch to whet your appetite for the Marvel superhero show. This season looks like it picks up right where the last one left off (it includes some clips from the first series, in fact), but will focus even more on following Jones as she deals with her reluctance to adopt… Read More

Fox News to launch an over-the-top streaming service, Fox Nation

 Fox News is going over-the-top. The Fox News Channel officially announced today the upcoming launch of an over-the-top streaming service called Fox Nation that will include live exclusive daily programing as well as long-form content available only to subscribers. Fox Nation will also include access to exclusive events and over 20 years of Fox News Channel programming, the company says. News… Read More

Hulu’s weekend outage affected some users trying to watch Olympics, NBA All-Star game

 Hulu is still recovering to a hit to its reputation due to a live streaming outage that affected some number of subscribers during the Super Bowl. But over the weekend, the company’s live TV service experienced another outage, this time leading to login and connection issues. The issues prevented users from watching other high-profile sporting events. Read More

Only the EU can break Facebook and Google’s dominance | George Soros

Social media giants have left the US government impotent – Europe must lead the way

The current moment in world history is a painful one. Open societies are in crisis, and forms of dictatorships and mafia states, exemplified by Vladimir Putin’s Russia, are on the rise. In the United States, President Donald Trump would like to establish his own mafia-style state but cannot, because the constitution, other institutions, and a vibrant civil society won’t allow it.

Not only is the survival of open society in question; the survival of our entire civilisation is at stake. The rise of leaders such as Kim Jong-un in North Korea and Trump in the US have much to do with this. Both seem willing to risk a nuclear war in order to keep themselves in power. But the root cause goes even deeper. Mankind’s ability to harness the forces of nature, both for constructive and destructive purposes, continues to grow, while our ability to govern ourselves properly fluctuates, and is now at a low ebb.

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