TIME Media

Radio Fans Will Love Rdio’s Newest Feature

An old-school feature for a new-age platform

Rdio, one of the smaller competitors in the crowded music streaming space, is trying to stand out with a very old-school feature: hundreds of local radio stations featuring live DJs.

On Wednesday, the company announced it’s adding 500 live terrestrial radio stations to its service, giving users the ability to stream programming on their computer or mobile device. Rdio is partnering with Cumulus, the second-largest radio station owner in the U.S., to deliver the content, which will be available on both Rdio’s free and paid tiers starting immediately. iHeartRadio, the country’s largest station owner, already has its own streaming app.

When opening the Rdio app, users will see live radio stations that match their listening habits, mixed with album and song suggestions picked by Rdio’s recommendation algorithms. Once a radio station is selected, the live broadcast will play, ads and all, directly through Rdio. Users can save any songs they’re hearing to listen to on-demand at a later time.

The new feature is primarily aimed at users who haven’t yet dived into the world of music streaming services. About 41 million people currently pay for a music subscription service, while 245 million people aged 12 or older in the U.S. alone listen to traditional radio stations every week, according to Nielsen. Rdio doesn’t break out its user numbers, but CEO Anthony Bay told CNET last year that “our numbers aren’t as big as we’d like them to be.”

“There [are] still tons of people out there that are listening to music every week that haven’t used any streaming service,” says Chris Becherer, Rdio’s senior vice president for product. “Our goal is to try to bridge that audience.”

Rdio’s new feature comes shortly after Apple launched its own streaming service with a live radio station called Beats 1 as a central element. There’s been a broader shift among consumer tech companies over the last year in acknowledging the value of curatorial experts instead of relying overwhelmingly on algorithms.

“There’s a group of people that have been doing curation in this country for over 100 years quite effectively,” Becherer says, “and that’s local broadcast radio DJs.”

TIME

The Businesses That Make Up Google’s New Umbrella Company, Alphabet

Covering everything from search to self-driving cars

Since launching in 1998, Google has expanded from a simple search engine into a sprawling operation with operations in everything from the life sciences to self-driving cars. Now, those different businesses are being separated as subsidiaries under a new holding company called Alphabet.

The new corporate structure will give Google itself a tighter focus on its advertising business, while spinning off operations that are “far afield” of those efforts into separate companies, Page said in a blog post.

Here’s a quick rundown of the many different ventures that now comprise Alphabet.

TIME Google

Everything You Need to Know About the New CEO of Google

He's the reason you may be reading this on Chrome

Google threw the tech world for a loop Monday when it announced it was separating its core business and its myriad other ventures into a constellation of companies that would all be part of the larger company Alphabet. Google founder and CEO Larry Page will now be the CEO of Alphabet. Replacing him at Google is Sundar Pichai, Google’s current senior vice president of products.

Though Page noted in a blog post that the new Google will be a “slimmed down” version of its former self, Pichai will still have plenty on his plate. Google will retain core businesses, including search, ads, Maps, apps, YouTube and Android, meaning that tens of thousands of employees will still be reporting to Pichai. The former consultant and Stanford University dropout has risen through the ranks of Google over the last decade to become the most visible face at the company, serving as the master of ceremonies at Google’s annual I/O event and leading up almost all of the company’s key consumer products.

Here are five key facts about Sundar Pichai, Google’s next CEO.

He’s the reason you’re using Google Chrome

Pichai started at Google in 2004 working on the search toolbar that the company puts in Internet browsers. He thought that Google should have its own browser, even though the company was still mainly known for its search engine. Pichai eventually spearheaded the creation of Chrome, which has surpassed Microsoft’s Internet Explorer as the most popular browser in the U.S. The Chrome brand has since expanded to include a successful line of laptops and streaming devices.

He has slowly taken over almost all Google consumer products

After Chrome’s success, Pichai also came to oversee Gmail and Google Docs in 2011, according to a Businessweek profile. In 2013, he also took the helm over Android, perhaps the most important division at Google as the company battles Apple for mobile supremacy. In 2014 he was named the company’s product chief, bringing services like Maps and Google+ under his wing as well.

Read more Read TIME’s 2013 cover story, ‘Google vs. Death’

He’s Larry Page’s right-hand man

Page has increasingly relied on Pichai since starting his second stint as Google’s CEO in 2011. Last year’s restructuring had already made Pichai’s unofficial No. 2. Now Page will have even more time to focus on Google’s other big bets while Pichai manages the company’s core competencies. “Sundar has been saying the things I would have said (and sometimes better!) for quite some time now, and I’ve been tremendously enjoying our work together,” Page said in the blog post announcing Alphabet. “I know he deeply cares that we can continue to make big strides on our core mission to organize the world’s information.”

He’s a unifier within the company

With more than 55,000 employees, getting the different divisions within Google to play nice together is an ongoing challenge. Pichai seems to have a knack for it. Since taking over Android he’s made big strides with Google Now by creating interdisciplinary teams from the company’s Android and search departments. “I would challenge you to find anyone at Google who doesn’t like Sundar or who thinks Sundar is a jerk,” Googler Caesar Sengupta told Businessweek.

He’s the company’s first non-white CEO

Born in Chennai, India, Pichai will be the first CEO of Google that isn’t a white man. He studied engineering at the Indian Institute of Technology in Kharagpur and came to America to study materials science and semiconductor physics at Stanford, though he eventually dropped out. He’ll join Microsoft chief Satya Nadella as one of the few high-profile minority CEOs in consumer tech.

Read next: Alphabet, Google’s New Company, Has the Most Unusual URL

Listen to the most important stories of the day

TIME Companies

These Businesses Are Now Part of Alphabet, Not Google

Key Speakers At The Google I/O Annual Developers Conference
Bloomberg—Bloomberg via Getty Images Sundar Pichai, senior vice president of Android, Chrome and Apps for Google Inc., speaks during the Google I/O Annual Developers Conference in San Francisco, California, U.S., on Wednesday, May 15, 2013.

After a big and unexpected corporate shakeup

Google announced Monday that it’s separating many of its businesses into a “collection of companies” that will be part of Alphabet, a new company headed by Google CEO Larry Page.

Since launching in 1998, Google has expanded from a search engine into a sprawling operation with operations in everything from the life sciences to self-driving cars. The new corporate structure will give Google itself a tighter focus on its main competencies while spinning off businesses that are “far afield” of those efforts into separate companies, Page said in a blog post.

Google proper will continue to include search, ads, maps, apps, YouTube and Android, the company revealed in an SEC filing. The slimmed-down Google will be led by Sundar Pichai, currently senior vice president for products and Larry Page’s right-hand man.

MORE: Read TIME’s 2013 cover story, ‘Google vs. Death’

Where does that leave projects like Google’s self-driving cars and big acquisitions like smart home copmany Nest? Here, we break down what we know so far about the businesses that will make up Google’s growing Alphabet:

Calico – Google launched this life sciences company in 2013 with the aim of extending human life. The company is devoted to long-term research that may not come to fruition for decades. “We should shoot for the things that are really, really important, so 10 or 20 years from now we have those things done,” Page told TIME about Calico in a 2013 interview.

Nest – The smart thermostat company that Google bought for $3.2 billion in 2014 is the centerpiece in Google’s plan to control the smart homes of the future. Last year, Google Vice President for Human Development Don Harrison told TIME that Nest founder Tony Fadell was a “true CEO” able to run Nest as he saw fit, with Google executives serving more as a board of directors rather than direct supervisors.

Fiber – Google’s high-speed broadband Internet service is now available in three cities, with plans to expand to six more in the coming months.

Google Ventures – Google’s venture capital arm already has a church-and-state separation from the company’s other endeavors, regularly investing in companies that compete with Google products. That line of separation should be even more stark thanks to the restructuring.

Google Capital – This investment arm focuses on late-state growth companies, and like Google Ventures, operates independently of Google’s consumer-product businesses.

Google X – Google’s most ambitious projects often begin in this secretive research department, which has been responsible for the company’s self-driving cars, Google Glass and the Internet-by-balloon initiative Project Loon.

Read next: Here’s Why Google Is Making the Titanic Shift to ‘Alphabet’

 

TIME marketing

5 Reasons Donald Trump’s Brand Is So Wildly Powerful

Branding experts try to explain why people love Donald Trump

People can’t seem to get enough Donald Trump. The real estate tycoon turned reality TV star turned presidential hopeful is leading recent polls among Republican candidates, despite an ongoing litany of controversial comments that would likely have torpedoed a traditional campaign.

It may not exactly be Trump’s platform that is attracting voters. He’s been purposefully vague on the campaign trail about how he’ll fix the many problems he sees in America. His campaign website appears to talk more about his success as a businessman than his specific plans for the White House.

That’s likely all by design, according to marketing and advertising experts. The very things Trump is doing that look like political suicide are only reinforcing his brand as a no-nonsense boss who does whatever he wants. It’s an image he’s been cultivating for decades and which now seems to be resonating with a large number of American voters.

Here are five Trump attributes that brand experts say define his personal brand:

He’s an ‘Outlaw’

Marketing experts can categorize pretty much any brand (and politicians are certainly brands) into one of 12 archetypes based on research by the Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung: Sage, Innocent, Explorer, Ruler, Creator, Caregiver, Magician, Hero, Outlaw, Lover, Jester, and Regular Guy/Girl. Most politicians are either all-knowing Rulers or spread-the-wealth Caregivers.

MORE: Here’s Roughly Every Controversial Thing Donald Trump Has Ever Said Out Loud

Trump is better categorized as an Outlaw, according to Edward Boches, professor of advertising at Boston University. He doesn’t operate according to the traditional rules of politics and is openly hostile to his adversaries, much like the freewheeling boss character he plays on his reality TV show The Apprentice. “A lot of people wish they could be that egotistical and get away with it,” Boches says. “We’re not necessarily envious but enamored by that, the fact that someone can pull that off.”

…but he’s also a “Creator” of wealth

Trump’s brashness would get him nowhere if he didn’t have a track record to back it up. With no political record to speak of, Trump uses his wealth as proof of his credentials. That also makes him a “Creator” as a brand archetype and could make him seem like a more accomplished figure in some voters’ eyes compared to lifetime politicians. “Being a creator–building things out of nothing–and doing it on your own terms, are inherently American,” says Boches. “They represent independence and a desire to get ahead. I think people really gravitate to that aspect about him.”

He’s a symbol of success

In everything from reality TV to rap songs, Trump’s name and face have become a kind of shorthand for wealth and success. He’s created a sense, real or not, that there’s no sector he can’t conquer, including the political arena. “As a brand, the fact that he has success at such a high level, people probably think that that can translate into any endeavor that he takes on,” says Tor Myhren, worldwide chief creative officer of the ad agency Grey. “That’s very attractive to people.”

He speaks his mind

Trump has called Mexican immigrants rapists, mocked prisoners of war and made disparaging remarks toward women during his campaign. Those are the kinds of incendiary faux pas that would sink a regular campaign. But Trump hasn’t backed down from any of his statements, which may make him even more appealing to a certain sect of voters. “Middle America abhors the idea of political correctness,” says Mike Sheldon, North American CEO for Deutsch. “They feel victimized by all the victims out there. In a way, I think he’s like their secret microphone.”

He feels authentic

In an age of ongoing Washington gridlock and high partisanship, there’s a sense among many that every high-level politician has compromised their ideals at some point or another. Trump has no political record so opponents can’t say he’s flip-flopped on issues. And since he’s funding his campaign himself, voters may perceive him to be separate from the typical moneyed interests that control Washington. “We’re attracted to his lack of sponsors,” says Sheldon. “It’s like a NASCAR vehicle with no logos on it.”

TIME CEOs

Check Out This Insane Stunt Elon Musk Just Pulled Off

It will throw you for a hyperloop

It’s probably safe to say Elon Musk isn’t afraid of heights, given that he runs a space exploration startup. But now we have definitive proof. The Tesla and SpaceX CEO posted a picture of himself on Instagram standing atop an airplane as it flies through the sky. The daredevil stunt is known as wingwalking. “What could go wrong?” Musk asked in the photo caption.

Went for a nice wing walk. What could possibly go wrong? Photo by my lovely wife @talulahrm

A photo posted by Elon Musk (@elonmusk) on

Musk’s wife, Talulah Riley, also got in on the fun and posted a video of herself wingwalking. The couple was flying with the Breitling wingwalking team in Hampshire, England, according to a comment by Riley on Instagram.

TIME Retail

Target Will Stop Separating ‘Girls’ Toys From ‘Boys’ Toys in Stores

No more "girls' building sets" at retailer

Separate toy sections for boys and girls will soon be no more at Target. The company announced Friday that it is eliminating gender-based signs in some if its departments, including Toys, Home and Entertainment.

“Over the past year, guests have raised important questions about a handful of signs in our stores that offer product suggestions based on gender,” the company said in a press release. “Right now, our teams are working across the store to identify areas where we can phase out gender-based signage to help strike a better balance.”

In the toy section, Target will no longer use colors like pink and blue on the back walls of shelves to denote gendered sections of the department. In bedding, boys and girls sections will be merged into a single kids section. The changes will be implemented over the next few months.

Target’s announcement comes two months after an Ohio woman tweeted a picture of a sign in Target’s toy section with separate labels for “building sets” and “girls’ building sets.” The image went viral and sparked a debate about the appropriateness of gender-specific toys.

TIME Venezuela

Venezuela Is Running Out of Beer

Venezuela Beer Shortage
Fernando Llano—AP A liquor store worker organizes Polar beer cans in downtown Caracas on July 31, 2015.

Country's largest brewery is slowing production

The largest beer distributor in Venezuela is beginning to shut down some its breweries, causing widespread frustration in an already resource-strapped country.

Cerveceria Polar, which distributes 80% of Venezuela’s beer, says the lack of barley, hops and other ingredients has forced the shutdown. Other beverages like milk and bottled water have been in short supply for months, but the lack of beer is angering some Venezuelans even more, according to merchants. “People are more freaked out about losing beer than water—it shows how distorted our priorities have become here,” Yefferson Ramirez, a worker at a liquor store, told The Guardian.

Imported and artisanal beers are still readily available, but they cost much more than Polar. Heineken, for instance, can cost five times as much as the country’s most popular beer. The fact that Venezeula is in the midst of a heat wave only makes things worse.

Polar has said that it is awaiting approval from the government to import raw materials to increase beer production, but Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro hasn’t yet commented on the issue.

[The Guardian]

TIME Crime

Mom Kills Social Worker After Losing Custody of Daughter

Victim was shot outside of her office building

A Vermont mother who lost custody of her 9-year-old daughter shot and killed the social worker who oversaw her case, according to police.

Jody Herring used a high-caliber hunting rifle to kill Lara Sobel outside of her office building Friday afternoon. Sobel, who had a daughter of her own, died on the scene.

Investigators are looking into whether Sobel and Herring knew each other outside of the custody case. Herring lost custody of her daughter on July 10, and the child is still in state care.

Vermont governor Peter Shumlin ordered staffers at the Department for Children and Families, where Sobel worked, to be accompanied by police on emergency calls over the weekend. “The employees at DCF deal with the most challenging family situations that one can imagine,” Shumlin said in a statement. “They do the work out of their dedication to the children and families of this great state. To lose one of our own in the course of that duty is shocking and heartbreaking.”

[USA Today]

TIME astronomy

Here’s When to See the Perseid Meteor Shower

Perseids Meteor Shower
Blaline McCartney—AP Perseid meteors, upper left, streak past time-lapse-captured stars early morning on Aug. 13, 2013 north of Cheyenne , Wyo.

Aug. 12 and Aug. 13 will be the ideal nights to catch the shower

Watch the Perseid Meteor Shower Live

Armchair astronomers, get ready. One of the best meteor showers of the year is coming in just a few days.

The Perseid meteor shower will be lighting up the night sky starting Wednesday. The annual display could fill the sky with as many as 100 meteors per hour during its peak, according to NASA. This year the shower is peaking just before a new moon, so meteors will appear especially bright on the background of darkness.

Aug. 12 and Aug. 13 will be the ideal nights to catch the Perseids. NASA advises viewers to get as far away from city lights as possible and to keep the binoculars and telescopes at home as the meteors are easiest to see when taking in the whole sky. Also, don’t look at your cell phone. The bright screen will delay your eyes’ ability to get accustomed to the dark.

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