TIME

Police To Question Murdoch Over Phone Hacking After Trial

The Television Academy's 23rd Hall Of Fame Induction Gala
Rupert Murdoch attends the Television Academy's 23rd Hall of Fame induction gala at Regent Beverly Wilshire Hotel on March 11, 2014 in Beverly Hills, Calif. Jason LaVeris—FilmMagic/Getty Images

After a court found a top editor at a Murdoch-owned tabloid guilty

Rupert Murdoch will reportedly face questions from Scotland Yard as investigators extend their probe into News of the World, a Murdoch-owned British tabloid embroiled in an expansive phone-hacking scandal.

The Guardian reports that investigators have officially requested an interview with Murdoch, according to sources close to the investigation. Murdoch will reportedly undergo the interview “under caution,” a legal warning that signals to the interviewee he is a suspect in the investigation and his answers can be used as evidence in court.

The news comes just after a court found former News of the World editor Andy Coulson guilty of conspiring to hack phones. Handwritten documents suggested that Coulson had attempted to target upwards of 5,500 people. The conviction of a senior editor heightens the risk that the Murdoch’s company itself, News UK, and its senior managers could be held liable for the hacking scandal under UK law.

[The Guardian]

 

 

TIME World Cup

It’s Official: Soccer is Bigger than Basketball, Baseball

Fans gather in Grant Park to watch the U.S. play Portugal in a Group G World Cup soccer match on June 22, 2014 in Chicago. Fans were turned away from the free event after a 10,000-person capacity was reached.
Fans gather in Grant Park to watch the U.S. play Portugal in a Group G World Cup soccer match on June 22, 2014 in Chicago. Fans were turned away from the free event after a 10,000-person capacity was reached. Scott Olson—Getty Images

But it doesn't hold a candle to football ratings

World Cup viewership continued to break records on Sunday, drawing millions more viewers than the most recent big match-ups in basketball and baseball.

A total of 24.7 million viewers tuned in as the U.S. squared off against Portugal on Sunday, according to figures released by Nielsen company. The ratings surpassed last week’s World Cup match between the U.S. and Ghana, indicating that interest in the tournament is steadily rising — at least, for as long as the U.S. team is involved.

Sunday’s game also surpassed ratings for the NBA finals, which drew 18 million viewers, and trounced the ratings for the 2013 World Series, which drew 14.9 million viewers. So is America’s favorite past time officially soccer, or, dare we say it, “futbol?”

Not by a long shot. The 2014 Super Bowl drew an average 111.5 million viewers, more than quadruple the audience of the most watched soccer match of all time. Football it is.

TIME Companies

Amazon and Warner Bros. May Have Buried the Hatchet

Movie Stills Database/Warner Bros.

The dispute between Amazon and Warner Bros. seems to be coming to a close. The Wall Street Journal reports that the option to pre-order upcoming Warner Bros. DVDs and Blu-Rays like Transcendence and 300: Rise of an Empire has been restored on the online retailer’s website after disappearing last month. Amazon had reportedly been trying to negotiate more favorable pricing terms for Warner Bros. films.

The conflict echoed the much more public spat between Amazon and book publisher Hachette, which has been protracted over several months as the two sides negotiate pricing terms. In addition to removing the option to pre-order certain Hachette titles, Amazon has also slowed shipping of the publisher’s books to customers and recommended people buy books from competing publishers instead.

Amazon says it is using these tactics on behalf of its own customers. “Negotiating for acceptable terms is an essential business practice that is critical to keeping service and value high for customers in the medium and long term,” the company said in its only public statement on the dispute back in May.

Unlike the Warner Bros. conflict, Amazon said it does not expect its issues with Hachette to be resolved in the near future.

TIME Advertising

Like My Facebook Page, Buy My Product? Well, No

A view of Facebook's "Like" button May 1
Brendan Smialowski—AFP/Getty Images

Social media doesn't drive sales, research says

People go on Facebook and Twitter mostly to learn about companies or products. True or false?

Answer: Are you kidding me? I don’t do it. You don’t do it. Nobody you know does it. We use social media to brag about our accomplishments, post vacation photos, see what our friends and family (and maybe a few celebrities) are doing and talking about.

This seems almost too obvious to mention—but companies are desperate to reach consumers, and with hundreds off millions of them visiting social media sites every day, marketers feel like they simply have to be there too, so they are—to the tune of more than $5 billion last year in the U.S. alone, according to social media consultants BIA/Kelsey. By 2018, that figure could rise to $15 billion.

Evidently, they’re wasting their money. A new report from the Gallup Organization titled State of the American Consumer has now quantified the obvious: 62% of consumers say that social media have “no influence at all” on purchasing decisions, while only 5% say the sites have “a great deal of influence.”

That’s not to say that social media isn’t a great place to get advice about stuff to buy—it’s just that we tend to look or advice from people we know and trust. And those people aren’t usually named “L’Oreal” or “Coca-Cola.”

Like much of the research that gets published, the results of this survey seem pretty obvious. Still, a study like might be useful for advertisers and marketers who aren’t always at the forefront of understanding how society is changing (think of Don Draper confronting the ’60s on Mad Men). What they should do, writes Gallup’s Ed O’Boyle in a blog post for the Harvard Business Review, is to come across as more authentic, be more interactive, and make their content more compelling. “Gallup research has consistently shown,” he writes, “that customers base purchasing decisions on their emotional connections with a brand. Social media are great for making those connections—but only when a brand shifts its focus from communication to conversation.”

Good advice. Now let’s see if anyone is paying attention.

TIME video streaming

Apple TV Just Got an Upgrade That Makes It Way Better

Apple TV
Apple

Apple TV scored a big get today with the arrival of ABC News on the set-top box. The new app will function as a kind of online network, delivering ABC News content to Apple TV users 24 hours a day. The video coverage will be a mixture of live news updates, original programming and edited clips from TV properties such as Good Morning America. In nine major markets such as New York and Chicago, news reports from the local ABC affiliate will also be available. In total the new channel will have about eight hours of live programming each day, according to Mashable. Unlike many online apps from TV networks, this one won’t require users to prove that they have a cable subscription in order to use it.

In addition to the new ABC app, Apple TV also added AOL On today, a video network by the Internet company that features mostly short-form web video. PBS also added a kids’ network, PBS Kids, and cricket broadcaster Willow TV also added an app. Yahoo’s Flickr app also got a redesign to make it more appealing for the big screen.

Apple TV has sold more than 20 million units since it first launched in 2007, beating out competitors such as Roku and Amazon’s new Fire TV set-top box. Rumors persist that Apple will eventually launch a streaming or pay-TV service that competes more directly with cable.

TIME Smarthome

Google’s Nest Is Coming After the Rest of Your Home

Nest Labs, maker of the “learning” thermostat, is opening its platform to outside developers in a bid to expand the range of Internet-connected home devices it can interact with. Through Nest, which search giant Google acquired for $3.2 billion in January, users will be able to communicate with Mercedes-Benz vehicles, Whirlpool appliances, Jawbone fitness trackers and other gadgets.

Google is among the partners announced as part of the program. Google Now, the company’s personal digital assistant, will be able to set the temperature on a Nest thermostat automatically when it detects that a user is coming home, for example, or through voice commands. Nest said it will share limited user information with Google and other partners. Nest co-founder Matt Rogers told the Wall Street Journal that users have to opt in for each new device.

The move allows partners to link their software and applications to Nest’s thermostat, which will act as a hub for devices in the home. For example, Jawbone’s UP24 band knows when its users are about to wake up in the morning. Now, a Nest thermostat can automatically raise or lower the temperature just before a user gets out of bed in the morning. Likewise, a connected Mercedes-Benz can tell Nest when a user will be home from work, timing the house’s temperature correctly.

Nest is independently operated from Google. But the device maker is leading Google’s charge into the connected home market. Earlier this month, Nest announced it was acquiring Dropcam, a maker of connected cameras, for $555 million. The company’s founders have also said they are looking for unloved or poorly designed devices to reinvent.

TIME Tech

These Human Robots Will Haunt Your Nightmares

Japan hopes lifelike robots will be as common as laptops

Meet Otonaroid and Kodomoroid, two eerily lifelike robots who can read fluently, recite tongue twisters, blink, move and twitch their eyebrows (natch).

Japanese android expert Hiroshi Ishiguro unveiled the female cyborgs on Tuesday at the National Museum of Merging Science and Innovation. The two will be on display at the Museum for visitors to interact with.

Ishiguro’s robotics are the latest confirmation of the uncanny valley hypothesis, which posits that humans find discomfort when robotic and animated humans approach a natural human appearance.

With Softbank’s commercialization of robots, Ishiguro—who’s previously designed his own doppelgänger robots—hopes that robots will soon become a part of everyday life in Japan.

MONEY retirement planning

Forget About Saving. Just Go on Vacation.

Mickey Mouse posing with the Gaither quintuplets
You budgeted for your Disney World trip, but did you count the hit to your retirement savings? Gene Duncan—AP

Americans get retirement saving backwards: We think about it more when there's less time to do it. Millennials, now's the time to fix on the problem.

More people plan for their next vacation than plan for their retirement, new research shows. This won’t shock anyone who has followed the retirement savings crisis in America—or scraped together $12,000 for a family trip to Disney World. What’s striking, though, is how totally upside down our thinking is on this issue.

The amount of time we spend thinking about retirement increases with age across every cohort, the financial services firm Edward Jones found. That makes sense until you think about it. By the time you are in your 60s it may be too late to make much of a difference in your nest egg. A little more thinking in your 30s would go a long way.

Yet Jones found that time spent thinking ahead about retirement rises dramatically with age. Among those 18 to 34, only 9% say retirement planning is top of mind. The share rises to 31% among those 35 to 44, to 37% among those 45 to 54, and to 40% among those 55 to 64. Overall, Jones found that 28% of Americans have the next vacation top of mind while 25% have retirement planning and 22% have paying for college top of mind.

Once upon a time, retirement planning could wait. More workers had pensions and retiree health benefits. Planning was more about when to take Social Security, who to designate as beneficiaries, and how to trigger pension payments. Today, if you don’t start thinking about retirement before 55 you are either wealthy or out of luck. Yes, important adjustments can be made at any age—like taking advantage of catch-up tax-deferred savings rules, working longer and delaying Social Security benefits. But the real juice is in saving early and often.

Compound growth for an extra 20 years, or even just 10, can more than double your savings over 35 years. Investing $2,000 a month and earning an 8% return would provide $399,082 over 35 years, according to data from T. Rowe Price. Savings after 25 years would total $165,457; over 15 years, just $60,203.

So when only 9% of young adults say that retirement planning is top of mind, it means that 91% are at extra risk of falling short in the long term—and doomed to think about retirement finances much more often when there is much less they can do about it.

MONEY Gas

Gas Prices Hit a High for 2014—but the News Isn’t All Bad

Steven Puetzer—Getty Images

Right now, prices at the pump are as expensive as they've been all year. With any luck, though, it'll be all downhill from here.

According to the federal Energy Information Administration, as of Monday, the national average for a gallon of regular gasoline reached $3.70. That’s 13¢ higher than a year ago at this time, and it matches the previous high thus far in 2014, set in late April.

The bad news, beyond the obvious—you know, having to pay more to fill up and all—is that prices have been creeping upward just at a time the opposite was supposed to happen. The expectation was that gas prices would actually decrease in June, as they have in each of the past three years. The summer forecast from AAA called for a 10¢ to 15¢ per-gallon drop in prices at the pump this month, and predicted that the national average would remain in the vicinity of $3.55 to $3.70 through the summer. We’ve already hit the high end of the predicted price range long before anticipated—and gas prices have tended to rise toward summer’s end in recent years.

That said, prices at the pump aren’t exactly spiking. Nationally, the per-gallon price is only up a few pennies compared to a week ago, or even a month ago for that matter. Still, because everybody was expecting a significant decline this month, drivers are justified in feeling like they’re paying a lot more than they should to gas up right now. Turmoil in Iraq is being blamed for the persistently high gas prices.

So what’s the good news here? While drivers in 41 states and Washington, D.C., are currently paying more for gas than they did at this time last year, a handful of states are starting to see price breaks. According to the gas-pricing monitoring site GasBuddy, Indiana, Ohio, and Michigan drivers have all seen a per-gallon price decrease of 9¢ to 12¢ over the past week. And areas that have experienced a gas price hike lately can expect prices to flatten out going forward. “Many areas that saw gains over a nickel should see a calmer, cooler week at the pump,” a GasBuddy post on Monday explained. “So far this morning, oil prices are down 55 cents a barrel while gasoline spot prices are generally negative, a good sign for motorists.”

What’s more, the analysts generally say that it’s extremely unlikely the national average will reach $4 per gallon, or even close to $3.90 as happened in September 2012.

Then again, the analysts have been wrong before. Like when they were making predictions just a few weeks ago, for instance.

TIME Tech

Apple Is Planning to Make a Huge Break With Its Past

Is Apple about to play the celebrity game at a new, all-pro level?

fortunelogo-blue
This post is in partnership with Fortune, which offers the latest business and finance news. Read the article below originally published at Fortune.com.

Steve Jobs liked to court celebrities, but he did it quietly. He might give Sean Lennon a Mac, Bob Dylan an iPod or Barack Obama an iPad, but you wouldn’t hear about it from Apple.

That may be about to change. According to Mark Gurman, a young reporter at 9to5Mac who has broken more stories about Apple’s “iWatch” that the rest of the pack combined, Apple is teaming up with a raft of sports celebrities to test — and perhaps market — what the Street and the tech press expect will be Apple’s next big thing.

Gurman mentions in particular L.A. Lakers shooting guard Kobe Bryant, L.A. Kings right wing Dustin Brown and a player from the Boston Red Sox to be named later. Bryant was a key spokesperson for Nike, which is winding down its FuelBand business, and he was spotted last month on Apple’s Cupertino campus, where he reportedly met with Apple design chief Jony Ive.

In a similar vein, Jimmy Iovine, the well-connected music producer who came to Apple, along with Dr. Dre, as part of the $3 billion acquisition of Beats Electronics, spoke at an industry conference in late May about having music stars “curate” playlists on a new Apple streaming music service. Iovine knows a lot about cashing in on celebrity, something he did regularly at Beats, using exclusive tracks from the likes of Robin Thicke, Britney Spears and Wil.i.am to promote his company’s brand.

For the rest of the story, go to Fortune.com.

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