TIME Companies

Amazon Wants to Book Your Next Hotel

The Amazon logo is seen on a podium duri
The Amazon logo is seen on a podium during a press conference in New York, September 28, 2011. EMMANUEL DUNAND—AFP/Getty Images

Amazon could potentially combine hotel booking information with product offerings

A new feature is reportedly coming to Amazon: hotel booking.

The online retailer, hardware maker, publisher and video distributor is adding a service called Amazon Travel to its litany of businesses, according to a report from travel industry news site Skift.

Amazon Travel will feature a curated selection of hotels within a few hours’ drive from New York, Los Angeles and Seattle. The hotels will load their room types, availability and pricing information onto Amazon and pay the company a 15% commission, Skift reports. Hoteliers would receive their payments for the room from Amazon, and could negotiate a lower commission.

One advantage for Amazon is that it could combine information about a traveler’s hotel plans with other product offerings, depending on the trip.

Skift reports that the service will likely go live January 1.

[Skift]

TIME Companies

European Parliament Wants to Break Up Google

Signage is displayed outside the Google Inc. headquarters in Mountain View, California, on Oct. 13, 2010.
Signage is displayed outside the Google Inc. headquarters in Mountain View, California, on Oct. 13, 2010. Bloomberg/Getty Images

European Parliament reportedly set to call for a break-up of the tech giant’s search engine from some of its other commercial businesses

Officials want the tech giant to unbundle its search engine from some of its other commercial business, according to a report.

Concerned over Google’s growing influence, the European Parliament is reportedly set to call for a break-up of the tech giant’s search engine from some of its other commercial businesses, according to the Financial Times.

Politicians are pushing the European Commission to limit Google’s reach either by passing new legislation or through its antitrust investigation into the company, which the EU recently reopened. A draft of a parliament motion that FT viewed argues that “unbundling [of] search engines from other commercial services” could be one appropriate path to curbing the Internet company’s dominance.

The expected recommendation, which FT says is backed by the parliament’s Socialist and European People’s Party political groups, would represent the most extreme action proposed to date by European regulators concerned over how much control American companies have over the Internet.

A vote on the recommendation is expected early next week, FT reports.

A Google spokesman declined to comment.

This article originally appeared on Fortune.com

TIME Smartphones

President Obama Forgot His BlackBerry Today

U.S. President Barack Obama holds up his BlackBerry device after he returned inside the White House to retrieve it, after boarding Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington on Nov. 21, 2014.
U.S. President Barack Obama holds up his BlackBerry device after he returned inside the White House to retrieve it, after boarding Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington on Nov. 21, 2014. Larry Downing—Reuters

We've all been there, Barack

At one point or another, we’ve all left our phones at home, only to realize it after we’re already in the car, bus, or subway. Well, count one more victim of smartphone amnesia: President Obama.

Obama reportedly left the White House to board Marine One earlier Friday — only to realize once on board that he left his BlackBerry back in his office. He hurried off the presidential chopper, grabbed his phone and headed back outside, waving the device in the air and telling reporters “Didn’t you guys ever forget something?,” Bloomberg reports.

Obama is a longtime BlackBerry user, and government offices in general remain one of the company’s strongest markets.

TIME apps

5 Awesome iPhone Apps On Sale This Weekend

Fackbook Acquires WhatsApp For $16 Billion
Justin Sullivan—Getty Images

Get Final Fantasy for cheap!

Looking to download a few great iPhone apps while saving some money this weekend? Check out these five, all on sale or free for the new few days.

Final Fantasy Series

The much-loved game series is going through a series of sales on the App Store store at the moment. I-VI of the series are currently on sale at prices between $3.99 and $10.99. Usually $16.00, the series is a long narrative adventure from the 1990s, taking players through a remarkable trans-galactic universe, from the earliest versions to the newer, 3D re-releases.

Final Fantasy is on sale in the App Store.

7 Minute Workout Pro

This app has become a best-seller for good reason. With a simple interface, it takes users through a short, no-frills workout based on 12 carefully chosen exercises. Some professional athletes believe that seven- or eight-minute bursts of intense workouts through the day can be a much more effective way of keeping in shape than hitting the gym during the 6 p.m. rush a few times a week. This app does all the planning for you.

7 Minutes Workout Pro is on sale $0.99 in the App Store.

Osmos

One of the iPhone’s most popular games, Osmos is a brilliantly designed evolution game in which players must absorb smaller organisms and avoid being absorbed by predators. The aim is to grow as large as possible, but in order to move your organism, you must expel some of your internal matter and shrink. It’s as much a game of strategy as it is of survival.

Osmos is on sale for $0.99 in the App Store.

Resume Mobile Pro

For those who decided not to visit career services at their universities and now are looking for jobs with unruly three-page resumes, this app creates a template and reminds you to fill out essential components of a professional resume. The most important feature may be that it allows you to send a PDF of your resume directly from the app to your potential employer.

Resume Mobile Pro is temporarily free in the App Store.

Things

Things is one of the most effective task manager developed for the iPhone. With separate spaces for your various commitments—from hobbies to work obligations—Things helps organize your life. Keep yourself on track with checklists and reminders and lists of goals for long-term projects. But above all, it displays what you will need to do today and allows you to manage an overwhelming schedule one day at a time.

Things is temporarily free in the App Store.

TIME Hong Kong

Hong Kong Protest Sites Slammed By ‘Largest Cyberattack Ever’

Pro-democracy activists join arms as they face off with police outside the Legislative Council building on Nov. 19, 2014 in Hong Kong.
Pro-democracy activists join arms as they face off with police outside the Legislative Council building on Nov. 19, 2014, in Hong Kong. Chris McGrath—Getty Images

The company that protects the independent media outlets said the attacks are unprecedented in scale

Media websites connected to the Hong Kong pro-democracy movement have been slammed in recent months with what has been described as one of the largest cyberattacks the Internet has ever seen.

The attacks have been leveled against websites for Apple Daily and PopVote, which held a mock-vote for Hong Kong chief executive. One of the protestors’ key demands is a free and open election for chief executive of the onetime British enclave.

The content delivery network Cloudfare, which services the sites, says the Denial of Service—or DDoS—attacks are the largest in the history of the Internet, by far. An attack in Europe brought 400 Gbps in attack traffic against an unidentified victim—the Hong Kong attacks are 500 Gbps in scale, Forbes reports. “[It’s] larger than any attack we’ve ever seen, and we’ve seen some of the biggest attacks the Internet has seen,” Cloudshare CEO Matthew Prince said.

“It’s safe to say the attackers are not sympathetic with the Hong Kong democracy movement,” Prince told Forbes, “but I don’t think we can necessarily say it’s the Chinese government. It could very well be an individual, or someone trying to make the Chinese government look bad.”

[Forbes]

TIME Gadgets

Google Sweetens the Chromebook Deal Ahead of the Holidays

Google Chromebook To Be Available Online On June 15
Google Inc. Chrome and Samsung Electronics Co.'s logos are seen on a Chromebook in San Francisco, California, U.S., on Thursday, June 9, 2011. Bloomberg—Bloomberg via Getty Images

Free storage promotion runs until the new year

Google is offering a terabyte of free storage with its Chromebook computers for the holiday season, the company announced Friday.

Customers who buy qualifying Chromebooks priced at $199 or more will receive a two-year subscription to Google Drive with a terabyte of free storage space. That amount of space typically costs $9.99 per month, so the deal is worth about $240.

Chromebooks are stripped of many of the programs typically found on PCs, and instead offer apps that are accessed online, like Google Docs. They’ve slowly gained in marketshare since Google first unveiled the barebones laptops in 2011 — Chromebook sales are expected to triple by 2017.

The Google Drive promotion runs through January 1.

TIME Technology & Media

A TV Network Should Buy Aereo. Here’s Why.

Supreme Court Hears Case Pinning Startup Internet TV Company Aereo Against Major Broadcast Networks
In this photo illustration, Aereo.com, a web service that provides television shows online, is shown on an iPhone 4S on April 22, 2014 in New York City. Andrew Burton—Getty Images

It would help them compete against Netflix and HBO Go

Aereo, an ambitious startup that aimed to stream live broadcast television to subscribers for a small monthly fee, filed for bankruptcy Friday, months after a devastating loss at the Supreme Court. But it doesn’t have to end this way.

Aereo worked by giving each of its subscribers access to a tiny antenna that picked up broadcast television signals, which were then stored in a cloud server before being beamed over the Internet to users’ laptops or mobile devices, either almost live or well after-the-fact via DVR technology. Subscribers paid about $8 a month for the service, even though broadcasters like NBC and Fox give away their content for free to anyone with an antenna in range of their transmitters, making most of their profits from advertising.

But advertising isn’t the broadcasters’ only revenue stream. Cable companies like Time Warner Cable have for years been legally required to pay broadcasters for the right to retransmit their content to cable subscribers. What sparked the Aereo case is that Aereo didn’t pay those fees, which make up an increasingly large slice of the broadcasters’ revenues. So broadcast networks, including CBS, NBC, ABC and Fox, sued Aereo on copyright grounds. The case ultimately found its way to the Supreme Court, which in June sided against Aereo. Aereo then tried a few legal hail-marys to try saving its business, but as prime Aereo backer Barry Diller admitted over the summer, the game was over once the Court’s gavel was struck.

What I have trouble moving past is that Aereo wasn’t really charging for content, as everything you could watch on the service was free anyway. It was charging for convenience — You could watch Aereo on a laptop or iPhone, and it gave customers access to a cloud-based DVR to store their favorite shows. It also made up for the fact that, here in building-packed New York City at least, the free, over-the-air broadcasts are often difficult to watch with a regular TV aerial. Most of the people I know who used Aereo here did so because they couldn’t get reliable signals from the broadcasters. In this sense, Aereo addressed a technical failure, too. With those factors combined, Aereo was certainly worth eight bucks a month.

The broadcast networks used the courts to pummel Aereo into submission, suing a potential industry disruptor out of existence. But instead of walking away smiling, those broadcasters should realize Aereo only foreshadowed a massive industry shakeup that will change everything about television. As more people cut the cord and switch to on-demand services like Netflix and HBO Go (with the latter soon to be available without a cable subscription), cable television will slowly die out — and take those lucrative retransmission fees with them as it goes. CBS, at least, sees the writing on the door: It’s launching an innovative subscription-based online service, from which it’ll likely make money off ads, too. More broadcasters should realize that cable TV is the past, not the future. And what better, bolder move to make than buying Aereo?

TIME How-To

How to Stop Accidentally Closing Your Browser All the Time

Inside The Google Chromebook Store
The logo of Google Inc. Chrome is seen alongside a Samsung Electronics Co. Chromebook laptop. Bloomberg—Bloomberg via Getty Images

Don't be foiled by keyboard shortcuts

If you’re anything like me, you love using keyboard shortcuts to zip around your computer without moving your mouse—some say it’s laziness, I say it’s efficiency. Hitting Control-W or Cmd-W in Chrome or Firefox, for example, lets me easily close a tab once I’m done reading ’19 Reasons ‘Rose’ From Titanic Is a Feminist Hero.’

But if you are anything like me, you also have a nasty habit of hitting the wrong keys about 37% of the time. And guess what’s right next to “W?” That’s “Q,” which, when pressed along with that Control/Cmd key, totally closes your entire browser. Annoying!

Well, there’s something you can do about it.

If you’re using Chrome on a Mac, click “Chrome” on your top toolbar, then check “Warn Before Quitting.” Now, you’ll need to either hold down the Q button or tap it twice to fully close Chrome—no more accidental Cmd-Qs when you meant to Cmd-W. Chrome for Windows lacks this nifty feature, but if you restart Chrome and hit Control + Shift + T, it’ll reopen all the tabs you had open when you accidentally closed Chrome.

For Firefox users on Windows or Mac, the trick takes a little more work. First, open Firefox’s preferences panel and head over to the “Tabs” section. Check “Warn me when closing multiple tabs.” Then, open a new Firefox tab and in the address bar, type about:config. Filter those results by “warnon,” and set all the options that appear to “true.” Then filter for “quit,” and set the “showQuitWarning” to “true.” This won’t work. Huzzah! Now any time you’ve got more than one Firefox tab open, it’ll warn you before quitting.

Happy browsing, Chrome and Firefox users.

TIME Companies

Google Just Took its First Step Back Into China

The Google logo is reflected in windows
The Google logo is reflected in windows of the company's China head office as the Chinese national flag flies in the wind in Beijing on March 23, 2010. AFP/Getty Images

Chinese developers can now sell their apps as exports in Google's app store

Google is trying to woo mobile developers in China.

The search giant has announced that Chinese app developers will now be able to sell apps to Google Play users in more than 130 other countries. It’s one of Google’s first attempts to engage with the Chinese marketplace since leaving the country in 2010 in following conflicts with the government over national censorship policies.

The Google Play Store is severely restricted in China, so app makers in the country will be selling their wares as exports. It’s no surprise that Google is having second thoughts on leaving the country behind: China has more than 600 million Internet users, and that figure is expected to reach 800 million next year.

This olive branch to developers may be the first step in a more ambitious strategy. Google is reportedly looking to partner with a Chinese phone manufacturer or wireless carrier to launch a full-featured version of the Play store in the country, according to the Wall Street Journal.

TIME

TV-Streaming Startup Aereo Files for Bankruptcy

Supreme Court Rules Aereo Violates Copyrights
Aereo CEO Chet Kanojia holds one of the company's small antenna, May 22, 2014. Lane Turner—The Boston Globe/Getty Images

Move comes nearly five months after the Supreme Court ruled against the company in a copyright spat with TV networks

Aereo, a startup that allowed users to live-stream television shows, on Friday announced that it had filed for bankruptcy, nearly five months after the Supreme Court ruled against the company in a copyright spat with TV networks.

“Chapter 11 will permit Aereo to maximize the value of its business and assets without the extensive cost and distraction of defending drawn out litigation in several courts,” wrote Aereo CEO and founder Chet Kanojia in a blog post on the company’s website. That statement indicated the startup doesn’t intend to fight to keep its service in the market.

Aereo lost a key Supreme Court case in late June, in a 6-3 ruling that found the company’s retransmission of network programming amounted to a “public performance” and therefore must include payments to the broadcast networks, or Aereo would run afoul of copyright laws. After that ruling, Fortune reported that the ruling could have killed off the startup, which had raised nearly $100 million from venture capital firms and Barry Diller’s IAC/Interactive.

Kanojia at times struck a hopeful tone in his blog post, saying he felt the current television experience provided few options and that costs were “unreasonably high and rising.” He said Aereo had intended to provide an alternative to “how they watch local live TV. That’s how Aereo came to live.” Founded in 2012, the company allowed users to stream and even digitally record live broadcast television provided they pay for the service for between $8 to $12 a month, depending on the plan.

The startup faced a legal challenge by the major TV networks, which sued Aereo in federal court in New York, citing copyright infringement and asking the court to close the startup down.

After winning a few lower court decisions, Aereo faced a loss at the Supreme Court in June, a defeat Kanojia said “has proven difficult to overcome.”

This article originally appeared on Fortune.com

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