Tech News: Skype Gets Record-Breaking Traffic
In other news, the FDA approved a new treatment for the blind.
"A New York Times reviewer in early February took issue with Tesla's (NASDAQ:TSLA) new 'Model S' and panned the distance the electric car could travel between charges. Now, both Tesla and the Times are going the extra mile to prove one another wrong.
"After the Times' review, published on Feb. 8, gave a less-than-stellar look at Tesla's new East Coast 'Supercharging' stations, Tesla CEO Elon Musk took to Twitter on Feb. 11 and labeled the review 'fake.' On Feb. 13, Tesla released data it says support Musk's claim.
"In a lengthy blog post titled 'A Most Peculiar Test Drive,' Musk walks through and analyzes the vehicle's data logs, captured while New York Times reviewer John Broder was at the wheel. 'In Mr. Broder's case, he simply did not accurately capture what happened and worked very hard to force our car to stop running,' Musk summarily states."
The New York Times
Link: Device Offers Partial Vision for the Blind
"The Food and Drug Administration on Thursday approved the first treatment to give limited vision to people who are blind, involving a technology called the artificial retina.
"The device allows people with a certain type of blindness to detect crosswalks on the street, the presence of people or cars, and sometimes even large numbers or letters. The approval of the system marks a milestone in a new frontier in vision research, a field in which scientists are making strides with gene therapy, optogenetics, stem cells and other strategies.
"'This is just the beginning,' said Grace Shen, a director of the retinal diseases program at the National Eye Institute, which helped finance the artificial retina research and is supporting many other blindness therapy projects. 'We have a lot of exciting things sitting in the wings.'"
"Facebook's (NASDAQ:FB) crusade against pseudonyms and nicknames has just won out. After a German court ruled Facebook couldn't force people to use their real, full names, a successful appeal from Facebook in another German court rules it can. The result? You're stuck using your real name on Facebook.
"The court ruled that, as Facebook's EU headquarters and data processing centres are in Ireland, only Irish law applies. In effect, the German court has contradicted itself saying German law doesn't apply here. The irony is that all the data processing is seemingly done in the US anyway, and not in the EU, although whether that's really true or not it's difficult to tell from the outside."
"Microsoft's (NASDAQ:MSFT) Skype is making some serious headway into the international phone traffic scene. New data from telecom market research firm TeleGeography shows that Skype broke records in 2012 by hosting the same amount of calls as one third of the world's phone traffic.
"International phone traffic typically grows slowly, for example in 2012 it increased by 5 percent to 490 billion minutes. However, voice and messaging call apps are growing at a breakneck pace. Skype voice and video traffic grew 44 percent to 167 billion minutes in 2012. This increase is more than twice that of all international carriers combined."
The Wall Street Journal
Link: Universal Music to Get More Cash for YouTube Covers
"Those cover videos on YouTube could start generating some more revenue for the music industry.
"VivendiSA's (EPA:VIV) Universal Music Publishing Group has struck deals with Maker Studios Inc. and Fullscreen Inc., two of the biggest 'multichannel networks'-a new breed of digital entertainment companies that distribute, promote and sometimes produce videos specifically made for Google Inc.'s (NASDAQ:GOOG) YouTube. Under terms of the deals, Universal will get an undisclosed percentage of revenue from ads that run alongside cover videos of the publisher's songs on YouTube.
"Music publishers control the copyrights on musical compositions and lyrics, unlike record companies, which typically own specific recordings of those songs.
"Cover videos are among the most popular on YouTube, perhaps because they combine the appeal of established hit songs with the allure of new performers putting their own spin on the songs. Such cover videos can be an career steppingstone. Justin Bieber's path to stardom began with posting covers of pop songs on YouTube, where his manager spotted them.
"But until now, little if any of the ad revenue from those cover videos went back to the band members, producers and songwriters who composed the song, or the music publishers who represent them."
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