Mark your calendars: Sony's IFA 2017 keynote will be held on August 31

Berlin-held consumer electronics expo IFA’s 2017 edition is still more than two months ahead of us, and yet companies are already starting to announce plans for their own events before and during the exhibition. Case in point: Sony has just given us details about when its IFA press conference is going to be held this year.
Sony’s keynote will be held on Thursday, August 31, at 1 p.m. Central European time, which for all of you Americans out there translates to 7 a.m. Eastern and 4 a.m Pacific time.
Much like its American counterpart …


Mark Hamill remembers 'princess' Carrie Fisher at Tony Awards

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As is the standard at awards shows, there was an “in memoriam” segment at the Tony Awards Sunday night, and yup, there were tears.

“We lost many beloved members of our theatrical family,” Mark Hamill said. “Legends of the stage, artists from behind the scenes, princes of show business… and a princess,” Hamill continued, putting his hand on his heart.

The princess reference is obviously — sob — referring to Carrie Fisher, who passed away in December followed shortly after by her mother, Debbie Reynolds.

Both woman were honored as part of the In Memoriam segment, which this year took the form of five Broadway performers singing “It’s So Hard to Say Goodbye to Yesterday.” Read more…

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Amazon's shares crack the $1,000 mark for the first time

For the first time ever since going public, Amazon’s shares have hit the $1,000 mark. That means that for 2017, the stock is up 33% and had enriched Jeff Bezos and other stockholders to the tune of $120 billion. The company becomes only the second of the current S&P 500 companies to hit the $1,000 mark. The first to do it was Priceline back in 2013. Analysts see another 10% rise in the stock with the Wall Street consensus calling for the shares to hit a target of $1,100.

If you consider Amazon to be a tech stock (more on that below) than all top five U.S. companies by market cap (share …

Twice as many app publishers reach the million-dollar mark on the App Store compared to Google Play

According to a recent report by market intelligence company Sensor Tower, more app publishers are likely to make their first $1 million in annual revenue on Apple’s App Store, rather than Google Play. Sensor Tower’s data shows that 66 iOS app publishers reached this milestone in 2016, while only 39 managed to achieve the same on Google’s online storefront.

Further, the data shows that the number of publishers who made their first million over the last year on the U.S. App Store has nearly doubled over 2015. Tower Sensor’s report takes into account in-app revenues, …

Apple misses the mark, sells 50.8 million iPhone units in fiscal Q2 vs. expectations of 52 million

Apple reported its fiscal second quarter earnings this afternoon. The tech titan said that it fell short of Wall Street expectations pertaining to iPhone sales. With analysts expecting about 52 million iPhone handsets to have been rung up in the three months ended in March, Apple said that 50.8 million units were actually sold. CEO Tim Cook told CNBC that the company is noticing “a delay in purchasing behavior.” That could be due to the 10th anniversary Apple iPhone 8 that is expected to be released later this year with many new features, including an AMOLED screen. As Apple’s CEO points out, Consumers …

Mark Zuckerberg posts Oculus VR film profiling prison inmates changing their lives

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Mark Zuckerberg made a big splash last week with Facebook’s dive into social VR in the form of Facebook Spaces. But Zuckerberg knows that social media is just part of the VR picture, and on Sunday he demonstrated that by posting a short VR film called Step to the Line. 

Shot using the new Nokia OZO camera, directed by Ricardo Laganaro, and produced in partnership with Defy Ventures, the film is part of the Oculus VR For Good program. The Oculus initiative was launched last year to support VR film projects that encourage positive social change.  Read more…

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You know things are bad when Mark Hamill mixes up Steve Bannon and Darth Vader

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Mark Hamill felt a great disturbance aboard Air Force One over the weekend.

It all started on April 6 when Donald “45” Trump popped into the press cabin aboard the presidential airliner to answer some questions about his missile strike in Syria. And in a truly “truth is stranger than fiction” twist, he delivered his remarks just as Darth Vader made his Rogue One debut on the monitor next to Trump’s face.

I can’t make this stuff up.

Air Force 1 was showing “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” today (AFP photo) — someone stealing the plans for the Death Star today? pic.twitter.com/00Y6gHiUGn

— David Martosko (@dmartosko) April 6, 2017 Read more…

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