YouTube is launching a music streaming service, offering both videos and audio tracks, in an attempt to compete with the likes of Spotify and Apple Music.
YouTube Music will combine millions of "official" tracks with the vast catalogue of rarities and remixes uploaded by YouTube's users.
Like Spotify, it will offer a free, ad-funded app, alongside premium subscriptions costing $9.99 per month.
It launched yesterday in five countries, including the US and Mexico.
The Google-owned company said YouTube Music would come to Europe "soon."
YouTube Music product manager Elias Roman said: "The days of jumping back and forth between multiple music apps and YouTube are over. Whether you want to listen, watch or discover, it's all here."
In a blog post, he added that the service would offer a mix of "official songs, albums, thousands of playlists and artist radio plus YouTube's tremendous catalogue of remixes, live performances, covers and music videos that you can't find anywhere else."
He promised that the new app would offer personalised playlists based on users' streaming history, much like Spotify's Discover Weekly.
It is understood that YouTube Music will eventually replace Google Play Music, which is the company's current streaming offering.
Existing Google Play Music customers will get a YouTube Music package thrown into their subscription for free, while Roman reassured users that their playlists, purchases, and uploads would remain intact once Google Play was phased out.
Sent to us by: Roy W. Nash
London, England has a solution to the cashless-society problem facing street performers, and it involves an investment in contactless payment systems.
Here’s a casualty of the cashless society you might not have previously thought of: the humble street performer. After all, if more of us are paying our way with smartphones and contactless cards, how can we give spare change to musicians on the subway? London, England has a solution: a new scheme that outfits performers with contactless payment terminals.
The project was launched this past weekend by the city’s mayor, Sadiq Khan, and is a collaboration with Busk In London (a professional body for buskers) and the Swedish payments firm iZettle (which was bought this month by PayPal for $2.2 billion). A select few performers have been testing iZettle’s contactless readers on the streets for the past few weeks, and Khan now says the scheme will be rolled out across London’s 32 boroughs.
Charlotte Campbell, a full-time street performer who was part of the trial, said that the new tech “had a significant impact on contributions.” She said that more people than ever tap-to-donate while she sings, and often, when one person does, another follows.
The readers need to be connected to a smartphone or tablet, and accept payments of fixed amounts (set by the individual performer). They work with contactless cards, phones, and even smartwatches. There’s no detail yet on how many readers will be provided to London’s street performers, or whether they will have to pay for the readers themselves.
Sent to us by: Jeff Weston
Two Canadian banks say accounts have been compromised: CIBC says 40,000, and BMO says up to 50,000 customer accounts are affected.
Two Canadian banks warned Monday that they have been targeted by hackers, and that the personal information of tens of thousands of customers may have been stolen—something that appeared to be confirmed in a letter to the media from someone who said they were demanding a $1-million ransom from the banks.
CIBC-owned Simplii Financial was the first to warn on Monday morning that hackers had accessed the personal and account information of more than 40,000 of the bank's customers.
The bank said it received a tip over the weekend that hackers had obtained the data, and after a preliminary investigation decided to go public on Monday.
The bank's senior vice-president Michael Martin said in a statement, "We're taking this claim seriously and have taken action to further enhance our monitoring and security procedures."
Then later Monday morning, Bank of Montreal spokesperson, Paul Gammal, revealed that it, too, had received a tip that fraudsters had stolen data on up to 50,000 of the bank's customers, and that the party responsible has threatened to make the data public.
Someone claiming to have the stolen data sent a letter to media outlets across Canada later in the day, threatening to sell the information to "criminals" if the banks do not pay a $1-million ransom.
The email ended with a sample of the information in question: the names, dates of birth, social insurance numbers, and account balances of an Ontario man and a woman living in B.C.
Banks are caught in a tough spot on this issue because they’re being pulled between two competing forces: they want to make it easier to use technology to bank with them, but they don't want to open themselves up to more fraud.
Sent to us by: Bekah Ferguson
Ride-hailing firm Uber will give its European drivers access to medical coverage and compensation for work-related injuries.
The new protections include sick pay, parental leave and bereavement payments.
Uber said it previously "focused too much on growth and not enough on the people who made that growth possible."
"We called drivers 'partners,’ but didn't always act like it," said Uber's chief executive Dara Khosrowshahi.
The insurance and compensation package will be available to all Uber drivers and Uber Eats delivery couriers across Europe.
Uber's announcement comes before an appeal hearing at Westminster Magistrates Court on June 25, where a judge will decide whether Transport for London should renew Uber's operating licence in London after they'd withdrawn Uber's operating licence in September on the grounds of "public safety and security implications."
Uber has been allowed to continue operating in the city while it appealed against the decision.
Uber said it will provide drivers with a range of insurance coverage and compensation resulting from accidents or injuries that occur while they are working, as well as protection for "major life events" that happen whether the driver is on a shift or not.
In the US on the other hand, Uber drivers continue to fight in court for the right to be classed as workers.
Sent to us by: Roy W. Nash