Amazon required third-party sellers on its platform to acquire approval before listing Nintendo products such as used consoles and games, then withdrew the restriction as it was supposedly an error.Several third-party sellers on Amazon reported receiving an e-mail on November 1 regarding the requirement, which supposedly went into effect on October 31.“As part of our ongoing efforts to provide the best possible customer experience, we are implementing approval requirements for Nintendo products,” the e-mail said.Listings without approval were to be removed immediately, which gave the sellers no time to react to the sudden change.The e-mail did not provide any further details, so it was unclear which Nintendo products were affected.Some sellers were not able to list Nintendo consoles and games under “used” or “collectible” condition, but they were able to do so as long as the items were in “new” condition.
The T-Mobile/Sprint merger is one step closer to becoming a reality.The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has formally voted to approve the merger, just a few months after the Department of Justice (DOJ) gave its approval.In May, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai said he would vote for the merger as long as the two companies committed to a fast rollout of 5G tech.Other Republican commissioners also signaled support for the merger.The two Democratic commissioners on the FCC have voiced disapproval for the merger, with one commissioner, Jessica Rosenworcel, penning an op-ed about it in the Atlantic earlier today.“A condensed pharmaceutical industry has led to a handful of drug companies raising the prices of lifesaving medications, taking advantage of those struggling with illness,” said Rosenworcel in the article.
UPS has big plans for drone delivery, and it’s taking two key steps to put them into action.First, it’s building its own dedicated subsidiary focused entirely on drone delivery, called UPS Flight Forward, and it’s seeking FAA approval to operate its drones over populated areas, during nighttime hours and when not within view of a human operator, all of which are currently required for general commercial drone operation.UPS will seek to gain the same certification that Alphabet’s Wing received back in April, which is a status that others, including Uber Eats and Amazon Air, have applied for but not yet received, as noted by The Verge.One of the biggest shipping companies in the world, UPS basically needs to have some kind of play in the drone delivery field, whether or not that actually ends up being the future of last-mile logistics.Amazon, as mentioned, is seeking similar approval, and has been very aggressive in terms of their marketing and promotion of their drone delivery efforts.Earlier this year, UPS partnered with drone startup Matternet to pilot medical sample deliveries in North Carolina, and the company demonstrated drones delivering packages from trucks back in 2017 in Florida, although the tests didn’t go as smoothly as UPS probably would’ve liked.
The busy week surrounding the T-Mobile-Sprint merger took another twist Friday.After getting a thumbs-up from the FCC earlier this week, followed by a report that the Department of Justice staff were still against the merger, a new report suggests that the DOJ may still let the merger go through.According to the New York Post, FCC chairman Ajit Pai "consulted" with DOJ antitrust head Makan Delrahim before giving his public support for the $26 billion deal.While details of the conversation weren't revealed, the paper reports that the fact that the two spoke before Pai's endorsement suggests that Dalrahim may go against DOJ staff and allow the deal to go through.The FCC and DOJ each need to approve the deal, which has seen government pushback over the consolidation of the national US wireless carrier market from four major players to three.DOJ staff have reportedly been against the merger over such antitrust concerns, while T-Mobile and Sprint have argued that the deal is necessary for quickly building a robust nationwide 5G network.
T-Mobile and Sprint started the day with very good news when FCC chairman Ajit Pai said he would urge the commission to approve their industry-transforming merger.Stocks of both companies soared soon after.But only a few hours later, Bloomberg is reporting that the US Department of Justice is leaning toward blocking the merger over antitrust concerns.This isn’t the first time we’ve heard that the Justice Department remains unconvinced that a combined T-Mobile and Sprint would be a positive development for consumers.Citing a person familiar with the DoJ’s ongoing merger review, Bloomberg says that “the remedies proposed by the companies don’t go far enough to resolve antitrust concerns.” T-Mobile and Sprint agreed to several “enforceable” milestones on 5G deployment throughout the US in order to gain the FCC’s thumbs-up on the deal; Boost Mobile will also be sold off if the merger is successful.In a video, T-Mobile CEO John Legere insisted that the combined company would face hefty financial penalties if it fails to meet those 5G buildout goals.
SpaceX has received Federal Communications Commission approval to halve the orbital altitude of more than 1,500 planned broadband satellites in order to lower the risk of space debris and improve latency.SpaceX's satellite project, named Starlink, aims to provide high-speed, low-latency broadband around the world.SpaceX last year received FCC approval to launch 4,425 low-Earth-orbit satellites at several different altitudes between 1,110km to 1,325km.The FCC approved the request in an order on Friday but pointed out that SpaceX still has to file a detailed debris mitigation plan for the rest of the satellites."Given the atmospheric drag at this lower altitude, this relocation will significantly enhance space safety by ensuring that any orbital debris will quickly re-enter and demise in the atmosphere," SpaceX told the FCC in November 2018 in its application for a license modification.At the lower altitude, "any orbital debris will undergo rapid atmospheric re-entry and demise, even in the unlikely event that a spacecraft fails in orbit."
SpaceX’s plans to bring its internet-beaming satellites closer to Earth have been given the go-ahead, paving the way for speedier, less technically complex wireless broadband.SpaceX got permission from the FCC to launch a satellite internet service last year, a not-inconsiderable plan to significantly expand the company’s business model.The initial roadmap saw 4,425 individual satellites coming together to form a huge constellation, in the process bringing connectivity to areas that would traditionally have missed out on anything close to high-speed broadband.Rather than 4,425 satellites orbiting from at least 690 miles up above the planet, a much closer orbit for a significant number was suggested.In fact, the company said, it could cut the constellation to 4,409 units.That reduction of sixteen may not sound like much, but when you’re talking about the price of a non-geostationary orbit satellite and the launch required to deploy it, it adds up quickly.
China’s top video game regulator, the State Administration of Press and Publication (SAPP) began accepting new game approval submissions on Monday after a two-month hiatus, while implementing a new and more detailed approval process, according to game media outlet GameLook.The new requirements were initially disclosed in a post from the official WeChat account of Yifan Publications, an agency that helps game companies apply for approvals.As of writing, the agency has taken down the article, and there are no updates about the new requirements on the website for State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television (SAPPRFT), the government body that SAPP replaced.In the absence of its own website, SAPP uses the website of the now-defunct SAPPRFT to send out notices.While not yet officially confirmed, the new rules were reportedly released by SAPP on Apr.Titles that “lack cultural value” or “blindly imitate others,” as well as those that are “excessively entertaining” will be rejected.
Alphabet Wing, the drone delivery startup owned by Google’s parent company, announced that it has become the first company to receive Air Carrier Certification from the United States Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).This lets Wing begin commercial deliveries from local businesses to homes in the U.S. — including the crucial ability to fly over civilians and beyond the visible line of sight of drone operators.Operations will start “over the coming weeks” in the Blacksburg and Christiansburg areas of Virginia, where Wing will run a commercial delivery pilot as part of the Integrated Pilot Program (IPP) later in 2019.This means that the U.S. will officially join Canberra, Australia, where Wing already operates a commercial air delivery service.It is also poised to start trials in Europe, delivering to homes in Helsinki, Finland.“This is a significant first step in a process that will ultimately allow Wing to build a business that uses delivery drones to transport important items to be people when they need them the most, more quickly, safely and conveniently, and with a low carbon footprint,” a spokesperson for Wing told Digital Trends.
Wing, the Alphabet-owned startup, has become the first drone delivery company to gain the Federal Aviation Administration’s approval to make commercial deliveries in the US.Bloomberg reports that the company was granted the regulator’s blessing after fulfilling many of the safety requirements of a traditional airline.Gaining the FAA’s approval as an airline was necessary for the way Wing wants to operate its drone deliveries.Current FAA regulations prevent a drone from being flown outside of an operator’s line of sight, while licenses for automated deliveries have previously only been granted for demonstrations where drone companies haven’t been allowed to accept payment for their services.Gaining the FAA’s approval as an airline meant creating safety manuals and training routines and implementing a safety hierarchy.The approval means that Wing, which has the same parent company as Google, can start making deliveries in Virginia in the coming months, where it plans to deliver goods from local businesses to rural communities in Blacksburg and Christiansburg.
The Alphabet X lab graduate announced this morning that it has been certified by the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration as a small-sized air carrier, which will enable it to kick off drone deliveries from local merchants in the Virginia towns of Blacksburg and Christiansburg within months.That unique classification — which was initially created to cover traditional charter flights — will allow Wing to charge for service and paves the way for expansion to additional U.S. cities.Under current drone-specific regulations, companies can’t exact payment for deliveries over distances beyond a human operator’s line of sight.“It’s an exciting moment for us have earned the FAA’s approval to actually run a business with our technology,” CEO Ryan Burgess told the Washington Post, adding that the “very rigorous and very thorough” FAA certification process took months and required Wing to produce manuals, training routines, and a safety hierarchy.“In the short term, you look at what people do every day, especially people with really busy schedules or parents with young children who have a lot of demands on their time … [Getting] a healthy meal delivered, hot and fresh, in just a few minutes, can make a pretty transformative impact in quality of life.”Earlier this year, Wing became one of the first companies to launch a commercial drone delivery service after Australia’s civil aviation authority, Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA), granted it approval following more than four years of testing, 70,000 flights, and 3,000 deliveries.
China has created a new approval process for games, as market analyst Niko Partners has detailed.The country is the largest gaming market in the world, but all publishers must submit games to the government for content and monetization review.The approval process suspended in April 2017 as China introduced a new regulator group, China’s State Administration of Press and Publication (SAPP).It began approving games again in December, giving the OK to about 1,000 titles since.It will begin reviewing games again when the new approval system starts at the end of this month.SAPP held a conference on April 10 to establish the new rules.
The colossal, industry-changing merger between US mobile providers T-Mobile and Sprint is running into significant resistance from regulators.According to The Wall Street Journal, the Department of Justice has warned both companies that their merger is unlikely to be approved as currently proposed.Antitrust concerns are said to be at the top of the DOJ’s qualms with the deal: regulators are worried that the deal could harm wireless competition despite insistence from the two carriers that it would be a boost to job creation and network evolution.The $26 billion deal already faces strong pushback from Democratic lawmakers, who recently urged against it in a letter to FCC chairman Ajit Pai and staffers at the DOJ’s antitrust division — the very people who recently met with T-Mobile and Sprint to warn that the deal is far from a sure thing.According to the Journal, “some state antitrust officials have expressed concerns similar to those from the Justice Department” and will mount a legal challenge to the deal if the DOJ doesn’t lead the charge itself.T-Mobile and Sprint have spent months lobbying for the merger and insisting that it’s critical to make the US a leader as we enter the era of 5G — and to present much larger rivals Verizon Wireless and AT with more formidable competition.
The European Union has officially approved a controversial and sweeping reform of its copyright rules to protect content creators but that includes provisions critics and tech giants have argued will signficantly reduce free speech online.The rules were passed by the European Parliament last month, but still needed the final approval of member governments to go into effect.Opponents were hoping to make one last stand against the legislation, but instead 19 of the 28 member countries voted in favor of the overhaul.“With today’s agreement, we are making copyright rules fit for the digital age,” said European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker in a statement.“Europe will now have clear rules that guarantee fair remuneration for creators, strong rights for users and responsibility for platforms.When it comes to completing Europe’s digital single market, the copyright reform is the missing piece of the puzzle.”
Altaba Announces Board Approval of Plan of Complete Liquidation and Dissolution – Business NewswireWhat happened: Alibaba’s second-largest shareholder Altaba, formerly Yahoo!Inc., announced its board had approved the liquidation and dissolution plan.The investment company, which owns 11% of the Chinese e-commerce giant, intends to sell no more than approximately 50% of the shares it holds in Alibaba before they gain shareholder approval of the plan and to sell its remaining Alibaba shares after getting shareholder approval, the company announced in a public statement.Any shareholder has the right to deal stock anytime on the market, for any purpose.We’re happy to have had Yahoo!
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