Daily Tech Headlines – January 15, 2018

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Daily Tech Headlines – January 15, 2018
Number 416
Broadcast Date JANUARY 15, 2018
Episode Length 4:53
Hosts Sarah Lane

South Korea and China clamp down on cryptocurrency trading, iOS revenue set to surpass worldwide movie box office sales, community-owned ISPs are cheaper than private options.

Headlines

Nekkei reports SoftBank Group is planning to list its mobile phone unit SoftBank Corp. in Tokyo as early as this spring, and overseas later this year. In a statement, SoftBank Group said it is "always studying various capital strategy options" and that the listing of SoftBank Corp. shares "is one such option, but no decision has been made to officially proceed with this course."
South Korean financial authorities say Cryptocurrency investors in the country will be fined unless they convert virtual accounts into real-name ones within the month. South Korea is also preparing a bill to ban cryptocurrency exchanges at home, but in a statement Monday clarified that no date has been set. Currently, financial authorities ban banks in South Korea from offering virtual accounts, which are needed to sell or buy cryptocurrencies, to individual customers. Opening anonymous cryptocurrency accounts is also banned.
In other crypto news, sources tell Bloomberg that China is trying to reign in cryptocurrency trading by targeting online platforms and mobile apps that offer exchange-like services. Chinese authorities banned cryptocurrency exchanges last year, and now the government plans to block domestic access to both Chinese and international platforms that enable centralized trading. Authorities may also target individuals and companies that provide market-making, settlement and clearing services for centralized trading.
Analysis from Asymco’s Horace Dediu shows that iOS app sales will be worth more than the entire worldwide movie industry at some point this year. Dediu notes that in 2015 App Store sales overtook gross US box office sales, and in 2017 hit $26.5B. Dediu also points out that many large companies offer free apps that generate big revenue, such as Amazon and Uber. Asymco predicts that the iOS economy will be worth half a trillion dollars by 2019.
A new EU directive and new UK competition rules have created Open Banking: where banks will have to share financial data like transaction history and spending patterns with other (regulated) third-party providers if the account holder requests it. So with Open Banking, financial tech apps can get a user's permission to use their data instead of relying on co-operation from banks.
Last Thursday, Facebook announced newsfeed changes to allow users to see more content from friends and family, and less from brands and publishers, favoring content that draws a lot of comments. Adam Mosseri, Facebook's vp in charge of the newsfeed tells Wired that this will also result in less video on the platform, saying "Video is an important part of the ecosystem. It's been consistently growing. But it's more passive in nature. There's less conversation on videos, particularly public videos."
The U.S. Supreme Court may consider allowing state and local governments to collect billions of dollars in sales tax from online retailers, hearing arguments from both states and online retailers in April with a ruling in June. According to a report from the Government Accountability Office, state and local governments could have collected up to $13 billion more in 2017 if they’d been allowed to require sales tax payments from online merchants and other remote sellers. A high court ruling from 1992 called Quill v. North Dakota said retailers can be forced to collect taxes only in states where the company has a “physical presence.” South Dakota passed its law in 2016 requiring retailers with more than $100,000 in annual sales in the state to pay a 4.5 percent tax on purchases, then the state filed suit asking the courts to declare the measure constitutional.
A new study by the Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University shows that community-owned broadband networks give consumers lower rates than private companies. Data collected from 40 municipal broadband providers and private companies throughout 2015 and 2016 in 27 markets where researchers could make direct comparisons found that in 23 cases, the community-owned ISPs’ pricing was between 2.9 percent and 50 percent less than the lowest-cost such service offered by a private ISP in that market, when the service costs and fees were averaged over four years.

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Preceded by:
"Daily Tech Headlines – January 12, 2018"
Daily Tech Headlines – January 15, 2018
Followed by:
"Daily Tech Headlines – January 16, 2018"