1. 5 of Our Favorite SXSW Stories
- Bleed for the Throne: Being the most elaborate publicity stunt at SXSW, Bleed for the Throne partnered with Red Cross to create a fan-based blood drive. Not only is HBO promoting the hit show Game of Thrones, but they are allowing fans to interact in a fandom world and give back to the community by donating blood. (Source: Engadget)
- Bose Helps the Blind: Bose demonstrated Bose AR, a 3D-printed sunglasses prototype with an Aira integration, to help blind people navigate the world. The glasses contain ambient audio that provides directions and information when tapped, such as the hours and what’s on a menu at a particular restaurant to your left. (Source: Quartz, Tom’s Guide)
- Howard Schultz Discusses Potential Presidency Run: Former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz believes the American people want to see another choice, specifically “a centrist independent outside of the two-party system.” When asked what he was going to do to get people excited about his potential presidency run, he responded with, “I think if you’re going to give me a little bit of credit, you have to say that over the course of the last 40 years, I know a little something about building a brand … Give me some time.” (Source: NBC News, AdAge)
- BuzzFeed CEO Wants a Better Internet: BuzzFeed CEO Jonah Peretti said that it’s important for all of us to come together, especially social giants like Facebook and newsrooms, to uncover all current problems and to make “great content on the internet in a way that is sustainable as a business.” Instead of using the internet to push people apart, we need to essentially use the internet as a tool to bring people together. (Source: CNN)
- House of Modern Beauty: Not only is AI and AR taking off in this digital age, but the way beauty is seen is changing as well. RealSelf House of Modern Beauty opened a pop-up shop this weekend to the public for complementary treatments like facial lasers and injectables, and free consultations. Whether you agree with this newfound beauty trend or not, it’s still something to watch out for. (Source: PR Newswire)
2. EU Clarifies Travel Regulations for U.S.
Last week, news stories erupted stating U.S. citizens will be required to obtain a visa before entering Europe starting in 2021. However, these stories from social media outlets, including NPR, failed to state the facts. European Union officials have clarified the new travel regulations, stating U.S. citizens must request ETIAS (European Travel Information and Authorization System) authorization through an automated online system. The process should take no more than 10 minutes, cost about $8 and responses will be “cross-checked by Interpol and other security databases,” and travelers will either receive an approval or rejection email within a month. Currently, U.S. citizens are able to travel across the Schengen area, a zone comprised of 26 European countries without internal borders that allows people to move freely between them, without a visa for up to 90 days. “The new ETIAS will ensure that we no longer have an information gap on visa-free travelers,” said Dimitris Avramopoulos, the European commissioner for migration, home affairs, and citizenship. “Anyone who poses a migratory or security risk will be identified before they traveling to EU borders.”
3. Amazon and the Yankees Say YES
Queens may have pushed Amazon out, but the company is still taking a bite out of New York’s apple. Amazon is set to partner with the New York Yankees to purchase the YES Network from Disney for $3.5B. The YES Network is a New York-based sports broadcasting company that broadcasts Yankee games, NBA’s Brooklyn Nets, and streams NFL’s Thursday Night Football. Five years ago, 21st Century Fox became the majority owner of the YES Network, valuing about $4B for an 80% stake. Now, the company value has slipped to $3.5B, opening the door for a desirable acquisition. How is each partner in the deal benefitting? For the Yankees, buying back the network they originally launched means an extra source of revenue and they will have more of a voice in programming. For Amazon, it’s a way to recruit millions of Yankee fans to their Amazon Prime services.