Alireza Aghasi

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[Update: rewards through PayPal] Google Opinion Rewards now available in France

• Update 1: 2016/09/03 10:41am PDT It seems like the French receive their survey payment in the form of PayPal, not Google Play credit. This is great …

SpaceX and NASA have released full statements about Thursday's rocket explosion — here's what they said

More than a day after the fiery explosion of a Falcon 9 rocket on a launchpad in Cape Canaveral, Florida, both SpaceX and NASA have issued full statements.<p>The rocket catastrophically blew up at a launchpad called Space Launch Center 40 (SLC-40) at 9:07 a.m. on September 1, right before a routine …

Space Travel

Google Opinion Rewards debuts in France, offers payment through PayPal

Google Opinion Rewards has always been a great way to make a few bucks for apps, movies, and music, but there are two big issues. The first, regional limitations. Opinion Rewards isn’t available everywhere, so unless you live in a supported country, you can’t use it. Thankfully, Google is adding …

Apps

Kobalt boss defends Spotify: 'This attitude that we should kill streaming is a huge mistake'

Willard Ahdritz thinks the music industry may be about to err by placing more faith in Apple’s upcoming subscription service<p>Streaming music service Spotify is under pressure from some major labels to restrict the free version of its service, as Apple prepares to launch a subscription-only …

Spotify

Twitter Begins Selling Sports Tickets, Starting With the NBA Playoffs

With Atlanta Hawks ticket sales, Twitter could become a go-to distribution channel for last-minute ticket offers.<p>When Twitter first announced plans to sell stuff in tweets, sports tickets seemed like a logical fit because of the large followings professional teams have on the social network.<p>Now, …

Education App Development Platform Clever Hires A VP Of Engineering From Square

Clever today said it has hired Ben Adida, previously a director of engineering at Square, to be the company’s VP of engineering.<p>The company, which creates a third-party development platform that centers around applications for teachers and students, has around 50 employees, but plans to expand to …

Here’s how Apple Pay will win with small merchants

A couple of days ago, I stopped into my little neighborhood market to pick up a paper, and I noticed a new credit card reader sitting on the counter. It looked a lot like the old one, but it had an Apple Pay symbol on it.<p>I asked Les (the proprietor) if it cost a lot to put in a new point-of-sale …

FinTech

Musicyou Raises A Seed Round For Its Private Music Sharing Platform

The value proposition of apps which allow you to share music though messaging, like PingTune or MusicMessenger is, largely, to chat about music. Meanwhile, apps like TunePics, Mindie and Flipagram are more about sharing music in a public, Twitter-like, feed. While Music Messenger, PingTune, Mindie …

Apps

Indian Payments Startup MobiKwik Nabs $25M From Tree Line, Cisco, AmEx And Sequoia

The rise of e-commerce in India has triggered a wave of startups that are leveraging the increasing adoption of smartphones to provide mobile payment solutions. Alibaba invested in Paytm at an apparent billion dollar valuation earlier this year, and now MobiKwik is the latest to be flushed with new …

FacePay?

What if buying something was as easy as Liking it? You’d probably buy a lot more, and buy it through whoever made it so damn simple. Becoming that conduit for payments means more than racking up transaction fees. For the portal to purchase influences not just how you buy, but what.<p>Today, purchases …

How VisaEase Helped Me Get One Step Closer to US Citizenship

My friends always seem surprised when I tell them I’m not yet an American citizen. “But you’ve been in this country forever,” they say. “Wait, so you’ve never voted?”<p>The United States immigration policy is a complicated one, to say the least. There are numerous types of visas to get to US soil …

Immigration

Optimize your Facebook, Google+, and Twitter accounts

Time to spruce up your social-media accounts! If you don't know when you last changed your password, used one of your connected apps, or even logged in, then it's time to do some cleaning.<p>Hopefully you're in full spring cleaning mode, because it's time to do a bit of optimization -- and possibly …

Social Media

WeFinance Offers A Crowdfunded Alternative To Student Loans And More

WeFinance, launching today, is the latest startup to use a combination of technology and crowdfunding in order to offer borrowers lower interest rates on loans, while reducing lenders’ risk. The new peer-to-peer lending platform operates something like a Kickstarter for personal loans – largely …

Loans

Streaming music companies have had uneven success shifting ad-supported listeners to paid accounts

Streaming music companies have had uneven success shifting ad-supported listeners to more valuable paid monthly subscriptions, and this has created a drag on the entire digital music industry.<p>Paid-music streaming services account for a smaller share of revenue — and audience pool — than …

Digital Advertising

Sources: Magic Is Raising $12M From Sequoia At A $40M Valuation

Magic, an SMS-based on-demand delivery service that started as a YC company’s weekend project, is raising $12 million in Series A funding led by Sequoia, according to sources. Sources also say that the company, which is just a month old, is valued at $40 million pre-money.<p>Magic lets users text a …

You can now try streaming service Vessel free for a year

Early access to web video from the longtime CEO of Hulu<p>Late last year, former Hulu CEO Jason Kilar showed off Vessel, a premium streaming service aimed at building new businesses for YouTube stars and other popular video creators. For $2.99 a month, Vessel gives subscribers early access to the …

Keywee Gets $9.1M From Eric Schmidt, NY Times For Its AI Approach To Content Marketing

While Facebook is reportedly talking to publishers to host their content as a way of boosting the number of people who read it, one more startup is entering the fray to help publishers improve readership and traffic on their own sites, specifically around paid content and content marketing.<p>Keywee — …

White Label App for Hip-Hop Should be Made for Every Genre

White Label is a music discovery app that charts the most popular hip-hop being listened to and discussed online daily.<p>The app works by monitoring engagement between Twitter and SoundCloud hourly, allowing you to scroll down from a song you are playing to see ongoing discussions via Twitter. You …

Apps

Verizon’s Video Service Is Coming This Summer, and Will Feature Stuff From DreamWorks and AwesomenessTV

We don't know how much it will cost. We do know it's going to join a suddenly crowded field.<p>Here comes yet another competitor in the “over the top” video arena: Verizon is getting ready to launch its own service in a few months, with help from the people who brought us “Shrek.”<p>The telco has been …