Bringing some of its most valuable properties into the streaming
DreamWorks Animation Skg Inc
) has signed a multi-year deal with
) to develop original shows based on films like
Kung Fu Panda
. According to Netflix, this marks "the largest deal for original
first-run content in Netflix history."
Neither company announced specific details, but the shows will
launch on the streaming platform sometime next year. The deal will
significantly help Netflix recoup some of the children demographic
it lost when the company's contract with
) expired last month, taking offline shows like
Dora the Explorer
, among other Nickelodeon shows. Once the Netflix deal expired,
) made quick business of acquiring streaming rights to Viacom
Telefonica Denies Rumors of AT&T Takeover Bid
This morning, the Spanish newspaper
reported that the Spanish government had thwarted at $93 billion
) made to the Spanish telecom company
(TEF). The deal would have reportedly included Telefonica's € 52
billion in debt.
report claimed that the Spanish government opposed the deal for
national strategic reasons. The report spurred an uptick in
Telefonica's stock price with today's gain as high as 3.9%.
In a very brief statement, the company denied the report, saying,
"In relation to press rumors published today, Telefonica states
that it has not received any approach, nor any indication of
interest, neither verbal nor in written form, from any party."
AT&T has, as of yet, refused to comment.
Supreme Court Ruling on Gene Patenting May Be Huge Boon for
After months of debate and a number of appeals, the Supreme Court
reached a verdict in the case of
Molecular Pathology v. Myriad Genetics
, deciding unanimously that it is illegal to patent human genes.
The case will have wide implications for biopharmaceutical
diagnostic and drug companies, as nearly 20% of known human genes
were previously protected by patents.
One of those companies,
Myriad Genetics, Inc.
(MYGN) owned patents for BRCA1 and BRCA2 -- genes with a strong
correlation to breast and ovarian cancers. The company offers a
$3,000 test that determines the presence of the genes and the
likelihood of cancer (Angelina Jolie made news last month for her
protective mastectomy: she had it done becayse Myriad found she had
the BRCA1 and 2 genes. See also:
The Angelina Jolie Connection: The Debate Over
Patenting Human Genes
The decision will accelerate growth in Biotech startups, companies
that until Friday were unable to run tests for a good number of
genes. As such costs will certainly drop for patients. For context,
the cost of a full human genome sequencing has fallen from $100
million in 2011 to just $8,000 today.
The biggest holders of gene patents were major pharmaceutical
Barnes & Noble's Nook Sees Another Price Drop
With rumors circulating that
Barnes & Noble, Inc.
(BKS) will discontinue the Nook by the end of fiscal year 2014,
major discounts for the e-reader are another potential nail in the
coffin. For Father's Day, the bookseller discounted its 7-inch Nook
HD from $129 to $70 and cut the price even more for its Nook HD+,
form $269 to $149. Moreover, the company said today that the
slashed prices will continue past Dad's Day, with no end date set.
Competition is fierce in the 7-inch-tablet market:
Amazon's most basic Kindle fire goes for $159 and
(GOOG) Nexus 7 for $199, though the latter starts with 16GB,
compared to the 8GB of Kindle and Nook). On the high-end of the
7-inch market, the
(AAPL) iPad mini starts at $329.
Consumers and investors will likely learn more about the fate of
Barnes & Noble's Nook department when the company reports
second quarter earnings on June 25.
Skype Rolls Out New Visual Voicemail Feature
In February, Skype launched a beta version of a new video messaging
features that allows users to film a message for a contact to view
later. Today, the company has announced that is visual voicemail
feature is now a full part of its application for
(MSFT), Mac, iOS, Android, and
Research In Motion Ltd
The company has been slow to integrate such technology, but was
probably spurred on by the growing popularity of Twitter's Vine
service, which allows users to record 6-second video clips.
Google's New Project Loon Will Use Balloons to Fill Global
Developed in the forward-thinking X Lab at Google and launched this
weekend, Project Loon is an experiment that will employ a fleet of
networked balloons to fill Internet connectivity gaps throughout
the world, eventually targeting rural and remote areas where a full
two-thirds of the world's population live and work without the
For now, Google has launched 30 balloons from Christchurch, New
Zealand. Each balloon is equipped with a solar power system, a
back-up, rechargeable battery, a GPS system, and the ability to
transmit Internet connectivity comparable to 3-G. The balloons are
hovering just under 12.5 miles over the earth, which is about twice
the altitude of commercial flights.
The current goal of the project is to work with algorithms and
stratospheric wind and figure out how to keep one of the Loon
balloons where it is supposed to be. The experimental program will
likely launch in other countries on the same latitude as New
Zealand, which would include potential launches in the Australian
island of Tasmania to the West or Argentina to the East.
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