Super Mario Run Smashes Pokemon Go’s App Store Record
Super Mario Run launched on the app store and beat Pokemon GO’s day one game downloads surpassing 2.8 million compared to Pokemon Go’s 900,000 first day downloads, according to Apptopia. Other app store analytics offerings such as App Annie reported higher numbers for Super Mario Run at 3.5 million in the U.S. and 10 million downloads total on December 15th, the day of its launch. Comparatively, Pokemon Go reached 5 million downloads by the third day of its release. The price for the app is $10 and marks Nintendo’s first mobile game.
Tech Leaders Meet with Trump
In a highly publicized round table discussion, President-elect Donald Trump invited executives from the tech industry including Google’s Eric Schmidt and Larry Page, Microsoft’s Satya Nadella, Sheryl Sandberg of Facebook, Elon Musk of Tesla, Jeff Bezos from Amazon and others. Those in attendance included three of Donald Trump’s children. There were reports that a few of the executives were not pleased to see Trump’s family occupying seats in an official business meeting. Journalist Kara Swisher published the most complete off-the-record report with each executive bringing up key issues such as H1-B visas, paid maternity and paternity leave, climate change, and STEM and education, and that Trump was agreeable despite providing very few specifics as to how he planned to address the key items. According to one source who spoke to Re/Code pointed out all in attendance were from public companies, “We definitely gave up a little stature now for possible benefit late. It’s better to be quiet now and speak up later if we have to, and save our powder.”
Facebook’s Fake News Saga
Facebook seems to have escalated the level of importance placed on fake news since Mark Zuckerberg’s response in November when he said “of all the content on Facebook, more than 99% of what people see is authentic.” This week Zuckerberg announced it had partnered with third-party fact-checkers to monitor news feeds for fake news. Of the 42 news organizations that are committed to Poynter’s fact-checking code of ethics, only four have been named as fact-checking partners including Snopes, Factcheck.org, ABC News and PolitiFact. Associated Press will also be involved with checking the platform for spam and hoaxes. The announcement brought complaints, especially from those concerned the fact-checkers will become gatekeepers by subjectively filtering, placing political news at a disadvantage. Facebook’s response was that third-party fact checkers are ideal as it relieves the company from the duty of censoring users.
Amazon Echo Goes to Las Vegas
In a strategic move by Amazon, the “Echo” connected home device will be put Wynn Las Vegas hotel guest rooms. Alexa will let guests control room lights, room temperature, drapery and the television using voice commands. The ability to talk to your room is seen as a competitive advantage by CEO Steve Wynn who said, “I have never, ever seen anything that was more intuitively dead on to making a guest experience seamlessly delicious, effortlessly convenient than the ability to talk to your room.” Meanwhile, the introduction of a device the records and collects data could hold privacy concerns. You can read more about the connected home from CitizenTekk’s Beth Kindig at VentureBeat in her article “Is the Connected Home Possible Without a Walled Garden?”