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Spotify’s Rise to Power Dramatized in TV Mini-Series

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Ever wonder how Spotify went from Swedish startup to global sensation?

A new book chronicling the company’s meteoric rise is set to be adapted into a TV drama.

Tell-all novel “Spotify Untold” (“Spotify Inifrån”) has been optioned by Yellow Bird UK for a limited scripted series examining “how a secretive start-up wooed record companies, shook the music industry to its core, and conquered Wall Street.”

The book, dubbed a “modern-day David-versus-Goliath,” is a behind-the-scenes exposé of how founder Daniel Ek and financial partner Martin Lorentzon bet everything on an idea.

“A tale of tech entrepreneurship, this is a journey beset with egos, obstacles, and betrayal,” according to a Yellow Bird press release.

Think The Social Network, but with more music and on the small screen.

“The Spotify story is a drama at the highest levels of tech, music, and finance. It’s perfect for the screen” book co-author Sven Carlsson said, praising Yellow Bird’s “strong track record in making Nordic stories come alive on the international scene.”

Founded in 2003, the firm’s resume includes The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, The Millennium Trilogy, and Wallander.

And, soon, “Spotify Untold.”

Investigative journalists Sven Carlsson and Jonas Leijonhufvud deliver a behind-the-scenes exposé of Spotify’s rise (via “Spotify Untold”)

Central to the upcoming series is Spotify’s turbulent journey into the U.S. market, described as a “chess match between the new kids and the old guard”: Steve Jobs, Jimmy Iovine, and Beats Music against Ek and Sean Parker.

“Set in the dynamic arena of the music industry, this is the true story of youth challenging the establishment,” film producer Berna Levin explained. “With reality trumping fiction at every turn, we will explore one of the greatest and most surprising technological advancements of our time.”

The series, expected to feature major players in the music and tech industries, will likely need to cast yet another version of real-life characters Steve Jobs (previously portrayed by Ashton Kutcher and Michael Fassbender), Mark Zuckerberg (Jesse Eisenberg), and Sean Parker (Justin Timberlake).

And, if the book’s website is anything to go by, you can also expect fictionalized forms of Ek, Jay-Z, Pony Ma Huateng, and Jimmy Iovine.

“The rise of Spotify is one of the greatest stories to come out of Sweden in the past 10 years,” co-author Jonas Leijonhufvud said in a statement. “It’s a saga of a young founder who came out of nowhere and beat Apple at their own game.”

The show will be developed and produced by Yellow Bird UK, Levin, and Luke Franklin. Carlsson and Leijonhufvud will consult on the project.

It’s unclear whether the series will keep its source material’s title.

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BBC’s ‘Own It’ App Aims to Keep Kids Safe Online

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The BBC wants to monitor how young people use the Internet with a new app.

Dubbed Own It, the “wellbeing” program uses artificial intelligence to evaluate a child’s mood and offer advice or encouragement as needed.

“The digital world is a fantastic place for people to learn and share, but we know many young people struggle to find a healthy online balance, especially when they get their first phones,” Alice Webb, director of BBC Children’s, said in a statement.

“Our Own It app gives them a helping hand as they navigate this new experience so that they can make the most of the time they spend on their phones whilst avoiding some of the pitfalls,” she added.

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While kids text with friends, keep a diary of their emotions, and access other BBC-commissioned content, the app’s special keyboard offers real-time help: It may encourage the user to talk to a trusted adult, or simply remind them to think twice before sharing personal details.

“We’re using cutting-edge machine learning technology in a way no one has done before,” Webb said. “Putting help, support, assistance, and a bit of fun, too, directly into young people’s hands at the moments when they need it most.”

Despite encouraging children to pick up their phone, Own It also tries to manage screen time, passing on advice about responsible online behavior.

The app offers advice alongside the text and messages children type (via BBC)

Prince William, a father of three, approves of the application, which he called a “positive and practical” outcome from his Royal Foundation Taskforce on the Prevention of Cyberbullying.

Data from the app is not shared with parents; Own It does not provide reports or feedback to parents. Everything the child types remains private to their phone.

BBC’s kid-friendly platform has been in the works since last year, and has attracted partners like the Mental Health Foundation, the Anti-Bullying Alliance, the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC), the Diana Award, and Childnet.

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Better, Faster, Stronger Wi-Fi 6 Officially Launches

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Next-generation Wi-Fi is ready and raring to go.

The Wi-Fi Alliance, which oversees implementation of the radio technology, is launching its official Wi-Fi 6 certification program.

Sounds like a snoozefest, I know.

But it means harder, better, faster, stronger access.

Wi-Fi 6 has been percolating for the past year, and now it’s ready to permeate more products, including the Samsung Galaxy Note 10—the first Wi-Fi Certified 6 smartphone.

“High-speed 5G services need Wi-Fi 6 and so do consumers who want to seamlessly share the moments they create on their mobile devices,” according to Inkang Song, vice president of Mobile Tech Strategy and Partnership at Samsung.

Apple’s upcoming iPhone 11, 11 Pro, and Pro Max handsets also support Wi-Fi 6, meaning the new tech will soon reach millions more customers, helping to accelerate adoption.

The central goal of Wi-Fi 6 (or 802.11ax) is to boost connectivity within crowded networks—at home or in the wild.

It is particularly well-suited for airports or sports stadiums, where hundreds of thousands of devices are vying for a spot on the same Wi-Fi wave. Even busy households can benefit; families often have a dozen or more gadgets connected to the same sardined system.

“Wi-Fi Certified 6 is ushering in a new era of Wi-Fi, building on [its] core characteristics to provide better performance in every environment for users, great network capacity for service providers to improve coverage for their customers, and new opportunities for advanced applications,” Edgar Figueroa, president and CEO of Wi-Fi Alliance, said in a statement.

“[It] will deliver improvements in connectivity,” he added, “including in high-density locations and IoT environments.”

The theoretical maximum speed for Wi-Fi is also increasing—from 3.5 Gbps to a whopping 9.6 Gbps. But, as The Verge pointed out, “those numbers don’t really matter since you’ll never get them at home.”

Wi-Fi 6-friendly routers from Cisco, Netgear, Asus, and TP-Link are already rolling out the next-gen technology; mesh options for the Netgear Orbi and TP-Link Deco lineups are expected later this year.

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Audible Claps Back at Publishers Over Copyright Infringement

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In August, seven major book publishers sued Audible over a new caption feature they claim infringes on copyright law.

An Audible countersuit, filed last week, however, argues that the technology is “quintessential fair use.”

Introduced in July, Audible Captions aims to enhance the literacy experience by allowing listeners to follow along with “a few lines of text.”

“We developed this technology because we believe our culture, particularly in under-resourced environments, is at risk of losing a significant portion of the next generation of book readers,” CEO Don Katz wrote in a summer announcement.

A sentiment with which I’m sure the Association of American Publishers (AAP), on behalf of its member companies, agrees.

It’s the underhanded way Audible approached the feature that publishers are not on board with.

The August lawsuit claims “willful copyright infringement,” and highlights Audible’s alleged efforts to “take for itself cross-format features” without authorization from, compensation to, or quality control by intellectual property owners.

Chronicle Books, Hachette Book Group, HarperCollins Publishers, Macmillan Publishing Group, Penguin Random House, Scholastic, and Simon & Schuster argue that Audible is effectively distributing ebooks alongside audio files—which normally requires a separate license and additional royalty payments.

Audible clapped back, asserting that it has agreements with each plaintiff, and has paid, and will continue to pay, royalties and license fees for audiobooks.

“Audible Captions is not a book of any kind, much less a replacement for paper books, ebooks, or cross-format products,” the Amazon-owned company said. “The goal is simple: to help listeners understand and engage with the audiobook they purchased.”

Audible already provides simultaneous text and audio via “Immersion Reading” (read along with the ebook as you listen to the audiobook)—with the AAP said operates lawfully, and without errors.

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