Trump Holds Tech Summit, But Twitter Not Invited
Alphabet CEO Larry Page, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, Apple CEO Tim Cook, and Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg were among the Silicon Valley executives who attended a technology summit with President-elect Donald Trump and Vice-President-elct Mike Pence last week.
One glaring absence: Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey was notably missing from the meeting, despite the social network being Trump’s preferred way to communicate with the country and his adversaries.
A spokesman for Trump’s transition team, though, told Reuters that Twitter wasn’t invited “because they aren’t big enough.” But a source familiar with Trump’s relationship with Twitter told the media outlet that the decision to exclude Dorsey was fueled “by the president-elect’s ire at the company, which rejected an advertising deal with his campaign in October.”
A report from Politico cited an anonymous source who said Twitter had rejected an overture from the Trump campaign to advertise Trumps tweets using a moneybag emoji accompanied by “#CrookedHillary.” Twitter reportedly rejected the emoji because of concerns that users would mistakenly think that it was sponsored by the tech firm.
AT&T, Time Warner Do Not Fear Trump Presidency
The CEOs of Time Warner and AT&T are both optimistic the incoming Trump Administration will approve the merger of the two giants despite saying otherwise on the campaign trail.
Trump, who made it very clear he is not a fan of Time Warner’s CNN news network and often led crowds at his campaign rallies in chants of “CNN sucks,” said at a rally in October: “AT&T is buying Time Warner and thus CNN, a deal we will not approve in my administration because it’s too much concentration of power in the hands of too few.”
Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes, who also counts HBO, Warner Bros. and TBS among the media properties in the company’s portfolio, said that Trump may not have been familiar with the details of the deal at the time, noting that a Senate committee initially called the CEOs of AT&T and Time Warner Cable to appear under oath, apparently unaware that Time Warner Cable had previously been sold to Charter Communications.
“It may have been, it was still before the election, we know some of the strains of populism in the election on both sides,” Bewkes said. “As it becomes clear what we are doing, it will be seen by everyone as being pro-competitive, pro-consumer.”
AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson also weighed in: “Anytime the President-elect comes out and says they are not in favor of something you want to do, you have to listen to it ... [but] this is a vertical merger. We compete nowhere.”
Apple Unveils Best of 2016 Across Apps, Music, Movies And More
Apple unveiled its Best of 2016 lists, celebrating the best and most downloaded apps, music, movies, TV shows, books and podcasts across the App Store, iTunes and iBooks, based on Apple editors’ choices as well as top-selling and most downloaded charts.
On Apple Music, Drake captured the top song and album spots with “One Dance” and “Views,” respectively, while the “Hamilton” soundtrack was also a top-selling album. The Chainsmokers had two of the top 10 songs this year, while Adele’s “25,” Rihanna’s “ANTI” and Frank Ocean’s “Blonde” also ranked very highly.
App Store editors chose App of the Year picks for 2016, including Prisma for iPhone, Sketchbook Motion for iPad, Twitter for Apple TV, MySwimPro – Personal Swim Trainer for Apple Watch and Bear for Mac.
Game of the Year selections included “Clash Royale for iPhone,” “Severed for iPad,” “Riptide GP: Renegade for Apple TV,” “Field Day for Apple Watch” and “Life Is Strange for Mac.”
Snapchat was the most downloaded free iPhone app, while the craze of the summer, Pokémon Go, unsurprisingly landed on both the iPhone and iPad charts. The top paid iPhone apps cover a range of categories, with FaceTune, Heads Up!, 7 Minute Workout Challenge, Kimoji, Geometry Dash and Face Swap Live among the top 10. Minecraft: Pocket Edition was the most downloaded paid iPad app, while YouTube was the top free iPad app.
Room At Wynn’s Inn For Alexa
Guests at Steve Wynn’s Wynn Las Vegas casino may find themselves sharing a room with an unexpected guest next month.
That’s when the hotel magnate will begin equipping all 4,748 rooms with Echo, Amazon’s Alexa-embedded wireless speaker and home automation hub.
The move, which Wynn describes as a hospitality industry first, will allow guests to control various hotel room features by voice command, including lighting, room temperature, drapery, and the TV.
“Technology has always played an important part in our resorts,” Wynn said in a filmed announcement, below. “The thing that Amazon has done with Alexa is quite perfect. If I have ever seen anything in my 49 years of developing resorts that has made our job of delivering a perfect experience to our guests easier and help us get to another level, it is Alexa.”
Echo installations will begin within the hotel’s suites in January, and Wynn expects Alexa to be fully operational in all guest rooms by summer. Additional features such as personal assistant functions will be introduced as the project evolves.