T-Mobile launches Binge On, Google gives away artificial intelligence engine for free, FanDuel and DraftKings banned in New York, and Alibaba crushes it on Singles’ Day
Welcome to “The Week in Tech,” where we recap some of the most interesting technology and mobile stories from the past week.
This week we cover T-mobile’s launch of Binge On, Google’s open-sourcing of artificial intelligence, the banning of daily fantasy in NY, and Alibaba’s massive sales day.
T-Mobile stops counting video streaming against data
T-Mobile continues to change the mobile carrier game.
This week CEO John Legere announced that streaming video on your mobile phone will not count towards your monthly allotment of data.
The program, called “Binge On,” is another move from its “Uncarrier” playbook to completely undermine its competition and drive customer acquisition.
Binge On will initially work with 24 video services, including Netflix, HBO Go, Hulu, WatchESPN, and others. Missing from this list is YouTube, but T-Mobile is working to onboard them and other streaming companies.
Additionally, T-Mobile is doubling the data allowance for all Simple Choice plans, which is pretty awesome.
Google open-sources artificial intelligence software
Google announced that it will make TensorFlow, its artificial intelligence engine, free for all to use.
Google uses TensorFlow to power speech recognition in the Google search app, image search in Google Photos, the auto-reply emails in its new Smart Reply feature of GMail, and many other products.
AI has been slowly moving from the research lab to the real world, and Google hopes to accelerate this by open-sourcing TensorFlow.
The company believes that by letting academics and engineers use and improve the software for free, not only will the quality of AI research advance more quickly, but Google will have more control and influence over the field in the future.
FanDuel and DraftKings banned in NY
The New York State Attorney General has classified daily fantasy sites as illegal gambling and ordered FanDuel and DraftKings to stop taking bets in the state.
The NY AG, Eric Schneiderman, opened an investigation last month after a DraftKings employee won $350,000 on FanDuel, and delivered a cease-and-desist letter to the companies’ CEOs on Tuesday.
Last month, Nevada ruled that daily fantasy sports should be considered gambling and ordered these websites to stop operating in the state until they acquire gambling licenses. Now that New York has joined the fray, it’s only a matter of time other states make the same move.
Alibaba sells $14.3 billion worth of goods on Singles’ Day
Like whoa. Alibaba garnered $5 billion in revenue in 90 minutes and $14.3 billion overall on Singles’ Day, November 11.
Singles’ Day, a spin on Valentine’s Day, was created in the 1990’s to celebrate men and women with no significant others. Alibaba has now turned this into an annual e-commerce bonanza.
This year, Alibaba went all out marketing the event. Chairman Jack Ma moved the event’s headquarters to Beijing, created a four-hour television event that aired the night before, and brought in A-listers like Daniel Craig and Kevin Spacey to promote.
Read more at Bloomberg.
What do you think of these stories? Have you read other interesting mobile and technology stories this week that are worth mentioning? Feel free to add your thoughts to the comments.
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Photo courtesy of T-Mobile