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Facebook’s Kodi box ban is nothing new

According to recent  reports , Facebook has updated its Commerce Policy to specifically ban the sale of Kodi boxes on its site – that is, devices that come with pre-installed Kodi software, which are often used for illegally streaming digital content. However, the ban is not a new one – Facebook confirms its policy on Kodi box sales hasn’t changed since last summer, and its external Policy Page – the one being cited as evidence of the new ban – was updated in December. It’s true that the changes have flown under the radar until now, though. The policy change was first reported by Cord Cutters News , and later linked to by TorrentFreak and Techdirt . The original report claims that Facebook added a new rule on its list of “Digital Media and Electronic Devices” under “Prohibited Content,” which specifically calls out Kodi boxes. It says that Facebook posts “may not promote the sale of devices that facilitate or encourage streaming digital content in an authorized manner or interfering with the functionality of electronic devices.” The Policy page lists a few examples of what this means, including wiretapping devices, jamming or descrambling devices, jailbroken or loaded devices, and, then  “promoting the sale or use of streaming devices with Kodi installed.”  (The only permitted items are “add-on equipment for Kodi devices, such as keyboards and remotes.”) But this ban on Kodi boxes, Facebook says, is not a recently implemented policy. According to a Facebook spokesperson, it launched a new policy last summer that prohibited the sale of electronic devices that facilitate or are intended for unauthorized streaming or access to digital content – including Kodi boxes. This policy has not changed since last summer, but its external Policy Page – this one being cited by the various reported – was updated in December 2017 to offer additional illustrative examples and more detailed information on all its policies, including the one related to unauthorized streaming devices. In other words, Facebook has been banning Kodi boxes since it decided to crackdown on unauthorized streaming devices last year. It’s just now being noticed. The ban affects all posts on Marketplace, Buy and Sell Groups, and Shop Sections on Pages. Facebook explains it takes a very strong enforcement approach when “Kodi” is mentioned with a product for sale. As Techdirt pointed out , that’s problematic because the Kodi software itself is actually legal. However, device makers like Dragon Box or SetTV have been using the open-source Kodi platform and other add-ons to make copyright infringement easier for consumers

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Samsung turns to Plume for new mesh Wi-Fi product line

Samsung today is announcing an updated version of its Wifi product line. The company partnered with Palo Alto-based Plume Design to provide software that powers the devices. According to Samsung, Plume’s platform uses artificial intelligence to allocate bandwidth across connected devices while delivering the best possible wi-fi coverage throughout a home. Plus, by using Plume, Samsung gets to say its wi-fi system uses AI, which is a big marketing win. The system also includes a SmartThings Hub like the previous generation allowing owners to build a connected IoT home without having to buy another box. “Integrating our adaptive home Wi-Fi technology and a rich set of consumer features into SmartThings’ large, open ecosystem truly elevates the smart home experience,” said Fahri Diner, co-founder and CEO, Plume, said in a released statement. “Samsung gives you myriad devices to consume content and connect, and Plume ensures that your Wi-Fi network delivers a superior user experience to all of those devices.” Plume Design was founded in 2014 and was one of the first to offer a consumer-facing mesh network product line. Since then, though, nearly every home networking company has followed suit and Plume has been forced to find new ways to make use of its technology. In June 2017, Comcast invested in Plume and later launched xFi using Plume technology to power the mesh networking product. According to Comcast at the time of xFi’s nationwide launch, Comcast licensed the Plume technology, then reconfigured some aspects of it to integrate xFi. It also designed its own pods in-house — which sounds similar to what Samsung is doing here too. Plume Design has to date raised $42.2M over three rounds of funding. Samsung’s new SmartThings WiFi Mesh Router is priced competitively with comparable products. A three pack of the units cost $279 while a single unit is $119

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L’Oreal’s ModiFace partners with Facebook to test AR experiences for shoppers, such as trying on virtual foundation shades or eyebrow shapes and hues…

Reuters : L'Oreal's ModiFace partners with Facebook to test AR experiences for shoppers, such as trying on virtual foundation shades or eyebrow shapes and hues   —  PARIS (Reuters) - Maybelline parent L'Oreal (OREP.PA) is pairing up with Facebook to roll out virtual tests for shoppers to see how they might look …

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Amazon announces open source Alexa Auto SDK, available on GitHub, to let automakers integrate Alexa into cars and infotainment systems (Khari…

Khari Johnson / VentureBeat : Amazon announces open source Alexa Auto SDK, available on GitHub, to let automakers integrate Alexa into cars and infotainment systems   —  Amazon today announced an open source release of the Alexa Automotive Core (AAC) SDK, or Auto SDK, to help automakers integrate Alexa voice control …

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Anchor announces Listener Support, a Patreon-style service that lets listeners pledge $0.99, $4.99, or $9.99 a month to podcasters (Brian…

Brian Heater / TechCrunch : Anchor announces Listener Support, a Patreon-style service that lets listeners pledge $0.99, $4.99, or $9.99 a month to podcasters   —  Anchor's been gaining a fair bit of steam lately with its dead simple mobile podcast editing app.  The New York startup has also been branching out in some interesting ways …

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Gaming chat app Discord launches a games store in beta, available to 50,000 randomly selected customers in Canada, and says it has 150M users (Brian…

Brian Crecente / Variety : Gaming chat app Discord launches a games store in beta, available to 50,000 randomly selected customers in Canada, and says it has 150M users   —  Discord, the online chat and video service used by 150 million gamers, drops into the video game sales business Thursday with the launch …

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