Benner on Tech: Periscope's Knock Out

Katie Benner's roundup of the most interesting things in tech, today.

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Users of the live-streaming apps Periscope and Meerkat watched the Mayweather-Pacquiao fight for free. When HBO and Showtime got exclusive rights to the fight -- and put up a $100 paywall -- they took preliminary legal measures against streaming sites that were going to show the match for free. But they couldn’t stop people from watching the fight on those fledgling video apps. 

Was this copyright infringement? Sure. And I can’t condone breaking the law. But here’s another way to look at the situation: This fight was the most graphic illustration yet of just why subscription television is in trouble, even if cable companies do away with annoying bundles.

This latest bout of copyright infringement comes just a couple of weeks after HBO sent a takedown notice to Periscope after users live-streamed the "Game of Thrones" season premiere. Good luck to you, ESPN.

Chambers to Step Down 

Chuck Robbins will succeed John Chambers as chief executive officer of Cisco Systems Inc. (Bloomberg)

The Tech Industry Mourns

Dave Goldberg, the chief executive of SurveyMonkey and the husband of Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg, died on Friday night. He was only 47 years old.

If you read the many obituaries that were published over the weekend, a portrait emerges of a much-beloved figure who was a generous friend to tech big shots, investing giants and people of humbler stature who needed his advice and guidance. Adam Lashinsky wrote a lovely tribute to Goldberg for Fortune. The New York Times’s Jodi Kantor noted that he was a great advocate for women in technology.

Bad News for Trolls

Stanford and Cornell researchers examined online behavioral patters and think they’ve come up with an algorithm that can identify abusive online behavior. (the Economist)

Earnings Roundup

Reporting today: Cablevision, Comcast and On Deck Capital. Later in the week: Alibaba, AOL, Groupon, Tesla and Zynga will report.


Spotify’s $8.4 billion valuation is hard to justify when you take a close look at the business model. (Wall Street Journal)

Snapchat, which is valued at $15 billion, is willing to spend big to be a player in the 2016 election. (New York Times)

There are too many smart gadgets, and a shakeout is coming soon. (Wall Street Journal)

Andreessen Horowitz is more Hollywood than venture capital. But whether it’s more talent agency or movie studio could determine whether it succeeds or fails in the long run. (New York Times)

People and Personnel Moves

Paul Allen looks back on Microsoft and talks about his hopes for Windows 10. (New York Times)

Joseph Lechleider, who helped create DSL Internet service and worked at the Bell research lab, died on April 18 at the age of 82. (New York Times)


Alibaba still wants programming “cheerleaders,” but is no longer looking for job applicants who look like porn stars. (Bloomberg)

Apple said tattoos can interfere with some Apple Watch functions. The company is getting very friendly with Samsung again, and the rest of the hardware world should be very worried. (Bloomberg)

Facebook could let publishers keep all of the revenue from certain ads if they’re willing to distribute more content through the social network using a new product called Instant Articles. (Wall Street Journal)

Google is the undisputed king of online search. But dozens of startups and venture capitalists are fighting to make sure someone else dominates mobile search. (New York Times)

Salesforce has had strategic talks with SAP. (Bloomberg)

Tesla CEO Elon Musk wants to change the way that the world uses energy, a goal that’s informed by his devotion to the idea of “first principles,” meaning coming at problems with a fresh perspective. (Bloomberg) Here are the 12 most important things to know about the company’s Powerwall event. (Bloomberg)

Security Watch

Germany is investigating allegations that the country’s foreign intelligence agency illegally helped the U.S. spy on European officials and companies. (Reuters)

Lawmakers could soon limit bulk data collection and force secret intelligence proceedings to be more transparent. But the changes are modest enough that the National Security Agency doesn’t care. (New York Times)

The Justice Department is changing its stance on secret phone tracking. (Wall Street Journal)

News and Notes

Problems for women in the tech industry might actually be more of an issue for Silicon Valley than other places in the country. (Inc)

The hottest job in tech might be artificial-intelligence expert. (Wall Street Journal)

Telemedicine appointments will be insured. UnitedHealthcare, the country’s largest health insurer, will cover appointments offered by NowClinic, Doctor on Demand and American Well. (Wired)

As driverless cars become more of a reality, the legal system hasn’t caught up to the new technology. (New York Times)

The Federal Aviation Administration found a software glitch that could shut down electrical power to Boeing 787s if the planes are powered without interruption for 248 days.

This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of Bloomberg View's editorial board or Bloomberg LP, its owners and investors.

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    Katie Benner at

    To contact the editor on this story:
    Maria Lamagna at

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